Weight Savings Replacing 302 Hoops on Gretsch Renown?

KamaK

Platinum Member
If the objective is to lighten a Renown to the extent where it opens up like an iNDE/GW/Guru or other lightweight kit, I would recommend giving up. Given the shell thickness/weight/construction/design, I have trouble believing that one could make it happen. I would leverage the Renown for it's intended purpose.... To sound almost, but not quite, identical to a USA Custom.

If you want a lightweight, high resonance kit... buy one. There are a number of good ones on the market covering numerous aesthetics, and they're not too much of a leap over the Renown in terms of price.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Catalinas are far lighter than Renowns due to their cheap stamped metal lugs and hoops (vs. die cast lugs and thick 302 hoops on the RN2). The raw shells have little to do with the weight, it's mostly due to what goes on those shells. Don't believe me? Try stripping one of your toms to the bare shell. Put all the metal parts into a container, then pick up the shell vs. the container. You'll feel a huge difference in weight.

So even swapping the 302s for something lighter will still leave a bunch of those heavy lugs, meaning the weight savings won't be enough to make it worthwhile. Therefore I have to agree with Kamak. If the Renowns are too heavy for you, get a lighter kit. I can definitely recommend INDe drums, as they're lightweight and sound great. They actually have a somewhat Gretsch-like sound, so I can't imagine that you wouldn't like them.

And this is coming from someone who owns two Renown kits (with diecast hoops BTW, so they're even heavier than yours).
 

JD Jones

Member
I like the sound of the Renown but at this point I just want a lightweight kit, preferably maple, that sounds good and won't put as much stress on my knees loading in and out. I prefer Gretsch in general (I don't like the look of Tama or the birch shells of the Stage Custom) so that is why I was considering the Catalinas. I will lose money selling the Renown so I don't have as much money to spend as I originally had, so I am pretty stuck with the Catalina/Superstar/Stage Custom level of quality. The INDe stuff looks great but probably too much money for me right now. Not a fan of used drums...been burned by that before and have had a hard time trusting it since.

It's just that I bought that Renown kit in those sizes to be a versatile, portable, easy kit to deal with and wasn't expecting them to be heavy. I could also look at Pearl I guess, the MMX I had back in the 90s were nice. I wish I knew the weight difference between the Cat Maple and Club (is cheap mahogany a lot lighter than asian maple?). Does the Maple sound way better than the Club? A lot of people like the Clubs and the price difference is nil.

I don't know why the Gretsch people would say they are all close in weight. Seems like a BS response to me. I didn't know the Cats had different lugs, they look very similar. That could be why the Renown bass drum is so heavy as well. Anyway, I guess I will have to drive around with one of my toms and try to find some Catalinas to compare it to.
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
I weighed my 22 x 18 Renown bass drum. With spurs/legs on, no tom mount hardware, internal mic w/shock mount and a small pillow, it weighs 27 pounds.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I just watched a Rick Beato vid today about getting John Bonham's soundl, and one of the things he talked about was putting 1.6 mm hoops on everything because they are lighter and allow the drum to resonate more - he also commented that the lighter hoops lighten the drum up too, although I'm not sure how much just the hoop would matter.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I like the sound of the Renown but at this point I just want a lightweight kit, preferably maple, that sounds good and won't put as much stress on my knees loading in and out. I prefer Gretsch in general (I don't like the look of Tama or the birch shells of the Stage Custom) so that is why I was considering the Catalinas.

I don't know why the Gretsch people would say they are all close in weight. Seems like a BS response to me. I didn't know the Cats had different lugs, they look very similar. That could be why the Renown bass drum is so heavy as well. Anyway, I guess I will have to drive around with one of my toms and try to find some Catalinas to compare it to.
My opinion... Do exactly what I did.

Find a way to live with the Renown for a year or two while you save money and do research. The Renowns are perfectly capable drums and capture the Gretsch vibe in a way that no other kit does. I can't imagine a scenario where I couldn't get a working sound out of them.

For me, I went with a GeorgeWay as I really like the vintage aesthetic and had a healthy man-crush on Carter McLean... I look also good in a tux.
To my eye, the INDe has a nouveau aesthetic. I imagine I would love the look if I were coming from a Saturn or other modern looking kit.
Another option is Ludwig, either via a used Signet or new Neusonic.

Best of luck.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I weighed my 22 x 18 Renown bass drum. With spurs/legs on, no tom mount hardware, internal mic w/shock mount and a small pillow, it weighs 27 pounds.
My bass drum 22x16 weights the same : 12.8 kilos (28 pounds) and the snare almost 5 kilos (11 pounds).
It’s a pain to haul.
I even broke one bass drum strap carrying it !
The shells are light so it’s only the metal parts.
It’s really a pain but it sounds damn good. I wouldn’t imagine one way to lighten those babies.
The good side of this. : spikes on the spurs are useless, once it’s grounded with the toms above nothing moves.
Very different from the crawling Yamaha bass drums I played.
 
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TK-421

Senior Member
I don't know why the Gretsch people would say they are all close in weight. Seems like a BS response to me. I didn't know the Cats had different lugs, they look very similar. That could be why the Renown bass drum is so heavy as well. Anyway, I guess I will have to drive around with one of my toms and try to find some Catalinas to compare it to.
My guess is that they misunderstood the question. They were probably saying that just the shells (without any hardware) weigh about the same.

FWIW, even though I love Gretsch, I really don't like Catalinas. There's an enormous difference in quality from Catalinas to Renowns, and that is very noticeable in how they sound. My first Gretsch was a Catalina Maple about 10 years ago. Bought it brand new, and immediately swapped the heads for coated Ambassadors. Could not get a good sound out of it to save my life. I only owned that kit for about 6 weeks before selling it.

I also restored a well used Catalina Club kit a couple years ago, and when you take it apart, you see just how cheap all the hardware is. 2 lugs were broken when I got the kit, and when I was putting it back together 3 more lugs broke. Complete junk, if you ask me.

If you have to do something along the price of a Catalina, I'd go with Yamaha Stage Customs for sure. Granted, they're not as nice as your Renowns, but they're a helluva lot nicer than any Catalina kit.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I also restored a well used Catalina Club kit a couple years ago, and when you take it apart, you see just how cheap all the hardware is. 2 lugs were broken when I got the kit, and when I was putting it back together 3 more lugs broke. Complete junk, if you ask me.
Are these the lugs that kept on breaking? From the outside they don't look much different than the hardware on the Renowns, aside from being a little shorter.

 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Are these the lugs that kept on breaking? From the outside they don't look much different than the hardware on the Renowns, aside from being a little shorter.

Yes. Renowns are the full size G-5473. Catalina are cheaper/smaller GS-5476. I'm 99% certain that they are (or recently were) made by Gibraltar.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Are these the lugs that kept on breaking? From the outside they don't look much different than the hardware on the Renowns, aside from being a little shorter.

Yup, those are the ones. They look fine mounted on a shell, but take one off and you'll see that they're cheaply made. What kept breaking were the parts that go into the shell, that you screw the bolts into. They'd simply shear off if you overtightened the bolts, even by a little. To be honest, I don't even think I was overtightening them.

Comparing Catalina lugs with "real" Gretsch lugs is no comparison. Everything from Marquees on up use the real ones, while everything from Catalinas on down use the cheap ones.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I have no problem getting a decent sound out of my Catalina, excluding the snare, but yeah, we're talking pretty cheap metal.

Broke the memory lock for the to mount the day I got it, but luckily nothing else has broken. Bearing edge on the 10" tom wasn't even, but it sort of evened itself out to sound ok over time.

It's a cheap kit that you can make sound ok and taking it out to a dirty club won't give you a heart attack. It is also, as previously stated, very lightweight.
 

JD Jones

Member
I might wait and see what I can afford in a few months. It's just that the Renowns are mint and I haven't bought bags for them and don't want to mess them up if I am selling them (they're beautiful piano black too so they would show every mark). Those GeorgeWays are super cool, never heard of them before. I am also a big fan of the vintage aesthetic but I can't be too picky at my price point.

I've looked long and hard at the Ludwig Club Dates too. The price is not too bad but I don't know about those round-over bearing edges. If I can find some in a shop I will give them a listen. The Neusonics seem pretty great too but the finishes are a bit plain for my taste...why can't they just do some standard wraps if they want to save some money?

Yamaha Stage Custom...I haven't given up on them even though I am not sure I like the sound of birch, night and day from the Renown I would assume? My maple Absolutes were pretty awesome and I always wanted one of those gold-lug Maple Custom kits back in the 90s. When it comes to low-mid-level kits I would trust Yamaha's quality more than any other. They look classy too, not at all like their price-point. You guys are starting to talk me out of the Catalinas which is a bummer because I want to like them. But I don't want to be fussing with broken parts and funky bearing edges.

I know the weight thing has been discussed before but I am surprised it doesn't get more attention. According an article I read, "The accumulated reduction in knee load for a 1-pound loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked." That's huge over a lifetime of drumming and the associated gear transport and would in theory be a major factor in how long we can keep playing later in life, especially for someone like me who already has knee problems in their 40s. There is a chance I may be able to keep the Renowns AND get a lightweight primary gigging kit, but it's still being debated. Again, thanks for all this info., I've learned a lot.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I might wait and see what I can afford in a few months. It's just that the Renowns are mint and I haven't bought bags for them and don't want to mess them up if I am selling them (they're beautiful piano black too so they would show every mark). Those GeorgeWays are super cool, never heard of them before. I am also a big fan of the vintage aesthetic but I can't be too picky at my price point.

I've looked long and hard at the Ludwig Club Dates too. The price is not too bad but I don't know about those round-over bearing edges. If I can find some in a shop I will give them a listen. The Neusonics seem pretty great too but the finishes are a bit plain for my taste...why can't they just do some standard wraps if they want to save some money?

Yamaha Stage Custom...I haven't given up on them even though I am not sure I like the sound of birch, night and day from the Renown I would assume? My maple Absolutes were pretty awesome and I always wanted one of those gold-lug Maple Custom kits back in the 90s. When it comes to low-mid-level kits I would trust Yamaha's quality more than any other. They look classy too, not at all like their price-point. You guys are starting to talk me out of the Catalinas which is a bummer because I want to like them. But I don't want to be fussing with broken parts and funky bearing edges.

I know the weight thing has been discussed before but I am surprised it doesn't get more attention. According an article I read, "The accumulated reduction in knee load for a 1-pound loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked." That's huge over a lifetime of drumming and the associated gear transport and would in theory be a major factor in how long we can keep playing later in life, especially for someone like me who already has knee problems in their 40s. There is a chance I may be able to keep the Renowns AND get a lightweight primary gigging kit, but it's still being debated. Again, thanks for all this info., I've learned a lot.
Is there a reason why you can't simply buy a cart to wheel your drums on? I use this cart, and even though it's listed as "light duty", it's served me well for years hauling my heavy 6-pc Renown kit. The drums are also inside heavy-duty Drum Seeker soft cases, so the combined weight is a lot—yet no issues whatsoever. Plus it folds up quite small when not in use.


BTW, I only bought this cart after getting my Renown kit. Before that, I was fine lugging everything around by hand. But the extra weight of the Renowns finally prompted me to buy the cart. Now, I'd never go back.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hey JD Jones. Take look a Pearls 1.6mm Fat Tone Hoops. Pearl says that they are very strong not like other 1.6mm hoops.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I maybe wrong, but the drums I liked the most in term of sound happened to be heavy, I guess weight has its role to play, do heavy drums project more ? Just a thought.

About the renown, the main weight problem being the bass drum, changing the tom hoop, won't do the trick. I never had a Renown though I love their sound, the heaviness comes only from the lugs / claws ? The lugs are made of solid lead ?
My kit is bloody heavy but it's easy to understand, there are 10 heavy tube lugs, and strong plates for the floating spurs, the Renown is much more standard.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
do heavy drums project more?
Essentially yes. Heavier/thicker shells do in fact project more than lighter/thinner shells. I can only guess this is also somewhat true for hardware as well, although to a lesser degree.

More mass equals more projection, generally speaking.
 

JD Jones

Member
The cart thing is something to consider. I've got a decent folding mini-hand-cart I have used with some success. I am hesitant to add another large piece of equipment to the trunk though. I think I might give up on trying to lighten the Renowns. Seems like a combination of somewhat heavy shells, heavy lugs and heavy hoops. That's just too much to mess with. If I end up with Catalinas in the same sizes I will certainly be swapping some hoops though to see what's what.

So if I can swing another cheaper kit (a certain online gear seller has killer financing deals right now) and keep the Renowns for special occasions that would be ideal. Now I just need to decide which way to go there. I keep coming back to these three but none of them are perfect. All should hopefully be much lighter than the Renowns.

- Tama Superstar Classics (seem like excellent quality for the money but I don't like the look, the available finishes (well, the sparkle wraps are ok) or even the badges)
- Gretsch Catalina Maple or Club (I really like the look and they probably sound good too but have quality issues it seems)
- Yamaha Stage Custom (birch...never had birch drums and I am afraid I won't like the sound of them but I totally trust Yamaha quality)

I have a feeling I will end up with the Yamahas...the cheapest of the bunch by far and really nice quality. I don't want bright, quick toms though, so if that's their sound then I don't want them. For heads I usually run a coated PS3 BD batter, coated Emperors for tom batters and clear Ambassadors on bottom. I'll probably use my Renown snare which I really like. For some reason when I ordered the Renowns I was expecting to replace it with something else but it has been a pleasant surprise, though it hasn't diminished my desire for a hammered bronze Ludwig.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
- Yamaha Stage Custom (birch...never had birch drums and I am afraid I won't like the sound of them but I totally trust Yamaha quality)

I have a feeling I will end up with the Yamahas...the cheapest of the bunch by far and really nice quality. I don't want bright, quick toms though, so if that's their sound then I don't want them. For heads I usually run a coated PS3 BD batter, coated Emperors for tom batters and clear Ambassadors on bottom.
This video shows how Stage Customs sound with good heads and tuning. Of course it doesn't hurt that Weckl is the one playing them. He's using coated Ambassadors rather than Emperors, but it should give you a good idea. It also happens to be promoting HHX Evolutions, but the drums sound great.

 
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