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  #1  
Old 11-18-2006, 07:58 AM
PezDizPenzer PezDizPenzer is offline
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Post Gretsch; made in Taiwan...



I've been a Gretsch freak before I even knew how to hold a pair of sticks.
I currently own/play Gretsch and Premier kits pretty exclusively: live gigs, USA Custom maple, and in studio, Premier*UK made Genista Birch kit.
Recent trend from all major drum manufacture Co.'s have seem to have started making semi-pro kits that are cheaper for the consumers; which I do understand, and even appreciate.
What I am confused about is this; most of these imported Gretsch and Ludwig drums are now being distributed by Kaman Music Corporation and are pretty much made soley from Taiwan. So just for kicks, I played and later puchsed a Catalina Birch kit to see if the craftmanship and sound of these drums do any justice to the history of "That Great Gretsch Sound!". The kit sounds great but I must say, the warped hoops, and extremely cheap lug sets aren't much to be desired (u get what u pay for...) .
So here's my question (finally), are these drums truly Gretsch? or are they just import kits that simply bought the rights to the name of the Gretsch company in Savannah GA.?

Pez

Last edited by PezDizPenzer; 11-19-2006 at 05:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2006, 07:29 AM
wayne wayne is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch; made in Taiwan...

I believe they are corporately and politically Gretsch,but in reality,they,re not.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2006, 08:48 AM
PezDizPenzer PezDizPenzer is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch; made in Taiwan...

Thanx Wayne!

Pez
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2006, 02:29 PM
jrfrond jrfrond is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch; made in Taiwan...

Kaman imports those kits from the same company that makes Gretsch USA and Gibraltar parts and hardware, so I'd say, YES, they ARE, in fact, tied to Gretsch USA kits.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2006, 11:51 AM
M Stephan M Stephan is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch; made in Taiwan...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrfrond
Kaman imports those kits from the same company that makes Gretsch USA and Gibraltar parts and hardware, so I'd say, YES, they ARE, in fact, tied to Gretsch USA kits.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrfrond
Kaman imports those kits from the same company that makes Gretsch USA and Gibraltar parts and hardware, so I'd say, YES, they ARE, in fact, tied to Gretsch USA kits.
I, too, have been confused by the present state of the Gretsch line, so I just went to www.gretschdrums.com and clicked on the following and found the following:

- USA CUSTOM - "...hand crafted" in Ridgeland SC, USA..." (seems these are the original 6-ply drums we know and love)

- RENOWN MAPLE - "...USA rock maple shells..." "...with silver sealer inside..." (here's where I start to lose it: are these the same shells as the USA CUSTOM?)

- CATALINA BIRCH - (no mention of where they're made)

- CATALINA JAZZ CLUB - (no mention of where they're made)

- CATALINA CLUB MODERN - (no mention of where they're made)

- CATALINA CLUB ROCK - "...mahogany shells..." - (no mention of where they're made)

- Blackhawk EX - (no mention of where they're made)

- Blackhawk SX - mahogany shells - (no mention of where they're made. why mahonany?)

- SNARES - (of the 4 "series" listed, only the USA Custom Snares are made in the USA)

- SHELL BANK - "...quick delivery of our most popular colors and sizes from our USA Custom Series drums..."

So, Dear Friends, what does this mean? Well, I don't know about you but I don't have a whole lot of confidence (or interest) the current Gretsch presentation. The line is too long, lacks clarity, and still leaves me with, wondering, why present so many different models?

Time was drummers could play the same set for rock, jazz, swing, bebop, or Sunday church service. What is the Gretsch (or Kaman) message, now? That we need one kit for rock, another kit for jazz, and yet another to be "modern"?

Clicking on - NEW FOR 2006 - adds more confusion. Here are just a few of the listings:

- RENOWN PURE MAHOGANY "...African Mahogany produces approximately a 20% increase to low frequency resonance to a comparable maple shell. Mid and high frequencies are similar to Maple but due to the increased lower frequency response, the Gretsch Renown Purewood Mahogany is perceived to have a overall warmer tonal characteristic." (sorry. woundn't buy `em `til I played `em)

- CUSTOM SERIES "...with walnut shells..." (why walnut?)

- NEW CLASSIC SERIES "...American maple blended drum shells." (Blended???)

- CATALINA ASH SERIES - "...thin Ash shells. (why ash?)

Well, if you're still with me - congrats! `cause this research has been more than I wanted to know, and I still have more questions than answers.

I'll let everyone draw thier own conclusions. But I must say I'd like to see all the other links/buttons removed and a - NEW FOR 2007 - button that takes you to this - and only this:



Thanks to Steve Maxwell for the pic!

Cheers,
M Stephan
(new member)

PS Sorry for the rant.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2006, 05:19 PM
jazzbo jazzbo is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch; made in Taiwan...

The Renowns are made abroad and the shells have 6 plys of maple as opposed to the traditional 3 plys of maple/3 plys of gum that the USAs have . From what I understand they sound pretty close to the USA Customs .
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