Gretsch Oversized Shells

sonusseeker

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...i have a new usa custom bop kit, and am not able to properly seat a coated remo ambassador tom head on the bass drum (to emulate canopus' approach to its club kit bass drums)...is this related to gretsch's practice of manufacturing slightly larger shells?...and am i forever relegated to using gretsch's permatone bd heads?...
 

Chunkaway

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I had the exact same problem with my USA Custom. My wife and I had to spend FIVE minutes of us BOTH pulling on the head to get it off when I got the kit. I sent it right back and told them this was not acceptable. The second bass drum I received was better, but it always gave me a bit of trouble.
 
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Stixnergard2

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Welcome to Gretsch, they still have their quirks 50+ years later. Trying to use a Tom head on the bass drum may contribute to the problem too. Tom heads do have different collars than bass drum heads.
 

RIDDIM

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Remo makes Gretsch Permatone heads.

I have a newer Gretsch kit and 3 older ones; no problems with head changes on any of them.

I have not tried putting a tom head on a bass drum; why would you do that?

Can you take the drum to the dealer you bought it from and let him resolve the issue?
 

VintageDrummer

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Wow. I still have not seen a post round badge set with this issue. Mine is 2010 i think. Laquer. No issue.
 

sonusseeker

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...appreciate the prompt replies...

...i was trying to emulate canopus' approach to using tom heads on bass drums to increase the shell's resonance and tone...in any case, the tom drum head metal rim fits perfectly onto the bd shell perimeter, but the top of the bearing edge does not "seat" properly on the top of the plastic head, but rather, sits on the side of the plastic collar...my thought was that a slightly larger shell may be the cause of this situation...

...i will address this issue with my dealer...in the meantime, the gretsch/remo permatone batter side head fits perfectly, even tho it is too thick for my tastes...
 

"poppies"

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I've heard DW is changing the specs so this is a less common issue going forward. I've always guessed the oversize shells are a big part of the characteristic Gretsch dryness; I wonder if that might get lost?
 

davezedlee

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in a pinch, cutting the rim at 12,3,6 and 9 o'clock allows the hoop to spread just enough to fit oversize shells

don't have to cut ALL the way through, but you can leave the last 1/16" just before the epoxy
 
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K.O.

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I have not run into any problems with remo bass drum heads on any of my USA Custom bass drums (Round Badge bass drums are another, more complex, story). If the actual hoop fits (as you say it does) then the problem must be with the shallower collar profile that tom heads use. I doubt that a current Permatone tom head will work any better as they are just Remos with different logos. I'm not sure what the advantage to using a tom head on a bass drum might be (and perhaps Canopus designed their shell's edges specifically to work with tom heads) but you ought to be able to find a dedicated bass drum head that would sound similar. A smooth white or clear bass drum head shouldn't be all that different from a tom head. IIRC Ludwig bass drum heads have a shallower collar, more like that of a tom head, so you might give one of those a try.

Tom heads and bass drum heads are different animals so Gretsch or your dealer might not see this as a flaw of any sort as long as actual bass drum heads do fit. Somewhat akin to bringing your Chevy back to the dealer because you can't get Ford wheels to bolt on.
 

rondrums51

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Beats me. I thought this issue was fixed after Gretsch moved out of Brooklyn.

I have a late 60's COB Grestch snare that will not take ANY batter head except Premier TS (which are no longer made). I know Aquarian Vintage will work, but I don't like the sound and the lack of brush coating.

I managed to force a Remo Ambassador snare head on the bottom.
 

rondrums51

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RIDDIM said:
Remo makes Gretsch Permatone heads. I have a newer Gretsch kit and 3 older ones; no problems with head changes on any of them. Can you take the drum to the dealer you bought it from and let him resolve the issue?
So these are oversized to fit Gretsch? If so, I want some.
 

halldorl

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I had a USA custom made in 2011 and there was no way I could get Remo Emperors on the toms, too tight. Ambassadors were snug but this made me sell the kit eventually.
 

zenghost

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poppies77 said:
I've heard DW is changing the specs so this is a less common issue going forward. I've always guessed the oversize shells are a big part of the characteristic Gretsch dryness; I wonder if that might get lost?
We're talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/16" extra clearance needed to clear most modern-day heads. Despite plenty of hysterics and much speculation to the contrary, I don't see any danger to the sound produced currently by the combination of the Gretsch (Jasper, then Keller and now DW?) shell, bearing edge, die-cast hoops and the magical silver sealant.
 

VintageDrummer

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poppies77 said:
I've heard DW is changing the specs so this is a less common issue going forward. I've always guessed the oversize shells are a big part of the characteristic Gretsch dryness; I wonder if that might get lost?
grrr... that irks me. they should leave gretsch as gretsch. Does this mean all the gretsch are going to have a ton more resonance like dw now? I settled on gretsch for the quick barking attack with less resonance.

:happy1:
 

jbonzo1

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I had problems fitting Remo heads on my 2004 USA Customs (lacquer finish). The stock Permatones were tight and two ply Remo's would not work... The bearing edge would hang up on the collar. Evans 360 and Remo Fiberskyn heads were fine. The bass drum had no problems with the Permatones.
I think the lack of a counter-cut hinders head seating. Before I sold them, I was thinking of having a counter-cut added to the toms.
 

Markkuliini

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VintageDrummer said:
I've heard DW is changing the specs so this is a less common issue going forward. I've always guessed the oversize shells are a big part of the characteristic Gretsch dryness; I wonder if that might get lost?
grrr... that irks me. they should leave gretsch as gretsch. Does this mean all the gretsch are going to have a ton more resonance like dw now? I settled on gretsch for the quick barking attack with less resonance.

:happy1:
If this means that Gretsch owners can also play with new heads from now on, then yes. :D
 

RIDDIM

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Reading back, the key issue seems to be that there is difficulty in putting a tom head on a bass drum. Have you tried putting a bass drum head on the bass drum? If I were the dealer, that would be my first question.
 

zenghost

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RIDDIM said:
Reading back, the key issue seems to be that there is difficulty in putting a tom head on a bass drum. Have you tried putting a bass drum head on the bass drum? If I were the dealer, that would be my first question.
Good point - I know the newer USA Custom kit I briefly owned had no issue with the bass drum. In fact standard bass drum heads seemed to have plenty of clearance.

A good dealer should be able to provide proper advice on this.
 

jfpoff

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Hey guys. I'm reviving this thread to see if anyone has had any luck with Evans 360 heads on oversized Gretsch Brooklyn kits. I recently picked one up used. Upon attempting to change out the old Gretsch heads for some Remo Emporers, I concluded that these drums are slightly oversized. Although its minor, emperors are pretty much unusable. There is almost zero contact between the bearing edge and the drum head. The smaller drums (its 10, 12, 14, 16, 22) can somewhat manage, but since there's isn't a strong connection between the head and the wood, they sound pretty boxy. The 16" emporer is useless. The head sits so far up on the bearing edge that it cracks and rattles when tuned anywhere below medium-high. I assume this is because the drum head has bad contact with the wood, leaving the top portion of the taper on the edge of the head to flutter up and down. It's not hardware, a loose badge, floor tom legs, etc. It is the head itself rattling.


I don't really have the budget to go out and try five sets of heads. I know Remo makes a classic fit head, and Aquarian makes an American vintage head. I'm not partial to any brand, but I would prefer an oversized head in a clear 2 ply option. Remo nor Acquairan carry any such head. I will be going to my local music store to do some head shopping, but any experience or general guidance on the matter would be super helpful.

Thanks, everyone.
 

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