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I Hate Virgin Bass Drums and the Resulting Need for Stand Mounted Toms

johnlamond

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I love my virgin bass drum Fibes Crystalite kit. It’s the only way to go for me.
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Dirk

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There's nothing wrong with virgin bass drums, themselves, though I would argue that the sonic "advantages" over a bass drum with tom mounting hardware are negligible at best, and virtually imperceptible when using muffling, pre-dampened heads, and/or a ported reso. But I digress. This is not about sound or even looks; it's about practicality. The fact that virgin bass drums necessitate alternate means of mounting toms is what makes me hate them. Give me bass drum mounted toms ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Especially on backline kits.

I just got back home from a 3 show run at The Granbury Opera House, near Dallas, TX. The house backline kit was a Gretsch Energy kit with a virgin bass drum, and the (for me) dreaded combination tom/cymbal stands. Now, I love me some backline kits, especially when they're already set up and all I have to do is position everything to my liking, and maybe adjust the pedal tension. In theory, since I can set up my own kit in 15 minutes, including removing them from the cases, I should be able to be up and running on a backline kit within about 5. This is never the case when the backline kit has a virgin bass drum and combination tom/cymbal stands.

I position my ride just above and to the right of the 2nd rack tom and slightly overlapping (see image), which is next to impossible to achieve when the tom and cymbal are on the same stand. When we arrived, I got the toms where I wanted them in less than a minute, but then the cymbal wrangling began. For literally 10 to 15 minutes, I tried everything to get the ride where I wanted it in relation to the 12" tom with which it shared a stand. It just wasn't happening. At first, it was way too close to me. Then, to get it far enough away, the tom mount would prevent the cymbal boom arm from rotating enough. In the end, the tech said he had another cymbal stand, and we ended up setting that up. What a waste of time and energy, and an unnecessary source of frustration.

Bass drum mounted tom "trees" worked for nearly 100 years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I wanna know how that inexpensive little poplar, Gretsch Energy kit sounded; the drums, not the other stuff.....not bc of my personal experience but 'cause this guy's thesis makes sense to me: https://drumheadauthority.com/articles/forget-the-best-drum-wood/

Do tell; you might save me a lot of dosh!
 

T_Weaves

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Manufacturers could help with this issue if they'd offer a tom tree as an option when you buy a new kit. Or, at the very least make the parts readily available with an instruction sheet containing proper measurements.
 

Rusty Knorr

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Without reading 5 pages of comments, so far no one has mentioned using a rack. I use a very simple rack sometimes because most of my many kits are virgins. I admit I was struggling just last night with a DW kit I have that uses cymbal stands with those clamp on tom mounts. I HATE those. I have an SQ2 kit with the Sonor combo stand, zero issues. But by far the easiest way to deal with it is my small rack. So many options, and I like constantly changing things and moving things around based on my current inspiration. The rack gives me options.
 

RayB

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Yes, you can get a no drill mount to replace 2 lugs and then a 2 tom holder to go into the mount for a 10/12 on a 20”. They actually just came out with a ball joint tom holder which I plan to get soon.
I own 2 sets with "virgin" bass drums and have never liked cymbal stand/tom mount arrangements. Never get the position I really like. My solution is to use a sepearate snare/tom stand, but I really wish to have a bass drum mounted tom holder like the old days. I don't hear a significant loss of bass drum tone when there's a tom mount and it's so convenient.
Hesitant to drill the bass drum because 1) I'm not great with drills and don't want to damage the drum and 2) Not exactly sure where to put the mount to start with. Hate to find out I put it where I don't like the position of the tom.
The Inde drill--free mount would be great. Unfortunately, on both my bass drums the lug mount hole spacing is less than 1". The minimum spacing the Inde lug works with is 1". So I'm screwed, so to speak. I like the Inde drill mount and will probably go that way if I'm sure where to put it,
 

tomk

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Couldn’t agree more! I was tired of having two tom/cymbal combo stands on each side of the kick drum to contend with. It was a pain getting it all adjustEd regardless of memory locks. I went retro and had a DW rail consolette for just one tom and an L cymbal arm assembly for the ride mounted on the virgin bass drum. The kick still sounds great. I like the convenience, the look and having it all there with minimal tweaking. Saves space too.
 

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StewartCropeland

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A tangent: Does anyone else cringe a little at the term "virgin bass drum"? It can be read as new and untouched, like virgin snow, but it always sounds to me like something that isn't open to having a shaft jammed into it. Ugh.
 

Thebstar

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I don’t hear a difference in the bass drum, but depending on the mount, to me it will kill the resonance of a tom. That’s why I use snare stands for vintage Walbergh rail with diamond plate Gretsch/Slingerland and Indie brackets on Ludwig.
 

Michael Beechey

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fyi...on the reality of bass drum tuning

keith and stanford

somewhere i saw a clip on A/B with tom/without tom mount, and the difference was notable....in a pristine situation...i.e. acoustic recording...totally wasted when padding/micing for live etc.

take it or leave it, but the same is true of hanging a heavy stick bag on the floor tom
 

JBludwig

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I’ve never been too crazy about bass drum Tom mounts. For me, they put the toms too high and too far to the right. Then my ride cymbal is too far the the right as well.
I’ve been using a Ludwig atlas swivel Tom mount for a while now. I mount it on a cymbal stand I’m already using so there no extra gear. I can put it low and right in front of my snare.
 

DavedrumsTX

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There's nothing wrong with virgin bass drums, themselves, though I would argue that the sonic "advantages" over a bass drum with tom mounting hardware are negligible at best, and virtually imperceptible when using muffling, pre-dampened heads, and/or a ported reso. But I digress. This is not about sound or even looks; it's about practicality. The fact that virgin bass drums necessitate alternate means of mounting toms is what makes me hate them. Give me bass drum mounted toms ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Especially on backline kits.

I just got back home from a 3 show run at The Granbury Opera House, near Dallas, TX. The house backline kit was a Gretsch Energy kit with a virgin bass drum, and the (for me) dreaded combination tom/cymbal stands. Now, I love me some backline kits, especially when they're already set up and all I have to do is position everything to my liking, and maybe adjust the pedal tension. In theory, since I can set up my own kit in 15 minutes, including removing them from the cases, I should be able to be up and running on a backline kit within about 5. This is never the case when the backline kit has a virgin bass drum and combination tom/cymbal stands.

I position my ride just above and to the right of the 2nd rack tom and slightly overlapping (see image), which is next to impossible to achieve when the tom and cymbal are on the same stand. When we arrived, I got the toms where I wanted them in less than a minute, but then the cymbal wrangling began. For literally 10 to 15 minutes, I tried everything to get the ride where I wanted it in relation to the 12" tom with which it shared a stand. It just wasn't happening. At first, it was way too close to me. Then, to get it far enough away, the tom mount would prevent the cymbal boom arm from rotating enough. In the end, the tech said he had another cymbal stand, and we ended up setting that up. What a waste of time and energy, and an unnecessary source of frustration.

Bass drum mounted tom "trees" worked for nearly 100 years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I use both and don’t care either way. The only thing I don’t like is a Tom/cymbal stand combo.
 

Angel

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It's just personal preference. I always use virgin bass drums. All of my drums are wide open old school. Nothing is ever muffled outside of maybe felts strips on a bass drum. Never put anything in a bass drum. Never use ported heads. I use either emperors & ambassadors, or g1's & g2's. I carry my own monitor system and drum mics. I want my stage drum sound the same every night, club to club. Carrying an extra snare stand for my rack tom is nothing compared to the rest of the equipment I carry anyway. I was taking these pictures for a musical instrument company. I needed things spaced apart so the insurance company could catalog the items. I actually use dw boom arm cymbal stands with this set.

Slingerland Radio King Kit .jpg
Slingerland 2.JPG
Slingerland 3.JPG
 

drums1225

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I wanna know how that inexpensive little poplar, Gretsch Energy kit sounded; the drums, not the other stuff.....not bc of my personal experience but 'cause this guy's thesis makes sense to me: https://drumheadauthority.com/articles/forget-the-best-drum-wood/

Do tell; you might save me a lot of dosh!

With some work and Moongels, I got the kit to sound okay. To be fair, the bass drum was stuffed with a pillow, the tom batter heads were fairly worn, and most (least?) of all, the reso head on the 12" tom was a beat up batter head with tape on it! It was no surprise that I could merely get the 12" tom to sound passable. Through the PA, I'm sure they made it work, but acoustically it was less than inspiring.

Admittedly, this is no way to really make a fair assessment of the drums themselves, but I'm sure with new(er) heads and proper tuning, they would sound relatively good. The kit that I've recently begun playing with this band is my >20 year old MIJ Starclassic Maple kit (20/10/12/15) which sounds absolutely KILLING, so in comparison, there's NO comparison!
 

Jmac1958

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There's nothing wrong with virgin bass drums, themselves, though I would argue that the sonic "advantages" over a bass drum with tom mounting hardware are negligible at best, and virtually imperceptible when using muffling, pre-dampened heads, and/or a ported reso. But I digress. This is not about sound or even looks; it's about practicality. The fact that virgin bass drums necessitate alternate means of mounting toms is what makes me hate them. Give me bass drum mounted toms ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Especially on backline kits.

I just got back home from a 3 show run at The Granbury Opera House, near Dallas, TX. The house backline kit was a Gretsch Energy kit with a virgin bass drum, and the (for me) dreaded combination tom/cymbal stands. Now, I love me some backline kits, especially when they're already set up and all I have to do is position everything to my liking, and maybe adjust the pedal tension. In theory, since I can set up my own kit in 15 minutes, including removing them from the cases, I should be able to be up and running on a backline kit within about 5. This is never the case when the backline kit has a virgin bass drum and combination tom/cymbal stands.

I position my ride just above and to the right of the 2nd rack tom and slightly overlapping (see image), which is next to impossible to achieve when the tom and cymbal are on the same stand. When we arrived, I got the toms where I wanted them in less than a minute, but then the cymbal wrangling began. For literally 10 to 15 minutes, I tried everything to get the ride where I wanted it in relation to the 12" tom with which it shared a stand. It just wasn't happening. At first, it was way too close to me. Then, to get it far enough away, the tom mount would prevent the cymbal boom arm from rotating enough. In the end, the tech said he had another cymbal stand, and we ended up setting that up. What a waste of time and energy, and an unnecessary source of frustration.

Bass drum mounted tom "trees" worked for nearly 100 years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Played mounted toms for years, I heard this kit and had to have it because it sounded so good. I will adjust my playing style accordingly…..
 

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WesChilton

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I pretty much have tried it all... mounted toms, toms on tom stands, cymbal/tom combo stands, toms on snare stands.... its all good, I can easily use all of it. I don't quite get all the vitriolic passion in this thread... seriously, people need to relax.

The only thing I never got into was racks. They just take up too much space and are a huge pain to move around when gigging. And I honestly don't like how they look.

Right now I have my Gretsch kit on cymbal/tom stands with a "virgin" bass drum, my Eames kit with bass drum mounted toms, and my classic Ludwig kit with the rack tom on a DW9000 snare stand... which is absolutely the BEST stand to mount a tom on, with the short arm the rack is positioned just like it would be if mounted on the kick, but allows me to place the bass drum right were I need it.
 

drums1225

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I pretty much have tried it all... mounted toms, toms on tom stands, cymbal/tom combo stands, toms on snare stands.... its all good, I can easily use all of it. I don't quite get all the vitriolic passion in this thread... seriously, people need to relax.

The only thing I never got into was racks. They just take up too much space and are a huge pain to move around when gigging. And I honestly don't like how they look.

Right now I have my Gretsch kit on cymbal/tom stands with a "virgin" bass drum, my Eames kit with bass drum mounted toms, and my classic Ludwig kit with the rack tom on a DW9000 snare stand... which is absolutely the BEST stand to mount a tom on, with the short arm the rack is positioned just like it would be if mounted on the kick, but allows me to place the bass drum right were I need it.
My vitriolic passion is based on struggling with a backline kit for 20 minutes, because of a virgin bass drum and combination tom/cymbal stand (and it was certainly not the first time). I've been gigging for almost 40 years and I'm the bandleader of a nationally working 7 pc. Chicago tribute band. I have bigger fish to fry than playing unnecessary games with stands when a tom "tree" would take all of 30 seconds.
 

multijd

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Sounds like the issue is doubling up on the tom and cymbal mount. I agree this is a bad idea. What is the point? You have to have a massive stand to hold a tom and a ride so it can’t be portability or weight.
 

gmunz22

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There's nothing wrong with virgin bass drums, themselves, though I would argue that the sonic "advantages" over a bass drum with tom mounting hardware are negligible at best, and virtually imperceptible when using muffling, pre-dampened heads, and/or a ported reso. But I digress. This is not about sound or even looks; it's about practicality. The fact that virgin bass drums necessitate alternate means of mounting toms is what makes me hate them. Give me bass drum mounted toms ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Especially on backline kits.

I just got back home from a 3 show run at The Granbury Opera House, near Dallas, TX. The house backline kit was a Gretsch Energy kit with a virgin bass drum, and the (for me) dreaded combination tom/cymbal stands. Now, I love me some backline kits, especially when they're already set up and all I have to do is position everything to my liking, and maybe adjust the pedal tension. In theory, since I can set up my own kit in 15 minutes, including removing them from the cases, I should be able to be up and running on a backline kit within about 5. This is never the case when the backline kit has a virgin bass drum and combination tom/cymbal stands.

I position my ride just above and to the right of the 2nd rack tom and slightly overlapping (see image), which is next to impossible to achieve when the tom and cymbal are on the same stand. When we arrived, I got the toms where I wanted them in less than a minute, but then the cymbal wrangling began. For literally 10 to 15 minutes, I tried everything to get the ride where I wanted it in relation to the 12" tom with which it shared a stand. It just wasn't happening. At first, it was way too close to me. Then, to get it far enough away, the tom mount would prevent the cymbal boom arm from rotating enough. In the end, the tech said he had another cymbal stand, and we ended up setting that up. What a waste of time and energy, and an unnecessary source of frustration.

Bass drum mounted tom "trees" worked for nearly 100 years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I understand, but in many instances, certain drums can choke out depending on how they are mounted, so I don’t believe it’s as simple as some point out here. And I disagree with some of the comments about falling for marketing, that’s just silly. Virgin drums, RIMS mounts, snare and floor tom floating can all have real effects on how your drum sounds and resonates; it depends on what you are trying to achieve/floats your boat.

The counterpoint I would add here is that I’m 5’8 and often play a 24” kick; I sit ergonomically correct but lower (thighs are closer to parallel with floor) so for me I need to offset the rack tom to position it lower while keeping it neutral/flatter and not have to angle it 45 degrees lol. If I had mounted toms, the tom would be too high or I would have along tom arm and that would be ridiculous.

So I’m pro-virgin bd, but I do agree with your general sentiments in terms of (my issue notwithstanding) practicality and general quality sound of bd mounted toms with the right kit.

G
 

drums1225

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Sounds like the issue is doubling up on the tom and cymbal mount. I agree this is a bad idea. What is the point? You have to have a massive stand to hold a tom and a ride so it can’t be portability or weight.

Oh, that's most definitely the issue. Fortunately, there was an extra cymbal stand, but I didn't know that until the tech saw me continuing to struggle, not getting any closer to getting the cymbal where I needed it. I did my best not to show my frustration, and he was totally cool about it, but what a waste of time and energy.

I had the same exact experience when I competed in the Guitar Center Drum Off in 2013. Back then, you had a set amount of time to adjust the kit and I spent most of it frantically trying to position the ride cymbal, and repositioning the stand legs to support everything without tipping over.

As I said in the OP, there's nothing inherently wrong with virgin bass drums, but they create issues that I'm not interested in solving, especially "on the fly". I would never intentionally choose to tie the fate of my ride cymbal to the fate of my rack tom, but the irony is that my STAR Maple kit has a virgin bass drum (given the option of a tom mount, I would have chosen it, 100%), and I mount the 2nd rack tom and my ride cymbal on a Tama MTH900BM, via a Stealth Rack. It never moves out of my studio, so setup and/or lugging extra gear for gigs is not an issue, and the Tama mount is designed much better than whatever hardware I used in TX.


20200427_STAR Maple_NewConfig.jpg
 


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