Metal bass drum hoops - not so bad

evilg99

Platinum Member
So I have this lovely Sonor Vintage 12/14/20/6.5 kit in Black Slate.
Been changing heads around a bit, trying stuff out. Liking my usual coated ambassador / emperor on the toms.

But I was looking at the bass drum and thought - hey I have this new pair of metal bass drum hoops, painted black...wonder if they would look good on this bass drum. Something about the light beech hoops with the dark Black Slate inlays - I don't love it.

So I got some silver sparkle arts and crafts tape , used that as the inlay on the metal hoops, and swapped them out with the beech hoops.
I think they look great ! More importantly, they sound great too. I haven't played the new metal hoops enough to report on how they differ from the wood ones...but so far no reason to not try these out for a while.

It's funny how I am SO programmed by the vintage MIJ kits - when I see metal hoops on a bass drum, I think cheap. But hey, got metal hoops on all the other drums here, why not the bass drum?

Anybody else out there getting along with metal bass drum hoops ?
 

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Mustion

Senior Member
Metal hoops and pearl-style tom arms arguably offer some functional advantages over their counterparts but, as you admit, have way too much cheapo-kit baggage attached to them to be taken seriously!

If I refinish my drums it will be cheaper to just replace the wood hoop with metal instead of getting the new inlay to match...
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Nice. Metal hoops on MIJ stencil kits say 'cheap' to everybody but actually make some of those MIJ bass drums sing. A lot of MIJ kits have some nice bass drum tones. Metal bass drum hoops get a bad rap, but are suitable in some instances....kind of like steel snares.
 

microkit

Senior Member
I've heard that the help the bass drum cut and increase high frequency response. Depending on the project and the color, I've considered them.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
My 1980 Pearl 14x24 has metal hoops, and I’m pre-programmed to think they are inferior to wood hoops, but the drum sounds fine. It would be only a psychological upgrade if I got wood hoops for it, but I still may. OTOH, I do like the prospect that if I were to accidentally drop the drum, the metal hoop would take the hit better. A wood hoop would just crack. Not that my stuff gets dropped, but you know what I mean.
 

loach71

Senior Member
My 1980 Pearl 14x24 has metal hoops, and I’m pre-programmed to think they are inferior to wood hoops, but the drum sounds fine. It would be only a psychological upgrade if I got wood hoops for it, but I still may. OTOH, I do like the prospect that if I were to accidentally drop the drum, the metal hoop would take the hit better. A wood hoop would just crack. Not that my stuff gets dropped, but you know what I mean.
I offer the same perspective as Bo.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Three things I really dislike about metal bass drum hoops:

1. It is nearly impossible to effectively clamp a pedal to them. Even if you use the rubber insert that's made for it, or try to DIY something of your own, nothing ever seems to work. Those two raised "ridges" all around the circumference of the hoop make it very hard to have a level clamp grip firmly to it.

2. it makes the bass drum a lot heavier. Clearly a noticeable difference in weight between wood and metal bass drum hoops.

3. Because of the way it is welded, the metal bass drum hoops usually have little pieces of metal from the weld rolling around on the inside that make noise. Drives me nuts!

If you have to go with non-wood hoops, either for aesthetic or expense reasons, there is a happy medium with the Tama Accu-Tune bass hoops. Those are plastic and flat (no ridges), and they are much lighter than metal hoops. As far as I know, Tama is the only one using plastic hoops, and I don't think they are available as an aftermarket item. I'm surprised no one has stepped in and offers plastic hoops like those, as a lower cost alternative to wood, and as a lighter weight and more convenient option than metal.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
So the reason metal bass hoops aren't more common is that they kill the low end and raise the high end? Sounds like everything you don't want.

On a similar note, I have an old Tama Rockstar Custom kit with bass hoops just like this one. They seem to be an acrylic or fiberglass, not exactly sure. The bass sounds surprisingly good too, and I think it's mainly due to those hoops.

I wonder why we don't see more like these.

 

evilg99

Platinum Member
My 1980 Pearl 14x24 has metal hoops, and I’m pre-programmed to think they are inferior to wood hoops, but the drum sounds fine. It would be only a psychological upgrade if I got wood hoops for it, but I still may. OTOH, I do like the prospect that if I were to accidentally drop the drum, the metal hoop would take the hit better. A wood hoop would just crack. Not that my stuff gets dropped, but you know what I mean.
Yes, exactly! This drum sounds great with these hoops. No loss of anything. But I'm keeping the original wood hoops , and it's not like I'm going out and buying more metal hoops to swap out on other drums.

I just wanted to use this bass drum as a reference, because I know what the wood hoops sound like on this drum, and it's a high end drum - I've only ever heard/used them on MIJ drums where they also sound and work well IMHO. I didn't go buy these hoops for this drum, just had them lying around, put them on to see what they looked like , matching the black drums. Didn't expect to actually like them enough to leave them on. Which I am.

No doubt they would take rough handling better than wood, another good reason to use these for gigging. Tougher than wood, same as the wrap.



Three things I really dislike about metal bass drum hoops:

1. It is nearly impossible to effectively clamp a pedal to them. Even if you use the rubber insert that's made for it, or try to DIY something of your own, nothing ever seems to work. Those two raised "ridges" all around the circumference of the hoop make it very hard to have a level clamp grip firmly to it.

2. it makes the bass drum a lot heavier. Clearly a noticeable difference in weight between wood and metal bass drum hoops.

3. Because of the way it is welded, the metal bass drum hoops usually have little pieces of metal from the weld rolling around on the inside that make noise. Drives me nuts!

If you have to go with non-wood hoops, either for aesthetic or expense reasons, there is a happy medium with the Tama Accu-Tune bass hoops. Those are plastic and flat (no ridges), and they are much lighter than metal hoops. As far as I know, Tama is the only one using plastic hoops, and I don't think they are available as an aftermarket item. I'm surprised no one has stepped in and offers plastic hoops like those, as a lower cost alternative to wood, and as a lighter weight and more convenient option than metal.
I hear you, and I've experienced all three ^^^ of your points with heavy MIJ hoops - but I have none of those issues with these.
The 'channel' is smaller, and the pedal (tried with both DW5000 and Pearl Eliminator) is firmly attached and not budging. At all.
These are actually light weight for metal hoops. About the same as wood. I think they are 1.5" wide as well. Maybe most MIJ are 1.75.
No metal bits rolling around inside. Silent.

I also used to have a set of those Tama Phenolic hoops , on a Milestone Fiberglass bass drum. They were fine, drum sounded great. I don't like them because of the elimination of the claws and T's. I like chrome.


So the reason metal bass hoops aren't more common is that they kill the low end and raise the high end? Sounds like everything you don't want.

On a similar note, I have an old Tama Rockstar Custom kit with bass hoops just like this one. They seem to be an acrylic or fiberglass, not exactly sure. The bass sounds surprisingly good too, and I think it's mainly due to those hoops.

I wonder why we don't see more like these.
These hoops are not killing the low end at all and 'rasing the high end' (not possible) . That is BS / myth. The differences, if any, are very subtle.
Same as I mentioned above, the Tama hoops are fine, I just don't care for the look.
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
Generally speaking I prefer the look of wood hoops, but you made this combo work. Looks business!

So I have this lovely Sonor Vintage 12/14/20/6.5 kit in Black Slate.
Been changing heads around a bit, trying stuff out. Liking my usual coated ambassador / emperor on the toms.

But I was looking at the bass drum and thought - hey I have this new pair of metal bass drum hoops, painted black...wonder if they would look good on this bass drum. Something about the light beech hoops with the dark Black Slate inlays - I don't love it.

So I got some silver sparkle arts and crafts tape , used that as the inlay on the metal hoops, and swapped them out with the beech hoops.
I think they look great ! More importantly, they sound great too. I haven't played the new metal hoops enough to report on how they differ from the wood ones...but so far no reason to not try these out for a while.

It's funny how I am SO programmed by the vintage MIJ kits - when I see metal hoops on a bass drum, I think cheap. But hey, got metal hoops on all the other drums here, why not the bass drum?

Anybody else out there getting along with metal bass drum hoops ?
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
OK, so the factory hoops went back on the Sonor Vintage kit. That kit will stay intact for the foreseeable future.

I recently finished a green sparkle vintage Ludwig 3ply project 12/15/20.

The toms are cool but was having a hard time getting any tone out of the 20x12 bass drum. Tried many, many combinations of heads, some sounding really quite bad...papery and thin, no bottom end at all. I tried ported and unported resonant heads, coated, clear, 2ply, single ply different batter heads, etc. It was just dull , papery and lifeless regardless of what I did.

I was happiest with a coated Remo Powerstroke 3 on the batter and a ported Powerstroke 3 on the reso - yes that is actually a green Colortone PS3.

So....I took the metal hoops off the Sonor Kit and put them on this Ludwig 20x12. And while it didn't make much difference on the Sonor bass drum...on this bass drum, it is ALL the difference.

No, it's not a cannon ( I don't think a 3ply 20x12 will ever be a cannon )...but I have some workable tone here. It feels better. And it tunes better. And it now sounds like a bass drum.

I think the stiffer metal hoops and maybe the added mass are helping out a lot here. Plus the fact that the vintage Ludwig hoops are just crap. My cat could probably break them in half.

So, contrary to what you often hear about metal hoops, and contrary to what we are conditioned to believe (thanks to those vintage MIJ stencil kits)...in some cases, metal is better. At least in this case it is :)

I could get some green sparkle tape for the hoops but the silver is working. Hey! I have gold sparkle tape too (how Gretsch would that be). Hmmm.....
 

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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I'm basically new to the game. Having been away from drumming for over 15 years. Something I've realized. Some people are very particular about their drums. I have metal hoops on my brand new kit. I have no low tone cut. The drum sounds great, has great resonance. And I've literally put my kick pedal on once--IT HAS NOT MOVED.

So, ALL of these so-called problems with metal hoops, are non-existent in my world.

No, it's not vintage. It's not even a brand most of you respect I would guess. But man, it sounds great.

If you want wood hoops, have wood hoops.
 
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