I'm a big fan of 20's and 22's. They're Versatile enough to do anything and travel well. Ive had 24's and 26's, they sound good and have a apecial vibe but terribly impractical for anything outside the house. Drum heads for 24's and 26's are hard to find and expensive!
22x16 gives off a little more boom than 22x14 for me and I like it more.
I’ve been playing 24x14s for the last 6 months though and they’re hard to beat for getting a big sound. I’d probably like 26 even more.
At some point though, the drum that covers the most bases is going to be the best choice. For me, that would be my ‘83 Superstar 22x16 which, even though I have drums that sound better to me, the Tama is just right in terms of volume and presence in most situations. Versatility often outshines most other considerations.
Interesting responses. 20"and 22" seem to be the forum favorites with 37.7% and 39% respectively at this point.
For me it's largely just a question of what I get used to. I only play at the house so gigging doesn't enter the equation.
I think my Pearl is 22x16 and the Gretsch is 22x18. I can see where they might be less than ideal for schlepping around town. I will say my experience with the 20" has me considering the possibility of adding a 20" kick to the Gretsch kit.
I play kits with 18" and 20" bass drums. For me a 20" bass drum is about as big as I'd ever want and I like the fact that it's more portable and allows me to have the rack tom a bit lower (I like to position it near flat). 18" with very minimal dampening is what I like when I play jazz music, but I kind of feel that if I only had one bass drum, 20" would work because, at least for my taste, it's big enough to rock and yet you can set it up and tune it to sound similar to an 18" bass drum for jazz. Going the other way though doesn't seem to work as well. Though for certain kinds of rock based, back-beat type music a 18" bass drum can be fine, it's more limited for that and doesn't have the right kind of thump for real rocking.
Funny to me that the 20" is so popular in the poll here because they seem like a relative rarity, at least compared with 22" bass drums (18" seems even more common). Either the folks on this forum aren't really a good cross section of drummers or the manufacturers aren't really providing what drummers actually want...
I own 18, 20, 22, and 24 inch bass drums. They all have their place and I like each one for different reasons, but 20x16 is my favorite size, and if I could only have one bass drum size, that would be it. My 22x16 Tama Superstar sees the most gig time. It's the "utility infielder" in my bass drum arsenal (it's never the star of the show, but it works well in many situations).
My first 2 kits, MIJ stencil and Slingerland, were both 20” and I never really wanted anything else. But they became hard to come by so I settled for 22” on new kits I bought. I currently have only 1 20”, a Yamaha RC 20x16. I have 3 22s, 14,16 and 18 depths. I wouldn’t mind swapping the RC for the same size MCA though.
I think I like 20s because I’m short. Tom’s are too high and the 22x18 is a pain to haul around.
Gigged with a 22" for years then got a 24" and use that for bigger gigs. Have a Rogers kit with a 20" in my home studio but bring it out to gigs occasionally. For a good rock gig I prefer the 24" but playing duo with our singer I generally use the 22". For the quieter gigs/smaller venue I use the Breakbeats with a 16". Not my favorite but it sounds decent and sometimes it's necessary.