20x16 v 22x18 bass drum

Pootle

Member
I recently purchased a lovely Gretsch Renown kit, 12, 16 and 22 bass drum with a 13x7 CoS snare. Absolutely love the kit but finding the 22x18 bass drum a bit of an arse to move about and gig with particularly in a Hardcase. Great drum, sounds like a cannon with very little damping and really wish I could get a 22x14 but I'm thinking about trading the 22 for a 20x16 to save my back and knuckles in doorframes. Has anybody got any experience with the two drums, volume and tone wise. I play a wide mixture of rock, blues, bit of jazz in piubs, small clubs and normally have a bass mic.

Any thoughts gratefully received.
Cheers
 

Invicta

Junior Member
If you're mic'd go with whatever you're comfortable with honestly. Nothing punches like a 20" bass drum imo and they're pretty easy to tame compared to larger diameter bass drums. You won't be able to achieve as low of a note as the larger diameter drums but you will actually be able to hear your bass drum better in the mix due to the increased articulation and note. Again though, if it's mic'd, volume isn't a concern at all obviously.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I have a Gretsch RN2 kit with a 20" bass drum (with an Aquarian Superkick II). I love it, it's punchy and sounds great! BUT...there are times when I kinda wish it had just a liiittle more oomph. The Renown toms (10, 12, 14) are just ever-so-slightly louder than the 20" bass drum. In a miking situation this issue is negated out front, but to you behind the kit, you may notice it doesn't project quite as much as the toms.

I think 22x18" bass drums sound good but I prefer a 22x16" for the quicker feel and ease of transport.

Are you even able to find someone with a 20x16" bass drum that matches your kit that is willing to trade? Seems kinda difficult to find.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The beauty of a 22x18 is, there's plenty of room to cut it down to a 14. I like 20" BDs. Used to have a 22x18 previously and it's just a beast to lug around. The 22x14 punches way harder and still has a nice low tone. Not as boomy as the 18, but still deep, and way cleaner sounding.
 

Paul_MovementDrumCo

Junior Member
Yeah, I second what AZHeat is saying. I played for a church that required a lot of assembling/de-assembling andI really liked the 22x14 size b/c of it. So much easier to carry, plus I really liked the tone of it as well. Deeper and solid sound overall with a lot of thump
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
The beauty of a 22x18 is, there's plenty of room to cut it down to a 14. I like 20" BDs. Used to have a 22x18 previously and it's just a beast to lug around. The 22x14 punches way harder and still has a nice low tone. Not as boomy as the 18, but still deep, and way cleaner sounding.
I agree with Az, I had a 22x18, nice drum but not the most practical.

Get the renown cut down to 14" deep, easier to control the punch and boom, less air to move. Plus it'll be cheaper than buying another bass drum, re-wrapping etc.

If money isn't a factor and you can your hands on a 20x14 welcome to the promised land, they mic up better than any bass drum I've ever had and are easy to transport.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I'd also suggest just getting the 22x18 cut down. I've had Precision Drum in NY do a lot of work for me in the past and they do fantastic work very quickly.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Precision's website breaks down the costs for their services (cutting/drilling/bearing edges) but if you email them they can probably give you the most accurate quote with shipping included.
 

Pootle

Member
Thanks everybody for all your comments, most appreciated, I'm definitely going to look into cutting it down to a 22x14 which would be perfect as I do prefer the 22 size. While I'm at it, I'm also going to look at getting the 12in tom mount drilled directly onto the shell as I'm not a massive fan of the suspension system. Then I'd have a kit that should see me through for many a year and gig ahead.

I did contact Gretsch to see if they plan to introduce 22x14 RN2s but no response yet. Shame really, I wish companies would provide a few more practical options..
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I own two Renown kits, one with a 22x18 and one with a 20x16. The 22x18 as you know sounds enormous. By comparison, the 20x16 sounds a bit punchier, but with noticeably less low end. If you're addicted to that low end boom, then cutting down your 22" may be your best option. Though I do like my 20" kick as well, it's just a different sounding beast. One thing about the 20 though that's in its favor over the 22: I can put my toms lower over the 20" kick, to get them just right. I can't do that with the 22".

Out of curiosity, I asked Pro Drums Hollywood about cutting down my 22x18. Their approach is to move one set of lugs by one hole—in other words, each lug on one side of the kick will have an extra hole drilled, and then the lugs will repositioned to the new hole (plus the innermost of the existing holes). Then the shell is cut just inside of the outermost (original) holes and new bearing edge applied. That puts the lugs one one side slightly closer to the hoop than on the other side, so then they can cut the other side to even out that distance. Does that make sense? If I remember correctly, they charge something like $35 per side.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I asked Pro Drums Hollywood about cutting down my 22x18. Their approach is to move one set of lugs by one hole—in other words, each lug on one side of the kick will have an extra hole drilled, and then the lugs will repositioned to the new hole (plus the innermost of the existing holes). Then the shell is cut just inside of the outermost (original) holes and new bearing edge applied. That puts the lugs one one side slightly closer to the hoop than on the other side, so then they can cut the other side to even out that distance. Does that make sense? If I remember correctly, they charge something like $35 per side.
I've seen that done, when the drums are a fade or burst finish to maintain the look, but sometimes the BD leg mount position can be an issue. With wrapped drums, you can just cut down the batter side. $35 and you're done.(y)
 

Pootle

Member
Out of curiosity, I asked Pro Drums Hollywood about cutting down my 22x18. Their approach is to move one set of lugs by one hole—in other words, each lug on one side of the kick will have an extra hole drilled, and then the lugs will repositioned to the new hole (plus the innermost of the existing holes). Then the shell is cut just inside of the outermost (original) holes and new bearing edge applied. That puts the lugs one one side slightly closer to the hoop than on the other side, so then they can cut the other side to even out that distance. Does that make sense? If I remember correctly, they charge something like $35 per side.
[/QUOTE]

Yeah it does, funny I was just looking at it 15 mins ago thinking that's probably the approach they'd take. That would put the tom mount block pretty far forward, any issues with that? Why didn't you go for it out of interest?
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
I've owned kits with both 22x18 and 20x16 bass drums, and from experience I have to say that I like the 20-inch drum better. It's easy to transport, sounds great under a microphone, and as an added bonus, it enables me to set my rack tom a little lower than a 22-inch drum would (I'm a short guy at only 5'7", so for me it makes a difference!) I agree with mikyok, a 20x14 is a great size too! My ultimate goal is to assemble a bass drum in that size using a Keller "vintage" shell (3-ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany with maple rings).
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Tama has come back to 22x16, Ludwig stuck with this size too, my guess is that the RN3 will be 22x16. 22x18 is too deep for transportation and lugging when you're a working drummer (IMHO), 22x16 is perfect. Sonically and practicality.
For now, the best way would definitely to cut down the 22x18. The lug trick shift explained above seems nice, what would be the depth then ?
 
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Drumprof

Member
I own the RN2 20x16 because I didn’t want 18 depth in the 22, and I happen to like 20’s.

It is true they don’t quite carry the beef of 22’s, but i’m very happy with it. Kind of wish it was 20x14 though.
I also own a USA Custom with 22x16. Ordered it that way because I like the bit more body and touch of boom you get from the drum. That’s why I have a 22. A lower, deeper bass. Accentuated a bit with a little more depth but still articulate enough and manageable aesthetically to gig with.
Inches matter.

Kind of the same way I like snares 5.5 to 6.5 but not really a fan of 5 inch or less or deeper than 6.5.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Yeah it does, funny I was just looking at it 15 mins ago thinking that's probably the approach they'd take. That would put the tom mount block pretty far forward, any issues with that? Why didn't you go for it out of interest?
I use a cart (with wheels on all four corners) to transport my kit from my home to my car, and from my car to the venue. I don't carry it all that much, so the size really hasn't been that much of an issue. I've still thought about cutting it down anyway, which is why I inquired with them. But ultimately decided to leave it as-is, at least for now. Partly because of the tom mount issue, and partly because it didn't seem all that necessary.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I say before you touch that kick drum with a power tool, go buy a gig bag for your kick instead of a hard case (Maybe even see if someone would let you borrow one for a week to see what you think). My EMPTY kick drum hard case weights about as much as a gig bag with my kick drum in it. I didn't think it would make that much difference, but it did. It's worth a shot.

At this point, my go-to kit has a 20 x 14 kick, and it's fantastic. I carry it in a bag too. Feels like nothing compared to my 22x18 in a hard case.

After carrying around drum kits in hard cases for over a decade, I am now a huge fan of the gig bag for drums. The only time I use my hard cases now is whenever I have to put my drums in a trailer with all of the PA, staging, guitars, amps, etc.
 

john gerrard

Senior Member
I've had everything from 18 to 24 inch kicks. Right now I'm playing a 20x16, I really like the 16 inch depth in all kicks. I believe the 20 x 14 isn't deep enough to keep it firmly planted to the floor especially if you are going to mount a tom on it. I think you get too much tom wiggle from a 14 inch depth kick drum. That's just my opinion, but to me there is nothing I hate more than a tom jiggling every time I hit the kick, or a kick that is always creeping while I'm playing. The 16 inch depth just seems right on all counts.
 

Pootle

Member
I say before you touch that kick drum with a power tool, go buy a gig bag for your kick instead of a hard case (Maybe even see if someone would let you borrow one for a week to see what you think). My EMPTY kick drum hard case weights about as much as a gig bag with my kick drum in it. I didn't think it would make that much difference, but it did. It's worth a shot.

At this point, my go-to kit has a 20 x 14 kick, and it's fantastic. I carry it in a bag too. Feels like nothing compared to my 22x18 in a hard case.

After carrying around drum kits in hard cases for over a decade, I am now a huge fan of the gig bag for drums. The only time I use my hard cases now is whenever I have to put my drums in a trailer with all of the PA, staging, guitars, amps, etc.
Good point about the bag, I have used them in the past and you can definitely sling a bass drum bag over your shoulder as if it were a weekend holdall. I can never really fully relax after a gig until my drums are safely in their cases. People moving speakers around, drunk punters etc..
 
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