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View Full Version : MCT vs. MCX



Andy H
01-22-2021, 04:49 PM
I am down to just one drum set: Pearl MCX 18x22, 9x10, 12x10, 14x14 and 16x16. No complaints. I love it. However.... I have started looking at MCTs. (I'm sure you understand.). Very nice drums. The Bombay Sparkle finish calls my name every time our eyes meet. Visually stunning!

Question: I notice that all the 22" MCT kick drums are 16x22 instead of 18x22. I thought 18x22 was the new industry standard. What's going on here? Which bass drum is sonically better?

Also... Looks like MCTs after back to using 2.3mm rims instead of die cast. Same question. Which is the better rim for sound?

Thanks in advance.

steadypocket
01-22-2021, 09:55 PM
22x18, the longtime industry standard, is being supplanted by shallower depths. 22x16 and even 22x14 are found in increasing numbers across manufacturers. To me, 22x16 is the perfect size, but I’ll even take a 22x14 over the 18” depth. Better response, less footprint onstage and a bit easier to lug around. Of course there is no right answer. All about personal preference.

Josh Conover
01-23-2021, 01:54 AM
When I first got into drums, like really studying catalogs and reading modern drummer religiously, was around 1997. Back then, 22x16 was the standard. I know kits from just before that era in the late 80's, 14" depths were pretty standard. In the early 2000's you started to see an increase in the 18" depth and later on when OCDP hit it big, you saw all sorts of dudes sporting square sized kicks. To me, the "standard" is what was most common when you started to play. Mainly because that's what was available at that particular time. So to me personally, 22x16 was the standard depth for a kick drum. Along with 12"x10" and 13"x11" rack toms and 16"x16" floor toms. Lately, with Pearl anyway, they have been making their way back to the old school standards with their drum size options offering 16" depths along with 14" depths more common with a 24" kick but also standard on the 20" kick in the Session Studio Select line.

Pearl has definitely cut costs on their Masters line as it's no longer the top of the line kit it used to be. Before Masterworks, Reference, Reference Pure, and Masters Reserve/Premium, the Masters series was as good as it gets! I remember Mastercast hoops, stainless steel tension rods, fully finished bass drum hoops, depth size options, hardware finishes, and more color options than I can count. Nowadays, I'd lump the Crystal Beats, Session Studio Select, and Masters series drums into one group. Then a step up with the Gum, Reserve, Reference, and Reference Pures.

I don't think one rim is necessarily better than the other. They both have pros and cons. I think the cast rims are slightly more rigid giving you a more even tension across the head even if a tension rod comes loose. The cast hoops maybe reduce resonance and focus the tone? I feel like flanged hoops typically weigh less and and allow for more projection and precise tuning? I switched every floor tom (14,16,18") and every tom (8,10,12") in my shell bank to Fat Tone hoops which are light AND rigid. I think they are an inexpensive upgrade from the Superhoops.

At the end of the day, if you know how to tune, you can make your drums sound great.

Andy H
01-23-2021, 05:57 PM
22x18, the longtime industry standard, is being supplanted by shallower depths. 22x16 and even 22x14 are found in increasing numbers across manufacturers. To me, 22x16 is the perfect size, but I’ll even take a 22x14 over the 18” depth. Better response, less footprint onstage and a bit easier to lug around. Of course there is no right answer. All about personal preference.

The best sounding bass drum sizes I've owned:
16x24 (Gretsch Renown and Tama Artstar Custom)
18x22 (Gretsch Renown and Pearl MCX)
16x22 (Yamaha recording custom)
16x20 (Yamaha birch custom absolute and Yamaha stage custom)

The16x24 and 18x22 both sounded VERY good. It was almost a tie.

Andy H
01-23-2021, 06:07 PM
When I first got into drums, like really studying catalogs and reading modern drummer religiously, was around 1997. Back then, 22x16 was the standard. I know kits from just before that era in the late 80's, 14" depths were pretty standard. In the early 2000's you started to see an increase in the 18" depth and later on when OCDP hit it big, you saw all sorts of dudes sporting square sized kicks. To me, the "standard" is what was most common when you started to play. Mainly because that's what was available at that particular time. So to me personally, 22x16 was the standard depth for a kick drum. Along with 12"x10" and 13"x11" rack toms and 16"x16" floor toms. Lately, with Pearl anyway, they have been making their way back to the old school standards with their drum size options offering 16" depths along with 14" depths more common with a 24" kick but also standard on the 20" kick in the Session Studio Select line.

Pearl has definitely cut costs on their Masters line as it's no longer the top of the line kit it used to be. Before Masterworks, Reference, Reference Pure, and Masters Reserve/Premium, the Masters series was as good as it gets! I remember Mastercast hoops, stainless steel tension rods, fully finished bass drum hoops, depth size options, hardware finishes, and more color options than I can count. Nowadays, I'd lump the Crystal Beats, Session Studio Select, and Masters series drums into one group. Then a step up with the Gum, Reserve, Reference, and Reference Pures.

I don't think one rim is necessarily better than the other. They both have pros and cons. I think the cast rims are slightly more rigid giving you a more even tension across the head even if a tension rod comes loose. The cast hoops maybe reduce resonance and focus the tone? I feel like flanged hoops typically weigh less and and allow for more projection and precise tuning? I switched every floor tom (14,16,18") and every tom (8,10,12") in my shell bank to Fat Tone hoops which are light AND rigid. I think they are an inexpensive upgrade from the Superhoops.

At the end of the day, if you know how to tune, you can make your drums sound great.

Good synopsis.

Hoops. I can't tell any sonic difference from 1.6mm to 2.3mm to die cast. I have a slight preference for die cast just for their looks. As for Fat Tones, I picked up a Pearl limited edition steel snare years ago that came with Fat Tone hoops. The drum sounds great and tunes easily.

Pearl Masters: I think Pearl has, in fact, cut costs on the Masters series, but they did it intelligently. It's still a great kit with professional level specs.

Tuning: I agree. Tuning (and heads) are really everything. Good heads and a well educated drum key can make an Export sound like a Masters.