18 inch bass drum, why bother?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It could be my perception. If it sounds OK out front, that still doesn't help me with how it makes me feel while playing it. I need it to sound good from the throne. I think this is the first time I have ever played an 18" bass drum for any length of time. Perhaps there are other 18's that may cut it for me, but this particular drum sounds anemic to me.

The single, center mounted lugs on all the drums....that kit definitely does not offer a nice rod turning experience...they're really hard to turn, they need lube....there's a 10 mil head on the reso side of the snare. The only drum that I really like is the 14" floor tom, which sounds as good as any 14" floor tom out there IMO. The 12" tom is OK too, it just has pins on it which I don't care for. But it sounds OK. The throne looks nice and is padded, but my tushy doesn't like it at all, I will have to bring one of my spare a Roc n Soc's. The pedal is adjusted funny, so I end up changing all the cymbals, snare, pedal...People think that any set of drums will do. It's not their fault, they don't understand. If, like me, you are used to playing exceptionally good sounding drums all the time, and then you have to play on a dog of a set, it really makes a big difference in the way you feel playing them. I don't like it, it's not my sound.

But on a scale of 1 to 10 this problem doesn't even chart, I am just looking for others opinions on the 18.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
it's not my sound.
I think your problem is right there Lar......we need our sound....our identity .....or at least something close to what our ears and limbs like to hear and feel
and that 18 just doesn't give it to you

do you have a kit you can bring and leave there?

if not maybe think about purchasing a nice used kit for the rehearsal space......which sounds amazing by the way
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Right now, even though I have 5 kits, I don't have a kit suitable to leave there. I gig my DW's, I have Pearls for my studio, I have a set of Eames drums that would be great but they are on loan to a good friend. The other 2 sets are a complete 1966 champagne sparkle Luds, that are gig ready, and 1976 WMP Luds which are still in pieces. (now that I unyellowed the wrap, I am sending both Ludwig kits to Precision Drum to get the edges recut, when I can free up some funds, I was quoted 75.00 per drum, I have 7 drums I want done.) I don't want to leave a set of vintage drums there, just on principle, and the other set is all apart still. So I may look for a 200.00 kit with a 22, 10 or 12 and a 14. Gives me a reason to go to GC lol.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
When I got my 18" bass drum, I was surprised by how much "thump" and "punch" it had. Sounded like what I wanted my 22" to sound more like. I played it for a while, and then played my 22" again, and thought, "Man, THIS is what that 18" bass drum is missing!"

I love the sounds from both. I gig with my 20", because it has the best of both worlds. That doesn't mean I don't like playing/gigging with an 18, 22, or 26 every once in a while. I hardly ever pull out the 16 (only at coffee shop gigs...), and I only use the 28 for studio sessions. But, yeah, 20x14 = the ideal size for the punch of an 18 with the body of a 22...
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
You can put me firmly in the "18 inch bass drums rawk" category. Currently, I've got two 18's, a 20", and a 22". The 18's are by far my favorite. I really like the 20" too, and would like to get rid of the 22".

Probably not for everyone, and you've got to go with what seems right for you. Can't speak for the Catalina's though. While I've seen plenty of them, I've never actually tried one.

Like you say, heads play a big part, as does a riser. They might be a little more sensitive to tuning also, but I get the sound I like from them with very little effort.

If you really don't like it, do like you say, and bring in another bass drum - problem solved.



When I got my 18" bass drum, I was surprised by how much "thump" and "punch" it had. Sounded like what I wanted my 22" to sound more like. I played it for a while, and then played my 22" again, and thought, "Man, THIS is what that 18" bass drum is missing!"...
OK - I'll admit that I agree with this. The 18 has 'punch', but it doesn't have as much 'depth' as the 22. It's a trade-off I'm more than willing to make though.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
When I got my 18" bass drum, I was surprised by how much "thump" and "punch" it had. Sounded like what I wanted my 22" to sound more like. I played it for a while, and then played my 22" again, and thought, "Man, THIS is what that 18" bass drum is missing!"

I love the sounds from both. I gig with my 20", because it has the best of both worlds. That doesn't mean I don't like playing/gigging with an 18, 22, or 26 every once in a while. I hardly ever pull out the 16 (only at coffee shop gigs...), and I only use the 28 for studio sessions. But, yeah, 20x14 = the ideal size for the punch of an 18 with the body of a 22...
I have never in my life pushed a 28" kick

what in the world does that feel like?

and is the beater down at the bottom of the drum ?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
really?

it's pounding through my speakers as we speak

I feel you though....a bigger kick will always push more air

I just love carrying a small kit after years of lugging a 22" kick around
I am listening on my laptop, not the best listening choice, but I have heard other bass drums reproduced well enough on them.. sorry man, you know I love ya right?
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I am listening on my laptop, not the best listening choice, but I have heard other bass drums reproduced well enough on them.. sorry man, you know I love ya right?
hahahahaha.....yr the man Lar
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I have never in my life pushed a 28" kick

what in the world does that feel like?

and is the beater down at the bottom of the drum ?
It feels big and mushy, like playing on a trampoline. Yes, the beater is not centered on the head, and the sound that comes out is other-worldly! I have 2: a 28x10, and a 28x14, both of them 3-ply 70s Ludwigs, both of them wonderful in their own way...
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
The reason I would never gig with a 18" bass is because we don't mic the drums in the small venues we play in. Therefore, I'll stick with my 22" bass that projects fairly well without any amplification.
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
The only way I would use a 18" bass drum is if my 24" bass drum head got a hole in it & I took my 18" Floor tom & connected a pedal too it..it has happen..lol

I've been thinking of adding a 18 FT to my Crush Acrylics..lol...but that's me i'm not hating on 18" bass drums to each their own.

Bonzolead
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Has there ever been a double bass kit with two 18" bass drums?
"Sailing the Seas of Cheese" by Primus was recorded with 2 18" bass drums, if I recall correctly. Neil Peart started out with 2 18" bass drums, too (that's what he brought to the audition, according to Alex Lifeson).
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
You seem to be talking about blues and rock situations. For small group jazz, there's nothing like an 18". You can't crank a 22" bass drum up to that register. It sounds ridiculous and it's unruly when it comes to controlling dynamics.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
my 18 sounds thunderous and loud enough to push this bluesy rock outfit....this is the only band I use this kit with outside of jazz dates.

of course my 20 sounds bigger....but I do like what the 18 gives me

through some decent speakers you can hear it pushing air here
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3383971752618
Anthony, I'm listening to your clip through some pretty serious reference phones, & the bass drum isn't punching through, but I think that's the recording rather than the gig reality. Sure, If I give it +6db 125Hz, then yes, plenty :) I'm getting the "suggestion" of a good thick FOH tone from the recording, but I bet that recorder rolls off at 60Hz.

Anyhow, & much more important, LOVE YOUR PLAYING, & your guitarist. Tasty pumping stuff man :)
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
All depends on musical tastes and situation. If I desired to play loud music, I'd own a 22".

That being said, I don't desire to play loud music and haven't for quite a while so I've sold any 22" bass I've owned and now only play 18".

My USA Custom and New Classic 18" are cannons within the context I'm in. People out front are blown away by them.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You can put me firmly in the "18 inch bass drums rawk" category. Currently, I've got two 18's, a 20", and a 22". The 18's are by far my favorite. I really like the 20" too, and would like to get rid of the 22".
.
Just goes to prove that one mans poison is another mans medicine. The 18's are your favorite, and you want to lose the 22. While I'll never grasp that, I'm happy that you're happy.

I'm sure 18's sound good miced, but between the pedal feel and my perceived lack of low frequencies from them, I can't warm up to them.

Wildbill, curious, are you using risers? Ported reso?

IDK I don't think in terms of loud drums or not. I can play my 22 so it's as quiet as a mouse fart, and I can get enough volume from the 18, I just have to work it with twice the energy I normally do. (which ruins it for me) It's all about the frequencies for me, and secondarily, pedal feel. Volume isn't even a consideration, as I am the one who controls the volume, not the drum.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Anyhow, & much more important, LOVE YOUR PLAYING, & your guitarist. Tasty pumping stuff man :)
thanks brother

yeah...thats Adam Kestler a pretty badass guitar player who is starting to make some noise here on the east coast of the USA

he enjoys my playing so he hires me for pretty much every gig he does and recently asked me to play on his new record after hearing how I changed what the drummer on the first record played.....I was pretty flattered

not completely my style of choice but the pay is pretty good and the musicians he hires are great
 
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