Question for all u guys with 18'' bass drums.


Senior Member
What's up fellow drummers. I recently bought a Pearl Vision Bop kit, I like it but I'm still getting used to it. All my life I've been had heads with a port hole for mics and easy access to the pillow when I use them. I have never seen a bass drum 18'' with a port hole, why? Its nice to reduce bleeding for studio and gigging but I'm assuming there is so much punch its not needed to get inside to pick up more of the beater side. I haven't played out with these drums or recorded with them yet, just wondering why I don't see any port holes in small kick drums.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Today you probably do see it sometimes as people are trying to do any style with small kits for practicality.

Typically though, an 18" BD will be for a jazz 4-piece and then an open non-ported sound is what people are after.


Silver Member
I had a Gretsch Catalina Jazz bop kit for a while and I had an Audix D6 mounted inside the kick drum on a Kelly Shu mount. It sounded great without being ported. I ran the mic cable out of the tom mounting hole and put the tom on a snare stand.


Platinum Member
I had a couple 18's with ports. Didn't really care for the results myself, but if you want to do it - go ahead.
Probably better to do it like the first pic, rather than the second though - LOL.
On an 18" bass drum, a 3 or 4 inch port would be plenty.

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Platinum Member
Mine has a ported head. I keep an Evans EQ pad inside that does not touch either head, but it absorbs the high frequencies bouncing around inside. It has more bass sound when it is inside the drum. I have never used that drum to play jazz. Peace and goodwill.



Senior Member
I don't get Porting at all. Why? Just take the head off. Duhh!
Probably because it looks crap...

I also bought a used Sonor Jungle kit that was ported - the previous owner had cut a 10" port by hand that looked like ass - I swapped the reso head with a coated Ambo tom head and it sounded much better. I can't adequately explain why - except maybe such a small bass drum needs a little boom and sustain, whatever the reason it just sounded better.

I cobbled together a frankenkit from orphan shells with an 18" kick - I haven't ported it - after the transformation with the Jungle kit bass I haven't been tempted. If I decide to buy a new reso head for it I'll cut a port in the old one to see what it sounds like. I have no facts whatsoever to support my opinion, but I'm already convinced it will sound crap.


Silver Member
For an 18” I’d use something like an Evans EQ4 Frosted batter and a reso with no hole. Let the beater come off of the head so you can get as much low end and volume from the drum as possible. Don’t hesitate to tension it up a little more than you might be used to.


Silver Member
I've got a 4"port in mine, (I wouldn't go any bigger then the 4" hole, but that's all you should really need), as I prefer the feel, more attacky sound, and mic access, but it still sounds killer with unmuffled singly ply coated heads on both sides. I do have it on a riser where the beater hits square in the middle, which makes a huge impact on the sound. I tried it on the floor where the beater hit closer to the edge and it sounded like poo, so I wouldn't have used it either way in that position.


Senior Member
One of the best-sounding kicks of any size I've ever heard was one of my former drum teachers' 18" Maple Custom kick. I'm fairly certain he had a clear Powerstroke 3 on the batter side and an Aquarian Resonator on the front and that thing would hit you right in the chest.

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
If the drum is kept in a case when not gigging minimal to no damage will occur, better to cut a hole in a perfectly good head, right i see. no damage there.

drumming sort of person

If the drum is kept in a case when not gigging minimal to no damage will occur, better to cut a hole in a perfectly good head, right i see. no damage there.
It doesn't take much to damage the edge. Too risky. Much simpler to cut a small hole.


Gold Member
I rarely port any size bass drum and especially not for an 18" bass drum. My INDe 18" x 12" bass drum has a full Aquarian Texture coated resonant side and a clear Aquarian Superkick 1 batter side. Ocassionally I will add a felt strip on the resonant side.
I have a Sonor Bop kit, and the kick drum is an 18" one. I bought an Aquarin Port Hole sticker like thing, and am happy with the results. I actually ported it, so I can easily move the small blanket inside the drum around.

As for drum heads, the port side is the original head. And the kick side is a Remo Powerstroke P3 (smooth white). And the drum sounds awesome.

Lastly, even though it's a bop, or jazz size kit. I personally only play rock based music. Punk rock. Alt Rock. Etc... I prefer to refer to my drum kit as a compact size kit. Not a bop kit, or a jazz size kit. Even though, I guess it's all the same.