Vintage Ludwig vs. Rogers vs. Slingerland vs. Gretsch Question

Chunkaway

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Chunk - you know, in all of my years of playing vintage Ludwig, I've never had any problems with like that.

Now, Gretsch is another story... I'll never own a RB kit again.

Buzz
Okay talk to me about the RB kits? I know some of them have problem seating heads, is that what you are talking about?
 

Chunkaway

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It's been a while and I 'm still on the prowl for a 1969 Ludwig kit, but I have recently been thinking about other brands. A friend of mine recommended I check out modern Gretsch kits as well. What do you think, do modern Gretsch kits sound somewhat similar to vintage Gretsch kits?
 

BrianOwens

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If you like a more lively vintage kit go for 3 ply Slingy or 3 ply Luddy and for a more defined thump go with vintage six ply Gretsch or "Holiday" Rogers which I prefer from 1958-1968.
 

VintageDrummer

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Theres a bdp rogers holiday in great shape on the bay for 1600. Also have my 64-5 round badge up for sale.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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It's been a while and I 'm still on the prowl for a 1969 Ludwig kit, but I have recently been thinking about other brands. A friend of mine recommended I check out modern Gretsch kits as well. What do you think, do modern Gretsch kits sound somewhat similar to vintage Gretsch kits?
I have old Ludwig, Gretsch, and soon Rogers. Gretsch seems to like higher tuning. Apparently Gretsch high end is same shell layup as in the old days. There are plenty rock guys who use Gretsch.
 

Chunkaway

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It's been a while and I 'm still on the prowl for a 1969 Ludwig kit, but I have recently been thinking about other brands. A friend of mine recommended I check out modern Gretsch kits as well. What do you think, do modern Gretsch kits sound somewhat similar to vintage Gretsch kits?
I have old Ludwig, Gretsch, and soon Rogers. Gretsch seems to like higher tuning. Apparently Gretsch high end is same shell layup as in the old days. There are plenty rock guys who use Gretsch.
So would most people say they don't notice a sonic difference between old RB era Gretsch kits and new Gretsch USA kits?
 

VintageDrummer

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Not a huge difference but i can tell. I'm thinking the biggest difference is in the wood snares. A lot of wooden rb snares are boxy, unless you find a really good one. I think the vintage vibe is unmistakable about a rb kit. The toms and bass have a great mix
 

Sonorholic

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The only thing I can add is that Slingerland never suffered from the Ringo effect and so are generally better build quality than mid 60's Ludwig. I think you'll always find different quality kits from anyone though, it's just the nature of making something.

I think the real trick is just to find gear that you love and that works perfectly for you, no matter when it was made. Of course if I'd known this when I was younger I might still be playing my late 60's Ludwigs or my first Sonor Phonic kit. Both those were kits to last a lifetime. But like anything else, I had to learn all that the hard way.
 

Gary

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It's been a while and I 'm still on the prowl for a 1969 Ludwig kit, but I have recently been thinking about other brands. A friend of mine recommended I check out modern Gretsch kits as well. What do you think, do modern Gretsch kits sound somewhat similar to vintage Gretsch kits?
I have old Ludwig, Gretsch, and soon Rogers. Gretsch seems to like higher tuning. Apparently Gretsch high end is same shell layup as in the old days. There are plenty rock guys who use Gretsch.
So would most people say they don't notice a sonic difference between old RB era Gretsch kits and new Gretsch USA kits?

TOTALLY. I have 125th anniversary kit that sounds nothing like my RB kits. It's definitely better. VERY wide tuning range. Way more balls in the bass drum and a superior snare drum. Of course that's just MY opinion.
 

VintageDrummer

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My rb champagne sparkle 20" bass drum sounds perfect. I've gone through 3 rb kits and they all sounded good. Slightly different from each other but all good. This champagne bd is very dynamic. I think with the newer technology the usa custom drums will be more consistent and any of the issues addressed in the past about rb kits have been addressed. In the end though, it was all about the sound for me, and remembering the sound of a set that i played when i was much younger. I would say you cant go wrong with usa custom or a rb kit thats in good shape. heads fit tight on some rb kits, while others are no problem. Nothing that a hacksaw trick cant fix ;)
 

VintageDrummer

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So in other words, all the USA customs will sound the same while its a gamble to buy a rb kit if you cant play it in person first
 

VintageDrummer

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But when you do find that good rb kit ... WOW!!!

If i was gonna buy a usa custom brand new i'd get that mardi gras kit #1 that steve maxwell has. Or look for gently used one on the bay. I saw a 4 pc kit for like 1500-1600 in 12 14 18 5x14.

Theres also a few rb kits on the bay. A red sparkle progressive jazz kit currently at 1300 but it has a few days left of auction, a white 12 16 20 with snare for 1600, and my bdp progressive jazz for 1625.
 

Chunkaway

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I guess I should add I really want a 22" kick and a 16" floor Tom. I'm flexible on the size of the rack.
 

Chunkaway

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It seems like finding a 22" Gretsch kick drum is really difficult. Would you agree?
 

VintageDrummer

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http://www.drumforum.org/index.php?/topic/73204-1971-gretsch-blue-sparkle-221316-ec/

850!!!!

Stop sign badge
 

crash

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So would most people say they don't notice a sonic difference between old RB era Gretsch kits and new Gretsch USA kits?
I've owned RB, Renown, New Classics, and S/S badge sets. I've gotta say that the New Classics may have been the best. The S/S is very good, but I've gotta rewrap them and haven't played with them much. The R/B's were very good, but I needed to mess around some to get them there. I recently played a a very nice USA set next to a a Catalina jazz. I'd tuned them both, had time to really tweak them. It was a *very* small call between them. And at $300.00 vs $1600.00....... I shoulda grabbed the Catalina's. they were blue/white onyz. Just couldn't do it!
 

VintageDrummer

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So would most people say they don't notice a sonic difference between old RB era Gretsch kits and new Gretsch USA kits?
I've owned RB, Renown, New Classics, and S/S badge sets. I've gotta say that the New Classics may have been the best. The S/S is very good, but I've gotta rewrap them and haven't played with them much. The R/B's were very good, but I needed to mess around some to get them there. I recently played a a very nice USA set next to a a Catalina jazz. I'd tuned them both, had time to really tweak them. It was a *very* small call between them. And at $300.00 vs $1600.00....... I shoulda grabbed the Catalina's. they were blue/white onyz. Just couldn't do it!
i think it really depends on how they were treated over the years. one of the rb kits took a little bit of tweaking but once i got it dialed in it was good to go. The other 2 kits, i just had to slap the heads on and give an even # of turns - awesome sound - no tweaking whatsoever. That same kit even sounds outstanding when tuned unevenly. one of the early 60's kits bass drum would not fit a coated remo ambassador, so i had to do the "breaking the collar trick" by sawing the metal ring in an 4 spots equally distant from each other .. and it sounded ridiculously good.

the usa customs are great - no doubt .. and they cost about the same as a good round badge kit. Is there anywhere you can try either of them in person?

is this gonna be your main kit or just an extra one to play on?
 

Chunkaway

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After playing a couple of vintage Gretsch kits locally, I'm leaning toward Ludwig or Rogers at this point.
 

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