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Can’t decide if you want a calf or synthetic head on your tambourine? Black Swamp is here to break it down, helping to make your buying decision a little easier. Eric from Black Swamp Percussion compares the benefits of clear calf skin heads and Remo Renaissance synthetic heads, each available on SoundArt series tambourines.

Translucent Calf Head

Black Swamp chooses translucent calfskin heads over white calfskin heads. The clear version provides a more lively balance of the head sound compared to the jingles.  Both clear and white calf heads are equally affected by temperature and humidity.

Synthetic Head

Remo Renaissance synthetic heads are made exclusively for Black Swamp. These heads will not drop in pitch because it retains tension, no matter the weather condition. You will notice a small sound difference (a slight chirp) with these heads. In the scheme of things, when you are performing outdoors, the benefits of a tight head outweigh the minimal sound difference.

Ordering a SoundArt Tambourine

Fun fact: Models including a Remo Renaissance synthetic head have the suffix “S” at the end of the model number.

For example:

TD1 = Chromium 25 model with a calf head

TD1S = Chromium 25 model with a Remo head

To learn more about SoundArt Tambourines, email us at