Suspension mounts & floor tom legs - Sound influence

s1212z

Well-known member
There are several of these videos out there but thought this one was pretty good and fun topic of discussion. Interesting how different designs behave entirely differently though have the same intent.

Personally, I've uses RIMs (trad design or mounted to lug), Pearl's original suspension mount and snare basket. I haven't really seen/heard a perfect system yet but I haven't tried everything. Let's hear your thoughts!

 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I'm ordering the gary gauger rims mount for my 8x12 gretsch renown..dont care for the gretsch I so mount. For the floor tom I saw these spring loaded rubber feet for the 14x16 on Sweetwaters site..gotta have'm.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Pearl has the Optimount and Optilock systems. You can also still buy the ISS mounts, and those super shallow toms from Pearl Brazil use them as well. Does any other company have more than one suspension system in use at the same time?

My Midtown has the Optilock. I like it much better than I thought I would. All other kits I've owned have been direct to shell.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Tama Starcast system FTW.

I've heard someone complain about the new system, though.

11466371_800.jpg

⬆ This is the v2 with the chrome bracket (v1 had an ugly black bracket arm). Note the wing nut. That tightens against the mounting post. It's very secure and solid. Under it (barely visible) is a memory lock that stays attached to the mounting post once the position of the tom is dialed in.

TAMA-Starcast-Mount-12-MDM12A_f29e56a_600x600.png

⬆ This is v3 of the Starcast mounting bracket. The visible wing nut is the memory lock and the small black "switch" above it is what locks/unlocks the mounting bracket to the mounting post. It is designed for fast setup & tear down, and not having to reach into a tight space, but it doesn't clamp onto the mounting post with much force. It's more like a "loose grip". Tama did this in an effort to increase the sustain of the toms.

Some people love this, some prefer v2. I've never seen or touched a v3 type, so I can't make a direct comment.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I've tried RIMS back in the 90's and they worked fine but I decided to never go that route again for several reasons.

Since going to 1 up 2 down I decided to try the DW 9000 Heavy Duty Tom/Snare Stand over a conventional snare stand. It opened up the rack tom a bit, but nothing near the resonance/sustain you get when you hold the tom by hand and strike it. This stand offers a sufficient amount of controlled resonance for recording situations. But I wanted my rack tom to sing, so I just switched to the TAMA Classic Tom Stand and the tom totally opened up (see attached video below). The TAMA Tom Stand is extremely lightweight but it may not offer enough stability for heavy hitters. I opted to marry the upper base rod and basket of the TAMA Tom Stand with the lower base of a DW 6300 snare stand (part #DWSP2191) and the Ludwig Atlas ProFeet (part #PLH1113) for a bit more stability. Props to Karl Crafton for that recommendation and modification tip.

On floor toms I use the Pearl R-40/3 rubber feet and have been more than pleased with the additional sustain.

 

s1212z

Well-known member
Tama Starcast system FTW.

I've heard someone complain about the new system, though.

View attachment 102889

⬆ This is the v2 with the chrome bracket (v1 had an ugly black bracket arm). Note the wing nut. That tightens against the mounting post. It's very secure and solid. Under it (barely visible) is a memory lock that stays attached to the mounting post once the position of the tom is dialed in.

View attachment 102890

⬆ This is v3 of the Starcast mounting bracket. The visible wing nut is the memory lock and the small black "switch" above it is what locks/unlocks the mounting bracket to the mounting post. It is designed for fast setup & tear down, and not having to reach into a tight space, but it doesn't clamp onto the mounting post with much force. It's more like a "loose grip". Tama did this in an effort to increase the sustain of the toms.

Some people love this, some prefer v2. I've never seen or touched a v3 type, so I can't make a direct comment.

Granted, I don't own Tama but I've secretly always wanted to own them at some point. Their Starcast has some nice features by not putting the weight of the shell on the lug or directly on the shell to stress the shell and cuts off the line of shell absorption much better than many systems. However, some beefs I have on this design:

1) You are landlocked on a heavy zinc die-cast hoop. It's sort of their signature sound now but I don't entire dig what I hear with RF rings on some of the Star models,.

2) Some of the shaking I've heard in the v2 creates a vibrato effect to my ear...perhaps that is part of the sound but it's not for me.

The v3 seems like a much better design, I see alot less shaking with bottom point support. Here is Simon Phillips hitting pretty hard playing v3 and v2, of course different shells but the movement difference is quite notable. In an ideal world, I prefer a no RF shell/diecast design like Starclassic maple or bubinga with v3 (or just a Star Walnut)...but just my opinion without much experience here. However shaking/vibrato issue comes up in other systems to too and is not the sound shape I want.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Tama Starcast system FTW.

I've heard someone complain about the new system, though.

View attachment 102889

⬆ This is the v2 with the chrome bracket (v1 had an ugly black bracket arm). Note the wing nut. That tightens against the mounting post. It's very secure and solid. Under it (barely visible) is a memory lock that stays attached to the mounting post once the position of the tom is dialed in.

View attachment 102890

⬆ This is v3 of the Starcast mounting bracket. The visible wing nut is the memory lock and the small black "switch" above it is what locks/unlocks the mounting bracket to the mounting post. It is designed for fast setup & tear down, and not having to reach into a tight space, but it doesn't clamp onto the mounting post with much force. It's more like a "loose grip". Tama did this in an effort to increase the sustain of the toms.

Some people love this, some prefer v2. I've never seen or touched a v3 type, so I can't make a direct comment.
The version you labeled as V3 is only on the Star series, but there are 2 different versions. The Starclassic series has the same switch and memory lock without the bottom rim brace. Maybe V3 and V3 Deluxe...? ?‍♂️?
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
You are landlocked on a heavy zinc die-cast hoop.
An alternative approach is to get the Star–Mount system that’s used on the Superstar Classic and Silverstar kits.

MZMBV.gif
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
The version you labeled as V3 is only on the Star series, but there are 2 different versions. The Starclassic series has the same switch and memory lock without the bottom rim brace. Maybe V3 and V3 Deluxe...? ?‍♂️?
Indeed. Tama’s page of mounting systems:

 

s1212z

Well-known member
To reference the video and Tama again, Star has the super spongey rubber tip (maybe other lines have this too?). I wasn't aware of Gibraltar varieties as well. I never heard an A/B comparison before this video and was surprised. They brought up the cool idea to mix and match stiff vs. spongey rubber tips to get the resonance tone you want...has anyone ever done this? Seems like a very cheap way to improve your floor tom tone or you change it based on the room sound or music, some cool possibilities.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
When I purchased my Tama Rockstar DX kit new in '91, the rack toms with the shell-mounted brackets were cardboard-box dead as in "Victim of Love" and "Brick House" when mounted (sustained fine when held by the rim), yet the floor tom sang for 10 seconds with the stock legs & feet. So I purchased aftermarket 1st gen Star-cast suspension mounts when they came out later (the ones with the allen-screw clamps to attach to any rim) for the rack toms (took the original brackets off the shell and put them on the new mounts), and they sang like the floor tom. My next kit, '03 Pacific CX, the toms sing exactly the same on their stock RIMS-style mounts as they do when I suspend them with my hand. (I tested that several times years ago.) My current kit, '06 Mapex Pro-M, has mounts that aren't exactly true suspension mounts, but aren't a single-point shell-mounted bracket either- it attaches to the shells underneath two batter-side lugs, using the same screws- and they sustain fine. (I don't recall if I've compared it to hand-suspension.) While I've owned the Mapex kit, I've bought & sold a Sonor Force 3003 kit with tom mounts that had 2 tension rod holding points and a 3rd screwed into the shell, and a Tama 1st gen Stagestar with no suspension mounts at all (matter of fact, same brackets & memory locks- and luan ["Philippine mahogany" :LOL:] shells as the old Rockstar kit), and I got them to sustain plenty. The Sonor toms sustained as well as all the other previously mentioned models, and the Stagestar did not, but admirably much better than the Rockstar toms (I was very surprised by that). Additionally, working in several different instrument retail places over the years, I had no problem getting toms with various styles of suspension mounts to sustain equally well (2nd gen Tama Star-cast, Yamaha, Pearl, Ludwig, Taye, Mapex, etc).

So I believe the slide that appeared during the video in the OP is true- tuning can affect how much a suspension mount still inhibits sustain, and I guess I tune where I can't hear any- or in the Stagestar sans suspension mounts case, not as much- reduced sustain. (And I suppose I learned it long after I sold the Rockstar kit... or maybe the Stagestar's smaller sizes- more shallow/lighter 10/12 rather than "power size"/deeper 12/13- affected that.)
 
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Skrivarna

Senior Member
In lieu of hanging, I like the floor tom legs with the suspension feet (Like the aforementioned Booty Shakers). These made a difference on my Gretsch.

Pearl R-40/3 Floor Tom Rubber Tip


View attachment 102966
This! The best and most affordable upgrade to any floor tom, i have replaced the standard feet on all my kits. Works incredibly well without changing the looks or being in the way.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like DW's suspension rack tom mounts the best.

I can use any rim I want
The mount doesn't protrude past the hoop, huge to me.
I can take off the rim while the drum is still mounted, like there's no suspension mount at all
It is the least intrusive looking and the positioning is equal to a mounted tom with no ISO mount
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I found rubber stoppers, just a size bigger than the floor tom feet on my Gretsch, and put them over the stock feet to achieve the same affect, for pennies.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Putting the FT legs in shoes works as well for those desperate times when there's no other option.

Even 2 legs in shoes works better than no legs in shoes
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
I like DW's suspension rack tom mounts the best.

I can use any rim I want
The mount doesn't protrude past the hoop, huge to me.
I can take off the rim while the drum is still mounted, like there's no suspension mount at all
It is the least intrusive looking and the positioning is equal to a mounted tom with no ISO mount
The Purecussion RIMS do offer more sustain. I tested them side by side

Also when you want to remove the system, you have to remove the lugs, and clip mics are a pain to mount.

They are lighther then the OG RIMS system and make for easier head swaps though.

The optimount took too much sustain when I had a kit with it, so changed them to RIMS.
 
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