I sat in on a friends gretsch kit at a jazz picnic yesterday. The set used to belong to a great drummer and mentor to many of us in Western New York (Buffalo region) who passed away a couple of years ago, Louis Marino. Apparently Louis had an endorsement deal with Gretsch and when it was coming to an end he got a complete set of toms (12,13,14,16 &1, a snare and two bass drums. When he passed one of his students bought the set. He brought a four piece to the picnic and we traded off playing them. They sounded wonderful! The snare was by far the best gretsch snare Ive played. The 20” bass drum was everything you could want and the toms, though I would have tuned them slightly different, were also great. I posted a picture on facebook and another drummer friend commented on how this era of gretsch sound so good. Why? What makes these drums so good? I have two round badge sets but they don't sound quite that awesome. Is it the wrap on the round badges restricting the shell and also causing the heads to fit too tight? Were the wood finish drums of the 70’s designed for plastic heads? Any thoughts why this era of gretsch are so incredible sounding?