Suspension mount vs. shell mount...shell mount wins!

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
I have a Yamaha Stage Custom birch set (10x8, 14x14, 20x17), and I love it. However, I noticed that when I mounted the rack tom to the bass drum using the standard tom holder, the tom sounded choked. When I took the drum off the bass drum and mounted it to a cymbal stand, I noticed an immediate improvement in sound. So, I thought I'd buy a Gibraltar suspension mount so that I could just put the tom on the bass drum for easier set-up. The mount seemed to fit perfectly, and I'd just put on a brand-new head, but something was wrong; the tom was choking up again. I took off the "suspension" mount, re-intsalled the factory shell-mounted bracket, and voilá, it sounded amazing. When I took a closer look at the Gibraltar unit, I noticed that the support tabs were welded on at funny angles; it obviously wasn't very high-quality. Now, I'm sending it back, and my drums sound as good as they ever did! I guess this goes to show that 1) I shouldn't fix things that aren't broken, and 2) sometimes new technology isn't as good as old-fashioned methods.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
If you are talking about RIMS mounts, I would avoid Gibraltar RIMS and use Gauger's alloy RIMS mount--they are lighter and of higher quality. Those should fit nicely and allow some "bounce" for the toms.

FYI: I have tried your test, I think: I have an Oak Custom tom suspended via a Yamaha mount in the bass drum, and another tom suspended by a YESS arm that is locked into a Tama grip device (one connected to the YESS base, the other viced onto the cymbal stand). The tom suspended via the Tama / cymbal stand does indeed "bounce" more than the tom on the bass drum.
 

Jessiah331

Senior Member
I use a suspension mount. It really depends on the brand. I can't think of the guy on YouTube that is the tuning expert, but you should check out his tom tuning video (I'm sure its in the tom thread)

Sometimes you have to bend the mount to fit exactly over your lugs so that it's not putting strain on the lugs. I know I got suspension mounts and it makes my crappy toms sound nice!

Guess it's just preference. I'd use a basket, but having three might get a little ridiculous...
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
It all depends on the sound you're after. If you want the fundamentals of your shells to ring out, then a suspension mount is the way to go. If you tune your drums medium-to-high or want more attack, then it doesn't matter if you have a suspension mount or not. If you want to tune your drums low, but have a thuddy sound instead of a low and clear sustain, then suspension mounts aren't for you. Or, suspension mounts and moongel would work, too...
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Im not sold on suspension mounts either. I like my toms mounted solid to my bass drum via a shell mount.
Its just personal preference! I like that shell mount sound.
 

Adam8

Senior Member
I always though it was better not to have the toms mounted off of the bass drum because of the pressure it putson the bass drum shell, although I've never really noticed a difference soundwise. I was explaining this to a guy once and he said he liked the toms mounted on the bass drum because it made the whole kit vibrate or resonate as one entity instead of different drum vibations going on at once. I was like, "Hmm, I never thought of it that way".
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I'm using Ludwig's "Vibraband" suspension mounts. They work great and the toms sound great...but I'm also leaning back toward a snare stand. Sounds every bit as good but is easier to put in place and looks way cool.
 
What exactly is a suspension mount? I'm not really an expert with tom mounting, so I've never really heard the term before.
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
What exactly is a suspension mount? I'm not really an expert with tom mounting, so I've never really heard the term before.
Take a look at the first post of this thread. The small tom is equipped with a suspension mount: instead of being attached directly to the shell, the mount is attached to the lugs of the drum, increasing sustain and resonance. The effect is less pronounced with thicker, heavier and less sensitive shells.
 
Take a look at the first post of this thread. The small tom is equipped with a suspension mount: instead of being attached directly to the shell, the mount is attached to the lugs of the drum, increasing sustain and resonance. The effect is less pronounced with thicker, heavier and less sensitive shells.
Right, that makes sense. Thanks!
 

Jessiah331

Senior Member
.................Bob Gatzen
bob gatzen it is.

Sorry, I'm the worst with names. It took me three months to learn my girlfriends (before we started dating of course) And I meet new people every day that I've known for weeks... It's a tough world.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I was recently playing on a friend's Absolute maple kit with the YESS mounts and was surprised how much they didn't allow the drum to resonate. I could hold up the drum by the hoop and hit it and get a ton of resonance, then mount it and that resonance was cut in half - if not more.

I've been using the Gibraltar/RIMS style mounts for years and can't tell the difference between holding the tom by the hoop and mounted in terms of resonance.

I guess it doesn't matter if you're not too concerned about maintaining that resonance, but for me, I like it, and if I had that set of Yamahas, I'd get rid of those mounts first thing and hang them from some RIMS.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Wavelength mentions that thicker, heavier shells do not benefit from RIMS as much as thinner shells do because RIMS aim to help increase shell resonance and sustain. And, following the science, thinner shells resonate more than thicker shells, while thicker shells project more than thinner.

So, number of plies in the shell is irrelevant, then, right? What I mean is, an 8-ply/5mm shell (or even a Sonor 9-ply/4mm Delite shell) will benefit more from RIMS suspension than a 6-ply/7mm or 8mm shell because the 8 ply is thinner and thus will resonate more?

Just checking...
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Wavelength mentions that thicker, heavier shells do not benefit from RIMS as much as thinner shells do because RIMS aim to help increase shell resonance and sustain. And, following the science, thinner shells resonate more than thicker shells, while thicker shells project more than thinner.

So, number of plies in the shell is irrelevant, then, right? What I mean is, an 8-ply/5mm shell (or even a Sonor 9-ply/4mm Delite shell) will benefit more from RIMS suspension than a 6-ply/7mm or 8mm shell because the 8 ply is thinner and thus will resonate more?

Just checking...
Thinner shells are more likely to have their resonance stifled by the mounting hardware, so they are the ones to gain the most from RIMS mounts.
 

Russxdrums

Junior Member
I used Rims mounts with my Gretsch kit for years. They definitely opened up the resonance and sustain of the toms. Too much for my taste these days. Also... if they get at ALL bent out of shape, they do the opposite of what they were designed to do. They choke the drum. Now I play Yamaha kits and I prefer the direct mount system all around. I like the solid feel better as well.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I've got rims mounts on my gen 1 Renowns and the toms absolutely sing. Even the 8" !! I had a stage custom and the whole kit sounded choked out no matter what I tried. YMMV.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Rack toms will choke using Yamaha's YESS mounts unless you position them perfectly on their hex rods, especially 12" toms. I've owned four Yamaha kits (still have two of them) and it has been the same story with all of them. It's MUCH harder to find that sweet spot when you add an accessory such as a cymbal arm to the tom holder, by the way.

The issue relates to the heavier tom pulling the mount ever so slightly to one side, as far as I can tell. The one thing that works consistently well for me is to mount the 12" tom as far up on its hex rod as possible, sometimes pushing the rod in so far as to make contact with the little felt patch protecting the shell. Others favour a different approach, mounting the tom at the very end of the hex rod so that there's very little for the drum to grab onto. I'm not a fan of that.

It's a nuisance but once you get the hang of it, it's fairly quick to find the sweet spot. I've learned to avoid using the accessory mount though, which is a bit of a disappointment. The 12' tom doesn't have to be pressed up against the ball mount when I don't use the accessory holder.

For the record: I still love my Stage Customs. Once I get the toms mounted "just so" they're fantastic, and the YESS system lets me maneuver them into position in seconds, but the choking issue is a big one for me. I got rattled at an important gig once when a 12" tom choked during sound check and the sound guy ran out of patience while I screwed with it. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot :(

It wasn't a Stage Custom I played that night, either. It was a top-of-the-line Absolute kit.

Truthfully, I'm a bit over the whole choking thing which is one of the reasons I went with Gretsch went I bought my new kit a couple of months ago. My Renowns use the GTS mounting system which seems to be immune to choking. The toms sing like nobody's business.

I'm not in love with RIMS mounts either. I play a Premier kit at one of the places I rehearse and somebody replaced its factory mounts with RIMS mounts. The rack toms are ridiculously heavy and don't resonate particularly well, nor are they especially easy to place. Pretty small sample size I know but so far it's Gretsch's GTS mount for me.
 

roncadillac

Member
bob gatzen it is.

Sorry, I'm the worst with names. It took me three months to learn my girlfriends (before we started dating of course) And I meet new people every day that I've known for weeks... It's a tough world.
I can relate, 98% of the people I talk to are 'dude' or 'man' for that same reason lol
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I drilled my bass and tom. Gave away the Rims mount. No regrets.

The suspensions on my Yamaha don't bother me.


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