I though 3 ply Gretsch had rerings?

AaronLatos

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I've never had a US Gretsch kit or really gotten into them, though they're certainly excellent drums, but I was under the impression that the older kits were 3 ply with rings, transitioning to 6 ply straight shells during the RB era. A new studio I've been recording in here in NYC has a set of blue sparkle 13/16/22 RBs, and while taking off a kick head a few days ago, I realized that the kick is 3 ply, no rings. Floor tom looks to be the same (though it almost looks like it could be 2 ply). Rack has coated heads on both sides, but I'm sure I'll get a chance to inspect further at some point, got a bunch of tracking left to do there.

Between my 13/14/16/26, the RB Gretsch, and some Simmons sdsv, the album I'm working on there has some pretty rad cross-decade drum sounds. My Camcos might wind up on a couple tracks, too.
 

Steele

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Hey Aaron, I've only worked on a couple of 3 ply era gretsch kits, but they had no re-rings. In both cases plies were separating and the shells were quite flexible. Smart move switching to jasper.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Interestingly enough, I just saw a piece explaining some difference between the shells. Said the 3 ply are actually thicker than the 6 ply shells...
 

royal ace

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Steele said:
Hey Aaron, I've only worked on a couple of 3 ply era gretsch kits, but they had no re-rings. In both cases plies were separating and the shells were quite flexible. Smart move switching to jasper.
It seems to me you've had scant experience on which to make such general assertions re the switch to Jasper.
My 3-ply 20/12/14 set and 1947 Broadkaster snare are in perfect round with no ply separations whatsoever, and modern heads fit each drum comfortably.
Ron
GRETSCH 3ply:front small.JPG

GRETSCH 3PLY 6.5 throw  small copy.jpg
 

Rik_Everglade

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Not in the 50's. From what I've gathered, Gretsch did not use rerings with the exception that most, but not all, 18" bass drums had rerings. Any ply separation that I've seen is easily fixed. The three ply drums are very easy to work with and repair. If I felt a calling or thought it was profitable, I'd set up a repair shop just for three ply, I think I have done everything for them.
Ah, RoyalAce, you have some nice stuff. Love that snare, and if my drums came out any differently, I'd rewrap them in black, like yours. Sweet.
 

FloydZKing

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Ok, I have owned each version

. The first shells with no rings were 3 ply, coming in the early 40s. Before those the shells were 3-ply mahogany with solid maple rings, a la Ludwig, Slingerland etc. They switched to 6 ply later on in the early 60s or so.

Best tone, IMO, is the ringless 3 ply. No contest.
 

Steele

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royal ace said:
Hey Aaron, I've only worked on a couple of 3 ply era gretsch kits, but they had no re-rings. In both cases plies were separating and the shells were quite flexible. Smart move switching to jasper.
It seems to me you've had scant experience on which to make such general assertions re the switch to Jasper.
My 3-ply 20/12/14 set and 1947 Broadkaster snare are in perfect round with no ply separations whatsoever, and modern heads fit each drum comfortably.
Ron
GRETSCH 3ply:front small.JPG

GRETSCH 3PLY 6.5 throw small copy.jpg
That's a particularly rude way of responding. thanks.

Gretsch themselves site the roundness, strength and longevity of the shells as some of the reasons for the switch. Apart from the ones I have seen, I have heard plenty of similar stories from other customers and forumites. Sounds like you got a nice one, congratulations. No doubt there are plenty of other nice ones. Incidentally, I'm actually the registered service/repair centre for Gretsch in Australia.
 

Rik_Everglade

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So...you are a registered Gretsch service and repair worker and are bashing Gretsch's most revered shells. Gotcha.
 

Steele

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Rik_Everglade said:
So...you are a registered Gretsch service and repair worker and are bashing Gretsch's most revered shells. Gotcha.
Wow another rude response. this place is becoming an absolute circus of arrogance. Hence the reason I rarely post any more.

Again...gretsch themselves site the strength and roundness of the 3ply shells as issues. If you think me being a Gretsch service centre means I can't have an opinion, then you misunderstand how it works. I don't work for Gretsch, I work for everyone. They make great drums, I'm not 'bashing' them. Interesting that you make a joke about starting a '3 ply repair centre', but then have a go at me for mentioning that there is often problems with the 3 ply shells

Whatever, you guys are right about everything always. I'll try to remember this in the future. The whole drum industry is such a big dick contest. Drives me absolutely crazy.
 

noahJT

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I've heard it many times from many people that poplar core shells (aka 3 ply ones) have a greater tendency to separate because the poplar doesn't want to stay put. Hence, re-rings. This doesn't mean that all 3 ply unreinforced shells will separate, but overall I think the consensus is that they need re-rings to help keep that poplar ply from becoming problematic.
 

Rik_Everglade

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Nice way to leave out a piece of my statement that completely negates your nonsense. Remember where I said if I thought it was profitable? No? You see, it kind of negates what you were implying with your rude comment. Go back and read. I guess anybody can claim to be a "registered Gretsch service/repair centre" as long as you bash the products and belittle the patrons.
 

mlvbs

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As Rik_Everglade mentioned, most 18's had rerings. 16x18s floor toms as well as 12x18 and 14x18 tenor toms and bass drum shells. And some of them were actually 2 ply shells!

On rare occasions you'll see rings in other '50s Gretsch drums, like snares and floor toms. I have a 14x14 here with rerings. But it's unusual.
 

royal ace

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Rik_Everglade said:
So...you are a registered Gretsch service and repair worker and are bashing Gretsch's most revered shells. Gotcha.
It's a bit like an MD saying, "Both of the older patients I saw were ill. "
 

stewy

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3-ply gretsch are really incredible shells. In my experience, the smaller sized drums seem to stay in round fairly well. Bass drums can vary, but usually tune up great. The shells are usually close to the actual diameter size, while other companies shells were slightly undersized. The rounded-in bearing edge is perfect as the head contact is then on the inside edge, so sound waves travel through a straight 1/16" ply of maple
 

Steele

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Rik_Everglade said:
Nice way to leave out a piece of my statement that completely negates your nonsense. Remember where I said if I thought it was profitable? No? You see, it kind of negates what you were implying with your rude comment. Go back and read. I guess anybody can claim to be a "registered Gretsch service/repair centre" as long as you bash the products and belittle the patrons.
you're a lovely man. Your opinion is very valuable to me. i appreciate your consistent sarcastic and patronising comments and thanks for having a dig at my livelihood, what do you do for a living?
 

mc437

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I used to have an early 50s RB Gretsch 16x16 floor tom (had a date stamp in the interior, 1952 if I recall) that was 3-ply with re-rings. You think the standard 3-ply had round-over edges, you should've seen the edges in this guy!!
 

Carlos McSnurf

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Hey guys...calm down,I found this topic interesting...
IMHO the reason to switch from 3 ply to 6 ply in end of 50's is the same as zildjian's transition era: Rock n Roll...3 ply shell was enough to play jazz and swing but not enough resonant and resistant for guitar amplifiers. Instead reintroducing reinforcing ring( like other companies) they went their own way...Maybe those rings seen inside some 50's 3 ply are remains of some shell test period?
 

AJMcHardy

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Before this gets anymore OT and out of hand I think its worth having a look at Steele's Kentville Drums site.

Plenty of evidence of a pretty highly skilled repairer/builder IMHO.

Also a quick call to Pro Music Australia (Gretsch's Aussie distributer) confirmed Kentville Drums as Service/repair agent for Gretsch Drums.

I'm not taking sides on whose wrong or right regarding the structural integrity of Gretsch 3 ply shells but I think its important for everyone to be able to contribute to the shared knowledge base without others needlessly questioning their character or the way they go about their business.

Also worth considering that even though Steele has only repaired two Gtretsch 3 ply sets, that's probably half of the sets actually in Australia. I've been playing drums all over OZ for 25 years and very rarely come across any vintage Gretsch and I've personally never seen anything pre-dating 6 ply RB. It 's truly a different world out here.
 

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