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

Talktotommy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
148
Reaction score
248
Location
Mass
Here's a little gem that Jeff Chonis, Ringo Starr's tech shared with me and it's priceless. "Tune the bottom head tighter than you think, tune top head looser than you think". Try it!
This is in most cases 100% correct in my opinion. I have I think eight 16 x 16 floor toms and everyone of them sounds great. That’s exactly how I set them up-pretty tight on the bottom and no more than medium or less on the top.
if you really don’t like you’re 16 x 16 floor toms please send to me
 

varatrodder

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
739
Reaction score
905
The Slingerland definitely sounds better than the Gretsch Broadkaster. I'm wondering if the Gretsch would sound better if it had their regular 30 degree edge.
 

peacepipe

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
5
Location
Bronx, NY USA
i’m generally not a tape or dampening guy, but sometimes a well-placed strip of duct tape, or occasionally those relatively recent trendy “gummy bear“ dampener bits, as referred by a saxophone player on a gig recently (moongel, etc), can really bring out the resonance and full warmth of the shell.

Also, “square“ floor toms sound best when you strike them dead center, or as close as possible. Anything outside that middle sweet spot will deliver annoying high overtones, unless that is a sound you are looking for in a given moment, like a high piercing rimshot type effect. -GREG BURROWS
jazz drummer
NYC/Eastern Shore, MD USA
 

fredpasta

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
17
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.
Those isolation feet you can buy can't beat a 'pool noodle' cut to a few inches in height. Cut out a bit more as a buffer, and glue it into the bottom so the legs don't 'bottom out'. Works like a charm, and then some! All for the cost of a couple of bucks. Not for those overly concerned with appearances. Bare minimum, they will tell you if you're on the right track.
 

Lazmo

Be excellent to each other...
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
2,460
Reaction score
591
Location
Australia
I’m old school so 16x16 is normal. Ha ha. And I’m not saying I’ve never had floor tom issues, but since doing the Pearl Iso Feet thing and putting a double ply on the bottom of both my square floor toms, they sound great. The double ply reso, like the black dot, was also recommended here, or likely DCI. I just checked my tuning though, and yes the reso is tuned higher than the batter. Funny to compare both drums … as they are near identical. I must just like the same sound.

The Tempus has G2 Coated over G2 Clear, while the Tama is G2 Coated over clear Emperor.

They sound just like floor toms should, to me. That’s enough.
 
Last edited:

Tommy D

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,864
Reaction score
887
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
I have not tried a CS Dot as a reso head, but my Saturn floor toms have Evans EC Reso heads on them. That helped a bit with taking out some strange harmonics the floor toms were producing. I still think my PDP Concept Birch 16x14 floor tom produces a cleaner/fuller tone than the Saturn 16x16. The Saturn is slightly lower in pitch (a couple Hz), but it is also not as full sounding. It's much more "slappy head" sounding than a full bodied gut punch of the birch.
 

cobaltspike

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
84
Reaction score
58
Location
Washington
Clear single ply on the bottom, clear emperor on top, tune the bottom fairly tight, topside just go around and tune each lug to achieve max sustain and don't worry if from lug to lug it's a different tension. You should get a pretty good result from that and then add suspension feet, yamaha, gibraltar, pearl or gauger. Here's the ones I use and they make a pretty big difference.https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/pearl-r-40-3-floor-tom-rubber-tip--3-pack/447972000000000?cntry=US&cur=USD&utm_content=447972000000000--Pearl+R-40%2F3+Floor+Tom+Rubber+Tip+-+3-Pack&source=3WWRWXGS&gclid=Cj0KCQjw5auGBhDEARIsAFyNm9GLijidX0kOHvtHJKuYU9MxIWobPx1qxsD8UxfuC0WJDx1ku2hGq1MaAq9sEALw_wcB
 

Targalx

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
1,653
Reaction score
1,420
Location
Los Angeles
Clear single ply on the bottom, clear emperor on top, tune the bottom fairly tight, topside just go around and tune each lug to achieve max sustain and don't worry if from lug to lug it's a different tension. You should get a pretty good result from that and then add suspension feet, yamaha, gibraltar, pearl or gauger. Here's the ones I use and they make a pretty big difference.https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/pearl-r-40-3-floor-tom-rubber-tip--3-pack/447972000000000?cntry=US&cur=USD&utm_content=447972000000000--Pearl+R-40%2F3+Floor+Tom+Rubber+Tip+-+3-Pack&source=3WWRWXGS&gclid=Cj0KCQjw5auGBhDEARIsAFyNm9GLijidX0kOHvtHJKuYU9MxIWobPx1qxsD8UxfuC0WJDx1ku2hGq1MaAq9sEALw_wcB
This is exactly what I do. I use the same head combo and same tuning technique. I also use the Pearl suspension feet on my Yamahas. Works great.
 

angus

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
24
Following the recommendation by someone earlier in this thread I have just tried a Remo Clear CS (black dot) as Reso head on my 16x16 Pearl Masters Maple Gum floor tom (which was previously fitted with standard Ambassador Clear). WOW - big improvement. So a BIG +1 from me on that recommendation.
 


Top