Bass drum opinions sought, especially from players of jazz, earth music, etc.

keep it simple

Platinum Member
We're just at the point of putting together the package of "standard" kit sizes for our new drum series in two sectors. The one I need help with is drum sets targeted towards the jazz player & players of lower impact/timbre focussed lower dynamic music forms. We have a drum design that produces lots of shell resonance (as distinct from sustain), & that allows us to go shallow without the usual expected loss of tonal depth. I'm primarily interested in reactions to the following sizes. Turn on, or turn off?

22" x 14"

20" x 12"

18" x 12"

Our proposal is to use these bass drum sizes in conjunction with toms 10" x 6", 12" x 7", 13" x 8". Floor toms 14" x 10", 16" x 14".

Thank you for your consideration.

Andy.
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
Not having heard it, it is hard to really say, but the idea is intriguing and less bass drum to move with the same or more sound is always a good thing. Also curious what estimated cost is of the set, when I have the money I am interested in a nice custom set.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
Given your explanation, I'd say an 18 x 12" for sure.
That would be a fairly unique drum as well, although I'm sure you will have plenty of other features and design stuff to really set these drums apart from the crowd.

Of course, nothing wrong with a 20 x 12 either, and most people wouldn't have a problem with this size (I own 2 20" bass drums and I love them).

But.... I regularly do rock/pop/reggae/folk/acoustic gigs with an 18 and a 16" hipgig sometimes too....good heads, good tuning, no pillow in the drum....and a Beta52 mic with a decent PA system. I know, I know - this point has been made 1000 times on this forum.
My vote is minimize the size while maximizing the boom. Not only weight and fitting in the trunk at play here; also setup considerations - with those shallow toms, this would make for a VERY comfortable low rider 4 piece kit.

When can I place my order?

Best,
Neal
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Andy,

For Jazz/fusiony stuff, I really like the 12x20 bass drum idea--and I've seen several jazz cats requesting these sizes or using them. If I ever have money for custom sizes again, I'd love to try out a 12x20. I've seen a jazzer use a 12x20 with an all birch Eames kit with thick shells and it produced a nice, articulate sound. No excessive "boominess." I've heard Jerome Dupree use a 12x20 Tempus carbon fibre bass drum with some kind of result.

This is probably not too helpful, but I have seen the 12x20 appear quite often.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
22x14 .... lovely size. I own 3 of 'em.​
The 18x12 ..... the standard/traditional "jazzette" size. Got 1 of those, too.​
The 20x12 .... I'm more of a 20x14 guy. I have 2 of those. But that's just me.....​
 

jodgey4

Silver Member
Why the 4" gap in floor tom depths? I would go more for a 11" x 14" and a 13" x 16".
Beautiful bass sizes!!!
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Thank you so much for your responses :) This really is a great help to us, as we're determined to get this right. Our new drum design has a few inherent advantages that allow us to think outside of the box on depths & diameters. For the quieter dynamic, it allows us to go smaller & shallow for greater articulation & focus, but still deliver depth of tone & sustain of the fundamental. For general genre performance, it allows us to go smaller & deeper without the usual overtone issues associated with depth, & exploit huge tone reserves with ease. In both cases, we don't have weight issues either. Size for size, all other things being equal, these new drums are 40% lighter on average than their contemporary models.

Why the 4" gap in floor tom depths? I would go more for a 11" x 14" and a 13" x 16".
Beautiful bass sizes!!!
Very good advice on closing the depth gap between 14" & 16" floor toms. The thinking behind the difference in depth came out when we did the A-B testing. These shells behave quite differently to most shells, so the thinking was based on the sonic result rather than traditional perception. We felt that a player who goes for a 16" floor tom over a 14" floor tom would be wanting a different vibe to their drum, & would probably partner it with a 22" bass drum. All that said, I can see that having a big difference in depth, despite the sonic compatibility, may be placing a perception hurdle in the way that we just don't need. The sonic results may also change when we finally select the wood species too, so nothing's set in stone yet.

I'm super appreciative of your reply. Thank you!

The 20x12 .... I'm more of a 20x14 guy. I have 2 of those. But that's just me..... [/INDENT]
I value your opinion very highly Harry, so what you think matters to me very much. Question: If I could show you that a 20" x 12" has the same sound character as your preferred size, would that be of interest to you? Or would the size perception put you off immediately?

Not having heard it, it is hard to really say, but the idea is intriguing and less bass drum to move with the same or more sound is always a good thing. Also curious what estimated cost is of the set, when I have the money I am interested in a nice custom set.
Cheers Andy, of course, it's all in the sound, so I appreciate your caveat, but I'm intrigued whether just the idea of these sizes would put you off.

As for price, that won't be set until just before the launch in October, but this is hand crafted high end solid stave and steam bent stuff, & also very different. Think in terms of Sonor SQ2 or a bit more, depending on choices, & you're about there I think.

This thread question is with regards to our standard size options in one distinct model of the same series, not the custom versions. In the standard range, we have chosen every element of the design towards producing a specific sound, right through to thicknesses, bearing edge combinations, wood species, etc, etc. In the custom shop version, you can have literally any size, depth, wood species, bearing edge combo, etc, that you want.

My vote is minimize the size while maximizing the boom. Not only weight and fitting in the trunk at play here; also setup considerations - with those shallow toms, this would make for a VERY comfortable low rider 4 piece kit.

When can I place my order?

Best,
Neal
Thank you Neal. Ultra low weight & the ability to go down in size is exactly where this range will feature, but delivering sounds beyond what you'd normally expect from bigger sizes.

We launch at the London Drum Show in October :)

This is probably not too helpful, but I have seen the 12x20 appear quite often.
On the contrary Robert, very helpful, & thank you for chiming in :)


Please keep it coming guys. This is gold dust to us, & your input really will help shape the eventual production. Again, thank you thus far.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
A 22"x14" size speak to me, it was the standard size some 25 years ago, and it's probably the size I would go for, although I would love to hear a 20"x12", I know you mentioned that the new bass drum was very good in your last drumcam thread :)
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
A 22"x14" size speak to me, it was the standard size some 25 years ago, and it's probably the size I would go for, although I would love to hear a 20"x12", I know you mentioned that the new bass drum was very good in your last drumcam thread :)
Yes Henri, specifically for this genre set, the 22" x 14" is the way to go, it's when you get into the more shallow depths of the smaller sizes that players perceptions change.
 

Griener

Member
Actually 18" x 12" is still too deep for me.
I'm playing a old Slingerland Tenor Scotch "Haskell Harr" bass drum, which is 18" by 6.5"
It's sounds great in an acoustic setting (my bass players don't use amplifiers) and so I decided to go shallow all the way.

My current set up consists of a Sonor pancake snare 14" x 2.5", my floor tom a vintage Leedy walnut snare (w.o. snares) and my small tom is a Meinl Nino plastic frame drum with a pretuned fiberskyn head.
If you're interested, you can see and hear it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvdY5NY2agI

This set came about when I took some old drums I didn't use to have a drum set for gigs in Switzerland.
Now this became my favorite set and I'm thinking of having one made in those sizes.
I'd like to have all the drums fit in one case and still be able to carry it myself, so weight is quite an issue.
So I'm VERY interested in your new drum line and will take a close look in october....
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I would put my vote in for the 20x12 or 18x12. 20" is a very versatile size and I know that the Guru drums wouldn't lose any tonal depth from the two or so inches from the 'standard' ply depth. I'm a huge fan of smaller bass drums in general and think that the 22" could be a little overpowering.

The pitch of an 18" will be higher, obviously. I'm going to say an 18" would most interest me but a 20" wouldn't be a bad size at all.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I've experimented with different sizes for jazz playing but I always come back to the 8x12, 14x14, 14x18 configuration. But, of course, this is based on playing on ply shells.

Judging by your description of Guru's shells, the 12x18 bass drum sounds very intriguing!

And I've always been a sucker for the 14x22, even in ply shell sets. I just think it's a great size.

Any chance we could get some sound samples of these sizes? Your recordings are always top-notch.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I think there's a couple hurdles that might be overcome.

First, in the US anyways, there's a 'bigger is better' way of thinking that applies to most things across the board.

Second, is tradition, or heritage. All 3 diameters would probably seem most normal to most people in a 14" depth.

Perceptions of the norm can change, but it takes time. It also takes someone willing to assume the risk of attempting it.
I'm not saying that's your intention, because it's going to be a niche market anyways.

It would take a concerted joint effort from major manufacturers to establish a new norm.

Given all that, personally, I'd be fine with those sizes.
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
Bottom line for me is sound. Perception on what the depths should be are not as important if everything sounds good (to me).

I'd be first in line to give an 18x12. Next in line would be a 20".

Since I'm short, I am unable to use a 22" bass regardless of depth as I'm unable to get everything else set up around it comfortably.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
The 18x12 bass is just so darn cute though. That would get my vote.

So October launch sounds like it's set in stone? The countdown is on. The excitement builds.

p.s. Am I right that wraps, pearls, lacquers will not be an option?
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
If I remember correctly, I believe that even Bill Stewart has a custom Gretsch USA Custom 10x20 bass drum he uses at home.
 
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