Strange tom phenomenon

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I recently got a vintage 70's Pearl wood-fiberglass kit 12-13-16-22. It sounds great but there's this weird thing with the toms. It has the old hex-rod holders. When both toms are on the mounts they sound great. The 12 has nice tone, fundamental rings out. When I remove the 13 the 12 goes dead. Fundamental is gone and there's just SLAP and some overtones. Put the 13 back and everything returns. It's not the sympathetic ring of the other tom I'm hearing. Even with heads damped on the 13 the 12 rings out true. Tried different head, different tuning. Same. I'm kind of baffled. The physics of this are strange.

Anyone ever experience this?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have the same kit, only the 24" kick version. Does the 13 do it too when you remove the 12?

When you removed the 13, was it just the drum or the holder also?

My thought is the vibrations travelling down the holder. With both toms mounted, hitting either will transfer vibrations through both holders via the BD mount. Removing one thing changes the path the vibrations will travel. Perhaps the holder itself is what is causing the problem. You can test this by removing the 13 and playing with the holder for the 12. Move it up or down, move the drum forward or backward on the arm. If this fixes it, you are essentially changing the return point for the vibrations. They have to die somewhere, and it might just be the drum. It's sort of like frequency attenuation, the vibrating head and vibrating mount cancel each other out. Yamahas have a similar issue. So do gun barrels. You can accurize a barrel by "tuning" the barrel so the vibrations and bullet reach the end of the barrel simultaneously.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I tried removing only the tom and the tom and holder. Both the same result.

The 13 sounds fine alone on either side. That's good 'cause as a 4-piece I would probably use the 13 more. But I would like the 12 to sound good too.

I'll try moving the kit around to different areas as well. I suspect the floor is part of the equation. If the kit had the pipe holders I'd put the toms on RIMS and be done with it. The hex arms make that problematic...but I want to keep this kit original so I'll have to deal.

(I give up trying to make this pic vertical. Turn your head)
 

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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Wow, your kit is gorgeous. It looks almost new, minus the dated hardware and stuff. Mine looks it's age. It is white, but age makes it look like smokers teeth.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Thanks but the pic is a bit deceiving. The wrap has some scratches and there is some pitting on the lugs here and there. But all in all it is pretty good for a 45-ish year old kit. In subdued lighting from a few yards away it looks pretty new. I like the look of the old hardware but it is inferior to the later 7/8" pipe arms which are, despite what people say about them, much easier to work with.

When it sounds good it sounds really good. It's punchy and loud.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Perhaps the weight of the 13 strains the base of the tom mount (i.e. in the bass drum) to let the 12 side ring freely. When the 13 is removed, no weight/strain there and the 12 cannot ring freely. The angle/connection at bass of the tom mount somehow deadens the sound the 12.

One could test this idea by putting the 12 where the 13 is (i.e. reversing them) to see if it makes a difference.
Or change the height that the hex rod sticks out of the bass drum mount.
Or change the length that the hex rod sticks in/out of the 12 shell.

Its not the shell/tuning/heads if it sounds fine with other tom mounted.
 
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