18 inch bass drum, why bother?

wildbill

Platinum Member
In the 8 years since I posted in this thread, I've changed my mind.
I posted back then that 18's were my favorite, but I was just getting back into picking up drumming then.
20's have taken the place of 18's for me.

I always used a riser with an 18, so there was no height difference for tom mounting.
I can get a lower pitch with a 20, and the difference isn't as far from a 22 as the difference is between the 18 and 20.
I have heard some 18's that sound great, but they've all been videos that most likely had a lot of processing.
I still like the concept of an 18, but when it comes to actually putting money down for a set, I now put it on the 20.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I'm sure I must have posted years ago, but I'm too lazy to go find the post.

I love 18" bass drums. I honestly believe with mic'ing - you can make them do Anything you want them to do.

In my part of the world, venues love seeing small and compact. Most venue owners are literally Afraid of drums in their place. But not when *I* come to town. :)
 

newoldie

Silver Member
I'm sure I must have posted years ago, but I'm too lazy to go find the post.

I love 18" bass drums. I honestly believe with mic'ing - you can make them do Anything you want them to do.

In my part of the world, venues love seeing small and compact. Most venue owners are literally Afraid of drums in their place. But not when *I* come to town. :)
Do you ever gig with the 18" bass un-mic'd?
 

doggyd69b

Active member
Well, it's not my place, not my drums, and I probably wouldn't want to make an issue of it. I try to be a problem solver not a problem creator. I try to be upbeat, no issues, with a can do attitude. They are not affected by the bass drum tone, it's all in my own head, it's the way I feel while playing it. I don't want to make an issue of anything, it's not that important to them. It's just rehearsal anyway. I'll just bring a bigger kick drum, there's loads of space there.
Or get a buttkicker https://thebuttkicker.com/buttkicker-lfe/ that might change how you feel about any bass drum.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
After only having been back into drumming for the last 14 months or so, I'm not entirely sure. My mind isn't made up. Here's a great vid of a guy playing a Sawtooth kit with an 18". Everything is mic'd up.

Personally, I don't think that sounds weak or meek at all! I just recently bought a custom built 20" bass drum. Very nice piece, but I wish I had simply bought a Sawtooth kit. That bass is plenty punchy, I'd have a whole kit together, instead of trying to match stuff up to this custom kick.

I like variety anyhow. I have 2 22's, a 20. In the process of converting a 16" FT to bass. I'm not too worried. But, man, these little Sawtooth kits look, and sound great (with new heads anyway--I hear the stockies are like any other stock head--can be improved upon).

 

Good Karma

Well-known member
I saw this drummer use a 18" floor tom as a kick before, not sure why he was using it. But running it through a board, the sound guy made it have some punch
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
I like the 18", but I am not sure if I saw anyone was saying they were using the drum riser to allow the beater a full stroke to the middle of the drum head. I use an emad batter and the resonant head is very loose.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I like the 18", but I am not sure if I saw anyone was saying they were using the drum riser to allow the beater a full stroke to the middle of the drum head. I use an emad batter and the resonant head is very loose.
My RMV 18" lives on a riser. I'm thinking of putting a riser on my Yamaha 9000 18x14, as well.
 

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evolving_machine

Silver Member
My first bass drum was a 20", then went to a 22", and it was a world of difference. But the 18" with the riser is very good, I wonder how a riser on a 20" would be.
 

MWS

New member
I'm with you on 16s but I actually really like the sound of an 18" when it's tuned appropriately. I've heard them sound really powerful in all kinds of music. They'll never be the same as a bigger drum but they've got their own interesting quality which I like.
I hear you but just got Sonor Safari kit through Reverb. Put new heads, tuned etc. Used and have $500 invested. They sound pretty awesome. Wanted something easier to haul. Had Tama Starclassic but sold. I never thought much about Sonor until now. These sounded so good that I've ordered a brand new set of Sonor Vintage, 20, 12, 14, in black slate. Purchased from Music For All, owned by Matt Kerwin. He had them in stock and was great to deal with!! I recommend him for all your needs!! I would have liked the Prolites but didn't want to wait and the SQ2 was way out of my price range! I looked at the SQ1 but decided to go with the Vintage Beech set. I've only played Birch up to now. Will get Vintage in couple days. Can't wait!! I will hold on to that little Safari kit also.
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
During our 1982 interview, Tommy Aldridge said he uses 18" bass drums in the recording studio because they sound bigger than the 24" or 26" (???) bass drums Tommy uses live.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I'm essentially with you here. My only kit has an 18" kick and whilst it has a nice sound it doesn't excite the way a larger kick does. I also agree that 20" or 22" is a better selection if you only have one kit.
Peace Davo
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Guess what size bass drum I reach for when the guitar player is playing a baritone variant of the instrument and the bass player doesn't range off the top 2 strings and rarely past the 5th fret....yep...18".

i tune the reso to thw next nice resonating tension past finger tight....and the batter an octave higher.(lock-tight for the reso heads really helps.

My bass then cuts through the mud.

...otherwise, I prefer 20" as well.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I have a 24 in kick that I loved till I got back on my 16 Sonor Safari and remembered how much I love the lil thing.I tried the take off half lugs trick and it sounds HUGE! I also have a 16X13 Pearl Rhythm Traveler POD kick (that I recently got back from a loan) and it gets a lower pitch than my 24 in kick and with half lugs off sounds even better. Here's a simple zoom of it.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The first time I saw an 18 was a bunch of local guys, friends, that played at the changing of management at a local pub. The drummer is a big guy and the 18 looked as if his floor tom had fallen over. Small venue, so the 18 handled the event.
 
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