Modern Gretsch drumheads - Will they fit oversize RBs?

kevin klever

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
277
Reaction score
226
Location
Vancouver, BC
Tryna get an offset logo head for my 20" rb bass drum. Anyone know if the logo heads that Gretsch currently makes are "classic fit" dimensions? Seems like it'd be a no brainer for them to make them fit vintage Gretsch by default. Failing that, anyone have a 50s or 60s Gretsch 20" logo head in decent shape they wanna sell me?
 

Browny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
306
Reaction score
266
Location
Melbourne
Just get the Remo Classic Fit Ambassadors.

Works a treat on my oversize Radio Kings. I tried Aquarian American Vintage and Evans 360 heads and didn’t have great results. The AAV heads felt like they had a larger hoop that didn’t work well (plus they’re a different type of head, the yellow colour and a mellow/‘calf-ish’ vibe) while the 360s were dead.
 

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
20,143
Reaction score
2,534
Location
Illinois
Pretty sure the modern Gretsch heads are just rebranded regular Remo heads. Otherwise why were they cutting their wraps back for all those years?
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,964
Reaction score
2,185
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
Not for me. Aquarian modern vintage work on my red 20 as does an Aq. Super kick. On my champ. 20, only Aq. Modern vintage. Most of my RB snares take coated ambassadors, some with force. My 12/14 toms have coated Amb. and Fiberskyns, some with force.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Failing that, anyone have a 50s or 60s Gretsch 20" logo head in decent shape they wanna sell me?
Just happen to one handy from 66 or so Yellow Satin Flame 20/12/14 /5 I had at one time.
There's Nails. In the backside of the hoop. The Hoop almost seems (is..) Wood and it's filled in the front with putty in the front in a chanel.
Lemme measure the inside OD. It's 20 " right on the nose.
The channel is wood and there's filled in putty out front. Amazing. I never noticed the nails.
14 nails perfectly placed around backside circumference. Amazing .
Buncha Pictures here.


20Head 001.JPG 20Head 002.JPG 20Head 003.JPG 20Head 004.JPG 20Head 005.JPG

20Head 001.JPG
20Head 002.JPG
20Head 005.JPG
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
It's as if...the transition from Calf...was just adopted to "tuck"..the new film. The wooden chanel. The putty and dowel to hold the film in place...

more pics. I'm starting to love this , 20" head.

20Head 006.JPG 20Head 007.JPG 20Head 008.JPG 20Head 009.JPG 20Head 010.JPG

20Head 006.JPG
20Head 007.JPG
20Head 008.JPG
20Head 009.JPG
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
the transition..in this case..there's no markings on who made it....I think Gretsch made them in the Brooklyn building?..could be... this transition from calf to film was-in this Gretsch case gradual. I have a 12" downstairs I'll get and we'll inspect it too.
(I've had these with me since 1979 btw)...

20Head 011.JPG 20Head 012.JPG 20Head 013.JPG

20Head 011.JPG
20Head 012.JPG
20Head 013.JPG


I'm sorry it's a little larger than 20" slightly..no it's right on 20"
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
This is a 14" Gretsch head from the RB set... and... It's Built identical to the bass drum head. Squarish wood or platic it's hard to tell (I might say wood) hoop. The Putty filled in the front and.....the nails (or'dowels) around the circumference of the back. Inside diameter is 14" exact. 9 dowels or nails.

Same build as the bass drum head. I have a very early Remo called Sound Master and it has the putty but the chanel is rounded not squared like the Gretsch, no dowels or nails and appears to be clearly made of plastic. So I don't "believe" the rb Gretsch head were remo then. They were in-house.

20Head 001.JPG 20Head 002.JPG 20Head 003.JPG 20Head 004.JPG 20Head 005.JPG

here's the Gretsch RB era 14" --->

20Head 001.JPG
20Head 002.JPG
20Head 003.JPG

same dowel as the bass drum head..on the 14..
20Head 005.JPG
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
So that in my estimation is when, you will know, you have a Round Badge factory era head. The squarish-not rounded - appears to be wood (painted beige) channel. The dowels or nail around the back circumference, the putty, of course the stamp "no further tensioning needed" and or the Gretsch logo out front of a bass head.

here's more of the 14"
001.JPG
001.JPG
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
So no more mystery than that. I have a 20 bass Front (12 dowels) and a 14 batter (9 dowels) from a Round Badge kit. These were built at Gretsch. I'd bet a rotten orange.
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
I don't see/ maybe the difference/ was Round Badge factory heads... The wooden dowel/ hoop*, holding the film might? have flex that a metal ring did not?..
* you know, the (ink stamp) "no further tension necessary" heads
~~

Does anyone have a good screen grab or pic of the ink stamp? " No Further tensioning needed.."
found on old Gretsch heads? nevermind/found/ a later iteration is here
 
Last edited:

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Just removed a modern Pinstripe I had on the front on the 66 RB 20" bass drum. And put on the original "wood hoop and dowel" 20" logo haed.
here's what I think
the flex in the wood hoop channel allows the head to fully seat.

You can see, the no space left between BD hoop and vintage front head hoop.
See?

The wood hoop original RB head has some 'give' when pressed down on the shell (it wasn't hard to press down). A modern Remo metal channel forget it (hard to seat) (still works) tho.

Conclusion: It was how the "old wood and dowel hoop" was made.... not the diameter. The woodish & dowel (isn't that a store in Ma.?) hoop old head can flex it's diameter; where a modern head's ...metal hoop.. will not.

Channel20 001.JPG Channel20 002.JPG Channel20 003.JPG Channel20 004.JPG

Channel20 003.JPG


^ Resonant side vintage Gretsch logo head flush ^
Channel20 004.JPG

^ batter side modern Remo-niod head Unflush^



Channel20 002.JPG



So to add to breathable cymbals we can now add Breathable heads..

20Head 005.JPG
20Head 005.JPG
 
Last edited:

ThomasL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
260
Reaction score
301
Location
Finland
The issue with the modern head above is due to the hoop ID and the collar shape of the head. If you cut a 45 degree bevel on the inside of the hoop, it will sit just fine on the head.
 

jmoll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
87
Reaction score
130
Location
Spain
You can use a Classic Fit one and erase the logo with acetone, then you use a Gretsch logo sticker.
I have done that on the three bass drums on the picture.
 

Attachments

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
18,499
Reaction score
7,229
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
The issue with the modern head above is due to the hoop ID
modern ID is identical with the vintage Gretsch head ID ..
I think it's the vintage Gretsch head hoop being wood...flex'es/ gives, expands/ slides on..

I've never seen anyone discuss this before. It being the wood hoop with dowel on original Gretsch heads..back in the day.
Never seen anyone picture that before.
 
Last edited:

ThomasL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
260
Reaction score
301
Location
Finland
Joe, I had the same, even worse, issue with my Sonor Teardrop bass drum. The replacement hoops on my 20" RB BD has the 45 degree bevel on the inside as per my request. I think modern hoops might have this, but I haven't owned any modern drums in a long time.
 


Top