Bearing Edge on Bass Drums

anthony marquart

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I know we have had a million conversations about bearing edges on snares and toms. I'm looking for some opinions specifically on BD edges. I'm building another 20 in bass drum. The reason I'm build another one is is that the first one came out EXACTLY like I intended,.. I built the kit to be a jazz / coffee house kind of kit. It's all real thin maple shells. I BD turned out real nice with lots of tone,.. and very quiet. The toms were surprisingly good also. I like it so much that I started using it for my rock gig. The toms sound fantastic miced.. but I can't get the punch or projection I need from the BD.. it's 20 x 14 I think.. SOOO.. I want to build a 20x18 (maybe 16) rock BD to go with the rest of the kit for rock. All my BD have a outer round over to a sharp inner 45. both front and back. what would be ideal for the next BD to get the most punch and attack out of a 20 inch maple BD?
 

cplueard

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I'm a fan of the layup Crush uses with their Sublime series. Rounded resonant with 45 batter. Make it thicker too as that'll help the punch and focus.
 

Seb77

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How thin is the shell of the quiet bd you have? Could be it's quiet becuase of the thinness. I have played kits by boutique companies that didn't really project unmic'ed, the shells were so thin. I'd say most major companies, even those using thin shells for toms, use at least 7mm for bd shells.
 

kallen49

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See recent thread here about weights in bass drums. Seems to conclude that a thicker shell (possibly with weights installed like new Yamaha bass drums or placed in the shell, like a sand bag used in the recent “Sounds like a drum” YouTube video) will enhance lower frequencies. So maybe the shell thickness is as influential as the bearing edge?

I’m currently restoring a 1969 Club date 20”x14”, has maple re-rings and looks like a mahogany outer ply, no spurs, cymbal or tom mounts (was a marching drum?), it is extremely light.
When done I will let you know how it compares to my Stage Custom Birch 20”x17”.
 

maxb2k

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Disclaimer, I don’t know a thing about drum building, I just play-gig them, tune them, (curse them) etc.
IMHO, nothing can top the tone, punch, and volume of a Ludwig bass drum, including the revered Rogers 20” which I own, and gig.
For the record, my kit is an early ‘80’s Ludwig 6 ply. 22x14. I believe the thicker, heavier shells result in a stronger, lower fundamental.
 
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REF

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If you want volume you need a thicker shell to hold in the sound waves. You want a bearing edge that seats the head well with not much wood touching the head to keep it as lively as possible. Of course, if you are going to use the various muffled heads out there, it's rather moot, unless you would tone it to your liking by cutting away some of the various ring designs used. Muted heads are all about punch and attack, not so much the drum shell.

Otherwise, it's a shell wall thickness matter for Rock. Thicker shells will generally make for more volume; punch and attack come from the amount of wood touching the heads. Less wood, more sustain. More wood, more punch and attack, because the heads get muted a little. Shell depth slows down sound waves the deeper you go so, and 18" will tend to sound more punchy than a 14" but, you know, then there is beater strike force feel based on air compression back and forth between the heads.

Depends on the way you play, as well. And the beaters used. Heads, beaters, playing style/touch will mean more than shells and bearing edges on them, especially with the dozens of head and beater choices out there today, and all the mic choices, as well. Mics make a huge difference. Just watch comparison videos on YT. It's pretty eye-opening. Or, ear-opening, as the case may be.
 

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