Gretsch maple Stop Sign Badge #1

pucksound

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hi I do have a question about the drums I do own for quite some time. its a Gretsch naturel maple. sizes are 14/24, 8/12, 9/13, 16/16, 16/18, 14/6,5
The shells are extremly thin I believe three ply gummwood with full roundedges.It has silver interieur having the orange tac inside with ' That Great Gretsch Sound' on it with a serialnumber and type of shell. Can anyone tell me when this drum was build or sold. The ser# are 01963 , 01965 and 01998 etc. I have seen so many roundbadge drums with a much higher ser#. It has the Double Mount Tom Tom Holder and dessapearing Bass drum spurs. Please mail me at Pucksound@xs4all.nl I can send some pictures if you like :)
Allready thanks and regards, Puck Leek Amsterdam The Netherlands.
 

hefty

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
3,183
Reaction score
210
Location
Seattle
Puck sent me the pics... See below... From what I gather, Gretsch's serial numbers could be pretty arbitrary... Telling you they're from the 70's maxes out my capabilities-- maybe someone else can help pinpoint better... Nice drums!
 

Stixnergard2

DFO Master
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
4,252
Reaction score
73
Location
Buffalo NY
The drums are early 70's probally Baldwin era. They are 6 ply shells and the the same drums as the RB of the 60's.
 

KCDrumDad

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
1,399
Reaction score
155
Location
Kansas City
Puck and I have exchanged some information and pictures through some emails and I thought it might be appropriate to post some of that here. These are edited somewhat for typos and to shorten the post.

My email -
The short answer to your question is that Gretsch serial numbers can be very confusing. There are many that do not believe that the serial numbers are very useful in determining the date or age for Gretsch drums. A few forum members have been working on a project to collect Gretsch serial numbers to try to develop a way to date drums based upon their serial numbers. I am one of those people.

Tell me a little more about your drums. Are the screws holding on the lug casings round head or hexagonal head? Are the model numbers on the labels stamped on or handwritten? What color ink is used on the model numbers? What do you know about the drums’ history, for example where they bought together? Please forward some pictures and I will see what I can do to help.

Your observation that you have seen RB drums with higher serial numbers is correct. Gretsch started its serial numbers over more than once. I have found three different sequences of serial numbers used from the early 1960s through the 1990s. After starting serial numbers in around 1962, Gretsch issued labels from 1000 through about #136000. At about #117000, the badge style changed from Round to SS#1 like yours. If this happened around 1971, and assuming that the numbers were issued somewhat in order, then #136000 would have been issued in around 1973. Gretsch appears to have restarted the numbers at 1, although this time they used leading zeros, making the first number appear as 00001. The use of leading zeros helps to distinguish between the very first RB drums and the same numbers on SS#1 badge drums made in the early to mid 1970s. A Round Badge drum with serial number 1963 would appear as "1963" while during the second time through the number sequence, that number would appear as "01963" like yours does. The leading zeros only applied to numbers 1 - 9999. (To complicate things, the RB drums from about 7500 through 9999 also had leading zeros, but that doesn’t impact your drums).

Depending on how you answer the questions I asked above and how the drums look in your pictures, I should be able to tell you if your drums fit into the patterns I have seen with the other 2,000 + drums on the listing.


Puck wrote-
The ink on the tag is as you can see stamped with indigo blue !?? ....
I bought this set 17 years ago from a lady that had bought it new in the early or mid seventies I believe
She asked Gretsch for a 14/24 bassdrum but with the 8/12 9/13 16/16 toms as she told me quite unusual.
Its realy nice to play that big bassdrum with the smaller toms I believes makes this kit very special.
The 16/18 Floordrum is bought later with the SSB # 2 the big G badge the papertac is grey with tekst written in black
This 16/18 has the Jasper 6 ply gummwood and looks twice as thick like my other shells
The 14/6,5 snare is bought in the ninetees it has the later square badge and made of 6 ply but with a different cut I believe 30 degrees they call this !??

My response -
Thanks for the pictures. To me they revealed that the screw heads were hexagonal, the labels were of the first style of Orange/White, and that the model numbers were stamped rather than handwritten. These items along with what I mentioned yesterday and the information that you had regarding the history, all point to these drums being some of the first two thousand drums after the serial number sequence was started over. These drums would most likely come from about 1973-1974.

Here is my basic logic. The first style of Stop Sign badge appeared around 1971 and about serial number 117000. Since the first sequence of serial numbers went through about 136000, there were another 19,000 serial numbers to assign before the sequence was restarted. If we use mid-year 1971 as the date for the badge switch, then the restart on serial numbers would be mid to late 1973. Although I have nothing to support my theory, I suspect that the serial numbers were restarted after the second plant fire which occurred in later 1973. This seems like a logical time to restart serial numbers, especially if the labels were destroyed in a fire. Note that I have absolutely no hard evidence that the fire triggered the serial number restart, but it just makes sense and fits with the overall timeline that we have developed. And as I tell everyone I converse with about serial numbers, everything I has said is just a theory, based upon collection and analysis of over 2000 Gretsch drums. It is a guess and should not be viewed as “truth” or “fact.”


Note to all:
Hopefully this information is of general interest. The log has grown to over 2000. As I add more drums daily, I am finding few that don't fit into the overall system that is apparent from the first 2000 drums. I suspect that many, although not all, of the drums that don't fit have been altered to increase their prices on ebay. Some drums just don't fit and I cannot yet explain them. Although the system is confusing, it is not magic. Gretsch made a lot of changes over time. However, it does not look like they randomly jumped back and forth between label styles, lug mounting screw types, serial numbers or other characteristics. There are logical and consistent patterns evident to me. Will we ever have a method to provide a precise manufacture date for a forty year old Gretsch drum? - No. Can we use serial numbers to help us estimate the age of Gretsch drums? I think so.

My goal for 2009 is to pull together all of the information that gsw and I have collected, and which drumforum members have generously contributed, and publish a user-friendly guide for situations like Puck's.

Rick
 

wflkurt

Deafus Maximus
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
9,116
Reaction score
285
Location
Chichester NH
I have a Gretsch set that I got when I was 12. It is the stop sign badge with a rosewood finish. It has the hex screws, orange and white paper tags that are stamped and the sizes are 22,12,13,16 chrome snare. I always assumed this set was either 1971-2. Some of this serial number dating is helpful. thanks.
-Kurt
 

pucksound

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
OK I bought today this Mint Gretsch 4158 snaredrum in natural 4 ply maple. With the early orange white papertag inside with the modelnumber handwritten !? ser# 31067
Anyone knowing 4 ply Gretsch shells !? Thanks Puck
 


Top