Very cool. I dig that you have used a slingerland kit for 40 years!! They look killer and that new 16” is indeed easier to load in. I just used my slingerland 16” converted floor tom as a bass drum for polka/german gigs, and it is really easy to load. sounds fine too.
I'm also NOT fond of bass drums of so many lines in the 18" depth. I can dig 16", but prefer 14" for the simple reason that it fits easiest in my car. Wouldn't 14" depths on bass drums be a little cheaper for the companies in production costs?
Huge issue for me with current lines of drums today.
I love the stage customs. My ONLY hang-up with this line and MANY other current lines of drums today is the 17-18" depth on bass drums. This is THE reason from keeping me from buying anything these days. Wish they were made in 14" depths.
Besides that, I would recommend these drums to any...
I change heads only when they break or can’t hold a decent tuning. This has allowed me to save tons of money to spend on method books, instructional dvds, and a small PA for various bands I play in. Don’t buy into the marketing that you need to change heads monthly, yearly, etc.