Gretsch Oversized Shells

Tommy D

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The Evan's heads have a steeper transition from head to flesh hoop with the 360 design, so they are a bit better than Remo in this case. You are probably best to take one of your toms with you to the store to test fit an Evan's head on it. It may not be perfect, but it should at least get on and off the drum without much binding.
 

jfpoff

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The Evan's heads have a steeper transition from head to flesh hoop with the 360 design, so they are a bit better than Remo in this case. You are probably best to take one of your toms with you to the store to test fit an Evan's head on it. It may not be perfect, but it should at least get on and off the drum without much binding.
Thanks, Tommy. I don't believe I have purchased any Evans heads since they announced their 360 design, so that may do the trick. The gradual taper on emporers down to the metal ring is definitely an issue here.
 

Tommy D

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Thanks, Tommy. I don't believe I have purchased any Evans heads since they announced their 360 design, so that may do the trick. The gradual taper on emporers down to the metal ring is definitely an issue here.
Actually I just checked a round badge snare shell I have here and a coated G1 had some tight fitting on to the shell. Are your drums wrapped or painted? My shell is wrapped and it overlaps right up to the bearing edge. If I were to cut back the overlap portion of the wrap down from the bearing edge ala. DW finish ply style, I think the Evans head would fit just fine. As it stands though, the inside portion of the metal flesh hoop rubs on the wrap, but the actual head can fit on the drum fully. The Remo squeezes on, but as soon as the mylar touches the shell it puts up a fight. At least the Evans would go all the way on.
 

bongomania

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I’ve had a LOT better luck with fitting the Remo Classic Fit than with the Aquarian American Vintage or the Evans 360 on my wrapped oversized RB drums.

However, afaik the Classic Fit only come in single ply, and sometimes I prefer a double ply. So I force the heads I want onto the shell, and it’s a frustrating PITA, but once they’re on—perfect sound. Whatever theoretical issues could be there are lost in the perfect actual tone.

So get the Remos if you want easy on/off, but otherwise just squeeze your favorite heads on there by force, and they’ll probably sound amazing.
 

Elvis

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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?
That happened to me with my Ludwig once.
I had a head that was hard to fit onto my bass drum and I noticed it said "tom" on the box, so I took it back and told the guy behind the counter what happened and asked to trade the tom head out for a bass drum head.
He said it doesn't matter, but swapped out the head anyway.
The second one fit and the box said "bass drum" on it.
Just out of curiosity, I checked with an older box I still had lying around. It had a head that fit the bass drum just fine and on the box, it did say "tom".
These days, I don't even care anymore. I just ask for whatever size I need and if it doesn't work, I take it back so they can trade it out.
...:dontknow:

P.S. Exception to above was the Aquarian TC's I got from DFD for my Sonor kit. The toms were all press fit heads.
Since it was mail order and they did tune up, I didn't bother with sending them back (didn't want to deal with all the boxing up and shipping, too).
I don't blame the shells, because the Remo's that came off that kit fit fine and I don't blame Aquarian per se, because I have had very good results with those heads in the past, so I'm thinking I may have gotten factory "seconds" from DFD, thus the screamin' deal they gave me on them....and that will be the last time I get heads from those guys.
 
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jfpoff

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Actually I just checked a round badge snare shell I have here and a coated G1 had some tight fitting on to the shell. Are your drums wrapped or painted? My shell is wrapped and it overlaps right up to the bearing edge. If I were to cut back the overlap portion of the wrap down from the bearing edge ala. DW finish ply style, I think the Evans head would fit just fine. As it stands though, the inside portion of the metal flesh hoop rubs on the wrap, but the actual head can fit on the drum fully. The Remo squeezes on, but as soon as the mylar touches the shell it puts up a fight. At least the Evans would go all the way on.
They are the black nitron wrap. The ring doesn't seem to be very tight fitting on the drum. The problem is the head simply doesn't go all the way on. Something about the gradual slope of the emporers around the edges of the head causes it to kind of "sit on top" of the drum, if you will, and not make good contact with bearing edge.
 

Markkuliini

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They are the black nitron wrap. The ring doesn't seem to be very tight fitting on the drum. The problem is the head simply doesn't go all the way on. Something about the gradual slope of the emporers around the edges of the head causes it to kind of "sit on top" of the drum, if you will, and not make good contact with bearing edge.
Setting up the head in this situation is bit tricky, getting it tuned up so that head stays vertical. You really can't do the initial tightening by feel.
But the collar of the head will reform around the bearing edge once the head is in place. You just need to tighten it bit higher and let it sit, maybe also bit of added pressure with palms of your hands.
 

ARGuy

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They are the black nitron wrap. The ring doesn't seem to be very tight fitting on the drum. The problem is the head simply doesn't go all the way on. Something about the gradual slope of the emporers around the edges of the head causes it to kind of "sit on top" of the drum, if you will, and not make good contact with bearing edge.
This is the reason I like the 360's on my Gretsch drums, and why I don't like the Classic Fits as much. With the Evans, the bearing edge sits on the flat part of the head, not on the collar like it does with the Remo's. The way I look at it, if you have to force a head to fit the bearing edge, it really doesn't fit.
 

K.O.

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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 olocal music store to do some head shopping, but any experience or general guidance on the matter would be super helpful.

Thanks, everyone.
I don't own any Brooklyn series so I can't address your problems directly. But I did buy an Evans 360 20" in the faux calfskin (I forget what they call them, their version of fiberskyn) to put on a Round Badge bass drum. The assumption on my part was that it would fit this hard to fit drum with no issues as I have had good luck with other 360 heads on RB drums. Negative, not even close. Plus I got the impression that if I tried to force it on there was a good chance I would damage the wrap. I was surprised by this given the reputation of the 360 heads and my previous experience with them on other RB drums. Not sure if I have an oddball "rogue" drum here or what. I ordered up an Aquarian American Vintage (not my favorite) to try and it slipped right on with no issues. I have been hoping to replace it at some point with a classic fit fiberskyn but have yet to find one available to buy ( has Remo ever produced these in Fiberskyn as they said they were going to at the outset of the classic fit series? If so I've never chanced upon anyone with them in stock to sell).

Anyway I guess my point is that I had a similar experience with the Evans heads.

It should be noted that Gretsch shells are not made "oversized" per se. They are just less undersized than other makes. When the six ply shells were introduced in the mid 1950's everyone was using calf heads mounted to wood flesh hoops so making a " 20" shell" that was 19 & 7/8ths" vs. 19 &3/4ths" was not as big an issue a it would become when heads featured metal collars and plastic that can't stretch to accommodate the difference. Apparently they have continued to use the same shell molds ever since. Did Gretsch own these molds or did Jasper? It would seem that, whichever was the case, those molds went to Keller to use for producing Gretsch shells. Does anyone know with certainty that DW took over the shell production? It would seem to me that A: you don't mess with what works and B: DW has enough going on without adding another line of shell production and on the opposite side of the country from where the drums are produced...in other words I suspect Keller is still supplying the same shells from the same molds...Gretsch is the same as it ever was...which is what most probably want anyway. I've heard that DW did change the way Gretsch applied wraps using the DW style seam cutback rather than the overall cutdown that Gretsch was using of late. The need to do either implying that the shells haven't got any smaller. For Gretsch's marketing (and really Ludwig too) their heritage is really everything, so you really don't want to rock the boat too much with "improvements"...think New Coke.
 
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jfpoff

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Hey everybody. Thanks for all the info. I took my 16" floor tom into GC (the only store in the area) and seated an Evans 360 G2 on it. Fits like a glove.

Based on what I'm reading, it seems like every drum reacts differently to various heads. Remo's are unusable for me. I now have G2's on all the toms, and they tuned up great. I still have ambassadors on the resos, but they are definitely inhibiting the resonance of the drums. They seat better than the emporers, but it's not great. I'll be replacing those with some G1's shortly.

To summarize, if anyone runs across this thread in the future, I would take my drum into the local music store and seat different heads on it. Try stuff and see what works for you.
 

bellbrass

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This is the reason I like the 360's on my Gretsch drums, and why I don't like the Classic Fits as much. With the Evans, the bearing edge sits on the flat part of the head, not on the collar like it does with the Remo's. The way I look at it, if you have to force a head to fit the bearing edge, it really doesn't fit.
So, the 360s are oversized on the collars? I thought the Classic Fits were essentially the same design.
 

drumsforme

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Have a 2007 USA Custom - Black Nitron Wrap and heads go on without a single problem - on all the drums. Evans & Remo No problem ! Same for my 2012 Brooklyn (First year Brooklyn) in Grey Oyster Wrap- No problem with any heads going on. Have a 1974 SSB and no problems.....However I have '62 RB and very tough on all drums- Remo classic fit work- prior to that I always had to hacksaw notches. I had to cut 4 notches on each of the kick drum heads. However- I love 'em all...... Nothing sounds like a Gretsch !....The heads are Evans G2-360
 
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ARGuy

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So, the 360s are oversized on the collars? I thought the Classic Fits were essentially the same design.
I don't know if they're oversized, but the collar of the head comes out of the hoop more straight up and down than Remo. That allows the edge to sit on the flat part of the head. I don't believe the Classic Fits are oversized - it looks to me like the hoop is thinner on the inside, which allows it to fit over the shell, bu the collar is at the same angle as their other heads, which means the bearing edge can end up on the collar, hence the talk of having to crank down the heads to force the collar to conform to the edge.
 

Obiwandrumobe

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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.
--------------------------------
I love it when you talk dirty.
 

bellbrass

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I don't know if they're oversized, but the collar of the head comes out of the hoop more straight up and down than Remo. That allows the edge to sit on the flat part of the head. I don't believe the Classic Fits are oversized - it looks to me like the hoop is thinner on the inside, which allows it to fit over the shell, bu the collar is at the same angle as their other heads, which means the bearing edge can end up on the collar, hence the talk of having to crank down the heads to force the collar to conform to the edge.
I may do a comparison, but when I look up "Evans Level 360", I don't see a line with that name specifically. What's the name of their 360 white coated heads that have what you're taking about? Sorry for the hassle.
 

K.O.

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I may do a comparison, but when I look up "Evans Level 360", I don't see a line with that name specifically. What's the name of their 360 white coated heads that have what you're taking about? Sorry for the hassle.
I believe Evans changed their head design to their Level 360 design globally...meaning all their heads have it.
 

K.O.

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Just to clarify, the 360's have a different shape to the slope of the head down to the collar; the inside diameter of the collar is not larger.
They do seem to fit old RB drums better as a result of that though...at least some RB drums.
 

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