Virgin bass drum myth/hoax

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
With a factory 9" hole on the reso side, I play wide open bass drums. With a 4" hole, there's egg crate foam head to head and about 1' wide.
 

jaymandude

Active Member
I hate getting to a festival gig with a backline kit and they’ve hung Tom’s from cymbal stands, it’s a total pain in the ass. Give me the Tom mount all day everyday.
Yes. Completely. My rider says toms on the bass drum, not clamped to cymbal stands.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
lol, yes you are correct....that is when I actually found out that the tom needs to be isolated in some way....so I use GTS mounts now...thank you
Well, I've been a RIMS user for decades. One of the greatest inventions since sliced bread. Just look at the way Gauger influenced the entire drum world.

Since I'm a big fan of Yamaha hardware (drums, stands and racks), all my RIMS mounts have Yamaha tom mounts on them. So whether I've got a Ludwig, Gretsch, Slingerland, Rogers, Tama, RMV, (whatever), etc. kit set up ..... my hardware system is "my" standard ..... modular ...... and I mostly take the factory tom mount off (and save it for if I ever sell that drum). I've got RIMS for 10, 12 (5 lug), 12 (6 lug), 13, 14, 15 inch toms. Seems those are what I've used, over 4 decades.

The only "factory" tom mounts I use are the Yamaha mounts. (Passed & present) 3 Recording Custom kits, 1 9000 series split lug kit, my Stage Customs, my 8000 series, my Rock Tour kit, and my Manu Katche Jr. Yamaha bass drums almost always have a tom mount. Few exceptions. My Rock Tour kit is one. I wound NEVER drill it. Since I usually only run 1 rack tom, I'm fine hanging it off a cymbal stand. Mostly I play 1 up, 2 down. Sometimes 4 piece, but I do love me that 2nd floor tom.;)
 

jda

Well-known Member
ludwig723.jpg

nice and compact.
 

jda

Well-known Member
yours no
mine absolutely
;
 

s1212z

Silver Member
How a tom behaves on a snare stand is entirely relative to the drum itself. Even with the mount on the hoops trick on a light stand, it may not work well. I got second bass drum recently and the question of whether to drill or keep virgin came up. For thin shells with a lot of vibration transfer, everything vibrates quite readily...the shell, the lugs, the hoops...even when holding by the RIMs system in my hand, vibration transfer goes in the RIMs (a reason why I like the aluminum alloy version best). So was either use the Gauger snare basket system or keep to a bass drum mount. I preferred the flex option and definitely it sounded better on the RIMs mount versus a snare stand mount, it was no contest (and like two up, one down sometimes too). Other drums in the snare basket, some of those sounded fine though there was still a sound impact that was actually preferred.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
It's become so pervasive that it's sometimes difficult to buy a kit without a virgin kick.

My local gigging kit is always one with toms on the kick because who has time to mess around with positioning toms before a club gig?
 
  • Like
Reactions: A J

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Regardless of my opinion on virgin/mount kick drums, a thing just occurred to me while reading this:

Two drums of the same model, one a mount and one a virgin, the virgin costs more.

Why? It takes more work to add a mount. It doesnt take more paint/wrap to make a virgin. There are more parts with a mount. There are steps skipped with a virgin.

I see it now. It cost less to build a virgin kick. If we tell them it sounds significantly better, they will pay more for it. That both saves manufacturing cost and brings in more money in sales.

VIRGIN KICKS SHOULD COST THE CONSUMER LESS MONEY
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
It depends what sound you want from the kick. If left wide open, a pair of mounted toms might have a measurable effect, but doubtful it would be audible to the ear or in the context of the kit being played. But once you put a blanket or other damping in the drum, I would agree that there's no audible difference.

This has been my thought as well. I muffle my kicks, so it probably doesn't matter at all. I prefer a virgin kick, but these days I really don't care as much as I used to. The only people I would think would notice anything are people who a.) tune their kicks higher than I do, b.) use no muffling, and c.) have better hearing than I do. I think that a ported head and the types of heads and beater you use would have a much more profound effect on the sound than a couple of holes in the top of the shell.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Positioning is my biggest beef with bass drum mounted toms. They tend to not go left or closer enough. I can generally position one rack tom in a 1U setup, but too far to the right still. Add a second rack and now the whole thing is too far to the right and way too far. Tom in a snare stand solves that for 17 and offset tom stand solves it for 2U. Looks wise, it all just depends. I remember DWs sliding tom tree on a few kits I’ve played. Horrendous looking and weighed an absolute ton, but functionally solved the positioning issue. Tama’s sliding tom tree solved the same, looked way better and saved your back. Yamaha’s tom tree can stop you from mounting the toms as low as you may want depending on BD size, but are light and elegant.

My point…use what works. No one will notice the tone difference, but they will notice if you’re screwing it all up because of using or not using a tom tree and things aren’t where they are comfortable.

Even with all these endless discussions about tom trees/virgin bass drums, tuning and other nitpicking. When I see a band setting up, about the only thing I notice before they start playing is where are there amps in relation to microphones and if they will be using in-ears. Before the first note is ever played, I can tell if they are going to sound decent or the night will be a complete cluster.

Just saw a band play this weekend. Took them two hours to setup. Friends wanted to get a table and sit and I said let’s move on, this band will suck hard! They all chuckled and said “and so says the expert”. I told them regardless it was going to be way too loud and total mud. We stayed. The band played the first three songs and we all left in pain. It wasn’t like I didn’t tell them so.

Oh yeah, I just went off topic again! Going back to talking about the significance in tone with virgin vs tom mounts…..🤪. BTW, the drummer in the referenced band used a tom tree.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Definitely a personal preference thing.
I for one love the look of the virgin kick as opposed to one with a mount. I'm well aware that sonically, there's little difference that the average ear will pick up or even care about. But to me...having a smooth top just gives me the aesthetics I'm after on stage.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
Does using the bass drum mount have an effect similar to putting a paint can or weight in the bass drum? Added mass
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
I'll take a virgin bass drum any day over a heavy, bulky system that never gets my drums where I want them.

Plus, working on the bass drum is much easier (to me). Last month I needed to replace the bass drum batter head. Aside from the bass drum mic, there was no need to touch anything when sliding the drum out of its position to get to the batter head.

Does using the bass drum mount have an effect similar to putting a paint can or weight in the bass drum? Added mass
If it did, Simon Phillips would've ditched the paint cans long ago. Although, in a recent interview he talks about using the weighted cans in the studio but not during live performances. 🤷‍♂️
 
Last edited:

Ronzo

Junior Member
Just my opinion but any structural change to a drum shell must have an effect on sound.
Probably negligible, but it is only logical.
Not saying one is better sounding than the other.
I like either but prefer my virgin bass drums.
If I play well enough in this life I get 70 virgin bass drums in the after life…or is it 72?;)
 

Out of Round

Well-known Member
Just my opinion but any structural change to a drum shell must have an effect on sound.
Probably negligible, but it is only logical.
Not saying one is better sounding than the other.
I like either but prefer my virgin bass drums.
If I play well enough in this life I get 70 virgin bass drums in the after life…or is it 72?;)
This how I feel about it. After using both ways it's more about logistics and the visuals.

I think you get 72 paint cans now. Again with the supply chain issues...
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Staff member
I'll take a virgin bass drum any day over a heavy, bulky system that never gets my drums where I want them.

Plus, working on the bass drum is much easier (to me). Llast month I needed to replace the bass drum batter head. Aside from the bass drum mic, there was no need to touch anything when sliding the drum out of its position to get to the batter head.

This exactly. I've got my set sitting on a riser in the studio mic'ed up and I often have to re-tune or re-muffle the bass drum. I'll just loosen the pedal, move the microphones sitting in front of it and am ready to pull out the bass drum. I'd go crazy if I had to un-mic and remove the toms first, too. Also I'd never find the right position for the toms since my bass drum is sitting in a approx. 25° angle to the center of my body, while the toms are directly in front of it. So yes, virgin all the way.
 
Top