Thinking about cutting down Gretsch bass drum

Kona1984

Member
Hi.
I have a nice 2006 Gretsch Purewood Renown African Mahogany 6pc I bought new. They're beautiful drums. However... I've always thought the 22x18 bass shell was too deep..... for me. Not the sound... the bulk of it. It sounds great but I've often wondered what it would look like, feel and sound like if it were to be cut down 6 inches or so.
Has anyone one here done that to a 22x18 bass drum shell?
 

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AzHeat

Platinum Member
You’ll have to measure 4” from the bearing edge and see where you end up. You may end up slightly shallower than 14, but a quick measure would tell you.

I have a 22x14 on my Brooklyn and love it.

Edit: Not sure why I read 4" instead of 6. Should be fine.
 
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NouveauCliche

Senior Member
There was another thread about this - the biggest thing is make sure it's done right, good bearing edges, proper hardware positioning, etc. etc.

I can seem to find it but that was the general consensus.

My gretsch bass drum is huge too - just a cannon. I wish I could at least try it in a 22X14 version, but I'm not brave enough to have any work done to it haha
 

Kona1984

Member
I was thinking closer to 12 maybe even 11" depth. Ray Ayotte just finished a beautiful 20x10 for me. I haven't picked it up yet but it looks amazing. If i do decide to cut it down I'm hoping Ray will offer to do it.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I've been debating cutting down my 18x22 Gretsch bass drum as well. It sounds great at 18", but it's a lot of wood to move around.

However my target depth is around 15-16" as I don't like shallow bass drums. If I have it done, I'll have Chris Heuer do it. He's worked on a few of my drums. Though I've always wondered if losing 2-3" is worth the effort and expense, which is why I have yet to do it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
A friend of mine (Jimmy Ford at Ford Drums) routinely cuts down long bass drums for clients, but I think he said you end up with a 13" deep bass drum because of the where the original hardware gets drilled. If it was a wrapped drum, I think it would be an easy thing to plug holes and re-wrap and re-drill, but since yours is a lacquer, you may have to go a little thinner to get rid of any existing holes.
 

Kona1984

Member
I've played a 20x8 bass drum and it sounded great. If you think about it an 8 inch deep 20 inch bass drum has more than 300 cubic inches of volume than a 14x14 floor tom.
 

Kona1984

Member
A friend of mine (Jimmy Ford at Ford Drums) routinely cuts down long bass drums for clients, but I think he said you end up with a 13" deep bass drum because of the where the original hardware gets drilled. If it was a wrapped drum, I think it would be an easy thing to plug holes and re-wrap and re-drill, but since yours is a lacquer, you may have to go a little thinner to get rid of any existing holes.







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Hmy drum mm. Yes I don'thave elooking at xperience Hjust eBut... rr.
 

Kona1984

Member
I've looked at the hardware placement. It appears .... at first glance... that hardware placement on this virgin shell would not be a problem if it were to be cut down 6 inches. The Spurs may well be placed under the lugs... exactly the same way as you see the in photos above... after cut down. But I'm no expert Herr. That's why I've sent Ray Ayotte a message to get his advise as well as all your replies here.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I would not go shorter than a 15" depth and if it was me I'd go 16". You'd be surprised at the difference in sound/tone a few inches make. Call Precision Drums in NY and ask them for advice.
 

Bozozoid

Gold Member
Hi.
I have a nice 2006 Gretsch Purewood Renown African Mahogany 6pc I bought new. They're beautiful drums. However... I've always thought the 22x18 bass shell was too deep..... for me. Not the sound... the bulk of it. It sounds great but I've often wondered what it would look like, feel and sound like if it were to be cut down 6 inches or so.
Has anyone one here done that to a 22x18 bass drum shell?
Through a 📣 megaphone..Kona1984!..the house is surrounded..come out with your hands up!..put the bass drum down and walk out backwards with your hands in the air!..ok men..when he steps out grab the bass drum befor it's to late.
 

Warrenwood

Active Member
I would consider cutting down a PDP bass drum... but a Gretsch? (shudder)
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I have a nice 2006 Gretsch Purewood Renown African Mahogany 6pc I bought new. They're beautiful drums. However... I've always thought the 22x18 bass shell was too deep..... for me. Not the sound... the bulk of it.
Being a "traditionalist" I'd go with 22x14 ..... so cut 4 inches off. I think that cuts off the spur holes and the rearmost lug holes.
Ray Ayotte just finished a beautiful 20x10 for me. I haven't picked it up yet but it looks amazing. If i do decide to cut it down I'm hoping Ray will offer to do it.
Ray would be a good choice to perform for this surgery.
 

Kona1984

Member
Through a  megaphone..Kona1984!..the house is surrounded..come out with your





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Just

Being a "traditionalist" I'd go with 22x14 ..... so cut 4 inches off. I think that cuts off the spur holes and the rearmost lug holes.

Ray would be a good choice to perform for this surgery.
He answered my email earlier today... said he'd like to do it when the time comes. He's finishing up 3 drums he made for me... includes the 20x10 bass drum. I'm also having him look at some major wood hoop repairs on an early 2pth Century Birdseye Maple snare I picked up last year. All this before I even consider the cut-down.
 

Kona1984

Member
A friend of mine (Jimmy Ford at Ford Drums) routinely cuts down long bass drums for clients, but I think he said you end up with a 13" deep bass drum because of the where the original hardware gets drilled. If it was a wrapped drum, I think it would be an easy thing to plug holes and re-wrap and re-drill, but since yours is a lacquer, you may have to go a little thinner to get rid of any existing holes.
I looked and there would be no holes after the cut-down as there is no tom mount and the Spurs would be in the part of shell that's cut out. The new spur holes would go near the new lug placement... in the same place as they were before the cut. I'm pretty sure that would work. But.. Ray would have to look at all that before I give the okay to do the surgery.
 
Being a "traditionalist" I'd go with 22x14 ..... so cut 4 inches off. I think that cuts off the spur holes and the rearmost lug holes.
If you do it, I'd also not cut off too much. I see a total of 5 toms, so transporting that set will always be a bit of an effort (Renowns are heavy after all) - no matter if it's a 22x14 or a 22x10. To me, a very shallow bass drum would look a bit odd with such a huge set. If you ever sell that set, you might have a hard time finding a buyer, so I'd try to aim for 12 to 14" depth. :)
 
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GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
Remember that the old back lug hole could be the new front lug hole, and measure accordingly.
 
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