The concept of Aquarian's new Power-Thin head is that it has virtually the same strength and durability as a twin-ply head but sounds more like a single-ply head.
Aquarian already make Classic Clear Power Dot and Texture Coated Power Dot heads. The difference is that they have dots stuck to the underside of the head whereas the new Power-Thin has the dot (made from a slightly thinner, newly patented material) stuck to the upper side. Aquarian says that whereas the Power Dot is designed to take some ring out of the head, the new Power-Thin is supposed "to play like a twin-ply but sound like a single-ply" head.
The idea of strengthening the middle area makes sense. The absolute centre of any head is a relatively dead spot and it's the area around which you mostly aim, particularly on your toms. That leaves the perimeter area undamped, and that's the most resonant area of the head. The single-ply head material is the usual 10mm (0.01") gauge Mylar, while the dot is a much thinner 4mm. Because the dot is relatively thin and ï¬exible it shouldn't detract much from the single- headed sound. However, the dot does soften the attack a fraction, making the sound slightly warmer with marginally less attack than a normal single-ply head.
It's an inevitable trade off between wanting a sharper edge and needing extra strength.
Inevitably we ï¬nd ourselves comparing the Power-Thins with Remo's long serving CS (Controlled Sound) black dot heads, which were the ï¬rst to go this route back in the '70s. The CS dot is on the underside, actually making it directly comparable with Aquarian's Power Dots. However, we can't see how putting the dot on the top or the bottom is going to make that big a difference sonically.
Comparing a couple of CS heads alongside equivalent Power-Thins we noticed that the CS dot material is even thinner than the Aquarian dot and what's more, it takes up less area. For example, the dot on Aquarian's 14" tom head is 71/2" across, while the dot on Remo's is 53/4". The result is that the Remo head has a little more resonance and attack. On the other hand, the Aquarian head no doubt has more strength and durability.
There's a full range of Power-Thin tom head sizes from 6" through to 18", but there are no bass drum heads. There are however two snare batters, a 13" and a 14". These have an additional power dot on the underside for even more resilience. The dot on the 14" snare drum batter is bigger than the one on the 14" tom. In fact, at 9" in diameter, it takes up most of the head. This affords the head maximum strength but shouldn't affect your playing style. The outer band, where you're likely to play ghost strokes and rolls, is still clear.
Once more Aquarian smartly fills a slot which is not quite taken by the omnipresent Remo. The Power-Thins are harder wearing than a Remo CS head, but as a result of the heftier dot they are marginally less edgy. This may not be so apparent if you're a hard hitter, and in any case, you may like the warmer sound.