Attack Drumheads: A Winning Formula For The Working Drummer
At Attack, we believe that the winning formula for professional-level drumheads can be expressed as a pretty simple equation: High-Quality Materials + Innovative Design + Manufacturing Craftsmanship = Great Sound And Performance.
All of the factors in this equation are equally important, and we’ll expand on each of them in a moment. However, one factor that you don’t see in the equation is price. And that’s simply because retail price has virtually no relation to the true quality of a drumhead.
How do we know? We know because Attack drumheads are manufactured in strict accordance to the winning formula, resulting in a line of great-sounding, high-performance drumheads…and they retail for about half the price of other brands. In short, Attack heads are made expressly for working drummers who need—and deserve—affordable heads that are the equal of any on the market.
Let’s go back to the formula for a moment, and examine how Attack heads relate to each factor within it. We’ll start with…
According to Bob Beals (drum head mfg. for more than 40 years)-All synthetic drumheads—regardless of brand—are made of a material known as polyester nylon film. Drumhead companies purchase different weights of this film from a number of manufacturers in the US and abroad. Every one of these films already exists for industrial purposes; the drumhead market is a drop in the bucket by comparison. As a result, no drumhead company can order “sonically better” film that’s exclusive to their brand, despite any claims to the contrary.
The 1,000-gauge film used to make Attack’s Terry Bozzio heads is DuPont Mylar, which is a standard of the drumhead industry. The Dynaflex film used for other Attack heads is made by a giant manufacturer in Japan. Mylar heads sound relatively dark, producing the drum sound and feel that all drummers have come to be familiar with. Heads made of Dynaflex film have a brighter, more explosive sound, and just feel good to play. That sound and feel is what gave Attack heads their name originally.
The Dura-Coat material that’s used on all coated Attack models is manufactured in the USA. It’s an industrial coating specially formulated to adhere to polyester surfaces. As such it doesn’t transfer to other heads and cymbals in the way that many other coatings do.
Finally, the steel hoops that secure the film in Attack heads are, well…steel. Simply put, pressure-fitted steel hoops are stronger than any kind of glue. That’s why Attack heads won’t pull out under the heaviest use—period.
The Attack brand didn’t just happen. It took more than twenty years of trial and error to design a line of artist-quality drumheads that includes many unique choices unavailable from any other brand. And these unique choices are largely the result of innovative ideas that have come to us from our artist endorsers. Credit goes to great drummers like Hilary Jones, Bobby Rondinelli, and Charlie Adams for their input into the development of many specific models.
The late Tommy Wells, who was an important figure in the Nashville studio scene for decades, came to Attack with requests for different combinations of one- and two-ply heads. Experiments with assorted films and weights based on Tommy’s requests led to the development of the Thin Skin, Thin Skin 2, and Thin Skin 3 drumhead lines.
Today Attack offers more choices of two-ply heads than any other brand. These include Attack 2, Thin Skin 2 and 3, a new super-thick snare drum batter, and the Blast Beat heavy two-ply. That last model was designed at the request of Cannibal Corpse drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, who was burning through snare drum heads at a prodigious rate.
Perhaps the greatest artist-generated Attack innovations have come about from the input of drumming icon Terry Bozzio. Initially, Terry focused on a line of single-ply clear and coated heads, all of which feature 1,000-gauge American-made DuPont Mylar film. These heads come with Attack’s steel locking hoop that is guaranteed not to pull out for life.
More recently Terry’s input has led to wider hoops on tom and bass drum heads for better fit and a fuller sound. He also improved the design of his No Overtone bass drum heads, making the bottom ply thinner to give the bass drum a more open tone instead of a traditional flat punchy sound—but still without unwanted ring.
In 2013 a major American drumhead manufacturer introduced a high-collar head that they touted as a major step forward in drumhead design. It may interest drummers to know that Terry Bozzio and Attack president Tom Shelley developed a high-collar head of the same design back in 2003. (Attack’s patent on that design is still in effect.)
Other recent Attack design innovations include the new Frost Bite series. These heads are made with an ultra-thin coating that allows them to resonate more than other Attack models. These heads produce a wide-open sound that’s great for brushes as well as sticks.
The line also includes a No Overtone Frost Bite snare batter, whose coating is twice as thick for about 3" around the edge of the head. This coating ring eliminates unwanted overtones while still promoting sensitivity and projection. No other company has come up with this simple but practical idea.
Frost Bite heads are shipped with Attack’s proprietary Tone Putty, allowing users to customize the sound of the heads by applying the easy-to-use Tone Putty in whatever amount they desire.
Attack has been producing drummer-designed drum heads for over thirty years. Over those years we’ve not only constantly improved our heads, we’ve also constantly improved our way of making those heads.
Today, all of the components that go into our heads—including polyester film, steel hoops, and Dura-Coat coating material—are shipped from their original sources to the Attack factory in Taiwan. There those components are combined under meticulous supervision to meet the highest professional standards for drumhead manufacturing.
Okay, Now Let’s Talk About Price…
While price is not a factor in our winning formula for creating drumheads, it most certainly is a factor when it comes to purchasing those heads.
When we say that Attack heads are targeted at the working drummer, it’s because we’re all drummers at Attack, and we know how it feels to go through a couple of snare drum heads and a bass drum head every week to ten days. So we’ve recently changed our retail prices to a point where a 14" Attack single-ply coated batter head is less than half the price of a comparable major-brand model. The same holds true through our entire line, which offers just about every combination of one- or two-ply heads that the US-made brands offer...for less than half the price.
The Bottom Line
At Attack, we believe that—through a combination of artist input, ever-improving technology, and more than three decades of hard work—we’ve created a “better mousetrap” for the working drummer: A-level drumheads, at C-level pricing. We like to think that we’re “a head of our time,” offering an extensive selection of sound ideas for drummers to choose from.
We invite you to check out the Attack line and see how we’re changing the drumming world, one head at a time.
Making of a great head...
Steel wire ready to cut
Weld steel wire into shape
Forming the aluminum edge
Cut the film
Heat stamping the head
Removing head from form
Forming the steel wire, aluminum edge and head
Attack logo printing
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