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  #11  
Old 12-02-2019, 11:43 AM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

It's the sound of Gretsch that attract me. I play (ed) in small jazz groups for years and a lot of the jazz guys played Gretsch. I didn't get it, either, until I played a small bop sized kit that a friend of mine had gotten. As soon as I hit the tom, I knew there was something different about the sound....noticeably different. It was that sound I had been hearing on the recordings I was listening to at the time.

I think some of the sound of Gretsch actually may have had to do with the fact that the Jasper shells were often oversized and didn't have the greatest edges on them...So the jazz guys had to tension them waaaay up to get them to sing. That's a theory, anyway. Also, the shells didn't have reinforcement hoops...but the die cast rims made up for that stiffness...maybe something about the greater mass at the ends of the shells allowed more of the shell to resonate -another theory. Bottom line: They were made differently than the other Big Four companies and they sounded different....Any qualitative comment after that is always going to be based on what sounds good to your own ear.
Ironically, I've never owned a Gretsch drum in my life! -played a few in the studio...loved them! I'd love to get a nice RB bop kit, though!
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:23 PM
MikeW MikeW is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

One word: Charlie Watts
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:37 PM
OddBall OddBall is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multijd View Post
They have a focused sound with a natural muting effect. They donít ring as much. They tune well high or low and seem to sound good even if you arenít super careful with tuning them. They are durable. Look good. Cool factor is part of it.
This. I was gonna say something like it. Never had them but know someone that did. They go dead quick and give you that short note sound. I like that in a snare but was equally surprised by the whole kit.

My Phonics do it too.
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2019, 10:53 PM
markrocks68 markrocks68 is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

I am currently "discovering" that sound and I LIKE IT.
Just picked up this little gem 20/12/5/5x14. Only my second Gretsch kit and only 20" Gretsch BD. Looking for the 14x14 FT (yes I know..) but found a 14x16 4 now sub at Beltley's in Fresno.
They have a real nice sound (all original heads too) but I still need to work on the snare more.
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2019, 06:39 AM
drumfx drumfx is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

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Originally Posted by DrumBob View Post
Back in the '80's, I got a six ply round badge Gretsch set, mostly because I had never owned Gretsch drums and wanted to discover what all the fuss was about.

Survivor was a pretty popular band at the time, and I liked the look of their drummer's bright red Gretsch set in Modern Drummer ads, so I gathered up a bunch of orphans and had them reworked to match that drummer's set. I played them for a couple of years, and in that time, never really bonded with them. They were, I felt, no better than my old Slingerlands, or the Pearl maple shell set I was also using. There was just something about those drums that didn't resonate with me. I sold that red set to a drum student of mine and never gave it a second thought. Who knows where they are now.

So, I know there are Gretsch fans here. Why do you like them and what is it about Gretsch drums that is so special? I'd honestly like to know. I'm certainly not influenced by the Bop drummers of the 50's, many of whom were Gretsch players, as I don't particularly care for that style of jazz. Maybe I have a built-in prejudice as a result of that dislike. Who knows? Maybe I thought I'd have an epiphany playing Gretsch drums, like they were truly more special than any other quality drum brand, the be-all end-all. That certainly didn't happen. It could have something to do with my perception that Gretsch drums were for jazz players.

So, I'd really like to know how you Gretsch players feel and why. I have never again had the desire to own Gretsch drums, and at this point, most likely never will.
You should come to my house and try them out one more time...Might change your mind....Might not...To me, they sound fantastic but i also own the other US brands from the same era and i go back and forth between the kits depending on how i feel.
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Last edited by drumfx; 12-03-2019 at 06:42 AM.
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2019, 08:42 AM
K.O. K.O. is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

Gretsch had very little presence around here when I was a lad. 125 miles due west of Chicago you can bet that Ludwig and Slingerland ruled the roost. I was aware of Gretsch thru ads in Downbeat magazine but never saw any in person anywhere. I was a Ludwig guy then ( and still am although my allegiances are now split). In 1987 I decided I was going to buy a brand new set of American made drums ( I never warmed up to the imports, although I was impressed with Yamaha's line, especially their hardware designs). By then Rogers and Slingerland were dead ( for all practical purposes) and I felt Ludwig's quality had become a bit sketchy . DW had not really fired up as yet, at least I didn't know about anything but their pedals and snare drums, and the Camco style lugs failed to captivate me anyhow. That left Gretsch pretty much by default. Even Gretsch was sort of a shadow of it's former self, but they were still in operation, their stained gloss finishes looked beautiful, and whatever tidbits of info I could glean about their current products were positive.

I found a dealer in Galesburg, Illinois ( about 70 miles away), Chucks Drum Shop from whom I could order a new set and did so. I had to wait about 6 months for them to arrive which gave me some time to pay them off. They were expensive compared to just about any other option available. I ordered them without any tom mounting hardware installed as I planned to use Yamaha hardware via a RIMS mount ( which I did). When the drums ( 13/16/18/22)showed up and it all came together I was blown away by just about every aspect of them. They looked and sounded awesome! That's where my love of Gretsch began. From there my interest in the older examples developed retroactively, as my interest in all vintage American drums took hold in the mid 1990s. I am willing to forgive the many quirks in vintage Round badge drums but it was the Square Badge drums turned out by the then small 7 employee shop in Ridgeland that won me over in the first place.

here is that set...


Last edited by K.O.; 12-03-2019 at 10:31 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:11 AM
leedybdp leedybdp is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

I can come at this issue from a different angle. My two Walberg and Auge drum sets are made from some components of their own making on shells, rims, and lugs from major U.S. drum makers. One set is essentially a Rogers drum set in disguise while the other one is a Gretsch drum set wearing a mask. The Rogers version is much more open and lively sounding compared to the boxy and subdued sound of the Gretsch version. Both drum sets sound great. I'm of the opinion that the only people at a live gig who could detect any difference in sound would be patrons in a small club in which the drums were not mic'd. In a larger venue or in a recording studio, a talented sound board technician could make either drum set sound like anything he or she wanted.
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2019, 10:47 AM
O-Lugs O-Lugs is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

I would almost bet money that I could pick a Gretsch kit (bop sizes) out of a lineup of all other vintage bop kits. I'm not sure I could differentiate the bigger sizes, though. The bop kits just sound...unique. I know I'm not the only one who hears it. Gretsch bop kits are off the charts expensive....kind of like finding a Stradivarius...and almost as expensive!
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  #19  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:32 AM
Warrenwood Warrenwood is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

O-lugs, an acquaintance of mine has a 1980s (I think) Gretsch bop kit for sale. It is a natural wood finish, but I don't know the badges, or what line of drums it is. Sizes appear to be 12/14/18 and condition is like new. He's offering to sell it to me for a low amount, but I don't know if the price is good or not.

Is there a buyer's guide for Gretsch?
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  #20  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:50 AM
K.O. K.O. is offline
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Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

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Originally Posted by Warrenwood View Post
O-lugs, an acquaintance of mine has a 1980s (I think) Gretsch bop kit for sale. It is a natural wood finish, but I don't know the badges, or what line of drums it is. Sizes appear to be 12/14/18 and condition is like new. He's offering to sell it to me for a low amount, but I don't know if the price is good or not.

Is there a buyer's guide for Gretsch?
Not really aware of any buyers guides for any of the vintage drum makes. One thing for certain is RB 18" bass drums have gone thru the roof price wise. The later badges are pulled upward by that as well but they don't command the bucks that a RB will even though a SSB example is essentially the same drum with a different badge.
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