What's with the different bass hoop widths?

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
As some of you know, I acquired a nice Rogers late 70s Big R kit, and now that I have it up and running, I really like it. There's something about playing a basic 5-piece in those traditional sizes (and sometimes as a 4-piece) that just lights me up. Compared to today's' technological standards for drums, this kit isn't really all that special. It's just a basic maple kit and it works for everything.

But the one improvement I just made to it was replacing the stock Rogers bass drum hoops with Ludwig hoops. I've always liked the deeper Ludwig hoops, and basically used that width of hoops on all of my drums through my lifetime. Question is, who originally decided 1.5" was acceptable as a bass drum hoop? And why did Ludwig decide to go deeper to 1.75"? I think this is a historically significant question. I think it looks better, and a beefier hoop tends to stay flat against the head better, and there's more for the pedal to grab on to (maybe it was determined by the pedal in the first place?). Anybody have any thoughts on this? When I look back at the big four drum companies and possibly Leedy and Camco as well, you got the width of their bass drum hoops and that was that. It's odd that there wasn't an adopted standard of bass drum hoop width back then.
 

camcoman

Senior Member
See that, you just made me measure all my wood hoops, with absolutely no answer. Bass drums 60's Camco 1.5", 90's Noble & Cooley 1.75", 00's Maryland 1.75". Snare drums both 30's/40's 16" Ludwig & Ludwig 1", 14" Gretsch 1.125". Go figure.
 

porter

Platinum Member
I think my Tamas right now are 1.75" but my new kit's are 1.5". I could not tell you why, only that I think the 3"+ ones look terribad.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think my Tamas right now are 1.75" but my new kit's are 1.5". I could not tell you why, only that I think the 3"+ ones look terribad.
I hear you on the really wide hoops - that just looks silly. But my Ludwig ones actually measure out to a little over 1.75", and it just beefs up the look. Of course, I think it adds to the stability of the drum for tuning, but I could be completely wrong on that. When I added the Ludwig hoops to the Rogers bass drum, the drum just looks phatter without the shell having to be deeper than 14". I like it.
 

gretsch-o-rama

Senior Member
As some of you know, I acquired a nice Rogers late 70s Big R kit, and now that I have it up and running, I really like it. There's something about playing a basic 5-piece in those traditional sizes (and sometimes as a 4-piece) that just lights me up. Compared to today's' technological standards for drums, this kit isn't really all that special. It's just a basic maple kit and it works for everything.

But the one improvement I just made to it was replacing the stock Rogers bass drum hoops with Ludwig hoops. I've always liked the deeper Ludwig hoops, and basically used that width of hoops on all of my drums through my lifetime. Question is, who originally decided 1.5" was acceptable as a bass drum hoop? And why did Ludwig decide to go deeper to 1.75"? I think this is a historically significant question. I think it looks better, and a beefier hoop tends to stay flat against the head better, and there's more for the pedal to grab on to (maybe it was determined by the pedal in the first place?). Anybody have any thoughts on this? When I look back at the big four drum companies and possibly Leedy and Camco as well, you got the width of their bass drum hoops and that was that. It's odd that there wasn't an adopted standard of bass drum hoop width back then.
This is a huge deal for me and very interesting. My USA kit(from the late 90's, early 2000's) has a very shallow hoop. At first I liked this and thought it was good. It wasn't like the deeper renown and DW hoops I had been familiar with. Deeper hoops are better from a physics standpoint although Im no physicist. My theory is that a deeper or more extending stoke(provided by a deeper hoop) from a pedal is a good thing. That way you have a longer stroke with less wind up=more velocity(which is the greatest force at work in pedals imo)

Ive also noticed with a deeper hoop you may have a tendency to shorten your pedal stoke( which may also be a good thing)

Also, Gretsch hasn't always made the best choices for functionality as far as features.....
 

wsabol

Gold Member
I definitely prefer the thinner hoops because of the angle at which the beater hits the head. The pedal can only slide so far onto the hoops. The wider the hoop, the further from the head your pedal will be and the steeper the angle of the beater will be on impact. Yea they look cooler, but I think its more comfortable with 1.5" hoops and you can get a better sound/feel from your kick.
 

porter

Platinum Member
My theory is that a deeper or more extending stoke(provided by a deeper hoop) from a pedal is a good thing. That way you have a longer stroke with less wind up=more velocity(which is the greatest force at work in pedals imo)

Ive also noticed with a deeper hoop you may have a tendency to shorten your pedal stoke( which may also be a good thing)

Also, Gretsch hasn't always made the best choices for functionality as far as features.....
I definitely prefer the thinner hoops because of the angle at which the beater hits the head. The pedal can only slide so far onto the hoops. The wider the hoop, the further from the head your pedal will be and the steeper the angle of the beater will be on impact. Yea they look cooler, but I think its more comfortable with 1.5" hoops and you can get a better sound/feel from your kick.
Yup- pedals can only slide a certain amount onto the hoops, and ideally you want the beater coming in perpendicularly to the head so that the shaft is parallel when they touch.
Don't forget that most pedals have the ability to adjust the beater head back so you can change the rotational distance of the beater from the head.
 

gretsch-o-rama

Senior Member
Yup- pedals can only slide a certain amount onto the hoops, and ideally you want the beater coming in perpendicularly to the head so that the shaft is parallel when they touch.
Don't forget that most pedals have the ability to adjust the beater head back so you can change the rotational distance of the beater from the head.
hmmmm...Ive heard a lot of people say that about pedals without giving any rationale as to why. Id like to hear some "science" behind it. But you're mainly talking about where the bass drum head is as opposed to where the pedal is. You can "place" the bass drum angle by bring the front up with the spurs. I still say getting the pedal posts away from the head is a good thing and is independent of the beater angle, when it makes contact..
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Yup- pedals can only slide a certain amount onto the hoops, and ideally you want the beater coming in perpendicularly to the head so that the shaft is parallel when they touch.
Don't forget that most pedals have the ability to adjust the beater head back so you can change the rotational distance of the beater from the head.
That may be true of modern pedals,but not so much about older models,including the speed king,floating action,swiv-0-matic,Tama/Camco,Ghost,Yellow Jacket,and many other excellent but older pedals.

They lack the level of adjustment of or more modern offerings,and for the most part,you'll see the top 1/3 of the beaters of these pedals worn,while the rest of the beater dosen't contact the head at all.Older pedals do NOT place the beater perpendicular to the head for the most part.

Ludwig made 1/4" deeper hoops so the bass pedal had a little more room to clamp on to the hoop,so it woulden't slide off as some pedals did with shallower hoops.That's why the speed king and speed master pedals,clamp a little deeper on to a bass drum hoop.

Steve B
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yup- pedals can only slide a certain amount onto the hoops, and ideally you want the beater coming in perpendicularly to the head so that the shaft is parallel when they touch.
Don't forget that most pedals have the ability to adjust the beater head back so you can change the rotational distance of the beater from the head.
I don't ever recall this being the case. All throughout my lifetime my beater never hit the head perpendicular - it always angled forward regardless of the hoop width for me. Are you sure?
 

porter

Platinum Member
That may be true of modern pedals,but not so much about older models,including the speed king,floating action,swiv-0-matic,Tama/Camco,Ghost,Yellow Jacket,and many other excellent but older pedals.
I hadn't considered those! Yeah, that makes sense in that situation- there probably wouldn't be a way to adjust the stroke length outside of displacement from the head.

As far as perpendicular, it's more of a longevity thing than sound- and it's probably not much of an issue with most felt beaters- but with hard beaters (i.e. plastic) with semi-pointed edges (slight bevels IMO still count but YMMV), and off-angle entry, the sharp-ish edge should theoretically dig into the head over time (especially if one is not using a protective pad like a Falam Slam). For example, if the plastic Puresound Speedball beater didn't "self-adjust", that edge would probably not be good for the head if it were off-angle for a large amount of strokes.

Additionally, if the beater isn't parallel- especially if it's gone past the true vertical angle- then the normal force that propels it back from the head (rebound) won't align perfectly with the beater's rotational/tangential velocity, so part of it will go directly into the beater/shaft, and part will push the beater back. If the beater's parallel, however, all of that rebound goes towards pushing the beater back. Subtleties, but nonetheless, factors. Probably not a big deal, but if you have the capability to make it that way- why not?
 
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