Drum Heads Single vs. Double Ply: What Are The Main Differences?

Drum Heads Single vs. Double Ply What Are The Main Differences

Today, we will compare drum heads single vs double ply to help you choose the most suitable one. Let’s read on right now to get the valuable information!

Drum Heads Single vs. Double Ply: Comparison Table

When talking about drums, tuning and heads are everything. So picking the suitable heads for your drum kit is necessary to create the perfect performance.

If you’ve been a longtime drummer, you’ll know that your drum head comes in many types, including:

  • Single-Ply head
  • Double-Ply head
  • Coated and Clear head
  • Dotted head
  • Specialty head

In this article, we will compare the two most popular: Drum heads single vs. double ply.

Single  Ply Drum Heads

Double Ply Drum Heads

  • Lesser attack.
  • Longer sustain.
  • More overtones.
  • Brighter sound.
  • Warmer sound.
  • Shorter sustain.
  • More attack.
  • Less overtones.
  • Generally less durable
  • Generally more durable
Best For
  • Best for lighter playing styles (jazz, light rock)
  • Ideal for louder, sustained musical styles, fusion, extreme metal, or R&B.
  • Evans G1, Remo Ambassador, Attack Thin Skin, Aquarian Classic Clear, etc.
  • Remo Emperor, Evans G2, Aquarian Super-2, Attack 2-Ply Medium, etc.

Drum Heads Single vs. Double Ply: The Main Differences?

We’ll compare these two types of drum heads in several dimensions to decide which is best for you.


  • Single Ply Drumhead 

There is no denying that the single-ply drumhead is the most commonly used type. This type is made of a Mylar single sheet.

The single-ply drumhead is typically available at 7, 7.5, or 10 mil thicknesses. Also, in recent times, several 12 mil drumheads have hit the market.

  • Double Ply Drumhead

The double-ply drumhead includes two layered seven mil plies. Yet, several models are created with various thickness levels to deliver distinct tones.

Some drumheads produce additional dampening features built into the head. That way, they will give you further control over overtones.

Some great examples include the Evans EC2 and  Remo Pinstripe drumheads. 

These models produce their own unique tones. Hence, you might need to try a few models to find the ideal sound.


  • Single-Ply Drumhead 

The thinner single-ply drumhead will deliver a more open, brighter sound with various overtones, but it does not have as much sustain as its double-ply counterpart.

The single-ply resonates as well, and as the batter head, it is bright and brings out an overtone of the drum. The thinner the drumhead, the more high-end ring and overtones, while the sustain would decrease.

The single ply drum heads feature a brighter sound, more sustain and less attack than the 2 or 3-ply drum heads. But it is thinner and tends to be less durable.

If you’ve been hitting on a head for some time, you will probably see dents or pits on the surface of the drumhead.

  • Double Ply Drumhead

The double-ply head features a more controlled and deeper sound with fewer overtones, a shorter sustain, a fatter punch, and a more defined attack than its single-ply counterpart.

The double-ply drum head tends to provide less sustain and more attack. Each beat does not last as long, and some may even say the double-ply drum head tends to sound more ‘dead.’

Also, these drumheads are more durable than their single-ply counterparts.

Best For

  • Single Ply Drumhead 

The single-ply drumhead is ideal for lighter playing styles (light rock and jazz), but it can deliver a boomy, big sound for more ambient and louder situations.

  • Double Ply Drumhead

The double ply drumhead is ideal for louder, sustained musical styles, fusion, extreme metal, or R&B.

Drum Heads Single vs. Double Ply

Generally, the 1-ply or thinner drum head features a bright character and allows you to tune to higher frequencies. 

Meanwhile, the 2-ply or thicker drumhead will give you a lower frequency, sounding “deeper” and “warmer.”

The single-ply drum head is the best-selling model. This type delivers a superior level of resonance and will be more sensitive to your playing dynamics.

On the downside, the single-ply drum head is less durable than its double-ply counterpart.

The double-ply drumhead works as a natural muffling system, preventing overtones that could be undesirable in recording situations. It tends to be more durable thanks to the extra material. 

This type is less sensitive to playing dynamics, though, and does not offer the best tone at lower volumes.

The double ply drum heads is arguably the most popular model when talking about bass drum heads.

The reason is that most drummers are practiced to have a solid bass drum sound that resembles a quick thud. They need less muffling within the bass drum and generally feel very solid to play on.

On the other hand, the single-ply head is more dynamic and a lot thinner. It will not sound as meaty as the two-ply drumhead. Yet, it will make your bass drum sound warmer and rounder.


Do drum heads make a difference in sound?

The drumhead is the key striking point on a drum set. So the quality of the drumheads will determine the sound quality the instrument is able to create. 

What are the different types of drum heads?

Drum head come in may type, including:

  • Single-Ply head
  • Double-Ply head
  • Coated and Clear head
  • Dotted head
  • Specialty head

How do I know what drum heads to buy?

If you’re an amateur or inexperienced player, it’s best to consult where you bought your drum head or ask an experienced drummer.

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