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Thread: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

  1. #1

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    Default Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    I have sold a couple of old sets this week and have ordered a DW Design Series in Satin Black. It will arrive tomorrow. I have been using a rack for gigs for the past 4 years and I'm really used to the consistency in setup. I was forced to sell my rack with one of the kits or it would not have happened. I have been contemplating going back to stands for a while, so this was not a huge deal. The DW bass drum is of course undrilled. I have been recording myself extensively over the past few years and I can never tell the difference in my bass drum sound between when I have my toms mounted and when I don't. I know there must be some difference, but it seems very minimal. I think mic selection/placement, head choice, and tuning have as much of an impact as the tom mounting situation. This kit will be for live gigs, so the subwoofer and amp quality have a say in the sound as well. Since DW does not ship any tom arms with their new kits (which is weird), I decided to buy a double tom holder and just drill and mount it. I'm sure some will think this is a horrible idea, but I think the convenience outweighs any sound quality loss. I am listing some pros and cons below and I would love any input or anything I may have overlooked. The tom mount is out of stock until next Wednesday, so I do have a few days to reconsider.

    Pros:
    Tom placement will be consistent.
    I won't need heavy double braced cymbal stands to hold them.
    I can easily move cymbals around without reworking tom mounts.
    I won't get that "bouncy" tom reaction I see with stand mounts.

    Cons:
    I will loose some resonance. (If I am muffling the drum anyway, will that matter?)
    I am hurting the resale value of the drums. (I plan on keeping this kit for the duration, but I've thought that before.)
    Mic cross-talk (I do notice when recording that the tom mics produce a little sound when I hit the kick, but I do not close mic my toms live)
    I may hurt the look of the kit. (That doesn't bother me much)

    The tom holder does slide in a channel, so I can easily remove the top part only if I want to record and not have them mounted. Also, no huge hole gets drilled in the drum to accommodate a down tube.

    If anyone has anything I have not thought of, please chime in!

    Pics for reference purposes




  2. #2

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    I would not drill a hole in my DW's or any other high end kit, but I sure understand your reasoning...If this is for live shows, there is just no way that anyone will be able to hear the difference between the virgin and no virgin kick... I've gone back to using my Mapex Orion kit for gigging (mostly) because of the ease of setup with toms on the kick...the mount is actually attached to the lugs, so there's no extra hole(s) in the kick for the tom mount. If/when you do it, please put a piece of wood on the opposite side of the drum, so that when you go through the other side with the drill bit, you don't get a bunch of breakout splinters, or you'll really wish you never did this... you may want to make your breakout wood piece such that it follows the contour of the drum, to avoid all those splinters, and then cursing...

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    I agree with Funky on this.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    Drilling is not for me. I don't like to mod a brand new drum kit. Maybe if it was an old beater kit.
    Signature here

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    me personally... I couldn't do it either. I'd rather re-save up and buy another rack.

    Or stick with hardware and just make sure to use plenty of memory locks and mark my legs on the carpet to get better consistent setup.
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 12pc PDP X7 Sparkle Orange | 9pc Ludwig Jr. wine red | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 39 Snare drums and growing!

  6. #6

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    Yea I've done it lots of times . Use a Dremel tool to make the holes . The higher speed makes tear out in the back less likely . If you do get tear out it will be so slight that the washers from the nuts will hide it .
    To me a drum kit is just a tool to do my job . I've worked on my drums and those of my friends and I don't mean cheap kits either .

  7. #7

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    Since it's a DW mount, I don't think it's a big issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    As a younger (hence, not as smart) man, I drilled into my Ludwig (now vintage) bass drum to accommodate an extra cymbal holder. It was not a virgin bass, as it already had a cymbal arm and rail consollette, but I have regretted the decision anyway. Don't do it!
    JOE

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  9. #9

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    Honestly, the thought of drilling holes in a new DW is the worst part. From a realistic standpoint, it makes sense in your application. The fact that you're using a DW mount helps. Plus, from the pics, it looks like it only requires a few bolt holes and not a big 1-1/4" diameter hole. The main thing is not messing up the measurements and using the proper bit and set-up so it doesn't splinter. The only "con" I can see is potential decline in resale value.
    -Brian

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  10. #10

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    I drilled floor tom legs on my 16" collectors hanging tom, no regrets here.

    I had inquired about converting my collectors 22x18 collectors bass drum to a 22x16 depth and installing a tom mount from a local guy. That may very well still happen.

    As long as you use DW hardware and take your time installing it, it wouldn't worry about it too much.

  11. #11

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    I wouldn't drill any drum but, to each his own.
    Reselling the Design series shouldn't be that big of a deal.................go for it.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
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  12. #12

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    I wouldn't hesitate to fix that drum! A bass drum without a tom mount would be useless to me---I have 2 toms mounted, and an 18" crash on a Gibraltar boom clamp from the down tube. My 16" crash is on a straight stand behind my hats, and my china is on a boom stand on the right with my ride flying off another boom clamp, and positioned low over my floor tom---comfortable to play, small footprint, and minimal hardware to carry---Drill that sucker!!!!!

  13. #13

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    Don't think I'd have the nerve to drill into a new shell. I'm not very good with power tools.

  14. #14

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    ^ Well its good to know one's limitations!

  15. #15

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    Shane, I bought a vintage '66 Ludwig from a guy who decided he didn't want the consollette and drilled out a hole but did a poor job at it. It was a pain to fix it but I'm sure you're NOT going to botch it like this:

    rippedbassdrum.jpg

    I worked for 6 years a drum tech for a former member here and he decided to ditch the bulky DW/PDP tom mount that came with the kit and filled the holes with some nuts and bolts. From the stage, you can't see the modification but as time passed, the nuts and bolts loosened up and eventually fell out during or after a gig. A lousy quick fix with some wood putty was this drummer's
    "easy fix". If you look closely at the last pic, you'll notice the missing bolt. I'm sure if given a choice, this drummer would of liked a virgin kick drum due to his set up requirements. (ride over kick)

    Before:

    jerrysbirdseye.jpg

    After:

    jerrykitstaged.jpg

    If I were in the market for the cheapest DW kit and if my budget dictated that a used Design series was my only choice, I'd make sure it was in "factory" configuration meaning no tom mount on the kick. That would be the deal breaker for me if I were given a choice between OEM design and something that has been modified. It's all personal taste but for me, this is too sexy to drill out!

    10522074_800.jpg
    Last edited by late8; 03-01-2017 at 04:54 PM.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Don't think I'd have the nerve to drill into a new shell. I'm not very good with power tools.
    I'm in the same boat - woodworking is not something I have a background in so I personally wouldn't attempt to do something like this. If I drilled all day everyday that would be another matter.

    A less permanent, safer solution could be to just run a section of rack pipe between two existing stands, or just make do for now and buy a rack down the road. Nothing worse than permanently modifying something due to impatience.
    A simple, elegant design is good engineering.

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    I'm in the same boat - woodworking is not something I have a background in so I personally wouldn't attempt to do something like this. If I drilled all day everyday that would be another matter.

    A less permanent, safer solution could be to just run a section of rack pipe between two existing stands, or just make do for now and buy a rack down the road. Nothing worse than permanently modifying something due to impatience.
    I like the design Mapex & Sonor have for their optional bass drum mounts. They are mounted on the bass drum lugs. The mounts by DW & Taye are slide type w/base mounted on the Bass drum shell. I'm still waiting for Pearl to make a optional bass drum tom mount( optimount style ) but w/the female part to slide forward and back for preferred adjustments. Pearl should get on the stick and produce one. . . .I'd buy one!

  18. #18

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    I have done it and it had zero effect on my kick. I also love the toms mounted to the BD but only if I am playing 2 up.
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  19. #19

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    I saw your post on FB. I think it was you... it looked good.
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  20. #20

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    Default Re: Drilling a brand new DW bass drum - am I crazy?

    Thanks a ton to everyone for the valuable input!

    It seems like no one had a really good reason not to drill, other than nerves and resale value. If this were a higher end DW drum, I probably wouldn't consider it. I ended up getting horribly sick the day the kit arrived and it actually stayed in the boxes for 3 days. I went ahead and ordered some stand mounted tom arms during that time since the double mount was backordered anyway. I am going to give the stand mounts a chance for a month and see how repeatable the setup is. I am still leaning towards the BD mount, but I'm going to give it a fair chance to keep it's virgin status. If I go ahead, rest assured that I am competent with power tools and have done a good deal of woodworking, though not with anything in this kind of finished state.

    The plan is eventually get the black nickel over brass snare in this series, but for now I'm sticking with old faithful, the Yamaha Copper Nouveau. The kit snare will live outside the hihats and be tuned really low for a "thuddy", funk and country sound.

    A few pics in the mean time...





    The Satin black makes it hard to get a good picture under household lights.

    No flash:



    With flash:

    Last edited by Redeye; 03-02-2017 at 03:47 PM.
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  21. #21

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    that satin black is super slick. So stealthy
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 12pc PDP X7 Sparkle Orange | 9pc Ludwig Jr. wine red | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 39 Snare drums and growing!

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    that satin black is super slick. So stealthy
    +1..........gorgeous kit!

  23. #23

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    Love the Satin Black!

  24. #24

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    Beauty ! And by the way...your pictures came out better than mine did .

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummerMD View Post
    I like the design Mapex & Sonor have for their optional bass drum mounts. They are mounted on the bass drum lugs.
    That's clever! I like that. Gives you the option to take the whole thing off if you want and still have the look of the Virgin kick. The rail console for the Ludwig Atlas series attaches the same way.
    A simple, elegant design is good engineering.

    Axis | Ayotte | Evans | Gibraltar | Ludwig | Pro-Mark | Remo | Roc-N-Soc | SKB | Taye | Vic Firth | Whitney| Yamaha | Zildjian

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