Official Gretsch Drums Thread

Elvis

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mono-plane said:
What drum heads fit early to mid 70's Gretsch drums with the original wrap? I've tried various offerings from Remo, Evans and Aquarian all too tight. This is an original one owner kit I recently acquired and want to update the batters on the toms. Bass drum heads are original and the reso heads on the toms are coated with no brand. Those heads all float nicely. It's the coated Remo Amb and a coated Yamaha on the toms that are real tight. I was at the Long & McQuade store trying on heads and came away with nothing that would float.
You said you tried Aquarian heads....did you try their AMERICAN Vintage heads?
They make two style - "Modern" and "American".
The American vintage heads are actually built with a slightly larger glue ring, to facilitate the older shells that are actually the size they are rated at (for instance, "12x8" - modern shells are actually around 11 7/8", but older shells would often be a fuil 12").
If you went that route and it didn't work, you can ask Remo to custom make you heads (a service they offer, or they did at one time, anyway).
You can also trim away a little of the finish (if its a wrap), if the wrap is the problem.


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Elvis

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I've been liking this video a lot lately...

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Sonorholic

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Should have a pic at some point, but I've been gigging a 20,12,14 with a matching 4.5 snare (black gloss) that I got from Forks used. I found an 18 that matches so I'm ready for anything. The snare has been a real surprise.. just a great sound and response. Not something I would go for but I've been loving it.

This weekend I have a gig with some 'bucket list' songs/bands so I'll try to remember to have someone video!
 

mono-plane

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JazzDrumGuy said:
I have a SSB 16x18 FT in BDP wrap that I wanted to make into a bass drum. I have had NO luck finding heads, though. The Aquarian vintage don't work (supposedly they are a tad larger), nor do Super Kicks, Evans, Remo coated Ambassadors/Emperors or Fiberskyns. I have an old coated Ambassador that works but it is so beat to heck, it would not work. I have yet to try the new vintage Remos, though.....

I have the same issue......@#$%^&!
I figured some other folks might have experienced this problem and have the solution/s.
 

mono-plane

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Elvis said:
What drum heads fit early to mid 70's Gretsch drums with the original wrap? I've tried various offerings from Remo, Evans and Aquarian all too tight. This is an original one owner kit I recently acquired and want to update the batters on the toms. Bass drum heads are original and the reso heads on the toms are coated with no brand. Those heads all float nicely. It's the coated Remo Amb and a coated Yamaha on the toms that are real tight. I was at the Long & McQuade store trying on heads and came away with nothing that would float.
You said you tried Aquarian heads....did you try their AMERICAN Vintage heads?
They make two style - "Modern" and "American".
The American vintage heads are actually built with a slightly larger glue ring, to facilitate the older shells that are actually the size they are rated at (for instance, "12x8" - modern shells are actually around 11 7/8", but older shells would often be a fuil 12").
If you went that route and it didn't work, you can ask Remo to custom make you heads (a service they offer, or they did at one time, anyway).
You can also trim away a little of the finish (if its a wrap), if the wrap is the problem.


Elvis
There were none in stock at the L & M store in Abbotsford, BC. I'm on vacation on the West Coast and will check out the L & M store when I arrive back home. Thanks for the tip. Ian in the drum dept. here phoned a buddy with Gretsch drums and he suggested the same heads you did. Thx Elvis!
 

mono-plane

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A Stick said:
I won't say the B word. 1974 USA Customs (16 floor tom is from 99). 26, 18, 16 and 14 tom. All the toms have Aquarian American vintage heads and they fit great and sound amazing!
Thanks A Stick. Seems to be the way to go. I will be exploring that option when I get back home.
 

Elvis

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mono-plane,

You're welcome...also, don't forget about trimming the wrap a little, too.
Your solution may involve a combination of the two pieces of advice.
Good luck.


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Elvis

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JazzDrumGuy said:
I have a SSB 16x18 FT in BDP wrap that I wanted to make into a bass drum. I have had NO luck finding heads, though. The Aquarian vintage don't work (supposedly they are a tad larger), nor do Super Kicks, Evans, Remo coated Ambassadors/Emperors or Fiberskyns. I have an old coated Ambassador that works but it is so beat to heck, it would not work. I have yet to try the new vintage Remos, though.....

I have the same issue......@#$%^&!
WHICH Aquarian Vintage head did you try?
There's two kinds....only one is designed to solve your problem.
...also, check the fit of the head and see if it isn't the wrap that's holding you up.
You may have to trim it back some.



Elvis
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Elvis, I did the american vintage larger ones. I took the drum to Bentleys and we tried a bunch of heads and no luck! Maybe the Evans 57 heads, although they weren't out yet. It is perfectly in round, too. It is wrapped to the edge. The drum is pristine so I don't want to trim back the wrap (ironically, though, I will drill it for a consolette!).....hmmm.......

Thus, I can play it now 70's style with just a batter head, or just leave it as is headless in my drum room! It is sad because I have a matching 14x14 RB BDP FT, a matching 5x14 BDP snare, and a 8x12 rack with a roll of original RB BDP wrap. Once I rewrap the 12" (in champagne - I hate to do it, but I have a few of them unless I find just a bare shell and use the hardware), and I figure out the bass head sitch, I will finally be able to put my dream Elvin Jones tribute kit together!

(I know, I know, the bass is not real and is a SSB, not RB, but it's still going to be killer!)....

Elvin-Jones-Gear-2.jpgElvin-Jones-Gear-1.jpg
 

Ron_M

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Did you try the Remo Classic Fit yet? No experience with it, but the collar is narrower than the American Vintage, and might be your best bet.
 

Elvis

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JazzDrumGuy,

I feel your dilemma, but if you can't even get the heads on....
Trim will likely only be fractions of an inch. If you feel more confident about it, maybe have a professional do it (I'm thinking "Drum Doctors", maybe?).



Elvis
 

audiochurch

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have been using a catalina maple 10" tom at louder rock/bar gigs. tuning it down rocks! dont have a full kit, but catalina maple toms are a great bang for your buck
 

DanRH

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audiochurch said:
Played my orphan 80's kit last night at my Rockabilly gig.
very nice Dan. did you recover these beauties?
No, Chris Huer did. Recut the edges and made the 9x13 concert tom into a regular tom. Awesome job BTW!
 
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I didn't know there was an "Official Gretsch Thread."

Here is a picture of my mixed badge Black Nitron's, I have since added a 14"round badge to "complete" it.

Mark Kit Mexicali 2014.jpg

And here are a few clips of them "in action."


and

&t=94s

As I have said here before, I have Black Nitron's in "all" sizes bass drums 18-24 and toms in 8-18. All are equipped with RIMS and Yamaha tom hardware.

Here is the 18, 12, 14 on a jazz gig.

IMG_0665.JPG

and a clip.


And amazingly, all of the heads fit perfectly on each drum!
MSG
 
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