Thinking of going down to a 12/14/20

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've always been a big proponent of the 13/16/22 configuration and have been playing these sizes for most of my career. I think the set-up just sounds good and flat-out works for pretty much everything I do (since I'm mostly out there playing Mustang Sally anyway). But as I get past 55 trips around the sun, and the fact that I'm probably gonna be playing less and less as time goes on (famous last words), I'm having an inner debate with myself if I should go down to the 12/14/20 configuration. Definitely less weight, easy to play since I'm only 5' 1", and if I'm moving it around, just easier. Period. I'm also beginning to mic up on my own (sometimes through my own system) more often simple because it just makes sense since everybody else seems to be amplified. So maybe I don't have anything to worry about in the sound department (unless I'm un-mic'd). I thought about going down to a 13" snare too since the one time I had one of those (a 7x13) I thought it sounded great - that would definitely be different from the 6.5x14 heavy brass monster I have now.

I know, this is a personal journey, and I usually do what I want anyway because I can make basically anything work, but I'm wondering if I'm missing anything else in my reasoning for going to the 12/14/20. Who else uses these sizes for everything? And this would be traditional sizes: 8x12/14x14 and 14x20 or 16x20 (I'd like a 14x20, but some makers don't make a 14x20 - like DW's Performance series).

Oh yeah, going from a Collector's kit to a Performance is my nod to "it's the player and not the drums" since I tend to be a basic workingman drummer, and not doing anything that really requires special handling. So I'm even keeping my budget to under $2K for new - I just finished that Slingerland refurb so I don't really want to find a used kit and fix it up again.


Well-known member
I made the switch from 22-12-16 to 20-12-14 some years ago and never have looked back. Best decision of my drumming career. Period. Be it rock, blues, soul, funk, jazz, latin - 20-12-14 works with everything. Never out of place in any setting, less weight, smaller footprint on stages and more ergonomic to play.

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
I like it. I use a 22x14 12x8 16x16 setup but I have used a 20x14 12x8 14x14 for a while. It's easier to get around the kit so it gives you a feeling of more freedom and more flexibility but they don't really sound like a big rock kit (even if micing will eliminate this problem). I like both setups for different occasions, I feel like I could use the 20 setup in more cases. The 22 doesn't cut it for some R&B or jazz I think, even if you can get it sounding just about right.

The height thing is also true, 20 is a lot smaller than a 22 strangely. I'm 5' 7 and I feel more fluid on a 20. Love the "comfort" factor.

Have you looked at other brands too? My ideal 20 kit would be a Ludwig CM. I think you can find those new for around 2k? At least here in Europe they go for around 2200, maybe in the States it's different since it's locally made. The things I'd do for a CM...


Junior Member
20/12/14 is my ideal setup, but I'm a shorter, compact guy, so it's more for ergonomics than sound. I haven't played the Performance Series, but I have recently owned a Design Series in these sizes (well, 20x12, 14x11, 12x8, but close), and they sound fantastic. I would also look into used Ludwig Club Dates and Classic Maples, which you can usually find used on Guitar Center and Reverb for $1,000-$2000. And the 12/14/20x14 is a pretty standard setup for those kits.


Gold Member
I generally gravitate to 20/12/14 when looking for a kit . I do a lot of different musical genres so the versatility of the 20/12/14 appeals to me .
I have had a couple kits with 24” bass drums that while I love the sound of the 24” bass drum , I have started gravitating back to a 22/13/16 with my recent Ludwig purchase .

20” will always be my bass drum size of choice


Platinum Member
I'm playing a 13/16/24 and I'm thinking the same thing now. Definitely like the 12/14/ but not sure 20 or 22-or even 24 in. Because I really like the 24X14 kick I have now. I've never played a 18 or 20 in-but I love a 16, 22, and 24. All the 18's and 20's seem odd to me when I listen on recordings for some reason. I was set on a bop kit because my drum room so small now-but my 13/16/24 fits fine. I should probably leave well enough alone. People with ADD and have issues focusing should never be allowed to pick out their own kit because the indecision is just killing me-I hop from one notion to the next. You'd think I'd be use to it-but heck no.


Well-known member
How about light-weight drums if you like the sound of larger drums?
When it's in the budget, I plan to buy a set of their mounts to replace the ones on my Premiers.


Platinum Member
Drums are a lot like marriage-some marry for life and many don't -perhaps most don't. I like cheating on my drum set with another kit. It's not being unfaithful if it's a kit and not a set. That's what I keep telling my set-I've never cheated on you with another set. No kick for me I like your bass.


Platinum Member
I play this configuration a lot. My advice would be to try out Ludwig Classic Maple in these sizes. Those drums sound bigger than they really are.