Do tom bottoms make a big difference?

brandon8robinson

New member
I have a Gretsch Catalina (699$) and the floortoms were kind of shitty, the heads I mean, they were Gretsch heads. I hda these for 2 months and I went out and bought a super-2 W/studio-X ring 14" head and it sounds great to me, I have semi-low standards though.

It was 13.99 and there's still kind of a buzzy sound to it, I really don't know how to tune by traditional standards but the bottom drum is still Gretsch and I was wondering if I had to go out, and buy another one for the bottom?

If I take the bottom off would that be a good idea?
 

Spydr2000

New member
brandon8robinson":2rj4j2tn said:
I have a Gretsch Catalina (699$) and the floortoms were kind of shitty, the heads I mean, they were Gretsch heads. I hda these for 2 months and I went out and bought a super-2 W/studio-X ring 14" head and it sounds great to me, I have semi-low standards though.

It was 13.99 and there's still kind of a buzzy sound to it, I really don't know how to tune by traditional standards but the bottom drum is still Gretsch and I was wondering if I had to go out, and buy another one for the bottom?

If I take the bottom off would that be a good idea?
Tuning floor toms can be tricky. I think I understood you.. you have 2 floor toms? but one has a studio-x and the other doesn't? if so you might want to try the same head combinations on both drums. To explain tuning number clockwise around drum 1 thru 8. You tuning sequence is 1-5, 3-7, 4-8, 2-6 before you begin seat the head, loosen it and tighten rods with your fingers, than apply slight presure on the hoop and tighten rods again with your fingers or key until snug. Now start you tuning sequence using 1/4 turns and bring the head up to desired pitch. After this is done go around to each lug and fine tune until they all sound alike. It should be close.

What you have to decided is how tight to tune your bottoms, this is personal preference. I prefer tuning higher than top.
 

quikstang2

New member
Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Use the same heads on both and tune them up like that.
I try and keep my resonant heads as low as possible, and the same goes for my batters as well.
If you still don't get the sound you want I'd suggest getting new thin 1-ply resonant heads (I use Remo Ambassadors). I'm not a fan of factory drum heads so I replace the a.s.a.p.
 

nathanplaydrum

New member
Spydr2000":hus70j12 said:
brandon8robinson":hus70j12 said:
I have a Gretsch Catalina (699$) and the floortoms were kind of shitty, the heads I mean, they were Gretsch heads. I hda these for 2 months and I went out and bought a super-2 W/studio-X ring 14" head and it sounds great to me, I have semi-low standards though.

It was 13.99 and there's still kind of a buzzy sound to it, I really don't know how to tune by traditional standards but the bottom drum is still Gretsch and I was wondering if I had to go out, and buy another one for the bottom?

If I take the bottom off would that be a good idea?
Tuning floor toms can be tricky. I think I understood you.. you have 2 floor toms? but one has a studio-x and the other doesn't? if so you might want to try the same head combinations on both drums. To explain tuning number clockwise around drum 1 thru 8. You tuning sequence is 1-5, 3-7, 4-8, 2-6 before you begin seat the head, loosen it and tighten rods with your fingers, than apply slight presure on the hoop and tighten rods again with your fingers or key until snug. Now start you tuning sequence using 1/4 turns and bring the head up to desired pitch. After this is done go around to each lug and fine tune until they all sound alike. It should be close.

What you have to decided is how tight to tune your bottoms, this is personal preference. I prefer tuning higher than top.
thats pretty much it, also some examples would be to tune it lower then top head, or equal, each method also responds on different drum/head combos differently
 

AMTJake

New member
every drum has its sweet spot where the resonant head is tuned to the shell. But yeah, the resonant head's tuning is the most important because it determines the pitch while the batter is mostly just feel and fine tuning.
 

break the prism

New member
It's a bitch to tune a floor tom, especially one that's 16" or larger. They bottom out so easily even with the best bottom heads.
 

The Heel

New member
Another tip would be to set the drum on a carpet when you tune so you can isolate each head.

Take the floor tom legs off and put the drum so that the rim is laying on the floor. Then tune. This way you can isloate and find out where those overtones are coming from.

Personally when I tune a head for the first time (Break in a head) I tighten it tighter than where I'm going to tune it, press down on the center of the head to seat it in good, and then tune down to my desired tuning.

I also tune my bottom heads tighter than my tops. Tuning is an art in itself really. Too many drummers just dont understand how important a tool it is in what we do.
 

GrimReepher

New member
I always have trouble with floor tom i have a 14 inch. But the best heads i ever used were coated ludwig weather masters and aquarian focus x clears. i hate remos, and i hate trying to tune them, they just have a crap sound to me, evans is good, but they dont sound good on my drums, my snares but not my toms, good on the bass drum though. try silver dot ludwigs too, there awesome i have them on my snare and bass drum. depends on what you want. dont take the bottom heads off and just leave em like that, they will sound really dead, kinda like the tom sounds on operation ivy songs, if u are familiar with them. hope this all helps
 

Crash101

New member
i always tighten my bottom heads just tight enough to get a nice even vibration and keep the big deep sound of the tom then i tune the top head tighter and mess with it till i get a nice even tone between the two heads
 

aztec1

New member
I got some G1 resos. Best thing I ever did for my drums. They really came to life. I'm still pretty much a rookie at tuning, but I got a Dave Weckl video called "Back to Basics" that shows him tuning a tom in about 5 minutes, among other things. I followed his steps, pausing along the way of course. It ended up taking me about 10 minutes. It worked for all my other toms and they sound great now. Spydr2000 covered it well, and this worked for me:

1. Finger tighten the lugs on both sides, so the heads are flappy when you hit them.
2. Set the batter head on your knee and tighten the reso 1.5-2 turns on the lugs while keeping the center of the head pressed down.
3. Use the lug key to hit around the lugs: get them all to match tone with each other and make them as low as possible.
4. Tighten up any lugs that buzz when you hit it with the lug key. Repeat step 3.
5. Flip it over and repeat 2-4 on the batter.
6. Tighten or loosen the reso to change pitch.

One thing that helped me alot was to use a timpani mallet to fine tune. It removed the stick attack and I was able to hear the tone WAY easier. Hope that helps!
 
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