24" vs 26" bass drum, AKA "Useful vs a deep desire to 'just have'."


Senior Member
Some quick background:

1) I play a 22". I know it can do everything I need a bass drum to do. I know I can change heads and tunings to get a very broad swath of sounds from it for all different styles and music settings. I acknowledge I do NOT need a bass drum size other than the 22"...other than maybe a 20", but that's another discussion for another time. :)

2) I've owned 24" bass drums and kinda miss the inherent bigness of those.

3) I REALLY like the look of 26"x14" bass drums. There's a local group whose drummer uses one and every time I see them perform I catch myself saying, "Man, that's a great looking bass drum." And mic'd up, it sounds great (I haven't heard it unmic'd). Having played 26's before, I know they're limited in sound and tuning, especially compared to a 22". BUT, I really want one.

So my two questions are these:

1) Do I get a 24" bass drum, which I would likely use much more than the 26" or do I get the 26" which I would use only for outdoor gigs or larger venues and satisfy my deep desire to have that size?

2) Those of you who added or went w/ a 26" (that wasn't deeper than 16"), did you end up regretting it or not using it as much as you thought you would?

Ideally, I'd have a bank of 20-26 bass drums, but I can't go toooooo overboard.


"Uncle Larry"
It's really your call. I think a 26 is too big and flappy, but I'm not you. And the tone of a 26...isn't essential or anything. To me anyway. Maybe it's your tone.

If you don't indulge your wants, they could eat away at you until you do. So just get it done and see how you like it would be my suggestion.

What's the worst that could happen?


Platinum Member
I had a Hayman 26x15 and a Richmo 26x20

I really miss em, not a volume this just the feel and low end


Technical Supervisor
I'm more than happy with my 24"/18". To me it has the perfect amount of low end sensible in the whole venue playing unmic'd, while being the largest usable size when it comes to tom placement. Although a 26" looks even better :)

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
While I like the look of massive bass drums, 22"x16" is my ideal size and the largest I'll ever buy. A bigger diameter would force me to elevate my 12" tom, which I play in a snare basket positioned to extend partially over my bass drum. It's at the perfect height now. I don't want to raise it at all. Also, a larger bass takes up more cargo space for transport. I'm not interested in making that accommodation either.

But yeah, more diameter means more low-end, which is what a bass is for. If I wanted to go big, I'd probably get a 26", just to make the statement that a subsonic assault is on the horizon. Rooftops would quake in turn.


Platinum Member
Get the 26 ;) I've got a 26x14 Ludwig 3 ply ..... and once I added it to my herd, I wound up never using my 24x14 (also 3 ply). Eventually sold off the 24x14. Went quite a few years without a 24 in my stable, until about 9 months ago ..... when I scored a Slingerland kit (5 ply) with a 24x14). Since it's another whole matched drum kit ..... it makes sense (in my mind). I've got 16"(one), 18"(two), 20"(three), 22"(three), 24"(one) and 26"(one) bass drums. They all do slightly different things. Some are more "universal" than others.

The first half of my life, I was a guy playing a 22. I decoded the second half was gonna be different.;)


Well-known member
I've used 20 to 26" bass drums. When I got my 26 I thought I was Roger Taylor and Bonzo. I was Mr. Cool. Then I wanted lower tom heights and went to 24. Loved it but always envied the miked sound of those rinky dink sears and roebuck 22's. Today I see 24 and 26" drums and they look so 70's dinosaur to me. Sound engineers love my 18x22 and they shake the earth.


Gold Member
Gotta' do it then. Get it out of your system.
If it's not the same in reality as it is in your thoughts, you can always get rid of it and get a 24.
Agreed. If you get the 24, you'll always be wondering about the 26. A buddy of mine had a 26x14 Ludwig classic maple and the low end coming out of that thing brought tears to my eyes.

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
I have a 26 at the house, but it stays there. I tried hauling it out to a gig once & it didn't go well.
I LOVE the boom of it and it just looks awesome.


I think it's all subjective. I've played everything from 20s to 26s over the years. I've come to realize I'd take a 20" over a 22" any day. And, I'd probably take a 26" over a 24" drum.

The cool thing about a large drum like that is you don't have to tune it lower like you might a smaller drum. Tune that bad boy UP and move some air! (y)

Fred D

Pioneer Member
I played a Ludwig 26 X 14 for years in my younger days. Nothing else gives you that sound. It's the low resonate note. Sure you can tune down a 22 but you lose that big drum resonance, I say go for it!!