Pet peeve regarding drum sizes.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
My first DW Collectors big kit was weird back in the early 2000s: 8x10/9x12, then 11x14 and 13x16 hanging floor toms! After a while I installed legs on the two floors, but I couldn’t mentally get past the weird shorty look so I eventually sold the kit. I’d like to thank John Good for forcing these weird sizes on us. He scientifically justified it all and everybody bought it!

Wanna know why Ludwig still sells the Super Classic and the Big Beat? Ludwig probably secretly thanks John Good because everybody eventually goes back to Ludwig to get the traditional sizes!
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
12x9 *is* F.A.S.T-sized. 12x8 is standard.
I blame DWs marketing for all of the confusion. They were calling their "shallower" toms F.A.S.T. because the "normal size" at the time was deeper (10x9, 12x10.) This was back in the 90s and early 2000s.

Now the "standard" tom size seems to have changed to 10x7 and 12x8...making the F.A.S.T. toms not so fast anymore, lol.

I also blame DW for the shallower floor toms. They seem to be on a 14x12 and 16x14 binge lately, and other companies like Tama have followed suit.

The 16x14 size is ok, I guess, but I've never liked the 14x12 size. (I think a 14x12 is just a mounted tom in disguise).
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
Yeah, that was a whole thing that went like this:

1. Way back in the day, everyone had standard sizes: 8x10, 8x12, 9x13... 14x14, 16x16
2. In the 80s, Steve Gadd et al started using all standard rack toms as toms
3. Also in the 80s: Power Toms! Everyone went deep, pretty much.
4. The way out of this was that DW tried to get all the toms to be proportional. Why would you have square floor toms but not-square toms, they asked? In order for them to all resonate and sustain the same way, you needed to lengthen the rack toms and shorten the floor toms. That was the thinking behind the "F.A.S.T" toms. I think it stood for "Fundamentally Accurate Sized Toms".
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yeah, that was a whole thing that went like this:

1. Way back in the day, everyone had standard sizes: 8x10, 8x12, 9x13... 14x14, 16x16
2. In the 80s, Steve Gadd et al started using all standard rack toms as toms
3. Also in the 80s: Power Toms! Everyone went deep, pretty much.
4. The way out of this was that DW tried to get all the toms to be proportional. Why would you have square floor toms but not-square toms, they asked? In order for them to all resonate and sustain the same way, you needed to lengthen the rack toms and shorten the floor toms. That was the thinking behind the "F.A.S.T" toms. I think it stood for "Fundamentally Accurate Sized Toms".
That was the beginning of the DW Brain Washing Initiative. And it’s still working.
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
That was the beginning of the DW Brain Washing Initiative. And it’s still working.

I mean, I don't believe their whole schtick. But they definitely changed the industry with it. Most companies offered the equivalent of "FAST" sizes after DW did, after all.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
My first DW Collectors big kit was weird back in the early 2000s: 8x10/9x12, then 11x14 and 13x16 hanging floor toms! After a while I installed legs on the two floors, but I couldn’t mentally get past the weird shorty look so I eventually sold the kit. I’d like to thank John Good for forcing these weird sizes on us. He scientifically justified it all and everybody bought it!

Wanna know why Ludwig still sells the Super Classic and the Big Beat? Ludwig probably secretly thanks John Good because everybody eventually goes back to Ludwig to get the traditional sizes!
I didn't realize somebody (DW) had incorporated F.A.S.T. into a marketing phrase. Fusion sizes were more what I was referring to in that they were the shorter toms in a shell pack. Sonor's Prolite series is one that sells what I consider to be standard sizes 10x8,12x9, with square size floors. That was one element that attracted me to them. It's pretty easy to get those sizes with Ludwig too, as Bo mentioned.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I didn't realize somebody (DW) had incorporated F.A.S.T. into a marketing phrase. Fusion sizes were more what I was referring to in that they were the shorter toms in a shell pack. Sonor's Prolite series is one that sells what I consider to be standard sizes 10x8,12x9, with square size floors. That was one element that attracted me to them. It's pretty easy to get those sizes with Ludwig too, as Bo mentioned.
Well, I meant eventually people returned to Ludwig so they can easily get maple drums in 8x12/9x13/16x16/14x22 and feel comfortable again. Those sizes reigned supreme for at least 60 years. Even my Yamaha Recording Custom Kit from 1986 are those sizes. I’m willing
To bet everybody played that size drumset coming up through school (thanks to Ludwig totally dominating the education market since the 30s).
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I didn't realize somebody (DW) had incorporated F.A.S.T. into a marketing phrase. Fusion sizes were more what I was referring to in that they were the shorter toms in a shell pack. Sonor's Prolite series is one that sells what I consider to be standard sizes 10x8,12x9, with square size floors. That was one element that attracted me to them. It's pretty easy to get those sizes with Ludwig too, as Bo mentioned.
It's funny - this discussion has shown just how much marketing muddies the waters. In my experience, "fusion" sizes had little to do with depth. That nomenclature just meant that the toms were 10-12-14 diameter instead of the old standard that Bo mentioned; 12-13-16.

And yes, F.A.S.T. was simply DW marketing for slightly deeper rack toms and slightly shallower floor toms.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Well, I meant eventually people returned to Ludwig so they can easily get maple drums in 8x12/9x13/16x16/14x22 and feel comfortable again. Those sizes reigned supreme for at least 60 years. Even my Yamaha Recording Custom Kit from 1986 are those sizes. I’m willing
To bet everybody played that size drumset coming up through school (thanks to Ludwig totally dominating the education market since the 30s).
Those are the exact sizes of the Classic Maple kit I just put together. It's the FAB config with a 12x8 add on.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
What you bought before the add-on is called the Super Classic. Once you add the 8x12, it becomes the Big Beat. Classic Ludwig set-ups for decades.
Good info. I know the shell layups are different but this new kit was an attempt at recreating my Hollywood kit from the late 60's. It was a Black Diamond Pearl in the aforementioned sizes that I added a 16x18 floor tom to. It had the re-rings and white painted interiors. With the new kit I wanted the straight wall medium shell thickness. To get a Sonor kit with that shell layup would cost twice as much. Ludwig is a better value and they sound damn good too.

This is EXACTLY what I had.........

 
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Jml

Senior Member
I love my 12x7 rack tom and 14x9 floor tom on my Tama Starclassic Neo Mod. Who needs deep toms when shallow ones sound so good?
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I'm pretty old School with sizes generally, But I just put a set together with 22 by 14 Bass... 13 by 9 rack ...14 by 14 floor and 16 by 14 floor. it's pretty darn good..
 

averageguy

Junior Member
I would think that if someone was buying a new, modern day kit that they'd either want standard or fast size toms. Why is it that I see all these kits with a mix of both? If the rack toms are 10x8 and 12x9 why is the floor tom 16x14? Same with the racks being 10x7 and 12x8 with a full 16x16 size floor tom. Makes no sense to me. Tama Star Walnut = short racks and square floor. Bo's new Design series = standard racks and short floors. I mean c'mon, make up our minds please

Memo to Mfrs: get it together.
I wholeheartedly agree. I don't like a lot of the shell packs these days because I consider the "jump" from a second tom which is say 8x12 or 9x12 to a 15x16 floor to be way too much. I just don't get, and never will. If they're going to be shallow tom depths I don't see why in the world they can't make a 13x14 floor tom to go with the kit? I also have never been crazy about 18 deep kicks. I personally believe that 16x22 is optimum. Sometimes I believe this "era" of drumkits will be looked at like the power tom era. People look back at those and usually say "what were we thinking?" I wonder if it will be similar years from now where people look at this current era and think "too shallow" on the rack toms offset by the cannon bass drums? Who knows. I personally don't care for a lot of the "popular" shell pack sizes these days. It's just my view, but if I buy a new kit again I would want it be 9x10, 10x12, either a 13x14 or 14x15 floor, 16x22 kick, and 5.5x14 snare. Maybe it's just my age, but that's what I would want.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
The deep 18" bass drums seem to be on its way out. Tama, is going back to the 22x16 as standard and that is a good news. A 16" deep bass drum is what I need and the best mix between sound and practicallity.
About tom configuration, I'm desperately drawn to the standard sizes 12x8/13x9/16x16, but to be modern, my drum kit is essentially 10x9/12x10/16x16, and it works well. To be noticed : I had another floor, a 16x14 (former mounted tom from the same serie), and the deeper 16x16 sounded better, so I sold the shorter one. Not sure about the DW theory about the shorter floor toms.
A few years ago, I also had the opportunity to compare a 16x14 Superstar floor tom to my 16x16 Superstar. Same build. The deeper one sounded the better.
 
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petrez

Senior Member
I'm kind of in a debate with myself at this moment, if I want to go with a standard Tama SC Walnut/Birch kit (22x16, 10x8, 12x9, 16x14) or a Tama SC Maple (22x16, 10x7, 12x8, 16x16) so I can definately relate here. Neither of them are what I would prefer (22x18, 10x8, 12x9, 16x16, only Mapex sells these sizes as a shellpack nowadays (Saturn and Saturn Evolution), so I might go custom at this point or just suck it up, miced up I doubt I would be that disappointed with the shallower rack toms, and the bassdrum is mainly superficial, I just prefer the look/appearance of a 22x18. In my mind a square sized floortom is more of a must for me so I'm a bit on that side... I'm so close to ordering a SC Maple kit in Flat Deep Green finish at this point, but I still need some time to think through every option available. :p. But yeah, I feel the sizing options was more logical a few years back.
 
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Tamaefx

Silver Member
Yes, its pretty illogical those shallower toms for the SC maple.
 
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