Will deep bass drums ever make a comeback?

incrementalg

Gold Member
I think the 22x18 is here to stay, but I don’t know if 18” will continue to be the most common depth offered by major manufacturers. It does seem like 16” and 14” depth drums are coming back.

My Gretsch New Classic was the only 18” deep kick I’ve owned. It was a good sounding drum, but lacked the fuller tone and immediacy of my shallower drums.

Now I have an older Gretsch USA set with a 22x14” kick and it sounds and feels great. It has more low end than the New Classics and feels more responsive at all volumes. (To my ears)
 

Drumprof

Member
I never liked or understood the 18 inch BD depth thing. I remember when 14 was standard and 16 was considered power depth.
I have passed on major purchases from manufacturers because the only 22 BD depth offered was 18.
Same with virgin basses. I know many on here prefer it aesthetically. And that’s cool, but make it optional.
Several years ago I was ready to pull the trigger on a high end Pearl kit purchase, but noticed every kit of that line in the catalog was 18 deep bass (on 22’s) and no option for mounting on the bass. Even called Pearl to enquirer if I could get shorter depth and bass mounted toms. Was told no.
Bought a Yamaha and never looked back.

I own and l prefer both 14 and 16 depths.
I actually really like 20x16 and 22x16.
Not too deep, not too shallow. Just a bit more boom than the 14 but still manageable.
 
Last edited:

retoxtony

Senior Member
I think deeper bass drums are already starting to go away and I’m ok with that. I’m finding more kits being offered with a 22x16 than a few years ago. I’ve always preferred a 22x16 over the deeper drums even though I do currently have 2 kits with a 22x18. For gigging I really prefer my 22x16 over the 18 inch deep ones. It sounds just as good (maybe even better) and those 2 less inches seem to make a big difference for room on a tight stage. And it fits a lot nicer in the back seat of my truck.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I think deeper bass drums are already starting to go away and I’m ok with that. I’m finding more kits being offered with a 22x16 than a few years ago. I’ve always preferred a 22x16 over the deeper drums even though I do currently have 2 kits with a 22x18. For gigging I really prefer my 22x16 over the 18 inch deep ones. It sounds just as good (maybe even better) and those 2 less inches seem to make a big difference for room on a tight stage. And it fits a lot nicer in the back seat of my truck.
I agree totally. 20x16 - 22x16 are great size, for transportation, as well as sound. I'm not particulary fond of the 22x14, but I admit I haven't played good quality ones. The one I played seemed a bit dry and tend to creep forward more easily.
About the 80's, 22x16 were considered as power bass drums, since it was, like the rack toms, 2" more than the standard sizes. 18" deep bass drums came around the end of the 90's, though Sonor and Yamaha did make some 18" deep bass drums during the 80's.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
In one of the many videos of Simon Phillips, he’s adamant that doesn’t like 18” deep bass drums. And he also uses 24” diameter with tom mounts on both drums. And he used to have paint cans inside filled with sand to improve the sound.

But I love my 22x18 bubinga bass drum. In a smaller live setting it such as a club, it fills the room very nicely.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
The 20x14 and 22x14 I owned (respectively c&c pd2 and gretsch usa custom) sounded too thin to my ear, all punch and lacking in the beef department.

Having grown up with 18" deep kicks I also never got acustomed to the head response of traditional size bass drum for fast doubles, although that would have been a simple matter of putting in the time.

I currently own 22x16 and 22x18.

I do play the 22x18 tensioned higher with a fleece beater for times when an 18 bass drum would be called for and I never get any complaints. I do bang my knuckles in doorways from time to time, but to me it's no reason worth 1500$ to get an add-on bass drum...for the moment that is, but who knows what tomorrow will bring ?

More importantly, no one seems to hear a difference and I frankly doubt anyone cares...
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Winston Wolf stated that most of these trends are started by wanting a new look. And I would agree with that overall. Which also raises the point of...what other instrument does that happen to, where their instrument is, in a way, subject to fashion?
Guitars and basses, most definitely. I blame 80's Columbian coc@ine and the Iran-Contra affair for Steinberger guitars and basses.
 

motleyh

Senior Member
Deep bass drums are left over from the power tom era. It's true that more depth can produce more projection (volume), but there are other qualities sacrificed for that. What happened is that microphones for the drum kit got into more common usage for live performance and drummers began to re-discover tone. The other thing that faded away at that point was the super-thick shells, e.g. 20-or-30-ply snares, etc. No point to that if you have mics, and the sound quality improved as the mass got back to normal.

So I don't see deep bass drums -- or power toms -- making a comeback because the technology of the electronics has changed. I'm old enough to remember literally busting my chops to keep a non-mic'ed kit in the mix with a band full of amplified guitars cranked all the way up. Glad those days are over.

(Disclaimer: I'm not advocating super-thin shells either.)
 

JosephDAqui

Silver Member
My Saturn V bass drum is 22x18. I prefer 22x16, but not enough to do anything about it. Peace and goodwill.
Yup my Saturn V is too and I'm trying to discern if I liked my Pearl SSC 22x16 better. I guess I've gotten used to it much like you have. I must admit though I still love the birch Yamaha 22x17 sound and feel.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Zicko was making deep bass drums as early as 1971 so the concept has been around for a while. A friend of mine had a double bass kit with 20 X 20s. We were all impressed with those huge kicks.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Hopefully they are gone. I stick with 14" deep bass drums regardless of the diameter. I currently own 2 x 20 x 14 bass drums and a 24 x 14" bass drum.
I have owned 22 x 18; 18 x 16 and 24 x 18' bass drums and just did not like the beer can bass drums. I hated the feel and the sound and the logistics of them.
 
Top