When (and why) did the 8 inch tom fall out of favor??

singleordoubleheads

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It seems like everyone had and used an 8 inch rack in the 70s and 80s (90s?), but it seems I have read thread after thread about how nobody uses (or even likes) an 8 in the mix anymore. I have never owned a true double-headed 8 (I do own a few as concert toms) so I personally can't speak to them, but I remember Weckl and his 8 Yammy red tom sounded better than practically ANY drum I'd ever heard!! Nowadays it seems like a 10 is as small as folks will go for a 1st rack. What caused the poor 8 to be so shunned after being so popular before?
 

dtk

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I think in general kits are getting smaller, w/respect to the number of drums...at least based on what I see.
 

Tommy D

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Does sets, in general are going back to smaller sizes. In the 70's, 80's and early 90's everyone wanted a double bass 9 piece kit at a minimum. Now people are simplifying back down to 4 piece kits and adding in more cymbal sounds.

I have only owned one kit with an 8" tom and it was just okay. Not great. With a 2 ply head it sounded like a bongo and not so much like a tom which lead to different head experimentation and tuning all my drums to work with where the 8" sounded best. I'm not opposed to owning an 8" tom again. Heck if I could find an 8" transparent black Saturn III tom I would buy it. But 8" isn't too high on my priority list. Much like an 18" floor tom isn't on my list. Those massive kits with all th drums just aren't in fashion any more.
 

SteveB

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I just had a 7x8 made up to match my fiberglass kit. This one is as powerful as any 10 I've used. I just get so sick of the constant doom where you can't tell what a guy is hitting. I definitely don't like kits that have all large toms...just a rumble. The 8 helps separate ideas much as a snare does. This drum has a lot of tone also but it does have a place where it has to be tension wise. Hitting the drum without clicking sticks is a treat though. It works real well playing it more like a timbali which is what I was going for in the 1st place.
 

Blisco

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The ones I've had tend to be one-trick-ponies so unless you really need that particular sound, there might be other ways of covering that. My 10 covers plenty of range and really negates the need for an 8. Plus, it's always been tough to squeeze that drum in somewhere and having it over the hi-hat isn't terribly convenient either.
 

Old Drummer

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I like small toms, and not long ago I was delighted to run across a used 8" that matched my set. My delight turned to remorse after I scoured both local music stores and online sites trying to find mounting hardware only to discover that I'd have a small fortune and a lot of weight into the hardware. I therefore sold the 8" for what I paid.

My guess is that an 8" just can't justify its real estate. It's probably not that drummers don't like them, more that it's one more drum and hardware contraption to deal with.

I had no idea that 8" toms were the fashion during the 70's and 80's (I thought roto-toms were the fashion then) but suppose that if they were, they were just part of the monster sets then. I had a set of small concert toms then and would still choose them over an 8". I just don't have the concert toms and thought an 8" might be an adequate substitute.
 

pwc1141

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I had one in a 7 piece kit that I split into a bop kit with the 16" tom converted to bass drum but sold it along with the other unused pieces and the drummer who bought the 8" uses it very successfully as sole rack tom in a mini-kit he plays at small venues. As a die-hard 4 piece kit lover, a 10" or 12" is my preferred sole rack tom choice so I could never really see a use for an 8". On a bigger kit though, why not ?
 

singleordoubleheads

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I think Weckl stopped using his 8 because he started tuning higher after studying with Freddie Gruber.

But I think Steve Smith, who tunes tight, and Gavin Newsom, who tunes looser, still use them....
I personally think FG hurt more drummers than he helped. I know this is OT, but NP was never the same (in a bad way) after studying with him...
 

singleordoubleheads

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I like small toms, and not long ago I was delighted to run across a used 8" that matched my set. My delight turned to remorse after I scoured both local music stores and online sites trying to find mounting hardware only to discover that I'd have a small fortune and a lot of weight into the hardware. I therefore sold the 8" for what I paid.

My guess is that an 8" just can't justify its real estate. It's probably not that drummers don't like them, more that it's one more drum and hardware contraption to deal with.

I had no idea that 8" toms were the fashion during the 70's and 80's (I thought roto-toms were the fashion then) but suppose that if they were, they were just part of the monster sets then. I had a set of small concert toms then and would still choose them over an 8". I just don't have the concert toms and thought an 8" might be an adequate substitute.
Well it just seemed to ne the "golden age" of bigger kits and almost always included an 8 somewhere in the mix. A few years back Ludwig was offering regular double-headed 8 and 10 in add-ons in the Accent series in a black wrap. I have an Accent kit 12/13/16/22 in black and ALMOST pulled the trigger on them since I've never owned a double headed tom smaller than a 12. Now I kinda wish I had...
 

Tmcfour

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I have one on my 6 pc kit. It's ok. When I hit it it's an accent most of the time definitely not a work horse. I think I remember reading on here tha they fell out of favor professionally because they were getting lost in the mix and held a tonal spot similar to the human voice... that could have been the 10 though.
 

singleordoubleheads

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A few years back my (now-closed) local Mom and Pop had a set of Cannon Toms on the floor. 2 side-by-side 8s on 1 stand, except on was 6 inches deep and the other was 8 (both single-headed). They looked so cool I couldn't resist picking them up and I use them as timbales as well and they sound awesome (they esp come in handy on Hotel Cal and Buffett stuff). I've tried to replace them with Tama mini-timps and a 10 PDP Piccolo tom in various combinations, but I still keep coming back to the Cannons. They sound suprisingly distinct with the proper tuning and thin, single-ply heads with a tiny piece of moongel.
 

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