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Gretsch 302 vs. die cast hoops on USA Custom

JDA

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think it's kinda of an unnecessary expense- if you already a USA custom (let me state I do)
If however you have a new era Broadkaster set/kit/single drum ---it could make - again expensive sense----to hear what a Die cast sound like on the 3 ply shell.
Because correct me if I'm wrong, some early 56-7-8?ish 3 ply Gretsch did have Die cast.
But reversing it - 302s on 6 ply USA Custom Gretsch - (imo no, nah, waste of timer, has no precedent - unless you include a sales line called USA Maple- the first few months of which- were sold with triple flange hoops for expediency - then customer questioning led Gretsch to quickly fit later USA Maple (6 ply btw) with Die cast for the short remainder of "USA Maple" series life.
(having put a triple flange on a 6 ply Gretsch to experience it) sum up my thoughts

3 ply Broadkaster with Die cast? Interesting probably
6 ply USA Custom with 302? Not interesting possibly lose a little something (lose more than gain)
IMO ymmv
 
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f.stahlenius

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think it's kinda of an unnecessary expense- if you already a USA custom (let me state I do)
If however you have a new era Broadkaster set/kit/single drum ---it could make - again expensive sense----to hear what a Die cast sound like on the 3 ply shell.
Because correct me if I'm wrong, some early 56-7-8?ish 3 ply Gretsch did have Die cast.
But reversing it - 302s on 6 ply USA Custom Gretsch - (imo no, nah, waste of timer, has no precedent - unless you include a sales line called USA Maple- the first few months of which- were sold with triple flange hoops for expediency - then customer questioning led Gretsch to quickly fit later USA Maple (6 ply btw) with Die cast for the short remainder of "USA Maple" series life.
(having put a triple flange on a 6 ply Gretsch to experience it) sum up my thoughts

3 ply Broadkaster with Die cast? Interesting probably
6 ply with 302? Not interesting possibly lose a little something
IMO ymmv

thx, this is the kind of info/experience I was asking for :)
 
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bellbrass

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I used to think the die-cast hoops took away from the sound of a USA Custom shell....in that it killed some of the resonance or vibration. I thought that because I read it over and over on this forum. Well, I did an experiment a couple of years ago - I took triple-flanged COB hoops, and put them on my Gretsch USA toms, and recorded a few hits, then tried them again with the stock die-cast zinc hoops. I was surprised that I really didn't hear any difference. Tuned to the same note, they sustained almost the same, with the COB hoops actually sustaining LESS than the die-cast. That ended my "fear of die-cast".
 

f.stahlenius

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I used to think the die-cast hoops took away from the sound of a USA Custom shell....in that it killed some of the resonance or vibration. I thought that because I read it over and over on this forum. Well, I did an experiment a couple of years ago - I took triple-flanged COB hoops, and put them on my Gretsch USA toms, and recorded a few hits, then tried them again with the stock die-cast zinc hoops. I was surprised that I really didn't hear any difference. Tuned to the same note, they sustained almost the same, with the COB hoops actually sustaining LESS than the die-cast. That ended my "fear of die-cast".

I can definitely subscribe to the "fear of die-cast"... I guess that's why I wrote this post :) I will ask a friend if I can borrow his 302 hoops a day or two and do a comparison.
 

bellbrass

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I can definitely subscribe to the "fear of die-cast"... I guess that's why I wrote this post :) I will ask a friend if I can borrow his 302 hoops a day or two and do a comparison.
I'll be interested in your findings. I like the 302 hoops; although I've never owned them. They look to be fairly rigid, though, so I can bet there's not much difference, sonically.
 

Freewill3

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I ordered my USA Customs with the 302 stick choppers then later replaced them with die cast. I knew I wanted Gretsch but after a 12 year hiatus away from a real drum set, my ears had no idea what to tune to. So I went with what was familiar - clear 2 ply heads on top, single ply clear on the reso and flanged hoops, I too was questioning the whole die cast thing. That was fun for a bit but when I got the rust off my hands and ears I realized these drums need to sing. Enter the die cast hoops, coated ambassadors top and bottom and my newly found appreciation for "bop" tuning. I would say that the difference isn't vast or night and day but I do appreciate the die cast now and don't think I'll go back. If anyone needs 10", 12" or 16" 302's PM me.
 

219Dave

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I ordered my USA Customs with the 302 stick choppers then later replaced them with die cast. I knew I wanted Gretsch but after a 12 year hiatus away from a real drum set, my ears had no idea what to tune to. So I went with what was familiar - clear 2 ply heads on top, single ply clear on the reso and flanged hoops, I too was questioning the whole die cast thing. That was fun for a bit but when I got the rust off my hands and ears I realized these drums need to sing. Enter the die cast hoops, coated ambassadors top and bottom and my newly found appreciation for "bop" tuning. I would say that the difference isn't vast or night and day but I do appreciate the die cast now and don't think I'll go back. If anyone needs 10", 12" or 16" 302's PM me.

Did you put the 302's on the batter and reso side, or just batter?
 
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jaymandude

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I ordered my USA Customs with the 302 stick choppers then later replaced them with die cast. I knew I wanted Gretsch but after a 12 year hiatus away from a real drum set, my ears had no idea what to tune to. So I went with what was familiar - clear 2 ply heads on top, single ply clear on the reso and flanged hoops, I too was questioning the whole die cast thing. That was fun for a bit but when I got the rust off my hands and ears I realized these drums need to sing. Enter the die cast hoops, coated ambassadors top and bottom and my newly found appreciation for "bop" tuning. I would say that the difference isn't vast or night and day but I do appreciate the die cast now and don't think I'll go back. If anyone needs 10", 12" or 16" 302's PM me.
Interesting. While I definitely appreciate you gravitating towards a higher tuning, I wouldn't call anything with die cast hoops as " singing". For me they dry the drum out and shorten the sustain, but maybe with your higher tuning there's a longer note. That's what I think of for that word " singing". The more sustain.

Anyway, back to the question. I ordered a new Broadcaster kit last year. Had some specific needs but nothing crazy. Anyway, the kit came with die cast on the 12 and 302's on the 14 ( I ordered a 22 bass, came with the newer claws and I asked for classics. Anyway... I ended up getting die cast on both toms. That's just what I think of with Gretsch and I was able to do that for no extra cost. The 14 sounded great either way. I really don't remember a difference, but that's tuned lower to medium on this kit anyway..
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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302 hoops eat sticks
Not the ones I use now (Los Cabos red hickory). They may get a puck here and there but these do not chip. Got 302's on my snare and my kit. Although I don't play a lot of rimshots, my band plays some pretty energetic stuff. After +/- almost 50 gigs since last august, I only broke 1 stick. So in my experience, stick choppers is a mis-nommer. YMMV.
 

f.stahlenius

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Follow up on this thread, as it was brought back to life. My Gretsch USA Customs are long gone, in favor of a Canopus NV-M1 (yep, they have die cast hoops) 16x14 bass drum, 12x8 and 14x14 toms, plus maple snare. Definitely similar vibe as Gretsch USA Custom, but a bit more precise/engineered. But most important: this time didn't fell the urge to "tweak the concept" and go triple flange.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I think RickP ordered a USA kit with 302s from Steve Maxwell a while back.

Thanks Redbeard,
I had purchased the attached kit from a forum member and he had ordered it from Maxwell’s with 302 hoops instead diecast hoops . I have been a long time fan of Gretsch kits and when I received this kit and set it up . I did not like the sound with the 302 hoops . The sound and feel were just not like I remembered Gretsch to be . The drums sounded more open and the feel of the stick on the head was mushy in comparison to with diecast hoops . I ended up swapping the 302 hoops for diecast and there was the sound and feel I remembered . I attached a pic of the kit below with the diecast hoops installed .

I recently ordered a new USA Custom kit and went diecast hoops again .

I love the Broadkaster drums with the 302 hoops currently being produced . So I am not against the 302 hoops , just not for USA Customs .
9FD41AEF-BA4D-4188-A6CD-B8EE789A225B.jpeg
 


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