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Old 12-02-2019, 09:06 AM
idrum4fun idrum4fun is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,175
Default Re: I Have Never "Gotten" Gretsch Drums

I, too, have never understood why vintage Gretsch drums sell for so much more than a comparable Ludwig, Rogers or Slingerland kit. I've always felt that the drumming public at large feeds this perception.

Growing up, I really liked the look of Gretsch lugs and their die-cast hoops. However, their hardware, such as tom holders, tom and leg brackets and their Micro-sensitive and Lightning strainers were a real pain. While the "look" of the top/bottom muffler knobs looked pretty cool, those dual, rectangular, muffler pads take up too much real-estate. I did like the Pratt bass drum muffler, though!

Silver sealer? To my eyes, it's just marketing hype! Yes, I know I'm going to take flak for that statement! Gum/maple shells? I have a beautiful 2006 Pearl Export kit with 6-ply poplar shells that sounds fantastic. It's all in the shell diameter and bearing edges. We all know that Gretsch used shells that were not undersized. Add in the wrap and you now have shells that require the use of a rubber mallet to force on a drum head! Seriously!! Remo finally addressed this issue with their "Classic Fit" heads!

That "great Gretsch sound" was also achieved by the use of "reverse" bearing edges on the toms. Changing where the edge hits the head changes the sound! I also read that many the 50's drums used a cloth wrap between the shell and outer plastic "Nitron" wrap.

Please don't get me wrong. I know there are thousands of drummers who love vintage Gretsch drums. But, when I factor in every aspect of Gretsch versus the other American-made drums, I just don't understand how they can fetch two times, or more, than a comparable Ludwig, Rogers or Slingerland kit. I guess it's just perception!

All the above is just my opinion. YMMV!! Keep on drumming with the drums YOU love!

-Mark
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