The Myth of the Deep Bass Drum

Frank Godiva

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As told by Simon Phillips, which he also applies to tom toms.

"Personally, if I could have 14” depth bass drums, like the old-fashioned sizes, I would. I think they sound better because the front head responds quicker when there’s not too much depth in the bass drum. I think the fashion is to have deep bass drums these days. It actually works the other way. It ends up sounding thinner and smaller because that front head doesn’t react so quickly. It doesn’t matter if you don’t use the front head and it would actually be more beneficial but I use a front head so I need that head to respond very quickly to get all the bottom end."

 

Targalx

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100% agree! I won't buy a kit with a bass drum that's more than 16" depth (OK, my 24 is a 17" depth, but that's Yamaha's in-between sizing). I do not need that excess depth, just takes up more space in my car. I don't like ridiculously shallow BDs, though. I like 20x14s, 22x16s, pretty standard stuff.
 

Mongrel

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I’m going to have to throw a flag on this one.....

“If I could.....”

if? IF??? He could?

Don’t understand why Simon Pbillips could not have a 13.25” depth bass drum if he wanted it.

Kinda like poking yourself in the eye with a stick. Why? Why would you do such a thing?

(Just tell Tama-yo, I ain’t playing these beer can bass drums-CUT THEM DOWN NOW! tom holder be damned!)

And another flag....

I use large tom sizes....used to be normal sizes...

Sooooo.....if years ago we used 14” deep bass drums and years ago his toms were normal sizes.... Why doesn’t the tom holder work on a 14” deep Star bass drum?

(Last) flag....”deep bass drums seem to be in fashion these days.” These days? Like since the early 90s? Lol.... If anything, “These days” the trend seems to be going back towards shallower depth bass drums.

lol
 
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Tmcfour

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From my experience with having a 14, 2 16s and an 18 I have to agree that I like the 16s and 14 better. My 18 is fine but just not quite the others. Grant it, they are also different woods and brands too but responsewise I prefer the shallower ones too.
 
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prplx

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My kick is a 24X14 and it does sound absolutly great. Another advantage is my 5 piece band play a lot of shallow stage, and my 24" kick actually takes less space away from the musicians in front of me than my old 20".
 

shuffle

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100% agree! I won't buy a kit with a bass drum that's more than 16" depth (OK, my 24 is a 17" depth, but that's Yamaha's in-between sizing). I do not need that excess depth, just takes up more space in my car. I don't like ridiculously shallow BDs, though. I like 20x14s, 22x16s, pretty standard stuff.
16" is deep enough for 20s or 22s
 

Seb77

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..if years ago we used 14” deep bass drums and years ago his toms were normal sizes.... Why doesn’t the tom holder work on a 14” deep Star bass drum?
I think it's because of isolation mounts/l-rod/ball-arm mounts. Look at his setup, there's quite a bit of clearance between the tom post and the drum.
He could use a rack, or cymbal-stand-mounted toms (he used to do that?) , but if he likes the bass drum post style but with the iso mounts, it makes sense to me.
 

Radio King

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I take it all with a grain of salt. I've been a vintage-sized guy ever since I started playing back in '73. In those days, a 14" x whatever" was all you could get, and they were perfectly fine by me. I've had so many 14" deep BDs over the years. In fact, it wasn't till about 3 years ago that I had my first ownership experience with a deep bass drum, and it was a 17.5"x22" Sonor Prolite that killed.

I currently have two 14x20's, a 14x22, two 14x24's, along with a 16x22, a 17.5x20 and two 17.5x22's. They all sound great, but if I had to pick the best one(s), it would have to be one of the 17.5" Sonors (either 20 or 22). They just have that extra something in the bottom end depth department, yet retain all the punchiness of their narrower relatives. They sound great, they feel great, and yes, they hog too much stage real estate. But I love the sound, and that trumps all for me.
 
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CaptainCrunch

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I’ve never heard enough of a difference with deep basses or power-depth toms to make up for the positioning hassles, and I’m just so used to the vintage sizes that power depths look a little funny to me.

That being said, if a CL posting for Recording Customs or Phonics for $300 popped up I’d buy whatever goofy sizes they were so fast I’d burn my fingers whipping my wallet out.
 

TheBeachBoy

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I’ve never heard enough of a difference with deep basses or power-depth toms to make up for the positioning hassles, and I’m just so used to the vintage sizes that power depths look a little funny to me.
This is more how I feel. It has to be ergonomic to set up. The deeper sizes don't often work for how I like to set up, plus just loading an 18" deep drum in my car isn't fun. If I had a truck or SUV with the space, then it probably wouldn't be a big deal. I like the slap/attack from a shallower drum as well. 16 is about as deep as I'll typically go with my drums.
 

Bandit

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I'm curious. Does anyone buy a new kit and tell people that their bass drum sucks, regardless of the depth of it?
 

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