Depth for a 16" bass drum

nk126

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
25
Location
oakland ca
I have a 16 x 16 Rogers floor tom I bought used. When I bought it, it had been quasi-converted to a bass drum w/wood hoops and a swivomatic tom holder arm. I used it that way for awhile, and it was fun, but it seemed a little too deep for my tastes -- almost more visually/functionally than sound wise.

Looked around a bit at current bop and "micro kits" and 16" bass drums seem to be either 16 x 16 or 16 x 12.

Anybody have an opinion on the best depth for a 16" bass drum?
 

JDA

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
11,086
Reaction score
1,029
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Gretsch sells a lot of 14x16 in highest end USA sets.
I don't mind 16x16 yes it looks kinda funny but all bass drums look funny (lol)
except for maybe a 14x24 or 14x20?
we ain't exactly looking at jayne mansfield here..
 
Last edited:

blueshadow

Just Shuffling along
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
12,718
Reaction score
559
Location
North of Austin, Texas
In my opinion if you're going small, go shallow as well. If I had a choice of taking a 16x16 or a 12x22 to a gig I'd take the 12x22. My reasoning is purely on what's going to fit on the stage though, which if you're looking at a 16" kick I assume, but could be wrong, that you are thinking for the same reasons.... so I'd go with a 12x16 at the deepest. I just got a 8x20 Ludwig gig-lite and was very impressed by the thump.... as a side note Aquarian now makes Super Kick heads for tom hoops with the idea of these small kick conversions. They have them for 14 - 16" to be used with tom hoops instead of bass hoops.
 

multijd

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
785
Reaction score
139
Location
Buffalo, NY
Shallower means less sustain. I’ve never been a fan of 16x16 bdr. Too much effort has to go onto taming them instead of tuning them. If you want good punctuation and a wide tuning range witout annoying ring something shallower will help.
 

nk126

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
25
Location
oakland ca
always love a good Jayne Mansfield reference ...

the footprint is for sure and issue, but maybe more it's about the sound and feel of the drum. I played a 22 x 16 with a giant pillow in it for 15 years. since then have switched to a 22 x 14 and more recently, 20 x 14, sometimes without any muffling (!) as well. I haven't really missed the extra depth, and am sometimes playing music where I want an open bass drum tone as opposed to a big, muffled thump. so I'm thinking a shallower drum would be a little quicker to respond, and with a smaller diameter, I'm not going after a huge, deep rock thump, anyway.

I have a 15 x 12 slingerland marching drum that works well as a floor tom. maybe I should get one of those super kicks in a 15" and try it out!
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
7,272
Reaction score
748
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
I have a 14x16" Gretsch bass - I think it was a cut down from a 16" FT, but the bearing edges were redone and it's a "legit" bass. Sounds fabulous!

I don't like 16x16 because it's just too long and disproportional looking. However, I have flipped FT's on vintage Slingys and have a red RB FT that I permanently converted to a bass adding the rail mount and disappearing spurs. Yes it looks funky but sounds great, too.
 

drumgadget

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
647
Reaction score
47
Location
Healdsburg, Corte Madera CA
I've got two converted Gretsch 16" bass drums: my first one was DIY ..... well, actually I commissioned Greg Gaylord to do the actual cutting of the shell + bearing edges. I decided on 16x12.5" for two reasons - I did the math and preserved the ratio of depth/diameter of my favorite bass drum, the classic 18x14". This works out to 14/18 = 0.77777778 ....... OK, make it 0.78! And 16 x 0.78 = 12.48" ......... The other serendipitous thing is that the piece left over is just deep enough to allow the lugs to mount with a bit of shell below the lug - a tuneable 16" "frame drum". Both sound great!

The other drum I bought from a fellow Forumite - it was done professionally, cut to 14". This is logical because it preserves one of the lug mounting holes. This drum sounds really great!

Which is better? I think it's a toss up, really ..... My current go-to bass drum is a 15x12" Canopus RFM.

Don't forget that the Rogers shell uses reinforcement rings, so it is not quite as simple as the Gretsch case. You will have to either move the re-ring or put a new one into the cut shell. I have a Rogers 18x16" converted to bass drum; I've toyed with the idea of "sectioning" the shell, ie cutting 2" out of the middle, thus preserving the re-rings ..... but requiring some sort of reinforcement across the new cut. But y'kno, that Rogers 18x16" sounds really great too!

Mike
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
7,272
Reaction score
748
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
I am messing with a 12x15 Ludwig former marching snare as a mini bass. It is pretty cool but it's just for messing around at my home office so my right foot has something to do!
 

nk126

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
25
Location
oakland ca
I've got two converted Gretsch 16" bass drums: my first one was DIY ..... well, actually I commissioned Greg Gaylord to do the actual cutting of the shell + bearing edges. I decided on 16x12.5" for two reasons - I did the math and preserved the ratio of depth/diameter of my favorite bass drum, the classic 18x14". This works out to 14/18 = 0.77777778 ....... OK, make it 0.78! And 16 x 0.78 = 12.48" ......... The other serendipitous thing is that the piece left over is just deep enough to allow the lugs to mount with a bit of shell below the lug - a tuneable 16" "frame drum". Both sound great!

The other drum I bought from a fellow Forumite - it was done professionally, cut to 14". This is logical because it preserves one of the lug mounting holes. This drum sounds really great!

Which is better? I think it's a toss up, really ..... My current go-to bass drum is a 15x12" Canopus RFM.

Don't forget that the Rogers shell uses reinforcement rings, so it is not quite as simple as the Gretsch case. You will have to either move the re-ring or put a new one into the cut shell. I have a Rogers 18x16" converted to bass drum; I've toyed with the idea of "sectioning" the shell, ie cutting 2" out of the middle, thus preserving the re-rings ..... but requiring some sort of reinforcement across the new cut. But y'kno, that Rogers 18x16" sounds really great too!

Mike
Greg Gaylord’s old custom drums were so great...

I’m not going to mess with my Rogers FT. It’s settled into being a FT with a 12x8 and 20x14. A 16” kick would be a new addition.

That said ... 15 x 12, huh? Cool! I’ve always like Canopus - they sound great, and I dig the minimalist lugs.
 

nk126

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
25
Location
oakland ca
I am messing with a 12x15 Ludwig former marching snare as a mini bass. It is pretty cool but it's just for messing around at my home office so my right foot has something to do!
Lol. Nice. When my foot gets restless I leave the home office for the basement practice space, but I’m a slacker like that ;-)
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
7,272
Reaction score
748
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
My music room is upstairs so I just lounge in the office when I have other things to do. I actually built a 10x14 "bass" out of a 70's Slingy tom, added a snare stand to it (thru the center hole) and a cymbal arm, and have a "complete" setup down there.....
 

nk126

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
25
Location
oakland ca
My music room is upstairs so I just lounge in the office when I have other things to do. I actually built a 10x14 "bass" out of a 70's Slingy tom, added a snare stand to it (thru the center hole) and a cymbal arm, and have a "complete" setup down there.....
pics or it didn't happen ;-)
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
7,272
Reaction score
748
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
14" bass! I used an old WFL stand top piece thru the vent hole. I put a generic tom mount inside the bottom of the bass as a guide and one on top to lock it in place. I also added disappearing spurs to the bass. I will set up a 6.5x14 Gretsch RB floor show in a snare stand as the "FT" and with a HH, I have a rockin' little kit!
20190124_235223.jpg
 

nk126

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
25
Location
oakland ca
love it!
classy, too, with the wood hoops and K Con. you could busk some high-rent parts of town with that baby ;-)
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
7,272
Reaction score
748
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
Thanks! My plan was to put together a mini Xmas kit for our Xmas and NYE gigs - I put a Rogers silver tom where the snare is, the red snare as FT, a gold WFL Jazz Fest snare on a stand, but the wood bass looked wrong. I was tempted to recover the bass in green sparkle (vinyl adhesive wrap - about $6 at Michaels) but I didn't get around to it. Also, the 14" bass (unmiked) was not enough to drive the band (a bunch of acoustic guitars with a few plugged in). I ended going a silver Rogers 12/16/20 for Xmas and a champagne Gretsch RB 13/16/20 for NYE!

For true busking, though, I have a "suitcase kit" - totally ghetto, but it is so dang fun to play, sets up in 6 minutes, and everything fits inside except the bass pedal and small folding drum stool. I strap the stool to the case and can pull the wheeled suitcase and carry the pedal in my other hand. One trip in, one trip out (about 15 min to close down)....that's my rehearsal kit for this group.
 

Ron_M

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
1,861
Reaction score
74
Location
Burlington, VT
If you cut the shell down just pass the first lug holes, how deep is that? So now the second set of lug holes become the first; how does that compare to the factory distance of the bearing edge to the first set of lug holes? Is it equal or more (that would be good)? If the math doesn't work out, you'll have to cut the bearing edge past the second set of lug holes, making the depth more shallow.
 

lossforgain

Team DFO
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
13,309
Reaction score
357
Location
Lancaster, PA
I had a Groove Percussion kit (bought from DanRH) with a 16x16 bass drum, and I'll be darned if that wasn't a really good sounding bass drum. Did some light volume gigs with it. The secret was spending real money for Aquarian SK1 and Regulator heads for it (in stock at my closest Sam Ash).

If I was going to build one, I might go shallower, but I didn't really have a problem with 16x16.
 

Jake Marshall

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
92
Reaction score
2
Location
Wisconsin
I’ve been using a 16” by 14” deep Late 60’s Slingerland that once was a concert tom. I’ve been using it for every gig since i tried it out 4 yrs ago, that i can’t find time to rewarp it, so it’s UGLY! I got a superkick 2 texture coated on it, kills Jazz, Reggae, Hip-hop, Soul and Americana

Cheers,
Jake
 

nk126

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
277
Reaction score
25
Location
oakland ca
I thought a lot about buying a 16 x 12 tom off reverb that almost perfectly matches my slingerland kit (silver sparkle? yes! same lugs? no!), and using the heads and wood hoops I already have. But somebody else snatched it up. Which led me to just lay a 15 x 12 tenor snare on its side and clamp my kick pedal to the metal hoop. And, you know, it's totally a start as-is. Nice quick response, and a decent high pitched muffled kick sound. So I think I'll just mess around with tuning on it before dropping any cash ... Fun playing it with small toms and an 18" ride.
 


Top