Will deep bass drums ever make a comeback?

Have they gone away? Seems most sets still have 18" drums.
They slowy are. For example, the new Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch comes with a 22x16 in 4-piece config, and 22x14 in 3-piece config.

My slightly old Ludwig Accent CS Custom Elite has a 22x18 and I'd happily trade it for a 22x14. It just takes more space for no good reaon IMHO. Don't want to permanently modify it (there is more to a drum shell design than its length, maybe this one wouldn't sound that good at 14" long), and it's worth too little for me to actually trade it (paid 250$ for the shell kit, but have yet to find another kid under 1k$ that sounds objectively better)

EDIT: Note that I have a 22x9 at my rehearsal space to save on space. Now, that is getting a bit excessive and requires a lot of muffling because the two heads are too close to each other which results in odd resonances. But once muffled and close mic'd... sounds just like a big kick, and probably even easier to place in a live FoH mix.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
It depends if you like getting "Boom"ed or "Punch"ed in the face. I always liked the Boom till I got a 24X14-man it's got a PUNCH. I was worried that big a drum would be too boomy which makes fast articulate stuff hard to distinguish, but at 14 depth it's got plenty of articulation (I'm even working on my double pedal with it now-I thought it would be too boomy but nope). It's a light kick too. I still like the 22X18 and wonder if 22X14 would be a little wimpy tone wise?
 
My deepest bass drum is 16" deep, and I heard some really impressing Sonor 17,5" bass drums. But I'm glad that shallower bass drums have made a comeback since I am lugging my stuff around pretty often.

I can't really find a good reason to go for deep bass drums, 14" or 16" will get the job done pretty decent.
 

GAW

Senior Member
Money (or lack of) dictated that I bought a Saturn III 22 (diam) x 20 (depth) as it was dirt cheap.

Pro's: the sound is fantastic

Cons: small stages seem even smaller

Other than that, I honestly cant say it's much of an issue. I am yet to come across a door I cant fit through, it doesn't seem too heavy, I dont give a toss what people think when I unpack my 20" of walnutty goodness: it's all about the sound imo.

I must admit that I dont notice the delayed response people talk about. But as far as I know, sound travels at over 13,500 inches per second. That means it takes an extra 0.0003 secs for the air to travel from the batter head, towards the resonant head and then back to the batter head and pedal. To me, that cant be noticeable to the human body.

Or maybe its the weight of the extra air being shifted that's the issue? Its 32g if my calculations are correct (a little over an ounce). Again, not sure that's significant enough to register.

Perhaps the 'dont like the feel of them', whilst totally valid, is more psychosomatic than real? Perhaps not. Either way, it means kits with deep bass drums tend to be cheaper these days, which for me isnt a bad thing at all.

Now we just need to convince everyone that LM400 snares are passe so that I can pick up one of those dirt cheap too...

Disclaimer: this is just my humble opinion, I'm not trying to ridicule anyone, or say their opinion is objectively wrong. It just might differ to my opinion, that's all.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Money (or lack of) dictated that I bought a Saturn III 22 (diam) x 20 (depth) as it was dirt cheap.

Pro's: the sound is fantastic

Cons: small stages seem even smaller

Other than that, I honestly cant say it's much of an issue. I am yet to come across a door I cant fit through, it doesn't seem too heavy, I dont give a toss what people think when I unpack my 20" of walnutty goodness: it's all about the sound imo.

I must admit that I dont notice the delayed response people talk about. But as far as I know, sound travels at over 13,500 inches per second. That means it takes an extra 0.0003 secs for the air to travel from the batter head, towards the resonant head and then back to the batter head and pedal. To me, that cant be noticeable to the human body.

Or maybe its the weight of the extra air being shifted that's the issue? Its 32g if my calculations are correct (a little over an ounce). Again, not sure that's significant enough to register.

Perhaps the 'dont like the feel of them', whilst totally valid, is more psychosomatic than real? Perhaps not. Either way, it means kits with deep bass drums tend to be cheaper these days, which for me isnt a bad thing at all.

Now we just need to convince everyone that LM400 snares are passe so that I can pick up one of those dirt cheap too...

Disclaimer: this is just my humble opinion, I'm not trying to ridicule anyone, or say their opinion is objectively wrong. It just might differ to my opinion, that's all.
My theory is that it's gotta be the actual displacement of air through the bass drum that effects the timing and feel.

There's absolutely no way that 2 inches or 8 inches would be perceptible to humans when sound travels at 767 MPH. It would take dozens or hundreds of feet to be perceptible at that speed.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
On the 26, it's way more noticeable in the feel than a smaller drum.
The 20" depth feels different than the 18" depth, and the 16" depth is quite a bit different than the 20" depth.

All things being equal (heads, tensioning, anything inside, etc...) The 20" depth is almost like playing with no front head.
The 16" depth, the rebound from the front head can be felt and heard.
The 18" depth is in between the 16 and 20 in terms of feel playing it, but the resonance can be heard a little more than the 20 because of the slightly more contained rebound from the front head.

With the 24, the 14" depth is more quick a sound, more of a thump. The 16" depth has a little more "ooo" to the sound, and the 18" depth has more "ooom" sound coming from the front and projecting out than the 16 does. Comparing the 16 and 18" depths on my 24's, I hear more of the whole drum, and more resonance with the 16" depth.

I don't own a 22, but on the sizes I have played, the pitch of the drum just seems to get lower with the depth increase.
The feel is pretty much the same on any 22 for me in the 16-18 or 20" depths. Likely because I am used to a 24 or 26.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
Yeah, I was referring to the sound quality and length of the note with the deeper basses. For amplified rock music, a 22x14 bass doesn't sound beefy enough to me. With the right mic and eq, it could still sound great and at least it would be a nice, tight note. Add the extra 2" and step up to a 22x16 and it starts to get beefy, step up again to 22x18 and it's beefier still with a bit of growl. I haven't gone beyond that because 22x18 gives me what I want.

With 24" basses, the pitch is already way down there in the beefcake zone, so going deeper with the shell isn't needed. All it does at that point is make the note longer, which can be desired or not. If you're playing at a slow tempo and notes are spread out, it can work for you but once the tempo picks up and notes are closer together, the constant sustain of a big, boomy BD doesn't leave much sonic room for anything else in the mix. To me, my 24x18 was overkill for what I play and the sound that I'm going for, but that's just my personal taste. In the studio, it might be just what I would want for a specific track but it's too much to take to a gig as my only BD playing various styles and tempos in a cover band all night.

"Feel" doesn't change much to me with depth since I'm usually using the same head setup and a ported head on the front but the level of effort to play bass drums seems to go up as the diameter increases. Playing a 20" bass takes little effort for me and this is what I use for jazz combo work or light, acoustic rock and blues. A 22" just feels normal to me since that's been my main size for 30+ years but a 24" feels like it requires a bit more leg to really lay into it and consistently juice that fat tone all night long. It's worth the extra effort, though. 24x14 delivers the gut punch and then gets out of it's own way for the next note.
 
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Peedy

Senior Member
The kit just sits there waiting for me to play it twice a week. A beer can bass would be fine if it sounded nice. If I had to lug it around? I might put legs on a floor tom.
 
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