My 16x16 bass drum: should I cut its depth to 14-5/8" or 11-5/8"?

stick2it

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[UPDATED WITH OUTCOMES - SEE ENTRY NEXT PAGE.]
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Hoping for expert DFO guidance. My question (in simplest terms) is this:

If I cut my 16x16 bass drum down in depth, which is the better depth of the cut drum, given these two options:
(a) 14-5/8"
(b) 11-5/8"

The longer story...
I have a Sonor maple 16x16 bass drum that's part of the "Jungle" kit -- the precursor to the AQ2 Safari. For me, the 16" depth is fun for pop/rock/funk but unresponsive and cannon-like for small group jazz (which is what I mostly play).

I'd like to have Precision Drum cut the drum's depth down. The kit is not worth that much, so I don't want to pay for more more than one cut, one bearing edge, and the drilling of the lug holes for one end of the drum. There are two reasonable options:

Option (a): Cut the drum to retain one lug hole for each lug. Resulting shell depth = 14-5/8"
Option (b): Cut the drum just-past the two lug holes. Resulting shell depth = 11-5/8" (For this option, I might have to drill a new vent hole.)

Cutting a depth in-between these two options requires wood-filling existing lug holes. I don't want to do that.

What's the better depth for small group jazz, (a) 14-5/8" or (b) 11-5/8"?

Thanks!

Sonor Jungle - top detail.jpg
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I also have 12x15, 12x16 and 10x14 - all do work. The key is heads and tuning.

I also have the Safari kit - 16x16 - what heads do you use for jazz and how is it tuned/muffled? Have you tried just coated Ambs for a vintage sound?
 

cworrick

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Hoping for expert DFO guidance. My question (in simplest terms) is this:

If I cut my 16x16 bass drum down in depth, which is the better depth of the cut drum, given these two options:
[a] 14-5/8"
11-5/8"

The longer story...
I have a Sonor maple 16x16 bass drum that's part of the "Jungle" kit -- the precursor to the AQ2 Safari. For me, the 16" depth is fun for pop/rock/funk but unresponsive and cannon-like for small group jazz (which is what I mostly play).

:hello2: Devils Advocate here...

You have tried different heads/tuning/muffling ideas to try to control it for the jazz gigs, right?



Just asking before the big cut.
 

owr

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I have an older Jungle kit, these are surprisingly good for the money, etc. I would concur though on an observation Ive had with the 16x16 bass drum, I think the depth really helps with achieving that modern sound. For example I have a Aquarian Super Kick 2 on it right now and I much prefer the way this head works with this drum to my experiences with this head on a 18x14, or maybe even an 20x14. I also have a 20x17 that these deeply muffled heads work great on. My point is I think the depth here is more of an input than the diameter to avoid these types of heads sucking all the life out of a drum.

To play devils advocate though here for your specific situation, I'm wondering how much of a difference you'll notice on the other end of the spectrum with a 16" depth vs basically a 14.5". Thats not much reduction. With single ply heads tuned up I think even as a 16x16 you should be able to get that open bop sound real nice. Secondly, if you do get the bass drum cut down and are happy with it, Im betting the next thing that will start bugging you will be the 10" tom (correct me if Im wrong on that). With my jungle kit, I always wished it had a 12". So maybe the better plan is to save the cash for a legit sized bop kit? Or just hunt for a single 18 and 12 and re-use the floor tom, then you have some versatility. I found years ago a 13" tom for my jungle kit that was on clearance at Musicians Friend for like $100. I bought it, drilled on some legs and got the mini-Bonham rig going for a bit.
 

stick2it

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Thanks for your responses. I have Aquarian single-play textured heads (practically the same as Ambassadors) on batter and reso, and no muffling -- wide open. The tuning is dialed-in with care. Maybe too much air has to move with a 16" depth to have the drum be responsive and hum. As a little drum, it's more a cannon. Has a great tone for "jungle" (electronic) music (as it was designed and named for), but not for jazz, to my ear. Maybe cutting the depth down might make the difference. But 14-5/8" is not much of a reduction from 16", and 11-5/8" is getting shallow!

Maybe I should llive with it at 16x16 or sell it. But 12x16 is all the rage today, Elvin made it work wonders, and I have this nice looking 16" maple bass drum (and the two matching toms) sitting around.
 
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stick2it

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"owr" -- you're right on with your response: the 10" Jungle tom and 10" toms altogether don't work. I agree: you need 8x12. I have a Canopus Yaiba bop as my main kit, and I might consider a Canopus RFM 12x15 and forget this little Sonor bd project altogether.

I tried to do what you accomplished: I found a Sonor Select Foce kit - same series, same finish as my Jungle - on eBay and asked the seller to sell me just the 12x9 tom of the 6-piece kit. But no luck there. I can keep trying to find a matching 12" to replace the 10", but it won't be easy.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I'd go shorter, too. The 1.5 shortening is negligible. My Ludwig 12x16 has plenty of thump and volume and if it was 11.5" deep, it would not be an issue.

Re: the 10" tom, I also prefer a high tuned 12 vs. a lower tuned 10 tom. I actually also bought the Sonor Bop kit 12/14/18 for that reason, but I didn't like it. I felt like the Safari kit I have (10/14/16) was a better sounding kit. I did not use it for jazz, though. I have since gone off into the Gretsch & Ludwig vintage kits for dedicated "jazz" kits.

Ironically, my latest little kit is an 8x10, 11x13 "FT" and a 10x14 "bass" Gretsch mish mash kit. I just bought a 14x16 Renown FT I will convert into a little larger bass drum just for a little more thud. It is a slightly higher tuning than I prefer to make the 10 sound good, but it's only for my home office to noodle around without having to go to my music room.....I do prefer the new FT was 12" deep as I have a 14x16 Gretsch......
 

JDA

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I can't imagine what difference it would make..
might be shorter or quicker..note..
but man you're already dealing with very little.

GretschPics011-1.jpg
 

dingaling

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I had precision cut down my 16x16 jungle bass drum to 16x10. I love it. Great tone and much more sensitive.
I would liken it to comparing an 8” deep snare with a 4” deep snare.
139738E0-9BBB-449C-B862-5B7BD3357104.jpeg
 

blueshadow

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Another thought would be cut depth out of the middle and then hinge the two halves together so you have a nesting bass drum.
I have a 12x18 and I like it better than the 14x18 I have for what it's worth.
 

TrickRoll

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Former owner of a Jungle kit. The 16x16 bass drum was my favorite part of the kit. I only used it for jazz gigs. I ran it with Ambassador heads, a thin felt strip on the batter head, and the drum tuned up pretty tight. Loved it.

I have not had much luck with the three 12x18 bass drums I've had. For me the 16x16 was easy to dial in. YMMV, of course,
 

stick2it

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Wow - thanks to my DFO friends for all your thoughtful input! You guys are great!

To avoid filling vacant lug holes, I need to cut down the 16" depth to either 14-5/8 or 11-5/8., and I'm leaning towards (the DFO majority vote of) 11-5/8 to make it noticeably different in size, weight, and sound from the original depth. This modified bass drum with its matching 8x10 and 12x14 toms (as in the photo above) will serve as my "busking" kit for outdoors and on-the-go little gigs. My main kit is a Canopus Yaiba Bop 18/14/12 - fantastic drums that caused my fall-out with the Sonor kits I own(ed).

I stripped the Sonor 16x16 bass drum of its hardware in preparation for shipping to Precision Drums in a day or two. If anyone else has parting words of advice, there's still time to share -- I'm all ears.

Thanks again, -- stick2it
 

stick2it

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From Houndog: one more vote for Option (b), cloaked in good humor. Actually, every 1/16" counts for me, as I'd like to be closer to 12".
 


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