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  • FAST drum sizes

    I'm looking for the theory behind FAST sized drum shell depths. I know they were started by DW, but there is no info on their site. And what are the FAST sizes for each depth? I've seen 11 x 14 and 12 x 14, for example. There is plenty of mis-information on the web - I'm looking for some real information.

    Or any opinions regarding maximum "punch" at minimum volume.

    Thanks

  • #2
    most of the one's i've seen are 1 inch less deep than the diamter of the head. i.e., depth 13 x 14 diameter.
    Also, i've heard their louder than "power" tom sizes, because there is less distance between the batter head and the resonant head.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chamberlainwannabe
      Also, i've heard their louder than "power" tom sizes, because there is less distance between the batter head and the resonant head.
      Perhaps the sound cuts through better with some music, because the sound is clearer, as opposed to power toms. But a power tom is bigger, so there is more space for the sound to resonate, so the sound level might be higher?

      Fast toms are ok, but I think I wouldn't go without normal square floortoms.
      Music was my first love...

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      • #4
        Well I discovered that FAST stands for Fundamentally Accurate Sized Tom. Also that the shallower the shell, the more of a "pure" tone you can get out of it. The deeper the shell, the more depth (wadayaknow) you can get out of it.

        Thinking about building a set after reading MD's series of articles on "building your own".

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        • #5
          another dw hype ..
          Nederpopband Springvloed

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          • #6
            DW hype?

            Whattaya mean hype? I bet there's some serious math behind the FAST concept. I'll bet the best numbers-cruncher in the marketing department came up with it.

            Has to do with dimensional ratios, and shell construction, head tensions and and and and and lots of other important stuff. No hype. Yeah baby!

            Or maybe, "Hey, we're losing market share with these square size toms. We have done saturated the market. I have an idea, let's shave a couple of inches off the depth, give 'em a cool high tech concept name, and start a new trend."

            Actually, I'm a DW owner, and I really like them. BS walks and well made/sounds great talks. They can call it whatever they like, as long as the product works for me.

            Later dudes (and dudettes)
            E2P

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            • #7
              i don't think it's hype necessarily. when you think about it there is less distance between two heads and less distance for the sound waves to travel and such. I guess it gets into physics or something...

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              • #8
                Re: DW hype?

                Originally posted by OldGuy_E2P
                Has to do with dimensional ratios, and shell construction, head tensions and and and and and lots of other important stuff.

                Exactly: all these things are far more important than 1 inch shell depth more or less



                Originally posted by OldGuy_E2P
                Hey, we're losing market share with these square size toms. We have done saturated the market. I have an idea, let's shave a couple of inches off the depth, give 'em a cool high tech concept name, and start a new trend."
                Right. That's what I meant to say. DW is capable of introducing things, which have been done so many times before. But they make us believe it must be new or different. And all those drummer endorsers who say "wow, this is the first time in my life I heard a drum sound like that "
                **** up. Drums already sounded good in the 1930s.
                Since that time only Gauger Percussion's Rims is the only serious addition to a tree trunk with two plastic heads on it that a drum is.


                Happy X-mas to you all
                Nederpopband Springvloed

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                • #9
                  An brief analysis ...

                  OK. Im a hopeless dweeb. I just had to see what the math says about FAST size drums. So I pulled the size charts from DWs website and did an analysis of the various tom sizes in each category. The results can be seen in the attached chart.

                  On the chart youll see that I calculated the ratio of depth to head size. Then I calculated the averaged deviation of the range or drums in each size class.

                  What do the numbers mean. My assumption is that within a kit of the same series drums will use the same mechanical design, so the material, number and thickness of plys, and reinforcing rings are consistent. (Pretty much true for any manufacturer) So the ratio of depth to width is the primary measurement I looked at. That ratio has a lot to do with the sound of the drum. If two drums of the same construction materials, and with the same head size and type are tuned to the same tension they will sound different due to the ratio of the fundamental pitch to the harmonic overtones caused by the different distances between the heads.

                  The averaged deviation takes the differences between the ratio x products in each size range (FAST, Standard, etc) and averages them. What that tells us is how much the drums differ from each other. The lower the average deviation number is the more likely all the drums are to have a similar overall sound.

                  So heres my interpretation of the results.

                  The SQUARE sizes are perfectly matched. Unfortunately they are also large, heavy, and difficult to rackmount if you want to use a four of five tom setup. The large and heavy also impacts the use of RIMS type mounts they need to be heavier, and take up more room in your set up. The drums are typically deep and boomy. Tuning high gets you a tympani-like sound. In my experience you need pinstripe, sound dot, or double ply heads to get any control over the sound. Not real good for jazz or funk.

                  After that the FAST tom sizes are the next tightest and most likely to have a consistent sound across the range. The smaller depth is easier to work with in multi-tom set ups and gives a brighter, punchier sound. You can use single ply coated heads (or uncoated if you like) and have an easily controllable sound. Might want to use pinstripes if you are tuning low and mic-ing the drums all the time. Pretty versatile sound, but not real powerful.

                  The STANDARD toms are right behind the FAST toms in how closely they match up.
                  They are still fairly boomy, but punchier sounding than the SQUAREs. The STANDARDs are large enough to complicate multi-tom setups. Versatile, can be tuned for most kinds of music although jazz purists would disagree.

                  TRADITIONAL AND SHORT: Not too well matched. Its a matter of taste with these. Use em if you like em.

                  Well, there you have it. Hope this helps.

                  What a geek I am. Somebody stop me before I analyze again.

                  Later folks .
                  E2P

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                  • #10
                    The Cynic's Math

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                    Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

                    Member, Atheist Drummers Cabal

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                    • #11
                      Actually, although I have not heard the FAST toms, it would not surprize me if DW was on to something. I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt, as they have been innovative in the past, and it would be stupid to risk their reputation for a marketing gimmick.

                      What makes a drum, or a speaker, sound good - or bad- is a very complicated matter from what I have heard. Each change one makes to one perameter changes the others somewhat.

                      BOSE developed a system to enhance the bass output of their speakers using a very small space, ( Acoustimass - kinda like a folded horn?) and the engineering was dependent on all the components being "tuned" to each other.

                      Perhaps DW is doing something along those lines? The physical dimensions of each drum are perhaps optimized for a specific resonant frequency - the shell note? Perhaps the wavelength of each particular note needs a specific depth in order to be a perfect multiple, and have "perfect" resonance? Perhaps this is why they claim the tones are more pure? Perhaps I am completely full of it? ( more likely )
                      Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

                      Member, Atheist Drummers Cabal

                      Vdrums.com American Express Gift Cheques Reward Program Member

                      http://gingerbaker.smugmug.com/

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                      • #12
                        Heres a link with a pretty good explanation of what makes a drum sound the way it does. Not sure of the credentials of "Prof. Sound"...........

                        http://www.drumweb.com/profsound.shtml

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