Gretsch Catalina

DrumWhipper

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
768
Reaction score
270
Location
Arkansas
I know we have several Gretsch players here. I've always been a Mapex and Tama guy, but I've run across a nice 4 piece Gretsch Catalina Mahogany set local to me that is up for sale.

I dont know much about these kits, so I'm hoping someone here can give me some ideas of their quality, and a good price to pay used. The guy said to make an offer. I want to be fair and not lowball the guy, but I dont want to pay too much either.

14 snare
12 rack
16 floor
22 kick

I'm attaching a photo. He is supposed to send more tomorrow.

FB_IMG_1573620233960.jpg
 

Tornado

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
843
Location
Dallas
$300-350.

Of the Catalinas, the "mahogany" is their lowest tier. I'm sure they can be made to work, but they'll come with 1.6 mm hoops and kind of a crappy tom mounting system, but that varies based on year. I have an 18" Catalina Club "mahogany" bass drum, and I've never seen wood that soft. But, it's light weight if that matters to you. It doesn't sound terrible, for what it's worth. It's a bass drum, it goes "thump".

If they were Catalina Maples, I'd jump on them. Better shells, and they come with 2.3 mm hoops. I'm really happy with how my Cat Maple toms sound.
 

DrumWhipper

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
768
Reaction score
270
Location
Arkansas
$300-350.

Of the Catalinas, the "mahogany" is their lowest tier. I'm sure they can be made to work, but they'll come with 1.6 mm hoops and kind of a crappy tom mounting system, but that varies based on year. I have an 18" Catalina Club "mahogany" bass drum, and I've never seen wood that soft. But, it's light weight if that matters to you. It doesn't sound terrible, for what it's worth. It's a bass drum, it goes "thump".

If they were Catalina Maples, I'd jump on them. Better shells, and they come with 2.3 mm hoops. I'm really happy with how my Cat Maple toms sound.
Thanks. The guy had been asking 500, but couldnt move them and said "just make an offer I'll probably take it."
 

VintageUSA

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,128
Reaction score
270
Location
The South
Whip..............

I still have the Epic shells available for less money............still flawless too.
Better drums than that specific Catalina shell: Birch and maple 6-ply b/b/m/m/b/b
 

DrumWhipper

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
768
Reaction score
270
Location
Arkansas
Whip..............

I still have the Epic shells available for less money............still flawless too.
Better drums than that specific Catalina shell: Birch and maple 6-ply b/b/m/m/b/b
Shoot me some photos in the inbox please sir.
 

CherryClassic

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Messages
2,421
Reaction score
266
Location
Buda, Texas
I owned a Catalina Club (Mahogany) set for a short time and was very surprised of the sound. Nice and warm with REMO Coated heads on top and Clear on the bottom. Think I paid $400 and sold them for $400. The snare had some issues and I never got around finding the problem with tuning so I used my Supra for the gigs . I bought them for a practice set but ended up using them for most of my gigs. Light weight and nice sounding drums.

sherm
 

backtodrum

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
610
Reaction score
96
Location
New Mexico
I have a Catalina Club Jazz kit with mahogany shells. I put coated ambassadors on batter side and super kick II on the bass drum and use them for most of my gigs anymore. I put about 5 coats of wipe-on Urethane on shell interiors. They tune up and stay in tune and they sound great miced up and through 18" subs. They do what they are designed to do and get gigged to death and I have never had any hardware issues. I don't overthink it. Do they sound as good as my maple kit? No... Do they do the job well for a country and rock cover band? Absolutely! Even with an 18" bass drum. I just laugh to myself because I can't tell you how many sound men have commented on how good that little set sounds. The other perk is they are light and easy to manage. They have been a win win for my all around!
 

Fat Drummer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
806
Location
Tennessee
I have a Catalina Club Jazz kit with mahogany shells. I put coated ambassadors on batter side and super kick II on the bass drum and use them for most of my gigs anymore. I put about 5 coats of wipe-on Urethane on shell interiors. They tune up and stay in tune and they sound great miced up and through 18" subs. They do what they are designed to do and get gigged to death and I have never had any hardware issues. I don't overthink it. Do they sound as good as my maple kit? No... Do they do the job well for a country and rock cover band? Absolutely! Even with an 18" bass drum. I just laugh to myself because I can't tell you how many sound men have commented on how good that little set sounds. The other perk is they are light and easy to manage. They have been a win win for my all around!
^^^^^^ THAT RIGHT THERE^^^^^ I could not have said it better.
 

K.O.

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
19,470
Reaction score
1,529
Location
Illinois
It's not really mahogany...it's luan, which is that mainstay of the old MIJ drums. One trade name for this wood is "Philippine Mahogany" and then the drum companies chose to leave off the Philippine part. Nothing inherently wrong with it and it can sound great under the right circumstances but it is not the same African or Honduran mahogany that was used on vintage drums.

Catalinas are nice drums for the money (if cheap) but really bear no direct relationship to vintage Gretsch drums or the current "made in USA" stuff. Despite that I've long had a hankering for a Catalina Jazz "bop" kit.
 
Last edited:

Fat Drummer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
806
Location
Tennessee
From a post about my own Catalina set a short while back.... If you can get them in the $250 to 350 range your right on target. I really enjoy mine, a lot of fight above their weight class!


"Good afternoon gang, let me drag this thread back up from a couple of weeks ago and bring the story to a quick close. Thanks to all of you for your advice, suggestions, set history and all around cool drum geekary... even down to telling me to look for the MIT decal! I have put my little Catalina kit back together with many of your suggested updates and played them out today for the first time since being rebuilt.

But first a few pics of the process. I broke the kit down, cleaned and buffed all the hardware, dressed all the bearing edges, finished the shell interiors and waxed the wrap (as well as gluing a few loose edges). I decided to leave the little 1.6mm hoops on the kit and not upgrade them as I feel those are contributing to the very round and open tone I'm getting. I painted the kick hoops black as they were pretty beat up and thought this would add a nice contrast with the heads and finish. I added a set of Gibraltar floating floor tom feet and a bit of rubber to the factory bump stop behind the tom mount. I simply did not like the way the top hung with the factory design.

I finished off the rebuild with a set of coated emperors over ambassadors for the toms and an Aquarian Super Kick I for the kick batter paired with a Remo Fiberskin Felt Tone up front. Just to be different I finished it all off with the text Gretsch logo. I know many are wondering why such heavy heads for a bop kit, but remember this is not for a jazz application. This kit is a blues and R&B jobbing kit that all rolls in on a single cart so I was looking for a warmer, heavier tone from a small kit (and got it in buckets)! When I change heads again, I will back the top down to coated Ambassadors though.

Here are a few of the in progress shots...."

20190519_120415 copy.jpg
 

Attachments

TheBeachBoy

Ringo Fire
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
7,723
Reaction score
368
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I got my Cat Clubs about 7 years ago for $200. I think they were a GC special because of the red oyster wrap, matte-finish hardware/hoops, and the less common sizes of 24x18, 16x16, and 12x8, so first thing was getting the bass drum cut to 14" deep. They won't sound like a $2000+ kit, but they sound really nice. Like backtodrum did, I also coated the interiors with a wipe-on poly, but only a coat or two. Maybe I'll add a couple more. I've also made a bunch of other customizations because it was so inexpensive and I don't care about resale value with this one. If the price is right (no more than maybe $350) and you like the sound and sizes, I'd go for it.
 

Johnny K

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
492
Reaction score
377
Location
Mid Atlantic, USA
Dont pay more than 350.

I paid 550 for my 7pc square badge Cat Maples a couple years ago. And that included hardware, 2 Gibralter cymbal stands, Gibrater kick pedal, Gibrater hh stand, and crap Sabian B8 cymbals (which I sold for 125 dollars). I practically stole this kit. I put all new Remo coated Pinstripe heads and Clear Dip resos (and a P3 on the kick) and they sound great. I mostly play blues and jazz. They work well for both. One thing I did that god only know helps was to install Gibralter nylon washers on all the tension rods. Seems to help with tuning, but it could be complete BS. If I get some downtime. I am going to take them all apart and do silver sealer on the insides. It's just aluminum fence paint. Might look into getting my 22" kick cut down to a 14" depth. A guy on the Gretsch FB page gave me a name of a guy who can do this. As for the Cat Maple snare. Mine sounds great. I gig with it more than my COB 4160. Then again, I've done alot to it. Replaced the TO with an iNDe Universal, Put the 42 strand strainer from the COB on it and use a Vintage Ambassador batter over a Dip Hazy Snare side. It's super sensitive and takes a high tune. Great jazz snare. I also replaced all the stands with Gretsch G5 stuff except for the kick pedal. Out of 5 I own now, Still loving the Pearl Power Shift i bought used for 125 bucks.
 

shuffle

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
6,080
Reaction score
521
Location
Reno/Tahoe
It's not really mahogany...it's luan, which is that mainstay of the old MIJ drums. One trade name for this wood is "Philippine Mahogany" and then the drum companies chose to leave off the Philippine part. Nothing inherently wrong with it and it can sound great under the right circumstances but it is not the same African or Honduran mahogany that was used on vintage drums.

Catalinas are nice drums for the money (if cheap) but really bear no direct relationship to vintage Gretsch drums or the current "made in USA" stuff. Despite that I've long had a hankering for a Catalina Jazz "bop" kit.
They sound fine mic'd.
Acoustically,theyre just ok.
luan is luan,light,porous,not alot of low end.
Low mids plenty.
They reminded of my first kit of Apollos in sound!
Fit and finish on the Gretsches superb.
 

219Dave

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
19
Reaction score
19
Location
Indiana
I have some Catalina Birch's from around 2005. I think that for the money, they are very very good. As far as what a good price is for them, I'm not positive. I think the fact that there are so many reasonably priced used renown sets pushes the used Catalina prices down. If you have the chance, try to play the birch catalinas. They play like a much more expensive set, I think.
 

drumdevil9

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
662
Reaction score
74
Location
Quebec, Canada
Those are Catalina Club Mods. The bass drum is 20" deep BTW which would be a sticking point for me but that may not be an issue for you. 350 would be a good target, yes.

I have a Cat Jazz and love the sound and light weight.
 

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
11,865
Reaction score
769
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
I have a Catalina Club Jazz kit with mahogany shells. I put coated ambassadors on batter side and super kick II on the bass drum and use them for most of my gigs anymore. I put about 5 coats of wipe-on Urethane on shell interiors. They tune up and stay in tune and they sound great miced up and through 18" subs. They do what they are designed to do and get gigged to death and I have never had any hardware issues. I don't overthink it. Do they sound as good as my maple kit? No... Do they do the job well for a country and rock cover band? Absolutely! Even with an 18" bass drum. I just laugh to myself because I can't tell you how many sound men have commented on how good that little set sounds. The other perk is they are light and easy to manage. They have been a win win for my all around!
Please tell us more about this "wipe-on urethane"....make/model would be appreciated.
Sounds like it was pretty easy to use.


Elvis
 

dustjacket

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
1,476
Reaction score
235
The newer round badge Cats have 30 degree edges. You can get a cool vibe with them, soft to play and mellow for the ears.
 

DanRH

Old guy, getting younger
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
22,119
Reaction score
1,687
Location
SF Bay Area
I don’t know. Not a fan of Catalina’s. I had one for a quick minute that couldn’t get it to sound good at all. To me, the only Gretsch kit I didn’t love. And I’ve had many... my impression was I got what I paid for which wasn’t much.
 


Top