Kick Drum: Bigger Depth vs Bigger Height

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Hey guys, two questions:

1) I have a 16x22 kick and was thinking about adding 2" to either the height or width. So either 18x22 or 16x24. What's the difference?

2) Also if I keep the 16x22 how can I get the most power out of it without upping the size? I already have PS3 heads.

Thanks!
 

daredrummer

Gold Member
I prefer longer depths and shorter heights, 20 x 18 is my favorite size. There are lots of people who like shorter depths and taller heights though.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Adding 2" to the depth will still leave you with a 22" that sounds slightly lower and less defined. I had a 22x18 that after 10 years I had cut down to a 22x14 and now it has a bit more punch. Tight definition starts to diminish as kicks get deeper.

Adding 2" to the diameter will make a huge difference in sound and feel. 24x16 is a great size, IMO.

I also have a 24x14 and I much prefer it over the 22x14 because it's lower, louder, punchier and feels more comfortable under my pedal. The beater hits closer to the center of a 24 than it does a 22. You could adjust the beater height so it hits in the center of a 22, of course, but that changes the feel of the pedal.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Mike, I think it depends what sound you are looking for. To me if the bass is too shallow it has no body. Almost like you don't have a reso on. I have two 22 x 20's and they sound great. The other problem with larger diameters is it raises the height of your toms. I think it depends on the sound you want.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
...if the bass is too shallow it has no body. ...The other problem with larger diameters is it raises the height of your toms.
That's true, and that's part of the trade-off; you do get some extra body out of that depth, but much of what you gain gets swallowed up by guitar and bass and at the expense of definition, which you would normally hear over the other instruments.

The height thing is definitely a valid concern. If your kit is no fun to play because a bigger kick (and possibly deeper toms) makes everything so high and out of reach, then it's probably not worth up-sizing.

Just depends on what you like.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
A 22 is, naturally, a higher pitched drum, so it's a good choice when clarity is important, especially with fast, intricate playing.

A 24 is a different animal entirely! You can tune it like most would tune a 22: batter head loose, ported front head, and some muffling in the form of a pillow or Powerstroke type head. This way, you'll get a nicer sounding version of a 22 -- lower, punchier, and with more "length". But it's harder to play, because it takes some additional time for the head to rebound. If you're slugging out rock beats, it's great, but it's less than ideal for fusion or even pop, and lacks enough clarity for quick double pedal work.

But you can also tune a 24 the "old school" way -- medium/tight batter and reso heads, felt strips for muffling -- and get that Bonham-esque sound. Great if you're recording a roomy, boomy drum sound!

As for the depth of a 22, it depends on the drum. I've heard 22X14s that were weak and flat, and 22X14s that are punchy and awesome. It depends on head choice and tuning, mostly. If punchy is what you want, look into the Aquarian Force I batter head, but use a kick patch. Two-ply bass drum heads are sometimes just too thick, and can choke the drum.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I'll try to simplify this for you. Diameter is all about pitch, depth is all about overtones. This applies generally across all drums, but it relates to bass drums specifically as follows;

Diameter: Bigger diameter = lower frequency oscillation of the head = lower pitch & moving more air. Of course, diameter doesn't completely dictate pitch, that's down to tuning, but it does dictate the effective range.

Depth: More depth = more overtones. It doesn't make the drum louder. A shallow drum has less overtones & therefore produces a cleaner fundamental tone. The deeper the drum. the more overtones it produces. Some are useful, some you don't want. Getting a deeper bass drum to sound good is all about management of overtones. That's a tuning, head selection, & drum design process.

Tuning, diameter & depth all affect the way the drum feels, as well as how the drum sounds. As for advising you on your specific circumstances, that's difficult without knowing exactly what you're trying to achieve. You state "most power", well, that can mean many things. Deeper sound? Louder? Lower pitch?

The straight truth is, your existing bass drum size is more than capable of delivering a great sound. As for head selection, that's down to the specific sound you're after. As a general rule, if you want more balls to your bass drum sound, use a pre muffled batter head. Tune it to the point were you're getting a tone out of the drum, then tune it higher by about 1/4 turn per lug all round. Tune up the reso head in the same way, but a little higher. For unmic'd work, keep the reso head intact. Even for mic'd work, a full reso head will give your drum more body. If all you want is punch, & it's going through a good PA system, then a 4" port to one side of the reso head may help with that. Personally, I prefer to additionally mic the batter head to put more definition into the sound if needed.

Such a general question, so here's my general answer. Hope it helps.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Yuck! disagree!! lol

go buy a 24x14" and you'll never need another kick.

Helpful eh?

But yeah, +1 to what Mike said.

-Jonathan
So you are saying my beautiful bass drums look Yuck! I am very hurt right now. I don't know if I will ever be able to talk to you again. :( Well all I know is that my bass drums sound and look killer, so I am sticking with that. :)
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
I'll try to simplify this for you. Diameter is all about pitch, depth is all about overtones. This applies generally across all drums, but it relates to bass drums specifically as follows;

Diameter: Bigger diameter = lower frequency oscillation of the head = lower pitch & moving more air. Of course, diameter doesn't completely dictate pitch, that's down to tuning, but it does dictate the effective range.

Depth: More depth = more overtones. It doesn't make the drum louder. A shallow drum has less overtones & therefore produces a cleaner fundamental tone. The deeper the drum. the more overtones it produces. Some are useful, some you don't want. Getting a deeper bass drum to sound good is all about management of overtones. That's a tuning, head selection, & drum design process.

Tuning, diameter & depth all affect the way the drum feels, as well as how the drum sounds. As for advising you on your specific circumstances, that's difficult without knowing exactly what you're trying to achieve. You state "most power", well, that can mean many things. Deeper sound? Louder? Lower pitch?

The straight truth is, your existing bass drum size is more than capable of delivering a great sound. As for head selection, that's down to the specific sound you're after. As a general rule, if you want more balls to your bass drum sound, use a pre muffled batter head. Tune it to the point were you're getting a tone out of the drum, then tune it higher by about 1/4 turn per lug all round. Tune up the reso head in the same way, but a little higher. For unmic'd work, keep the reso head intact. Even for mic'd work, a full reso head will give your drum more body. If all you want is punch, & it's going through a good PA system, then a 4" port to one side of the reso head may help with that. Personally, I prefer to additionally mic the batter head to put more definition into the sound if needed.

Such a general question, so here's my general answer. Hope it helps.
Wow, great answer (as always) Andy!
Thanks for sharing!
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Hahaha!
He'd hate my 20x26's too haha!

A 16x22 should have enough power for pretty much anything. Just a matter of head selection and tuning. Less inside the drum, and slightly tighter head tension will help in projection too.

The 24 is great for rock, and some pop music.
You have to do a little "more" in playing it over a 22 though. If you're having a hard time playing the 16x22 and getting oomph out of it, a 24 will be worse.
Not saying your are....

It depends on your foot, and how you naturally play on a bass drum--just like a snare.
Some people like a 5" depth, and some like a 6.5 depth (or more).

14-20X24 are all great sounding drums IMO.

It depends on how you play, or how you want to play. If you like the look of a longer bass drum, you just have to adjust things differently that's all. Nothing wrong with ANY depth drum, they all have their place.

Personally, I like the longer "note" of an 18 or 20" depth shell no matter the diam.
It just suits the type of sound I like to hear, and my playing style.

I like how the longer shells look too, but IMO, anything beyond 20" you really get into loosing any real sound quality (if you set it up correctly) and get more just into the look.
That's OK too though. It still just depends on what a person wants.

Playing at home--get whatever floats your boat!! Big, deep bass drum, or small compact, doesn't matter. You wanna have fun playing, so do what you like and who cares what someone else likes. You're the one buying and playing it after all.

Live, I'd say, use what ever you can make sound good/sounds good to you.

If you want a Vinnie Paul 26x26 cool, or, if you want to play a 14x18 on a Be Bop kit because it makes you feel great, do that!
If you can afford both, or, if you can play in either style band, even better!!

Recording, you just use whatever is going to work for what you're doing. Big, small, long, skinny, a box, whatever. It's endless.
 

johnbarnesiii

Senior Member
Thanks again boys for the fab answers. I got PS3's for both heads, and a used DW5000 single pedal. Looking forward to hooking it all up & rocking it. I'm sure with all your suggestions I can get it to work great. It's for loud, heavy rock playing btw. Cheers.
 

Mike_

Junior Member
Honestly I can say I do not like anything about the new drums sets made in the last 15 to 20 years toms are small, rims mounts are floppy as are hanging floor toms , spurs are just plain ugly and the hardware is way way over built and heavy, but most of all it is the depth of the bass drums it seems to be some type of sales gimmick with all the different sizes and depths truth is a 14x20, a 14x24, or a 14 x26 will give you any sound you could ever want any sound my choice now is 14x26 but i did play 14x20 for 40 years...
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Honestly I can say I do not like anything about the new drums sets made in the last 15 to 20 years toms are small, rims mounts are floppy as are hanging floor toms , spurs are just plain ugly and the hardware is way way over built and heavy, but most of all it is the depth of the bass drums it seems to be some type of sales gimmick with all the different sizes and depths truth is a 14x20, a 14x24, or a 14 x26 will give you any sound you could ever want any sound my choice now is 14x26 but i did play 14x20 for 40 years...
I better leave this one alone. Yikes!
 
But you can also tune a 24 the "old school" way -- medium/tight batter and reso heads, felt strips for muffling -- and get that Bonham-esque sound. Great if you're recording a roomy, boomy drum sound!

This. This. This. :-D
 
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