18” Depth Bass Drums. Your thoughts?

Houndog

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My 24x18 Fibes gives me fits .
One of these days I’m gonna cut it down .
My 24x14 Slingerland is perfect ..
 

DanRH

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I've gotten to the point where all my bass drums are 14" deep except for one, my Club Custom 22. It's a 17x22 but I'm not going to cut it down. It's too rare. I'll deal. I did cut my Stage Custom to a 13.75 from a 17 and couldn't be happier.
 

What It Is

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Sentiments about the 18" acknowledged; they were hard to avoid if you were buying new in the late 90's/early 00's. I've got two: Tama Starclassic and Yamaha Oak Custom. They sound wonderful and I enjoy playing them, but I'd be hard pressed to really tell the difference in a club. 22's are hard enough in clubs, I haven't brought a 22 to a gig in years. The 14x20 is the sweet spot for me. If we're really griping about drum sizes, then the brutal 9x12 was worse than the 18x22. Could never get those to sound good.
 

hsosdrum

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It's all about proportions. A 16" depth is too long on a 22" diameter drum — it kills the drums' feel and response without adding anything useful to the sound in return. But a 16" depth is perfect on a 26" diameter drum — it adds some "whomp" and even more body to the drum's sound without really affecting the feel and response on such a large drum. 18" x 22" is just silly, IMHO.
 

audiochurch

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18” depths are a huge reason why i havent bought anything new/used in 10 years. I hope the drum companies see this and bring back 14” depths.
 
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spaeth

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I almost skipped buying my Ayotte because the bass drum was 24x18. So glad I didn’t. You can get many different sounds out of the deeper drum. I had not thought of the point someone above made about diameter to depth ratio. Maybe I would hate a 20x18. My favorite bass drum ever was a 26x16 Ludwig Classic maple. I never found a sound I liked out of my 26x14 Yamaha Recording Custom bass drum. Many variables in each of those scenarios but I would say if it is a little out of your comfort zone but the rest of the kit speaks to you, then go for it. Especially if it is a good enough deal that you could move them along later. Experience it for yourself and then decide. My Jenkins Martin bass drum is 24x15 and it is my second all time favorite bass drum. I get the Ayotte kit into our 99 Tdi Beetle so I don’t know what car you can’t fit them in but it is only a few inches difference.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I had a kit with a 24 x 18 bass drum and just could never warm up to this bass drum . It was a pain to load in and out of my car . It did not have the beater response of a 24 x 14” . Took up a lot of stage space too . I far prefer bass drums that are only 14” deep .
 

DavedrumsTX

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Sentiments about the 18" acknowledged; they were hard to avoid if you were buying new in the late 90's/early 00's. I've got two: Tama Starclassic and Yamaha Oak Custom. They sound wonderful and I enjoy playing them, but I'd be hard pressed to really tell the difference in a club. 22's are hard enough in clubs, I haven't brought a 22 to a gig in years. The 14x20 is the sweet spot for me. If we're really griping about drum sizes, then the brutal 9x12 was worse than the 18x22. Could never get those to sound good.
Yes. Wasn’t a 9x12 fan
 

DavedrumsTX

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I had a kit with a 24 x 18 bass drum and just could never warm up to this bass drum . It was a pain to load in and out of my car . It did not have the beater response of a 24 x 14” . Took up a lot of stage space too . I far prefer bass drums that are only 14” deep .
I’ve been playing a 14x20 for years and occasionally played a 14x22 or 14x18. I started playing a 14x24 about 6 months ago and love it.
 

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I special ordered my custom Tama Star Walnut 8 piece set with matching 14"x6.5" snare from Japan. I ordered the depths I wanted because I wanted deeper shells.
For the bass, I ordered a 20 inch bass that is 18 inches deep, it's the deepest 20 inch they make, and man, it's a great bass.
I got 4 rack toms and two floor toms.
Tama Star Walnut 8 piece set
Satin Charcoal Japanese Sen
special ordered from Japan directly.
8 × 7 tom tom
10 × 8 tom tom
12 × 9 tom tom
13 × 11 tom tom
14 × 14 floor tom
16 × 16 floor tom
20 × 18 bass drum
14" x 6.5" matching snare
6" and 8" mini tymps
I have the power tower rack system which is so much better than having the crazy amount of stands I used before I got the rack. I also have two mini tymps, so its really 10 drums. I have a Roland TD-6KV module and a couple dual trigger pads. I think the TD-6KV was a great set, which I still use for like 15 years, so I found a TD-6 module on eBay really cheap for some effects with the tama star walnut set.
I have a Pearl 3002c eliminator dual chain double pedal and a Pearl h1050 hihat stand.
Two pairs of Paiste 2002 sound edge hihats, and a dozen other cymbals, mostly 2002s, and a signature and 602. I do have a 20 and 22 inch Paiste 2002 rides. I made a list for anyone that would be interested in knowing what cymbals I have, most are over 30 years old. I've been playing over 45 years.
Cymbals
Paiste 2002
14" sound edge hihats (x2 pair)
8", 10", 12" splash
13", 14", 15", 17" crash ,
19" power crash
20", 22" rides
Signature
16" Full Crash
602 series
16" thin crash
Twenty Series
17" thin crash
PstX
14" Swiss thin crash
Alpha
8" thin splash
Zildjian
10" splash (35 years old)

17 Paiste 1 Zildjian = 18 cymbals
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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I bought a used 18x20 birch bass drum. I never liked the boomy sound of power toms, and the 18" depth of the bass is no different. I had the depth of the shell cut down to 16", and would have gone down to 15" if the lugs would have allowed me to. I also had maple re-rings and bearing edges added, Now it sounds good. One of the best bass drums I ever heard was a 12x24!!
 

doubleroll

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I have played 14“, 16”, and 18” depths bass drums and I’m ok with them all. I currently have a 18”x22” Gretsch USA custom that simply sounds fantastic live or in the studio. Feels great as well. That said, When I ordered my SQ2 kit I opted for 16”x22”…other than maybe a bit harder to lug around I don’t see any issues with 18” depths to be honest…well actually the Gretsch bass drum mentioned is lighter than my Pearl 16”x20” bass drum ;-)
 

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I recently picked up a Yamaha AHM kit with a 22x18 bass drum. The price was good enough for me to overlook that the bass is not my preferred size. That said, it is surprisingly playable and responsive, not to mention incredibly satisfying to lay into. Less portable, yes, a bit silly looking, sure, but a heck of a lot of fun still.
 

JimiAllison

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I’ve been looking at used DW kits on Reverb and all the kits I like consistently have one major drawback; bass drums with 18” depth. Perhaps it just me, but 18” depths are just not as tight and responsive as a 14 or 16 depth bass drums. They are also hard to get in your car.

Is this the new standard depth and I am just living in the past? Thoughts on 18” depths?
I couldn’t agree with you more. I only use bass drums in depths of 14” or 16”, and I prefer my 14”. Anything beyond 16” is just a waste of space and difficult to travel with.
 

silentsky

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I am also NOT a fan of the 18" depth and am glad to see many new kick drums coming out in 14" and 16" depths--finally! But for several years, that's about all you saw. And there fore a while, it went even further with the trend of the 20" depth kick drums, which were ridiculous.

I've got a vintage 14" x 20" Rogers Holiday that puts my Tama Starclassic and Ludwig Classic Maple 18" x 22" kick drums to shame! It's way smaller, but sounds way better. So in my experience, the added depth does nothing positive for the sound, and also makes the drum larger and more unwieldy.
 

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I had various sizes over the years but my last set was an 18 x 22 DW bass. It was fine, no problem. Perhaps it's an unfair comparison, but now that I have a 3 ply Ludwig Legacy Mahogany set with a 14 x 26 bass, it was a complete revelation! Or perhaps, a revolution!...
 

moondrum

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I’ve been looking at used DW kits on Reverb and all the kits I like consistently have one major drawback; bass drums with 18” depth. Perhaps it just me, but 18” depths are just not as tight and responsive as a 14 or 16 depth bass drums. They are also hard to get in your car.

Is this the new standard depth and I am just living in the past? Thoughts on 18” depths?
I prefer 14” depth but I did have a early 1980’s Gretsch kit with a 16x22 bass drum. It sounded great but I still preferred that 14” depth. I think if you play more R&B,Motown,jazz and Swing a 14” or maybe a 16” deep bass drum is more than enough. I know that some people take the longer bass drums and take them to a drum specialist and have them cut down which is something you can consider too.
 

lossforgain

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I've been favoring shallower bass drums recently, but it depends on the sound and look you are going for. I must say... for a rock kit, nothing has ever thumped like my Tama Starclassic birch 18x22. Was the perfect sound for the band I played in for about a decade.
I had a SC birch 18x20, the only drum I ever owned in that size. While it’s not a size I prefer, it sounded great.
 

Genr

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I’ve been looking at used DW kits on Reverb and all the kits I like consistently have one major drawback; bass drums with 18” depth. Perhaps it just me, but 18” depths are just not as tight and responsive as a 14 or 16 depth bass drums. They are also hard to get in your car.

Is this the new standard depth and I am just living in the past? Thoughts on 18” depths?
I avoid 18” bass drums as well. I’ve played them, and don’t have an issue with their sound. They can be impressive. I just don’t want to transport them. I have both 14” and 16” deep bass drums. I find a 14” more than adequate for anything I play. I also find they speak more quickly and clearly than deeper drums, which I prefer for most of what I play.
 


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