Experience/anecdotal evidence- Oriollo 12/15/20

12/14/20 or 12/15/20 or 12/16/20


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Tommy D

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I've never played a 15" tom before. Plenty of 14's and 16's. Even an 18". Honestly, it all depends on what music you want to play on the kit. I wouldn't buy a kit that is made up of a bunch of compromises. A 15" feels like a compromise. It likely can't quite get the tight tuned up jazz/bop tuning of a 14" and it can't get the thundering lows of a 16". It falls in the middle as a "jack of all trades, master of none."

If I wanted a kit for jazz it's 12/14/20 all day. For bop, go with the 18" bass drum. For rock, it's 10/12/16/22. Or just a single 10". Tune the toms an octave apart. It's an amazing tuning. For classic rock, likely 13/16/22 over a 24" bass drum. I just don't find a 24" to have any appreciably difference over a 22".

18" floor toms are a waste. Too much head attack and not enough tone. Tune it up to get the tone back and you are in 16" territory and the 16" does a better job.
 

bongomania

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“I’ve never tried a 15. It must have x or y qualities.”

Tell you what, I use a 15 all the time, and it has no problem being tuned higher or lower.
 

musiqman

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My 15” eat 16” for breakfast and dares to stand up to 18” as it packs more punch.

And as an extra really feels more compact than a 16”.

The only reason I would a 18” is for a two floor tom setup vibe.
 

Joe A

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I know Steve Gadd showed up with a trap case and sat on the house drums sometimes, but I understand he used a 15" quite a bit on his own setup. I never thought his lower tom sounds were lacking.
 

Tommy D

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Hmmm . . . it seems like the only guys that don't like 15" floor toms are those that haven't played them.
I'm just trying to say that if you are trying to find a drum that can fit a sound like a 14 or a 16, you are finding a compromise with using a 15".

Why compromise? Are you looking for one kit to fit all the music you will ever play in your life? Does a guitarist only own one guitar and is expected to fit all music with that one instrument?

All things considered, drums aren't that expensive. If you want a drum to sound like a 14", buy a 14". If you want it to sound like a 16", buy a 16". If you want access to both sounds, buy both.

What does a 15" have to offer other than being a middle ground?
 

xsabers

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I'm just trying to say that if you are trying to find a drum that can fit a sound like a 14 or a 16, you are finding a compromise with using a 15".

Why compromise? Are you looking for one kit to fit all the music you will ever play in your life? Does a guitarist only own one guitar and is expected to fit all music with that one instrument?

All things considered, drums aren't that expensive. If you want a drum to sound like a 14", buy a 14". If you want it to sound like a 16", buy a 16". If you want access to both sounds, buy both.

What does a 15" have to offer other than being a middle ground?
What if I want a drum that sounds like a 15"? There is nothing magical about the arbitrary numerical measurements of 14 or 16 other than they are more common. A 15 is simply a 15. It's not a compromise between the others any more than a 13" is a compromise between a 12 and a 14.
 

Tommy D

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What if I want a drum that sounds like a 15"? There is nothing magical about the arbitrary numerical measurements of 14 or 16 other than they are more common. A 15 is simply a 15. It's not a compromise between the others any more than a 13" is a compromise between a 12 and a 14.
There's nothing wrong with buying a 15" if that is the sound you want. I happen to like the sound of 14's and 16's and have not felt the need to get a 15" for the music I play.
 
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I'll jump in here since I own three 15" floor toms (and LOVE them!!!!) A Yamaha 12x15 Tour Custom, a Gretsch 13x15 (both those are mounted,) and a Gretsch 15x15 (on legs.) However I also own several 14's, 16's, and 18's.

If I had to play a four piece kit ONLY (forever,) it would be 12, 15, 20. 15" is the PERFECT all around floor tom size. It just works!!!! When I use two floors it's usually 14 and 16. And when I use one floor tom on a STRICTLY jazz gig it's usually a 14, however I have used a 15 on jazz gigs and dug it. I never really find myself using a 16 alone, and have found myself using a 16 and 18 on occasion.

I don't think that I have ever tried 12, 15, 18 (toms) but I do think think that sounds interesting with a 22 or 24. Recently I have been using a bigger "jazz" kit with 12, 13, 14, 15 with an 18 BD. Jeff Watts (does) did that for a while, and I am liking that set-up a lot.

Heads have never been a problem, I just buy a bunch at a time, and always have some "in stock." I also have three 15" snares, so keeping a bunch of 15" heads around just makes sense (to me.) I think it has been settle but I'll say the Sweetwater guy didn't know what he was talking about, Remo (and everyone else I think? don't quote me on "everyone" though) make 15" heads. They are not stock items for stores, and I guess if there was a run on them a manufacturer could run out of them, but they ARE regularly (not custom orders) manufactured!!!!

When I was touring (HARD, like months at a time) it made sense to keep a few extra on hand (just in case.) That was the only "inconvenience" I ever experienced with a 15" tom or snare.)

I think an Oriollo kit in 12, 15, 20 would be totally bitchin'!!!!!

Hope that helps!
MSG
 

D. B. Cooper

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You're going to love your 15".
How deep is the drum you're getting?
 

Drumbumcrumb

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13/16/20 even works really nicely, although you don’t see it much anymore there are some very nice vintage sets in 13/16/20. The only downside - I think the 13” tom looks a tad odd over a 20” bd.

I don’t get too hung up on keeping proportions right through to the bass drum - 12/15/18 is proportionally ‘correct’ and would likely sound very nice. But 12/14/16 is also correct and may be a little weird. We don’t generally play the bd as a third tom, so the interval thing doesn’t reeeally apply imo.
I’m feeling like 12/15/20 will be even better than the usual 12/14/20, so I’m going with it. It will be different from all the 12/14/20s out there but in the same tonal range, get a little more low end in the floor, punchy bass.
“Half a loaf” in this case means the best of both worlds, imo, for a two-tom setup.

That’s my thinking - more like 2 loaves for the price of 1! More bread for everybody
 

Drumbumcrumb

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I'm just trying to say that if you are trying to find a drum that can fit a sound like a 14 or a 16, you are finding a compromise with using a 15".

Why compromise? Are you looking for one kit to fit all the music you will ever play in your life? Does a guitarist only own one guitar and is expected to fit all music with that one instrument?

All things considered, drums aren't that expensive. If you want a drum to sound like a 14", buy a 14". If you want it to sound like a 16", buy a 16". If you want access to both sounds, buy both.

What does a 15" have to offer other than being a middle ground?
What if you want a drum that sits in the middle - has more low end than a 14”, more feel than a 16”, and because it sits in between sonically it can go higher or lower and do pretty much anything a 14 or 16 can do? Maybe I should’ve phrased my initial thinking better - I wasn’t looking for a compromise between a 14 & 16, I was looking for confirmation of what I suspected, which is that the 15” is the best of both worlds (because I don’t own a 15” drum). From the folks who are using them, it seems the answer is a resounding YES. I don’t really understand that compromise theory tbh - how is that different than saying a 13 is a compromise between 12 and 14, 16 is a compromise tween 14 and 18, ad infinitum? Is it the odd number that’s biasing you? A 15” is its own drum, just like 12,13,14,16,18 each have their qualities. Besides, if Gadd rolls with a 12/15/20, that’s good enough for me. (It’s actually pronounced Godd)
 

Drumbumcrumb

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So I just wanted to thank each and every one of you who were cool enough to contribute something to what turned out to be a pretty interesting debate! It’s intriguing that people who play them are so passionate about their 15” toms, I hope to soon join the ranks of the staunch defenders of the 15!

I was pretty sold on 12/15/20, but I definitely remained open minded and receptive to any real downsides or firsthand negative experiences. I didn’t hear any. I did hear a lot of helpful and encouraging information, and I appreciate all of it - the yeas and the nays!

The good news (drumroll please... anyone?): I ordered my new Oriollos in 12/15/20! Woot-woooot. Can-not wait. Vukan reached out to ME to answer any questions, and couldn’t have been more helpful and patient. How often does the owner/innovator of a thriving drum company message a prospective customer? Not an experience I’ll soon forget.

So thanks all!
 

Drumbumcrumb

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I'm just trying to say that if you are trying to find a drum that can fit a sound like a 14 or a 16, you are finding a compromise with using a 15".

Why compromise? Are you looking for one kit to fit all the music you will ever play in your life? Does a guitarist only own one guitar and is expected to fit all music with that one instrument?

All things considered, drums aren't that expensive. If you want a drum to sound like a 14", buy a 14". If you want it to sound like a 16", buy a 16". If you want access to both sounds, buy both.

What does a 15" have to offer other than being a middle ground?
Oh I’m definitely not trying to find one kit to do it all here, I have everything BUT a 15” tom. (Ok, I don’t have an 18” tom either) I play 12/14/18 or 20, 13/16/24, 10/12/16/22... They all do what they do well. I’m feeling like a 12/15/20 will be a slightly different, fun set to play and do what IT does well. 12/15/20 and 13/16/20 seem to have a cult like following, and I have to think the 15” has suffered more from a failure to manufacture and market them than it has from any shortcomings. I can’t say for sure, but that’s my theory...
 

Drumbumcrumb

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xsabers

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Congrats! What depth did you go with on the 15?
Good question. What I like about the 15" diameter is the ability to go shorter on the depth. Shorter bass drums and shorter floor toms are my thing. Shorter rack toms too! However, I do love a good 8" deep snare lol!~
 

Drumbumcrumb

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I went with 15x14, I don’t really like the “short” look on a ft. (To each his own of course)
Id’ve gone with 15x13 if there was some added benefit, but I couldn’t see any. I’m not crazy about square ft’s either though so 15x14 is cool with me. So 12x8, 15x14, 20x14.

I’m feeling pretty damn lucky to be able to order them, I’ve been following Oriollo since their release and I knew I had to have em. And now with the tridrop lugs (inspired by my favorite lug ever, and certainly one of the most beautiful lugs ever made) it can only be fate... I love it when a plan comes together!
 

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