Why is there a lack of love for 22x18" bass drums?

sillypilot

Junior Member
Hi all - Just trying to understand the lack of love for 22x18" bass drums? I've got both 22x16 and 22x18 and they're both great. I've never had transportation issues with either or stage space issues either. Or the famous "booooooom"....

Is it just a fad that there is a lot of dislike for this depth?
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I prefer the responsiveness of shallower bass drums. And to my ear, the 18” depth has punch but doesn’t match the low end I get from a 16” or 14” depth.
I currently have a Gretsch USA 14”x22” that has more low end grunt than my previous 18” depth drums.

The response of the heads suits my taste more. I can get a great tone at a wider volume range because it takes less to move the reso head.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I'm sure the differences are subtle. I recently went to a from 22x18 to 22x16 and I hear the difference but there were other factors involved too; different brand, build quality, etc.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I'm not a fan simply due to the logistics of a drum that size. It is difficult to fit into my small car, some stages are tiny, so a shallower drum works better, etc..

I also think a 14" depth bass drum has a bit quicker response and a bit more punch.
 
It comes down to whether you like a sound, or not, and what your musical application is. Just like I have no use for an 18 inch bass drum. I think they sound thin, and look ridiculous. Especially with a big player behind them. But that's just me. It's not about loving a bass drum. It's about the usefulness of its sound in a particular musical context. If it works for you, stay with it, otherwise, you can search for other sound options.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I have 16X22, 18X22, and 14X20 I like them all for sound and feel. I really can't tell much difference except for traveling and small stages, then I like the 20 the most. I sure like the looks of a deep kick though.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've had 14", 16", and 18" depths and I like them all. If I'm on a vintage vibe, I wanna 14". I have to admit my 18" Pearl Reference drum literally shakes the walls when I just use two power strokes front and back. I do say the 18" sucks because it will not fit in the backseat of a small car, and I have to case it up and have it in the back of my truck if I use it. This is probably why there's not alot of love for the 18" depth, but there is love.
 

Drumprof

Member
I have never owned one. I have just never liked them aesthetically to be honest. Don’t care for the way they stick out from under the toms and have that cannon like look. I don’t know, that’s just me I guess.
Everything was 14 depth when I was getting into drums which sounded and felt great. I thought they just wanted to charge more money for more drum.
Not saying they aren’t great for those that like them, I have just always been more traditional. Same with virgin bass drums. Always have had bass mounted toms.
I now own a 22x16, 20x16, 20x14 and I love them all for their different applications but that’s as deep as I’ll go.

I also kind of look at bass drums like snares...a 14 depth bass drum is like a 5 or 5.5 snare and a 16 depth bass drum is like a 6.5 snare. Just a little more body but still with good response and with a touch more depth (or boom in this case). Never had a need for an 8 inch deep snare.
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I have never owned one. I have just never liked them aesthetically to be honest. Don’t care for the way they stick out from under the toms and have that cannon like look. I don’t know, that’s just me I guess.
Everything was 14 depth when I was getting into drums which sounded and felt great. I thought they just wanted to charge more money for more drum.
Not saying they aren’t great for those that like them, I have just always been more traditional. Same with virgin bass drums. Always have had bass mounted toms.
I now own a 22x16, 20x16, 20x14 and I love them all for their different applications but that’s as deep as I’ll go.

I also kind of look at bass drums like snares...a 14 depth bass drum is like a 5 or 5.5 snare and a 16 depth bass drum is like a 6.5 snare. Just a little more body but still with good response and with a touch more depth (or boom in this case). Never had a need for an 8 inch deep snare.
Actually, the 18” deep bass drum looks “normal” when it’s under my rack. I’ve used a 14” deep bass drum under a rack and it disappears. Maybe that’s why we have 18”, for rack aesthetics.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Longer BD depths are falling out of favor judging from the opinions expressed here. I have a 22 x 20 DW bass drum that will get cut down in the future to 22 x 16. They do look rediculous IMO, the beer can shaped bass drums. I never had a problem with any bass drum depth tone-wise, still don't. But 16 is the deepest I'll go now. Mainly for looks and ease of transport.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
I've never had transportation issues
You should probably state what kind vehicle you drive when you say that. I was able to transport TWO 24" x 14" bass drums in the back seat of an Oldsmobile back in the day. I now haul my entire 6-piece set (including a 22" x 16" bass drum) in a VW Golf.
 

motleyh

Senior Member
Listening to a kick drum from the player's position can be deceiving. I've found that deep bass drums that sound big and boomy to the drummer can often sound flat and boxy to the audience.

It's always helpful to get in front of the kit while someone else plays it. There may be surprises, especially in terms of snare and tom ring, cymbal definition, etc., but also the kick drum sound may be radically different from what you thought it was. Best of all, listen to it that way when it's in a band mix -- you may have a lot of tuning changes to do.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Listening to a kick drum from the player's position can be deceiving. I've found that deep bass drums that sound big and boomy to the drummer can often sound flat and boxy to the audience.

It's always helpful to get in front of the kit while someone else plays it. There may be surprises, especially in terms of snare and tom ring, cymbal definition, etc., but also the kick drum sound may be radically different from what you thought it was. Best of all, listen to it that way when it's in a band mix -- you may have a lot of tuning changes to do.
this is pretty much why I stick to 16s...they have a sweet spot in my ear out front that I can't get with 18's or 14's...and, I like a 20" diameter, which is probably part of the problem

my step son has an 18 on his kit though...a 2016 Pearl Export, and it sounds like a cannon...but it is a 22 diameter...
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
You should probably state what kind vehicle you drive when you say that. I was able to transport TWO 24" x 14" bass drums in the back seat of an Oldsmobile back in the day. I now haul my entire 6-piece set (including a 22" x 16" bass drum) in a VW Golf.
Bench seats? I had and olds and crammed my Ludwig 7pc super classic set in the back seat
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I can live with a 22x18, but I prefer 22x16. First for practical reason, transportation,... second for the sound, it seemed easier to get the sound I like from a 22x16.
Aesthetically, both are fine, but I don’t like 22x20 beer can.
 
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