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  1. Registered User

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    Default Do deeper toms have more or less sustain than shallower toms?

    For example: Which will have longer sustain, an 11X14 tom or a 14X14 tom? I realize that deep toms produce a fuller, rounder, more "room-filling" sound while shallow toms will have a more biting, cutting, and clear/defined sound.
    Shallow toms are more sensitive and take less of a forceful hit to activate the bottom head while deeper toms take more of a forceful hit to do the same.
    The closer the top and bottom heads are to each other, the less distance the air/sound waves have to travel to get heads moving.
    Maybe my thinking is backwards, but I would think that the 11X14 tom would have longer sustain than the 14X14 tom (if both are struck with the same force) because of the shorter distance between heads. I would think that the sound would "die out" faster in the deeper tom because the sound waves have farther to travel. Wouldn't this cause the sound to dissipate quicker? Is anyone familiar with the physics behind this? Almost everyone who's been posting about this topic has said that deeper toms have longer sustain. Thanks in advance for the replies!

  2. Drumming Since 1943

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    Seems like you have a pretty good handle on the dynamics of drum sounds.
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  3. Why so serious?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bill f
    For example: Which will have longer sustain, an 11X14 tom or a 14X14 tom? I realize that deep toms produce a fuller, rounder, more "room-filling" sound while shallow toms will have a more biting, cutting, and clear/defined sound.
    Shallow toms are more sensitive and take less of a forceful hit to activate the bottom head while deeper toms take more of a forceful hit to do the same.
    The closer the top and bottom heads are to each other, the less distance the air/sound waves have to travel to get heads moving.
    Maybe my thinking is backwards, but I would think that the 11X14 tom would have longer sustain than the 14X14 tom (if both are struck with the same force) because of the shorter distance between heads. I would think that the sound would "die out" faster in the deeper tom because the sound waves have farther to travel. Wouldn't this cause the sound to dissipate quicker? Is anyone familiar with the physics behind this? Almost everyone who's been posting about this topic has said that deeper toms have longer sustain. Thanks in advance for the replies!

    I think the more depth the harder you can hit while getting a good tone. But if it is shallow and you hit it hard it does not get as loud as the bigger one?
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    DEEPER=MORE RESONANCE AND LESS VOLUME. Bit more "tone".
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  5. Two kicks or nothing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by needforspeed182
    DEEPER=MORE RESONANCE AND LESS VOLUME. Bit more "tone".
    That's not right, deeper means MORE volume. on my kit i have toms sized from 10" to 18" i've noticed the smaller toms do resonante slightly less, but keep there tone longer, where the deeper toms resonant more, but at a lower volume as the original sound and seem to just "linger"

  6. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by bill f
    For example: Which will have longer sustain, an 11X14 tom or a 14X14 tom? I realize that deep toms produce a fuller, rounder, more "room-filling" sound while shallow toms will have a more biting, cutting, and clear/defined sound.
    Shallow toms are more sensitive and take less of a forceful hit to activate the bottom head while deeper toms take more of a forceful hit to do the same.
    The closer the top and bottom heads are to each other, the less distance the air/sound waves have to travel to get heads moving.
    Maybe my thinking is backwards, but I would think that the 11X14 tom would have longer sustain than the 14X14 tom (if both are struck with the same force) because of the shorter distance between heads. I would think that the sound would "die out" faster in the deeper tom because the sound waves have farther to travel. Wouldn't this cause the sound to dissipate quicker? Is anyone familiar with the physics behind this? Almost everyone who's been posting about this topic has said that deeper toms have longer sustain. Thanks in advance for the replies!
    Deeper toms have more sustain provided you apply the force necessary to create adequate vibrations on both the batter and resonant heads. If you lightly tap a deep tom and then lightly tap a shallow tom, the shallower one will resonate longer simply by virtue of the fact that the deep one wasn't able to resonate with such little force behind it. However, once both drums are hit with ideal force, the deeper drum will resonate because there is more "space" for the sound waves to vibrate.

    If that makes any sense, good for you because it sure doesn't to me and I wrote it.

  7. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paz
    Deeper toms have more sustain provided you apply the force necessary to create adequate vibrations on both the batter and resonant heads. If you lightly tap a deep tom and then lightly tap a shallow tom, the shallower one will resonate longer simply by virtue of the fact that the deep one wasn't able to resonate with such little force behind it. However, once both drums are hit with ideal force, the deeper drum will resonate because there is more "space" for the sound waves to vibrate.

    If that makes any sense, good for you because it sure doesn't to me and I wrote it.
    Yes, it makes perfect sense. Doesn't that account for the fuller, room-filling tone/effect, though. It takes a harder hit to get the full tonal effect of the drum. I would still think that the sustain would "die out" quicker. Like you said, there is more space for the sound waves to travel. I'm having a tough time understanding. What I hear in my head with a deep tom is: BOOOOM as opposed to a shallow tom being more of a BOOMMM.

  8. PDF Thread Killer Supreme

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    If you take a shallow tom and a deep tom and tune all the heads to equal tension, the shallow tom will sustain less than the deep one. Hence, when I had my 16"x16" floor tom cut down to 12"x16", it didn't sustain as long. However, shallower toms "speak" quicker and take less force to respond.
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    bill f I've owned both, but pretty much always had a preference for deep drums as shown below sitting atop a 26" kick. The middle tom is actually a 14x14 floor tom I had Ludwig make into a rack tom (back in 78). To say a deep tom give more sustain isn't 100% correct nor is it a deeper sound. Different thickness/ply heads will also be a factor in sustain. The diameter/width of a drum has more effect on how deep and long the tone will carry, as it will vibrate more easly as the air bounces back and forth from head to head more quickly and easly (less of a trip/distance to take per say). Deep toms/drums for me and how I tune (up on the scale )offer me great attack, punch and a fuller fatter tone. Hard to explain the difference...but I just love the tone of a well tuned deep drum...with the heads tuned up a bit

    PS.the sound man back then was a one time deal... he had no idea how to EQ drums in a PA and asked me to tape up my kit He was fired at the end of the night.
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    Last edited by HammerDown; 12-16-2005 at 07:03 PM.
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    My kit> 26" BD, 14x13 Rack, 18" and 20" Floors, legendary 14x6.50 Supra.

  10. Registered User

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    And how I use the kit today...new front smooth white P3 bass head doesn't have a hole.
    if for one minute you feel you want deep drums...get-em!
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    Hey kids, If ya want that Bonham sound ya need BIG-Ludwigs! :eek:
    My kit> 26" BD, 14x13 Rack, 18" and 20" Floors, legendary 14x6.50 Supra.

  11. Registered User

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    The bigger the drum the louder. The longer/deeper the drum, the lower the fundamental note. Sustain has to do with tuning. Two 16" drums one 4" shorter, can out sustain each other depending on how their tuned.

  12. lolerz too HxC for u

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    Another question.

    When a drum is shallower, does it's pitch rise?
    Like is the pitch of a 12x7 higher than a 12x9?
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