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


Well-known member
Bench seats? I had and olds and crammed my Ludwig 7pc super classic set in the back seat
In high school I carried a Ludwig Hollywood double bass kit in a Toyota Tercel (2 door). Barely. Unloading it looked like a clown car in a circus... drum after drum kept coming out...


I also seem to prefer a depth to diameter ratio that I think gives the best balance so to speak.

18 diameter-definitely 14 depth

20 diameter-14 preferred but can go 16
(my 20x16 AHM is awesome)

22 diameter-16 depth is my favorite
Punch and articulation like a 14 but with just a bit of the boom effect like an 18. Kind of the best of both worlds.

It’s funny, 22x14 looks a little squished to me now aesthetically when it was my norm for about 15 years. Just speaking aesthetically though, 22x14 is awesome for sure with plenty of bottom and quick response. Just never went the 18 depth route.
I have one 22x18 that doesn't sound bad, but to my taste the deeper a bass drum is, the sillier it looks. When I bought it used I didn't have the choice, otherwise I would have bought a shallower version. But 10 yrs ago was right at the climax of the hyperdrive concept, and everyone wanted cannonlike bass drums :D

18 inch in depth definitely are harder to store in the trunk with all the rest, lugging around doesn't make much difference compared to my 22x14 since the shells are lighter.


Platinum Member
I only have 14 deep bass drums now. Wouldn't say deeper bass drums are getting hate, they're just impractical and the extra depth doesn't really help the tone, same as power toms.

I did have a 22x18 that did a punchy thud really well.

John Q. Drummer

Well-known member
If many of you have the luxury of playing large stages, congratulations. Seriously. My current project, we sometimes get to play either huge stages with ample room for everyone. Conversely we do play a fair amount of stages where the lead singer's heels are LITERALLY an inch away from my front bass drum hoop. (And my back is an inch away from the wall behind me.) We don't use floor wedge monitors that eat up precious stage space. (All IEM's for this band.) My primary gig kits have bass drum depths of either 15" or 16". Stage space is such a premium for us that considering going with an 18" deep bass drum is out of the question.

I've had an 22" diameter x 18" deep bass drum a few years back now. It was a PDP Concept Maple. It was a surprisingly good sounding bass drum, but I do not believe that its sound was in anyway enhanced by it being 18" deep. In regards to my own playing, I found that once the bass drum depths got beyond 16" deep, the front head contributed very little to the overall output when played lightly or even somewhat dynamically. If I was crushing it all night long, sure, it sounded fine. But for what I'm playing now, I need something that is more versatile to the way I play. I also had a Sonor S-Classix 20" diameter x 17" deep bass drum that suffered the same problem. I no longer own either kit. Nor do I own any bass drum size deeper than 16". It was an expensive and time consuming lesson to learn.

I'm trying to get myself to a point where I no longer care about the instrument I'm playing and more about what I'm playing and the sound I'm creating, but bass drum depth is still one thing that I hold on to tightly. I've passed on numerous deals for kits with 18" deep bass drums. In fact, I'm having a heck of a time finding a new kit that doesn't have a darn 18" deep bass drum.


Platinum Member
A couple of the local stages we play, an 18" bass drum would impact one of the other guys' ability to be onstage. I love my 14x22" for just that reason.


Gold Member
In my formative years we only had 14” deep bass drums . In the 80’s Power toms and 16” deep bass drums came into play . I did not mind the 16” deep bass drums but absolutely hated the power toms . I could never get them where I wanted them and the response seemed sluggish to me .

I have owned a few 16” deep bass drums (20” and 22” ) and thought they were ok , but they did not sound or feel like the 14” depth bass drums I am used to . 16” is the absolute deepest bass drum I would use . I have played lots of 22 x 18” bass drums and never came away impressed . I did not like the beater response or the difference in attack of this size bass drum . I can see why some people like them , just not for me .

I currently own bass drums in the following sizes :
20 x 12
20 x 14
24 x 14


Senior Member
For me, I have sticked with the 22x18" kicks since they became the norm around 2004-2005 maybe? I don't know if they sound better (to me they usually sound very good though, thunderous) at least to me they look better, more massive. To me, that is a pro in my music genre... I will say that 22x20" is way too deep for me (had one briefly) though I could definately try a 22x16" (been 15 years since I sold my last kit with that BD size, so I can barely remember...). I prefer 22" though, and 14" is definately too small in my opinion, even if they sound/feel good to play.
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Well-known 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?
shallower drums are more responsive and better to record. 22x16s are my favorite as to me they are very versatile.

Darth Vater

Senior Member
If I had my druthers I'd ask the manufacturers to make 22x16 and 24x14 bass drums. Over the years I've found those sizes to be the sweet spots. Sound great and easy to transport. I only have one kit now. It's a Sonor Prolite with a 22x17.5 bass drum. Sounds great and it's not TOO deep.