Are non-USA Remo heads as bad as people make them out to be?

wildbill

Platinum Member
My practice kit came with UT heads. I've been using them for two years. In my experience they hold up well. They sound like lots of recordings from the 1960's. I plan to replace them but they are OK, so there is no rush.

That's my opinion too. Throw some control rings on them and they can sound pretty decent.

I do usually change out heads right away, but I wouldn't say it's necessary for everyone. Especially those on a tight budget.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
There's no tone at all in them. Really cheap and nasty heads.

I understand why a lot of Asian made drums ship with them, it keeps costs down and whenever I buy a new kit I have to put my own head choice on regardless of how much it costs.

I've just done a couple of gigs with the Worldmax NOB I got last August. Sounds great with the UT heads on but I know once the G1/Hazy 200 goes on tonight it'll sound 100x better. Might as well make the UT earn its successors!
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
UT-utter trash-nailed it ROFL!!!! I got a big dose of frugal from my Mom so I always play the cheap UT heads till they wear out. So I play a lot on the new kit to wear them out quickly LOL. Then I replace them all.
I've always wondered cost wise if my buying the cheaper shell pack with crummy heads I replace does it end up costing me that of a better kit with better heads? Don't answer that question.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
My conspiracy theory is, these heads are deliberately made to sound worse, so people don't get attracted to those lower-line drums that came with them (which actually may sound really good with better drumheads), so as not to eat into the sales of higher lines. The beginners have no choice but to put up with them, so they (both the drumhead and drum companies) still make loads of money. Such things happen far too often under capitalism...
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
My conspiracy theory is, these heads are deliberately made to sound worse, so people don't get attracted to those lower-line drums that came with them (which actually may sound really good with better drumheads), so as not to eat into the sales of higher lines. The beginners have no choice but to put up with them, so they (both the drumhead and drum companies) still make loads of money. Such things happen far too often under capitalism...
or more simply put buy cheap and you get cheap stuff. and what’s the point in spending more to make the kit by putting heads that are going to get swapped out immediately? i’d rather have a great kit with cheap heads where all the money went to shell construction/hardware/finishes than a compromised kit with USA heads i’ll replace out of the box and forget about. and to prove your theory wrong with a second point, the most sold kit isn’t expensive, it’s a pearl export. and i don’t see pearl discontinuing the export to sell their more expensive kits better!
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
If you get a new kit with UT heads, you probably bought a lousy kit.

Disagree completely. The Yamaha Stage Customs and DW Design Series come to mind as great kits that come stock with UT heads.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
or more simply put buy cheap and you get cheap stuff. and what’s the point in spending more to make the kit by putting heads that are going to get swapped out immediately? i’d rather have a great kit with cheap heads where all the money went to shell construction/hardware/finishes than a compromised kit with USA heads i’ll replace out of the box and forget about. and to prove your theory wrong with a second point, the most sold kit isn’t expensive, it’s a pearl export. and i don’t see pearl discontinuing the export to sell their more expensive kits better!
I'm afraid I'd have to disagree with the first point of your reasoning. The money saved on UT heads would not be so significant that the shell, hardware etc. will be upgraded significantly.
Pearl is cool in my book that, they make professional level kits (although some are imitations of other companies - I'm getting at you Masters Maple Gum) at an attractive price point that offers people more options within their price range. It would be neo-liberalistic to assume that people do not deserve to play good-sounding drums just because they aren't able to shell out a fortune for a top-of-the-line, handmade-in-the-USA kit. The Exports seems not as much "bad kits" as "good kits for the money" and they are even making improvements to them. Pearl still makes money making them and selling them to the masses though, so they probably wouldn't discontinue them right away.
 
I'm afraid I'd have to disagree with the first point of your reasoning. The money saved on UT heads would not be so significant that the shell, hardware etc. will be upgraded significantly.
Not sure how the Remo Encores compare to the UTs (same, cheaper,... ?), but they cost about 50% of a regular USA Remo head in store. A full set of batter and resonant heads for a 5 piece would be about $120 in store. Adding another $100 for USA heads should drive the price up. Of course, those are prices in stores - no idea what a company, that buys millions of them, pays for them, but even if it's just a difference of $50, that might be enough for a beginner on a budget to buy something else.
I still think it's amazing what you can get nowadays for just a few hundred bucks. I recently saw a review of the terrible Taiwanese Sonor Internationals. Suggested retail price was $1300 in 1989. Even without inflation factored in, nobody would buy them today for $1300.
I'm OK with cheap heads - you can't please everybody. Some want Remo Ambassadors, other drummers will prefer Evans G2 and so on.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I would disagree with the premise of those two kits being "great kits". Think about it. You said "GREAT".
I know how you feel about the Yamahas but the DW Designs are indeed great kits. The materials and construction are first-rate and their sound is above reproach.

I think that Gretsch Renowns are considered great kits by many and having the good fortune to own both a Design and a Renown, I can tell you that they are equal in just about every way. The Renowns are a little heavier and the DW's are a bit easier to tune. They both sound amazing and feel good to play.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I know how you feel about the Yamahas but the DW Designs are indeed great kits. The materials and construction are first-rate and their sound is above reproach.

I think that Gretsch Renowns are considered great kits by many and having the good fortune to own both a Design and a Renown, I can tell you that they are equal in just about every way. The Renowns are a little heavier and the DW's are a bit easier to tune. They both sound amazing and feel good to play.
Great is an opinion word, like best. Neither one of you are wrong.
How 'bout we say "great value for the money"? Seems much more applicable. I've heard good things about the DW Design kits. I'll have to swing by Guitar Center and see if they have a set I can play.
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
How 'bout we say "great value for the money"? Seems much more applicable. I've heard good things about the DW Design kits. I'll have to swing by Guitar Center and see if they have a set I can play.

Your original statement was that all kits with UT heads are lousy kits. The Stage Customs and the Design Series are certainly at the very least not "lousy"-- they are kits being played by professionals in professional situations. "Great for the money" would imply not lousy, at least, no?
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
How 'bout we say "great value for the money"? Seems much more applicable. I've heard good things about the DW Design kits. I'll have to swing by Guitar Center and see if they have a set I can play.
That seems reasonable. I would be interested to hear your take on the Designs. Don't let the stock heads throw you - upgrading them really elevates the kit.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
I wonder how many of us have those awesome kits that the USSR produced and shipped worldwide during the cold war. Oh wait, there were none? Hmm.

...edited to temper my reply.
You've asked the right person: I have an Amati cymbal made in cold-war era Czechoslovakia that holds its own.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
How 'bout we say "great value for the money"? Seems much more applicable. I've heard good things about the DW Design kits. I'll have to swing by Guitar Center and see if they have a set I can play.
Seems fair. I've not had one but folks seem to love them.

I just cant imagine that any DW is a bad kit. Their reputation kind of insists that ALL their gear is quality. Having never played one, I'm only speculating.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Your original statement was that all kits with UT heads are lousy kits. The Stage Customs and the Design Series are certainly at the very least not "lousy"-- they are kits being played by professionals in professional situations. "Great for the money" would imply not lousy, at least, no?
There is nothing anyone could ever tell me that would change my mind about a stage custom being a lousy kit. I bought one new and I thought it was dreadful. Granted it's just my opinion. In my travels UT heads = low end kits. I'm thankful that I don't have operate in that range of merchandise.

That seems reasonable. I would be interested to hear your take on the Designs. Don't let the stock heads throw you - upgrading them really elevates the kit.
My point is again that if the first thing I'll need to do is change the heads on a kit, the manufacturer is already cutting corners to reduce the cost. I've bought new Renowns where you can take them out of the box and gig them straight away. Same with Mapex Saturns.
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
There is nothing anyone could ever tell me that would change my mind about a stage custom being a lousy kit. I bought one new and I thought it was dreadful. Granted it's just my opinion. In my travels UT heads = low end kits. I'm thankful that I don't have operate in that range of merchandise.

You do you, buddy!
 
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