They’re both color drumheads, so what’s the difference?
Well, there’s actually a huge difference!
So we’ve put together this Remo Colortone vs Evans Hydraulic drumhead comparison to clear up a few things.
Both heads sound great (and look great!), but you can end up getting caught out if you buy the wrong ones for your sound. So here’s our full guide to Remo Colortone vs Evans Hydraulic drumheads.
The sound: A fat, short, thud.
Evans Hydraulic are very unique drumheads. They’re made with two plies (like a lot of heads), but -and here’s the unique part- there’s a thin layer of oil trapped between the two plies.
The oil acts as a dampening agent, which means it stops your drum from ringing out. It really reduces the sustain and overtones of your drums, because the oil between the plies reduces the vibration of the head.
Along with dampening the drumhead, the tone you get is warmer and lower in pitch, because the oil adds more weight to the head.
This means that Evans Hydraulic heads can give your drums a nice fat, deep, short thud. If that’s the sound you’re looking for, they’re perfect.
Due to the heavier weight, just beware that you’ll lose a lot of volume and projection with Hydraulic heads: the sound of your drums just won’t carry as far.
These heads shine when heard close-up, or in the studio with microphones on your drum kit. If you’re playing in a loud environment though (e.g. rock, punk, etc), your drum sound can get lost in all the noise (unless you have mics on the kit).
The bottom line
Tuned low, Evans Hydraulic heads give a really deep fat sound, and they won’t ring out much at all. You can tune them high to get more sustain and a better attack. However, they’re kind of a one-trick pony: the sound they make is great, but you’re getting one style of sound.
For more information, read our full Evans Hydraulic drumhead review here.
Here’s an awesome overview of Evans Hydraulic heads by the team at Sounds Like A Drum:
The difference between Evans Hydraulic and Remo Colortone drumheads is that Colortone heads actually come in a selection of different thicknesses and types.
As we’ve just covered above, Evans Hydraulic are basically one type of head (yes, there are tiny differences between the colors in the Hydraulic range, but this difference is really minor).
While Remo Colortone heads come in a variety of types, none of them have dampening as extreme as Evans Hydraulic. Some do come close though!
Remo Colortone heads actually come in three different versions:
- Remo Emperor Colortone for snare and toms (see the range here)
- Remo Powerstroke 77 Colortone snare drum (see the range here)
- Remo Powerstroke P3 Colortone bass drum (see the range here)
Which one should you choose? Well, it really depends on the sound you want. Let’s take a look now!
Remo Emperor Colortone
The Remo Emperor Colortone is made with two plies of 7mil film (similar to the Evans Hydraulic).
However, unlike the Hydraulic, Remo Emperor heads do not have a layer of oil between the plies. Due to this, Emperor Colortone drumheads will have a longer sustain, slightly more overtones, and a slightly brighter sound compared to a Hydraulic.
If you read our description of the Evans Hydraulic above and think the sound is a little too extreme, then Emperor Colortone are an excellent choice.
Remo Emperor Colortone heads are available for snare drums and toms. For more information, read our full Remo Emperor review here.
Remo Powerstroke 77 Colortone
Next up is the Remo Powerstroke 77 Colortone, which is made only for snare drums.
This head is also made with two plies of 7mil film (like the Remo Emperor Colortone we’ve just covered). However, the Powerstroke 77 also features a 5mil center control dot and an inlay ring.
The control dot and inlay ring dampen the sound and stop the drumhead from ringing out, which means you’ll get a much more controlled sound compared to the Emperor Colortone.
If you’re looking for the Remo version of an Evans Hydraulic, this is fairly close. It’s very thick when factoring in the control dot, and it gives a deep warm sound and short sustain. The sustain is very short especially when this drumhead is tuned low, but it gives a more cutting snare “crack” when tuned high.
Remo Powerstroke P3 Colortone
Remo also have a bass-drum-only version of the Colortone: The Remo Powerstroke P3 Colortone.
The Powerstroke P3 Colortone is actually a much thinner drumhead compared to all of the other options: The P3 Colortone is made with a single 10mil ply. It also features an inlay ring to help control overtones and ringing, to give a more focused bass drum sound.
Compared to all of the other color head options, this is the brightest and most open-sounding head. Even though it’s brighter-sounding, it can still be tuned low to get a nice deep bass drum rumble, or tuned up higher for a more cutting sound.
The P3 Colortone is a great choice for an all-round bass drum head (it’s suitable for almost any style of music), as long as you’re not a really hard-hitting drummer… The 10mil ply may not hold up long-term to extremely hard footwork (use a kick drum patch if you’re worried about this!).
Remo’s P3 Colortone is available with a pre-cut bass drum port hole, or without a port hole.
For more information, read our full Remo Powerstroke P3 review here.
Evans Hydraulic vs Remo Colortone Buying Guide: Which Drumhead Is Best?
Ok, so we’ve looked at how each type of color head compares. So which one should you buy? Here’s a quick and simple guide.
We’ve listed the drumheads from most sustain and brightest-sounding, to least sustain and warmest/deepest-sounding:
- Remo Colortone Powerstroke P3: This is the thinnest and brightest-sounding color drumhead. It’s made for bass drums only, and it’s a great choice for a versatile sound. You can get a deep rumble, or tune it higher for a sound that punches through.
- Remo Colortone Emperor: This is the most versatile color snare and tom head. It’s fairly thick, but it still has a fairly strong sustain (and you can add moongels or dampening to reduce the sustain if you need). Get this drumhead if you want an overall warm drum sound, but with enough attack to still be heard among louder instruments and a good amount of tone in your sound.
- Remo Colortone Powerstroke 77: This is the thickest and warmest Remo color head, made for snare drums. It also rings out the least of all Remo heads, especially when tuned low. Get this head if you’re a hard-hitter, or if you want a really controlled, short, and fat snare tone.
- Evans Hydraulic: Due to the layer of oil between the two plies, this head gives an extremely warm, fat, and short sound. Your drums won’t ring out, and overtones will be almost entirely reduced. Get these heads if you want all of your drums to have a short, deep, fat thud.