Setting up Optimounts

Lazmo

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The 12 rack tom on my new to me 80s Tama Rockstar kit was choking badly on its bass-drum mounted tom mount, and since I want to keep it bass-drum mounted, I tested a RIMS mount borrowed from my main kit and problem solved. I didnt really care for the look, so I scored a Pearl Optimount and replaced its Pearl tom arm clamp with an L-rod clamp.

The destructions on the Optimount box pictorially suggest you mount and adjust the Optimount so it is clamping inwards against the top and bottom lugs. So I do this and it looks good, mount it up, but it is almost as choked as before, with very little improvement, if any. So, disappointed, I get on google and sure enough Im not alone. There are various youtubes on how to set them up and our own Dan has a RIMS vs Optimount comparo. So, as one youtuber said, there are four possible ways to setup the Optimounts.

One --- the way recommended on the Pearl packaging, is where the mount compresses in against the top and bottom lugs.
Two --- expand the mount outwards against the top and bottom hoops.
Three --- is to have the top head resting on the upper rubbers of the Optimount, with the lower rubbers floating.
Four --- have the lower rubbers of the Optimount fully engaged with the lower lugs and have the upper rubbers floating.

Number One was a fail from the start.
Number Two just seems completely weird to press outwards on two lugs against both heads, so I didnt even bother with that.
Number Three certainly works. The drum opened up and had plenty of sustain. Cool, that was good. But one thing I noticed, while tuning the drum off the tom mount, was that I would get it tuned with the tap test, but then when I held the tom up by the Optimount, it was quite obvious that the two tensions rods in contact with the Optimount would tweak the tuning a bit, you could see the tension in the head change. Once the drum was on the tom mount, it was easy to adjust for that tweak, so not a biggy really.
Number Four certainly works too. The drum opened up and had plenty of sustain. But the best thing about this method, was that the tuning achieved off the drum was still sweet after the tom was installed on its mount.

Sorry for the long rave, but I must say I was initially pretty disappointed when I mounted the tom with the recommended Pearl method. But now Im using method Four and it sounds great. I like how stable and firm the tom is, definitely less bounce than a RIMS, which means I can run the tom lower and closer to the bass-drum.

Anyway, just a test sample of one, so hardly definitive --- more of a FYI but YMMV.
 

DanRH

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Thanks for that. I always used method #1. For my Pearl WF's now, I drilled and am using INDe mounts and they sing for days.
 

TDM

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Lazmo said:
Sorry for the long rave, but I must say I was initially pretty disappointed when I mounted the tom with the recommended Pearl method. But now Im using method Four and it sounds great. I like how stable and firm the tom is, definitely less bounce than a RIMS, which means I can run the tom lower and closer to the bass-drum.
I (too) have found Optimounts tricky to set up. Just as you did, I had to try multiple mounting methods. On certain drums, no matter what method I used, the drums still choked considerably. I think Optimounts are like any other mount; they work well on some drums and not as well on others. Lugs and hoops seem to play a major role, especially the lugs. If the lugs don't agree with the Optimount, it doesn't matter what method you use, the drum always chokes. Thanks for the summary of all the mounting methods!

Side note: One thing I've never understood is the frequent concern I read over the small amount of bounce in a RIMS mount. That's exactly what I aim for with suspension systems. I want the entire drum free to move so all of the drum can resonate freely. If the bounce is excessive, I can see how this might affect playing, but I've never found that to be the case with RIMS.
 

Seb77

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I think the reason they propagated version #1 in the first place was you can change heads with the drum still mounted. I use version #4, but it's a bit of a hassle having to take the drum off in order to change heads.
 

Lazmo

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Seb77 said:
I think the reason they propagated version #1 in the first place was you can change heads with the drum still mounted. I use version #4, but it's a bit of a hassle having to take the drum off in order to change heads.
Yeah, thinking about it, the #1 method is clamped to the drum and head changing would be easy. Its a shame it sucked the life out of my drum.

TDM said:
Side note: One thing I've never understood is the frequent concern I read over the small amount of bounce in a RIMS mount. That's exactly what I aim for with suspension systems. I want the entire drum free to move so all of the drum can resonate freely. If the bounce is excessive, I can see how this might affect playing, but I've never found that to be the case with RIMS.
My main kit has the 10 and 12 on stand mounted RIMS and I agree the bounce has never been an issue with playing that kit. But the new kits 12 tom is an 11 deep power tom, and I need it as low as I can get it, so that it is not too high a jump from the snare drum. The Optimount mounted to the bass-drum tom arm is very stable with almost no movement when hit very hard, so it means I can mount it very low and very close to the bass-drum, without the fear of tom rash.

The OCD part of me, wants to chrome the black painted parts of the Optimount.

Heres a pic.
 

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TDM

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Lazmo wrote:
But the new kit's 12" tom is an 11" deep power tom, and I need it as low as I can get it, so that it is not too high a jump from the snare drum. The Optimount mounted to the bass-drum tom arm is very stable with almost no movement when hit very hard, so it means I can mount it very low and very close to the bass-drum, without the fear of tom rash.
Ah, I see what you mean! Yes, a RIMS mount has enough play that the drum would bounce into your bass drum all the time!

Lazmo wrote:
The OCD part of me, wants to chrome the black painted parts of the Optimount.
I looked at your picture. The black portion of the Optimount looks fine to me. It adds some contrast to the hardware. That's all. I realize OCD triggers aren't always easy to let go of! :)
 

kjdrummer25

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The 12 rack tom on my new to me 80s Tama Rockstar kit was choking badly on its bass-drum mounted tom mount, and since I want to keep it bass-drum mounted, I tested a RIMS mount borrowed from my main kit and problem solved. I didnt really care for the look, so I scored a Pearl Optimount and replaced its Pearl tom arm clamp with an L-rod clamp.

The destructions on the Optimount box pictorially suggest you mount and adjust the Optimount so it is clamping inwards against the top and bottom lugs. So I do this and it looks good, mount it up, but it is almost as choked as before, with very little improvement, if any. So, disappointed, I get on google and sure enough Im not alone. There are various youtubes on how to set them up and our own Dan has a RIMS vs Optimount comparo. So, as one youtuber said, there are four possible ways to setup the Optimounts.

One --- the way recommended on the Pearl packaging, is where the mount compresses in against the top and bottom lugs.
Two --- expand the mount outwards against the top and bottom hoops.
Three --- is to have the top head resting on the upper rubbers of the Optimount, with the lower rubbers floating.
Four --- have the lower rubbers of the Optimount fully engaged with the lower lugs and have the upper rubbers floating.

Number One was a fail from the start.
Number Two just seems completely weird to press outwards on two lugs against both heads, so I didnt even bother with that.
Number Three certainly works. The drum opened up and had plenty of sustain. Cool, that was good. But one thing I noticed, while tuning the drum off the tom mount, was that I would get it tuned with the tap test, but then when I held the tom up by the Optimount, it was quite obvious that the two tensions rods in contact with the Optimount would tweak the tuning a bit, you could see the tension in the head change. Once the drum was on the tom mount, it was easy to adjust for that tweak, so not a biggy really.
Number Four certainly works too. The drum opened up and had plenty of sustain. But the best thing about this method, was that the tuning achieved off the drum was still sweet after the tom was installed on its mount.

Sorry for the long rave, but I must say I was initially pretty disappointed when I mounted the tom with the recommended Pearl method. But now Im using method Four and it sounds great. I like how stable and firm the tom is, definitely less bounce than a RIMS, which means I can run the tom lower and closer to the bass-drum.

Anyway, just a test sample of one, so hardly definitive --- more of a FYI but YMMV.
So glad I found this post. I have a new music city custom maple kit from pearl which comes with the all chrome optimounts on the 7x10” and 8x12” toms. Being shallower toms I expect them not to ring for days but the optimount was chocking the drum terribly while holding it with my fingers by the rim it would resonate freely. Tried everything so I thought. Using the 4th method you posted has solved the mystery. It’s kinda funny that we go through all this trouble with mounts. My 80s Pearl MLX has the mount drilled on the shell and the arm goes through the shell and it sings like an angel. Go figure.
 


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