In praise of the 13 inch tom!

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Building off the thread about the 10 inch toms. I figured I'd make a thread for what was pretty standard but what seems to have become old fashioned? outdated? passé?... the venerable 13 inch tom.

That being said, I think I remember Neil Peart on a video with John Good saying how the 9x13 inch was his favorite and he would build his massive sets around that tom.

Edit: Just to add, I had gotten rid of the 13 inch for a long time and was playing lots of other combos. I recently decided to roll with a 13/16 tom setup and I think there is just something about the 13 inch tom that works pretty well.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Building off the thread about the 10 inch toms. I figured I'd make a thread for what was pretty standard but what seems to have become old fashioned? outdated? passé?... the venerable 13 inch tom.

That being said, I think I remember Neil Peart on a video with John Good saying how the 9x13 inch was his favorite and he would build his massive sets around that tom.

Edit: Just to add, I had gotten rid of the 13 inch for a long time and was playing lots of other combos. I recently decided to roll with a 13/16 tom setup and I think there is just something about the 13 inch tom that works pretty well.
Totally agree. I used a 10" tom live for over a decade. As much as I like the voice, the note didn't sustain as long as I preferred.

I got a 13" tom, my first since the 70's, and wow was I missing out all that time. Right now I'm playing more Chicago Blues, and I use the 13 x 10 and a 14 x 12 as my toms. I used to play 10, 12, 16, then I went to 12/13/16 which is my favorite now, but since I started playing Blues again, I just use the 13 rack and 14 floor. Not a lot of tom stuff in Blues.

But yea the 13. Wow! The 12 just doesn't do it for me in that role now. I do like the 12" as a high tom, like a lot. It sustains. But in my studio, I think I'll go with the 10 as my high tom because I'm micing all my toms now.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Much like you, Bert, I'd avoided the 13" in my adulthood after owning a "standard" kit and disliking the interval between the 12" and 13". For about 20 years I played only even sizes; then I obtained my current kit with 13/16 and I love it. Such a meaty, versatile size.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Much like you, Bert, I'd avoided the 13" in my adulthood after owning a "standard" kit and disliking the interval between the 12" and 13". For about 20 years I played only even sizes; then I obtained my current kit with 13/16 and I love it. Such a meaty, versatile size.
I get you. I never even owned a "standard" kit until about a year ago. I started playing in the early 2000s on an old Tempro that was a 20/12/14 that I got for $50. By the time I went to go buy another kit after that, it seemed like the fusion sizes seemed to take over on everything but the lowest end stuff. So I was playing usually 10/12/14 or 10/12/16 or other variations of even number sized toms.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I jump in !
It's difficult to find kits of the old standard 22 12 13 16 nowadays.
Outdated, too ubiquitous few years ago, they're now disappearing.
But damn, each time I try a 10x7 12x8 16x14 new standard, I move most of mys fills towards the 12, because the 10" always seems too high and too short.
I like the ten, interesting voice ; but I feel at home with a 12 and a 13.
The interval stuff Nevers really bother me, but it's true 12 13 16 works better in traditional depth. Power size reduces the clarity of tone.

The 13 is a great tom, with balls, and it rocks.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I used to dislike the 13" tom, but only because the interval was so weird going from a 12, to a 13, then down to a 16. I'd love to find this combo just to try out:

13, 16, 18, with a 24" kick

I don't know what I'd think about an 18" floor tom though.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I became a fan of the 13" tom back in the 90's when I experimented with a 22/10/13/16 power tom set up.

Built my current "go to" kit around the 13" tom but this time in traditional sizes: 24/13/16. I have a 12" tom
but it only comes out when I drop to a 20" bass drum.

Still looking for a matching 18" floor tom to complete the kit.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
Built my current "go to" kit around the 13" tom but this time in traditional sizes: 24/13/16. I have a 12" tom but it only comes out when I drop to a 20" bass drum.
Same here. Depending on the project, I'm either playing 10-13-16-24, 13-16-24, or 12-14-20.

I do have an 18" floor tom, but it rarely gets out.
 
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Jbravo

Senior Member
I’m another in agreement. I love my 13” and only rack Tom. I also felt the same about my previous 13”. I’m definitely a 24, 13, 16, 18 kind of guy. Meat and potatoes!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
In a "standard" 5 piece setup, I got myself into a position of disliking 13" toms, probably because I dislike a 2 up 1 down kit. There's zero rationale for this, just a personal playing style preference. 13" tom in a 1 up 1 or 2 down setup, with a bass drum of at least 22" diameter, I'm fine with that.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
To me the best five-piece kit is 22/16/13/10/snare. My red Saturn Pro kit is 22/16/13. I recently bought a 10" Mapex Venus tom, so at practice and low volume gigs, I will use a 22/13/10/snare kit. I like almost all drums, but I have been playing a 13" rack tom for almost my whole drumming career. Peace and goodwill.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
My 13x10 Sonor Delite rack tom sounds SOOOO good. Probably my favorite drum out of both my kits even if by just a little bit.
 

Bull

Gold Member
I grew up with 12/13/16/18. The intervals were always a pain in the butt. I don't mind a 13 if it's the only rack.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I love it. It's a great versatile size for a great tuning range. I've had some fusion kits where that's my floor tom with a 10 on the top.
Great drum all around.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
My go-to set-up for everything is the 13/16/22 traditional sized kit. I grew up with that and even had kits with the 8x12 tom too. 10" toms just feel anemic to me for some reason. A nicely tuned-up 9x13 sounds great and there's no lack of presence. I can use the 13/16/22 set for all kinds of styles, loud and soft, and it works.
 

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Mikecore

Silver Member
13s work as long as you have the right interval. 12/13 was always hard because you had to crank the 12 to get it right. Modern Drummer had an article about 25 years ago that suggested a 10/13/16 standard for a 5 pc. kit, and I've had a lot of joy with that particular arrangement.

Odd drums exist to fill in the space that would otherwise be filled with two of the wrong ones. Honestly, if smaller drumkits are some kind of goal, then replacing a 12 and a 14 with a single 13 should work wonders. I have some 11" shell stock waiting for me to fire up the router.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
13s work as long as you have the right interval. 12/13 was always hard because you had to crank the 12 to get it right. Modern Drummer had an article about 25 years ago that suggested a 10/13/16 standard for a 5 pc. kit, and I've had a lot of joy with that particular arrangement.

Odd drums exist to fill in the space that would otherwise be filled with two of the wrong ones. Honestly, if smaller drumkits are some kind of goal, then replacing a 12 and a 14 with a single 13 should work wonders. I have some 11" shell stock waiting for me to fire up the router.
I agree with this. I've had some I've liked and some I didn't. For me it really depends on the setup.

I remember that MD article. Made me wonder why a "standard" kit isn't 10/13/16 or 12/14/16.
 
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