Interesting comment. I just had the same result with a recently acquired 20" vintage kick that's been giving me fits. I was about ready to give up after 2 weeks of tweaking...and almost always trying to go lower on the tension. I just decided to try a full turn higher on both sides. The drum woke up. So I went a bit further. More booming....a bit of echo...and easily heard over the other drums. I was happy as now it sounds like a 1960's kick. Maybe your post planted that seed in my head?