Mounting toms on bass drum vs virgin bass drum

Hi folks, so which do you prefer and why? For me I like toms mounted on the bass drum it's faster to set up, helps stop any bass drum movement and not as bouncy on a hollow stage and makes the kit feel more like a unit. I have had lot's of kits and with virgin bass drum set up it's more hassle trying to get cymbals and tom on one stand in the right spot on small stages or else bring a ton of hardware. On the resonance side it does take a bit away for me it just means less dampening or none. What's the point in a virgin bass drum with a big pillow!


Gold Member
To me, it's about the flexibility in positioning my gear.

I had a kit with two toms mounted on the bass drum and could never get comfortable with their positioning. I'm fairly duck-footed and position my bass drum slightly diagonally from the snare. This put the left tom to the right of the snare and the other tom on the right side way over to the right. When I tried to cram the bass drum to my left, my leg/knee was not comfortable.

With my virgin bass drum I can position it independent of where my toms are. In addition, I just began using a remote hat at the 12 o'clock position (in front of my snare) and have placed one mounted tom on each side of it. Can't do that with toms mounted to the bass drum.
Yeah i have a friend who set's up that way he some times uses two bass drums so it is no good for him either. One of my kits i play as a four piece and mount off a stand but I usually play a five piece and for that i prefer being mounted off the bass drum.


Platinum Member
I prefer them to be on top of the kick. It's just always been that way. I play a four piece or five piece. I don't mind the Tom's hanging from cymbal stands but I'm using the DW 6000 lightweight stuff now and I'm not going to hang a tom on those LOL


Platinum Member
For gigging convenience I prefer the tom(s) on the bass drum. I can use very light cymbal stands that way because they don't have to hold toms too. I like to keep my hardware bag as light as possible. A BD tom mount is also quick to install and consistent.

For a kit that doesn't move I don't care. I use the heavy hardware on my practice kit.


Silver Member
I prefer a drilled bass drum for the quickness and consistency of setting up. I’ve had one kit with an undrilled bass drum and I found that I was having to make compromises between my Tom Tom and cymbal positioning. Add in that my situation is that of pub drummer on pub stages (meaning “crammed onto the floor”) and for me the extra time spent setting up combined with the limitations on where I could place cymbal stands plus the risk of gear being knocked make the drilled option preferable. I use an EMad batter and unported front head and still need to place a small towel against the resonant side when micd up so resonance has never been an issue. It’s also allowed me to keep weight down as my 4 cymbal stands are all Ultralight flush based ones.

All that being said the Mapex Tom Mount itself is a heavy old beast, and if I needed a specific Tom arrangement or favoured two toms on a stand in front of the snare then the ocd in me would want an undrilled drum as seeing a tom mount rosette that wasn’t getting used would drive me nuts.


Senior Member
My main kit had tom mounts on the bass drum. I converted it to a virgin shell.......I prefer virgin bass drums.

I use a drum rack so tom/cymbal placement isn't really too much of an issue.

My little club kit has one tom mounted on the bass drum. Simply because it uses less real estate on stage and it just less gear to lug around.


Platinum Member
All about comfort and convenience rather than sound which is subjective in most cases. A drum is still drilled for the lugs and vent (usually) so I've never understood why they're known as virgin bass drums?!?

I like having the ease of a tom mount on the Saturn as it allows me to get the crash cymbal where I want it. Only downer is the Mapex tom holder is made from melted down cannon balls or at least is feels like it :)

I'm also a fan of mounting toms on a snare stand, works better for bigger bass drums but I haven't got anything bigger than a 22" now.


Platinum Member
I like mounting my rack tom on a snare stand. I like the way it looks, and I can put it low right in front of my snare. It makes me happy. Also, I'm using a 20" crashes and a 22" ride these days, so mounting toms to a cymbal stand makes me have to do wonky things with the boom to get that crash comfortably places next to my rack tom.


Senior Member
I play two up/one down and like the two up mounted on the bass drum. Very easy setup and tear down. The floor tom is suspended from a cymbal stand. It took me forever to get that situated right. I don't dare take that stand completely down. I can't imagine having to do that with each rack tom too!


Platinum Member
Why choose when you can have both?

Up until a few months ago I had been mounting my rack off a cymbal stand, but have since been using a Ludwig Atlas rail mount. Just replaced the two top kick drum reso-side lugs with the Atlas hardware and that was it. No drilling of anything.

My kick is technically still virgin but with all the advantages of bass drum mounting.


Senior Member
For ideal tom placement, nothing beats using a rack, because then you can place your toms independently of the bass drum and cymbal stand positions. But for me, convenience is more important, so I have bass-drum mounted toms. I even drilled my virgin DW kick in order to add the DW tom mount to it. I grew up with that tom placement, so I am very comfortable with it. My Sonor Vintage Series kit still has a virgin bass drum, but there's only one rack tom. I put it on a snare stand.


Platinum Member
I prefer mounting toms on the bass drum. However, my Saturn V kit came with a virgin bass drum, and I could not bare to drill a hole in it. So I use a Gibraltar tom stand. Peace and goodwill.


Silver Member
I have nothing against mounting them on the bass drum. Currently I mount one on the bd as if it was the only rack tom and another to the left of that. This way I have the ride where the right rack tom would otherwise be and both racktoms right in front of the snare.
Cheers for the response folks, some interesting points completely agree about the toms being less stable on a cymbal stand drove me mad a few times people banging one drum into another when running leads and stuff around the kit. Years ago I used a Gibraltar rack but that was when I used to go in my own car and i would just take the legs off and fold all down leave everything on it so it was quick to assemble but now I go in a band van so would not do that now and putting the whole thing together seems like a lot of hassle also Gibraltar and pearl racks are too big for me I like the Yamaha hex rack nice and small but pricey. I used to have a export as a kid (didn't we all) and those tom arms on the bass drum used to drive me crazy alright.

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
If one were get picky about it mounting a tom on a snare stand may have a tendency to choke it a bit since one might be inclined to tighten it up a bit; by the same token mounting on the bass drum works best if you have very good isolation hardware on the drum; if it is the type that slides on then the sound will change depending how far in or out you set it up. Positioning is important so if that is a consideration for you then by all means mount it on a stand.
I seem to get more zing from mounting on the bass drum.