Udrilled,virgin base drum pros&cons

cbphoto

Gold Member
Please let me start a food fight. (Anyone) that can't hear the difference between a virgin kick versus one or a two tom mount on that drum has clay !!#$&!! Ears...end of story. No debate..period.
A drummer I respect, Simon Phillips, is acutely aware of the nuanced sounds a drum kit can make. Just watch any of the videos of his studio setup. He’s extremely picky.

“An 18” deep bass drum? No, never.” or “Bubinga sounds just a bit brittle.”

And he uses two tom tree configurations and I’d say its effect on the bass drums are exactly what he wants.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
For my setup I can't utilize toms mounted to the bass drum since throne, snare and the 2 up are set up in a straight line and the bass drum is more like an extension to my right leg. So yeah, I'm playing virgins if I have the choice.

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moxman

Silver Member
Well.. Carpet is not an issue as my kicks dont touch the floor. The pedal is on thr rim..and the spurs and lugs are a constant. So comparing the mount and tom weight sitting on the shell compared to nothing is the issue. Again.. I think the difference is minimal sonically.. Its more about the drum construction and heads etc. In fact,.. I'd like to see some scientific proof that there is any sonic difference between mounted and virgin.
 
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J-W

Well-known member
You mean like the spurs, the pedal, and the carpeted floor? Yep, totally resonant object.

I literally have none of these things touching the shells. The only things making contact with the shells are the lugs and the heads. No spurs, the pedals attach to the hoops and they are "suspended" (cantilevered, actually) 16" off of the carpeted floor.
That said, I think the biggest difference is getting them off the floor (not necessarily that far), not mounts, spurs, etc...
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I literally have none of these things touching the shells. The only things making contact with the shells are the lugs and the heads. No spurs, the pedals attach to the hoops and they are "suspended" (cantilevered, actually) 16" off of the carpeted floor.
That said, I think the biggest difference is getting them off the floor (not necessarily that far), not mounts, spurs, etc...
You have that Voelker rack though. The rest of us mortals must use the floor! How exactly do the kicks hang off the riser? Something must be keeping them from falling.

As far as pedals, I'll argue the hoops affect the shell through the lugs in the same way hoops affect all other drums. Clamp something to that hoop and it becomes "attached" also. That pedal then sits on the floor, making a direct connection to it.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Aside from the aesthetics some further thoughts: I see a difference between a 2" hole and a couple of 1/5" structure-wise, any additional holes will have an impact on the structure. Toms with mounts and stands add quite some weight which will force the round shape of the bass drum into an ellipsoid, also putting different pressures onto the lugs. So I'd say a well-tuned bass drum without toms might loose its even tension around the lugs when toms are mounted afterwards. And the fact that there's stuff mounted to it doesn't mean one could throw even more metal onto it while not expecting any changes in resonancy or base frequency. Keeping the footprint of attachments low can't be too bad, every piece of metal raises the shells resonant frequency a bit. Also my pedal doesn't touch the shell at all, on my bass drum it is mounted to the rim. And I see a difference in just mic'ing or additionally throwing a load of effects like equalizer onto it - for my bass drum sound I'm aiming to just mixing three mics (plus overheads) together without the need of adding changes to their frequency response - at best. So I see a difference in mic'ing and mic'ing.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
A drummer I respect, Simon Phillips, is acutely aware of the nuanced sounds a drum kit can make. Just watch any of the videos of his studio setup. He’s extremely picky.
“An 18” deep bass drum? No, never.”

Not by choice particularly, but I've had nothing but fantastic results from 18" deep bass drums. Back in the day that was the default depth of N&C kicks. My 1991 Horizon 18 x 22" is one of there best recording bass drums I own.
The trouble with these discussions is that you can find multiple great examples of every option - in this instance, classic recordings of kits with bass drum mounted toms, and classic recordings of kits with virgin kicks and stand mounted toms. I think it just has to come down to personal taste.
The only actual con I can think of with a virgin kick is they have less weight, so are prone to creeping away from you as you play.
 

J-W

Well-known member
How exactly do the kicks hang off the riser? Something must be keeping them from falling.

I made a "RIMS" style mount out of .25" aluminum plate that has a tom mount attached to it. The weight of the drum rests on the riser/pedal base, and the mount keeps it from tipping forward.
IMG_0497a.jpg
IMG_4841a.jpg

My old shells were suspended from the rack via the large standard tom tree mount on the bass drum and I could tell the difference between on the rack vs. on the spurs/ground. They sounded much more massive once suspended. I removed the spurs when I mounted the old shells to the rack, but I doubt that had as much of an impact as getting them off the ground. The new shells aren't an apples to apples comparison since they are different depth, but they sound even better than the old.
All that said, once mic'd and/or with other instruments going those differences become almost inaudible, I'm sure.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Undrilled virgin bass drum sounds redundant - if it has been drilled it’s no longer a virgin. I’d never had a virgin till I was about 60 years of age. Dang that sounds so creepy out of context. But after having both I see merits of either so each fine. Seems you have more freedom in set ups with a virgin.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I made a "RIMS" style mount out of .25" aluminum plate that has a tom mount attached to it. The weight of the drum rests on the riser/pedal base, and the mount keeps it from tipping forward.
View attachment 100034
View attachment 100035

My old shells were suspended from the rack via the large standard tom tree mount on the bass drum and I could tell the difference between on the rack vs. on the spurs/ground. They sounded much more massive once suspended. I removed the spurs when I mounted the old shells to the rack, but I doubt that had as much of an impact as getting them off the ground. The new shells aren't an apples to apples comparison since they are different depth, but they sound even better than the old.
All that said, once mic'd and/or with other instruments going those differences become almost inaudible, I'm sure.
That's really cool. Quite the innovative mount you have there. I was expecting to see it in the front however, basically the drum hanging from it.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
For my setup I can't utilize toms mounted to the bass drum since throne, snare and the 2 up are set up in a straight line and the bass drum is more like an extension to my right leg. So yeah, I'm playing virgins if I have the choice.

.View attachment 100031

this is pretty much me exactly, and the diagram is how I think about my set up too. The virgin BD allows me to not have to "wrench" any part of my body into a weird position to access anything. I will be getting a remote hat so I can do some tweaking to my left side set up as well.

I think that "virgin" heads have more to do with sound quality than a virgin shell honestly. Heads that are not doctored by holes or muffling create the "honest" sound. On my rock kit, I have no muffling other than what comes on the batter head (PS3), but I do have a mic hole cut in front. On my jazz kit, the heads are truly "virgin" (PS3 Fiberskyn batter/Remo white custom logo head on reso).
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
This is too brittle?

When I'm in the same room bubinga sounds brittle to me. Recordings don't count. Anything sounds good miced

I'm not a fan of real hard woods for drum shells. 1700 and below on the Janka scale is where I prefer

I think Bubinga is twice that. Walnut, which I love, hovers around the 1000 range. I prefer softer hardwoods lol.
 
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CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I love virgin basses for aesthetic reasons. I dislike tom mounts and racks and play my only "up tom" in a snare stand, so a virgin bass is ideal for me.

Same here. They just look better IMO and I like the versatility of what I can put around them.

Once you stick a mic in there all bets are off. Virgin, skank, your neighbors mom, they all scream like banshees if their mic'd up while you pound them.

This is by far THE best response to this topic I've ever heard. :LOL: This answer covers not only this topic, but all those others talking about tonality of woods & head tunings. 🤘 🤘
 

felonious69

Well-known member
I like it when folks want to drill a virgin kick and post about it here. That's always a pro, makes for a fun thread. I also like it when someone takes a virgin drum, stuffs it full of laundry, cuts a hole in the reso, then tries to justify it sounding better because it has no mount.

I like it when someone takes a kick, removes the mount to make it "virgin", then puts a metal plate over the hole so we cant see it, like it didnt used to be there.

I like it when a virgin kick is unmuffled, tuned to perfection, to be surrounded by toms that sound like 30 year old wet cardboard.

Once you stic a mic in there all bets are off. Virgin, skank, your neighbors mom, they all scream like banshees if their mic'd up while you pound them.
I'm mostly a "the neighbors mom" kinda guy.
She knows stuff.
She can go home.
She usually knows how to make treats.
Her kids ain't your kids so they can go home too...
Just so many good things about it.
 
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