Drum/cymbal comparison

dnt

Member
Hey, everyone! I'm fairly new to the forum, a self-taught drummer years ago looking to get back into playing. I've got my choices narrowed to Gretsch Catalina Maple vs Renown, and on cymbals Zildjian A Series 391 vs Paiste 2002 pack (some places marketed as the Classic Big Sound pack, I believe). Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions/advice on these. Thank you!
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Hey, everyone! I'm fairly new to the forum, a self-taught drummer years ago looking to get back into playing. I've got my choices narrowed to Gretsch Catalina Maple vs Renown, and on cymbals Zildjian A Series 391 vs Paiste 2002 pack (some places marketed as the Classic Big Sound pack, I believe). Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions/advice on these. Thank you!
Check out mycymbal.com and take a listen to see what speaks to you or make a trip down to Memphis and do it in person. Cymbal wise, both sets are great sets and I love both of them. They are different and have different characteristics.

Drum wise, I think your choice will probably end up depending on cost as they are similar sound wise.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Either Gretsch kit will be fine. It pretty much is your budget. FYIW I have had my Renown for 10 years now. I feel the same with the cymbals choices. Go listen if you have a chance.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
I honestly have not played the Catalinas in a band or home environment - only sets that were on display. They sound fine, and have a large, dedicated following. However, the Renown kits, in my opinion, are a big step up in quality and sound. I have played the Renowns, and they have since been on my list of kits I'd like to own. Personally, I think the earlier Renowns offer the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to appointments - and especially when it comes to the cast hoops that used to be standard. Read up on reviews of the Renown kits, and you will find that they are almost universally compared to the quality and sound of traditional USA Gretsch drums.

I'm admittedly biased when it comes to the cymbals - I'd choose Zildjian without any hesitation. But, that's me. Paiste 2000s have a well-deserved reputation as some of the best cymbals that Paiste ever made, and the huge number of famous names associated with them attest to the high regard the line enjoys.

So, those are my recommendations. They are worth exactly what you paid for them. Welcome to the forum, and welcome back to drumming. Be sure to keep us updated with news and photos. We love photos!

GeeDeeEmm
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Get the Renowns. That's the easy part. Cymbals are much more involved to buy.

There are no shortcuts to cymbal buying unless you have the dough to buy new at Mycymbal.com where you can hear the exact cymbal you will buy. Otherwise, you have to go to big box stores and listen. Which isn't the best place to evaluate anything due to the sympathetic vibrations of everything around which colors your perceptions, not a desirable situation for sonically evaluating anything.

Picking cymbals is like choosing a girlfriend. Only you will know what really does it for YOU. You can get opinions, but in the end, they mean nothing. Your own ears will guide you.

You could buy new locally, and utilize the 30 day exchange period. It's hard for me to evaluate cymbals in a store, so I buy them, take them home, and return them for something different if I don't like them enough. I do that until I have cymbals I don't want to return.

These days I buy my bronze on mycymbal.com. I can't get Istanbul cymbals near me so this is my best option. So far it's working very well. I've bought 9 cymbals there so far and I got exactly what I was expecting...because I already heard them online.
 

Dave_G

Member
Both sets of cymbals are great. It's just a matter of taste. I personally think that the hardware on the Catalinas is junk. The Renown hardware is much better in my opinion.
 
Reknown is better IMO and closer to that classic Gretsch sound. The Reknown snare though is far superior to the Catalina. My heart tells me to go for the Zildjian A pack. It's just a very clean, classic and professional sound. Best of luck on your decision.
 

dnt

Member
Thank you all! I really appreciate the input. And I'll post pics when the time comes!
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
A. Get the Renowns.

B. I've never played Paiste 2002's, but I have played plenty Zildjian A's. If you go with the Zildjians, be sure you either play them first OR the company has a good return policy (or both!). Some Ziljians are amazing, and some are duds...even if they are a part of the same series.
 
Top