26"x14" Legacy Classic bass drum tuning?

i picked up a use Ludwig Legacy Classic Zep set 14"16"18" and 14"x26" bass drum. question is, i tying to get a Bonham-ish type of sound. i have a remo emporer batter and a smooth white ambassador reso. i removed the felt strip and its now wide open-no muffling. i dont want to pitch it up like a jazz bass drum, but want a bit more boom to it. anyone have any tuning tips for this type of sound? Thanks.


Senior Member
Well, I believe bonham used coated ambassadors for resos. Don't think he used smooth at any point though I'm not 100% on that. He definetely pitched both the reso and batter up more than folks would think. Reso was a bit higher than batter. He was born and brought up in the big band era listening to guys like buddy and gene. He was much smarter than most people gave him credit for in the tuning department. Fact is, if your going to get any tone out of tubs that big you need to pitch them up. The sizes will provide the boom. You just got to keep playing with the tuning. Also, he had felt strips on both the batter and reso. Good luck! Let us know how yo make out!

john gerrard

Senior Member
Bonzobilly, Actually Bonham knew very little about tuning. He hired Jeff Ocheltree to do his tuning. At least that is what I have read. Best wishes. John


Junior Member
Hi there!
I've a 26"x14" Legacy Classic myself. Love the sound. Best drumkit I every played in my life!!!

I have a coated Ambassador as batter and reso head.
This will produce the biggest booooom :)

I don't like to have anything inside the drum for muffling but the drum needs to be controlled when it's miked.
For the batter head I use a bit of Moongel (right where the Remo logo is) and a small towel between the pedal and the drum head (at the bottom).
For the reso head I cut out the muffling ring of on old Powerstroke 3 and put it inside the Ambassador coated. This cuts out most of the overtones which could be difficult when the front head is miked. (I don't have a hole in my bass drum)

I tune the batter head fingertight first. Then I would give each rod 2 half turns.
I tune the reso head lower (fingertight + about 1 haf turn).
This is not how Jeff Ocheltree does is. But it works better for me and sound bigger to my ears.
I also used a Powerstroke 3 as a batter head which feels better but does not sound as big.
I use Coated Ambassadors on everything which will make the drumkit sound and feel like one unit - I really like that :)

Last important note: The Ambassador will sound far less modern bass drum-my.
And it will sound less fat and less powerful behind the kit - BUT it will sound huge when miked!

I hope this helps!


Senior Member
Trust me, tune the reso higher. You can play around with it some, but I would recommend on a big drum following this method. It helps with projection. If you don't pitch it up enough, a drum of that size will sound flabby and dead. It sounds almost opposite for getting a good bass drum sound, to tune it higher, but as others have said, the drum size will provide the boom. Tuning the old school way with these sizes produces a full, round, powerful tone. I would advise you to leave a felt strip on the batter side. For reso though, I have mine wide open...


Junior Member
Hi Adam,

How low do you tune your batter head when tuned like this? And how high your reso?

I know that this does indeed sound fantastic, but when you put only one mic in front of the kick, the sound is really difficult to control.

This is a recording with "my" tuning and a AKG D12 in front of the reso head.

It works for me :)
But I am really interested in your way of tuning, too!