Turning a Floor Tom into a Kick Drum - tips?

Mustion

Senior Member
Hi all,
I have an 18" floor tom sitting around and would like to use it as a kick drum for a mini kit. I don't want to get a bass drum hoop for it, so what's the best way to affix a pedal? The Dixson Riser looks like a good idea - anybody have experience with it? And, this is an old Slingerland 18" FT with four 9.5mm leg mounts, what are good spurs to get for the bottom pair and cymbal arms for the top pair? Thanks!
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
I use the Dunnett R-class Floor Tom to Bass Drum Conversion Kit.

For a little more than $100, you get bass drum spurs, a riser with a kick pedal attachment, and a clamp fora rack tom, cymbal, etc.

If you choose this option, be aware of the 2 versions: 10.5mm & 12.7 mm. You will have to do your research to figure out which version will fit the hardware of your drum.

edit: Just noticed your drum is 9.5mm
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Don't spend the ridiculous cost of the Dunnett Conversion Kit!!


drumfactorydirect.com sells 'Gull Wing" type spurs for 9.5 mm brackets for pretty cheap:

https://www.drumfactorydirect.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6_107_80&products_id=14148


As far as a riser, I've done a DIY with this method with good results with a minimum of labor and expense:

Find (plenty out there used) a cowbell or percussion foot pedal bracket (photo below). Those have a plate that the pedal clamps to and also have an adjustable L-arm via an eye bolt that the cowbell or percussion item mounts to. You'll have to acquire an additional floor tom leg bracket and drill two additional small holes at the bottom of the drum to install said bracket (to accommodate the the L-arm on the pedal bracket), but then you simply insert the horizontal part of the L-arm on the pedal bracket into the newly installed bracket at the bottom of the floor tom (now bass drum). I really like this system because not only does the L-arm adjust up and down, it also adjusts front to back (closer to and further from the head). Very solid also and it it's easy to remove and not bulky. The drum still easily fits in a case with the additional bracket at the bottom. You can also remove the spurs from the pedal bracket if you want; they are easily removable (you can see the wing nuts holding them on).

This is like the system that Sonor uses on the Martini and Safari kits, and that Odery uses on the Cafe Kit. Way better than any other riser system, hands down. The only downside I can see is having to install the additional bracket at the bottom of the drum, but to me it's worth it. Even if the bracket doesn't match the other three, it's at the bottom and no one will see it. If you ever wanted to put it back as a normal floor tom, you can still leave that additional bracket in place, and possibly mount a cowbell/block/whatever or splash from it.

NOTE: I use mine the opposite way the L-arm is pointing in the photo (the horizontal part of the L-arm faces to the right on mine vs. to the left in the photo), but you can use it either way, depending upon your needs.
 

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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Does everyone realize that before the 1990s, people actually played 18” bass drums not raised? And many people got great punchy sounds. Check out Peter Erskine on the Jaco Pastorius album “Invitation”. That’s a stock 14x18 bass drum that sounds great. Put hoops on your 18”, get those non-invasive hoop mount spurs, put your pedal on it and go to town. It works!

I think the people who marketed risers for 18” bass drums are behind DW’s 23” bass drum conspiracy and the RIMS maskirovka.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
On an 18", I´d opt for wood hoops w/out riser as well but the OP stated that he doesn´t want to go there.

I have a 1st edition 16" Sonor Jungle bass drum which really is a floor tom with triple-flanged hoops - it has a riser that is both simple and sturdy, but unfortunately not availabe separately.

Here´s a nice overview:

http://compactdrums.com/bass-drum-riser-comparison/
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
Indeed! One of my favourite bass drums is a humble Yamaha Rydeen 18X15 with stock Yamaha heads. No riser. Everyone that hears it swear they heard a 20 or 22... It's all in the tuning and finding the sweet spot for the beater to hit.

Does everyone realize that before the 1990s, people actually played 18” bass drums not raised? And many people got great punchy sounds. Check out Peter Erskine on the Jaco Pastorius album “Invitation”. That’s a stock 14x18 bass drum that sounds great. Put hoops on your 18”, get those non-invasive hoop mount spurs, put your pedal on it and go to town. It works!

I think the people who marketed risers for 18” bass drums are behind DW’s 23” bass drum conspiracy and the RIMS maskirovka.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Does everyone realize that before the 1990s, people actually played 18” bass drums not raised? .... Put hoops on your 18”, get those non-invasive hoop mount spurs, put your pedal on it and go to town. It works!
In my case, cost. Riser was $36. And I needed it more because I needed to attach a pedal to the drum somehow. A wood hoop is $50, at least. Add T's and claws, now you've got a hundred buck experiment going.​
At some point, I'll probably "make" a 18x12 (that was the Ludwig Jazzette kick dimension) by cutting down a 18x16 floor tom shell, but the $36 riser at least answered the question ..... "Do I even want one?"​
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Does everyone realize that before the 1990s, people actually played 18” bass drums not raised? And many people got great punchy sounds. Check out Peter Erskine on the Jaco Pastorius album “Invitation”. That’s a stock 14x18 bass drum that sounds great. Put hoops on your 18”, get those non-invasive hoop mount spurs, put your pedal on it and go to town. It works!
Yeah, I'm not as concerned about raising the drum as I'm aware that 18" has been a common size for a long time, and I normally use a 20" anyway... I just want to avoid getting hoops because then it won't fit in the bag I have, and was wondering if there was some sort of adapter or removable solution to affix a pedal to a standard rim... kind of the tail wagging the dog I guess.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
RE: wooden hoops, it seems you would have to replace the lugs on traditional floor toms for the tension rods to properly fit an 18" wooden bass hoop, from what I know. Otherwise, the tension rods will be tilting upwards to meet the hoop--> someone correct me if I'm wrong

Also, I believe GruntersDad showed off his BeeBop kit in an old thread and didn't seem to have much of a problem with not replacing the original lugs, but as a personal preference, I'd rather use the riser and do as few modifications as possible.

Thoughts?
 

AT22

New member
I used the Gibraltar floor tom riser and some old Ludwig fold out spurs I had for my 18.​
Hi Harry. May i know what hoops you have on your ludwig? are those die cast hoops? I have the gibraltar riser too but i find it does not work well with some hoops. Like the stick saver hoops which curve inwards, clamping the riser on to these hoops will create an acute angle. Anyone else experienced this?
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I've played and 18" kick with the Dixson bass drum lift for years now - the other day I left it at a venue and had to try and record without it later that day was a disaster. Bass drum beater was way off center, when I tried dropping the beater height the angle of attack changed and the forward was motion was all messed up - plus my bass drum left keeps the hoop completely in tact so I had my first scratches on that bass drum hoop EVER with that kit.

Total drag.

Just because people did use 18"s with them doesn't mean they wouldn't have loved risers if they had them.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Hi Harry. May i know what hoops you have on your ludwig?
They're just the standard triple-flanged Ludwig (or generic copy) hoops that came with the drum (bought used, off eBay). I had stick savers on a Rogers kit I had ..... and yeah ..... they wouldn't work with this riser.
I've played and 18" kick with the Dixson bass drum lift for years now - the other day I left it at a venue and had to try and record without it later that day was a disaster. Bass drum beater was way off center, when I tried dropping the beater height the angle of attack changed and the forward was motion was all messed up - plus my bass drum left keeps the hoop completely in tact so I had my first scratches on that bass drum hoop EVER with that kit.

Total drag.

Just because people did use 18"s with them doesn't mean they wouldn't have loved risers if they had them.
Since my earlier posts in this thread (and my floor tom experiment) ..... I now actually have two 18" bass drums. An RMV (that came with a factory riser) ..... and a Yamaha 9000 series (old school, no riser). I much prefer the riser. Get that beater hitting center. I'm more than half considering adding a Yamaha "duck foot" riser to my 9000 bass drum now. That factory lift came on my Manu Katche Jr. kit (16" bass drum) .... and I think it would be a plus for the 9000 as well. So yeah, I'm a firm endorser of the lift.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This
I've played and 18" kick with the Dixson bass drum lift for years now - the other day I left it at a venue and had to try and record without it later that day was a disaster. Bass drum beater was way off center, when I tried dropping the beater height the angle of attack changed and the forward was motion was all messed up - plus my bass drum left keeps the hoop completely in tact so I had my first scratches on that bass drum hoop EVER with that kit.

Total drag.

Just because people did use 18"s with them doesn't mean they wouldn't have loved risers if they had them.
This is why I hate those lifts. It's just one more thing you have to carry around with you while gigging, and something you can potentially forget - which kinda' contradicts why you got a smaller bass drum to begin with! Regardless of the gig, I'm done with little bass drums. I've said it before, the problem with a regular sized bass drum isn't the diameter of the head, it's the depth of the shell. If you had a 20" bass drum, but kept it at 12" or 14" deep, you get the nice low-end thump you need without taking up so much space on the bandstand or in the car (why DW went with a 20x12 for their Frequent Flyer kits). Anything smaller, doesn't sound like a bass drum unless it gets mic'ed up and processed through a PA (like Erskine's 18" he used with Jaco). I've seen guys (and I was one of them) who converted a 18" floor tom into a bass drum, and that 16" depth still makes the drum take up too much space on a crowded stage. I've saved more space by using a 22x14, and got a real bass drum in the deal. Some guys even get 22x12, 22x10....and they still sound like drums. I'd go that way instead of this "converting a floor tom" business.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
This

This is why I hate those lifts. It's just one more thing you have to carry around with you while gigging, and something you can potentially forget - which kinda' contradicts why you got a smaller bass drum to begin with! Regardless of the gig, I'm done with little bass drums. I've said it before, the problem with a regular sized bass drum isn't the diameter of the head, it's the depth of the shell. If you had a 20" bass drum, but kept it at 12" or 14" deep, you get the nice low-end thump you need without taking up so much space on the bandstand or in the car (why DW went with a 20x12 for their Frequent Flyer kits). Anything smaller, doesn't sound like a bass drum unless it gets mic'ed up and processed through a PA (like Erskine's 18" he used with Jaco). I've seen guys (and I was one of them) who converted a 18" floor tom into a bass drum, and that 16" depth still makes the drum take up too much space on a crowded stage. I've saved more space by using a 22x14, and got a real bass drum in the deal. Some guys even get 22x12, 22x10....and they still sound like drums. I'd go that way instead of this "converting a floor tom" business.

I mean - it's the first time it's happened in 7 years and the only reason it happened was because I had "help" from a enthusiastic young man that while being well intentioned - did that thing that non-drummers do with drum hardware....where they loosen all the wrong parts and disconnect all the wrong things haha.

That dixson bass drum lift usually just stays attached to the bass drum pedal - so it's one piece that I never even think twice about.

I'm actually buying my first 22" in about a decade here pretty soon! I've been touring with 18"s and 16"s for the past 10 years or so :)

I keep hearing that there's some magic with a 22X14 - I'll look into that size!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I'm actually buying my first 22" in about a decade here pretty soon! I've been touring with 18"s and 16"s for the past 10 years or so :)

I keep hearing that there's some magic with a 22X14 - I'll look into that size!
Wow ..... a decade driving 16's and 18's only/mostly? That 22x14 is gonna sound huge to you. Be careful, though. I hear the 22 is a "gateway" drum. Next thing you know .... you're driving a 26. It happened to me. It happened to Bo. 😆😆😆
 

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