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Remo Powerstroke 3 Clear and Coated Dot Bass Drum Heads

Heads with dots on have been around forever. They’ve also been popular forever too. Indeed, some of the first drum heads I both saw and played in the 1980s were Remo Controlled Sound heads (smooth white heads with black dots).

The Powerstroke 3 design has been about for a little while now, but these two newer models come in clear and coated versions with dots. Over to Remo:

‘Inspired by legendary drummer Steve Smith, the Powerstroke®3 Black Dot features a thin underlay at the outer edge of the head to subtly dampen unwanted overtones. The added 5 mil Black Dot provides deeper low tones, focused attack and increased durability.’

As I mentioned, we were given two different versions of this new head; the clear model with the dot on the playing side and a coated version with the dot on the reverse side, i.e. on the non-playing side. 

Sound-wise, both heads delivered what they promised and I enjoyed using both of them. I liked the tone from them and how they responded and played.

However, while I had no issues with the clear model - it worked just fine and I loved the vibe it gave me - I was a little disappointed with the other model in that the coating started coming off pretty much straight away with the hard plastic beater I was using. 

Now, I’m not the heaviest of players but I’m not one to ballet dance on the pedals either. 

I put the coated head on one of my gigging kits and took it out for a standard gig which is about two and a half hours. During that time, the coating wore away fairly evenly under where the beater was hitting it to leave a semi clear patch with the dot being visible underneath.

Obviously, there is the option of either changing the beater or using an impact pad to avoid this happening - and the latter to cover what has now worn away - but should that be necessary? I’ll leave that open to suggestion.

I will be clear, I didn’t actually buy this head because it was sent for review, but had I done, I think I would have been disappointed with the coating wearing away so soon. No, it didn’t affect the sound or how the head played, and I will say that''s a positive from me, but it’s not really what you want to see from a head you might have just bought. 

Anyway, that aside - and I cannot stress the above is a visual thing rather than a functional problem - I liked these heads and they are worth checking out.

Both models are available in 18-24” sizes.

More at

David Bateman
June 2015

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