Best Bass Drums of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you are here, you must already know that the bass drum is a key component of any drum set. All players have at least a bass drum in their set, but most opt for two or more. This depends on the music genre you play, but there is one certainty: every drummer needs the best bass drum of the year to complement their performance!

Comparison Chart of the Best Bass Drums

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

  • All-birch made shell
  • Die-cast bass drum claw hooks
  • Leg stoppers enhancing the ease of setting
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DW Design Series

  • Leg stoppers enhancing the ease of setting
  • Made of North American hard rock maple
  • Great, booming sounds in a compact size
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Pacific Drums PDCB1822KKNC

  • Best for the money
  • Great sound and quality
  • Birch shell with true-pitch tension rods
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Pearl Vision Birch

  • 6-ply Pearl drum
  • 5mm shells have S.S.T. construction
  • Balanced tones with low-end projection
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Evans EMAD2

  • Easy to use
  • Focused sound with a strong attack
  • The most popular choice among professionals
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What is Bass Drum? And What is it Used For?

The bass drum is the component of your drum kit with the deepest sounds. They generate the biggest and boldest sounds, with the larger sound output. A traditional bass drum looks like a cylinder with a diameter that is larger than the depth. The drumhead is often made of plastic, and it is played by beaters or with a single pedal-operated stick

Pearl Vision Birch

The bass drum is an important instrument, and it is used for many purposes. For instance, you can use it to keep time in different music genres, and it can provide drum rolls or single climatic strokes or be used as a sound effect. 

What Makes a Great Bass Drum?

A great bass drum can totally uplift your performance. Here is what you should look for in a great bass drum:

Style

The style of the bass drum is very important. For instance, in hip-hop, the bass sounds rumble, but in other genres, such as dubstep, it is punchier and shorter. Each music genre has its own bass, so make sure you check out this feature before purchasing your model. Luckily, our models are incredibly versatile, which means that they can generate a wide range of tones to suit any taste and music style. 

Tune

A great bass drum needs to be easy to use and easy to tune. No one wants to spend a lot of minutes trying to get it tuned, especially when you are on stage. If you play a lot of gigs or simply practice, you need a model that is simple and quick to tune. 

Durability

Lastly, a great bass drum needs to be long-lasting and durable – otherwise, your investment will not be so wise. There are many brands that have a long reputation for their high-quality instruments, so make sure you check all of them out in the section below. 

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Best Bass Drums

So now that you know what makes an awesome bass drum, let’s have a look at some of the best options available on the market.

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 18x15 Bass Drum, Natural Wood

PROS

  • Easy to set up and tune
  • High-quality bass drum 
  • The construction is solid and sturdy
  • Quality and the looks are astonishing
  • Amazing output with great adaptability

CONS

  • Does not include a kick pedal
  • Not as sensitive as other models

What Recent Buyers Report

This bass drum has a solid construction made of birch shell. It is extremely easy to set up and tune to perfection until you achieve the sounds you desire. What is more, the setting is extremely convenient due to the leg stoppers of this model. However, the drum head is not as sensitive as other models. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch is a high-quality bass drum that features more head-to-shell contact, providing fatter and fuller sounds. The shell also includes the absolute-style lug that is often used in Yamaha’s high-end kits. This model also includes die-cast claws, a ten-lug snare drum, and a beautifully crafted badge. 

Who Will Use This Most

This product is ideal for any drum enthusiasts, regardless of skill level. If you are looking for a fuller, muscular sound, this is the product for you. It features rounded bearing edges that allow for increased head-to-shell contact. Yamaha’s bass drum is easy to use and set up, with a user-friendly design. 

Bottom Line

All in all, Yamaha Stage Custom Birch comes with premium features that include a thick, solid build from birch wood and leg stoppers to increase the stability of the drum. The beautiful amber finish and the fashionable quality of the looks make this product ready to shine on the stage and awe your audience.

DW Design Series Maple Pancake Bass Drum - 20 Inches - Black Satin

PROS

  • Loud and rich sounds
  • Great value for money
  • Easy setup, without any slips
  • Great amounts of attack and low-end thump
  • Travel-friendly design with high volume output 

CONS

  • Kick pedal not included
  • Comes with a bit of vibration

What Recent Buyers Report

This bass drum performs unexpectedly loud compared to its size of only 20 inches in diameter with less than three inches thickness. The sounds are surprisingly rich, loud, and the attack is amazing. However, if you experience vibration, make sure you tune it a bit and tighten the hardware – this should do the trick!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The D.W. Design Series is our runner up the bass drum with controlled acoustic tonalities and impressive portability. It is made of North American hard rock maple shell that combines power with musicality, able to output surprising low-end. Combine it with a kick mic, and you will be surprised at the loudness of the sounds!

Who Will Use This Most

This drum has dreamlike portability, which recommends it for touring and traveling musicians. Despite its small size, you will be surprised by its power and musicality. This is the best choice if you look for maximized strength, resonance, and roundness. 

Bottom Line

Despite its diminutive size, the D.W. Design Series is a beautiful bass drum with impressive features. It packs in a punch, plenty of low-end, and considerable thump. If you want a tight setup with exceptional quality, you surely need to check out this model. Pair it with a great mic and be ready to be amazed!

Best for the Money:
Pacific Drums PDCB1822KKNC

Pacific Drums PDCB1822KKNC 18 x 22 Inches Bass Drum with Chrome Hardware - Natural to Charcoal Fade

PROS

  • True pitch tuning
  • Remo drum heads
  • Proportional counter hoop sizing
  • F.A.S.T. Tom sizing and 7-ply shell
  • DW-style S.T.M. mounting systems

CONS

  • Steeper price compared to other models

What Recent Buyers Report

This model features chrome hardware and transparent lacquer burst finish; long story short, it looks simply amazing on the stage! The sound quality is simply astonishing, and the combination of premium features of this drum makes it a must-try. If you are still in doubt about which model suits you, you need to shortlist this model!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The chrome hardware, combined with the natural to charcoal fade, complements the design of this model. Furthermore, the great sound quality is beautifully emphasized by the birch shell. At the same time, the construction includes leg stands, ideal for easy setup. 

Who Will Use This Most

This drum is ideal for players of any level. While the price is a bit steeper than other products, it is well worth the trouble. You surely need to check it out if you can afford to spare a few extra bucks; the true pitch tuning, S.T.M. mounting systems, and Remo drum heads are only a few of the must-try features. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this drum has high-quality, satisfying features that pack lots of value for money. If you are not on a specific budget, we encourage you to check this model out! It comes with premium features that make it an excellent choice for any drum enthusiasts. 

Pearl Vision Birch Bass Drum Jet Black 22x18

PROS

  • Improved sustain
  • Simple instructions 
  • Punchy tones with enhanced project
  • Great quality sounds and easy to tune
  • Ideal for studio recording or live performances

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report 

This drum offers the complete spectrum of premium features that you need for studio work or live performances. Well-balanced tones, low-end projection, and plenty of equalized punch are the characteristics that make it stand out from the crowd. The S.S.T. construction process certainly makes it one of the best quality bass drums on the market. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The Pearl Vision Birch is a high-quality bass drum with fantastic sound quality. The tones are balanced, but the punchy tone with improved projection can be a real asset to any drum enthusiast. It is made of a 6-ply shell that was treated with extreme heat for best-built quality. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are a live performer or you plan to record your tunes in a professional studio, this drum is the best choice. It produces high-quality sounds, has a sturdy construction, and the low-ends are purely impressive. There is nothing more you can wish for – Pearl knows exactly what pros need. 

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Pearl Vision Birch bass drum is a premium quality bass drum. It focuses on sound quality, especially the punchy tones with improved projection and greater sustain. It is easy to tune, set up, and the instructions are very clear – there is no excuse not to check this one out!

Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum Head, 24” – Externally Mounted Adjustable Damping System Allows Player to Adjust Attack and Focus – 2 Foam Damping Rings for Sound Options - Versatile for All Music Genres

PROS

  • Ideal for any music genre
  • Adjustable damping system
  • Available in five different sizes
  • Easier to tune with wider tonal range
  • Features the E.M.A.D. system to control the attack and focus

CONS

  • Might have too much attack, but suitable for prog/rock/metal 

What Recent Buyers Report

Although some users consider that it has too much attack for certain genres, the consensus is that it is suitable for any style, including country, blues, and rock. It has deep punch with a high-end attack, and only minor eq is needed if any at all. This drum has plenty of response, even if the head is loose. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Evans EMAD2 clear bass drum is one of the most popular choices among professionals all around the world. It is versatile, and it allows you full control of the attack and focus by choosing one of the two removable foam damping rings. One controls punch and focus while maintaining resonance, while the other one maximizes attack and low-end. 

Who Will Use This Most

This drum has a lot of attack, which makes it more suitable for players of rock, metal, or progressive. The 2-ply head packs a lot of punch, and all you need is to tune it to perfection – once you do, you will be blown away by the sound quality and the overall performance. If you love fat sounds, this is your one-stop solution. 

Bottom Line

The Evans EMAD2 bass drum is the solution for all music styles. It is extremely easy to tune, while the sound quality is studio-ready. This bass drum head is crafted with the highest quality materials and provides one of the broadest tonal ranges you will ever experience. 

Advantages of Investing in a Quality Bass Drum

There are numerous advantages of having a well-made bass drum. This is especially relevant in the context of knowing that the bass drum is perhaps the most important component of your drum set. Here are some of the advantages of a quality bass drum:

Versatility

A great quality bass drum will provide you with plenty of versatility. Our models are great for jazz, country, blues, rock, metal, and anything in between. They embed numerous features that allow you to tweak the sounds to your liking, no matter the preference. 

Product Quality

Overall build quality is essential, as this is a long-term investment. A high-quality bass drum should last you for a long time, resistant to wear and tear. It should not slip, vibrate, or create any discomfort while you play, whether it is on stage, in the studio, or only rehearsing. 

Easy to Tune

Lastly, a high-quality bass drum will be easy to tune. The perk of this feature is that you do not need to spend your time tuning your instrument, which is crucial when you play live. 

How to Play the Bass Drum

Here are some specific guidelines on how to play the bass drum:

  1. Play the bass drum just off the center of the instrument. 

  2. Make strokes from your elbow movement and wrist.

  3. One technique to muffle the bass drum is to place the foot on a low stool or the bottom of the snare drum stand and rest the right knee against the head, below the center of the drum.  

  4. Always play musically.

  5. Listen to the rest of the band and synchronize the booms with the musical line.

Conclusion

On the whole, while we know that personal taste plays a huge role in choosing the best bass drum, we provided a handful of options that are the best models of this year. Make sure you consider all your personal factors before deciding and think carefully about aspects such as budget, preference, and durability. 

People Also Ask

Do you still have a few questions about bass drums? Well, fear not! Keep reading to find out more.

What is the Best Size Bass Drum?

The most popular size is the 20 inches diameter, great for all purposes. It is portable and has a tight but easy feel. The sound output is sufficient to accompany both jazz and pop music genres; however, the easiest to play is the 22 “x14”, but they also come with plenty of low end. 

What is a Bass Drum Made Out of?

The bass drum is made of a shell, or a cylinder, made of different types of wood, such as birch, or even metal. The two heads are stretched over the two open-shell ends, and they are stationary. The modern drum heads are made of plastic, while before the 1950s, they used to be made of animal skin. 

Are Bigger Drums Louder?

The size of the drum is not necessarily proportionate with the sound output. More specifically, heavier drums are louder, not necessarily bigger ones. A bass drum that is big, but thin and lightweight can have less volume than smaller and denser drums. Other factors that contribute to the volume include the depth, the wood type, and its density, the weight and its distribution, hoop and head types, tuning, shell construction, and many more. 

How Often Should You Tune Drums?

It is important to know how the drums should sound like in your chosen music genre and then listen to yours – do they have a pitch or not? The most likely reason for out-of-tune drums is that you’ve been playing them for an extended period. They do not usually go out of tune if they are not used unless you abandon them for months. For instance, if you play three times per week, you can choose one day of the week to tune your drum. 

What Family Does the Bass Drum Belong to?

The bass drum is the biggest member of the percussion family. Thus, it makes the lowest sounds, and it is built like a snare drum, but it does not have the snare. Depending on the drum and play style, it can produce anything between a roaring thunder to a soft whisper. 

What Pitch is a Bass Drum?

Most bass drums do not have a clearly defined pitch; thus, it is difficult to detect it. When you finetune it, make sure you trust your ears – pitching bass drums rarely work out as expected. 

Why Do Bass Drums Have Holes in Them?

Almost all models of bass drums come with a vent hole on the side, which purports to equalize pressure, humidity, and temperature inside the instrument. Many of them also feature ports on the resonant front head, which makes it easier and more convenient to place a microphone inside. Secondly, this hole will also reduce excessive vibration. 

How Heavy is a Bass Drum?

The weight of a bass drum depends on its construction materials and other characteristics, including size. However, as a general guideline, a 16-inch bass drum can be approximately 15 lbs, but it can be both lighter or heavier than this, based on its features and build. 

Bass Drum Buyer Guides

In the market for a new bass drum? Luckily, we've compiled all of our buyer guides related to bass drums and related content. Feel free to review each guide and find the one that fits exactly what you're looking for. Be sure to check back soon as we'll be updating this page frequently.