Rack Toms - sizes & mounted off the kick or not?

timma

Junior Member
Hi guys, few questions here if anyone has some free time.

Is there honestly much difference in sound quality by mounting the rack toms off the kick drum instead of using tom stands, or using extra snare stands? I have settled on buying a new Ludwig Classic Maple kit in White Marine Pearl color (in sizes 22x18 / 16x16) with a single rack tom (to be decided which size, see below) and now it comes down to deciding whether to add mounting hardware to the kick drum or leave it 'free'. I have always had kits with the toms mounted off the kick, and i like the positioning. Is there another alternative, like a single tom mount stand that could get it in roughly the same position? I know it does 'look cooler' to have a free standing kick, but surely there is more to it than that.

And also, for a single rack tom what are people's experiences with 12's vs 13's and how deep do i really need the tom? Im thinking of 12x8" at the moment, but i play hard rock and maybe need something a little bigger, but not too big, will the 12x8" be 'loud' or punchy enough for hard hitting music? I haven't had a lot of good experiences with 13's, they seem a little harder to tune and control. Does anyone else have this problem?

Thanks for the help guys.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
For years I ran a Luddie Vistalite kit 22, 14, 16, 18 kit. Virgin kicks rock. You can run a rack tom off a snare stand, a tom stand, a cymbal stand, or a combo stand. I don't believe in that "13s are harder to tune than 12s". Good drums tune easy. Some have wider ranges than others. I'd run a 22, 13, 16 rather than a 22, 12, 16. I like big drums. My Rogers project is soon to get a 26x14 added to the equation. Think of all the possible combo's available with a 22 and 26 inch kicks, and 12, 13, 16, 18 toms. 6 drums for all occasions.
 

BattleArmor

Silver Member
I have had both. I honestly do not like my toms mounted off the bass. I think it puts too much pressure on the bass shell which alters the sound. If you really like to have your toms over the bass though, I would just go with a rack.

I think back in the 70's and 80's the rock drummers used very deep shells, such as 12x11 and 13x12.

I'm not sure if that is really needed any more, or if was really ever needed.

And I havent had a 13" tom in years so I can't help you there.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I love the irony when someone gets a nice kit with a virgin kick and then stuffs a pillow inside because it "rings too much"...

I have had a few of both, and I can say that I like virgin kicks much better. With the toms mounted, you get all kinds of vibration conducted between the kick and the toms. I notice the same thing when I mount a tom off of a cymbal stand, but not as much.
 

dkerwood

Silver Member
I do like separating the sympathetic vibrations from the kick and the toms. Of course, I haven't mounted a tom to a kick since the tom mount broke on my old 4 piece years ago.

I would agree that a 13" tom tends to be the redheaded stepchild- it CAN tune well, it just tends to have a narrower range for tuning well. I ran two toms for a long time- 12" and 16". I still had the 13"... but rarely used it. With my new kit, I'm running 10, 12, 16 toms, and now it's the 10" that's causing me frustration. I think that's more because I can't tune it as low as I'm used to my "high" tom sounding.

Depth? Well, my old kit had a 16x16 floor tom, and my new one has 16x14 (or something like that). The old one was a lot easier to tune to a deep, punchy tone. Any head would get *that* sound. The new one now sounds better than the old one did, but that's more about materials and workmanship, and it did take me a LONG time to tune and find the right heads.

Does that mean that deeper toms = deeper tone? Depends on the kit.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Buy it virgin. If you decide you don't like it you can always add hardware, but if you get it already drilled it's too late.
 

tbmills

Gold Member
Buy it virgin. If you decide you don't like it you can always add hardware, but if you get it already drilled it's too late.
i agree.
honestly im a little tired of people criticizing the idea of dampening.
you buy a virgin kick and muffle it with a pillow. so what?
you get that virgin kick to start with the most resonance possible and go from there.
why would you want a pre-muffled drum? you need the flexibility to go resonant and open to tight and punchy.

we are all trying to find the sound we desire.
if that means moongelled hydraulics on a unix kit, so be it...

and for all you who criticize, remember your coated heads are a form of dampening.
 
L

lewisn27

Guest
i took my toms off my bass drum (i was tuning them) and i decided to play a little groove and i started thinking... how the hell could i play with those things on there?
 

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
My favorite tom size is 13"...pretty classic too. One of my kits has the 'floating tom' idea where its on a cymbal stand and I'm really thinking of buying a rail mount to attach it to the bass. Floating toms from third party stands is a pain. As for the toms on the center post mount idea, those are no fun either. Also, I'm tired of these isolated mount things. They require too much set-up time and offset the toms really. Plus you cant really tilt them at the right angle, as they seem to favor only forward to back tilting instead of he side to side tilt (which is great for traditional grip players).
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
for a single rack tom what are people's experiences with 12's vs 13's and how deep do i really need the tom? Im thinking of 12x8" at the moment, but i play hard rock and maybe need something a little bigger, but not too big, will the 12x8" be 'loud' or punchy enough for hard hitting music?
For single mounted tom, I would go with 12". 8" deep is fine, but 9" works well too.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
Everyone's been talking about (as a pair) 12 and 13 MT... how about a 12 and 14?

Is that 2" diff between toms an old wives tale?

I want 12, 14, 16, and 18.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
Everyone's been talking about (as a pair) 12 and 13 MT... how about a 12 and 14?

Is that 2" diff between toms an old wives tale?

I want 12, 14, 16, and 18.
My Sonor Delite kit is 10x8, 13x10 rack toms, 16x16" floor with a 22x17.5" kick. I love the 3" tom intervals.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
So, that's another way to go? 3" intervals?

How many more types are there?

And do 3's work best with 3 drums? 2" for 4 drums?

Is there a thread here somewhere about this???
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
So, that's another way to go? 3" intervals?

How many more types are there?

And do 3's work best with 3 drums? 2" for 4 drums?

Is there a thread here somewhere about this???
I guess it's up to the individual as to what config they like. All 3 of my sets are different configs. I find it fun to change it up as they all sound different.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
For sure it's up to the individual, that's the beauty of the instrument.

I was just curious if there was some rule of thumb about the intervals

I guess the ultimate would be toms in 1" increments, all the way - 8" to 18"?

11 toms? Ha, sweet.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Im thinking of 12x8" at the moment, but i play hard rock and maybe need something a little bigger, but not too big, will the 12x8" be 'loud' or punchy enough for hard hitting music? I haven't had a lot of good experiences with 13's, they seem a little harder to tune and control. Does anyone else have this problem?

Thanks for the help guys.
A 13" won't be louder or harder to tune IMO, with a 16x16 I would definitely go 13"x9. It will go lower and feel better with the 16x16. I never understood the legend being a 13 is difficult to tune because it's not square number, it's all about interval, and with the 16" it's no problem. 13 14 16 can be difficult and long to tune (especially with power toms, I've been through this) but with a standard depth, 13" is a great Tom.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
I love old good threads bumped at my forum.

Some of them surprise me, forgetting about them.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Keith Moon played three mounted 14" toms back in the day.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
HuH?

Can you explain how that worked? Diff tunings, for sure? Diff depths?

Can the tunings range that far and still sound good?
 
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