Gretsch & Ludwig custom order experiences?

Jazzcrimes

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I’m considering custom ordering either a Gretsch Broadkaster or a Ludwig Legacy kit. The Broadkaster would be to get exactly the options I want (as opposed to grabbing an in stock kit that’s 90% there). The Ludwig because there are virtually zero Legacy downbeat kits in stock in the USA.

Looking for any recent experiences (last 3 years or so) custom ordering from either company. Lead times, quality control, overall satisfaction, etc. Also, did you get a wrap or stain (I’m hearing reports of stains taking weeks, if not months longer)?

thanks.
 

Redbeard77

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Not a whole kit, but I ordered a Gretsch USA Custom snare in late 2018 and was quoted 6-8 weeks wait and it arrived in 8. I got a custom striped wrap and everything was perfect. Not sure about satins, but I have heard gloss finishes take a little longer since the finish process takes longer.
Whichever one you go with, I agree that it's worth it to order exactly what you want rather than settle for what's in stock.
 

JDA

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what makes you so special that you need special seems most guys asking for special get their chops busted and are (it seems) never satisfied (even) after it arrives.
Instead of "thinking" you know what you want try something that leads you into where you didn't know (that's the important part) that you'd go /feel/ like..
gotta be some surprise element instead of thinking prior/beforehand/ you know/ (close to) everything

lol
there's always new discoveries yet folks still want to try to pinpoint and nail every possibility beforehand.
Nah. There's always will be mysteries in any journey.
See that, as a Good thing.

(I see too often dream sets/ special order (even cymbals)/ up for sale
within a couple few years)
there's no such thing. Play a stock set and you add the special.
The worst is guys that go to a cymbal maker and tell them what they want, how they want, their dream, They want it this way or that way...
It's up for sale in a year.

Bird in hand worth two in the bush.
often.
 
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jaymandude

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Most of the bad experiences are chronicled here. Mine was about a 9.75/10. Nothing wrong with the Broadcaster drums or satin orange finish at all. Just very minor parts stuff. I asked for key rods and got T’s. My 12 tom came with die cast and the floor tom with 302’s. Dealer asked my preference and drop shipped 14 die cast no charge.

No plate on the bass drum. Shipped with the right heads. All good. 3.5- 4 month wait.
 

dren68

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I ordered a custom classic maple Ludwig kit 2 years ago and was very happy with it. There was a delay with it, but it wasn't Ludwig's fault. I had to supply them with mirror chrome wrap since they didn't offer it anymore, but there was a problem with the wrap, so that held it up for a little while. Other than that, everything went well and it turned out great. I was quoted a 6 week turnaround, and it probably would have been close to that if everything had gone as planned.
 

JDA

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The Broadkaster would be to get exactly the options I want
what exactly would that be; aren't all Gretsch orders custom anyway right? I mean if not already on the floor in a dealer stock.

Sometimes the problem is the dealer misunderstands or puts the wrong part number in and the Floor Tom brackets end up Not being the ones you wanted; stuff like that...miscommunication is a possibility or the order sheet has been superseded and the factory reads something wrong and different spurs end up etc

what exactly are the options you'd want on a repo 50s Broadkaster
 

Matched Gripper

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I’m considering custom ordering either a Gretsch Broadkaster or a Ludwig Legacy kit. The Broadkaster would be to get exactly the options I want (as opposed to grabbing an in stock kit that’s 90% there). The Ludwig because there are virtually zero Legacy downbeat kits in stock in the USA.

Looking for any recent experiences (last 3 years or so) custom ordering from either company. Lead times, quality control, overall satisfaction, etc. Also, did you get a wrap or stain (I’m hearing reports of stains taking weeks, if not months longer)?

thanks.
“The Ludwig because there are virtually zero Legacy downbeat kits in stock in the USA.“

IKR! What”s up with that?
 

drummer5359

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I've placed and received several orders of Gretsch USA Custom drums in the past couple of years, my orders were all for wrapped drums. The quality was excellent on every order, and they were on time. (One was even early.)

Currently I have two Gretsch USA Custom snare drums on order. I spoke to Gretsch/DW customer service a few weeks ago, my drums should ship in late October or early November, they were originally expected to ship in early October, so there is a slight delay.

My wife and I had the the opportunity to visit the Gretsch factory this past January. It was obvious that there are more steps involved in lacquer finished drums as compared to wrapped drums.
 

Jazzcrimes

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what makes you so special that you need special seems most guys asking for special get their chops busted and are (it seems) never satisfied (even) after it arrives.
Instead of "thinking" you know what you want try something that leads you into where you didn't know (that's the important part) that you'd go /feel/ like..
gotta be some surprise element instead of thinking prior/beforehand/ you know/ (close to) everything

lol
there's always new discoveries yet folks still want to try to pinpoint and nail every possibility beforehand.
Nah. There's always will be mysteries in any journey.
See that, as a Good thing.

(I see too often dream sets/ special order (even cymbals)/ up for sale
within a couple few years)
there's no such thing. Play a stock set and you add the special.
The worst is guys that go to a cymbal maker and tell them what they want, how they want, their dream, They want it this way or that way...
It's up for sale in a year.

Bird in hand worth two in the bush.
often.
Based on your posts you have seemingly spent a large part of your life obsessing over the perfect K, A, or Turkish cymbal and exclusively play a Gretsch bop kit that I remember your ordered from a dealer closing out the jasper model Broadkaster singles. You didn’t walk into your local drum shop and buy a kit of whatever brand and configuration they had on the floor or your cymbals off the rack.

Come on man.
 

dsop

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Looking for any recent experiences (last 3 years or so) custom ordering from either company. Lead times, quality control, overall satisfaction, etc. Also, did you get a wrap or stain (I’m hearing reports of stains taking weeks, if not months longer)?
I may be wrong, but don't some dealers get better/quicker treatment from Ludwig/Gretsch simply due to the amount that they order? I've been thinking of ordering some drums too, but the two stores I preferred to use in the past are no longer in business. And Cascio doesn't seem to be online yet.
I guess I will have to look into a new retailer.
 

thestorysold

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the Broadkaster snare that came with the kit I bought from a retailer had lug splay issues. I sent that snare out and received a new one under warranty. The new snare has the same exact issue, so they are in the process of building me another one. This lug problem seems to be very common for them.
 

Jazzcrimes

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I may be wrong, but don't some dealers get better/quicker treatment from Ludwig/Gretsch simply due to the amount that they order? I've been thinking of ordering some drums too, but the two stores I preferred to use in the past are no longer in business. And Cascio doesn't seem to be online yet.
I guess I will have to look into a new retailer.
This seems like a possibility from the quotes I receive. Some say 1-2 months, some say 5-6 months. It’s hard to decipher dealer wishful thinking from reality - and I too wonder if certain dealers have a fast track process.
 

Matched Gripper

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the Broadkaster snare that came with the kit I bought from a retailer had lug splay issues. I sent that snare out and received a new one under warranty. The new snare has the same exact issue, so they are in the process of building me another one. This lug problem seems to be very common for them.
When you say lug splay do you mean tension rod splay where the rods are angled outward? Trying to picture it.
 

JDA

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Based on your posts you have seemingly spent a large part of your life obsessing over the perfect K, A, or Turkish cymbal and exclusively play a Gretsch bop kit that I remember your ordered from a dealer closing out the jasper model Broadkaster singles. You didn’t walk into your local drum shop and buy a kit of whatever brand and configuration they had on the floor or your cymbals off the rack.

Come on man.
All of the stuff found me. I took what I found..
(14x18 ok but 9x10,10x12.12x14? I gambled
But I will say..
Ordering a New Set From Gretsch as you are proposing.
Man, I wouldn't need that muffler on the 'front of the bass drum.
And maybe- wouldn't want mufflers - any where.
possibly one - on a metal snare- that's about it)

What other options are you considering on a Broadkaster set. What sizes and what details thxs.
 
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Matched Gripper

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I may be wrong, but don't some dealers get better/quicker treatment from Ludwig/Gretsch simply due to the amount that they order? I've been thinking of ordering some drums too, but the two stores I preferred to use in the past are no longer in business. And Cascio doesn't seem to be online yet.
I guess I will have to look into a new retailer.
If there is such a thing, then I’d guess that DCP has an inside track re: Ludwig. But, they also seem a bit pricier than, say, Sweetwater. Interstate was my go to for a long time. Their Catalog was the best. Don’t know what to expect from them going forward.
 

Matched Gripper

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All of the stuff found me. I took what I found..
But I will say..
Ordering a New Set From Gretsch as you are proposing.
Man, I wouldn't need that muffler on the 'front of the bass drum.
And maybe- wouldn't want mufflers - any where.
possibly one - on a metal snare- that's about it)

What other options are you considering on a Broadkaster set. What sizes and what details thxs.
Back in the early 2000’s, the local GC had a GREAT drum department (local pros would congregate there on Friday nights to jam on the floor instruments, wild days), with tons of high end kits on the floor and in stock, including complete Broadkaster kits with Jasper shells at much lower prices than USA Customs.

At the time, I was turned off by the gunmetal coating on the hardware. I had read stories that Gretsch had a ton of lugs and hoops in their inventory that had some corrosion on them and they figured out a way to salvage them with the gunmetal finish. Don’t know if there’s any truth to it, but, it looks like the finish has held up well in any event. In retrospect, I probably would have been very happy with a BK kit. I’d guess the sound is indistinguishable from Customs.
 

Matched Gripper

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yes, exactly.

first snare:
View attachment 460485

new snare I received recently:

View attachment 460486 View attachment 460487
Hmm! I’ve seen a lot of snares, especially deeper snares, with tension rods that are angled away from the drum (from the lugs to the hoops). I guess longer rods make it more noticable.

Your drums look like the rods are angled laterally (sideways), rather than away from the drum. If I’m seeing that correctly from the pics, it seems that you could cure the problem by rotating the hoops so that the top of the rods are directly over the lugs. Am I missing something?
 


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