Topic: Gretsch Renown Maple

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1.Gretsch Renown Maple Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Monkeypoo
Posted on: Nov 1, 2010 12:20 AM

Hi everyone Smile

here's a bit of news. From the 28th of December till the 7th of February I shall be holidaying with my family back to Ireland (where I was born and raised till I was 6), London, Oxford, Wales, France, Holland and New York. But when I get back to Australia I will begin saving for a new drum kit and also selling my current one.

Now as you've probably all guessed from the thread title I'm pretty keen on the Gretsch Renown Maple (rock). It's to be released around April in Australia. It has all my ideal sizes and comes with some cool finishes. But I wanted to get some imput from some of you on here Smile Just experiences with this kit, or even just Gretsch in general.

Now for the details.
Here's a link:
http://www.gretschdrums.com/index.cfm?fa=kit&mid=2408&sid=565

I'd be getting the finish shown there (Cherry Burst)
Sizes are:
24x16 bass
13x9 tom
16x16 floor
and an add on 18x16 floor tom.

So that's my news Smile please discuss and let me know what you know and all that Smile Thanks everyone

(Click the picture to view the original one)

2.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: BrandonPorter
Posted on: Nov 1, 2010 2:00 AM

I'm not up to speed on Gretsch, but I know that they usually have a distinctive sound. They spray some sort of metallic looking paint on the inside of their shells-not sure of the purpose. (Maybe they don't do this anymore, I don't know). I had a pretty nice snare drum from them that I inherited--a re-production of their "Broadkaster" series from the 50's? It was a very sharp looking drum but I could never make it sound to my liking. But someone else probably loved it. I sold it and made a pretty good penny on it.

As usual, the best thing is to see them live and play them for yourself.

3.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Mendell
Posted on: Nov 1, 2010 1:54 PM

I currently own a renown maple kit (22-16-14-12-10-14)

they are great kits. you can play rock with them or jazz, depending on your setup config. Great hardware and nice finish btw. I don't know if the snare is included but its a great sounding maple snare! mine still has a crappy pearl drumhead (from the previous owner) and it sounds great!

But as I always say, try them before you buy (if you can)

EDIT: my sig is outdated... lol

4.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: drumwarrier
Posted on: Nov 1, 2010 3:49 PM

I was thinking about getting the black suede emps for my rock and blues gigs but I have been wanting to do some jazz gigs, can the suedes be used for jazz, don't want to change heads all the time.

5.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: moneyowen
Posted on: Nov 2, 2010 3:29 AM

Around the mid 1950's Gretsch in Brooklyn NY started laminating shells in round with scarf joints and the seams opposite from each other. These thin shelled drum stayed in round (a miracle) Now almost all drum shells are made like this. They spray the magic silver paint and used die cast hoops and that's Gretsch. You can still buy that same drum today, their US made line.

Around 2000 they (Gretsch) partnered with Kaman, and started importing all kinds of stuff. I'm sure these are nice drums and a good price point also. But don't buy them because they are 'Gretsch' check out Mapex (KHS) and Taye because thats who makes most of the drums for Gretsch overseas. The pricing isn't bat on the Gretsch imports, but don't pay for the nameplate.

6.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Gander
Posted on: Nov 2, 2010 5:39 AM

I played on that exact kit not too long ago, though it had a different wrap. I thought they sounded excellent. If it had a couple of more toms, I'd get one.

7.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Gander] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: Nov 2, 2010 10:48 AM

Gander wrote:
I played on that exact kit not too long ago, though it had a different wrap. I thought they sounded excellent. If it had a couple of more toms, I'd get one.


I tapped around on a Renown kit at Guitar Center some time ago - I'm assuming they've maintained the same product. It was a fine sounding and a visually lovely kit. I came 'this close' to purchasing a Renown before I decided at the last minute to quickly take look around to confirm my choice. But I found some other very excellent drums complicating my decision. I ended with the purchase of my Mapex Saturns.

And I concur with Money, too. Gretsch make some excellent drums - including the Renown.

8.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Monkeypoo
Posted on: Nov 3, 2010 7:39 PM

I have half a year to continue investigating on various kits Smile
I'm not buying a Gretsch for the name at all as I saw Money mention. I would have never even considered buying a Gretsch till I saw this kit. Also Money, You were talking about Taye and Mapex. Taye isn't really an option for me here in Tasmania. THe postage would kill me but I can definately look into Mapex. Am I right in thinking that the Meridian M is the equivelent kit? The main reason that i'm leaning towards the Gretsch is due to the sizes. Of course the shell material, bearing edge, hardware and finish all come into consideration too but yea Smile

Regarding the silver coating on the inside of the shells. I do believe that is to keep the shell perfectly round. SO it won't go out of shape like other drums may over the years and as a result of having the coating apparantly it gives a rounder punchier sound. This is only what I've read. So maybe someone here could back me up or correct me whether they've played it or read on it. Smile Any help is appreciated!

And last, as the kit isnt available in Australia till around April the local store is yet to work out whether or not they'll be able to get a matching snare but even if they can't i dont mind. The shop owes me a discount on my next big purchase so a new snare can be organized too.
Wink

9.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: moneyowen
Posted on: Nov 4, 2010 1:29 PM

Yeah the silver paint is not really magic. When Gretsch started doing this, no one ever considered clear drum heads so the interiors didn't show. Any paint, lacquer or whatever will brighten up the tone of the drum a bit vs. an unfinished unsanded interior. Ludwig used to paint theirs white. No magic. Yamaha Recording Customs and some older upscale Tama/Pearls had finished interiors too which likely contributes at least somewhat to the overall sound. More work, more cost. Thats why they DONT do it. Since Gretsch began making this style of cross laminated drumshell, most ALL drum shells are made this way. And they stay in round. Which they didn't in the old days (pre 1950s) the paint sure doesn't do anything for the integrity of the shell

I mentioned Taye, which I have never seen around here either in the US. But Taye and KHS Mapex manufactures a LOT of stuff, parts, shells, etc and the brand names really don't mean a lot anymore. The good news is the kits in this price range are all quite good in terms of fit finish, ect. I guess the Pro M or Meridian is equivalent or at least close. These lines change year to year but the good news is they all work pretty well. The kits are all similar so IMO you have the right idea to get the one you like, sizes, finish, availability and price point. You won't kick yourself in the pants later for buying a Renown instead of a Meridian. There truly isn't a whole lot of difference anymore.

10.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: moneyowen] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: Nov 4, 2010 2:37 PM

moneyowen wrote:
Yeah the silver paint is not really magic. When Gretsch started doing this, no one ever considered clear drum heads so the interiors didn't show. Any paint, lacquer or whatever will brighten up the tone of the drum a bit vs. an unfinished unsanded interior. Ludwig used to paint theirs white. No magic. Yamaha Recording Customs and some older upscale Tama/Pearls had finished interiors too which likely contributes at least somewhat to the overall sound. More work, more cost. Thats why they DONT do it. Since Gretsch began making this style of cross laminated drumshell, most ALL drum shells are made this way. And they stay in round. Which they didn't in the old days (pre 1950s) the paint sure doesn't do anything for the integrity of the shell

I mentioned Taye, which I have never seen around here either in the US. But Taye and KHS Mapex manufactures a LOT of stuff, parts, shells, etc and the brand names really don't mean a lot anymore. The good news is the kits in this price range are all quite good in terms of fit finish, ect. I guess the Pro M or Meridian is equivalent or at least close. These lines change year to year but the good news is they all work pretty well. The kits are all similar so IMO you have the right idea to get the one you like, sizes, finish, availability and price point. You won't kick yourself in the pants later for buying a Renown instead of a Meridian. There truly isn't a whole lot of difference anymore.


Right.

Premier were/are (unsure) Clear Coating their shell interiors.

I'm wondering ... I believe it "rounds" out the sound to a small degree; but think they do that because shells can now be made quite thin. Each ply in common plied shells are astonishingly thin. And Gretsch (Mapex) routinely do not make shells with re-rings. Therefore, I'm guessing, but Gretsch's "Silver Sealer" and other peoples' paint or clear coat could be useful to prevent de-lamination of the very thin, unsupported shell. But as I said, I'm guessing.

11.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: BrandonPorter
Posted on: Nov 4, 2010 2:40 PM

^^Randy, I imagine the coating on any of these drums, especially Gretsch's primer looking color, is on there now because it's one of those "always done it that way" things.

People expect it now, and to many, Gretsch probably isn't Gretsch without the silver coating.

I doubt it would add anything to the integrity of the shell, but like Jeff said I can see it affecting the sound.

I dunno.

12.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: BrandonPorter] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: Nov 4, 2010 3:00 PM

BrandonPorter wrote:
^^Randy, I imagine the coating on any of these drums, especially Gretsch's primer looking color, is on there now because it's one of those "always done it that way" things.

People expect it now, and to many, Gretsch probably isn't Gretsch without the silver coating.

I doubt it would add anything to the integrity of the shell, but like Jeff said I can see it affecting the sound.

I dunno.


I can understand your view on it -

My first Mapex Saturn Kick drum began to delaminate, and Mapex replaced it for me.

Before I turned it over to Mapex I sought out other options. I got an opinion from a drum tech who works at a music shop, and another from a boutique builder as to how to proceed. Both of them noted that because I live in the Phoenix area (desert southwest) that the unfinished thin-shell construction suffers from moisture exchange (here we are usually very, very dry; but we also have a Monsoon season where the humidity jumps up to 60% then back down again to 10 to 20% between middle of June to roughly middle of August).

They weren't aware of the fact that I got other opinions. But the two fellows suggested that I forget about the manufacturer's warranty and simply Tung Oil finish the shell interior - making use of Tung as a wood conditioner, not a "finish", per se. Doing this would void the warranty.

I spoke with PJ (Timekeep69) about it as well; but that was some time after the event took place.

My Bass shell is advertised as 7.5mm thick (Toms are 5.1mm). Pretty thin.

13.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: moneyowen
Posted on: Nov 5, 2010 3:29 AM

If that's true and it likely is, that the shell delaminated due to the humidity, I don't think it would make much difference if the shell were thin or thick? Gretsch shells were razor thin back in the day, but the norm today (they haven't changed) thicker than an off the rack Keller 8 ply. At the time, it was a phenom because it did not need the re rings which were primarily the support it and keep it round. Now it's a matter of choice, not support as the ring will slightly raise the pitch of the drum.

fwiw I always use tung oil on the interiors of unfinished drums and also on the outside of my DW satin oil kit. DW recommends it. I don't know why it would void a warranty but you are probably right about that. It does brighten up the drum a bit, and would surely protect it from your desert ravaging humidity levels.

14.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: moneyowen] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: BrandonPorter
Posted on: Nov 5, 2010 3:45 AM

moneyowen wrote:
fwiw I always use tung oil on the interiors of unfinished drums and also on the outside of my DW satin oil kit. DW recommends it. I don't know why it would void a warranty but you are probably right about that. It does brighten up the drum a bit, and would surely protect it from your desert ravaging humidity levels.


I will have to try putting some on next time I change heads. Not sure if it's necessary, but I guess it can't hurt.

15.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: drumwarrier] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: pbloxam
Posted on: Nov 5, 2010 7:28 AM

drumwarrier wrote:
I was thinking about getting the black suede emps for my rock and blues gigs but I have been wanting to do some jazz gigs, can the suedes be used for jazz, don't want to change heads all the time.


Yes, they work great for jazz...or any style really...

16.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: pbloxam
Posted on: Nov 5, 2010 7:36 AM

The grey sealer is just that... a sealer used to seal out/in moisture and to hide imperfections of the shell (at least back in the old days)...

Most manufacturers use some sort of sealer/clearcoat on the interior of their shells today....Others don't.

Brightens up the sound......

I am not sure all Gretsch drums have the grey sealer....

Peace!!

17.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: pbloxam] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: Nov 5, 2010 8:38 AM

pbloxam wrote:
The grey sealer is just that... a sealer used to seal out/in moisture and to hide imperfections of the shell (at least back in the old days)...

Most manufacturers use some sort of sealer/clearcoat on the interior of their shells today....Others don't.

Brightens up the sound......

I am not sure all Gretsch drums have the grey sealer....

Peace!!


Gretsch doesn't say that the New Classic kits have the sealer, so I'm assuming they don't. But they DO have the typical Gretsch 30-degree bearing edge. And the New Classic is a Premium kit. Catalina is their mid-level and they say nothing about Silver Sealer on those kits. And I know their Blackhawk series doesn't have it. That's their lowest level kit.

So I'm thinking the USA Custom and the Renown series have the Sealer and the other two do not.

Good point about hiding imperfections.

18.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: moneyowen
Posted on: Nov 11, 2010 3:14 PM

I'll bet you a coke they all are painted silver inside, except Blackhawk. And none of them have re rings

19.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Monkeypoo
Posted on: Nov 12, 2010 3:49 AM

Ok! I've played the kit!
It has a tonne of attack, very tonal, long sustain. Super thin shells. Above all... Not the sound for me. Amazing kit. But alas not for me.

However I've been looking around.
Checked the Pearl Reference, Yamaha Oak Custom, Yamaha Absolute Maple, SJC, Truth and Tama.

Out of all these SJC is standing out by a mile. Incredible price for whats involved. I know on here alot of you tend to be anti custom kits because of the price, not making their own shells but i'm just looking into SJC is all. Finding some background info and all that. The customer service has been amazing so far. Truth... not so much. The price was far higher with them as well. $2000 difference for the exact same kit as SJC. rediculous.

20.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: Nov 12, 2010 1:15 PM

Monkeypoo wrote:
Ok! I've played the kit!
It has a tonne of attack, very tonal, long sustain. Super thin shells. Above all... Not the sound for me. Amazing kit. But alas not for me.

However I've been looking around.
Checked the Pearl Reference, Yamaha Oak Custom, Yamaha Absolute Maple, SJC, Truth and Tama.

Out of all these SJC is standing out by a mile. Incredible price for whats involved. I know on here alot of you tend to be anti custom kits because of the price, not making their own shells but i'm just looking into SJC is all. Finding some background info and all that. The customer service has been amazing so far. Truth... not so much. The price was far higher with them as well. $2000 difference for the exact same kit as SJC. rediculous.


You might actually like a drum made of Basswood or Poplar. It's a small difference, but Shells of these woods don't sustain quite like those made of Maple or Birch. Another possibility would be drums made of Mahogany - these might suit your taste. Except for fine African Mahogany, the Meranti mahogany substitute is used in drums and they're generally less costly.

An old, no longer made Premier XPK kit was made of a 'sandwich' of Mahogany and Eucalyptus; and these were very nice drum kits. Find one used, and rehab it. It would be a great low-cost project which, I'd think, would yield a fine performing piece of work.

21.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: moneyowen
Posted on: Nov 13, 2010 10:39 AM

There is sure nothing wrong with custom or boutique drums. Having someone craft an instrument is a good thing Drums aren't like making a piano or mandolin. There just isn't that much involved. Many 'custom' or boutique builders make great drums. I have a Montineri kit made by Joe Montineri in COnnecticut, also recently sold a Modern Drum Shop[ NY kit which was greeat. Dennis Stauffer from Phattie drums came to visit me at my home once. Pork Pie, OCDP, Spaun even the gigantic corporate machine DW started out this way. It's all good. The only problem could be 20 years from now you can't find a replacement lug for your boutique drum (possibly) unlikely you would find andexact match for your Renown Taye or whatever.

TO MY MIND, at least in the states, I would likely buy the components from some place like Precision or Drummaker or John Riolo amdrumparts and make my own, rather than pay someone else to build out a set. Time and love involved. But the results would be very similar to anyone else's. Thats where they buy their parts too. It isn't rocket science

22.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Kaleidoscope
Posted on: Nov 13, 2010 3:57 PM

mmmmmmmmmmmmm pearl reference

I got to play another drummers renown maples this weekend at a gig. 20" inch kick. I liked the sound of them, but I knew they could sound a lot better with out the evans heads on them hahaha

23.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: Nov 13, 2010 5:41 PM

I'm sounding like a loop, but -

Taye and Mapex make great drums. Don't let the lower cost cheat you out of a fine kit. They don't seem to have the same cache' as Yamaha/Pearl Masters/DW/Gretsch/Sonor but are, nevertheless, great performing drums.

24.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Kaleidoscope] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: BrandonPorter
Posted on: Nov 13, 2010 9:07 PM

Kaleidoscope wrote:
mmmmmmmmmmmmm pearl reference


If I could afford one I'd get a kit in a heartbeat. They are different, IMO. Check it out on the site--very unique build for the shells, at least for some of them.

The snare drums are killer. I did spring for one of those a couple of years back and it is an amazing snare drum. I may sell or trade lots of things, but that one is a keeper.

25.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: Andy
Posted on: Nov 14, 2010 6:07 PM

I played two different Gretch Renown Maple kits. Both sounded great and were easy to tune. The small toms, in particular, sounded remarkably deep and "big" for their size. They sounded every bit as good as my Yamaha recording customs.

As for sizes, definitely don't get a 16 x 24 bass drum as it's no fun to gig with, won't fit on some stages, won't fit in some cars, will be hard to position, expensive to ship if (when) you sell it. I finally sold mine recently (thanks Ebay). Get a 16 x 22 or a 16 x 20. It will be much easier to gig with and won't impact your sound much at all. Personally, I'd go 22, 12 and 16 or 20, 12 at 16.

26.Re:Gretsch Renown Maple [Re: Monkeypoo] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: petetheone
Posted on: Nov 19, 2010 4:21 PM

that kit must sound amazing by the sizes. i would to try one!

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