Two floor tom set ups. 14/16 or 16/18?


Senior Member
Lots of love for the 18" tom here! But perhaps y'all are viewing them through rose-tinted glasses.

Let me be the voice of reason and remind everyone that 18s are fun.....until you start gigging with them. They don't play nice with small cars or cramped stages. And you generally have to hit them harder too!

18s definitely have their place in some situations, but 14s are far more versatile and practical to the vast majority of players out there.
Own and play the 14×14 and 16×16 combo. 16 and 18 would be too far away from me to reach, but dig them together. But never discount two 16×16's. Can definitely be tuned for two different pitches. Buddy did it.
I use 16x16" and 18x16" floor toms at the moment. But on my next kit, I plan on going 15x13" and 18x15" which should give a really nice pitch spread between the drums, especially when put with the 10" and 12" rack toms. I went off 14" floor toms a few years ago - I started to find them lacking in depth and generally pretty unsatisfying in tone (apart from when put into higher jazz tunings). Seems the drum industry agrees with me right now as 10, 12, 16" kits are everywhere these days. I like that setup but I think 10, 12, 15, 18" is the ultimate in versatility and tonal satisfaction.


Diamond Member
My Sonor kit had 12, 13, 16, 18 toms with a 22" bass drum. Below is the "for sale" pic.

My Tama kit has 10, 12, 14, 16 with a 22" bass.

For the music I play, I prefer the Tama setup.




Gold Member
My decision is from yeeears of experience and feedback from sound engineers. My 12x14 hanging signia was so deep sounding it eclipsed my 14x16 hanging. I say this with the utmost of confidence that I've yet to hear ANY 16 that could match my 12x14 for a quality punchy low end. I'll take 2 14's over any combo. My 16x18 was just to loooow. One more 12x14 had so much oooomph that it sounded electronic. Even 16's are to tubby and I'm a Bonzo frrreak!


Silver Member
Definitely a 14/16 mix. That interval seems to work with a wide variety of situations. 18" toms can sound boxy live, as well.


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Out of Round

Active Member
I've used both configs in the past and generally prefer the 14/16 combo (with a 20" kick) for floor space and weight hauling reasons.

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I used to use a 16 and an 18 when I was younger. I've had some good 14's (Brooklyn, Prolite) but I prefer just a 16 now.


Silver Member
I have no use for a 14" FT because I prefer the wide interval between my 12" tom and 16. So a second floor would be an 18. Unfortunately I'll never own one because a higher end floor tom costs nearly half as much as the rest of the kit. I'm a little smarter than that with my money.

Gotta go, the hookers are here with the drugs.
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