18x22 or 14x22

Bri6366

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I was sold on the 22x18 when I played my buddy's Yamaha Turbo Tour Custom kit in the late 80s-early 90s. I was playing Tama Superstar 22x16's at the time and I really liked the smaller diameter, deeper drum.
 

kjdrummer25

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Very late to the subject but bass drums are a lot like speakers. The bigger the speaker the more energy it takes to move it, the smaller the speaker the more efficient it is. I have a starclassic bubinga 18x22 and while it is a beautiful drum it really only does one thing well. Low tuning, muffled heads to produce a deep thud with clarity depending on head choice. I also have 2 80s maple pearl 16x22s I wouldn’t trade for the world. They can sound big and boomy or tight and punchy. Also own a 14x22 birch premier and it does the higher bop tunings really well. If I had a 24 or 26 I would go with 14” deep. Anything deeper and you have to slam that beater to move the air. I’ve contemplated cutting my starclassic down to 16 or 14 but cannot bring myself to do it.
 

Marquisjohnson22

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22x16 if I'm choosing, but I have had great experiences with kick drums from 14"-18" deep. I have never had to deal with the "muddiness" in an 18" deep kick drum.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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It’s been brought up many times here. I think 14 - 16 is best. 18” depth gets too big. 14 and 16 are both good.
 

Tama CW

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If you're going vintage you also have the 22x12 option. I've tried some 12" deep pre-1960's Slingerlands and they are pretty sweet to coax tones out of with minimal effort. They behave like marching drums with a heck of thump too. Bonham used 26x14 which was essentially a scaled up version of 22x12.
 
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Radio King

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22x16 if I'm choosing, but I have had great experiences with kick drums from 14"-18" deep. I have never had to deal with the "muddiness" in an 18" deep kick drum.
The very same for me. I played 14" deep bass drums my whole life. I was always under the impression that anything deeper was a waste of stage real estate with little benefit, until I got my first Sonor Prolite 17.5x22 BD. That thing made a believer of me. I don't know if it's just Sonor mojo at work, but it possessed everything that my 14's brought to the table, and added a richness and depth that I'd never experienced in any other 22" BD. This was further confirmed when I later acquired a Sonor Newport set with an 18x22. Same results. And I've never felt any of the sluggishness others have experienced. Feels just like a bass drum to me.

I still own four 14" deep bass drums (including two 24's) and a 16x22, as well. But if I'm going purely for presence and tone, the 17.5x22's win.
 
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K.O.

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I find it somewhat difficult to believe that with all the R&D that manufacturers use, they would just arbitrarily decide to standardize on a size that is just 4" too long/deep for no reason.
Do they really do that much R & D though. They are selling a product that hasn't changed much in almost 100 years. They make them better now of course but they are still wood tubes with skins stretched over them. I think the deep bass drums were much more of a marketing thing than anyone figuring out they were a great improvement over other depths. A lot of people buy drums with their eyes rather than ears and this was something that caught on big time along with the power tom craze where everything was geared towards "deeper is better". The tom fad eventually faded away (possibly partially because placement was such a problem if you wanted them over your bass drum) but the deep bass drums have hung on (no placement problem if you're on a big stage). The drum makers are in business to sell what people want to buy so if a trend takes hold they follow it. Even the endorsers might be cajoled into using the sizes that are selling rather than what they might prefer (not that it would much matter to the upper tier guys as they don't move their own stuff and what you hear is so processed, or possibly just a sample anyway, that the bass drum could be 12-24 inches deep and not really matter as far as what the audience hears).

I've played a few 18" deep drums but much prefer 14" depth (although I have a 12x22 from 1959 that is probably the best sounding bass drum I own). 16" depth works fine for me but I don't really think they really improve upon the 14. To each their own I guess. It's nice to have options but were I choosing between the two definitely 14" depth all the way.
 

TheMattJones88

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The very same for me. I played 14" deep bass drums my whole life. I was always under the impression that anything deeper was a waste of stage real estate with little benefit, until I got my first Sonor Prolite 17.5x22 BD. That thing made a believer of me. I don't know if it's just Sonor mojo at work, but it possessed everything that my 14's brought to the table, and added a richness and depth that I'd never experienced in any other 22" BD. This was further confirmed when I later acquired a Sonor Newport set with an 18x22. Same results. And I've never felt any of the sluggishness others have experienced. Feels just like a bass drum to me.

I still own four 14" deep bass drums (including two 24's) and a 16x22, as well. But if I'm going purely for presence and tone, the 17.5x22's win.
I'm with you on this. I liked shallower bass drums quite a bit, but then I got my 17 x 22 Noble & Cooley CD Maple and that thing is huuuuge sounding. Super full sounding even at a higher tuning like I like.

I 100% prefer the aesthetics and weight of a 14 x 22 drum, but I can't deny that the 17" has something special.
 

mebeatee

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12 and 14 x 22 for me. 16 and 18 deep ones....no thanks.
Having said that I will never forget....and this is a way way long time ago....there was a fellow in Calgary....met him on tour....that had a Gretsch kit of all square sizes except the snare. The 22x22 was amazing.....definitely NOT as versatile as a 12 or 14 deep drum....but still....yowza!
bt
 

DrumKeys

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The very same for me. I played 14" deep bass drums my whole life. I was always under the impression that anything deeper was a waste of stage real estate with little benefit, until I got my first Sonor Prolite 17.5x22 BD. That thing made a believer of me. I don't know if it's just Sonor mojo at work, but it possessed everything that my 14's brought to the table, and added a richness and depth that I'd never experienced in any other 22" BD. This was further confirmed when I later acquired a Sonor Newport set with an 18x22. Same results. And I've never felt any of the sluggishness others have experienced. Feels just like a bass drum to me.

I still own four 14" deep bass drums (including two 24's) and a 16x22, as well. But if I'm going purely for presence and tone, the 17.5x22's win.

Agree 1000%. I have a Sonor Prolite 17.5x22 as well, it may be my favorite bass drum. I never would have picked that size on purpose. But I'd argue that in most cases, choice of heads, tuning, dampening and ported or non-ported has a bigger impact on sound/feel.

As someone else said...play what you want.
 

Fat Drummer

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I have had so many sizes over the years and still have several different ones now. And I still belong to the 14X22 camp. Though I prefer 20" diameter and my version of that one kick happens to be 15" deep... go figure, I just wanted to be different!
 

drummer5359

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My DW Collector's Series kit came with a 22" x 18" bass drum. As I expand this kit into a shell bank I'm ordering a 20" x 16" and an 24" x 18".

My new Gretsch USA Custom kit has a 22" x 14", and a 20" x 14" is on order. I'm going to order an 18" x 14" next. I have yet to determine whether a 24" bass drum is needed for this particular shell bank.

In my opinion the shallower bass drum depth suits the Gretsch kit and the deeper bass drum depth suits the DW kit.
 
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K.O.

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I will never forget....and this is a way way long time ago....there was a fellow in Calgary....met him on tour....that had a Gretsch kit of all square sizes except the snare. The 22x22 was amazing.....definitely NOT as versatile as a 12 or 14 deep drum....but still....yowza!
bt
Gretsch was an early adopter of the deep bass drums. I don't think they ever actually made it into the (sparse) catalogs but they were listed in the price lists as "Cannon" Bass drums. I'm sure they were in there by the mid 1980's. I know they were when I was planning to order my new set in 1987. It's been a while since I've looked at any of those price lists but I think you could get any depth up to 24" (which was the depth of the shell tubes they got from Jasper). At the very least I know you could get a "square" bass (depth =diameter). Easy enough for them, they were just cutting longer tubes to the proper length for whatever drum they needed to make so they could just not cut them down as shallow. I remember thinking how cool that might be but then I saw one in person somewhere and decided it wasn't for me. They were very expensive too, even for Gretsch. I suppose they'd still make you one today, assuming their shells are still starting out as 24" deep tubes.
 

Rick

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The very same for me. I played 14" deep bass drums my whole life. I was always under the impression that anything deeper was a waste of stage real estate with little benefit, until I got my first Sonor Prolite 17.5x22 BD. That thing made a believer of me. I don't know if it's just Sonor mojo at work, but it possessed everything that my 14's brought to the table, and added a richness and depth that I'd never experienced in any other 22" BD. This was further confirmed when I later acquired a Sonor Newport set with an 18x22. Same results. And I've never felt any of the sluggishness others have experienced. Feels just like a bass drum to me.

I still own four 14" deep bass drums (including two 24's) and a 16x22, as well. But if I'm going purely for presence and tone, the 17.5x22's win.
Pretty much the same here. I played a 1980 Tama Superstar 22X14 bass drum for 35 years. Four years ago, I replaced my Superstars with a Tama Starclassic Maple kit with a 22X18 bass drum. While my 1980 Superstar 22X14 sounded good, I never did quite get it to sound the way I wanted. The 22X18 Starclassic Maple is killer... I finally got the sound I was looking for all those years! And recently I even made it better when I changed from a clear Powerstroke 3 to Attack Head's new "Orbit" bass drum batter head. That allowed me to take out the small pillow I had inside. So now I have no muffling at all and the drum has great punch, articulation, and tone.

So maybe in general the 22X14 is better... I don't know... but based on my experience I'd say at least in high end drums I like the 22X18. Fortunately, I have a mid-size SUV for my "drum car" so no problems transporting. And the extra 2 inches really doesn't increase my footprint beyond the feet of the cymbal stands and cymbals, so it doesn't really take up any extra stage space when it's all said and done.
 


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