On a whim, I recently picked up a brand new 5.5x14 Gretsch Renown Birch on closeout for $120 shipped. I didn't really expect much, but I figured that $120 for a pair of Gretsch die cast hoops was worth the risk. Well, I was quite surprised at just how good this snare sounds. I love this thing! It easily hangs alongside my much more expensive snares.