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  #1  
Old 11-26-2008, 05:33 PM
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vanarie vanarie is offline
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Default 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

Just got a great looking DW set with a 14" & 16" floor tom. I'm starting to play jazz so thought it would be great to use the 16" as a little bop kick.

I'm using the DW factory heads without any mods. I'm a little unhappy with the result. I'm thinking maybe a felt strip for the front head and changing to Genera G1 heads might make a difference. I'm looking a boomy sound but to my ears is just sounds like cr*p.

The pedal is an old dw-5000 that's on it's last legs and the bounceback I'm getting just doesn't feel right. I've tried the dw head beater and a new vintage felt "bomber", but I'm still getting too much bounceback. Maybe going to a different pedal would be better.

Anyone else have a 16 or 18 jazz kick that you're happy with? Any advice for setup would be great!
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2008, 06:17 PM
Drifter in the Dark Drifter in the Dark is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

I have an old 18x14 Pearl marching bass drum that I converted for drumset use, and I can get a good sound out of it. I'm using a Fiberskyn ambassador for the batter and a coated ambassador for the resonant (no hole) with felt strips on both heads. I also purchased a bass drum lifter; this piece clamps to the batter-side hoop and raises the drum off the ground, allowing the beater to strike more or less in the true center of the head. I find that I get the best tone this way. Since your drum has metal hoops, you'll have to approach things slightly differently. I recommend visiting http://www.drummaker.com and going to the "baby kick" section. They have a lot of parts for floor tom to bass drum conversions. As for the pedal "bounce-back": It's just the nature of the drum; I feel it too with my 18, and my pedal's in great shape. If you've gotten used to playing 22's with low head tension, then an 18 that's tuned up a bit will feel like a trampoline in comparison! (a 16 even more so) Different drums call for different techniques. Best of luck and keep on boppin'!
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:01 PM
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vanarie vanarie is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

I did take a look at some of the conversion packages out there. Didn't like them so I wound up rigging something up from the local hardware store! I must have walked the entire Home Depot looking for this and that to make it work.

At this point, the drum is sitting on a plastic pillow on my side and standing on 2 of the 3 legs it came with. The kick and pillow are sitting on a wire kitchen dish stand that's inverted. The pedal is mounted to the wire stand. Sounds funny but I've been practicing on it for a while and no problems so far. I might post a pic so you can see the rig job I did - all for about $20. :)

The drum itself is really heavy (DW drums feel like they're made out of lead), so it pretty much stays in place.

I might try a fiberskyn on the batter side - they're pretty traditional sounding. I'm thinking about cutting little vent holes on the res side (like DW does with their full size kicks) AND a felt strip. Maybe that'll make a difference.

Last edited by vanarie; 11-26-2008 at 08:03 PM. Reason: detail change
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2008, 08:45 PM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanarie View Post

I might try a fiberskyn on the batter side - they're pretty traditional sounding. I'm thinking about cutting little vent holes on the res side (like DW does with their full size kicks) AND a felt strip. Maybe that'll make a difference.
My advice is to not make it too dead-sounding. I would go with either the vent holes OR a felt strip. Obviously, try the felt strip first. I get GREAT results with a felt strip on the resonant head of my 18" and my 20". Not so much my 22".

With a drum that small, you want a bit of resonance to make it sound "bigger" and louder. If not, you might as well hook up your $20 contraption to a cardboard box (which, surprisingly, doesn't sound that bad!) Just my thoughts...
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:58 PM
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vanarie vanarie is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
I would go with either the vent holes OR a felt strip..
Hmmm, this makes me curious - would vent holes help alleviate the pedal bounce back problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
With a drum that small, you want a bit of resonance to make it sound "bigger" and louder. If not, you might as well hook up your $20 contraption to a cardboard box (which, surprisingly, doesn't sound that bad!) Just my thoughts...
I was thinking about a pillow inside, but on second thought, that would probably be waaay too much dampening, especially for jazz. I'm gonna go with a felt strip and see what happens.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

I've had the same problem with my 16" kick.

When playing jazz and less bass drum intensive music it's alright, I can deal with the bounce and a fairly open sound, but I've been asked to cut my kit down to go on tour, so that means I'm going to end up taking this on the road for both a reggae group and an acoustic rock group.

I don't think I can handle playing it in these situations. So I've been wondering about putting a hole in the reso head, not too big, probably just tin can sized (think 3") any comments?
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

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Originally Posted by vanarie View Post
Hmmm, this makes me curious - would vent holes help alleviate the pedal bounce back problem?
Yes, although I don't see "pedal bounce back" as a problem. If you want to dig in to the kick and stick the beater to the batter for a drier sound, then yes, vent holes will reduce the amount of rebound you'll have to fight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanarie View Post
I was thinking about a pillow inside, but on second thought, that would probably be waaay too much dampening, especially for jazz. I'm gonna go with a felt strip and see what happens.
Yeah, in jazz music, I like my bass drum to sing (resonate). It should also be focused at the same time. I've found that felt strips accomplish the best of both worlds for smaller drums.


Quote:
Originally Posted by oops View Post
....I'm going to end up taking this on the road for both a reggae group and an acoustic rock group.

I don't think I can handle playing it in these situations. So I've been wondering about putting a hole in the reso head, not too big, probably just tin can sized (think 3") any comments?
If you want a drier sound from your kick (which these styles of music lead me to believe that you do), a hole in the reso head is definitely one option. Try the felt strip first, but if the drum is still too "boomy" for you, then maybe consider the tin can hole...

Hope this helps!
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:21 AM
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Tuxido Tuxido is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

On my 16x12 kick I use a Coated Powerstroke 4 over a fiberskyn FA.

It has a very round sound.

I don't bury unless I want the drum to sound higher pitched or choked, so I don't have the rebound problem.

Edit: I re-read and saw that your going to use a converted kick ? You may have alot of overtones since you bearing edges are sharp.. mine was made to be a bass drum and has roundovers

And for muffling, instead of a felt strip, just put a towel between your pedal and the drum, its easier to adjust than felt strips.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:30 AM
jay norem
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

A 16" bass drum is a highly-specialized drum, most suitable for small-group jazz. There isn't much latitude there; it's going to sound high and resonant, which is the sound for bebop. I can't see it being of much use in many other kinds of music. And besides, an 18" is generally the "standard" size for bebop. That's not to say that that's the only way to go, and to be honest I've never played a 16" bass drum. Who knows, I might like it, but I only play small-group jazz anymore. A lucrative field to be sure!
On my 18" bass drum I have a Pinstripe batter and a coated Emporer on the front, no muffling, and it's cranked up. It makes a nice "boong" sound,
I've played my 18" with a blues band and it just didn't sound right to me. A 20" bass drum is probably the most versatile.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:38 AM
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vanarie vanarie is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

IMO, you can't have one 16" kick that serves both jazz AND rock/blues/etc. Unless you want to swap out heads and padding between styles, you need two drums.

I actually have a Sonor 16x16 floortom reworked as a kick, and for rock it sounds excellent. But it's reworked for a more muffled rock sound with a lot less ring than a traditional jazz kick would sound. 1) It's got a deadringer on the beater head and a felt strip on the front closed head. But it really does sound good. You could also vent it a bit if you wanted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oops View Post
I've had the same problem with my 16" kick.

When playing jazz and less bass drum intensive music it's alright, I can deal with the bounce and a fairly open sound, but I've been asked to cut my kit down to go on tour, so that means I'm going to end up taking this on the road for both a reggae group and an acoustic rock group.

I don't think I can handle playing it in these situations. So I've been wondering about putting a hole in the reso head, not too big, probably just tin can sized (think 3") any comments?
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:42 AM
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vanarie vanarie is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

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Originally Posted by Tuxido View Post
And for muffling, instead of a felt strip, just put a towel between your pedal and the drum, its easier to adjust than felt strips.
Funny, there's this local jazz player that does the same thing - he has a towel right below the pedal. Looks funny, but it would be easier to adjust I guess. I actually just got some felt, so I'm going to try that and see if it works for the res head.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:54 AM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

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Originally Posted by Tuxido View Post

And for muffling, instead of a felt strip, just put a towel between your pedal and the drum, its easier to adjust than felt strips.
Ahh...the poor man's EMAD. I use this "technique" for my 20" kick, and it works wonders!

It's easy to try out. If you want more muffling, try a felt strip to the reso head. If that's not enough, try adding the towel back to the batter head. It THAT'S not enough, then get your head examined...
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2008, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup

Does anyone have a picture of this towel to the batter head thing?

It sounds ridiculously easy, do you just sort of sit the towel against the head?
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2008, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: 16" bop kick - need advice on heads/beater setup



Not my drum, I just googled "towel to muffle bass drum"
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