There is nothing quite like the organic sound of a calfskin drumhead on a tom-tom. The tone produced is the way the drum was meant to sound; warm and full of body with a melodic pure tone. A good calf head needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

However, a little more than 50 years ago, most drummers and drum companies switched from calf to synthetic drumheads for convenience, durability and the cost.  Calf heads had issues with the weather and tuning that the plastic alternative solved. With the introduction of technically advanced plastic heads, many celebrated drummers who grew up playing the traditional calf heads thought they had lost that great warm, organic tom sound of yesteryear forever. That is until 1992 when Aquarian introduced a whole new line of VINTAGE drumheads.

With the introduction of the groundbreaking AMERICAN Vintage and MODERN Vintage Tom, Snare and Bass drumheads, Aquarian achieved what no one else could: A VINTAGE SERIES of drumheads that not only sounded like original calfskin on it’s best day, it sounded even better! But Aquarian didn’t stop there. In 2013, at the request of many artists, Aquarian introduced the MODERN Vintage II and Deep Vintage 2 ply models. These heads are hailed as capturing the essence of yesteryear but are better suited for today’s drum and drummer, regardless of the style of music. Both models are fast becoming an industry favorite. But don’t take our word for it, checkout these reviews and learn more about their specifications.
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Special Vintage Coating

The slightly thicker vintage coating slows the vibration of the head and results in a lower, warmer tone with a softer feel and a classic look.

Oversized American Vintage Hoop

The American Vintage series is made to improve the fit of replacement heads on many older American made drums with “tight head” issues

The Only 2-Ply Vintage Style Head

More than just appearance, the Vintage two ply models bring the true authentic sound and performance of traditional calfskin heads to the “modern” drum.

Deep Vintage Design

First “deep” sounding drumheads for contemporary drums with no loss of resonance. Multi plies to add depth and durability.


American Vintage

Captures the organic sound of calfskin on older American manufactured drums. A slightly larger diameter hoop designed to accommodate older drum shell designs and thicker coverings. Two weights- Single ply 7 and 10mil heads (Made for Vintage and Collector drums)

For jazz, pop, blues and light acoustic applications on vintage and collector drums 

Modern Vintage

Same specification and application as the American Vintage but made for modern manufactured drums, post-1960. All Aquarian Vintage heads use Classic Aquarian Vintage Coating that is slightly thicker for a warmer more melodic performance and a classic look.

Suitable for jazz, pop, blues and light acoustic applications on modern manufactured drums

Modern Vintage II

A coated, two ply drumhead composed of two 7mil plies. Aquarian’s proprietary Vintage Coasting creates the tone of yesteryear with the added durability that a two ply delivers for contemporary manufactured drums.

Soft and warm at low volumes, fat and round when played hard. This head tunes up easily with a musical Vintage sound. A workhorse- the most versatile of the vintage line.

Suitable for Jazz, Studio, Pop, Classic Rock and Country. 

Deep Vintage II

A Vintage coated drumhead, composed of two 10mil plies. Aquarian’s special Vintage coating and vacuum molding process produces the best low frequency that a drum can deliver. Big powerful sound and projection makes them perfect for loud environments when tone is important. The two-ply, 10mil construction adds both durability and depth.

Perfect for Heavy Blues, Heavy Rock or anywhere that a Powerful deep sound or when you want a real synthetic calf-head substitute is needed.

roypopout-300x142Getting “that sound”
In order to replicate the sound quality of the organic calf drumhead, Aquarian used design elements that were present on the original calfskin heads, and then set out to improve upon them!

Calf heads are secured at 360 degrees around the hoop and do not have a pre-formed collar. There are no pre-formed collars on any Aquarian Vintage models. The lack of a pre-formed collar makes for a custom drumhead fit that will conform to any drum, regardless of the bearing edge. The Aquarian fit eliminates most tuning problems and improves tone quality.

Calfskin is susceptible to changes in the weather and are difficult to maintain a consistent tension and tuning. All Aquarian Vintage heads use an exclusive Nu-brite material covered with a thicker application of “Vintage” coating. This proprietary combination gives a softer feel to the head, and slows the vibration just a bit, adding to that warm “Vintage” sound, and its classic aged appearance.

American vs. Modern
The original American and Modern Vintage heads are single ply Vintage coated heads. The difference is in the diameter of the hoop.

Older drums (prior to 1960) used different types of shell designs and may have had overlapping seams or thicker cosmetic coverings that could bulge where they came together. These details can cause problems with many modern drumhead designs.

Aquarian’s understands the plight of the vintage drum enthusiast. A head that is too tight won’t tune properly. The American Vintage heads use oversized hoop specs to accommodate the tolerances needed to fit many of the pre-60’s American drums resulting in a more “relaxed” fit and better tuning results. Aquarian Vintage heads are widely known for quick and easy tuning.

Vintage Kicks and Snares
In the early days of the “trap-set,” there were no microphones used on the drums. The bass drum functioned as the foundation of the dance band. The calf bass drumhead produced the low frequencies that were needed to be both heard, and felt.

Aquarian Bass Drum Heads come in “old school” and Superkick designs.

A vertical felt strip mounted inside the heads gives that classic, old-school bass drum “thump” and is suitable for both batter and resonant heads.

For those who can’t live without Aquarian’s controlled Super Kick design, we added the free-floating muffle ring feature to the Modern Vintage II and Deep Vintage II designs. The warmth of the Vintage head, combined with the patented Superkick design, makes for a warm, dryer sound Kickdrum that can really drive the band.

The snare drum sound is fat, funky and organic with increased midrange frequencies and a dryer response. The thicker, vintage coating makes this snare drum head comfortable to play. Like all Aquarian Vintage heads, the snare drum heads are widely known for quick and easy tuning.

Aquarian Vintage heads are all about the sound- getting the best sound from any drum.

Vintage Series Products

Modern & Deep Vintage II

American Modern Vintage

American Vintage Snare Head


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