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Copper Mist Transition 3 ply - 6 ply

MikeJtone

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Several years ago I bought a very nice Gretsch Copper Mist progressive jazz set that was offered on ebay. I had the winning bid at $6,600 and back then thought it was a pretty good price for the time (around the height of the market). The set was pretty much left intact for a long period of time. The set was delivered to me in old hard cases that had some newspapers in the bottom from the Milwaukee Journal that were dated in 1968. All the original hardware and some of the original calf heads were still on the drums too. The 14X20 bass & the 12" tom were 3 ply shells with silver interior but no paper tags. The 14" FT & the 4X14 snare were 6 ply shell with silver interiors and no tags. The TT had stick chopper hoops and the snare & FT had die cast stick choppers, the bass had faucet handle tee's & the claws that go with them. The set had a pair of old K 15" hi hats that were sold separately as was a 20" old K ride - the cymbals were the Type III

Gretsch Copper Mist set 4 (1)-1.jpg IMG_0368.jpg IMG_0366.jpg

These drums are beautiful and sound wonderful. Recently it was just pointed out to me that a repainted Gretsch Copper Mist Jazz set had recently sold on Ebay. The set sold for $1775 & the snare was sold separately to the same buyer for $650.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gretsch-Copper-Mist-kit-20-12-14-/231265984480?pt=US_Drums&hash=item35d886dfe0&nma=true&si=dUsg3k48jiz9%252FbUfTzdLqpi%252F%252FRo%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557#ht_120wt_902

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gretsch-Copper-Mist-snare-4-x-14-Max-Roach-/231266006162?pt=US_Drums&hash=item35d8873492

What caught my attention was that the set had the same mix of 3 ply & 6 ply shells (the bass & 12 were 3 ply & the snare and FT were 6 ply). I wonder if this was a pre determined mix? Rather than an arbitrary combination. Any thoughts on that subject? Does the combination of the 12 & 20 3 ply with a 6 ply 4X14 & 14 FT make for a preferable mix / match sound wise?

Does anyone know of any original Gretsch mixed shell sets with a different combination?

Does having an original set with 3 ply & 6 ply shells diminish the desirability and value a lot?

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this?
 

JDA

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I don't believe they thought 'like that at that time (as opposed to "today".
the transition was probably going on in the shop and they never thought a drummer would point out- that one drum was a different lay up- than another in a set- they were Gretsch - you were trusting.
Can't get those days back. Nowadays you must explain every ply in every drum (make up a buncha reasons why) and have everyone believe that in the big picture- it matters.
Meanwhile the vintage items and the vintage music goes up in value every year. The more 'detailed' we get, almost, worse off we are.
oops editorial sorry.
 

steambent

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Very nice. I have a set that I know the 14 FT is 3 ply (Gladestone leg mounts) but the rest I am not sure of. I havenver had the heads off. They are a 22 -13 and a 4 by 14 SD like yours. The 14 ft is a different shade than the other three drums but still copper mist. I am told they did some marchimg stuff in it and thet were a different shade (same as my FT) but I do not know that to be a fact. No my 14 FT is not a coverted marcher.
 

kona1984

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Hi Mike
I love those Copper Mist drums of yours - simply beauties!

I don't know if you remember my kit - I posted photos here at various times since I bought it Sept 26 2009. I bought this Gold Sparkle late 50's kit from the original owner's daughter. She inherited the drums when her father, Gary Pearce, died in 2005. He bought the drums new in 1960 from a local music store that has long since closed its doors. I'm assuming the drums are 58-59 (probably not 60) or so because who knows how long they were in the music store before being purchased. The set came as a complete kit that included a 6ply floor tom.

drum sizes:
14x20 3ply bass drum
8x12 3ply tom
5.5x14 3ply snare
14x14 6ply floor tom

The snare is the only one with stickchopper hoops - the toms have die-cast
The bass drum has the 50's style fawcet t-rods like yours.
No tags in the drums of course.
Silver sealer in all the shells.
Diamond leg plates on the floor tom. Gretsch started to switch from the nodal (some say Gladstone style) floor tom leg supports in the late 50's so far as I'm able to tell. Most 58 kits I see have the 'nodal' ft leg supports and I've seen the diamond leg plates on 59 floor toms.

I think because Gretsch was in transition from 3 to 6 ply in the late 50's (some 6ply have turned up from the mid 50's and I have a 1947 Gretsch floor tom that is 6ply) they filled orders with what they had on the shelves. In the late 50's early 60's you see mixed ply kits....they're not that uncommon from what I've been seeing. Also - I might add - and I'm only making an educated guess here - because there were a lot of kits with the larger drums in the 50's 22/9x13/16 floor toms... when the transistion from 3 to 6ply was happening (late 50's) there were not a lot of 3ply 14" floor toms. At least I think there were not as common as the 3ply 16" toms. This is only an educated guess on my part though......no written docsuments to back my 'guess' up.
 

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keithfox

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That copper mist is awesome. Is it for sale by chance? My fav era and sizes. I myself have 3 kits that are similar that I will post the details when I'm on a computer and not a little tablet
 

BrianOwens

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Gorgeous drums! If I was to guess Gretsch did not plan mixing 3 with 6 ply but rather it was a transition with the newer 6 ply shells.
 

madchops82

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Keith. Let's hear about it. I have a progressive jazz in copper mist that's near mint.
 

keithfox

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Madchops, similar era and sizes. Sorry not copper mist. That's what happens when I type on a tablet. They're MBP green sparkle and a rewrap black. I'll post the details to compare when I get to my computer and its easier to type
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Yes, the mixed bag (3 and 6 ply) does diminish the value in this age. However, those sizes are in demand and it helps that it's a rare finish.
 

keithfox

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Ok, the 1st one is Midnight blue pearl, 20 12 14 no snare. The 20 and 12 is 3 ply the 14 is 6. It has the faucet type bass t rods, the die cast COB cymbal L arm, off to my right, with gretsch stamp heavy and at a angle. The rail is between 2 lugs and up torwards the batter. the rack has stick chopper and the 3 ply are semi thin. Silver sealer in all of them. The 14, 6 ply, didnt have gretsch hoops and has the bolt through diamond floor bracket. Ive since added a 3 ply snare, which is one of my fav snares. I estimate this to be around 1958?

2nd is a 20 12 14 4x14 all 3 ply green sparkle. Silver sealer in all. Bass has faucet type rods, cymbal L arm on top center, and the rail is between 2 lugs close to the batter. The 3 ply 12 rack has stick choppers, and the 3 ply are very thick. The 3 ply snare is a little over 4 inches, 4 1/4 i believe. Die cast stick chopper, and the 3 ply are relatively thick. The grommet just barely makes it through. The 14 floor is odd, its been discussed on here before. The 3 ply are very thin, 1/16 each, and are all maple. This drum has re rings also, 3 thin plies all maple, and they dont have silver but the shell does. Stick choppers and the nodal/gladstone floor brackets. The legs have 6 bands. The badges all have the skinny sticks. I estimate this to be a 56 or 57? This is one of my fav. kits

The 3rd is 18 12 14 no snare and has been re wrapped. The 18 is 3 ply with rerings. Actually it may be 2ply? its thin. The rings are 6ply and it has the silver sealer. Has the modern t rods, the rail is on top at the 12 oclock position, with a bolt through L arm bracket off to the right. The 12 is 6 ply with die cast, the 14 is 6 ply with die cast and the bolt through leg brackets. I was told this kit came together, theres no real way to prove it either way. But I suspect its very late 50s, 58 or 59, and the bass shell was leftover and sitting around awhile.

Im always lookin for this era gretsch drums and it always seems the 14 is 6 ply. Ive seen 2 kits where the 20 12 14 have all been 3 ply, in the past 2 years. Id love to know what other people have came across. I myself would think a all 3 ply would be worth more than a mix. This is a good thread and Id love to hear what other people have to say.
 

kona1984

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Like I said above, my late 50's kit 20/12/14 with matching snare, has a 6ply floor tome in the mix of 3ply. I too believe the 3ply 14 floor toms are a bit of a rarity compared to the 6ply 14's.

My kit was appraised in early 2010 at $2200 for the four drums only. They're not in mint condition.....they're very good-to-excellent. Even though the drums came from the factory with the 14" 6ply floor tom it did affect the appraised value a little. It was mentioned within the appraisal if the bass drum would have been 18" the drums would easily more than double in value. The appraisal was done by a well known drum book author and appraiser. I was a little disappointed in the low appraisal but - an appraisal is one thing and what someone may pay for them is quite another. I have since seen drums similar to mine sell for between $3500 and $4000.

I will say that it is worth more than money to sit behind one of these Gretsch kits and know that it is yours, sense the history, and let the music flow. I know......I'm a bit of a Geek when it comes to old drums....I have fun with it.



Im always lookin for this era gretsch drums and it always seems the 14 is 6 ply. Ive seen 2 kits where the 20 12 14 have all been 3 ply, in the past 2 years. Id love to know what other people have came across. I myself would think a all 3 ply would be worth more than a mix. This is a good thread and Id love to hear what other people have to say.
 

andrewro

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Steve Maxwell talks about the mixed ply sets coming from the factory in a few of his Youtube videos.
 

thebeebe5

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Mike,

Just a WAG on my part, but I'm sure Gretsch burned through an awful lot more 14" shell stock (they bought long tubes and cut to desired length) than any other. Wondering if they were finishing their 3 ply stock and had a shipment of 6 ply 14" stock come in early during the Copper Mist/Caddy Green etc. color era? Might explain it, but who will ever really know....
 
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RickP

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Mike,
I love it when you post pics of your Copper Mist kit, they are bar far my favourite Gretsch finish of all time. The reissue Steve Maxwell lacquer finish is really nice too but not quite as nice as the originals like yours.
 

kona1984

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I agree Rick and I'm wondering if the reissue Copper Mist is done the way Gretsch did it back in the day......The shell wrapped in that white plastic(?) and then painted onto Nirton Wrap?

I have this original Cadi Green drum and you can see the "white' through a few places where the finish has been worn (rash) through.


RickP said:
Mike,
The reissue Steve Maxwell lacquer finish is really nice too but not quite as nice as the originals like yours.
 

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RickP

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kona1984 said:
I agree Rick and I'm wondering if the reissue Copper Mist is done the way Gretsch did it back in the day......The shell wrapped in that white plastic(?) and then painted onto Nirton Wrap?I have this original Cadi Green drum and you can see the "white' through a few places where the finish has been worn (rash) through.
Mike,The reissue Steve Maxwell lacquer finish is really nice too but not quite as nice as the originals like yours.
The Maxwell reissue to my understanding is straight lacquer.
 

W&A Player

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Mike, your Copper Mist Gretsch set is killer. Do you have a reso head similar to DJ Fontana's in your drum room? Rogers drum sets shipped from the factory often transitioned Cleveland changeover to Dayton mixes of drums and Dayton changeover to Fullerton mixes of drums. My take on this and the Gretsch and any other company's mix of drums that cosmetically match is: SO WHAT!
 

MikeJtone

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Thanks Howie! And thanks RickP, I am glad you guys like it!

I do not have a replica DJ Fontana reso head, but when I got these drums the bass drum came with a "Custom Ported" resonant Gretsch Broadkaster head! Check it out ....
 

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tommykat1

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Mike, not to change the subject (so just a quick yes/no), do you still have any of your cool Rogers sets?
 


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