Sound of Bass Drum with Tom Mounts Vs Virgin

Cauldronics

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Sounds Like a Drum did an episode devoted to this question and found no real difference between the two:

I used to only play with my single tom mounted off the bass drum, but recently tried it in a snare stand and am loving the setup because I can now have my ride more in front of me. I've noticed no difference in sounds of the drums.
I can't stand that youtube channel. I got tired of the know-it-all, one size fits all format. Blech.
 

Drumolator

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I added a tom holder to me bass drum. I drilled it. I tried every other way to mount the 12 inch tom, except a rack. Adding a tom holder to the bass drums was the only way I could get the tom where I want it. Peace and goodwill.
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notINtheband

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Saturn 3 kit on the right is a virgin shell.
Saturn 3 kit on the left is also a virgin shell, but with the toms mounted to the bass drum with the Mapex bass drum Tom mount assembly:
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So neither have holes drilled into the bass drum but silver kit has the weight of the toms via the mount on the bass drum as opposed to on stands.
With the same heads and the same muffling, I cannot tell the difference in the bass drum sounds. Both sound fantastic, and identical to me. So I don’t know that the weight of the toms on the drum have a significant impact on the sound (though I definitely understand why it would or should), it just hasn’t been my experience.
 

Deafmoon

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I’ve had both over the years and noticed no difference in sound. What does make a difference is lifting the kick off the floor. Today I play a Virgin Gretsch bass drum on a Gibraltar riser with a rack for the toms. The floor Tom has legs. The bass drum riser works on 20”or less easily. I’m not sure on a 22” or larger? I just never heard it.
 

cribbon

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I have always mounted toms on the bass drum and always will, including three Craviotto kits (factory-installed). It's one of the very few things I am somewhat dogmatic about with gear. I prefer the convenience and flexibility for my purposes.

The difference in sound, if any, should be negligible. If you somehow manage to convince yourself there is an appreciable, and harmful effect, there is still a consideration for set-up convenience. I don't care for mounting primary toms off of cymbal stands as I prefer to keep them "independent" for set-up tweaks.

Finally, I know of no artist more discerning about his drum sounds, and sound in general, than Simon Phillips. You very rarely, if ever, see Simon without toms mounted on his bass drums. Simon is mounting some significant sized drums/hardware on fairly thin shells. Tama won't sell the kits he uses with a tom holder bracket installed, but Simon does it anyways. From what I've recall, he prefers the sound of the kit with toms mounted on the bass drum.

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While it is absolutely true that Simon mounts his toms on his bass drums, it's also true that he used a rack for many years:

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If memory serves, I vaguely recall that at a time when he was preferring 14"-deep bass drums, Tama had to make him 15" ones in order to have the bass drum tom post receiver set to allow him to get the rack toms where he wanted them. Great, great drummer with fantastic ears.
 

Jhouse86

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The last several kits I purchased were virgin bass drums. I like the look, I play 1 up 1 down 99% of the time, head changes and tuning are easier. A bass drum mount wouldn't be a deal breaker, but given the option I'd pass on it. Sound wise, I didnt ever give it any thought. Lots of far better drummers with far better drums than me use them. If I ever become famous, I'll ask my drum tech what he'd rather set up and take down. In the mean time, me and my 13in tom on a snare stand will be in the basement.
 

hsosdrum

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Four of the 5 drumsets I've owned have had bass drum tom mounts. (The 11-drum Vistalite kit I played in the '70s mounted the 7 rack toms on stands.) I prefer the overall positioning flexibility afforded by having my two rack toms mounted one on each bass drum. This totally outweighs any minimal sonic advantage that keeping the BDs virgin may provide (an advantage that disappears as soon as the BD heads are muffled or the drum is partially filled with laundry).

However, I do recognize the very real advantage virgin bass drums provide when it's time to change bass drum heads. On my kit that requires almost complete disassembly.
 


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