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  #1  
Old 10-15-2018, 05:55 PM
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Default Deep bass drums

I used to be a big fan of 18" deep bass drums.

Now, they just look re-diculous to me. I'm still more than fine with the sound though.

I have a DW exotic kit with a 22 x 20 BD. That looks even more re-diculous.

16" deep is my limit these days, but I'm gravitating more to 14's.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Yep.
Even though I own three kits with 18x22 bass drums, the look bothers me. They sound great, though.
When I order a kit, it's always a 14 or 15" deep bd.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I still like the look and sound of a 22 x 18 kick (I have two of them).

I'd thought about getting my Ludwig "beer can" 20" x 20" cut down to a 20" x 14".

It doesn't look that bad without the rack tom, but with the rack tom, I think the length looks awkward to me.




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  #4  
Old 10-15-2018, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I don't know...the "look" never really bothered me much. No real issue with them aside from carting them around is slightly more of a pain.

I have 14 x 18, 14 x 20 and 18 x 20, 18 x 22 and 14 x 24 bass drums.

There is a low-end "boom" that the 18" deep ones have that the 14s lack.

Also, I find the 18" deep drums produce more sympathetic vibration from the toms that adds to an overall bigger sound from the kit.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I'm the other way around - I feel like I have to work much harder to get the air pushing through an 18". I've played 14" deep and 16" deep for most of my life, and an 18" just feels sluggish to me. Add in the extra space it takes up in the car and on the stage and I'll probably never get one.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I'm the other way around - I feel like I have to work much harder to get the air pushing through an 18". I've played 14" deep and 16" deep for most of my life, and an 18" just feels sluggish to me. Add in the extra space it takes up in the car and on the stage and I'll probably never get one.
I’m in this camp. From the other, similar recent thread, it does seem like drummers have very different experiences of how kick depth influences tone. I feel (this is a fairly recent discovery for me) that 18” and 20” deep kicks actually have a more attack-heavy sound, compared to shorter ones.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2018, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

There's no mystery (all other things being equal) to the difference depth makes to a drum's tone & response, but as I've been up to my eyes in shellac fumes all day, my explanation might lack clarity - that, & a glass of wine ;)
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2018, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I dunno. I’ve come to like the 18x22, especially after years in the 14” camp. I can make either depth work. What’s weird to me is shallower bass drums. There’s so much marketing about “gigging” kits, we’re starting to see 12” depths and less becoming a thing. As if we can’t possibly be gigging with anything deeper ;)
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2018, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Good marketing will be able to justify any depth. The only test is your ear or an A, B test side by side.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2018, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I'd thought about getting my Ludwig "beer can" 20" x 20" cut down to a 20" x 14".



I have to be honest, this was the inspiration for the thread.

Sorry Martin!
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  #11  
Old 10-15-2018, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

The 24 x 18 bass drum on this Legacy Classic kit is not to my liking so I put it up for sale. I have a 24 x 14 on order for my N&C kit . This will satisfy my 24" cravings.
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2018, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

14 seems to be my sweet spot.
Loving my 14x24 Ludwig.

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  #13  
Old 10-15-2018, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

The correct bass drum depth is 14 inches. LOL
It used to be the norm, then became rare, and now is making a comeback.
I've got one 16" deep that I'd prefer to be 14, but I can live with it.
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  #14  
Old 10-15-2018, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I prefer 14, ...but live with 18, or 17 or 17.5 ....or 16...because that whats for sale often, especially in the used market.
Every band I've been in though loves a deep kick. Size matters to these chaps. I don't get it, I think articulation on the BD is lost on my bandmates...... they just want a boom on 1 and 3.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I picked up a Gretsch Catalina Jazz bop sized kit earlier this year with an 18x14 kick drum. I put an EMAD on it, and it sounds pretty nice - certainly not the kind of sound you get out of a bigger drum, but certainly respectable and definitely easier to lug around.

When I bought my first two kits, 22x18 was the normal size for most "standard" drum kits, so that's what I still have, so it's really all I know.
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  #16  
Old 10-16-2018, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

If you had multiple floor toms. 14 X 12, 16 X 14, 18 X 16. 20 X 18 and 22 X 20 sizes seem to fit right in. I have 5 18 inch deep kicks and they all sound good, I would like to try a 16 inch depth tho. Had all the 14 inch depths back in my youth. That was only 55 years ago. Geeze did they even have drums that long ago???? LOL
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2018, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
There’s so much marketing about “gigging” kits, we’re starting to see 12” depths and less becoming a thing. As if we can’t possibly be gigging with anything deeper ;)
I played a "travel" kit by a high-quality drum maker which featured a 20" x 12" kick at a friend's house. The kick doesn't sound that great IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I have to be honest, this was the inspiration for the thread.

Sorry Martin!
No problem Larry! However, if you start bashing my new cymbals, you owe me a snare drum. :)
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  #18  
Old 10-16-2018, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I played a "travel" kit by a high-quality drum maker which featured a 20" x 12" kick at a friend's house. The kick doesn't sound that great IMO.
I'm always impressed by the sound of the 20x12 on my Sonor Player SE (EMAD batter, P3 reso, nothing inside). But of course I have very little expectation from it so I'm easily impressed.

Took a while to dial in the tuning though, had to tune it tighter than I expected. Sure my Ludwig 22x18 is better on all accounts, but with a mic inside at a gig they both work very well!
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  #19  
Old 10-16-2018, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by SnickSound View Post
I'm always impressed by the sound of the 20x12 on my Sonor Player SE (EMAD batter, P3 reso, nothing inside). But of course I have very little expectation from it so I'm easily impressed.

Took a while to dial in the tuning though, had to tune it tighter than I expected. Sure my Ludwig 22x18 is better on all accounts, but with a mic inside at a gig they both work very well!
I have a 20 x 12 walnut bass drum. (I gave my Sonor Players kit to my stepson) It's certainly not a 22. But it is just perfect for certain gigs. I get a good tone tuned Motown high or low, but it's not as "heavy" or "weighty" of a bass drum tone, like a 22 has.

Good size for intimate rooms.
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  #20  
Old 10-16-2018, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I used to be a big fan of 18" deep bass drums.

Now, they just look re-diculous to me. I'm still more than fine with the sound though.

I have a DW exotic kit with a 22 x 20 BD. That looks even more re-diculous.

16" deep is my limit these days, but I'm gravitating more to 14's.
I don't care for the feel of the batter on an 18" depth compared with thinner depths. I recently sold my Gretsch New Classics with a 22x18 BD and picked up an older Gretsch USA set with a 22X14. It's much more responsive and sounds fuller/bigger than the 18" did.
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  #21  
Old 10-17-2018, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I really like 22x16, but I now have two 22x18 bass drums. Peace and goodwill.
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  #22  
Old 10-17-2018, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

To those of you who have played a 14-16" depth AND an 18-20" depth, how does the beater actually feel coming off the head? I recall Steve Smith saying he likes shorter depths because it feels better to him.

Does it take more oomph to get a favorable tone out of a deeper bass?
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  #23  
Old 10-17-2018, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I have a 22x20 Gretsch Catalina Club and love it. It gives me the boom of a 24 without the diameter.
Add a KickPort and watch out.
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  #24  
Old 10-17-2018, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by IBitePrettyHard View Post
To those of you who have played a 14-16" depth AND an 18-20" depth, how does the beater actually feel coming off the head? I recall Steve Smith saying he likes shorter depths because it feels better to him.

Does it take more oomph to get a favorable tone out of a deeper bass?
I'm one of those guys who've played them at all depths and this is loaded question because it's dependent on the heads you use, whether or not you're using an internal muffler of some sort. Usually, everyone is ported with a muffler inside so the feeling of the batter head shouldn't be any different. I've also used PowerStroke 3's and EQ4's front and back, and even then the beater feels the same coming off the head. I think it's just aesthetics because I'm not sure a 4-inch difference in shell length makes that big of a difference, and in a band situation where you're not mic'ed up, any perceived differences you hear alone in your practice space is negligible.

I'll say this about the 14-inch depth: you can hear what the drum actually sounds like from your position behind the kit. But the deeper it is, then you have to go out front to hear the actual sound everyone else is hearing - but in reality, the sound is the same, it's just how you are able to hear it.
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  #25  
Old 10-18-2018, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post

I'll say this about the 14-inch depth: you can hear what the drum actually sounds like from your position behind the kit.
That's a big deal to me, I gotta be able to hear the articulation of the bass drum. That's one of the reasons I just ordered a Gretsch Renown with a 20x16" bass. Should be here in a week!
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  #26  
Old 10-18-2018, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I’m absolutely a 14” guy. I have a 24x14, and a 26x16. I’m thinking of selling the kit with the 26x16, but if I keep it- it will become a 26x14...:)
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  #27  
Old 10-18-2018, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by IBitePrettyHard View Post
That's a big deal to me, I gotta be able to hear the articulation of the bass drum. That's one of the reasons I just ordered a Gretsch Renown with a 20x16" bass. Should be here in a week!
I get it, but when you're in a mic'ed up situation, all bets are off ;)
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  #28  
Old 10-18-2018, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I am glad to see most of the manufacturers coming back to shorter depths, including in their starter and mid range kits. I have been watching and listening for my next kit, and I am leaning towards a used Yamaha Live custom. Really like the sound of those drums, and they offered a 3 piece shell pack in 12-16-22 (exactly what I’m looking for), with the bass drum having a 14” depth. Hope I can find one in good shape.
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  #29  
Old 10-20-2018, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

22x16 seems to be a rare size, is there any particular reason for this, and would there be much difference compared to 22x18?
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  #30  
Old 10-20-2018, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
22x16 seems to be a rare size, is there any particular reason for this, and would there be much difference compared to 22x18?
22x16 was a standard during 80' and 90's.
To me, this is the best depth, 18" depth is less practical for transportation, small stages and not necessary soundwise. 20" depth is overkilled.
14" depth sounds cool on a 24" BD.
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  #31  
Old 10-20-2018, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I'll weigh in. I have had, or still have, in order of diameter: 16x14, 22x14, 22x16, 22x18, 22x22, 24x14. My opinion is based on pedal response and sound of the drum itself.

14" depth: My favorite. While the body of the drum is not as full as the deeper drums, pedal response is more important to me. Note placement outweighs sound as I come from a metal background. The 14 allows me to go fastest the most comfortably. The attack is also phenomenal. Roundness of the note seems to be a little lacking on the 16, the 22 sounds great, the 24 is huge. In your face even.

16" depth: I think this looks cooler. Also produces a slightly rounder/fuller note. Pedal response is still there, the attack is slightly less than the 14, but negligible. An impact pad solves this.

18" depth: My double kick work started here. Since I was just learning, I can't give an honest account of pedal response. The drum was a bit boomy and required muffling to get the desired sound I was seeking. It was totally workable, but needed porting, impact pads, and a pillow to get it where I wanted. Attack was okay with an impact pad.

22" depth: Totally ridiculous. Boomy as hell. Sounded like a tractor at idle when running both feet. Pedal response was horrible. I had a hard time even getting my doubles to hold steady at first. The work involved with the extra depth was a deal breaker. I built the things myself because I was in a death metal band and wanted the look. Keller shells, 8 ply maple, special order. $800 for two shells. Never again. Pillows, impact pads, ported resos, yeah I got the sound and look. I also got buyers remorse and and diminished self confidence. The lack of rebound from these things did a number on my mental status as a drummer. I can't even begin to tell you how much I spent on pedals because I thought that was the problem. Live and learn. The 24x14 achieves the same goal, with much less aggravation.

As far as diameter, obviously the 16 is the most responsive for the pedal. Even when tuned to JAW. The bigger the drum is round, the less bouncy (?) the head is, so the less the head responds. This makes pedal response slower, for me anyhow.

I find the 16x14 the easiest to play. At this point I don't care about the look. Pedal response is the key for me.
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  #32  
Old 10-22-2018, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
I'll weigh in. I have had, or still have, in order of diameter: 16x14, 22x14, 22x16, 22x18, 22x22, 24x14. My opinion is based on pedal response and sound of the drum itself.

14" depth: My favorite. While the body of the drum is not as full as the deeper drums, pedal response is more important to me. Note placement outweighs sound as I come from a metal background. The 14 allows me to go fastest the most comfortably. The attack is also phenomenal. Roundness of the note seems to be a little lacking on the 16, the 22 sounds great, the 24 is huge. In your face even.

16" depth: I think this looks cooler. Also produces a slightly rounder/fuller note. Pedal response is still there, the attack is slightly less than the 14, but negligible. An impact pad solves this.

18" depth: My double kick work started here. Since I was just learning, I can't give an honest account of pedal response. The drum was a bit boomy and required muffling to get the desired sound I was seeking. It was totally workable, but needed porting, impact pads, and a pillow to get it where I wanted. Attack was okay with an impact pad.

22" depth: Totally ridiculous. Boomy as hell. Sounded like a tractor at idle when running both feet. Pedal response was horrible. I had a hard time even getting my doubles to hold steady at first. The work involved with the extra depth was a deal breaker. I built the things myself because I was in a death metal band and wanted the look. Keller shells, 8 ply maple, special order. $800 for two shells. Never again. Pillows, impact pads, ported resos, yeah I got the sound and look. I also got buyers remorse and and diminished self confidence. The lack of rebound from these things did a number on my mental status as a drummer. I can't even begin to tell you how much I spent on pedals because I thought that was the problem. Live and learn. The 24x14 achieves the same goal, with much less aggravation.

As far as diameter, obviously the 16 is the most responsive for the pedal. Even when tuned to JAW. The bigger the drum is round, the less bouncy (?) the head is, so the less the head responds. This makes pedal response slower, for me anyhow.

I find the 16x14 the easiest to play. At this point I don't care about the look. Pedal response is the key for me.
Great analysis! Thanks! I never considered pedal response under speed-playing conditions.

I’ve only owned 22x16 (birch) & 22x18 (bubinga).

The 18” kick slays in a live setting, without any muffling, when played outside & un-mic’d. Otherwise, when using a mic, I manipulate two small pillows to get the decay I want.

The 16” birch had a nice, short attack, but at that time I was tuning higher than JAW for the music I was playing.

In one of his many interviews about his kit, Simon Phillips spoke of his disdain for deep kick drums but didn’t say why. He runs with 24x15 sizes.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

The two best bass drums I owned were 22x16 : Premier Birch (unported) and Premier Signia Maple (Ported). I owned 3 Tama 22x18 (birch) : they didn't sound as good - paradoxically, they didn't sound "deep" enough. Except for the Signia they were all middle range kits.

The only 22x14" I owned was an old Tama Royalstar ; far from high end, I didn't like, it waas too dry. But I wouldn't make my opinon on that depth through this specific kit.
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  #34  
Old 10-22-2018, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

I prefer a punchier bass drum sound in general so a 14 inch depth is preferable to me as well as being traditional. I've played on everything from a 12 to a 20 inch depth and the deeper you go the more sluggish things feel and the mushier the articulation you can achieve. . At the moment I have 2 kits both with 20 x 14 kicks.
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  #35  
Old 10-23-2018, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Most of you seem to be leaning towards 14" or 16" depths, and yet the majority of 22" kicks come in 18" these days. I wonder if the market is just lagging behind public opinion.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by IBitePrettyHard View Post
Most of you seem to be leaning towards 14" or 16" depths, and yet the majority of 22" kicks come in 18" these days. I wonder if the market is just lagging behind public opinion.
Perhaps, or maybe it’s for versatility. I can adjust tension and internal muffling to get sounds from a very tight punch to a resonant boom. And it’s hard to imagine drum designers ditching acoustics for trends.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Curious....

For those who say that an 18" depth bd repsonse is "sluggish" or feels "slower".

Could you give more detail, or maybe describe what musical genre or context you are coming from?

Trying to put that in perspective compared to my own playing.

Thanks...

(Sincerely)
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  #38  
Old 10-23-2018, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Curious....

For those who say that an 18" depth bd repsonse is "sluggish" or feels "slower".

Could you give more detail, or maybe describe what musical genre or context you are coming from?

Trying to put that in perspective compared to my own playing.

Thanks...

(Sincerely)
18" to 20" depths may feel slower because both sound and air has to travel further to reach the reso head. The difference between a 16" depth and 18" depth is subtle, but you could probably "feel" it. The delayed reaction is what would make it feel a little slower.

Because a deeper bass drum sounds woofier, it will mask some of the articulation. Deep bass drums may also require more 'omph' to sound good, when compared to a shorter bass. All of those factors could make the bass sound a little sluggish.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by IBitePrettyHard View Post
18" to 20" depths may feel slower because both sound and air has to travel further to reach the reso head. The difference between a 16" depth and 18" depth is subtle, but you could probably "feel" it. The delayed reaction is what would make it feel a little slower.

Because a deeper bass drum sounds woofier, it will mask some of the articulation. Deep bass drums may also require more 'omph' to sound good, when compared to a shorter bass. All of those factors could make the bass sound a little sluggish.
Ok, that helps. I was thinking more towards the beater feeling sluggish not necessarily the sound...

But don't you find that the 14" depth sounds "thin"? Not as much presence?
Especially at higher tunings...?

Think "boing" as opposed to "BOOM"...
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: Deep bass drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Ok, that helps. I was thinking more towards the beater feeling sluggish not necessarily the sound...

But don't you find that the 14" depth sounds "thin"? Not as much presence?
Especially at higher tunings...?

Think "boing" as opposed to "BOOM"...
That's the tradeoff. Shorter = better articulation and possibly better feel. Longer = more boom. I've played 18" depth bass drums that sounded and felt great though. It all depends on the drum, and what your personal preferences are.

Not all 14" depth bass drums are created equal. Some sound thin, and some sound fantastic. It all depends on build quality and wood composition.

From this thread it looks like the happy medium is closer to a 16" depth.
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