Who would say 22/16/13 is more versatile than 20/14/12?

Jazzhead

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Before having a 14” floor tom, I thought I would love it more than a 16” floor but once I got it, I didn’t. I know it might be different from drum to drum and sound-wise and tuning range but having a 16” floor next to me feels much better, not sure why!

I admit I like 12” rack tom more than 13” but usually standard configurations come in 22/16/13 and 20/14/12. I would love a 22/16/12 though.

For the bass drum, same thing, I thought I’d love a 20”x14” but my 22”x14” feels so much better to play and much more presence.

I am pretty sure that a 20/14/12 will deliver with no problem but I am starting to feel and think that 22/16/13 is the most versatile configuration, it can be the go-to in any situation if you can control your playing. And maybe that’s why 22/16/13 is the industry standard.

I know this is subjective but any thoughts?
 
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hsosdrum

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I've always felt that larger drums that are tuned in the upper portion of their range sound more musical than smaller drums that are tuned in the lower portion of their range. In my book this gives larger diameter drums a definite edge in versatility over smaller diameter drums. (Of course this is an "all other things being equal" situation.)
 

wayne

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Excellent topic; I,ve thought about this many times, though not sure why. To me, the most important factor here is the bass drum. Larger drums sound "bigger". Smaller drums sound "smaller" Its taken me years to figure this out!....Some pants the same size fit better than others. Depends who makes them.
 

CaptainCrunch

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Drums have a pitch floor below which lies nothing but flab and wrinkled heads. You're gonna have a much easier time tuning a 13/16/22 up than getting a 12/14/20 below what it can do.

That being said, I have some 20's that are just SO punchy. An advantage of being able to work with a 13/16/20 is that vintage kits get cheaper, too.

So I guess "You talking vintage or modern?" is a worthwhile question.
 

Markkuliini

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22/13/16 will not really jazz, the 22 just won't go that up. And 16 is often a problem too, rarely have I heard a 16 that sounds that good tuned up.
20/12 would rock if you're a good tuner, but you have to tune 14 too loose (in my opinion) to really make it work in rock.

The most versatile sizes are 20/12/15, in my opinion. I know, it's bit unorthodox, but I'm my experience 15 is the only floor tom size that can bridge that gap.

But between 22/13/16 and 20/12/14, I would say the latter.
 

Phantomlimb777

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22/13/16 will not really jazz, the 22 just won't go that up. And 16 is often a problem too, rarely have I heard a 16 that sounds that good tuned up.
20/12 would rock if you're a good tuner, but you have to tune 14 too loose (in my opinion) to really make it work in rock.

The most versatile sizes are 20/12/15, in my opinion. I know, it's bit unorthodox, but I'm my experience 15 is the only floor tom size that can bridge that gap.

But between 22/13/16 and 20/12/14, I would say the latter.
20/12/15 is so good, and portable!
 

Iristone

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Or split the difference by going 20/12/16 or 20/13/16. ;)
My current kit is based around a 22/13/16 core. My next kit would probably be based around a 20/13/16 core.
 

Seb77

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I think the key lies in clarifying: versatile for which styles? There are many styles that require big drums, think anything where a 24 or 26 would be ideal. If you play these, then 22 is more versatile. If you play quieter gigs, maybe like a higher old school/jazz sound now and then, 20 is it.

I personally would get along with a 20-12-14 sonically for the styles I usually play, but I have been using 13-16-22, too. It's great if you don't need to limit yourself to one kit :)
 
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Carlos McSnurf

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22/13/16 will not really jazz, the 22 just won't go that up. And 16 is often a problem too, rarely have I heard a 16 that sounds that good tuned up.
20/12 would rock if you're a good tuner, but you have to tune 14 too loose (in my opinion) to really make it work in rock.

The most versatile sizes are 20/12/15, in my opinion. I know, it's bit unorthodox, but I'm my experience 15 is the only floor tom size that can bridge that gap.

But between 22/13/16 and 20/12/14, I would say the latter.
Why according versatility we always take jazz into account? What plays for masses is rock, pop, blues, funky, r&b.
22/13/16 suits to each of them.

And the smart way is to enlarge arsenal by adding 20 bass drum and 12 tom to it.
 

Markkuliini

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Why according versatility we always take jazz into account? What plays for masses is rock, pop, blues, funky, r&b.
22/13/16 suits to each of them.

And the smart way is to enlarge arsenal by adding 20 bass drum and 12 tom to it.

Without any speciations if genres on the original post, I can only answer from my own perspective.

I didn't mean that you should play jazz per se, I actually meant high tuning in general. I don't really do jazz-gigs, but I mix my tunings quite often, I could play old-school R&B or rock'n roll with jazzy tunings also, depending if I'm mic'd, the size of the venue, the band in general.
But if you're only playing on lower tunings then I would definitely recommend taking 13/16/22 from those 2 options.
But then the original question don't really make sense. That doesn't really require versatility, does it.
 
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mpthomson

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22/13/16 will not really jazz, the 22 just won't go that up. And 16 is often a problem too, rarely have I heard a 16 that sounds that good tuned up.
20/12 would rock if you're a good tuner, but you have to tune 14 too loose (in my opinion) to really make it work in rock.

The most versatile sizes are 20/12/15, in my opinion. I know, it's bit unorthodox, but I'm my experience 15 is the only floor tom size that can bridge that gap.

But between 22/13/16 and 20/12/14, I would say the latter.
Historically 22" bass drums were used widely for all sorts of jazz applications, no reason at all why they shouldn't still be used.
 

Seb77

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Historically 22" bass drums were used widely for all sorts of jazz applications, no reason at all why they shouldn't still be used.
I agree in so far as big band and earlier styles imo can really benefit from the larger, heavier sound, but in many more recent jazz styles it would be too much. I remember a clip of early Bill Stewart with John Scofield on a 22. I can understand he explicitly asks for an 18" in his rider these days.
Or, case in point, a newly ordered house kit at a local jazz club comes to mind - luckily they replaced the 22 with a 20. 10-12-14ft. With a PS3, port/pad it's already set up on the pop/funk side of things, but you can tune it up and remove the muffling.
 

richardh253

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The folks who have pointed to variables - vintage/new, brand, materials - are on target. And some of it is how the kit feels. I've had several 22-13-16 setups and some 24-13-26 setups, nothing feels as good to me behind the kit as 20-12-14. That said, in terms of versatility, helpful insights already posted about where the sweet spots are for the smaller/larger diameter kits. I like my drums tuned mid-slightly high, and do better with 20-12-14. But with the right heads, beater and some time tuning, I get a good punch out of the 20" bass.
My kit is a 66 Ludwig 20-12-14 (I have a 16 also but usually set up just the 14). I have not found the same response or range with a similar era Gretsch or Sonor, but others might have succeded.
If I was walking in to buy a new kit outright, 20-12-14 is what I'd want, and would look for the brand that does 'best' in those sizes.
 

Browny

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I’ll take the 22/13/16. Ideally traditional depths.

The drums have more of a presence, and are pretty versatile for tuning with coated ambs.

My 2 kits are 26/13/16 and 22/13/16, so you could say I’m partial to bigger drums. I wouldn’t mind a 20/12/14, but I’m not losing sleep about not having a smaller kit, and at the end of the day I’m probably not cranking the heads out above the upper range of where a 22/13/16 could sit, so…
 

Drumworm

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I recently went to a 20/12/14 as my main gigging kit. It's a Gretsch Brooklyn, and I must say the tuning range on these drums will cover most genres.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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22/13/16 will not really jazz, the 22 just won't go that up. And 16 is often a problem too, rarely have I heard a 16 that sounds that good tuned up.
20/12 would rock if you're a good tuner, but you have to tune 14 too loose (in my opinion) to really make it work in rock.

The most versatile sizes are 20/12/15, in my opinion. I know, it's bit unorthodox, but I'm my experience 15 is the only floor tom size that can bridge that gap.

But between 22/13/16 and 20/12/14, I would say the latter.
+1 - 20/12/15 is such a great versatile for figuration - I used to own a Yamaha Recording Custom kit in that configuration . It was an Endorser kit that I purchased from the Endorser . I seriously considered a 20/12/15 when I ordered my new Gretsch kit but decided to stay with the 20/12/14
 

LarryJ

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The folks who have pointed to variables - vintage/new, brand, materials - are on target.
I agree with this.

My 12/14/20 Gretsch Renowns were fine for big band, bebop, and blues/rock with just a tweek in tuning. When I started using my 13/16/22 early '60s Slingerlands again, I just couldn't get the jazz sound I now have in my head, even though I used them for jazz for years. So I added a 12/14/20 Slingerland kit for big band and bebop. If I could have only one, it would be the bigger kit, but I am much happier using two.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Tough to say, and it partly depends on what you play. If I had one only, it might be the smaller setup since you could still do any jazz gig there. Can always tune lower for rock. Personally I like having both configurations and don’t limit myself to only one setup for all things.
 


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