Are bop kits worth it?

TK-421

Senior Member
I’m having the same issues with my Axis and Mapex pedals.
Axis pedals offer tons of adjustments, so I’d be extremely surprised if you couldn’t adjust the pedal to compensate for that. And unless the Mapex is a very basic budget model, I’m sure you could adjust that one to compensate as well.

For what it’s worth, I own two bop kits—a Stage Custom Bop with mesh heads for playing at home, and a Gretsch Renown bop for jazz gigs. I don’t use a riser with the Yamaha, and lowered the beater slightly on the pedal for that kit so it strikes nearer the center of the head. No issues with feel or playability with that kit. For my Gretsch, I installed a Bass Plate riser, and again, no issues with any of my pedals.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Axis pedals offer tons of adjustments, so I’d be extremely surprised if you couldn’t adjust the pedal to compensate for that. And unless the Mapex is a very basic budget model, I’m sure you could adjust that one to compensate as well.

For what it’s worth, I own two bop kits—a Stage Custom Bop with mesh heads for playing at home, and a Gretsch Renown bop for jazz gigs. I don’t use a riser with the Yamaha, and lowered the beater slightly on the pedal for that kit so it strikes nearer the center of the head. No issues with feel or playability with that kit. For my Gretsch, I installed a Bass Plate riser, and again, no issues with any of my pedals.
The Axis and Mapex pedals are both hitting the rim without a riser.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
The Axis and Mapex pedals are both hitting the rim without a riser.
Maybe you should post a picture or a video of what's happening, because what you're describing doesn't make sense to me. I thought you were complaining about your Speed King bottoming out when using a riser.
 

harryconway

Platinum 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).
Bop kits are ..... well ..... bop kits. If you need or want one, then yes, they're worth it. I had two, for a while. A RMV 18, 12, 14 (still have) and a Yamaha 9000 series 18, 12, 16 (sold it). And if you think your Yamaha 18x15 SC is heavy (I currently have one of those kicks) ..... that 18" 9000 series drum was an absolute beast.

Now, most jazz guys don't use risers, so your Speed King (patent 1938) was happy to perform it's intended duty with bass drums that sat on the floor. My Speed King bolts up to my Stage Custom kick no problem, So, the incompatibility is (probably) the addition/introduction of a riser. My RMV lives on a riser, and I love it. The rear bass drum hoop does, however, have a cut out (see photo). And it's very common for bass drums on risers to have that feature.

But then there's .......

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??? Another option would be getting one of those kits like the Yamaha Stage Custom Hip or Tama Neo Mod.
Bop kits were "space savers" in the good old days, because no bass drum was deeper than 14". The Ludwig Jazzette was 18x12. Depth is what eats up stage space. And finding a traditional depth 18 ..... you pretty much have to get into the high end lines for that.

So here's where you get to look at your "operational parameters" ..... if saving space is high on your needs/desired list, the two kits you mentioned might be better choices. The Tama's kick is 10" deep. The Yamaha's only 8". And ..... you get a 20" kick. So, if you're trying to find a substitute for your regular "rock" kit ..... I think these fit the bill better than a "bop" kit, that was, after all, more tailored for a different genre of music and tonality.
 

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Row

Junior Member
My Yamaha absolute hybrid maple 18x14 bass is a beast and I have no need for a riser. Very worth it. Depends on the brand and model of the drum I suppose.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I have a cheap Yamaha Rydeen bop kit which I stained and lacquered a few years ago. I don’t need a riser, but I have lowered the beater an inch and use the sliding weight to make up for the reduced inertia. It doesn’t feel any different when I play.

I mainly use this tiny kit (10-13-18) for rehearsals and quiet acoustic gigs. It sounds great tuned medium low, mics up well, and I can easily lift the bass drum plus the tom mounted to it with one hand. I also have a larger kit (20” bass) for bigger rock shows, but the bop kit is getting the most outings lately.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I have a tiny space for a kit-so I set my Lil Sonor Safari. Well I was thinking maybe go bop and get an 18 in. Started looking-meanwhile back at the oasis I set up my 24X14 Pearl Decade maple and dang it fit in same spot. I set 10/13/16 toms but they take up too much room-so I'm using the smaller Safari 14 in tom. I love that kick-light as a feather. My 16 in Safari kick is much heavier. I've always loved the smaller kicks but now after playing my 24 in a bit they seem so puny and thump-y. I was favoring the smaller over my 24 but I must have been temporarily insane because only one really sounds like a bass drum ROFL.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I’ve realized an 18” bass drum just won’t cut it for me. My mistake. I’m selling it, and maybe some other stuff too. Note to self - never buy anything smaller than a 20” bass drum again. Now I may check out that Tama Neo Mod...
 

Sakae2xBopster

Well-known member
I don't use risers with my 18 inch kicks, but I find some pedals work better than others. I have a Ludwig Atlas pedal that works great; on the other hand, a Sonor pedal doesn't work quite as well because that cross piece, whatever you call it, that the beater revolves around sits slightly higher and causes the beater to strike a little more off center than the Ludwig. My kicks tune up really, really well and a slightly off center strike hasn't been an issue for me so long as I use the correct pedal. Nevertheless, I just added a 22" kick to my shell bank because I really do want that "boom" sometimes!
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I used to own a Sonor Bop kit. I think it lasted a few months.

Then I bought a set of Ludwig Classic Maple in downbeat sizes.

To my ears there is a substantial difference between an 18” kick and a 20” kick. I’ve played rock, country, and worship music with ease on my Ludwig downbeats. The 20 x 14 is pretty darn compact, and every single drum in that set sounds bigger than it is.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Get a kit with a 20 x 14", best of both worlds.
Or just use a 22x14. Do note that Joe Morello used either a 22" or 24" bass drum when he played with Brubeck - he said he wanted a 'bass' drum. And if the depth is about the same between the 18" and the 24", you're not really saving space on stage anyway. For some reason I think everybody goes through this: they keep thinking a smaller bass drum will save space and make life easier when in actuality, you're taking up the same amount of stage real estate. The width will always be what it is because YOU become part of that measurement, and you're not gonna get any narrower. So you can only control the front-to-back measurement and you find out that a 14" depth works fine. Heck, if you still must compromise, get one of those DW Frequent Flyer's with a 12" bass drum, or that new Yamaha Stage Custom Bop with the 10" deep bass drum.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
A 20 x 14 is a nice compromise on space and tone. I currently am using a double bass drum configuration. One BD is a 20 x 12, one is a 20 x 14. Those 2" makes a big difference. While it does almost everything a 20 by 14 does, the note on the 20 x 12 is a little shorter. Not as much afterglow.

My BDs are wide open on this kit. The 20 x 14 works equally well tuned low for rock, or tuned up higher for a bop kit. Add a fluffy bomber beater, and the 20 x 14 is a great size that will offer a lot of mileage.

With a 20 x 12, as a bop kit, I can set the drums up in just a 4 foot x 4 foot space...and that includes me on the drum throne. So a 20 x 14...the extra 2" aren't a dealbreaker IMO. A 14" depth bass drum...there's something magic about it. I'm pretty sure that's why it was a standard depth for many decades, no matter the diameter of BD. There's probably a reason for that. I feel it's sonically balanced. But I do like all bass drums up to a 24". After that it's diminishing returns in my book. Less than 20's...I'll pass on them as well. I have an 18 x 16 floor tom if I absolutely have to use an 18 as a bass drum.
 

wildbill

Platinum 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?

Have you looked inside the bass drum to see if someone stuck some weights in there or something? :ROFLMAO:
I had a couple Yam. SC bop kits and I think they're just about the lightest drums you can get.

I've got a couple kits with 20" bass drums, and I think they're a better size for all around use.
But I got a Ludwig Classic Maple bop kit (18" bass drum) last year, and just love it.
So for that one, yes - it's a bop kit that's absolutely worth it to me.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Yep. Understood. They’re just not for me. I sold it.

I’m happy with my 22x16 for now. The Tama Neo Mod is 20x10 and Stage Custom Hip is 20x8. If I decide to go smaller, it would be something like that. I’m not going smaller than 20” anymore. The riser, etc. is just too much hassle for me. And the Gibraltar riser noticeably added to the overall weight.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Those 2" makes a big difference.




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