Totally! Having just the felt strip and the falam slam on my bass drum made the volume a lot louder than what I used to have.
It also opened up my tonal palette quite a bit; instead of the short, dead sound that often comes with the pillow or blanket inside of the shell, I can get long and short sounds by how I use the bass drum pedal.
Although my bass drum is tuned low, it has a lot of resonance; I mean a LOT of resonance. However, if I leave the beater against the head, I get a short, staccato sound out of the bass drum. If I immediately draw the beater away from the head, I get a nice, long sound. Playing with those ideas gives you a lot of flexibility as far as filling up the time with more subtle nuances. This idea was actually inspired by one of my friends who spent the past summer in Brazil. He was describing the sound of the sordo (sp?) and how they use long and short sounds in the street samba and stuff like that. With that concept in mind, I went ahead
and tried it on the bass drum. If I can get some recordings/video of myself demonstrating this (or if I find a video of someone else doing it) I'll post a link to it.