Evidence on "Virgin or Drilled" - Or: May the Support Be With You!

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Maybe some of you guys already know that I dig evidence. I absolutely prefer numbers over rumors, since this in my opinion is the only way to widen my perspective in a reasonable way. One of the ongoing discussions with a subtle religious undertone in the drummers community is "virgin or not?". I once played a drilled TAMA Superstar which I stuffed later and I absolutely dig the look of my virgin 24" DW. But how about the sound? Seems nobody tested it in a comprehensible way by now.

The first place to go in the subject "test, record and explain crazy stuff" coming to my mind is the guys from "Sounds Like A Drum" Youtube Channel - Cody and Ben, who are famous for being sticklers for details, asking (and also answering) questions like "Does Bass Drum Beater Impact Location Matter?", "Lug Gaskets Inhibiting Your Drums?" or "Should I Tune to the Pitch of My Drum Shell?". So I reached out for them, proposing a reliable set-up for answering the question "Virgin Vs. Drilled". And this was what Ben came back with:

Thanks- this is one we’ve definitely thought about and is on reserve for
our comparison series since it’s going to require significantly more
work that most of our current episodes and would be best fit for the
fresh format. Unfortunately, this series is on hold pending sponsorship
support. We’re already stretched quite thin being 100% patron supported.

Thanks for the kind words and we hope you’re enjoying the series!
Ben

Wow, cool! This feature is in the pipeline already!

But.

I have zero clue about Youtube and how to make a business out of it. But "those guys do have over 67,000 subscribers, one of their videos has over half a million views - how come they are running on Patreon exclusively?" came to my mind. So I dared to ask. And Ben replied:

Regarding the subscriber count vs. support for the channel-
despite appearances, there’s no monetary value in a certain number of
subscribers. Any revenue generated directly by the videos is based off
of ads viewed before/during/after a video. We don’t even make enough off
of ad revenue in one month to cover my day rate for a single day of
production (we film at least six days per month), not to mention Cody’s
time, the time spent on pre-production, and then editing and publishing
the series or responding to messages.

:oops:

And going on:

Luckily we have the support of some dedicated viewers via our Patreon
but we still haven’t covered the cost of our time or resources with the
standard format not to mention a much more involved comparison video
like what you’re describing. This is a labor of love for me but a time
consuming one for sure. We’re both self employed and time spent on the
series means time not spent on work that could help pay rent, insurance,
and put food on the table for each of us. We’d love to see more people
join the Patreon (even at the lower tiers) to help support these plans
for growth and even higher quality all around.

So I asked for his permission to quote him on this subject on this forum in order to raise some interest within the community to support our sources of knowledge. To not get in trouble with the moderators I'll avoid posting a link to their patreon profile, but you'll easily find it on their Youtube channel. So maybe go there and get a Dixieland or maybe even an Acrolite? You'll get even more videos and levels of access to the guys as soon as you're a supporter, maybe worth a thought :)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The virgin-versus-drilled decision has nothing to do with sound in my case. I favor a "virgin" bass for looks and functionality. I'll never buy another bass with tom mounts. No sound test can change my mind on the topic, but the results would be interesting for academic purposes. The differences might be negligible, if even measurable, but I'm sure the comparison would be fun.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Forget all the science. Forget all the graphs. Forget all of the naysayers concerning the subject. I could care less if some freak in the audience is positive that my exceptional bass drum sound is due to the virginity of it. The thing is is that I FEEL the difference from behind the kit. I love that kind of give that happens to the virgin bomb dropper. I miss my 24 at times but with my 18x22 virgin bomb with near zero inside the 24 seems nearly a cosmetic dinosaur. Give me my drum and all the 24 guys line up because I'm going home the winner. Thanks.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Oh...im ok playing a 4 piece non virgin I won't need therapy but the non drilled?..makes me 10% happier and in this life..give it to me.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
In my experience, it just depends on the build and era. On my 60s club dates I have a rack tom. cymbal arm and cowbell/woodblock mount all attached to the bass drum. I feel the vibrations in the kick pedal when I play the cymbal or even cowbell. And I can get a response relationship (for better or worse) when I hit the bass drum into the cymbal or tom that give it a response. Then you have the acoustic interactions when gear is closer to together than when separated more. For me, this is the charm of vintage gear that I generate a connected 'hum' that connects these parts much like a violin or piano and why vintage gear has a unique vibe. So it's not just the bass drum sounds, it is everything. It can be curse too, haha.

On modern kits, I've had both and I don't have a strong preference even though I lean towards a bit more open sound though by no mean wide open territory. The extra weight on top does secure the bass drum a bit better and the sound separation is much better nowadays to not get cross vibrations. As for bass drum resonance and fundamental, there is probably a difference...but probably not enough to sway the convenience BD mounts. I'm done with racks and less hardware the better.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
Their content is fine but way too specific for a monthly support model. I would prefer to listen to a plug for Sweetwater. Sounds like they need a sponsor. I hope they find one!
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I just got my first bass with a tom mount and prefer it... but i never breakdown or move my kit.. to each their own :)
 

someguy01

Well-known member
My kick has the hole, but I didn't get the holder with the kit.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
To me, it's always been about the configuration. Loved the tom mount when I could play 2U traditional 5pc setup. Over time, the toms had to go offset, so I could take the load off my shoulder and move the ride closer. In that case, the tom mount was a major obstacle, so I used a stand removing the tom tree. The mount still made for a very heavy BD, so eventually capped that too. Never had the same brand configuration side-by-side to compare, but don't think I'd care enough. I already have a heavy "glass" wrapping on my drums, so far from a "nothing touches my drums" purist. I'd go for ergos all day long. If the tom tree gets the ergos where they need to be, then drill, baby drill!

That said, there's definitely a feel difference in the beater, when there aren't large holes (including the tom mount) for the air to escape. Doesn't work well for beater barriers one bit!
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
I favor a "virgin" bass for looks and functionality. I'll never buy another bass with tom mounts. No sound test can change my mind on the topic, but the results would be interesting for academic purposes. The differences might be negligible, if even measurable, but I'm sure the comparison would be fun.
This.
I have an 22x20 virgin "cannon kick" that is the epitome of thunder. I too love the look of just the kick with my single tom on the stand.
Sonically not withstanding, I've always felt the stress on the shell holding up 2 rack toms couldn't be good for it over time.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
This.
I have an 22x20 virgin "cannon kick" that is the epitome of thunder. I too love the look of just the kick with my single tom on the stand.
Sonically not withstanding, I've always felt the stress on the shell holding up 2 rack toms couldn't be good for it over time.

Might depend on the company or quality of drums as far as stress from holding them, my yammys are 34 years old and look like new with a 12 and 13 hanging on them 24/7 since new..
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've always felt the stress on the shell holding up 2 rack toms couldn't be good for it over time.
I'll go out on a limb here and state my opinion that it's not detrimental at all. A drum shell can easily handle that. The TT is mounted on the apex of the arch, the strongest point. OK a drum shell is not technically not an arch, but I think they are comparable to a certain point. The smaller the BD, the stronger the arch. I've NEVER seen a BD flatten out, or even heard about it. Plus I've been playing 2 up most of my life, and never encountered it.

With all due respect, I don't think it's even worth considering.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
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