16 vs 14, 22 vs 20

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I'm going to buy a new drumset, and after playing a 22" bassdrum and a 10, 12, 14, 16
tom configuration, I'd like to try a 20" bassdrum and lose the 16" floortom, too.

Any thoughts from experienced guys on 22" vs 20", and 16" vs 14"?
 
I have a Sixteen and Fourteen inch floor tom. I'll say this, the fourteen can sound like anything. The sixteen is just really deep and closer to a bass drum if you ask me. Probably because I have a pinstripe on it, who knows.

As for bass drums, if you want a quicker sound go for a twenty. They don't project much though and a bit of a pain to tune in my experience. I play a 22 and I can get it to sound anyway I want it basically and I have it unmuffled and really open, which is unusual. But I love it.

Everyone has personal tastes, just try out 20 and a 22 and decide. Same with a fourteen and sixteen

(Sorry about typing in words, my one keys broken).
 
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SickRick

Guest
I say get a 22" and a 18" Bassdrum - 20" to me just always feels to small for Rock/Funk/Fusion while it feels to big for Jazz/Latin. My solution would be one kit with two bassdrums that you change depending on the style you like.

As for toms I'd go with 14 AND 16. You don't have to play both always (I never do at least) but you can adjust to the gig you're playing. Some music calls for 16, some for 14.

If you want to cover everything you do need a lot of drums. Doesn't mean you have to set them all up at once.

It you have 10,12,14,16 plus 18 and 22 you can pretty much cover everything you'll ever have to cover.

All of this of course only makes sense if you really travel in between styles. Otherwise just decide which style you play most frequently (or which style earns your rent) and pick the drums you need to play that style convincingly.
 
Go with the 14". Go with the 20".
I use a 20" exclusively, after owning every bass drum size (except a 24") over the years I settled on a 20 and never looked back. I use it live and in the studio all the time and can get nearly any sound out of it, its easier to carry around than a 22 or bigger and you can get your toms lower, if thats what you're into.
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
Used the 20 the most, and a 22 and 18 about the same amount of time maybe the 22 a little more (been playing for 50 yrs). Never used 16x16 always the 14x14 got everything I needed out of them. Much better for mic'ing and I can get to the center of the 14 head better than a 16. I had injuries a to my ribs about 18 years ago so the twist we do when going over to a floor tom became an issue and I just recently had a very bad accident that caused more damage to my back and side so again the 14 is more affordable for my personal issues.
The best for me is a 16x20(or14) 14x14 9x10 and if playing 5 the 9x12 (I prefer the 10 over the 12). Thin shells (no more than 6plies and no more than 7mm) in Birch/Maple/ or African Mahogany, nothing else for me. Doc
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
The difference is pretty substantial- I'd go for the 20/14 if possible. You can get a good jazz sound as well as a good punchy funk sound out of them. I've never been able to do much with a 22 or especially a 16 in a jazz setting- neither one sounds good with a high tuning.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
TRY both, and record them from front of the kit to compare the difference. Depends on the sound you're looking for. The 20 bass - definitely punchier, distinct, focussed and easier to lug around and/or fit cymbals stands and toms around. Not the same gusto as a 22 or 24 but if you're micing the bass none of that will matter too much. I think the 20 is more versatile. You can do rock and you can do jazz.
 
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SickRick

Guest
The difference is pretty substantial- I'd go for the 20/14 if possible. You can get a good jazz sound as well as a good punchy funk sound out of them. I've never been able to do much with a 22 or especially a 16 in a jazz setting- neither one sounds good with a high tuning.
Yeah, 22 or 16 in jazz sounds awful most of the time. However for Rock and Funk I'd prefer it over a 20 while for jazz I'd prefer an 18 over the 20 as well. That said if you only want to have one drum for me it would be the 20 without question. You could still get away with it in any setting if you would use different heads on it.

However, if you do play Rock I'd say 22, 12, 14, 16 is an awesome combo! Two floortoms played together just sound great in that setting :)

One thing that also comes to mind: 22 might be a pain to carry around.
 

johanisu

Member
I have a 20x14. I love it. The beater doesn't hit in the dead centre (unlike with 22s) which allows for a more open tone if that's what I'm after, it can also play a nice thud-sound for rock/funk. It just depends on tuning, dampening and head choice. 14 works for me floor tom-wise, but I think if you have the choice, a 16 is useful for your 'arsenal' as well, if the music requires it. It really depends how you tune your 14: if high, then a low 16 provides a nice contrast and progression for tom rolls, if low then you can usually do without the 16 seeing as very low-tuned drums don't project as well.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
All of this talk of one kind of kit for different styles is bunk. Joe Morello did fine with a 13/16/22 set up. Ringo did fine with a 12/14/20 set up. it's all up to you and what you like...
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
All of this talk of one kind of kit for different styles is bunk. Joe Morello did fine with a 13/16/22 set up. Ringo did fine with a 12/14/20 set up. it's all up to you and what you like...
That's a very good point. Tune it how you want and have at it. That said I'm a big fan of 20" bass drums and have played & recorded many styles with it and never had a single complaint.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Thanks for your replies guys, read it all. I think you've covered most of my own thoughts:

-It's great to have everything in the arsenal (I don't have the money though at the moment,
and I have to start with fewer drums for now)

-A 20 is easier to lug around, and as I imagine it's easier to tune and more versatile - through
a PA it doesn't matter that much anyway. Someone said the opposite about tuning though...

-The same goes for 14x14 floor toms basically.
->In my experience the 16x16 is really fun for the drummer himself, it just rocks! But I
suppose for the listener it doesn't really matter either

-To clarify, I do like to play different styles, and I rather need a versatile kit. I don't see myself
earning a living playing hard and heavy music, or pure jazz. Although never say never...!!
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Thanks for your replies guys, read it all. I think you've covered most of my own thoughts:

-It's great to have everything in the arsenal (I don't have the money though at the moment,
and I have to start with fewer drums for now)

-A 20 is easier to lug around, and as I imagine it's easier to tune and more versatile - through
a PA it doesn't matter that much anyway. Someone said the opposite about tuning though...

-The same goes for 14x14 floor toms basically.
->In my experience the 16x16 is really fun for the drummer himself, it just rocks! But I
suppose for the listener it doesn't really matter either

-To clarify, I do like to play different styles, and I rather need a versatile kit. I don't see myself
earning a living playing hard and heavy music, or pure jazz. Although never say never...!!
I like the 20" myself as well. I played a 20" kick for almost 20 years until I bought my current set of Gretsch Renowns 2 years ago (the shell pack only came with a 22"). I'm not that tall and the 22 puts my rack toms just a tiny bit too high for me, but I can live with it. I would like to get a 20" kick to replace my current one, but the kick drum alone is $750 US.

I also think that an 18x16 kick might sound nice as well, but for some reason Gretsch doesn't sell the Renowns in "bop" sizes in the US.
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
Bass drum I'm more of a 22" guy
16" floor toms are great, they just have to be 16"x14", same with 14", they have to be 14"x12" for me to play them, 14"x14"s and 16"16"s are too hollow.
 
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