The head for every snare

I absolutely love the controlled sound head and use it on almost all of my snares, from a 14"x6.5" Supraphonic (aluminium) to a 13"x6" Mapex (walnut) to a 14"x5.5" Premier (birch) to a 14"x6.5" WorldMax (brass).

I find that for about 80% of snare drums it's in the sweet spot between lively and dead. Not as bright and ringy as an ambassador or G1 can be, but not too dead like a pinstripe or emperor can be either. The CS also gives you a really fat sound when you play in the centre of the head — perfect for rock and pop live and in the studio. Since it's still single ply at the edges you can get the press roll feeling and ghost notes that are missing from a 2-ply head, and the "reggae rimshot" sound is still there too.

The only downside of the Controlled Sound is that the centre dot feels a little less 'bouncy' than the single-ply edges, and this means the rebound isn't consistent all over the head. I find I get used to it quite quickly, but it's worth bearing in mind if you're playing very soft music or like a highly responsive feel, or you're used to a G1/Ambassador.

But don't let that discourage you — the Controlled Sound is so good that it's now the head I try first on a new drum. Most of the time, it's all I need.