Cuttting Down a Bass Drum

gish

Senior Member
I've decided to have my 18x22 Saturn bass drum cut down. I was looking for some feedback from those who have had this done, and maybe helping me decide what depth to go with (leaning towards 14", but 16" is still in play). I'm in eastern PA, if anyone has any suggestions on who to contact to have this done. Thanks in advance for any feedback provided.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
The Saturn's bass drum can't be cut to 16" depth without replacing all your tension rods to 1" shorter. In order to do that, it would be 2 cuts with 2 new edges, so double the cost of a standard cut and edge. I havent measured it myself, but generally speaking most bass drums have their lug mounting holes just shy of 4" from the bearing edges. So 4" cut off the batter, or reso if you have a Saturn III, should work without any issues.

If you are in PA, Precision can do it for a good price. Shipping should be relatively cheap.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
You'll be very happy with either shorter depth, and depending what other kicks you have, I will make a recommendation.

If you have a 20", but not a 24", go with 16x22" to get a little more beef from the Mapex.

If you have a 24" but not a 20", go with 14x22" to get a little more of the 20" pop.

If you have both 20 & 24", I'd say go with 14x22... just because.

If you don't have a 20 & 24", still go with 14x22... also just because.

Bermuda
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
I haven't cut down a bass drum (nor had it done) but I've been thinking of asking MCD Percussion in Philly to do one. I'm sure they could.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
I have done this with a 22 x 18 Yamaha Maple Custom bass drum, had it cut down to a 22x14, and I love it.
I don't think cutting it down to a 22x16 is worth the trouble of having it cut. Yes, a 22x16 is easier to handle and still has plenty of boom, but I say of you're gonna go there, then really make it worth your while.

First thing - absolutely find a friend or a drum shop or a rental or some way to try out a 22x14 first, to be sure that you like this new size - the punchiness, the quick response, the feel, etc.

Does your bass drum have a mount ? Because if it does, and you take the 4" off the batter side, that mount is now 4" closer to your new batter. That might make the mount unusable - because the tom(s) would be way too close now.

This is what I did, but I knew this going in - I simply got a Yamaha custom mount plate cover from Drummerworld's SoCalMike , look him up. Removed my mount, added this plate...looks great, and sounds perfect. Added benefit of being MUCH easier to put in the back seat of any vehicle - and no more smashing fingers in doorways!

If you have a mount and decide to take the 4" from the resonant side, you will very likely run into issues with the spurs and their mounting holes. Check that stuff out carefully. Get some low-tack painters tape and tape all this out so you can easily see where things go ...new lug locations, vents, mounts, spurs, etc.

I have absolutely no regrets, I love the 'new' bass drum (did this years ago) 22x14 is the perfect all around bass drum size for just about anything. The vintage builders got that size right IMHO.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
Why do you want to cut down your kick?

dumb question?
 

gish

Senior Member
Why do you want to cut down your kick?

dumb question?

I recently bought a kit with a 14x20 bass drum; really like the shallower depth. I like the quicker punch, I like the easier portability, I like taking up less room on stage, and I like the look. The looks part is the least important aspect obviously, but I just can't stand the looks of deep, tubular bass drums. I've been mulling this over for a while, but my happiness with my 14x20 Silverstar bass drum is sealing the deal. It's good to see the manufacturers are shortening bass drums across their lines; it's about time IMO.
 

gish

Senior Member
The Saturn's bass drum can't be cut to 16" depth without replacing all your tension rods to 1" shorter. In order to do that, it would be 2 cuts with 2 new edges, so double the cost of a standard cut and edge. I havent measured it myself, but generally speaking most bass drums have their lug mounting holes just shy of 4" from the bearing edges. So 4" cut off the batter, or reso if you have a Saturn III, should work without any issues.

If you are in PA, Precision can do it for a good price. Shipping should be relatively cheap.

Ah, so you're saying to drop to 16" they would slice an inch off both ends? I was wondering about that, thanks. I'm pretty sold on going to 14"; wanted to see if someone could talk me off the ledge. Thanks for for the heads up on Precision; I will be contacting them.
 

gish

Senior Member
I have done this with a 22 x 18 Yamaha Maple Custom bass drum, had it cut down to a 22x14, and I love it.
I don't think cutting it down to a 22x16 is worth the trouble of having it cut. Yes, a 22x16 is easier to handle and still has plenty of boom, but I say of you're gonna go there, then really make it worth your while.

First thing - absolutely find a friend or a drum shop or a rental or some way to try out a 22x14 first, to be sure that you like this new size - the punchiness, the quick response, the feel, etc.

Does your bass drum have a mount ? Because if it does, and you take the 4" off the batter side, that mount is now 4" closer to your new batter. That might make the mount unusable - because the tom(s) would be way too close now.

This is what I did, but I knew this going in - I simply got a Yamaha custom mount plate cover from Drummerworld's SoCalMike , look him up. Removed my mount, added this plate...looks great, and sounds perfect. Added benefit of being MUCH easier to put in the back seat of any vehicle - and no more smashing fingers in doorways!

If you have a mount and decide to take the 4" from the resonant side, you will very likely run into issues with the spurs and their mounting holes. Check that stuff out carefully. Get some low-tack painters tape and tape all this out so you can easily see where things go ...new lug locations, vents, mounts, spurs, etc.

I have absolutely no regrets, I love the 'new' bass drum (did this years ago) 22x14 is the perfect all around bass drum size for just about anything. The vintage builders got that size right IMHO.

Appreciate the detailed response! My kit is a Saturn 3, with the removable tom mount/virgin kick underneath. I've gone back and forth with removing the mount; reinstalling it, taking it back off, etc. Bottom line, I could never get my tom right where I wanted it. The other issue is weight; when you factor in the huge base plate on the bass drum plus the over engineered, massive tom tree, there's a lot of unnecassary mass there. I removed the mount from the kick and clamped the tom to a cymbal stand. Got the drum where I want it and cut a lot of weight; I'm not going back. The tom mount is a non issue, although drilling a proper mount on the drum once its cut down is a possibility since I'm murdering the resale value anyway.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I've had two bass drums cut down: An 18 x 22 Yamaha BCA cut to 14 x 22 and a 16 x 20 Yamaha Live Custom cut to 12 x 20. Tommy D actually did the latter and re-cut a bearing edge for me on the former (did an EXCELLENT job!).

I'm very happy with both, especially after getting some guidance on tuning and head selection for the 12 x 20. The BCA now elicits a more prominent fundamental tone and the LC occupies a pronounced sonic space in the mix that I really dig. That drum also sounds great tuned up for bop and straight ahead.

I say go for the 14 x 22!
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Not sure cutting down will impact resale all that much if done right. Far too many looking for the elusive 22x14 BD.
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
Just in case of measurement issues any thought of going 15". I don't know the whole lug, tuning screw width but that might work too?
 

Frank

Gold Member
Let me echo the recommendation for using Precision.

I have had them cut drums for me 3 different times now, and each time they did it fast, friendly, perfect, and affordable.

Precision-Drum-Logo-small-2-120x150.png
 

gish

Senior Member
Just in case of measurement issues any thought of going 15". I don't know the whole lug, tuning screw width but that might work too?

Hmm, intriguing. Another option to further complicate things lol; appreciate it!
 

gish

Senior Member
Let me echo the recommendation for using Precision.

I have had them cut drums for me 3 different times now, and each time they did it fast, friendly, perfect, and affordable.

Precision-Drum-Logo-small-2-120x150.png

Good to know Frank; thanks for the excellent feedback. I emailed Precision for a quote; they're supposed to get back to me in a few days. I'll check back in here and keep you guys posted. Thanks for the info to everyone that responded.
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
Hmm, intriguing. Another option to further complicate things lol; appreciate it!
Lol, I know Yamaha made the 22x17 with the Oak Customs and I think someone also made a 15" deep drum.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I vote 14 or even shorter if you need to. I am using two kits with thin bass drums currently. One is a Ludwig Giglite 20x8. The other is a 24x9 Ludwig Classic Maple that I cut down and re-edged. I use them for small restaurant gigs, big stage gigs, and everything between.
Uncle Larry had a Saturn tom bridge thing cut down iirc.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
Personally I find 14'' to shallow and 18'' to deep. 16'' sits perfectly in the middle.

Yamaha made the latest Club Custom with 15'' and the original Oak with 17'' depth (the original gold badge Oak 18'' kick was 18'' deep and the silver badge model 17'')
 
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