Gretsch renown strainer questions...

smythe5

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I just bought a vintage Gretsch round badge snare drum made in the mid 60's. It has the original renown 4 point strainer on it. I am not used to this type at all and was wondering if there is some trick to getting it to cleanly throw off when I'm switching to the batter? Right now, I need to unravel the tension in order to get the batter to sound clean, which is annoying. Is this why Gretsch made the micro sensitive strainer? To fix this defect? Also, what do the 4 points refer to? I feel like I should know this, having been a professional drummer for the past 15 years, but I'm just not much of a gear head. thanks!
 

drums147

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I just bought a vintage Gretsch round badge snare drum made in the mid 60's. It has the original renown 4 point strainer on it. I am not used to this type at all and was wondering if there is some trick to getting it to cleanly throw off when I'm switching to the batter? Right now, I need to unravel the tension in order to get the batter to sound clean, which is annoying. Is this why Gretsch made the micro sensitive strainer? To fix this defect? Also, what do the 4 points refer to? I feel like I should know this, having been a professional drummer for the past 15 years, but I'm just not much of a gear head. thanks!
They were junk throw-offs .... that is why you find so many Renowns with P-85s ..... 4-point means it is held on with 4 screws ..... NAD
 

drums147

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I just bought a vintage Gretsch round badge snare drum made in the mid 60's. It has the original renown 4 point strainer on it. I am not used to this type at all and was wondering if there is some trick to getting it to cleanly throw off when I'm switching to the batter? Right now, I need to unravel the tension in order to get the batter to sound clean, which is annoying. Is this why Gretsch made the micro sensitive strainer? To fix this defect? Also, what do the 4 points refer to? I feel like I should know this, having been a professional drummer for the past 15 years, but I'm just not much of a gear head. thanks!
They were junk throw-offs .... that is why you find so many Renowns with P-85s ..... 4-point means it is held on with 4 screws ..... NAD
 

smythe5

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I just bought a vintage Gretsch round badge snare drum made in the mid 60's. It has the original renown 4 point strainer on it. I am not used to this type at all and was wondering if there is some trick to getting it to cleanly throw off when I'm switching to the batter? Right now, I need to unravel the tension in order to get the batter to sound clean, which is annoying. Is this why Gretsch made the micro sensitive strainer? To fix this defect? Also, what do the 4 points refer to? I feel like I should know this, having been a professional drummer for the past 15 years, but I'm just not much of a gear head. thanks!
They were junk throw-offs .... that is why you find so many Renowns with P-85s ..... 4-point means it is held on with 4 screws ..... NAD

Ahh, I see. So I've also heard that you can replace a renown strainer with a micro sensitive strainer, is this true? Thanks for the response.
 

KCDrumDad

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I personally do not find the Renown throw to be that bad. It is a relatively simple mechanical device and is at least functional. If you were to replace the Renown with a Microsensitive, additional holes would be required. The hole pattern is quite different.
 

thebeebe5

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I personally do not find the Renown throw to be that bad. It is a relatively simple mechanical device and is at least functional. If you were to replace the Renown with a Microsensitive, additional holes would be required. The hole pattern is quite different.
Agreed.

Good quality, straight snare wires help. Ditch the twiisted or bent set if you have one. It seems the throw travel is less than other throw offs and a couple of bent wires will buzz annoyingly. If they are all straight you can get a clean snare-off sound and a good dry snare on sound as well.
 

BrianOwens

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The Renown strainer has internal rivets that wear out and often cause it to stick or get hung up. The handle is very light duty as is most of the internal parts. I would suggest finding another original part for replacement.
 

retrosonic

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I just opened up my Renown strainer on a snare I'm restoring and thats exactly what happened...an internal river is just gone, it must have broken off. It appears tho, that I could save the strainer by putting a small bolt and nut in its place. Not sure if there is enough "space" inside the assembly for that tho. I will try, if it doesnt work, I'll buy that Gibralter 3 point strainer and make that fit the hole pattern. That actually might be the better choice all around, but I'd like to save the renown if possible. I've been playing Gretsch for 47 years, and I agree that strainer was a weak link...they should have designed a better one long before Microsensitive made its appearance.
 

K.O.

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The hole spacing on a Renown is 1 3/8ths inch. The Gibraltar is 1 3/4 inches (both approximate center to center but I just measured both).
 

retrosonic

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Thanks K.O. for taking the time to do that. Wow, thats quite a difference. So that Gibralter wont fit the Gretsch 4 point holes.

Well, then its back to repairing my Renown strainer. One inside rivet popped out, perhaps I can use a small bolt there.
 

retrosonic

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UUGGHH...its a no go on the strainer. Too far gone.

So now I'm wondering, can the Gibralter 3 hole strainer be modified to fit the Gretsch 4 hole pattern?
 

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retrosonic

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I almost hit a home run, but it turned out to be a foul ball. I found this strainer in my parts box, brand new:

Its a three point with horizontal holes. I matched it up to the Gretsch shell, but the top two holes are too close together. Another 1/4 inch apart and it would have worked!

I really wonder if that Gibralter with the twisted throw off can be adapted to work with the gretsch shell.
 

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K.O.

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It shouldn't be too hard to fashion an adapter to use the Gibraltar 3 point in place of a Gretsch Renown. Just a piece of metal (aluminum) fashioned to bridge the difference in hole patterns. Drill 4 holes: the outer two spaced to match the spacing on the throw off. These you would countersink on the back side so that two bolts with countersunk heads end up flush with the surface. These screws would go in with the threads facing outwards as mounting studs for the throw which would be held on with lock nuts. There would be an inner set of holes that match up to the mounting holes in the drum. Those would be used to mount the plate to the drum. So the drum holds the plate and the plate holds the throw off.

You could fashion another plate to hold the bottom mounting plate of the throw onto the drum but that wouldn't necessarily be required. Guys have used this throw on Slingerlands (the top two holes line up but the bottom one does not) without using the bottom bolt and it seems to work fine. You would probably need to fashion some type of spacer though to hold the bottom of the throw out from the shell the same amount as the adapter plate adds.
 

retrosonic

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hi Kev! Thanks much. Thats a very good idea and I understand the concept. Thing is, I live in an apartment and dont have a workbench where I can drill holes, etc. But I think I can probably pull this off. I have a bunch of parts bins, maybe there is something there that I can use.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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The ebay one is a horrible strainer design IMO and a cheap product not worth of a Gretsch snare.

Brian hit the nail on the head with the issues w/the Renown throw. I have one where the rivet didn't blow out, but the small piece of metal on the far side of the handle did. It's very thin (maybe 1/4" tops) and over years of on/off, wore down the metal. Also, it's not a particularly smooth throw. The ones I've had have always needed a bit of a forcing about midway to engage the snares regardless of how I adjusted the wires (and people bad mouth P85's?!!!).

Retro - as for the Gibraltar, I love that Slingy 3 pointer. You should be able to easily bend the arms (part with the mount holes) and manipulate them with a bottle nose pair of pliers so they will widen up to the right size. Granted, it will only be a 2 point throw, but that is enough. I did that on a 50's 3 ply mahogany Gretsch snare shell I got - missing the strainer - and now it works great with no extra holes. Just make sure the arms are even so the strainer lies flat on the drum, or you can make them slightly concave if needed.
 

retrosonic

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Jazz.....thanks brother. I appreciate your post. Ok, youve convinced me, when I am ready to restore the snare (about 3 days or so) I will go with the 3 pointer. (assuming there are no original Gretsch strainers on EBAY) And that 3 pointer has that retro look as well. Thanks to KO also for all his help.

When my restore of the Gretsch BDP set is done, I will post a bunch of pix. Its turning out to be a TON more work than I imagined, because I changed in mid stream on the BD and restored it to what it looked like when it came out of the dealer.

Update*** The 3 point strainer is on its way!
 
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retrosonic

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Great news! The Gibralter $18 3 point strainer is installed on my Gretsch RB snare shell using the original holes...NO drilling needed!!! I found that on the strainer you have to bend the arms inward a bit, then each tab upward a bit to lie flat on the shell. Its tedious, but it works. Heres a pic, you can clearly see that the bottom two holes are unused.
When I finish restoring the drum, I will simply fill those two holes with the original screws, so I know where they are.
I had to clean and reglue the seam on this one, but it came out great. Next up is a polish with novus, then a final clean with Dawn and water, then reassembly. Should go quickly.
Thanks much to Jazz Guy and K.O. for all their suggestions...this really worked!!
 

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retrosonic

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And Walla! The 1960s Gretsch Snare build is completed! It really came out nice. Sounds pretty good too, and I havent done the real tuning yet.

I did some repair work on the wrap and noticed that the top bearing edges were not equal, so I used the "sandpaper tacked to a wooded board" trick to even them out, then a light go around to even out any bumps in the edges. Came out fine, perfectly even now.

The only issues are that I used the cheapo Gibralter snare strings.....they dont look very strong to me, I could see them breaking at a gig, so I need to buy better ones. My two Grestch die cast snare hoops are quite serviceable, but a bit scratched and pitty. I do have a pristine TAMA die cast top hoop which I may use....looks just like the Gretsch.

The Gibralter 3 point strainer seems fine!! As good or better than the old Grestch one, even at its best.

heres some pics; let me know what you think.
 

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JDA

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Clarify for me how the new Gibraltar fit into the 4 Renown holes
or how you did it/ etc/
I'm not even sure how many attachment holes (thought Gibraltar was three in an upside down triangle) the new Gibraltar has

The Gibralter $18 3 point strainer is installed on my Gretsch RB snare shell using the original holes...NO drilling needed!!! I found that on the strainer you have to bend the arms inward a bit
the Gibraltar fit all four attach. holes? Or three or two.. or
 
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