Rack Tom: 16x13 or 14x11

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
Modern Tama Imperialstar: the new tom will replace my 13x11 as my main rack tom

14"x11" i'm familiar with, so i guess my concern is with the 16"x13".

Pros:
. more surface area (more forgiving for Uncle Ghee)
. lower pitch (desirable for me)...will match well with my 16" floor tom and a second 14" or 16" or 18" floor tom (which i haven't decided on yet). it seems like the perfect solution, as i want it to sound like a floor tom, but not always so deep depending on how i hit it.

Cons:
. i've never heard a 16x13 rack tom before.
. not sure about the 13" height above the bass drum.

does anyone have experience with a 16"x13" rack tom ?
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
A DW kit I had some years ago (when the 'short stack' phenomenon hit) came with a 16x13 mounted tom - it had 14x11 and a 16x13 mounted on a short double-tom stand which looked like a Steve Gadd drumset. To be honest, I hated both the 16x13 and the 14x11, and I eventually sold the entire kit. The 16x13 tuned well, but I didn't think it made a good floor tom. Maybe as a rack tom tuned up some, it would be good, but I never tried that. Theoretically the size should work, because afterall, 16x14 floor toms can sound good too (which is my current floor tom with legs), and we're only talking about an inch less - so the difference should be negligible.
 

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
thanks Bo.

i found these vids, but it's hard to tell anything from them because they're mic'd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIRQUqOCPj0 Sing, Sing, Sing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=untD6VDZGFk Kirk Franklin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4srHAOmk6U Bruno Mars

oops. i spoke too soon. here's one that's both mic'd and not mic'd. weird. the 16x13 sounds both deep and shallow at the same time. i wonder how much of that is because of his tuning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjVb3him93M&feature=plcp Mapex Orion Kit Demo
 
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marko138

Silver Member
I have both of those sizes on my Starclassic birch. I absolutely hate the 16x13. I can't get it to sound good at any tuning. Probably me. But the 14x11 is magical. I love it. It has sustain for days. I use them both as floor toms (mounted). Though, when I say both I only use the 14. The 16 sits at home.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I don't have a 13x16 for a TOM, but I have 2 that size as floor toms on 2 different kits.
I LOVE the size.

I also have 12x14, love it, but can't stand a 14x14.

I have 3 13x15's and that's a great size too.

I like shorter floor toms because the sound is just as fat and full for me, but it's cleaner and sounds better not only to my ears behind the kit, but a lot better through a PA.
Multiple strokes and patterns are clearer too.
14x16 is a size I own and love too.

After having 13x16's and 14x16's, I would never buy a 16x16 size again. I'd never even consider a 14x14, I just don't like it's sound at all.

I had an 11x14 TOM, and I ended up having it cut down to a 10" depth (has long lugs, so no problem).
It was OK at 11" deep, but a little tubby, and too much air. Same reason I didn't like the 12x14 size I had.
Hitting them hard, it sounded fine, but any medium or lighter playing sounded crummy to me.
The 10x14 sounds a lot better IMO, and so does a 12x15 if going real large on a tom.
 

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
I don't have a 13x16 for a TOM, but I have 2 that size as floor toms on 2 different kits.
I LOVE the size.

I also have 12x14, love it, but can't stand a 14x14.

I have 3 13x15's and that's a great size too.

I like shorter floor toms because the sound is just as fat and full for me, but it's cleaner and sounds better not only to my ears behind the kit, but a lot better through a PA.
Multiple strokes and patterns are clearer too.
14x16 is a size I own and love too.

After having 13x16's and 14x16's, I would never buy a 16x16 size again. I'd never even consider a 14x14, I just don't like it's sound at all.

I had an 11x14 TOM, and I ended up having it cut down to a 10" depth (has long lugs, so no problem).
It was OK at 11" deep, but a little tubby, and too much air. Same reason I didn't like the 12x14 size I had.
Hitting them hard, it sounded fine, but any medium or lighter playing sounded crummy to me.
The 10x14 sounds a lot better IMO, and so does a 12x15 if going real large on a tom.
that's interesting. i love my 16x16. i wish all my drums sounded that good.

thanks for the info, Karl.
 

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
I have both of those sizes on my Starclassic birch. I absolutely hate the 16x13. I can't get it to sound good at any tuning. Probably me. But the 14x11 is magical. I love it. It has sustain for days. I use them both as floor toms (mounted). Though, when I say both I only use the 14. The 16 sits at home.
magical ? i like magical.

i realise that i have modern Imps and you have Starclassics, but how does the 14x11 compare to the standard 13x10 rack tom (if you have that one) ?
 

marko138

Silver Member
magical ? i like magical.

i realise that i have modern Imps and you have Starclassics, but how does the 14x11 compare to the standard 13x10 rack tom (if you have that one) ?
I've got a 13" Swingstar tom but I haven't played it in ages and it's a entry level drum versus a pro level drum so it's hardly a fair comparison.

My 14x11 is easily my favorite drum. It just sings like no drum I've ever heard. But again, I use it as a floor.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
In my personal opinion, anything larger than a 13" rack tom should grow legs.

Dennis
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I know there's something impressive about great big toms but I can't envision a 16" drum over the kick. I don't even have one on the floor. A 16 or 18" floor tom is an effect drum to me. For impressive breaks and endings or drum solos. But it gets lost in the mix of a band playing a song unless it's tuned up much higher than what people get them for. A mic'ed up 14 or 15" floor tom can sound pretty deep. Those huge drums were from a day when PA's weren't that impressive and if the toms were mic'ed at a show, it was usually with 57s or some other utility mic. Folks would tune them up pretty high and they would make a fair amount of noise that way. Tuning an 18" floor tom down low with a powerstroke or EQ head basically sounds like a kick drum. I already have one of those. Having only a 16 rack and 18 floor (unless you really tune them up) is going to lose any contrast. The audience will hear attack but no distinction of notes. You may as well just go from the snare to the rack and stay there. JMHO
 

edvia

Senior Member
I've personally never seen anything larger than 14" for a rack tom, and I'm sure that's for good reason. You want some semblance of definition on a rack tom (moreso than depth in this case), and that would be exceedingly difficult with a 16". Not to mention the difficulty in mounting it in a comfortable position over a bass drum. I'd definitely go with the 14.
 

<(' . '<)

Senior Member
13" and under for a rack in my opinion, everything gets to spread out when you go any bigger. I have a Pearl Export kit with a 14x12 (all toms are floating) and really wish it had legs, but it does sound amazing. Anything above a 13" rack mount is a little excessive to me.
 
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