Are bop kits worth it?

Jml

Senior Member
So I recently bought a Yamaha Stage Custom bop kit. Looks and sounds great. But the bass drum (18x15) seems as heavy and takes up almost as much space as my 2000-era Tama Swingstar (22x16). Especially with the extra Gibraltar riser attached. Then, the riser isn’t comparable with my Ludwig Speed King (something other than the beater hits the bass drum head or the rim). So...if it’s just as heavy, just as space-eating and I can’t use every bass drum pedal with it, is it worth it???

Am I the only one who has had these issues? Another option would be getting one of those kits like the Yamaha Stage Custom Hip or Tama Neo Mod. Any ideas?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
"Worth" is a personal measurement. I've never owned a bop kit, but the folks who praise them seem to think they're worth it. By your own account, however, you have complaints about your bop kit, so it's probably not worth it for your purposes. I'm not sure there's another way to assess the situation.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I don’t think the weight is ever a factor for these little kits. They all weigh about the same. But the fact that it takes up the same amount of space is puzzling - it is smaller, no?

have you tried using it without the riser? When I played an 18”, there were no such things as “risers” in the 80s, so mostly everybody just put their pedal on the hoop and got acceptable sounds out of the drum (listen to Peter Erskine play his 18” bass drum with Jaco’s big band on the album “Invitation”).
 

Philaiy9

Junior Member
Did you try putting a spacer in front of the Speed King? Ludwig supplies rubber ones with the new pedals, but you can also just put a pencil in between the riser attachment and the pedal base (underneath the claw).
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Then, the riser isn’t comparable with my Ludwig Speed King (something other than the beater hits the bass drum head or the rim).
Sounds like your Speed King is bottoming out before the beater strikes the head. Meaning the foot board is likely hitting something on the bottom of the pedal (like the hoop clamp T-rod), interrupting your stroke.

It's literally been decades since I last played a Speed King, so I can't remember if it offers adjustment capabilities to avert this situation. But if memory serves, I don't think it does.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
You could cut a notch in the bass hoop, or buy a bass pedal that won't hit the rim (specifically the Tama Speed Cobra.) The Speed Cobra's plate is recessed toward the player by about 3/4" and won't hit the rim.

Simply moving the pedal away from the rim is not the best solution. The problem is, it messes up the balance and timing of the beater. The beater will hit later, and at a downward angle, making it feel weird because the pedal has to be depressed further into the floor.
 

roncadillac

Member
Birch shells are really heavy, that certainly has something to do with it. My midtown bass drum is 16x14 and poplar, it's extremely light weight. As for space, 18x15 isn't really that small of a drum (maybe I'm biased because I've played 16s or very shallow 18s for years). You can honestly lose the riser, I typically don't use a riser with any of the 16s or 18s I've used and never had a problem (my current midtown has one built in but that is changing soon). This immediately reduces weight and stops the pedal from hitting the hoop.

Regardless of expectations a kit will never play beyond it's potential. In your situation I just simply think it wasn't a great choice. I could see you having been more satisfied with something like the tama superstar neo mod or the yamaha stage custom hip, something with a larger but shallower bass drum. This would feel more like the larger drums you are used to, be much lighter in weight, and take up less space.
 

Jml

Senior Member
I don’t think the weight is ever a factor for these little kits. They all weigh about the same. But the fact that it takes up the same amount of space is puzzling - it is smaller, no?

have you tried using it without the riser? When I played an 18”, there were no such things as “risers” in the 80s, so mostly everybody just put their pedal on the hoop and got acceptable sounds out of the drum (listen to Peter Erskine play his 18” bass drum with Jaco’s big band on the album “Invitation”).

The depth of the 22” Tama is just over 18” from front to back. The depth of the 18” Yamaha bop
Is 18”. So the depth is virtually the same.

Without the riser, I either have to cut/shorten the beater significantly or I hit way above the center of the bass drum.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Sounds like your Speed King is bottoming out before the beater strikes the head. Meaning the foot board is likely hitting something on the bottom of the pedal (like the hoop clamp T-rod), interrupting your stroke.

It's literally been decades since I last played a Speed King, so I can't remember if it offers adjustment capabilities to avert this situation. But if memory serves, I don't think it does.
Yeah no real way to adjust it.
 

Jml

Senior Member
You could cut a notch in the bass hoop, or buy a bass pedal that won't hit the rim (specifically the Tama Speed Cobra.) The Speed Cobra's plate is recessed toward the player by about 3/4" and won't hit the rim.

Simply moving the pedal away from the rim is not the best solution. The problem is, it messes up the balance and timing of the beater. The beater will hit later, and at a downward angle, making it feel weird because the pedal has to be depressed further into the floor.
Yeah. I could lose the Speed King I guess. It just makes you wonder why people buy bop kits if there’s always a compromise.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The depth of the 22” Tama is just over 18” from front to back. The depth of the 18” Yamaha bop
Is 18”. So the depth is virtually the same.

Without the riser, I either have to cut/shorten the beater significantly or I hit way above the center of the bass drum.
That’s what we did back then, that’s what Erskine did on that Jaco album and it sounded awesome. Did you check it out?
 

Jml

Senior Member
That’s what we did back then, that’s what Erskine did on that Jaco album and it sounded awesome. Did you check it out?
Cutting the beater is going to significantly change the feel of the pedal too though, no? And I’m not a fan of the sound or look of hitting really high on the bass drum batter head. Again, more compromises.
 

Jml

Senior Member
I’m going to sleep on it, but I’m considering selling the Yamaha. The question then is, do I even bother getting a second kit? Would I use a Stage Custom Hip or a Tama Neo Mod for anything other than the occasional smaller, indoor gigs? I’m starting to see why guys like bigger size kits....
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Yeah. I could lose the Speed King I guess. It just makes you wonder why people buy bop kits if there’s always a compromise.
Bop kits aren't really a compromise if you play genres like jazz, fusion, funk, electronic, or blues, especially in smaller venues. The sound of an 18" isn't for everyone of course. 18s tuned up really high isn't my thing, for instance.

I really like the punchiness and thump of an 18" with a Superkick II or Emad, tuned low.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
IDK, I simply don't have the same issues with my Tama bop kit. It is astonishingly lighter than my Ludwig classic maple kit (24, 16, 13), and takes up much less room.

As for pedals, I use my Pearl Eliminator double or my Yamaha direct drive without a problem.

In a nutshell, I love my little Tama, and it punches well above its weight.

As for your problem, I think I might try filing a groove in the hoop to remedy the pedal hitting.
 
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