bass drum 22x14 22x16 or 22x18?

john gerrard

Senior Member
I just bought a new to me set of Gretsch USA Customs. Sizes 13x9, 16x16 and 22x14. I haven't got them yet so I haven't got to hear them. It has been so long since I have had a 22x14 bass that I'm not sure how I will like it.

So tell me the pros and cons of the 22x14 kick. For the last 8 years I have had a 22x18 kick and have been very satisified with it, just wondering what I will be missing with the 22x14 if anything. Most of my gigs will be unmiced and when I am miced it will be through a small pa. Some outdoor jobs and some smallish bar gigs.

What do you all like and why? Give me your opinions. Thanks John
 

opentune

Platinum Member
14 x 22 for sure = Punch, definition, response, with not so much boom but still a nice bottom end 'note'.
16 x 22 is fine too.
18 x 22 goes "boom".
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
My favorite is a 22x16. I would rather have a 22x14 than a 22x18. A 22x18 is too hard to get in some vehicals, and I am not too sure that the extra two inches really make it sound better. I played 22x14 bass drums for many years, and they can sound great. Peace, goodwill, and blues.
 

Bonzobilly

Senior Member
I currently have a 14x24 and a 22x18. Diameter difference not withstanding, I prefer the 18 inch depth more than the 14. It just a better job at going "boooom". That being said my 14 is no slouch. I play heavy music with my band so hitting hard is a necessity. You need to hit harder with a deeper drum and I'm ok with that.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've had 14x22 and 18x22, as well as 16x22. And lately I just went back to a 16x22 and love it so much better than the 18x22. The 14 I used to like, but the 16 adds just enough "oomph" that I can justify the sound to the slightly longer size. The 18 had too much of a good thing and was too long for easy transporting. However, if I ever go back to a 20, it would have to be a 14x20.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I have both the 22" x 18" and the 22" x 16" bass drums and enjoy playing them both. They really do sound different from one another, but again the shells are composed of different types of wood in different thicknesses. It's been a long time since I've owned a 22" x 14" bass drum. Personally I like slightly deeper shells.

Dennis
 

?uesto

Silver Member
I love a 22x14. It feels so good, and I love some of the sounds you can get out of it. Volume and punch might be an issue though if you're un-mic'd, depending on the venue..
 
Haven't owned at 22x16, but have had a 22x18 and still have a 22x14. I like the 14" depth more for my style of music. I found, as another poster mentioned, 18" too much of a good thing.
 

MasterCylinder

Senior Member
I currently have a 14x24 and a 22x18. Diameter difference not withstanding, I prefer the 18 inch depth more than the 14. It just a better job at going "boooom". That being said my 14 is no slouch. I play heavy music with my band so hitting hard is a necessity. You need to hit harder with a deeper drum and I'm ok with that.
+ 1.................I'm with Billy on this one.

My Gretsch USA Customs set has a 24 X 14 bass drum (336 sq. in.).

My Ludwig set has two basses at 22 X 18 (each has 396 sq. in.).

They all sound awesome/ridiculous.............no problems.

Any quality bass drum will do if you find the correct heads that get the sound you desire.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I would go with the 22X14, and here's why. I had two Ludwig Classic Maple kick drums that were the same diameter, the same wrap, same vintage (2009), etc... The only difference was one drum was a 22X14 and the other was a 22X18. The sound was identical. I repeat...identical. The only difference was the note carried on a tad- and I mean ever so slightly - longer on the 22X18, (which gave the sensation of a bit more volume, even though that was not a reality) but that was the only difference.

For me, with stages already being small, and not having a huge car, nor wanting to carry anything more than I need to, I'd pick the 22X14.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I would go with the 22X14, and here's why. I had two Ludwig Classic Maple kick drums that were the same diameter, the same wrap, same vintage (2009), etc... The only difference was one drum was a 22X14 and the other was a 22X18. The sound was identical. I repeat...identical. The only difference was the note carried on a tad- and I mean ever so slightly - longer on the 22X18, (which gave the sensation of a bit more volume, even though that was not a reality) but that was the only difference.

For me, with stages already being small, and not having a huge car, nor wanting to carry anything more than I need to, I'd pick the 22X14.
Chunkaway. Did you record these 2 drums? That would be awesome to hear!

Cheers
Davo
 

john gerrard

Senior Member
Well they are due here today. Needless to say I'm pretty anxious. I really don't think that I will be dissappointed with the kick size, but I will just have to work with it and find out. I have a G-MAD for it and it has a ported Fiberskin on the reso side. I may even pick up a coated Amb and live it unported. I'll just have to wait. John
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I have a 22x14 that used to be a 22x18 (played as a 22x18 for the first 10 years I owned it). The thing I notice is that the 18" depth is a little more impressive when you're sitting at your kit playing it by yourself, but when playing with a band (especially a loud band) that extra low note just gets swallowed up. When I cut it down, the response was more immediate and the mids made up more of the sound. Then with the band, the whole drum seemed to come through with more punch and still wasn't lacking in the low tones.

All that low is great, but if it's gone in the final analysis, then what good is it? I'd rather have the punch myself. It's all personal preference, of course.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Chunkaway. Did you record these 2 drums? That would be awesome to hear!

Cheers
Davo
The short answer is no. We went into the studio with a guy who has engineered some of Wilco's stuff, so I wanted to make sure I had some sonic choices available. I brought in a DW 22X18, a Ludwig Classic Maple 22X18, a Ludwig Classic Maple 22X14, and a vintage Ludwig 20X14. (Plus I had a bunch of snares, some different toms, cymbals, etc...)

We basically did little test recordings of all of the drums, and literally you could not tell the difference between the two 22" Ludwig kick drums. If we had not marked the recordings, you would not know which drum was being used. And that was with the drums isolated! Once the other instruments were put on top, there was no way in the world you could identify it.

We wound up using the DW for about 4 tracks (because it was just a tad lower in pitch than the Ludwigs, which seemed to fit a couple of songs better), and then the Ludwig 22X14 for most of the rest of the album. Unfortunately, I did not keep the test recordings, so all I have are samples of the drum tracks that made it on to the album. I will say, I was very surprised by the results, since all of my kicks except one were 18" deep.
 

john gerrard

Senior Member
Chunkaway, What you have posted has really made me feel good about this kit. I've been playing for over 50 years, I counted up today and I have had 21 different drum kits. This kit is just about my dream come true kit. Gretsch USA Custom with the Jasper shells, 9x13 and 16x16 toms. The only thing I could have asked for different would have been a 24x14 or a 22x16 or 18 kick. But after reading these post I really think that I'm going to be satisified. I've had a few 22x14 kicks but that has been quite some time ago and like I first posted I can't really remember how thay sounded. Then there was the trend of the deeper kicks and that is what I have played for a number of years.

Thanks to all for your responses and keep them comming. John
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I used to have a Corder set with 22x14, 13x9, and 16x16. That set served me well for many years; in fact, I wish I still had it. It is similar to the Gretsch set you bought, and I hope you are happy with it. Peace, goodwill, and blues.
 

john gerrard

Senior Member
Well I got them, and absolutely NO problems with the kick drum size. In fact I really liked it.

But here is the kicker "no pun intended". I have waited all of these years to have "THAT GREAT GRETSCH SOUND' when I got the set unpacked the first thing I wanted to do was to put the E-MAD on the kick drum. When I took the head off I saw that the bearing edges had been redone to a sharp 45 degree edge. Now that may not bother some people but I was bummed. To me the 30 degree edge is very much of the Gretsch sound. So thank goodness I got them from a GC and can take them back. GC can be a pain in some cases but their return policy is great. That was the only reason I bought them sight unseen.

Well, don't know what I'm going to do after I take them back. I'm really kind of disgusted.

Hope everyone has a good Easter. John
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Well I got them, and absolutely NO problems with the kick drum size. In fact I really liked it.

But here is the kicker "no pun intended". I have waited all of these years to have "THAT GREAT GRETSCH SOUND' when I got the set unpacked the first thing I wanted to do was to put the E-MAD on the kick drum. When I took the head off I saw that the bearing edges had been redone to a sharp 45 degree edge. Now that may not bother some people but I was bummed. To me the 30 degree edge is very much of the Gretsch sound. So thank goodness I got them from a GC and can take them back. GC can be a pain in some cases but their return policy is great. That was the only reason I bought them sight unseen.

Well, don't know what I'm going to do after I take them back. I'm really kind of disgusted.

Hope everyone has a good Easter. John
Could you have the edges re-cut back to a 30?
 
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