Spikey stuff

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Hugely busy of late, getting all the aspects of our two new ranges sorted out ready for launch at LDS in October (& also customer's kits to go out). One testing snippet I thought I'd share relates to spikes. We did some A-B testing of various methods of terminating bass drum spurs & floor tom legs. Of special interest was the results we got with floor tom testing. We compared standard rubber feet - Pearl isolation feet - spikes. The Pearl isolation feet worked well, & offered a worthwhile improvement over standard feet, but spikes were better again!! Of course, spikes only work on a drum rug or similar, but really, who plays without a drum rug/carpet of some sort these days except on a stage riser or similar? (even then, I still use a rug).

We concluded that the rubber feet present quite a large contact area when on carpet, especially carpet with a generous pile, whereas spike footprint is minute. The caveat here is that we only tested the differences on our aluminium legs. Heavy steel legs may yield different results.

Just thought I'd share a bit of trivia.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
That's interesting Andy, Never would have thought a spike would yield better tone. Appreciate you sharing that!

Guess my next question would be does the design of the spike then affect tone? ie longer,shorter,fatter designs
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
That's interesting Andy, Never would have thought a spike would yield better tone. Appreciate you sharing that!

Guess my next question would be does the design of the spike then affect tone? ie longer,shorter,fatter designs
I suspect that a slimmer spike would be best, but we have to work with practicalities, & I think the difference would be so small as not to be relevant.

It's not so strange if you think about it. All of the high end HiFi speaker manufacturers use spikes to isolate speakers from the floor. If rubber mouldings were a better solution, I'm sure they'd use those.
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Interesting, I wonder why this has not already been done before?

It seems to make perfect sense and I find the higher end you go with drumkits the larger the rubber feet on floor toms are, which probably makes them worse really. But they look good I suppose and that's what probably fools people?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting, I wonder why this has not already been done before?
I've no idea. We're always taking references from other trades. Audio companies, luthiers, etc. There's a lot of cross pollination opportunity, & when we find something that's been serving a similar application for decades, we test it out.

As I pointed out though, the caveat is, we've only tried this on our drums with our aluminium legs/brackets, etc. Of course, we've taken into account that some may wish to play on a polished ballroom floor or otherwise precious surface, & come up with something that offers protection in such circumstances. TBH, I don't know anyone who doesn't play with a rug of some sort, unless you're playing on an already carpeted/sacrificial surface.
 

John Lamb

Senior Member
interesting! The length of the floor tom leg would also play in to it. I wonder if there was a way to 'tune' the leg for best resonant results? Such as a weight you could move up or down? This would only matter to a few, but for them it'd be worthwhile
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
interesting! The length of the floor tom leg would also play in to it. I wonder if there was a way to 'tune' the leg for best resonant results? Such as a weight you could move up or down? This would only matter to a few, but for them it'd be worthwhile
Since all materials have their own individual harmonic frequencies, you most certainly could tune the legs. You would have to find what frequency the material resonates at, and the length of the wave at that frequency. It would kind of be a mute point for floor tom legs though, because the height you set the tom at will interfere with the waves at the leg mounts. High end gun barrel companies do this, especially with competition barrels. A tuned barrel will flex less and be more consistently accurate than a non tuned barrel.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I must be the odd man out then. If the venue has a carpeted stage, then I'm playing on carpet. I never carry my own carpet and haven't really had a lot of issues with not having on one. My kit stays put on a hardwood stage and sounds better that way. Yay for big rubber feet?

Once when I was a kid I used spikes on a basketball court, that was a bad idea from a public relations standpoint!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I must be the odd man out then. If the venue has a carpeted stage, then I'm playing on carpet. I never carry my own carpet and haven't really had a lot of issues with not having on one. My kit stays put on a hardwood stage and sounds better that way. Yay for big rubber feet?

Once when I was a kid I used spikes on a basketball court, that was a bad idea from a public relations standpoint!
You don't have a problem with the kick drum walking away from you as you play?
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
You don't have a problem with the kick drum walking away from you as you play?
I must be the odd man out then. If the venue has a carpeted stage, then I'm playing on carpet. I never carry my own carpet and haven't really had a lot of issues with not having on one. My kit stays put on a hardwood stage and sounds better that way. Yay for big rubber feet?

Once when I was a kid I used spikes on a basketball court, that was a bad idea from a public relations standpoint!
You have big rubber feet? They look fairly ordinary in your videos, but maybe that's simply your choice of shoes? ;-)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I must be the odd man out then. If the venue has a carpeted stage, then I'm playing on carpet. I never carry my own carpet and haven't really had a lot of issues with not having on one. My kit stays put on a hardwood stage and sounds better that way.
Bo, I was just referring to not using a rug on a precious surface. If there's already carpet at the venue, or it's a non precious stage surface, I don't use a rug either. Very occasionally, I'll play on a tile surface, & that absolutely requires a rug.

The point (sorry for that) is this, in all but exceptional circumstances, floor tom legs with spikes are completely viable IMO.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Bo, I was just referring to not using a rug on a precious surface. If there's already carpet at the venue, or it's a non precious stage surface, I don't use a rug either. Very occasionally, I'll play on a tile surface, & that absolutely requires a rug.

The point (sorry for that) is this, in all but exceptional circumstances, floor tom legs with spikes are completely viable IMO.
No no. I totally agree with you. I just think in practical terms though, you can still do alot of damage to carpeting with spikey floor tom legs. This would create a surge in people buying their own hardwood to put down on a carpeted interior so they could use their spikey floor tom legs, wouldn't it?

Way harder to carry around a couple of 4x8s of plywood than it is to carry around a rolled up carpet ;)
 

Kingvarsson

Junior Member
A reminder: Look at the hi-fi stuff once more. They often have some flat round thingys under the spikes, because speakers damage floors too.
Isn't that something to take into consideration? Maybe you could incorporate it in the construction somehow, with something holding the little plate, that doesn't hold any of the weight up, but just keeps the plate in place?

I always bring a carpet by the way. Don't wanna end up with marks and stuff on someone's fancy wooden floor. If it ain't the spikes fault, I guess the rubber feet could make some black marks.

Finding a pedal that works with my big rubber feet is really tricky... haha!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I just think in practical terms though, you can still do alot of damage to carpeting with spikey floor tom legs.
Not really IMHO. Spikes tend to stay put once they're in place, & anyhow, in the same application, we're using spikes on our bass drum spurs. There's a lot more push & movement potential on those than floor tom legs.

A reminder: Look at the hi-fi stuff once more. They often have some flat round thingys under the spikes,
Agreed, although that's more of a domestic carpet thing than a consideration in most venues IMO.

The bottom line for me is, if you're using spikes on your spurs, then surely there's no issue with spikes on your floor tom legs in the same application. So long as you have a choice to use either a drum rug or rubber ends on precious surfaces, then it's a non issue. Like many things we do, it just takes a bit of getting used to, but purely on the basis that it's not the norm. We will be introducing this across our ranges this year, utilising the same end fitting for both bass drum spurs & floor tom legs. They look pretty cool too :)
 
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