Opinions wanted on substituting a 12" for a 10" tom

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
What would sound better IYO? A 10" tom tuned where a 10" tom normally sits...or a 12" tom tuned to the pitch where the 10" would be?

All the kits I normally play, all have 10" toms. Unmiced, a 10" tom note dies faster than a 12 by a noticeable margin. I've been toying with the idea of going 12 and 13 on the racks, like for the first time ever. I get a lot of use out of the pitch range of a 10" tom, but the sustain is lacking. (referring to my PDP gig kit)

I'm wondering if IYO a 12" tom would sound too high in a 10" range.

Opinions? I know it's my tastes that matter most, and I'm not ready to move on this or anything. I'm just curious as to what all my colleagues here have to say about it.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I remember reading where Bun E. Carlos was describing his up-tuned rack tom (I think it was a 12") as a "bonk", which he liked. Obviously, I liked it too, or I wouldn't have remembered it all these years later!

But I have always preferred tuning a larger size higher than a smaller size lower, the way jazz drummers tend to tune, and I doubt tuning your 12" up into the range of your 10" will exceed a typical 12" tuned up for jazz.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Larry,

Agreed, go 12 tuned up high and sit the 13 in the middle, or maybe just below its natural mid sweet spot. I would match the length (sustain) of the tom notes by dampening the bottom head of 13 a little to compensate for the loss of apparent sustain caused by tightening the 12 up.

I much prefer this over 10, 12 relationship as I find 10 toms dont blend with the rest of the music well. Maybe it's just my ears but I find it hard to incorporate 10 toms in actual beats, they don't blend well, animal equivalent of a pampered little yappy dog the waters your lawn. Now a 13 Tom is a faithful hardworking Border Collie.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
What would sound better IYO? A 10" tom tuned where a 10" tom normally sits...or a 12" tom tuned to the pitch where the 10" would be?

All the kits I normally play, all have 10" toms. Unmiced, a 10" tom note dies faster than a 12 by a noticeable margin. I've been toying with the idea of going 12 and 13 on the racks, like for the first time ever. I get a lot of use out of the pitch range of a 10" tom, but the sustain is lacking. (referring to my PDP gig kit)

I'm wondering if IYO a 12" tom would sound too high in a 10" range.

Opinions? I know it's my tastes that matter most, and I'm not ready to move on this or anything. I'm just curious as to what all my colleagues here have to say about it.
I hate 10s, so my advice would be to tune that 12 up to Max Roach Land and never look back.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I only really like 10s when they are almost JAW. The sound is too short and weird if you tune them up high.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
To me the 10 tom always sounds like a 'doi-ing'. (not to be confused with a dingus). There is room for that sound but not all the time, every fill, etc.
I really would prefer a 12 tuned up high, jazz style.
And the 13 is always my fave tom, has a lot of beef.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Tune the 12 and 13 as if they were 11 and 12 or close. My 10 is also difficult but after much tweaking it is where I want it.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
I have 1u1d with a 10 and a 16. It works well for me if I don't tune the 10 too high . If I tune it high, there is too much of a cap between 20 and 16.
So I tune the 10 at it's normal range (which I love) and if I need more projection from it , I rimshot the hell out of it. It cuts right thru :)
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I love my 10" toms. I do not like tuning a 12" to sound like a 10" It loses all warmth and turns into a pingy sounding, choked off tone. I am not a JAW tuner, so tuning a 12" tom to where I tune a 10" requires a lot of cranking on those tuning rods.
 

trynberg

Senior Member
I don't see why the 10" needs to sustain for longer. It seems more useful for a quick high punctuation than a "doooohmmm" tom. I consider it more like a splash or small fast crash. Do you want either of those things to sustain like a 20" crash?
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
You should have no power / depth / sustain, or tuning range issues with your Guru 10" toms, but the PDP is likely under powered & lacking the shell resonance to deliver a satisfying tone. Yes I'm biased, but it is what it is.

I love 10" toms, but I'm spoilt with ones that actually perform. With your PDP - yes, crank it up & celebrate!

A kit with three very musical 10" toms for all 10" haters ;) https://youtu.be/JgFt6QFzfEM?t=1m28s

& here's a "meaty" 10" tom recorded using camera audio - no tricks https://youtu.be/2kk-gtaNJu0?t=40s

Good 10" toms rule!!!!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
A 10" and 12" are almost two different instruments.

Do you want to substitute the flute with an oboe?

Go with the soprano sax over the alto sax?

There is a certain crack and sharpness you get with 10" that I don't think a 12" can ever reproduce. But it's a question of if you need that musically or not.
 

poekoelan

Member
I have nothing against a 10" tom as long as it is used as a higher voice in a larger multi tom set up. But if playing a two up one down set, or worse, a one up one down set, I find it just too high in pitch without enough sustain like someone already said. As far as 5 pc sets go, I remember when it changed from 12 and 13 on top to either a 10 and a 12 or a 12 and a 14. I never went for those set ups. I've played a 12, 13, 16 set up for years and years. I don't see that ever changing. But I might consider adding a 10 if I were to start playing a lot of Rush or some other music where those "roundhouse" type fills dominate.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
What difference does it make in the grand scheme of things? You have two AWESOME Guru kits and you're concerned about the PDP kit??

Just use one Guru for practice and the other Guru (the walnut set) for gigging.

Donate the PDPs.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
But if playing a two up one down set, or worse, a one up one down set, I find it just too high in pitch without enough sustain like someone already said.
I've quite frequently used a 1 up 1 down set with a 10" tom, 16" floor tom, & 22" bass drum. The 10" has never had an issue sliding seamlessly into the sonic picture.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Gosh poor little 10 in tom gets no respect. I like the separation of 10 and 16 in toms-I have a 12 in and even tried the 14 in tom I have as the mounted tom-but i go back to the 10 in because it really cuts though the music and sounds better than my 12 in.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
More support for the 12 in the 10 spot than I expected. Thank you everyone. I just realized I could experiment at gigs, where it really counts. My studio isn't good enough to accurately judge how it will sound at a gig.

I have a 12 and 13" 1976 Ludwig rack toms in WMP which would match the PDP kit close enough. My bass drum tree on the PDP kit is a Ludwig bass drum tree, so that should work. I just hate Ludwig bearing edges though. I can hear them limit the tom response. Still, I probably could tell enough whether I like it or not. Those Max Roach high tuned toms....and the high tom in Motown recordings....they were all 12" toms. I'm very much imprinted with the Motown high tom tone.

It's a never ending process, the quest to satisfy my ears.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Those Max Roach high tuned toms....and the high tom in Motown recordings....they were all 12" toms. I'm very much imprinted with the Motown high tom tone.
.
Indeed, and at least some were 13's in Pistol Allen's setup....13-16 20 black Gretsch.
Funny, in 'most' current popular music, one does not seem to hear tuning that high anymore.
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
Larry, I also share a never-ending quest on the ideal sound setup for my kit, especially as it pertains to live settings where 90% of the time I am not close-mic'd. The 10" tom is my favorite "higher register" tom sound and I also love it's compact size and shape - it feels good where I put it on my kit when I do and goes very nice with a 12".

However I play a 1-up-1-down on my live kit and I share sentiments that the sustain on 10" dies a lot quicker, sometimes too quick no matter how I tune it and ultimately I now play a 12" in it's place. I think I get a good balance of sustain, projection, and tone when I am not mic'd up. And I tune it in the B-C range, which is about normal for this sized tom when not having to be matched up with an 8 and 10.
 
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