Deepest sounding toms

donnyf

Junior Member
What is the deepest sounding Tom's and bass drum made out of . Looking to get close to studio sound for live unmiked performance's.
3 ply, 6 ply , maple ? Babinga, mahogany?
Dw ,Ludwig legacy ?
Thank you for any help and ideas.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
For a pretty controlled sound I think more plies/mass the better.
When looking for that same sound myself I found a mid 90’s GMS that hit the tone mark. 8 plies of maple I believe.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
All my opinion here..I ply unmiced exclusively. Close to studio sound...you can do with heads and muffling. I'd pick walnut or mahogany for a deeper tom sound, if you are set on going for a deeper sounding wood. I guess bubinga would be a deeper sound too. The thing is, going for a studio sound live...they will sound right to you. And only to you. If you are live and unmiced the last thing you want to do is go for a studio sound...at the throne. If you were miced through the PA then a studio sound would work but you're not in a studio and you're not miced. Muffling toms...even the tiniest bit...kills them unmiced. If you like a cardboard tone in the audience, then muffle. I've learned to listen through the overtones and ring from the throne (it's beautiful) because it's those very overtones that carry my drum sound to the back of the room. 10 feet away...unmicd, unmuffled and well tuned toms sound like they are supposed to...amazing. But they will ring at the throne. You are playing to sound good out there in the audience, it's not the same onstage. Unmiced, you can't have both, unless you learn to like the sound of lively ringy toms. The lively toms sound studio in the audience though.

I'd also add that deep sound and studio sounds....not necessarily the same thing. Deep sound (unmiced) comes from deep drums. Studio sound to me means ringy overtones and sustain are out and focus and quick punch are in. Which you can do with any size drum.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I've read thinner shells for recording and thicker for playing live?? I've never had much success playing deep tuned toms on live gigs and seem forced to tune them up pretty high to carry in the mix. I hate the sound of them high behind the kit but dang sound better in audience. I'm going through a phase now where I don't want any toms, which will be the phase before I start adding more to reach 4 or more. So besides shell dimensions do you think tuning more important or head selection to get a nice deep tone?
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
All my opinion here..I ply unmiced exclusively. Close to studio sound...you can do with heads and muffling. I'd pick walnut or mahogany for a deeper tom sound, if you are set on going for a deeper sounding wood. I guess bubinga would be a deeper sound too. The thing is, going for a studio sound live...they will sound right to you. And only to you. If you are live and unmiced the last thing you want to do is go for a studio sound...at the throne. If you were miced through the PA then a studio sound would work but you're not in a studio and you're not miced. Muffling toms...even the tiniest bit...kills them unmiced. If you like a cardboard tone in the audience, then muffle. I've learned to listen through the overtones and ring from the throne (it's beautiful) because it's those very overtones that carry my drum sound to the back of the room. 10 feet away...unmicd, unmuffled and well tuned toms sound like they are supposed to...amazing. But they will ring at the throne. You are playing to sound good out there in the audience, it's not the same onstage. Unmiced, you can't have both, unless you learn to like the sound of lively ringy toms. The lively toms sound studio in the audience though.

I'd also add that deep sound and studio sounds....not necessarily the same thing. Deep sound (unmiced) comes from deep drums. Studio sound to me means ringy overtones and sustain are out and focus and quick punch are in. Which you can do with any size drum.
Yes, Larry is correct.
I provide my drum kit for the back line kit at a jam. I get to hear my kit played by other drummers. That is how I know Larry is correct.

The only thing I'll add is, use the largest size toms that you can find. Obviously a 14 inch diameter tom will sound deeper than a 10 inch diameter tom. Get large diameter and deep toms; and tune them up rather high so that the sound will carry into the audience. And so that they will be heard over the band.

.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
For some reason I was imagining the poster looking for a kit for coffee shops and small restaurant/bar gigs.
 

donnyf

Junior Member
I play gigs from 50 to 200 people but mostly 50 to 100. I dont want to muffle the Tom's but I do use an emacs on the bass. What I dont want is a jazz drum kit sound .
I feel the deeper or lower sounding Tom's sound better. I do like the pinstriped oil coated daul skins and would like to sound even deeper lower.
Not a fan of electric kits but the Tom's have that deep full low sound I'm looking for. It appears to me many think the Babinga is the way to go , I did play a Tama kit with babinga in local drum store and did sound nice . Listening on YouTube isn't enough. Local Drum guru tells me ludwig legacy or dw classic but dosen't have drums so I can hear. Of course type of heads and tuning matter.
So I just ask , what kit do the Tom's sound lowest,deepest full bodied ?
Thank you,
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
So I just ask , what kit do the Tom's sound lowest,deepest full bodied ?
Thank you,
The formula is pretty simple. Mahogany shells maybe with poplar core. Rounded over bearing edges. Large size toms and bass drum. Coated Evans G2 batter heads. Or a pre-1970 vintage Ludwig or Slingerland drum set. But remember you will sacrifice some attack and volume in the sound of the drums.

A good example would be the Ludwig Mahogany Club Date set.

"Ludwig Mahogany Limited Edition Club Date USA series. Designed under the same construction principles of our popular Club Date series drums, we set out to offer another great “RetroSpec” sonic option. They feature a 7-ply shell comprised of a 2-ply interior and exterior of African Mahogany with a 3-ply poplar core. New for 2018 and limited to just 200 kits worldwide, this is a limited edition Ludwig Club Date Mahogany kit in a Fab 22 configuration, (9x13 16x16 14x22). A rare treat for Club Date fans that want some extra vintage edge out of their kit. They tune up beautifully and sound perfectly warm."

OR
A C&C Custom Player Date Drum Set. 7 Ply Mahogany in Brown Mahogany Stain - 22,12,16.
Characteristics:
Warm, Dark, Round
Tone: Low
Thickness: Tom/Snare/Kick – 8mm
Bearing Edges: Full Contact / Bread & Butter (Rounded over)


.
 

gish

Senior Member
Larry pretty much nailed it. I’d say even more important than the wood type, if you really want deep sounding drums, is to go big. 13”-14” rack toms, 18” floor tom, 24”-26” bass drums.

Just thought I’d add that to my ear the pitch of the drums goes lower when you get further away. What sounds high and ringy behind the kit often sounds deeper and fuller out in the audience. You’re drums might sound deeper in the crowd than you think.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Larry pretty much nailed it. I’d say even more important than the wood type, if you really want deep sounding drums, is to go big. 13”-14” rack toms, 18” floor tom, 24”-26” bass drums.

Just thought I’d add that to my ear the pitch of the drums goes lower when you get further away. What sounds high and ringy behind the kit often sounds deeper and fuller out in the audience. You’re drums might sound deeper in the crowd than you think.

YES. I agree. And yes, get LARGE drums !

.
 

donnyf

Junior Member
Good thoughts, I've never thought about someone else playing my kit so I can listen from a distance.
Thank you for that . Still want to here different drums. May make trip into NYC dealers to hear larger selections.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Good thoughts, I've never thought about someone else playing my kit so I can listen from a distance.
Thank you for that . Still want to here different drums. May make trip into NYC dealers to hear larger selections.
Go to some local live band shows and find the drum sound you like. Make sure the drums are not mic'ed and running through the PA system. If the drums sound the way you like, then talk to the drummer about his drums and his drum heads. Check out how they sound from behind the kit. Drummers love to talk about their drums. This will help you find the drum sound and the drum set that you are looking for.

.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yes, Larry is correct.
I provide my drum kit for the back line kit at a jam. I get to hear my kit played by other drummers. That is how I know Larry is correct.

The only thing I'll add is, use the largest size toms that you can find. Obviously a 14 inch diameter tom will sound deeper than a 10 inch diameter tom. Get large diameter and deep toms; and tune them up rather high so that the sound will carry into the audience. And so that they will be heard over the band.
Jim I agree with you on every point you make. I arrived at my conclusions exactly the way you did, hosting an open mic jam and getting to hear my kit played by others. Give me wide open toms. And larger tom sizes, no 10's. Unmiced. The kick I can go either way with muffling-wise, but yea, for me to be happy, the toms need to be wide open. And tuned a little on the higher side just like you said. So the sound carries to the back of the space. Unmiced, this is the formula that sounds best to me. The snare is very personal and anything goes. I just detest dead lifeless cardboard toms. I guess it's a choice. I feel stifled playing them. I need a little sustain, with tone.
 
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gdmoore28

Gold Member
All my opinion here..I ply unmiced exclusively. Close to studio sound...you can do with heads and muffling. I'd pick walnut or mahogany for a deeper tom sound, if you are set on going for a deeper sounding wood. I guess bubinga would be a deeper sound too. The thing is, going for a studio sound live...they will sound right to you. And only to you. If you are live and unmiced the last thing you want to do is go for a studio sound...at the throne. If you were miced through the PA then a studio sound would work but you're not in a studio and you're not miced. Muffling toms...even the tiniest bit...kills them unmiced. If you like a cardboard tone in the audience, then muffle. I've learned to listen through the overtones and ring from the throne (it's beautiful) because it's those very overtones that carry my drum sound to the back of the room. 10 feet away...unmicd, unmuffled and well tuned toms sound like they are supposed to...amazing. But they will ring at the throne. You are playing to sound good out there in the audience, it's not the same onstage. Unmiced, you can't have both, unless you learn to like the sound of lively ringy toms. The lively toms sound studio in the audience though.

I'd also add that deep sound and studio sounds....not necessarily the same thing. Deep sound (unmiced) comes from deep drums. Studio sound to me means ringy overtones and sustain are out and focus and quick punch are in. Which you can do with any size drum.
All my opinion here..I ply unmiced exclusively. Close to studio sound...you can do with heads and muffling. I'd pick walnut or mahogany for a deeper tom sound, if you are set on going for a deeper sounding wood. I guess bubinga would be a deeper sound too. The thing is, going for a studio sound live...they will sound right to you. And only to you. If you are live and unmiced the last thing you want to do is go for a studio sound...at the throne. If you were miced through the PA then a studio sound would work but you're not in a studio and you're not miced. Muffling toms...even the tiniest bit...kills them unmiced. If you like a cardboard tone in the audience, then muffle. I've learned to listen through the overtones and ring from the throne (it's beautiful) because it's those very overtones that carry my drum sound to the back of the room. 10 feet away...unmicd, unmuffled and well tuned toms sound like they are supposed to...amazing. But they will ring at the throne. You are playing to sound good out there in the audience, it's not the same onstage. Unmiced, you can't have both, unless you learn to like the sound of lively ringy toms. The lively toms sound studio in the audience though.

I'd also add that deep sound and studio sounds....not necessarily the same thing. Deep sound (unmiced) comes from deep drums. Studio sound to me means ringy overtones and sustain are out and focus and quick punch are in. Which you can do with any size drum.
Exactly what Larry said. The deepest-sounding drums I've ever heard was a set of high end Pearl mahogany kit - for the life of me I can't remember what series that kit was from.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Big drums just sound deeper, plain and simple. From my limited experience, the deepest-sounding shells I have owned are Ludwig Maple Classics. I've play my 14" Pork Pie USA up against my Maple Classic, and the maple classic can tune to a lower frequency and still sound good without "bottoming out." They are both 7 ply, but there's something about those maple classic shells.
 
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