What is the best floor tom size, and why?

peter

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I have ordered two Gretsch USA custom kits, and an Odery Custom kit, all with 15" diameter floor toms (on legs).

First Gretsch kit was 15"x14", next was 15"x15", and then went back to 15"x14" on the Odery.

Why 15"?

Because it's the perfect goldilocks size. Actually I'm a bit surprised it hasn't become standard for shell packs that include a single floor tom. There's something I mentally really dislike about the floor tom being the same diameter as the snare (14"), and 16" is too big a jump when your largest upper tom is a 12".

Oh and heads have been no problem... Especially since I usually use more specialty-type batters on toms (such as clear or coated Remo P3's), which always have to be special ordered anyway.
 

peter

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There's a question that demands to be answered in character:

THE BEST: 14x14 for versatility. 16x16 if you play nothing but rock. Anything larger is a joke, use when you want a "_" sound. Never seen a 15x15, but I would consider it, even though 15" is an alien size for weirdos. Shallow floor toms look dorky and I refuse to use them.
15" "alien size for weirdos"???
Nah, you speak for yourself there... I've had several beautiful kits, all with 15's (see above post), and I won't go back to anything else!
 

musiqman

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15" "alien size for weirdos"???
Nah, you speak for yourself there... I've had several beautiful kits, all with 15's (see above post), and I won't go back to anything else!
I wouldn't mind a 15 but it doesn't sound like a 14 or a 16..
My previous 15” ate 14”, 16”, and even came close to a lot of 18” floors.

I just wished more brands used/brought back the 15” floors on legs.

So far only Pearl, Tama and DW have this size as far as I know.
 

JonnyFranchi$e

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14x12 or x14.

Small and easy to haul.

They sound fine - deep enough. No one else but us would probably notice most of the time.
 

peter

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My previous 15” ate 14”, 16”, and even came close to a lot of 18” floors.

I just wished more brands used/brought back the 15” floors on legs.

So far only Pearl, Tama and DW have this size as far as I know.
+1
I think most companies offer 15's at their respective flag ship, custom-shop levels. It's a shame you have to go custom to get one.
 

shuffle

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15s my favorite.
I have 2
They have the punch of 14 but not as ponderous as a 16 can be.
Works great for me
 

1988fxlr

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16x16” is the most generally useful one to me but my 18x16” is my favorite when you get the tuning just right
 

varatrodder

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My previous 15” ate 14”, 16”, and even came close to a lot of 18” floors.

I just wished more brands used/brought back the 15” floors on legs.

So far only Pearl, Tama and DW have this size as far as I know.
Also...
Ludwig
Gretsch
Pork Pie
Sonor
C&C
 

fun2drum

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I'm okay with 14x14 and 16x16, and I used to have a 16x18 that paired with a 16x16 on an old Slingy Niles badge double bass set. I absolutely loved playing that combination but wouldn't want to haul it all around nowadays. I'd love to play around with a 15" diameter, but never have.

Something I like to have with my floor toms that doesn't have anything to do with sound is having a depth such that the legs can be retracted all the way up for transport rather than removing them. My 16's and even my 14's can go in their cases with the legs still on them, and I just pull them out for set up. I love being able to do that.
 

RogersLudwig

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mine ain't! ha
I could use a little
Where do you get it?.
Ha! I wish I could trade some of mine for your lack thereof. My life had no ambiguity at West Point. It was all black, white, and cadet gray. After that, it's been all downhill. Where is the bloody Field Manual? My parents failed to provide some of the more important chapters; the dogs ate the rest.
 
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DanRH

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I agree with the Depends comments. For me, 16x16 is used most the time but I'm digging the 14 lately.
 

varatrodder

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In their regular lines or only the top lines?

So that means only Yamaha is left behind.

Such a shame :(
I just checked the top lines (made in USA/Germany).

I forgot to add INDE and Oriollo to that list as well. Any custom builder can do 15" floor toms since Keller, Nordic and CVL Legno all offer 15" shells.
 

hsosdrum

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I've owned and used: 14x14, 16x14, 16x16, 18x16, 20x18. 16x16 wins, and it isn't even close. 16x16 can do it all.

P.S. Anything smaller than 14x14 ain't a floor tom, it's a rack tom, the same way that anything smaller than 18x12 ain't a bass drum, it's a tom-tom (with illusions of grandeur).
 


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