Topic: Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom  (Read 2826 times)

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Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom
« on: December 26, 2002, 12:20 PM »
I am considering upgrading my kit. I wanted to get some opinions on floor toms vs suspended toms. I want 14" and 16". What do you guys feel are the advantages/disadvantages of floor toms with legs vs. suspended toms in the same size diameter?

Offline Mark Schlipper

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Re:Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2002, 01:08 PM »
regular legs work like regular tom mounts.  they are added weight and pressure on the shell.  so all other things alike a suspended drum would be more resonant.  take the legs off a floor tom and hold it by the top hoop.  thatll give you an idea.

but ... all other things are rarely alike.  take a 16" for example.  usually a legged tom is square, 16x16.  while a suspended is 16x13 (an average).  with 14's the same typically applies (14x14 vs. 14x11).  so youve got that difference as well.  

i recommend checking out a kit similar to what you want (if not exactly) and seeing what the difference is in your ears and which is better for you.  

for what its worth, i like the stability of legs.  i tend to use my floor tom for the occasional big BOOM and can get heavy handed on it.  i take the cut in resonance by having legs, but it seems the increased depth adds some of that back in the mix.  im mentally putting together a new kit and plan on getting a 14x11 suspended tom and a 16x16 legged tom.  that way i can use both with a good seperation between 'em.  or use the 14 for smaller jazzier gigs, and the 16 for bigger rockier gigs.
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Re:Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2002, 02:33 PM »
563 is dead on. But also, one of the things suspension will do with a floor tom is give you some "bounce." This is either a pro or a con, depending on what you like. I, for one, like the tom to "give" a little under mystick - it feels natural. Floor toms feel "stiffer." There is a difference in sound, but I don't think it's anything real big.

My philosophy is this: Floor toms are already fickle drums. So I do all I can (like suspension mounting) to make sure that drum will resonate in harmony with my other drums.

Plus, it attaches to my ride stand, so that's 3 less little floor tom legs getting in the way. I hate tons of stands and legs. Bah.

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re:Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2002, 02:42 PM »
Suspended toms often can resonate more freely, but I prefer actual floor toms because I hang my stickbag on my floor tom. The combined weight of the drum and the bag are more than I like to put on one tom holder.

For added resonance I put spongy foam blocks under the feet of the floor tom legs - a Gregg Bissonette trick that's sort of a poor man's RIMS system. Pearl also makes spring-loaded floor tom legs that accomplish the same thing (more expensively, but also more attractively).
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Re:Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2002, 07:58 PM »
I prefer suspended toms.  I like that the toms are not square, and feel like that fact and the use of similar suspension for all the toms gives the floor toms the same quality and timbre as the small toms.  The sound is more consistent from tom to tom.

I use 15" and 16" floor toms, and I'll match the boom of my 12x16 Gretsch with any 16x16.

I do miss floor toms with legs occasionally, though.  They're really nice to lean on between songs.

Offline Jim Martin (cavanman)

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Re:Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2002, 08:25 PM »
I was astonished by a tip from a friend that I should make sure that my floor tom had the leg rubber tips intact. Also to make sure that they were new and not worn down.

I did replace my worn down rubber tips and heard the difference in the resonance immediately. Kinda similar to Mr. Acrolite's tip on the foam underneath the legs. Both methods seem to point toward keeping metal from touching an unmovable ground surface.

My 2 cents

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  • Guest
Re:Floor Tom vs. Suspended Tom
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2002, 07:19 AM »
Funny one Paul.


Floor toms are great for getting all the crazy overtones and the roaring low end thunder.  They are also great to pitch bend with cause you can really lean into those suckers with the three legs and all.

Hangers are awesome cause you get all the low end without the extra harmonics.  They match the rest of your rack toms and for me, are easier to record.  I like them as much as floors.

I want it all baby.

PS... I took my pearl iso mounts off my floor toms because I felt I was getting TOO MUCH resonance in relationship to the toms.  Your taste may vary, but I'm always trying to control a floor tom's resonance as opposed to enhancing it.


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