Always amazed on how many people decide not to buy catalinas, they sound amazing

7tomi8

New Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
3
Location
Santiago, Chile
I was a little skeptical at first too, but man they sound amazing, its crazy when you balance sound with price, i would think the pdp concept is a dw equivalent, thinking of getting some, cheers, here is the sound of my kit, sorry for phone quality, but i think they translate good enough
 

DanRH

Old guy, getting younger
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
23,569
Reaction score
4,306
Location
SF Bay Area
I had bad luck with my old Catalina kit so I moved on. That was a few years so maybe they’re better now. For me, Yamaha Stage Customs all day... Glad you like them. That’s what counts.
 

paul

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
2,785
Reaction score
603
Location
Lewisville, TX
I bought a set of Catalina Maples a few years ago to be my home set after playing a similar set on a church gig. I don't know how the hardware would hold up under gigging circumstances, but have been very pleased with them here at the house.
 

Attachments

NobleCooleyNut

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
1,269
Reaction score
1,832
I had a Catalina Club bop kit in walnut glaze . I left the snare at the store as ai dis not care for it at all . The Tom mount choked the heck out of the rack Tom. The drums themselves did not have a clear tone , they sounded muddy . I loved the look of the drums but ended up selling them and bought an INDe bop kit with the proceeds . The INDe was so much superior . Sure it was more money but the improvement in sound outweighed the cost difference .

I did recently try the new Gretsch Walnut Catalina kit with the wood hoops and was very impressed with the sound and look of the kit and the shells were very light. The snare was good too , not always a sure thing with Gretsch snares.
 

Attachments

mydadisjr

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
457
Location
Prescott AZ
I ran a small drum department in a local music store when Catalinas first came out... they were generally recognized as rather generic soft wood Chinese junk with very little QC. All the early sets I saw bore this opinion out.

I understand the newer (esp the Cat Maple) have gotten much better, but old habits (and opinions) die hard.

I do not have anything against Chinese drums as long as they are well made (Mapex and Yamaha come to mind).

I will stick with my Yamaha SCB kit and vintage Made In Mexico PDP CX/LX Maple for my less-expensive kits.
 
Last edited:

Frank Godiva

DFO Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
2,241
Reaction score
2,286
Location
SF Bay Area
I’ll admit that I don’t know Gretsch drums and have never played them, but I will say that this topic has come up with the Sonor crowd.

Many people will say that Sonor made in China is a totally different animal from the tubs made in Aue. That the China drums are great for what they are, but they don’t have that Sonor sound. Die hards would say they drums made in China are Sonor in name only. In fact, the original Force and Force Custom drums made in China were more like Slingerland made at the same time in the same place by Buzz King. Today’s China Sonor drums share many component parts with Mapex.

This leads into the cited example of the Catalina. When explaining this conundrum to non Sonor folks I would often hear:

Ask a Gretsch guy if a Catalina is a real Gretsch?

Does the Catalina have that great Gretsch sound?

Are the Catalinas considered on par with stop sign kits, or Gretsch in name only?

what you say Joe?
 

toddbishop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
251
Reaction score
363
I found them to be just about the worst cheap drum I've played. You can crank them and they sound OK. I was never able to get any kind of low sound out of them.

Played Gretsch exclusively for the first 25 years of my career-- an early 60s set and then a late 80s set, which I still have. Catalinas are not remotely the same product.
 

mtarrani

DFO Star
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
9,429
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Deltona, FL
I’ll admit that I don’t know Gretsch drums and have never played them, but I will say that this topic has come up with the Sonor crowd.

Many people will say that Sonor made in China is a totally different animal from the tubs made in Aue. That the China drums are great for what they are, but they don’t have that Sonor sound. Die hards would say they drums made in China are Sonor in name only. In fact, the original Force and Force Custom drums made in China were more like Slingerland made at the same time in the same place by Buzz King. Today’s China Sonor drums share many component parts with Mapex.

This leads into the cited example of the Catalina. When explaining this conundrum to non Sonor folks I would often hear:

Ask a Gretsch guy if a Catalina is a real Gretsch?

Does the Catalina have that great Gretsch sound?

Are the Catalinas considered on par with stop sign kits, or Gretsch in name only?

what you say Joe?
I own a Sonor AQ2, a few Catalina Club kits, and a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Hip with the interesting sizes. I LOVE the Yamaha kit for sizes and its unique sound. I also love the Sonor and Yamaha kits because they are solid in the hardware department (the Catalina Clubs are a bit shaky there), and the Sonor AQ2 kit is the best sounding for traditional bop sound.

None of the kits that I have are in the same league as Sonor's, Gretsch's or Yamaha's flagship kits, but they are all nothing that a working drummer would be ashamed of either. I also have two custom made kits and a special edition DW kit. All amazing sounding, but the budget kits that I own are the ones that are my workhorses. If I were working in a studio I probably could make some hay with the AQ2 kit, or any of my top end ones, but on stage and live? AQ2, Catalina Club or Stage Custom kits are just fine.

By the way, in a few months I am going into a studio and honestly will probably bring my custom kit with all calf heads. That one would best fit the music I will be playing.
 

shuffle

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
6,823
Reaction score
1,227
Location
Reno/Tahoe
I had a couple of the kits,early and later builds.
They both were made of Luan,reddish interiors.
Both times I was drumhead poor ie i tried many heads to get some depth out of the drums,they had low mids but thats it.
All my other kits had punch,depth,lows.
Not these but i wanted something more.
So,to my ears,they are not amazing but functional.
 

Old Drummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
738
Reaction score
621
I have a set of Cat Maples, and to my ear they're better than the 60s' Ludwigs I played for decades. It's also astonishing how much cheaper they are than were the Ludwigs during the 60s, after adjusting for inflation.

However, I'm indirectly aware that the Cats have competitors in the same price range. I'd guess that a drummer could do as well with another brand, and maybe better depending on the sound they're looking for. Also, these days there are over 50 different heads to choose from. Add tuning and multiple options for snare wires, and it's really hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison between drum brands. There are a zillion other variables.

But I'm content with my Cats. I read that a session drummer in Nashville was playing Cats in the studio. I don't see why not.
 

halldorl

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
3,011
Reaction score
3,243
Location
Iceland
I helped a couple of students get rid of them. Dreadful drums but it was a few years back. Finish was funky, edges rough, sounded bad, build quality on one of the lowest levels I´ve seen. Hope they upped their game. I love Gretsch but this was to put it bluntly; pure junk.
 


Top