The Remo practice pad is available in different versions. The standard version of this pad uses a coated Ambassador head which has good sticking definition and higher volume. There is also a quieter version utilizing a Silentstroke head.
Difference in Sound Characteristics and Sound Levels
In this video we show how each pad sounds, with the mics left at the same volume and the dB meter in the background. This shows what each pad sounds like and how they compare to each other. The Remo pad with the Ambassador coated head is much louder and has sharper stick definition. The Remo pad with the Silentstroke head is more quiet and has a softer sound.
Feel and Playability
The Ambassador head version of this pad has a surface that feels similar to a typical snare drum head. This is the advantage of using a mylar drum head on a practice pad. The sticking definition and rebound is really good and you can feel every strike on the pad with great detail.
The Silentstroke version feels a little softer on the playing surface but it’s not a huge difference in feel. The sticking definition still feels good and is great for playing on as well. I didn’t feel like there were really any disadvantages in terms of playability. Remo did a good job here making this version feel very similar to the Ambassador version.
Design and Build Quality
The design of both pads is exactly the same except for the drum head used. They both have threaded mounts on the bottom for mounting onto a stand. They both have the same hard style of rim. They both can be adjusted for tension with the flathead tension screws.
The biggest difference seems to be sizes available. I was able to find the Ambassador version in 6, 8 and 10 inch sizes, but I could only find the Silentstroke version in the 8 inch size.
Which One Should You Get?
Since these pads are so similar, I would recommend basing your decision mostly on the volume levels you prefer. When I purchased mine, the Silentstroke version was only a few bucks more expensive than the Ambassador version, so prices are pretty comparable as well.
The Ambassador version has a pretty loud sound to it for a practice pad, but some people might like that. If volume is of no concern and you simply want a good feeling practice pad, go for this version since they are pretty easy to find and easy to flip and resell if you want to get rid of it later on.
The Silentstroke version is ideal for those who need to prioritize lower sound levels. The Silentstroke head is much more quiet when playing on it, and if you avoid using the rim it’s quiet enough for playing in an apartment or other situations like that. I would pick up this version if keeping quiet is a priority.