Floor Toms: Square vs. Short

areFish

Silver Member
I'm hoping to get some thoughts on floor tom depths for 16 and 14", three legs on the floor, floor toms. Most floor toms have square sizing. For example if it is 16" in diameter it will also be 16" deep. Same for the 14s, 14x14. I'm noticing more and more FTs that are cut down by two inches creating 14x16 and 12x14 FTs.

What would be the reasons to build a square floor tom vs. a short one? Is it the same principles as kick drum depths? Shorter = more attack, longer = more boom. Do shorter floor toms provide more attack?
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
It does depend on the individual drums, I always use a 14x14 and thats been THE main stay on the floor for me regardless of brands or models. I currently have Premier Signia 12x14 that was a suspension drum made into a legged fl.tm. it sounds as good as any 14x14 I ever played and just sold my Recording Customs that had the 14x14 that was tunable for all kinds of genres. Theres no set answer because ever drum has characteristics all their own. Generally speaking I'm playing a 14x14 on the floor over any other size and configuration but this Signia is doing the job easily and I want bottom end without tuning a sloppy mess. I only buy and play top of the line models so as for the mid line gear I don't know their particulars. Doc
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
What would be the reasons to build a square floor tom vs. a short one? Is it the same principles as kick drum depths? Shorter = more attack, longer = more boom. Do shorter floor toms provide more attack?
You get a quicker response from a shorter drum, and a more punchy/tight sound. The difference of 2" on a floor tom when you're so close to square sizes anyways, is negligible. If it were a 12x16 and 10x14, THEN we'd be talking about a noticeable difference.

The purpose of floor toms, to me, is to be a boomier drum than the rack toms. But, that's just me. I'm fine with whatever, usually, as well as it's tuned right...
 

marko138

Silver Member
My floors...well I guess technically they are racks since they are on a stand are 14x11 and 16x13. I love the sound of my 14. It has so much ring to it. Sounds great.
 
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audiotech

Guest
I have 14" x 14" and 16" x 16" floor toms on most of my kits. The only one that is different is my Tama Starclassic Bubinga drums, it has a 16" x 14" and a 14" x 12" drums for its floor toms. I'm really not partial to either size, although the sound of the Bubinga drums sort of makes your heart skip a beat, lol..



Dennis
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yes, my Bubingas also make my heart skip a beat ;)

When all you had available were square-sized floor toms, somebody decided to use it as a marketing tool to create floor toms that were shorter than they were wide. The one prevalent argument I heard back in the day was that square drums were like square rooms. From an acoustical standpoint, you'd get "stranding waves" because everything was equidistant from each other, which, in a room, would create some unwanted tone. So, the theory was if it was a little shorter on one side, you'd get more punch and a focused tone because of this lack of a 'standing wave'.

I tried it: I have 16x16 floor toms, and I had a 14x16 hanging tom, and the same size drum as a floor tom with legs. What made the big difference? Having a floor tom with no legs, or it being suspended. I couldn't get any noticeably different tone with a shorter floor tom. And now I had to deal with the fact that my drum case was three inches to tall for the drum!

A 14x14 floor tom to me is a pretty small drum. I think something like 12x14 is too small. I think on that size, you need the 14" depth to get more depth. I probably wouldn't notice if it were 16x16 vs 14x16.
 

marko138

Silver Member
Yes, my Bubingas also make my heart skip a beat ;)

When all you had available were square-sized floor toms, somebody decided to use it as a marketing tool to create floor toms that were shorter than they were wide. The one prevalent argument I heard back in the day was that square drums were like square rooms. From an acoustical standpoint, you'd get "stranding waves" because everything was equidistant from each other, which, in a room, would create some unwanted tone. So, the theory was if it was a little shorter on one side, you'd get more punch and a focused tone because of this lack of a 'standing wave'.

I tried it: I have 16x16 floor toms, and I had a 14x16 hanging tom, and the same size drum as a floor tom with legs. What made the big difference? Having a floor tom with no legs, or it being suspended. I couldn't get any noticeably different tone with a shorter floor tom. And now I had to deal with the fact that my drum case was three inches to tall for the drum!

A 14x14 floor tom to me is a pretty small drum. I think something like 12x14 is too small. I think on that size, you need the 14" depth to get more depth. I probably wouldn't notice if it were 16x16 vs 14x16.
My 14x11 sounds incredible. Very low tone for it's size. It's my favorite drum.
 

kissarmyfreak

Senior Member
I have a 16" x 16" & a 18" x 16" right now. But years ago in addition to those 2 sizes I also had a 14" x 14" I think the square sizes sound very good BUT the thunder I get out of a 18" x16" I wouldn't give it up at all.
 
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