Earthtone heads are made with genuine calfskin and are a step back towards in time but are made with modern technology and methods.
The heads mount the same as a mylar head with a metal hoop, and the company says the heads bring vintage kits back to life and add a new element when played with brushes.
I was given this 14” Earthtone head to try out which I did on two snares and a floor tom.
As far as the snares went, in all truth, my ear is too used too synthetic heads at this point and so I didn’t really experience too much of a tonal difference in the sound to notice that much of a change, other than it was perhaps a little more full and dry when at a moderate tension. I didn’t try any brushes on the head because quite simply I can’t play them well enough to really make it worthwhile.
On the floor tom though, the sound was definitely thick, rounded and full but with less of a defined immediate attack like the plastic head I’m used to.
While these personally aren’t my thing, I can definitely hear the appeal, certainly on toms. In relation to the snare drums, perhaps a more vintage setup (maybe with gut wires, etc) and an Earthtone snare side head, would bring out the tonal qualities and vibe more.
Although I’m slightly limited in my scope here, I’d say based on this one head if you want a full sounding and authentic sound then these might be worth checking out.
For more information, including full kit samples with brushes and sticks, head over to – https://goldtonemusicgroup.com/earthtone/