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Gretsches' maiden voyage, 20s in rock, detuning, etc.

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#1
Dan Radin

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On a whim, I brought my Gretsch 14x20 to rehearsal with my heavy rock band. The drum is set up with Aquarian Classic Clears (single ply, no rings or muffling) with felt strips on both sides, no hole, and no beater patch. Tuned it up high by rock standards, and guess what... I loved it. It's a very different sound than the standard muffled 22, and I really need to be careful not to bury the beater to keep the sound full, but man, what a great sound. I forgot how much fun 20s are, how easy they are to play vs. 22s and larger, and how they sit in the mix.

 

I brought it, along with 10, 12, 14, and 16 toms, to my show Saturday night, and despite a little apprehension about the sound guy potentially losing his mind over no mic hole and a very different-sounding drum than he was used to, it ended up sounding great to me onstage. Very present and full, compared to the usual thin click/thunk I'm used to hearing. Guys in the band found it easy to hear too. And, wow, I really forgot how awesome Grestch toms are. So present, so bright. If only they could come up with a good slogan...

 

People also really loved the look of the drums. Grestch in Walnut are smokin' looking drums. Forgot to take pictures.

 

A few questions for you guys:

 

1. I have already put a nice 1/4" dent in the bass drum batter head. Using a Danmar wood beater. I guess my options are to add a patch (probably the Evans fabric one to minimize added attack), switch to a double-ply head, which I don't really want to do, or maybe try a dotted head? I really am enjoying the big, round sound I'm getting with the Classic Clears and probably will throw a patch on the dented head for now.

 

2. The little guy is light, and that meant it was walking around despite having the spikes out on the spurs. Anything I can do to keep it in place better? I really would prefer not to put toms on top to add weight.

 

3. One thing I forgot about Gretsch toms is how much they like to detune when tuned low. I had the 10 and 12 up pretty high, the 14 mid-low, and the 16 as low as it could go without flapping out. Has anybody solved this? I hate Lug Locks. I have some of the Rhythm Tech Index Tensioners and they're cool. Do the Canopus Bolt Tight washers work?

 

Thanks for help!


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#2
LFBarfe

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I don't think there's anything you can't handle with a 20x14". Just change the tuning and beater for different gigs and away you go. Definitely put a patch on. I've got a small square of leftover drum wrap on my Gretsch 20".


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#3
DrummersWeeklyGroovecast

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On a whim, I brought my Gretsch 14x20 to rehearsal with my heavy rock band. The drum is set up with Aquarian Classic Clears (single ply, no rings or muffling) with felt strips on both sides, no hole, and no beater patch. Tuned it up high by rock standards, and guess what... I loved it. It's a very different sound than the standard muffled 22, and I really need to be careful not to bury the beater to keep the sound full, but man, what a great sound. I forgot how much fun 20s are, how easy they are to play vs. 22s and larger, and how they sit in the mix.

 

I brought it, along with 10, 12, 14, and 16 toms, to my show Saturday night, and despite a little apprehension about the sound guy potentially losing his mind over no mic hole and a very different-sounding drum than he was used to, it ended up sounding great to me onstage. Very present and full, compared to the usual thin click/thunk I'm used to hearing. Guys in the band found it easy to hear too. And, wow, I really forgot how awesome Grestch toms are. So present, so bright. If only they could come up with a good slogan...

 

People also really loved the look of the drums. Grestch in Walnut are smokin' looking drums. Forgot to take pictures.

 

A few questions for you guys:

 

1. I have already put a nice 1/4" dent in the bass drum batter head. Using a Danmar wood beater. I guess my options are to add a patch (probably the Evans fabric one to minimize added attack), switch to a double-ply head, which I don't really want to do, or maybe try a dotted head? I really am enjoying the big, round sound I'm getting with the Classic Clears and probably will throw a patch on the dented head for now.

 

2. The little guy is light, and that meant it was walking around despite having the spikes out on the spurs. Anything I can do to keep it in place better? I really would prefer not to put toms on top to add weight.

 

3. One thing I forgot about Gretsch toms is how much they like to detune when tuned low. I had the 10 and 12 up pretty high, the 14 mid-low, and the 16 as low as it could go without flapping out. Has anybody solved this? I hate Lug Locks. I have some of the Rhythm Tech Index Tensioners and they're cool. Do the Canopus Bolt Tight washers work?

 

Thanks for help!

 

Dan,

 

As for number 1, are your bass drum spurs extended at least one or two inches? If you extend those spurs it'll lift the resonant side of the drum off the floor. If not your wood beater is going past a 90 degree angle (when striking) and the flat part of the beater is not hitting the head squarely. Rather, the edge of the beater is and it's putting a dent in your BD head. I'd check that first. Past that, you're an animal! :icon_smile: A patch is your next best solution.

 

Question number 2 is directly related to number 1. If your BD spurs are extended a bit it will help with the kick running away from you.

 

As for detuning, are you using die cast hoops (USA Customs)? Those hoops are so rigid that they seldom detune. Lug locks are your friend although I know you don't like them. If you're using the Gretsch 302 style hoops then the detuning just comes with the territory.

 

Finally, swing by our podcast page and check out our new show "Inside Gretsch". We were invited to tour the factory and speak with operations manager, Paul Cooper. It was absolutely fantastic!  

 

https://soundcloud.c...ith-paul-cooper

 

Best,

 

Phil

Drummer's Weekly Groovecast


Edited by DrummersWeeklyGroovecast, 20 March 2017 - 12:19 PM.

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#4
Markkuliini

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On a whim, I brought my Gretsch 14x20 to rehearsal with my heavy rock band. The drum is set up with Aquarian Classic Clears (single ply, no rings or muffling) with felt strips on both sides, no hole, and no beater patch. Tuned it up high by rock standards, and guess what... I loved it. It's a very different sound than the standard muffled 22, and I really need to be careful not to bury the beater to keep the sound full, but man, what a great sound. I forgot how much fun 20s are, how easy they are to play vs. 22s and larger, and how they sit in the mix.

 

I brought it, along with 10, 12, 14, and 16 toms, to my show Saturday night, and despite a little apprehension about the sound guy potentially losing his mind over no mic hole and a very different-sounding drum than he was used to, it ended up sounding great to me onstage. Very present and full, compared to the usual thin click/thunk I'm used to hearing. Guys in the band found it easy to hear too. And, wow, I really forgot how awesome Grestch toms are. So present, so bright. If only they could come up with a good slogan...

 

People also really loved the look of the drums. Grestch in Walnut are smokin' looking drums. Forgot to take pictures.

 

A few questions for you guys:

 

1. I have already put a nice 1/4" dent in the bass drum batter head. Using a Danmar wood beater. I guess my options are to add a patch (probably the Evans fabric one to minimize added attack), switch to a double-ply head, which I don't really want to do, or maybe try a dotted head? I really am enjoying the big, round sound I'm getting with the Classic Clears and probably will throw a patch on the dented head for now.

 

2. The little guy is light, and that meant it was walking around despite having the spikes out on the spurs. Anything I can do to keep it in place better? I really would prefer not to put toms on top to add weight.

 

3. One thing I forgot about Gretsch toms is how much they like to detune when tuned low. I had the 10 and 12 up pretty high, the 14 mid-low, and the 16 as low as it could go without flapping out. Has anybody solved this? I hate Lug Locks. I have some of the Rhythm Tech Index Tensioners and they're cool. Do the Canopus Bolt Tight washers work?

 

Thanks for help!

 

Dan,

 

As for number 1, are your bass drum spurs extended at least one or two inches? If not your wood beater is going past a 90 degree angle (when striking) and a the flat part of the beater is not hitting the head squarely. Rather, the edge of the beater is and it's putting a dent in your BD head. I'd check that first. Past that, you're an animal! :icon_smile: A patch is your next best solution.

 

Question number 2 is directly related to number 1. If your BD spurs are extended a bit it will help with the kick running away from you.

 

As for detuning, are you using die cast hoops (USA Customs)? Those hoops are so rigid that they seldom detune. Lug locks are your friend although I know you don't like them. If you're using the Gretsch 302 style hoops then the detuning just comes with the territory.

 

Finally, swing by our podcast page and check out our new show "Inside Gretsch". We were invited to tour the factory and speak with operations manager, Paul Cooper. It was absolutely fantastic!  

 

https://soundcloud.c...ith-paul-cooper

 

Best,

 

Phil

Drummer's Weekly Groovecast

 

Thanks for the tip. Just started to listen to it. :)


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#5
dwdave

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camber makes a leather kick patch.   they work great with a wood beater.


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#6
charlesm

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The ol' fashioned bass-drum anchor that clips onto the reso hoop works great for keeping a drum in place. Convertible spikes from pointed to rubber. It's actually a really handy device.
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#7
LFBarfe

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+1 on the anchor. I've got one of the cheap modern ones. Probably a Dixon?
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#8
Redbeard77

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You really need some sort of patch with a wood beater. It shouldn't make a huge difference in sound, certainly less of a difference than switching to a 2 ply head.

I haven't had an issue with my Gretsch toms detuning, and I have my 16 pretty low as well. Did you put new heads on right before the show?


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#9
AaronLatos

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Look for a square BD beater. I was killing BD heads with a wood beater on tour with a loud rock band and found a solution with the square Danmar felt beater. I think they make a wood one, too. Another solution is to sand the surface of your beater flat. More surface area contacting=very good for sound as well as head life.
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#10
mariosdrums

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For kick creep I swear by the spikes on my DW pedals. I love playing vintage drums but the spurs are deficient in general. Spikes on the pedal into a decent rug is usually enough for me.


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#11
Dan Radin

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Thanks for all the replies everybody!

 

As for number 1, are your bass drum spurs extended at least one or two inches?

 

As for detuning, are you using die cast hoops (USA Customs)?

 

Finally, swing by our podcast page and check out our new show "Inside Gretsch".

Thanks Phil. I'm a loyal listener and have the episode cued up for my next podcasting session. I'll have to check the spurs' extension when I get home. I think I had the front hoop a few millimeters off the ground but not as extreme as you suggest. I'll try it out. These are real-deal 90s Gretsch with cast hoops and I do remember having detuning problems on the kit I previously owned. Think I'll try out the Rhythm Tech rods since I have a few.

 

camber makes a leather kick patch.   they work great with a wood beater.

Cool, I'll check that out. Got a link to where they can be purchased in the US?

 

The ol' fashioned bass-drum anchor that clips onto the reso hoop works great for keeping a drum in place.

Good idea, thanks.

 

Did you put new heads on right before the show?

I played most of them for two rehearsals, and the 10 for one. So they weren't NEW-new, but not super worn in. G12s on 10/12/14, and G14 on the 16. I don't love the and I don't hate them. Might try dots when these wear out, because Tony.

 

Look for a square BD beater. I was killing BD heads with a wood beater on tour with a loud rock band and found a solution with the square Danmar felt beater. I think they make a wood one, too. Another solution is to sand the surface of your beater flat. More surface area contacting=very good for sound as well as head life.

I think you're right. Interesting. 

 

For kick creep I swear by the spikes on my DW pedals. I love playing vintage drums but the spurs are deficient in general. Spikes on the pedal into a decent rug is usually enough for me.

This was with a DW5k with its spikes out, but maybe not out enough!


Edited by Dan Radin, 21 March 2017 - 12:13 AM.

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