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DW AA Drum heads

The fact that Drum Workshop is venturing a little further into the realm of drum heads shouldn’t really present much of a surprise to anyone who follows the company. It wasn’t to me anyway. Anyone who has been into a drum shop and seen one of the company’s kits will have seen the clear/coated heads that have been shipped as standard for a long time as an indicator of this.

The heads we were given to try out were 10, 12, 14, 16 and 22” versions of both smooth white and coated heads.

The heads are actually made by Remo. I can say that, it’s printed on them after all, so it’s no big secret, and they are made from 2 7.5mill plies of Dupont A film.

The smooth white version is the raw film and the coated version is…coated, in the traditional Remo context. The big difference between these and Remo’s own heads though is that Remo doesn’t offer this film in this particular configuration for this purpose, as it is normally only used for marching snare drum heads. DW has chosen this design as it is extremely durable and also provides a very dark warm tone. What appeared to be the most obviously different feature to me though against Remo’s own heads - at least from what I can see anyway - is the way the film is attached to the hoop. This is a crimped aluminium flesh hoop design which apparently gives an enhanced resonance.

I tried the smooth white heads on my more modern acrylic kit and the coated heads on my 1989 Premier XPK kit to see how they would seat and work on a synthetic bearing edge as well as a wood edge that, admittedly, isn’t bad but also isn’t as high end and sharp as it might be.

Using the heads, I had no issues fitting them or tuning them, and obviously, that’s what you what. They seated on both kits easily, and provided lots of tone and attack. I managed to get a nice full rounded tone out of all the drums I tried the heads on, but also found some range with them too.

Overall, whilst some might argue these are simply a variation of a [well tried and tested] theme, these new heads do offer exactly what they say they do.

The enhanced durability might not be sufficient enough to save those using tree trunk sized sticks from a regular trip to the local shop for new heads, however, they do offer people like me - hard but not excessively heavy hitters - something else to choose from that might last a little longer than what has gone before. 

AA heads are available in the following sizes:

Bass Drum Sizes: 18", 20", 22", 23", 24"

Tom Sizes: 8", 10", 12", 13", 14", 15", 16", 18"

Snare Sizes (AA Coated Only, No Smooth): 10", 12", 13", 14", 15"

Good stuff and just what I would expect from DW.

More over at and

David Bateman

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