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Need Some Help Identifying A Vintage Gretsch Set

Ransan

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Snare is done as well! Unfortunately there wasn't a key inside. I didn't touch the badge on this one!

I was wondering what that hole was in the side of the snare. Turns out it's a key holder!

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Very nice looking snare and great job in the detailing.

Yes that’s a key hole, here’s my 4160.

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ImaMan

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Very nice looking snare and great job in the detailing.

Yes that’s a key hole, here’s my 4160.

View attachment 573074
The strange thing about mine is that the holes are drilled slightly crooked! So the lightning throw sits at a bit of an angle. Luckily, it doesn't affect use.

That is a beautiful snare you have there!
 

wflkurt

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The strange thing about mine is that the holes are drilled slightly crooked! So the lightning throw sits at a bit of an angle. Luckily, it doesn't affect use.

That is a beautiful snare you have there!


Wait... Gretsch drilled something crooked? It can't be.... Lol
 

Formula 602

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Formula 602

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I've got some updates for ya'll.

Firstly, my GF (who has been helping me with this project) and I polished up the rims. They were really rusted. I could barely get the camera to focus when I was taking this picture since they were so shiny!

View attachment 572733

Secondly, we also polished these guys up. This picture is a side by side of polished and non polished.

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Thirdly, I started polishing the logo with no idea what was actually under all the grime. I also used some Feed-N-Wax on the shell. This is the 12" Tom that we are working on first. I should have it all skinned up tomorrow!

Before
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After
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I do a lot of work on guitars and I have to say, working on these drums is so enjoyable compared to working on a guitar. My OCD is fully satisfied today.



I'm still learning all the drum terminology, but this is what sits opposite to the lightning.

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Oops..messed up taking the patina off the badge..they were fine “as is”
 

Tama CW

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There are video's on line for reapplying "patina" to brass badges. Basically hanging in the vapors of a salt/vinegar bath. Take it slow though. I was going to try it on a new bass drum I purchased.
Then changed my mind and spent $80 for an original RB bass drum badge and grommet with deep original patina.
 

DBT

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There are video's on line for reapplying "patina" to brass badges. Basically hanging in the vapors of a salt/vinegar bath. Take it slow though. I was going to try it on a new bass drum I purchased.
Then changed my mind and spent $80 for an original RB bass drum badge and grommet with deep original patina.
I know most on here like to leave the patina / original look but since they are going all the way I polished them on the wheel and lacquer’ed them . They’ll age gracefully and patina over time . (The other 3 we’re still soaking pre polishing ) .
 

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Tama CW

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In having the 60s/70s RB repro badge in front of me, I couldn't really tell the difference from an original badge....other than the stark bright surface of the new one.
Must be a way though. The original badges bring about 2x to 3x the cost of new badges. Hence there's considerable value retained by keeping the old "dirty" badges just the way they are.
 

DBT

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In having the 60s/70s RB repro badge in front of me, I couldn't really tell the difference from an original badge....other than the stark bright surface of the new one.
Must be a way though. The original badges bring about 2x to 3x the cost of new badges. Hence there's considerable value retained by keeping the old "dirty" badges just the way they are.
Collector’s yes . Grungy players kit being totally restored and modified …. makes no sense not to . They are still 99% original just much brighter . Why Gretsch ever painted / coated the brass badges is beyond me . Clear brass is beautiful . Their vintage badges are the nicest out there . You’d think they would have taken advantage of them standing out .
 

4MoreYearsOhNo

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I know most on here like to leave the patina / original look but since they are going all the way I polished them on the wheel and lacquer’ed them . They’ll age gracefully and patina over time . (The other 3 we’re still soaking pre polishing ) .
If you lacquer over a polished badge, it will never tarnish, it will just stay shiny. Tarnish depends on oxygen and water from the air, and is a slow process unless sped up. Painting a coating over brass (or silver) with clear lacquer is done to prevent that air exposure and tarnish from occurring.

The best reason to keep a Gretsch badge original is that Gretsch shipped them from the factory that way, with factory applied patina. If you remove that original patina coating, then even if you don't lacquer a badge, the tarnish it will eventually get will not look like the original badge. Of course it is your drum so you get to do what you want, but that is why I would never go around stripping and polishing original badges.
 

DBT

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If you lacquer over a polished badge, it will never tarnish, it will just stay shiny. Tarnish depends on oxygen and water from the air, and is a slow process unless sped up. Painting a coating over brass (or silver) with clear lacquer is done to prevent that air exposure and tarnish from occurring.

The best reason to keep a Gretsch badge original is that Gretsch shipped them from the factory that way, with factory applied patina. If you remove that original patina coating, then even if you don't lacquer a badge, the tarnish it will eventually get will not look like the original badge. Of course it is your drum so you get to do what you want, but that is why I would never go around stripping and polishing original badges.
Tell that to my 130 year old brass bed that was professionally polished and lacquered 20 years ago . It’s like painting over stained chestnut ….. sacrilegious and stupid . Just because Gretsch did it back in the day doesn’t make it right .
 

JDA

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"You are doing fine @ImaMan !

don't listen (too close) to these "old Jeremiah's" : D
 

4MoreYearsOhNo

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Tell that to my 130 year old brass bed that was professionally polished and lacquered 20 years ago . It’s like painting over stained chestnut ….. sacrilegious and stupid . Just because Gretsch did it back in the day doesn’t make it right .
OK, there is a huge difference. Your 130 year old brass bed was originally sold all polished and shiny. Same for sterling silver - it was originally polished and shiny, so most people consider that the right thing to do, even for three hundred year old silver. Paul Revere silver at the museum of fine arts in boston is polished, because that was the way it was originally sold.

But as I just said, Gretsch took their brass badges and sent them out to have artificial patina applied. That was part of their manufacturing process, and when they sold the drums from the factory that is how they were sold. So stripping that factory-applied artificial patina changes the look, and is not the way the company intended. That's not to say you shouldn't change it - you should do what you want since it is your drum. But it doesn't look like the factory intended it to look.

And stained chestnut furniture is ALSO completely different. Chestnut furniture that has been factory stained is clearly intended to be shown with that stain exposed. If someone later paints over that stain, then they have clearly changed what was originally intended. But if you take a wrapped drum and pull it off so you can expose and stain the wood underneath, then again you have changed what was originally intended.

Of course Charlie Watts had someone do that to his drums, and not many will argue that he shouldn't have - because of course they were HIS drums, and he got to decide how he liked them. If anything, the OP drums have that Charlie Watts look, so absolutely no complaints from me about that.
 

DBT

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OK, there is a huge difference. Your 130 year old brass bed was originally sold all polished and shiny. Same for sterling silver - it was originally polished and shiny, so most people consider that the right thing to do, even for three hundred year old silver. Paul Revere silver at the museum of fine arts in boston is polished, because that was the way it was originally sold.

But as I just said, Gretsch took their brass badges and sent them out to have artificial patina applied. That was part of their manufacturing process, and when they sold the drums from the factory that is how they were sold. So stripping that factory-applied artificial patina changes the look, and is not the way the company intended. That's not to say you shouldn't change it - you should do what you want since it is your drum. But it doesn't look like the factory intended it to look.

And stained chestnut furniture is ALSO completely different. Chestnut furniture that has been factory stained is clearly intended to be shown with that stain exposed. If someone later paints over that stain, then they have clearly changed what was originally intended. But if you take a wrapped drum and pull it off so you can expose and stain the wood underneath, then again you have changed what was originally intended.

Of course Charlie Watts had someone do that to his drums, and not many will argue that he shouldn't have - because of course they were HIS drums, and he got to decide how he liked them. If anything, the OP drums have that Charlie Watts look, so absolutely no complaints from me about that.
Yes I get it all original vs. altered . Let me explain it this way : these drums are not collectors , they will get the snot played out of them . They are getting the full treatment so ALL original from the factory is out the window . Lacquering over metal is completely different from lacquering over stain ….. yes it will tarnish / patina over time and I have 10 new crisp $100 bills to bet you with. That being said why would I want to leave crusty looking badges when everything around them is getting the full treatment ? It’s like completely gutting a house and re installing the cheap 40 year old ceiling fan in the livingroom .
 

DBT

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Actually, to collectors, just because Gretsch did it back in the day DOES make it right.
Like I said I’m not a collector . furthermore Gretsch must have changed their mind some over the years as the USA’s are mostly Brass . It’s hilarious how so many on here worry about how their drums look under lights but God forbid you polish the round badges .
 
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ImaMan

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All this talk of badges! I'm just going to keep the badges untouched on the rest of the drums. I understand both sides of the argument though.

I've tuned the 12" tom along with the snare and they both sound FANTASTIC. Really blown away by how nice it sounds. I can't wait to mic this thing up.

I'm currently putting the 16" floor tom back together. I need to order a rubber foot for it since I'm missing one.

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DBT

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All this talk of badges! I'm just going to keep the badges untouched on the rest of the drums. I understand both sides of the argument though.

I've tuned the 12" tom along with the snare and they both sound FANTASTIC. Really blown away by how nice it sounds. I can't wait to mic this thing up.

I'm currently putting the 16" floor tom back together. I need to order a rubber foot for it since I'm missing one.

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You absolutely should keep them the way they are . That kit is in nice shape and just needed you’re love cleaning it up . For the record if mine were in as nice shape and the wrap wasn’t falling off I would have just cleaned them up and sold them . Again , nice job you are doing . Great score . Note : don’t sell them learn how to play them .
 


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