~ 1964 Gretsch RB Burgundy Sparkle REVISITED ~

Osahead2

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THE FULL STORY BEHIND THE 1964 BURGUNDY SPARKLE Floor Tom SEARCH... when paying attention to details matters...

I have posted this Gretsch RB bop kit earlier in 2015 but wanted to revisit this again now that it is completely finished and talk some about my search.

sweeee.jpg BEFORE 20151217_192237.jpg AFTER with correct FT and 4x14 snare drum.

Background: As you know, I was fortunate to buy this numbers matching combo 18/12 after a failed auction. Apparently the overseas buyer scared the hell out of the owner with money orders & wire transfers... so the owner backed out and started calling around and my name was mentioned. So out of the blue, I receive a call and after two days of negotiations, I found myself driving to Oklahoma City to pick up the two drums.

So off I go back to Dallas trying to figure out where on earth am I'm going to find a RB burgundy sparkle 14x14? This should be easy right? Wrong...

I had absolutely no way of knowing New Zealand is where I would find one but I did. And thanks to SUPERPHONIC (Mark) a trade was made and I received a RB burgundy sparkle 14x14 floor tom. Mark fully disclosed the condition of the FT & bottom bearing edge that needed repaired but other then that, I was happy... and it could be easily fixed... but what couldn't be changed/fixed was the LARGE bass drum size lug castings that Gretsch used??? Why LARGE ones, I wish I knew but talk about a oddball or a anomaly apparently with no reason Gretsch used LARGE lug castings later during the RB era and if I'm going to go full Monty with this 1964 RB bop kit project, I better keep searching for that correct one... but this LARGE lug FT will do fine until something better comes along...

So, I'm back on my world wide search placing phone calls and DFO wanted ads etc... and boom a few months later, I get a PM for another 14x14 burgundy sparkle RB floor tom!!! But again another oddball/anomaly pops-up this time the 14x14 has the correct small lug casting but this one has a original SILVER tack holding the round badge/high serial # too... darn... that's not the one so again if I'm going to go full Monty with this 1964 RB bop kit project, I better keep searching for that correct one...

Then about three months later roundbadgedude steps into the picture. Kevin tells me he has a 14x14 burgundy sparkle floor tom... yeah right... but my heart starts pounding while I look at his pictures and I can't believe my eyes!!! So, I ask him for the serial number and Holy s**t that's it.. a early built 1964 Gretsch RB burgundy sparkle 14x14 floor tom... and the one I need!!! A deal was made and I receive a wonderful drum safe & sound... a absolute wrap match and only a few digits off from the other two RB drums.

Then a few days later Kevin springs on me he also has the matching Model #4175 4x14 in burgundy sparkle...WFT... I had no recourse but to JUMP on it too and the rest his history.

I would have never in a million years been able to figured out on my own any difference in lug castings/serial numbers/ etc etc had it not been for DFO and the excellent reference material created by KCDrumDad. I highly recommend Rick's dating guide for Gretsch drums!!! It will keep you from making big mistakes when pulling a vintage RB set together. So if your RB kit is near-n-dear to you then his book is well worth it. So Mark, Kevin and Rick thanks for your help with this, I really appreciate it. You guys are tops!

I just wanted to share. Enjoy.

msg-1319-0-76133900-1433032129_thumb.jpeg - 14x14 with LARGE lug castings / brass tack... with RB centered
14x14 RB.jpg - 14x14 with SMALL lug casting / silver tack... with RB centered
post-6662-0-02613000-1449000303.jpg - 14x14 with SMALL lug castings / brass tack... with RB higher on shell. Low five digit serial (1964).
20150608_133333.jpg - Older photo with incorrect LARGE lug FT & 5x14 snare drum
 

KCDrumDad

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Congratulations on putting together a set the way you wanted it. Please forward me the serial number information so I can include them on my list.

I personally do not find the other two floor toms to be "incorrect." They appear to be factory original, but just a little different than your ideal.
 

Osahead2

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KCDrumDad said:
Congratulations on putting together a set the way you wanted it. Please forward me the serial number information so I can include them on my list.

I personally do not find the other two floor toms to be "incorrect." They appear to be factory original, but just a little different than your ideal.
Yes all three of them are factory original burgundy sparkle 14x14 RB floor tom... but after months of researching and seeing several of them in person, I noticed the pre-1965 14x14 floor toms in particular all had certain physical characteristics such as smaller lug castings & screw head types,color & style of tack and badge location.

And since my 12x8 RB tom serial matched the bass drum, I knew, I need a floor tom without the silver tack.
 

avedisschwinn

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Truly gorgeous kit. I also don't think of the large lugs as incorrect on the 14" - I have heard people say they are rarer and so more collectable? I have no idea, just saying I have had both and it never bothered me.
 

Osahead2

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avedisschwinn said:
Truly gorgeous kit. I also don't think of the large lugs as incorrect on the 14" - I have heard people say they are rarer and so more collectable? I have no idea, just saying I have had both and it never bothered me.
Thanks...

I'm not saying they are incorrect per say... I'm saying they are not widely seen pre-1965 which in my case, I wanted a complete matching pre-1965 RB kit.

It's like restoring a rare muscle car... sure you can install a 1968 Ram Air GTO carburetor on a 1970 Ram Air III GTO Judge but then again it would not be correct... and it's all about paying attention to details.
 

avedisschwinn

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Osahead2 said:
Truly gorgeous kit. I also don't think of the large lugs as incorrect on the 14" - I have heard people say they are rarer and so more collectable? I have no idea, just saying I have had both and it never bothered me.
Thanks...

I'm not say they are incorrect per say... I'm saying they are not widely seen pre-1965 which in my case, I wanted a complete matching pre-1965 RB kit.

It's like restoring a rare muscle car... sure you can install a 1968 Ram Air GTO carburetor on a 1970 Ram Air III GTO Judge but then again it would be correct... and it's all about paying attention to details.
I get it, you created a completely period correct RB kit from a specific part of the RB era. I've never broken it down into RB sub categories. You pretty much have a "holy grail" kit.
 

Osahead2

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So, I got a PM asking me what do I mean about a silver tack?

A legitimate question and apparently not everybody here on DFO has seen or noticed a difference in Gretsch RB tacks so I wanted to post these two example photos.

Also need to state... over the past few months, I did find a few excellent 12x8 & 14x14 RB burgundy sparkle floor tom candidates but, due to those many physical characteristics, I mentioned earlier, I didn't want to use any ole 14x14 floor tom then alter, change, (touch) or remove any factory tacks to just complete my 1964 RB project. Even the patina on the badges were different...

So if in the far off future, I decide to sell this burgundy sparkle 1964 RB bop kit and ask for current market value for it, I would hope the new buyer would appreciate I took the extra mile (and with lots of luck) to locate the correct period correct RB FT and not some stand-in.

0239.jpg - A close-up showing a factory silver tack (seen on some later RB drums)
20151218_170639.jpg - A close-up showing a factory brass tack (early RB drums)
 

Prufrock

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That is one handsome burgundy sparkle kit. Congratulations on pulling it together - not an easy task!
 

lanebune

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Beautiful! I have a 1967 with the silver tacks. Great information thanks. BTW, PM sent
 


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