Tell Me About This Drumset: Gretsch Catalina Club

pkburrito

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Hey all, sort of new here to the forum. I’ve perused in the past, but just recently made an account as I’m getting back into playing. I just picked up this set of Gretsch Catalina Clubs on Reverb for what seemed to be a decent deal. The drums are in excellent condition and from what I can gather via Google, the finish is called Abalone Sparkle and the shells are supposedly mahogany. The sizes are: Kick 14”x22”, Snare 6.5”x14”, Rack Tom 8”x12”, and Floor Tom 16”x16”.

That’s about all I can gather though... I’m going to email Gretsch as well, but figured I’d post here first to see if I could gather some more info on what exactly I got. Haven’t had a chance to even really hear them yet, as I’m still working on getting hardware and cymbals together.
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unicorncop

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Sell them and buy a maple kit, you won't regret it
 

K.O.

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Not actual mahogany but rather "Phillipine mahogany" also called Luan. This little naming trick gets used by other manufacturers besides Gretsch so it's par for the course. These generally have a good reputation when you consider the price and apparently have gotten better over the several permutations that have come out over the past 15 or so years. Each year seems to bring new wrap or stain options. The bop sized sets seem to be the most popular. I remember a "Bonham" sized set in anniversary sparkle at a local music store for around $800. Those were very tempting.

I've always been tempted by the bop varient due to the price going all the way back to the initial version with the center lugs. I wouldn't mind a set but have too many drums already.
 
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Tornado

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They're fine. Tune them up, and they'll sound like drums. Is this some heirloom kit? Not a chance. Who cares though. Have fun with them, they look nice.
 

cashmanbashman

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Congratulations, I love the finish and the hoops class it up even more. If you’re like the rest of us you will end up with multiple kits and you already have a less common wood layup with your Gretsch. Play and enjoy them.
 

premierplayer

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Welcome, good first post.
I think you'll them. Good build quality and a big sound at a value price point.
Here's an example and review in Bop sizes.
 

bpaluzzi

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Ignore the trolls. They're a great first kit. I played a Catalina Club Rock as my main kit for many years, and would still have them if I didn't need to do a cross-country move 2 years ago.
 

Fat Drummer

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Congrats on the new kit and welcome to the DFO family! They are a solid little kit and well worth the money. Yes their are several different kits in this price range that others prefer, but again, strong bang for the buck! Like K.O. pointed out, these are not actual mahogany shells, but they can sound really warm and punchy with the right heads and tuning. The Catalina kits are pretty well discussed here on the forum so do a search in the top tool bar and you will find plenty of good reading. Again welcome, were glad your here!
 

bpaluzzi

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I remember a "Bonham" sized set in anniversary sparkle at a local music store for around $800. Those were very tempting.
That was the Catalina Club Rock kit. I had the first generation (26/14/16/18) in black sparkle lacquer and absolutely loved that kit.
I used it for my main "rock" recording + live kit for ~10 years.


 

pkburrito

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Many thanks for the welcomes and the info! It feels good to have my own set again, as it’s been years. Long story short, I played a Premier Artist Maple set for about 12 years, but once I got involved with drumming at church, I primarily practiced there and often chose to play that kit since it had mics and the whole nine. Could practice with in-ears and what not. I ended up giving the Artist Maple to a young kid at church who was a great drummer, but needed an upgrade. We’ve since relocated and I found myself drum-less for the first time in many years, so the last six months I’ve been itching to get a new kit.

Grabbed this set on a whim for a few hundred bucks. What peaked my interest - outside of the finish and kick hoops - was the sizes, as I haven’t really seen many combinations with a 14x22 kick, let alone with an 8x12 Tom and 16x16 floor, which was perfect for what I was looking for. I had a fusion setup on the Artist Maple, fairly standard sizes 18x22, 8x10, 9x12, 14x14(?), 5.5x14. We had a set of SJCs at church in the same sizes as the Gretsch, but with an 18x22 kick and I absolutely loved those sizes.

Anyways, the sizes of these were perfect and I loved the finish, but couldn’t find much info on the actual kit. Honestly not too worried about the shell/wood species, as good heads and proper tuning can do wonders. Not like I’m going to be gigging with these anyway, strictly for basement playing while the wife isn’t home.

It’s been so long though since I was really into gear for drums. I’ve started looking into cymbals and hardware and boy is there a lot of new stuff on the market. Will for sure be going used for cymbals. I’ll likely be asking a bunch more questions here though since I’ve been out of the game for so long. Cymbals will be and interesting journey for sure.
 

Ralph27

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Welcome to the forum. Like you said, new heads and some proper tuning and they'll sound great. Still have my Catalina Elite jazz kit from the early 2000s along with another gretsch Maple and I refuse to get rid of my Elite! Love the sound and the sun stained white marine pearl wrap. Still holding up just fine. Good luck on the cymbal hunt. Let us know what you find.
 

CherryClassic

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I owned a used set of Clubs in the smaller sizes; 12, 14, 5x14 snare and 18" bass. The sound blew me away for the price I paid. They were light weight and great for the crowded stages I was playing and a fast easy setup. Except for the new heads I was able to sell it at the same price I paid.

Enjoy,
sherm
 

2000dan2000

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I love mine, probably more than the price point would justify. I put a few ‘upgrades’ together for them... Gretsch 302 hoops and applied a couple coats of spar varnish to the interiors and edges. Vintage Emperor batters over stock resos... I just love the sound they give back. They’re underrated in my opinion. Enjoy them!
 

CSR

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I’ve had a set for years that I use for piano trio and small jazz gigs. They are light and easy to load in, sound good with decent single-ply heads, and have a small footprint for smaller stages. I even use them for big band rehearsals. Since the price is relatively low and availability is high, I don’t worry about transporting them like I might one of my higher-end sets.
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pkburrito

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I do really like the footprint of the kit. Never had a 14” deep kick before and it seems like it’ll work well in the basement where I have them. Space is limited so it helps. Also love that it’s still a 22” though. Now that tax season is here, I’m hoping to outfit it with hardware and cymbals, so you’ll see me over in the cymbal talk area looking for recommendations.

@2000dan2000 thanks for the upgrade tips. I did take a look at the interior and thought about finishing it. The hoops are a great idea too.
 

cribbon

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Just got this bop version two weeks ago, used from a local store. Took a little while to dial in the 12, but the rest sounded fine from the get-go (also included a 5x14 matching snare). Haven't gigged them yet, but they sound good at home. It's a simple and lightweight player's kit that's also easy on the eyes.

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backtodrum

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I’ve had a set for years that I use for piano trio and small jazz gigs. They are light and easy to load in, sound good with decent single-ply heads, and have a small footprint for smaller stages. I even use them for big band rehearsals. Since the price is relatively low and availability is high, I don’t worry about transporting them like I might one of my higher-end sets.
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I have the same kit you do that I use for the same reason as you do. Mine are the exact kit in my avatar. They do the job well and even sound good miced up! I can't ask a lot more from them. I have gigged the socks of that kit. Anymore I would rather play those than my maple kit because they do the job and are so easy to handle.
 

lossforgain

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Welcome @pkburrito ! (BTW I love burritos too so if you want to talk about those, I'm all in...)

Good snag on those drums. I don't know if that's a common finish or not but it's really nice looking. The Catalinas are solid drums. And like you said, for enjoyment at home you'll be perfectly happy with them. Cymbals are where it's easy to get lost in all the options. I buy and sell cymbals all the time just to try different things and keep the ones that really make my ears happy.

I used to play drums in church all the time, but now I'm the leader and never get to play drums there. I don't have any very knowledgeable drummers playing with us, so I do all the tuning and maintenance on the drums. We have a Tama Starclassic birch set in our facility, which I just disassembled and tuned up. Plus I've been going through a cymbal upgrade and buying new things to try so we could see what sounds best in our room. It's a fun journey!
 

backtodrum

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Just got this bop version two weeks ago, used from a local store. Took a little while to dial in the 12, but the rest sounded fine from the get-go (also included a 5x14 matching snare). Haven't gigged them yet, but they sound good at home. It's a simple and lightweight player's kit that's also easy on the eyes.

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I hade a little issue dialing my 12" tom in a well and I felt the Gretsch two lug suspension system that came with the kit was chocking the drum a little so I swapped it out for a regular 5 lug rims mount and it made all the difference in the world. Just a thought! I have shingle ply Remo coated ambassadors and the stock Gretsch resos on the bottoms and they tuned up and sounded great. I have coated the insides of the toms and bass drum with 5 coats of wipe on urethane as well. I can't say it changed the sound much in any perceptible amount but they look nice and higher end.
 


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