16" Floor Tom Blues

Cubby

Junior Member
Recently, I am having trouble getting a good sound out of my 16”. It sounds like a basketball hitting concrete, despite many hours of careful tuning and experimenting. I usually tune in intervals of fourths and also in fourths between heads (reso heads higher than batters) at a medium-tight tension to give more projection and for that late 60s/early 70s sound as I play in a classic rock covers band (think Ginger Baker and Nick Mason). The other toms (14x10 and 18x16) sound full and powerful and I don’t recall having this problem when I first got the kit (a Ludwig classic maple). When I got the kit, I immediately swapped out the factory heads to coated Emperors on top and coated Ambassadors underneath. I have noticed this problem is most noticable out front at unmiked gigs; it just sounds weird.

I have checked the roundness of the shell and the bearing edges and all seems fine. I have even gone to coated Ambassadors as batters now but the 16 still lacks sufficient sustain.

Initially, I considered getting the shell cut down to 14” but after reading on here that 14” deep floors have naturally less sustain anyway, plus the cost, means I have decided against this as an option.

I read somewhere recently that CS (black dot) heads actually increase sustain due to the weight of the dot itself in the centre of the head. If this is true, would it be beneficial to install one of these on the 16”, and as the batter, the reso or both?

Thanks for your time.

Mark
 

mikeg

Senior Member
I have a Ludwig Centennial kit and noticed a lack of sustain on my 16" floor tom as well. I don't get any "basketball" overtone though. One of the things I noticed is that when I tilted the drum so that one or more legs was not touching the floor the sustain was excellent. On a hard surface the drum will walk across the floor from the vibrations transferred through the legs.

I would like to find some sort of suspension system for this drum that isolates the legs from the shell, but so far I haven't see any after market products that do this.

I also have a 14x14 floor tom and it doesn't seem to have any problem with sustain. Kinda strange..
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Back when RIMS were the thing, they sold a suspension cradle for the floor tom that was basically a RIMS on the reso (bottom) side holding the legs. I'm sure on eBay there must be something similar available, or you could try to Google it.

If I remember correctly the new brand name for RIMS is Gauger.
 

JSdrums

Member
Experiment!! I got the best sound from my 14" floor tom using a clear Evans G2 as a reso and a Remo coated Powerstroke as batter. I was able to tune the reso a bit lower without getting a flappy overtone because it's a heavier head.
 

mikeg

Senior Member
Back when RIMS were the thing, they sold a suspension cradle for the floor tom that was basically a RIMS on the reso (bottom) side holding the legs. I'm sure on eBay there must be something similar available, or you could try to Google it.

If I remember correctly the new brand name for RIMS is Gauger.
Thanks, I saw something like that on a kit in an article published in Modern Drummer and thought it was just part of the drum manufacturers hardware. I searched for the RIMS item and found what I was looking for: DynaMount. http://www.gaugerpercussion.com/dynamount.html

I may give this a try.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Try the Bob Gatzen trick for floor toms.

Put a small square of foam under each leg of your floor tom.

You can find the YouTube video where he explains this.

I tried it and it works, but I don't use this trick because I rarely record in the studio.
 
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