Matt Bo Eder
This is fairly common. In fact, Bev Bevan (of ELO) said he tracked all those ELO records with a 18" bass drum because they got a much better attack and bass drum sound for what they were doing with it. Live he used a 26" bass drum (he was one of Bonham's closest buddies back then too). I also read another interview in the 80s that the drummer for Air Supply used a 20" all the time because it just sounded better in the sound system too. Frank Beard of ZZ Top also used 18 and 20 bass drums in the early 80s.A bit off topic, but I've noticed that sometimes a drummer will have a big, low bass drum that sounds great, but it gets lost when amplified with a small P.A. Somebody else plays a smaller, higher pitched, more resonant bass drum, and it sounds huge in the same P.A.
Has anyone else seen this?
But the key to all of this is that they were miked up and running in a system. If you are not always running through a system, the 20 will get close, but bigger will get you closer.