My 16x16 floor tom sounds terrible. What am I doing wrong?

varatrodder

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Typically I don't play square floor toms, and it's been years since I have owned a 16x16 floor tom. But now I find myself with two - a 1970's 3-ply Slingerland and a modern 3-ply Gretsch Broadkaster - and both sound like crap (at least to me). They're just dull and anemic - no fullness, no sustain, no boom.

Both have rounded edges in great condition, both have Ambassadors top and bottom (I've tried an Emperor on top, too). I tried tuning the bottom head up, down, even with the batter - nothing works. What am I doing wrong?
 

JDA

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med-lo top
medium bottom
hit it right.

; ) maybe don't expect too much with those squares
takes a long time that energy reaches the bottom sometimes dissipates
(butt (no band reference) should get some nice low sustain
just not a quick size is it.
 

equipmentdork

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I have a 5-ply Slingerland that's like a cannon when I hit it, but I was like you, I couldn't make friends with a Jasper-era Gretsch. I was about to gig with a Stones tribute, so I had black dots top and bottom, and same thing, every tuning sucked. So, in a fit of frustration, I cranked the bottom head WAY up. Boom. Makes zero sense, but it worked.



Dan
 

ThomasL

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Bottom head little higher and listen from out front. 16x16 don't sound that good from behind the kit to me.
 

Rich K.

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This may sound nutty, but take one and move it to a different place in the room and tune it.
I recently purchased a new 16x16 to add to my home practice set. It was placed near a wall and didn't sound good. I thought something was wrong with it. I moved it temporarily to the middle of my room and it sounded excellent.
 

cworrick

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- no fullness, no sustain, no boom.
CHECK OUT THE LEGS! :love10:

:icon_lol: No, not those legs. The Floor tom legs. :wave:
If they are the old style with barely a rubber tip on the end you need to isolate the drum more.
You can test this by holding the drum up by the rim and hitting it. If it sustains/sounds like you want it's not the drum it's the legs.
You will need to either:
a) buy some isolation feet for the legs and replace the originals (keep them if you ever want to resell the drum)
b) find some foam/insulation to set on the floor under the legs to isolate the drum from the floor more.
 

Matched Gripper

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Typically I don't play square floor toms, and it's been years since I have owned a 16x16 floor tom. But now I find myself with two - a 1970's 3-ply Slingerland and a modern 3-ply Gretsch Broadkaster - and both sound like crap (at least to me). They're just dull and anemic - no fullness, no sustain, no boom.

Both have rounded edges in great condition, both have Ambassadors top and bottom (I've tried an Emperor on top, too). I tried tuning the bottom head up, down, even with the batter - nothing works. What am I doing wrong?
You say the bearing edges are in great shape. Have you checked to see if the edges are true and in round?
 

varatrodder

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You say the bearing edges are in great shape. Have you checked to see if the edges are true and in round?
The Gretch is only 2 years old, so it should be round. I’m pretty sure the Slingy is round, but I’m going to double check.
 

varatrodder

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CHECK OUT THE LEGS! :love10:

:icon_lol: No, not those legs. The Floor tom legs. :wave:
If they are the old style with barely a rubber tip on the end you need to isolate the drum more.
You can test this by holding the drum up by the rim and hitting it. If it sustains/sounds like you want it's not the drum it's the legs.
You will need to either:
a) buy some isolation feet for the legs and replace the originals (keep them if you ever want to resell the drum)
b) find some foam/insulation to set on the floor under the legs to isolate the drum from the floor more.
I’ve been holding them up by the rim to make sure the legs aren’t an issue. Still nothing.
 

varatrodder

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I messed with them a little more. I’ve come to the conclusion that they sound fine for 16x16 floor toms...but I just don’t like that sound.
 

Pat A Flafla

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CHECK OUT THE LEGS! :love10:

:icon_lol: No, not those legs. The Floor tom legs. :wave:
If they are the old style with barely a rubber tip on the end you need to isolate the drum more.
You can test this by holding the drum up by the rim and hitting it. If it sustains/sounds like you want it's not the drum it's the legs.
You will need to either:
a) buy some isolation feet for the legs and replace the originals (keep them if you ever want to resell the drum)
b) find some foam/insulation to set on the floor under the legs to isolate the drum from the floor more.
This is what I came here to mention.
 

mlucas123

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Lift the drum up on only one leg and strike it. See how it sounds then. If better, get some isolation feet.
 

Matched Gripper

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The Gretch is only 2 years old, so it should be round. I’m pretty sure the Slingy is round, but I’m going to double check.
In my experience, out of round drums start out that way. Not likely that a modern Keller shell is significantly out of round, but, that might explain the problem if an edge measures more than 16" across in any direction. Measure both drums across all lugs. Then, put edges on a glass table top to see if the edges are true (perfectly flat), which is easier to fix.
 

JDA

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12X14/ and /or 14X16
ready to replace the old sizes?

Well Joe has..err inadvertently did

Fast Toms
one thing (the name) DW may have been correct with
12X14 is like lightning and/or (instant) thunder compared to my 14x14.

But there's only 1 little issue.
of looks.
If you're into that kinda thing.
14X14 16X16 is such a traditional 'look'.

but is it old-fashioned
(12X14 (G here) just a little more alive than (My G) 14x14
ok. a Lot no a little I mean; doesn't really matter; two different sets don't play them together
but here in Joe land it's remarkable/noticeable
 
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