For all my Gretsch friends - photos of my Gretsch SSB#1 drum set.

Too Many Drums - NAH!

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The Gretsch kit seen here is a collection of orphan shells that I have acquired in the past two years or so. I bought the bass drum and two rack toms on eBay; later, I located the floor toms in close succession and decided to use them both.

The drums' sizes are 24/13/14/16/18 and the model #4160 snare is all original. I went with a wrap from "Jammin' Sam" and had them pre-cut. Checking the original Gretsch catalog, I thought that they'd be really beautiful in a correct-for-the-era Red Sparkle. When I ordered the wraps, I up-graded to a Red Glass Glitter.

A friend of mine is a pro cabinet builder, so I took him the shells to strip and prep for the re-wrap. While he was doing that, I painstakingly polished all of the chrome hardware, replacing anything that had any damage. It took several weeks but Tim got them all stripped and sanded.

Applying the wraps was easy, but it does take two people and a ton of patience. Sam usually sells his wraps with tape but these wraps were glued on just like the factory did. Careful notes were taken as to seam positions on each drum and then re-installed where the old seams were. I invested in a nice grommet installation tool and they went on easily and perfectly each time. New heads all around and tuning them to perfection was the final step in bringing these drums back to life so they could once again resonate with "That Great Gretsch Sound".

I know that re-wraps are somewhat scorned by vintage drum enthusiasts, but I'm glad I saved these drums. I sometimes gig with them and they get a lot of compliments - especially from my band mates. They are absolutely stunning under stage lighting and they sound HUGE! I hope you enjoy seeing them.

I've never done a re-wrap before. I'm extremely happy about the way they turned out. My thanks to my friend Tim; without him I wouldn't have attempted this.
 

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JDA

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Absolute Classic to my eyes with that period 68ish Tom Holder.

hmm now you gotta carry them ;)
(heard: good exercise!)
effin' nice.
Nicest set I've seen here all week..or last 48 hours.
Schwew!
 

rondrums51

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Nice job. Re-wrapping is not easy. Actually, doing it right is so meticulous, it's a nightmare.

You did the right thing, bypassing the stupid tape idea tape and gluing it on just like the factory.
 

Gary

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Gorgeous! My experience with putting glass glitter on an SSB drum was having to get the heads on with a rubber mallet. How do the heads fit on these?
 

Too Many Drums - NAH!

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Hi Gary,

Interesting question...while I was researching the re-wrapping of a Gretsch kit, I'd seen reference to the same problem you mention here as a common issue with re-wrapped vintage Gretsch drums. What I did was to order each wrap about a half inch shorter (depth) than normal to compensate for this. Once I got the wraps pre-fit to each shell, I positioned them a quarter of an inch from each end. This is why you really need two people and taking measurements more than once before final adhesion.

Once the wraps were secured, I drilled all the holes out and re-attached the hardware. I test-fitted the first head and it fit perfectly with that much of a gap. As I suspected, all the other heads installed easily because of the quarter inch gap. Once the heads and hoops are on, nobody can tell. They turn on the bearing edges and tune easily.
 

bcarey13

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Looks great..Nice job. I like the glass glitters so much more than the sparkles. I wish Ludwig was into the Glass Glitter thing.
 


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