What is your preference: 18 vs 20 kick drum

JimmySticks

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If you're curious about it and don't have an 18 - measure from the floor to the beater at your normal playing setup.
Say for example, your beater sits at about 13". Subtract the 9" from the center of an 18" head, and you'll be hitting
at 4" above center. That's about half way between the center and the edge.

Now hit any of your other drums about halfway in from the center to the edge and gradually work your way in to the center.
You'll have less volume and a higher pitch closer to the edge.

For some things, that's exactly what you want, but not for all.
A riser makes a significant difference in the sound, both for increased volume and lower pitch.
But it still won't get you to where the 20 will go.

There's no doubt about it - 18"s are nice and have a lot of benefits.
The only real long term solution is to get both. Start with the one that appeals to you most.
Thanks for the explanation!

I’ve always played a 20” BD, but I’m diving into the world of 18” BDs - it’s in the mail as we speak! :hello1:

Yeah, I’m excited. I guess I’m going to play it as is for a bit and I’ll decide if I need a riser later.
 

halldorl

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I would be using this for mainstream music (cover band stuff) primarily along with recording funk/easy listening stuff.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Most definitely 20”.
My fav bass drum is my Tama Star Maple 18” but versatile? Not really although it’s a little Chameleon.

A 20” is arguably the most versatile bass drum size you can find. Handles almost anything and considering your above statement an 18” will be difficult unless you are mic’d all the time.
An 18” with a riser or used with the Tama Classic pedal that is able to strike the center of the drum may work as it gives you more “oomph” but a 20” can handle anything with a conventional pedal.
 
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halldorl

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Thanks for the explanation!

I’ve always played a 20” BD, but I’m diving into the world of 18” BDs - it’s in the mail as we speak! :hello1:

Yeah, I’m excited. I guess I’m going to play it as is for a bit and I’ll decide if I need a riser later.
Ah, so you already ordered it. Have fun!

Also consider the Tama Classic pedal instead of a riser. You can adjust it to strike dead center but still have the beater fully extended. It gives lots of power and is dirt cheap.
 

JimmySticks

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Ah, so you already ordered it. Have fun!

Also consider the Tama Classic pedal instead of a riser. You can adjust it to strike dead center but still have the beater fully extended. It gives lots of power and is dirt cheap.
Ahh, you remembered my bop thread! Yeah , I pulled the trigger a little over a month ago. It should arrive next week. I’ll post pics. New kit day, there’s nothing like it!

Thanks for info on the pedal. I do use a Tama pedal, but I forget the model name. Here’s a pic -

4B847E6D-8BE5-42D7-9D1C-19D38188A594.jpeg EDF634D9-9157-43A4-958F-EFD9990BAA10.jpeg
 

lossforgain

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I am in the process of buying a new kit. I have owned all the standard kick drum sizes ranging from 20 to 26....but never an 18.
I am ordering a classic maple from ludwig and am debating getting an 18 rather than a 20. I loved my downbeat configuring but am intrigued by the 18" kick.
What is your preference? Any reason why?
I would be using this for mainstream music (cover band stuff) primarily along with recording funk/easy listening stuff.
Thanks for your thoughts!
I go for a 20 over an 18 every time in a rock band. The only time I've been satisfied with an 18 was when I wanted a higher jazz tuning or a really low volume situation. 20 is actually my preferred kick size for most situations.

If you don't mind my asking, why did you sell a Classic Maple kit only to turn around and order another one?
 

codydee12

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I go for a 20 over an 18 every time in a rock band. The only time I've been satisfied with an 18 was when I wanted a higher jazz tuning or a really low volume situation. 20 is actually my preferred kick size for most situations.

If you don't mind my asking, why did you sell a Classic Maple kit only to turn around and order another one?
I am loving getting all these responses! This has been really good to hear from everyone.
Not sure which way I am leaning just yet. Hoping to go play an 18 and 20 next to each other today.

I sold the classic to buy another classic because I am constantly moving drums. I buy.. I play. I sell it. I buy another. I hold on to my wfl kit but newer kits are so readily available that it is a fun hobby to try new kits with new sizes.
 

codydee12

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If you're curious about it and don't have an 18 - measure from the floor to the beater at your normal playing setup.
Say for example, your beater sits at about 13". Subtract the 9" from the center of an 18" head, and you'll be hitting
at 4" above center. That's about half way between the center and the edge.

Now hit any of your other drums about halfway in from the center to the edge and gradually work your way in to the center.
You'll have less volume and a higher pitch closer to the edge.

For some things, that's exactly what you want, but not for all.
A riser makes a significant difference in the sound, both for increased volume and lower pitch.
But it still won't get you to where the 20 will go.

There's no doubt about it - 18"s are nice and have a lot of benefits.
The only real long term solution is to get both. Start with the one that appeals to you most.
Thats a great point....honestly the thought process of going with what most appeals to me today makes this decision a bit easier.

I hadn't looked onto 18s before so all of these responses are trully helpful.
 

Skins_in_the_game

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This 17 WFL is still available.
 

JDA

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it doesn't do the super-high bop thing,
I don't do the "super-high bop thing" with an 18". That's not a prerequisite---when you own an 18". Think more Purdie with Aretha two headed no holes tuned medium to low Funk drum.
 

JDA

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Hoping to go play an 18 and 20 next to each other today.
no you have to "want it".. You won't discover much in 5 minutes and may be dis appointed.. You have to know it's right (for the moment you and your playing are in) and that it's been a drum thru our musics history to have earned a spot... I don't even want to mention highest resale in used vintage high end market (excluding the Mitch Mitchell owned and John Bonham "he breathed on this" or the Keith Moon " thrown down the steps only once" kits"
18" high end sets (from any tom dick or mary) pretty much rule resell. (to a sometimes amazing degree). Never get hung (or lose a dime) with a (14x)18" higher end set
 
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DannyPattersonMusic

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I've used an 18" kick for the majority of my gigs since 2006. I use it for rock, county, pop, etc.
I also do not use a kick riser, there really isn't a need for it in my opinion. I get plenty of low end with the 18" mic or no mic ... it's all in the way it's tuned and played.

Here's a clip from a I did at my studio for a track using a 18 kick (12 tom & 14 floor tom).
 

Skins_in_the_game

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I've used an 18" kick for the majority of my gigs since 2006. I use it for rock, county, pop, etc.
I also do not use a kick riser, there really isn't a need for it in my opinion. I get plenty of low end with the 18" mic or no mic ... it's all in the way it's tuned and played.
What heads are you using on the Kick, and what type of beater?
 

greegor

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I have an 18" Catalina Club that I just can't get a decent low tone from. Plan on changing out the beater head, but for now it works well in rehearsals.
 

greegor

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What heads are you using on the Kick, and what type of beater?
I've used an 18" kick for the majority of my gigs since 2006. I use it for rock, county, pop, etc.
I also do not use a kick riser, there really isn't a need for it in my opinion. I get plenty of low end with the 18" mic or no mic ... it's all in the way it's tuned and played.

Here's a clip from a I did at my studio for a track using a 18 kick (12 tom & 14 floor tom).
I'd be interested in what heads you're using too?
 

bpaluzzi

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I keep my 18" tuned down super thumpy. Have a Super Kick 1 on it, with some DrumKubez scattered in the bottom of the shell. Ported ambassador on the front with a Beta52 in the hole and a Solomon LoFreq (Subkick) in front. Using the IP Chris McHugh yarn beater. THUMP THUMP THUMP.
 

mtarrani

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I use both. I prefer 20, but anything except a 22. One of my recent drum kit purchases is sitting in a closet in bags because I stupidly purchased the 22 configuration. More out of curiosity than anything. But I digress. I grew up playing 20s when those there the most common size. That was in the early-to-mid 60s. I have some 18 inch bass drum kits that I am fine with, but the 20 is it for me.
 


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