Construction seems high quality, with premium materials, but there is hardly any difference between the two playing surfaces. Both are fairly stiff and loud, there is no softer/quieter option like with a gum rubber pad. For this price, I did expect there to be a noticeable difference. Other than that, I'm very happy with it. The 12-inch size perfectly sits on top of a 14-inch drum and is heavy enough that it doesn't bounce around much, even with heavy hitting. The raised edge for rimshots is a nice touch. It is very fun to play on!