Your thoughts on "20 x "12 kick drums

Vandalay

Member
Shallower kicks are definitely a thing, Tama's SSC Neo mod has a 20 x 10 kick, would a 20 x 12 sound decent?
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I've been posting about shallow kicks the last several weeks. I bought an 18x10 with a new INDe kit. Very musical it has a note. It's not a big boomy hard rock sound. It s a classy jazz note that can be a high or moderate/ low note. It's not loud at all it's quiet. Fits a certain niche of sound quite well.
 

roncadillac

Member
I've owned (dia x dep) 22x16 x2, 28x14, 20x16, 20x10, 18x7, 16x16 x2, 16x14 x2, 16x6... I think that's it lol. Out of all of the above I liked 18x7 (club jam mini, also played a 18x10 to that was great) and 16x14 the most sound wise. The 18x7 was so punchy and warm but it had crappy hardware and trouble holding tune, hardware issue and not the shell size stopped me from using it. I'm totally in love with 16x14 right now, if I need more volume I mic it but in turn use it as a reason to play quieter.

As for your question, I think that is a really cool size (said with no experience). The shallow depth should shorten your attack and the larger diameter will give you a deeper note. Most guys who try a 20" stay there and for a reason.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I have a standard 20x14 and it does a great job. When I had the Pearl Rhythm Traveler 20x8, that size only sounds good with a full front reso, but sucked if you ported it and put a small dampener for miking purposes. The 14” depth seems to handle both well - wide open and muffling. I would think 12” depth wouldn’t be that different.
 

Vandalay

Member
Well part of my reasoning is my age, I'm 60, and in the rare occasion that I gig I'd like something that can fit in the back seat of my Acura, then there's the space considerations onstage. and finally, I just think a 12 inch tom just looks better with a "20 than an "18 (yes it's a silly reason, but that's just me)
 

roncadillac

Member
Well part of my reasoning is my age, I'm 60, and in the rare occasion that I gig I'd like something that can fit in the back seat of my Acura, then there's the space considerations onstage. and finally, I just think a 12 inch tom just looks better with a "20 than an "18 (yes it's a silly reason, but that's just me)
Those Chinese made Tama birch and maple shells are fantastic, the kit you are looking at doesn't have any of the hardware I complained about on the club jam mini kit and should serve you well. Also consider the pearl midtown, I was a Tama guy most of my life but this little thing is fantastic. Floor tom is so light I can bounce it in one hand like a ball.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I wonder if there is a golden ratio of depth to diameter that produces the most punch and best tone? Basically an optimal volume for any given diameter 16-26 in bass drum- what is there optimal depth? So a ratio of 1 would be same depth and diameter (16X16, 20X20, 22X22, 24X24) Oh heck no too boomy!, so then .5 d/h (16X8, 20X10,22X11, 24X12) so in range of new shallow ones, .6 (16X10 20X12,22X13,24X14), .8 (16X13,20X16, 22X18, 24X19) so on-skipped .7 ratio and 18 in bass drums oops. Anyways I've got a 24X14(that's a .6) sounds great, then a 16X13 that sounds great (hmm that a .8) and finally a 22X18 sounds great (hmmmm that a .8). So I answered my own question heck no there is no magical ratio that fits all diameters. What a waste of time. Why did you folks send me on this goose chase?
 
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mikyok

Platinum Member
20x12 would work fine. Didn't Ludwig offer them in the 60s, I know Ginger Baker used one in cream.

Forget the name of the kit model.

Some of the little travel kits are great, I had a midtown and it was Rock solid. Only problem is the wood isn't amazing on them but good heads work wonders.

I'd happily recommend the Saturn v tour which I use now 20x14/12x8/14x14. Good wood, easy to transport and sounds amazing.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have 2 - 20 x 12 bass drums. From the first time I played one, I thought it was a great size. I still think that.

They don't sound too much different than a 20 x 14 IMO. I have a kit set up with those 2 exact sized bass drums set up side by side. So I've been comparing them lately. The 14" depth has a little longer shell resonance after the strike and maybe a tad more boom, but the 20 x 12 is a little punchier. I'm splitting hairs here, it wouldn't be noticeable in a band setting. It's an easy bass drum to move around.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I recently bought a custom built (Stubblefield Drums) 20x12. LOVE IT! Punchy, still has great bottom end (with my tuning), and--even with my bad back, I can pick that puppy up with one arm (not that I really choose to do that ;) ). It's a great drum.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
So I answered my own question heck no there is no magical ratio that fits all diameters.
There is Art, it's called the "make it 14" deep & move on" ratio ;) So long as it's a decent drum, works perfectly on all sizes.

Seriously though, I first started making 20" x 12" bass drums in 2012, simply because experimentation showed it to offer a valid useable / versatile delivery in a fairly compact size. Granted, it was a specific construction that teased the most shell contribution to help it along, nevertheless, it's a size I like a lot. 22" x 12" works well too, but 24" x 12" starts to lose out for me if versatility is a consideration, as does 18" x 12 at the other end of the spectrum.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I'm always on the lookout for this one Premier kit that had a shallow kick. There was a minty one for sale in Ireland last year that I should have bought, but I thought about it too long and then poof it was gone.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
There is Art, it's called the "make it 14" deep & move on" ratio ;) So long as it's a decent drum, works perfectly on all sizes.

Seriously though, I first started making 20" x 12" bass drums in 2012, simply because experimentation showed it to offer a valid useable / versatile delivery in a fairly compact size. Granted, it was a specific construction that teased the most shell contribution to help it along, nevertheless, it's a size I like a lot.
LOL I was hoping you'd chime in Andy. In "my mind" I would think it's like Goldilock's too small or too big problematic-has to be just right which is apparently 14in LOL. Given the nature of a bass drum I wondered if depth is that big a deal compared to more tone toms? I've been wary of shallow toms but recently I've playing with a 12X5 snare as a tom (it's the crappy Pearl RT POD snare I put an Evan EC reverse Dot snare head on it- sounds awesome as tom-or at least better a tom than snare LOL-mabye trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear ) which surprised me it's so shallow-it's louder and more tone than my 10X8 tom. Did you ever build really shallow tom shells?
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
There is Art, it's called the "make it 14" deep & move on" ratio ;) So long as it's a decent drum, works perfectly on all sizes.

Seriously though, I first started making 20" x 12" bass drums in 2012, simply because experimentation showed it to offer a valid useable / versatile delivery in a fairly compact size. Granted, it was a specific construction that teased the most shell contribution to help it along, nevertheless, it's a size I like a lot. 22" x 12" works well too, but 24" x 12" starts to lose out for me if versatility is a consideration, as does 18" x 12 at the other end of the spectrum.
So wood species or lay up aren't versatile but specific construction and size choice are? Hmmm.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Did you ever build really shallow tom shells?
Nothing larger than 10" diameter generally, but I did build one extremely thin (3mm stave walnut) set with 14" x 8" tom & 18" x 14" floor tom. Spectacular and very individual sounding set. This video with no EQ / audio manipulation


Same kit but with some processing (ahead of a GGD sample recording session) and ported bass drum




So wood species or lay up aren't versatile but specific construction and size choice are? Hmmm.
I'm not sure I've ever said that, or at least, not without specific context. Variations in construction & species can absolutely feed into a drum's characteristic in terms of individuality of delivery (I think the above example in this post amply displays that), but that doesn't mean the drums aren't versatile, just arguably better suited to certain playing situations. Drum size however, and to a lesser extent depth, does usually have a more notable affect on delivery.

In the example above, the greater focus and lack of lower overtones associated with shallow shells, is in some respects compensated by the more significant shell contribution achieved through an ultra low mass construction + species selection.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
No, I didn't mean you said it , just that there are conflicting comments on all of this stuff. you know drums aren't versatile people are , etc etc. I have bass drums from 18" to 26" I think that's the best way to be versatile sound wise.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
No, I didn't mean you said it , just that there are conflicting comments on all of this stuff. you know drums aren't versatile people are , etc etc. I have bass drums from 18" to 26" I think that's the best way to be versatile sound wise.
Ah, ok, thanks Pete. I took it as a loose quote from me - sorry.

Agree, sizing (& accompanying available tuning choices) offers the primary route to having an ideal instrument for the application.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I have owned a lot of shallower depth bass drums
20 x 8 Premier
18 x 12 INDe
20 x 10 Well Custom
20 x 12 TRS Custom

I like the shallower depths - I would not less than 10” deep on a 20” bass drum though . Too much beater slap back and it forces you to port the rest head ( which I try to avoid as much as possible).
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
The studio I play in has one & it's great as the engineer can dial it in perfectly. Not too boomy & just the right amount of punch.
They're great for smaller gigs too. Fit great on smaller stages.
 
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