Why do gretsch late 70’s SSB kits sound so good?

JDA

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Yes the stuff right before that era looks iffy.
It was a sign of the times everyone was doing it- experimenting with "plastic balls" for mounting hardware.
The Japanese got it eventually right and everyone claimed they were magicians... ha!)
Tama built their name and reputation on the neoprene Ball.
(ha!
" Look Madge, it don't slip"
"Why Harvey that's amazing!"

Meanwhile Walberg and Auge were looking on, saying
"Kids. Look at them. Plastic. It'll never catch on. Build me another steel rail"
See ? Student (yamatamapearl) became Master (of ludwigslingerlandrogersgretsch)
 
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JDA

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It was a sign of the times everyone was doing it- experimenting with "plastic balls" for mounting hardware.
The Japanese got it eventually right and everyone claimed they were magicians... ha!)
Tama built their name and reputation on the neoprene Ball.
(ha!
" Look Madge, it don't slip"
"Why Harvey that's amazing!"

Meanwhile Walberg and Auge were looking on, saying
"Kids. Look at them. Plastic. It'll never catch on. Build me another steel rail"
See ? Student (yamatamapearl) became Master (of ludwigslingerlandrogersgretsch)
Joe. Damn that was Good
Thanks man. Joe.
 

Neal Pert

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Yeah, I guess I mentally had the drop G in with the SSBs. I guess that makes me a Gretsch philistine, but hey. :D. And yeah, the right answer to seeing a drop G is, "Well, well, what have we HERE?" I saw at least one Drop G drum with no edge at all-- just sawed straight off. Which I have to admit, IS one way to do it. But I also had a super-sweet 12/14/20 Drop G that I'd happily take back even though the hardware on it was dubious.



for me it's the drop G badge. My first kit was in 1981. Sounded fine I suppose, I didn't know much back them. But I know the edges were bad with gaps in the shell. DIdn't Charlie Roy sign on in 84 ? Square badge are much better.

Also... the new die cast on the latest drums are not as heavy nor are the edges as tall.
 

hefty

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I'd LOVE to see pics of these heinous bearing edges that are out there. Not that I don't believe they exist, I've just never seen one.

I'd also love to see pics of all the eras of Gretsch bearing edges. Good ones I mean. I actually have pics of a 50's and 80's era drums I could dig up to start it. Both have/had no issues.
 

studrum

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Just looked in Gretsch book... yes, my hardware is "CR" (Creative Research) and I cannot fathom why anyone would object to it. Or did different years have different metal quality? Yes the stuff right before that era looks iffy.
It's killer good - everybody likes it.

But I have to agree with JDA here, too. My 69 Round Badge kit has fine hardware. Nothing has stripped or broken on it since I've owned it from '81, except the snare strainer stripped right after I got it. Got a replacement from Charlie Donnelly, about '82, and proceeded to play probably thousands of gigs and.... nothing else has stripped or broken. Nothing.
 

hardbat

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Yeah the round badge stuff that I had was great too. One time I was playing really loud and the mounted tom threatened to bounce off of the rail mount, which never ever happened on my CR mounts. But they're both solid, much more so than some of the Catalina hardware I've dealt with at the local CC where I've done some clinics.
 

ARGuy

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I'd LOVE to see pics of these heinous bearing edges that are out there. Not that I don't believe they exist, I've just never seen one.

I'd also love to see pics of all the eras of Gretsch bearing edges. Good ones I mean. I actually have pics of a 50's and 80's era drums I could dig up to start it. Both have/had no issues.
I had one of those kits with the heinous bearing edges. The 8" tom that I could not get a decent sound out of looked like it had snare beds. No wonder. The other toms were not as bad but once I got the edges recut I could tune 'em low or high or anywhere in between. I can't post any pics of the bad edges because the bad edges are gone. They did exist.
 

coastie

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I picked up a set of 12, 13, 16, 22 walnut lacquer from this era. $150 from a newspaper classified. The finish was trashed but fixable and everything was there except the bottom rims on the toms.
I removed the heinous Tom hardware and sold it all to a guy in Italy. That’s a whole separate story in itself. Sent it all off to Sam Bacco at Forks and he wrapped them in silver glass, re-cut all the edges and cut inlays in the BD hoops and painted them to perfection. I got real Gretsch replacement rims from a place called musicalcloseouts for cheap. It was $1200 or so plus shipping to and from WA state for Sam’s work and about $300 or so for the rims and other stuff. So.....for around $1700 and a little of my own time, I’ve got the only Gretsch kit that I’ll never sell. It sounds so good, it should be against the law.
 

RIDDIM

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I don't know what it's called, and unfortunately don't have a great photo handy. And my kit isn't here at the house. Here's what I was able to find:
View attachment 451097
Ordered new from the factory in 1984, no mods. All the hardware is either notched, memory-clamped, or zigzag, I've only changed the settings 2 or 3 times in 35 years, traveled all over with it, and it has never once moved... rock solid. And SO easy to pack. The entire center post assembly comes out and goes into the trap case, never a need to collapse anything, teardown and setup in seconds.
That's what my older kits have.
 

RIDDIM

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I'd LOVE to see pics of these heinous bearing edges that are out there. Not that I don't believe they exist, I've just never seen one.

I'd also love to see pics of all the eras of Gretsch bearing edges. Good ones I mean. I actually have pics of a 50's and 80's era drums I could dig up to start it. Both have/had no issues.

Here are a few. I don't have great crowning shots, alas, but these show variation between edge types from the factory. Given the Techware mounts and the tom holder support frame in the kick (partly visible in the top photo), I'm guessing this is an early 80's DeQueen kit.
 

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