Evans debuted its innovative ultraviolet-cured UV1 single-ply coated snare/tom drumhead in early 2017, and many drummers raved over its chip-resistant textured finish and slightly punchier tone. Earlier this year, the company added versions for bass drums, including a basic UV1 single-ply as well as UV1 versions of the popular EQ4, which has an internal muffling ring, and the EMAD, which comes with two interchangeable externally mounted foam dampeners.
Evans positions the UV1 as the third brightest-sounding bass drum head in its catalog, after the single-ply G1 Clear and G1 Coated and before the Calftone and double-ply G2 Clear. The UV1 coating is actually a thin applique that’s cured to a 10-mil layer of film via ultraviolet light. This process is different from a traditional coating’s application, which usually involves textured spray paint.
Compared to the G1 Coated, the UV1 has fewer super-high overtones and a slightly shorter sustain. It also holds pitch better under low tension, making it ideal for bass drum applications. I found that using two UV1 heads, with no muffling, produced a full, open, tom-like sound with a slightly meatier attack than you’d get from a pair of Coated G1s. And the pitch was a bit purer and more focused, similar to the sound you get by applying a bit of tape to a standard single-ply coated drumhead. The UV1 coating proved to be more resilient than traditional paint; even when the head was smacked for a few hours with a wooden beater, the coating showed no signs of chipping or wear.
The UV EQ4 version is identical to the UV1, except that there’s a muffling ring of additional film affixed to the underside of the perimeter. While having a warmer tonality than the EQ4 Clear, Frosted, and Coated options, the UV EQ4 is designed as an all-purpose drumhead for a wide variety of playing styles and tuning preferences. The muffling ring helps focus the tone and shorten the decay while still allowing the head to resonate.
The UV coating gives the drumhead stronger midrange punch. I’ve been a big fan of the EQ4 Frosted for many years, but the one gripe I have with that drumhead is that the coating wears off quickly at the beater impact point. When using the UV EQ4, I didn’t experience that issue, and I was still able to get a deep and punchy yet not overly muffled kick drum tone.
The UV EQ4 also worked well as a resonant head, offering additional control for a deeper and more focused sound.
For drummers looking for a bass drum head that provides a very modern sound with maximum punch and low end, the Evans EMAD is an ideal choice. It features a single-ply of 10-mil film and an externally mounted dampening system that allows you to affix a foam ring to the perimeter. (One-inch and two-inch rings are included.)
The UV EMAD version, which has an ultraviolet light–cured applique across the entire surface, surprised me a bit. I expected it to have even stronger attack and deeper tone than the clear version, but the UV coating actually seemed to mellow out the beater impact while also producing rounder resonance. It’s still a high-impact, microphone-ready sound, but the UV EMAD was a little less scooped in the midrange and hyped in the highs and lows. The UV EMAD paired very nicely with the UV EQ4 as a resonant head for a big, robust kick sound with a solid but not too bright attack and full yet focused overtones.