12x8 or 13x9 for single rack tom??

sage32

Senior Member
Which size do you guys prefer?

I'm planning the shell dimensions for a new kit and I'm having trouble choosing a rack tom size. I'm planning a 1 up 3 down kit with a 24x16 kick, 16x14 18x16 floors, a third 15x13 floor to the left of the hat, and either a 12x8 or 13x9 rack.

I like 3 floors for the versatility to mix and match: I can strip down to a modest ringo 4 piece; I can go for the standard 1 up 2 down and use any combo I feel (16-18, 15-18, 15-16); or I can go big with all 3 floors. Where I'm having trouble is coming up with the rack tom that fits best with this config.

Any thoughts? I know both work, but if you had to choose?
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I'm a 9x13 kinda guy. Both of my kits have 9x13 and 16x16 toms, so I've kinda' grown up with that sound.

I really only like the 8x12 when the rest of the kit is a 14x20 and a 14x14 floor tom. And even then they feel too small in my current playing situations.
 

sage32

Senior Member
I'm a 9x13 kinda guy. Both of my kits have 9x13 and 16x16 toms, so I've kinda' grown up with that sound.

I really only like the 8x12 when the rest of the kit is a 14x20 and a 14x14 floor tom. And even then they feel too small in my current playing situations.
What size kick are you playing on your kits? The fact that I'm going for a 24 makes me concerned that a 12 might be a tad too small.. although I've seen Chad Smith from RHCP rocking a 12 rack with a 24 kick. But then again he plays 14x14 and 16x16 floors so the 12 makes sense..
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have numerous kits with different size high toms and floor toms. I like them all.
I use 10", 12", and 13" high toms.
I can't say that I have a favorite.
It took me a long time to understand the roll of the 13" tom in a multiple mounted tom kit but I always liked the 13" as a single mounted tom.
I guess that once you begin to master the art of tuning you like all drums equally.
When you are not accomplished at tuning you tend to like drums that you can tune. With me the 12" tom was always easy to tune. I struggled with 10" and 13" toms. Other drummers may have had a different experience.
In your case I really don't think that it will really matter all that much.
I would personally go with the 12" high tom because you have the 15" left floor tom.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
What size kick are you playing on your kits? The fact that I'm going for a 24 makes me concerned that a 12 might be a tad too small.. although I've seen Chad Smith from RHCP rocking a 12 rack with a 24 kick. But then again he plays 14x14 and 16x16 floors so the 12 makes sense..
I have both 14x22 and 14x24 kicks. For me, the standard 4-piece will always be 9x13/16x16/14x22 as seen in the drum catalogs from the 70s. Buddy Rich via Slingerland and Ludwig, got everyone on the 9x13/16x16/14x24 sizes, and I do like the extra headroom I get with the slightly bigger bass drum.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Only one choice for me: a 12" rack tom. The reasons: almost all 12" toms are easy to tune; a 12" can be positioned a tad closer to the bass drum; if you add other toms to the rack position, the 12" is perfectly "in interval" to blend with the other drums; finally, the 12 incher can be tuned to a higher range, if needed, and still remain in it's sweet spot.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Unix

Silver Member
13" without a doubt. first it can be tunned as high as a 12" but can be tunned lot lower and have a nice fundamental low pitch.

the range between a 12" and a 16" is too apart IHO.

When you mastered the art of tunning a 13", there's no turning back :)
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
With the configuration you have described, I would go with a 13". I did: 13, 16 toms; and 14x24 bass drum.

That said, my go to gig kit is 12, 14, 14x20.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
I use the 12" for some of the reasons gdmoore28 said.

It's more versatile for me as I get called for different styles. Sometimes the 13" would be just a tad too big sounding for some.

However if I was going for more straight rock, Americana or even country I might start using my 13".

Jim
 
Last edited:

MikeM

Platinum Member
I have a 24x14 with 15 & 18 floors. I also have a 12x8 and a 13x9, though only ever use one at a time for the 1 up 2 down setup. So which do I prefer? The 13x9 all the way.
 

sage32

Senior Member
13" without a doubt. first it can be tunned as high as a 12" but can be tunned lot lower and have a nice fundamental low pitch.

the range between a 12" and a 16" is too apart IHO.

When you mastered the art of tunning a 13", there's no turning back :)
This is a very good point! I suppose I should have mentioned that I mainly play rock, so I'm definitely leaning more towards the low end range than the highs. However, I play a wide range- soft rock/indie, standard alternative, hard rock, and occasionally some blues, funk, rnb.

I currently have both a 12x9 and a 13x10 that I swap out on a 1 up 2 down kit with a 22x18 kick and two 16x16 floors (one is a hat side floor). Of the two I find the 12x9 much easier to tame. The 13x10 is a beast and I really only use it for playing loud music! However, it should be noted that these drums are cheap entry-level shells made of Philippine mahogany (Tama Swingstar), and for my new kit I'm going maple.

I'm also switching to the shallower traditional size for easier placement over the kick, easier tuning, and because I just LOVE the way traditional sized rack toms look!

The 12x8 accomplishes my goals and should closely replicate the performance of the 12x9 I already love.
The 13x9 could give me the best of both worlds between the clarity of the 12x9 and the power of the 13x10. And that might be enough to tip the scale for me!
 

porter

Platinum Member
If you are going big, then go big.
Yuuup. Commit to the bit.

If you use a 4-piece kit out of those parts, a 13-15 spread is not bad at all. I use a 12-15 pair but I didn't go for a plus-size kit (10-12-15" toms) and I easily could use a 13 in place of the 12, I think. I generally tune the 12 pretty low anyways.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
If I only have a 16" floor tom, then 13". If I have a 14", it's 12". I never do two toms within an inch of each other if I can help it.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
I've got a 24" kick and I prefer a 12 x 8 rack tom mainly just because I can maneuver it right above the kick drum so my setup is still tight.
 

digibird

Senior Member
Definitely 9x13, esp with a 24" kick. 10x14 is also a good option. 16x24 is a great BD size, you'll like that. I have a red sparkle Ludwig classic maple kit with 16x24 BD, and the same 15-16-18 floor toms you are getting, great choices. I went with 14x15.
 
Top