Weight Savings Replacing 302 Hoops on Gretsch Renown?

Darth Vater

Senior Member
You will do yourself a disservice going backwards in quality in order to save weight. I align myself with the people advising you to get a cart. Renowns are excellent kits.
 

JD Jones

Member
I saw that Weckl video quite a while ago when I was doing my research on what would end up being the Renown purchase but had forgotten about it. They do sound great and look great too, and I remember he played Recording Customs on his early records and instructional videos.

How can Yamaha do it so cheaply? Does birch have dramatically different grades as maple does or is this basically a Recording Custom-level kit masquerading as entry level? I like the badges too...seems like so many drum companies hold the elegant/classy-looking badges out for their high-end kits only.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Don't get me wrong, I'm still in the camp of keeping the Renowns and using a cart to take the stress off your knees. But if that isn't an option for whatever reason, or if you simply need to have lighter drums, then the Stage Customs are a great option. As are their big brothers, the new Tour Customs (though they're a bit pricier).

The SCs are definitely not at the same level as RCs though. SCs sound amazing for their price, and I'm sure will serve you well. But the RCs are in an entirely different league. I've played both, and the RCs are considerably warmer, and with more "presence". Not trying to take anything away from the SCs though, it's all relative.
 

JD Jones

Member
I like the Renowns, I just didn't know they were heavier than every other drum set I've ever had when I ordered them. The way I see it given that I want something lighter I have two choices: sell them and replace them with something lighter of similar quality (looking long and hard at the Pearl Session Studio Select or Yamaha Tour Custom) or keep them and buy a cheaper lightweight kit for those times when I need it (Stage Customs are in the lead there I think).

I won't keep on and on about this, taking everyone's time. I've learned a lot from these posts and I appreciate it. And I will check in once I get it sorted out. Thanks!
 

Pootle

Member
I guess what you have to remember is that Gretsch have spent time, energy and money researching and developing the RN2 and what you get is a fantastic sounding and looking kit for a decent price. When you start messing with that whole ethos I personally think you're on your own. You don't know what its going to sound like and then there's the resale issue; people are going to want to buy a Gretsch Renown not your take on it. If the weight is that much of an issue, buy a trolley as suggested or change the drums entirely.
Having said all of that as a proud RN2 owner, I've just bought myself a 20x16 bass drum to replace the 22x18 as its just such a ball ache to move about. I'm now playing 12, 16, 20 with a 13 snare and I'm so much happier. The bass really sounds fantastic and the kit feels much more complete, actually feels more "Gretsch." Good luck with your choices!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah. The more complex midrange, so you can ge both cut and warmth, is definetly something that generally defines a higher qualty instruments.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
Here’s what I would do. I’d keep em, cause they are great drums. I’d leave the 10” at home. I’d buy soft drum seeker bags. I’d buy one of these to roll em around.


Selling them to downgrade is silly and poor economics.
 

Drumprof

Member
“You will do yourself a disservice going backwards in quality in order to save weight. I align myself with the people advising you to get a cart. Renowns are excellent kits.”

Totally agree with this statement.

I don’t see them as that heavy. I would say medium heavy, not as light as the Stage Custom’s or Tour Customs but that’s a sign of solid, quality drums (not that there are not lighter kits that are of equal or better quality) but I also play the 20, which is a bit better.
Could you possibly get a band mate to help you with the bass drum on gigs? I assume the bass is the problem drum, weight wise.
I do agree some kits are more gig friendly weight wise, but the Renowns are not super heavy.

I have an original Yamaha Maple Custom bop bass drum (an 18) that feels heavier than my Renown 20.
10, thick plies on the MC, it’s one heavy drum but playing it, man you think you’d died and gone to heaven. 😎
 

JD Jones

Member
Thanks again for all the replies. I think I will keep the Renowns and eventually buy something like a small Tama Superstar Classic or Catalina maple kit for those gigs that are a pain to deal with. I played some Yamaha Stage Customs and found them a little too harsh and short on sustain for my taste. I could see why they would appeal to many drummers but to my ear the Tama Superstar Classic Maples were much more what I'm looking for, aside from the Renown that is.

I may still fool around with some thin hoops on the Renown...no harm as long as I keep the 302s on hand.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I know what you mean about the lack of body of the Yamaha Stage Custom - I’m always surprised to read so many good things about this kit here.

Why won’t you just buy a 20” renown add-on bass drum ?
 
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Stixnergard2

Senior Member
If you want a quality light weight kit, consider Inde Drum Labs. Josh’s design concepts are well thought out, sound great, and are super light.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I know what you mean about the lack of body of the Yamaha Stage Custom - I’m always surprised to read so many good things about this kit here.

Why won’t you just buy a 20” renown add-on bass drum ?
I 2nd the idea of buying a 20” bass drum. Assuming you can find one to match. That will save some weight.
 

JD Jones

Member
I know what you mean about the lack of body of the Yamaha Stage Custom - I’m always surprised to read so many good things about this kit here.

Why won’t you just buy a 20” renown add-on bass drum ?
Yeah, the build quality is great on the Stage Customs I will agree but you nailed it with the "lack of body" description. They are very articulate but too much impact sound and not enough meat for my taste. I never cared for the Recording Customs either so it's probably just a personal preference thing.

The set of Renowns I have already has the 20" BD. It's still pretty darn heavy as are the toms and snare and I keep running across threads where their weight is mentioned. After all this discussion I am ready to accept their weight as part of the deal and maybe add a compact kit for certain situations. I already have ultralight hardware so that helps too.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Yeah, the build quality is great on the Stage Customs I will agree but you nailed it with the "lack of body" description. They are very articulate but too much impact sound and not enough meat for my taste. I never cared for the Recording Customs either so it's probably just a personal preference thing.

The set of Renowns I have already has the 20" BD. It's still pretty darn heavy as are the toms and snare and I keep running across threads where their weight is mentioned. After all this discussion I am ready to accept their weight as part of the deal and maybe add a compact kit for certain situations. I already have ultralight hardware so that helps too.
I'm curious what kind of heads were on the Stage Custom. I have a Stage Custom bop kit that I use with mesh heads and low-volume cymbals, so I haven't heard it with real heads in years. But I used to play it with coated Ambassadors, and I remember them sounding warm and resonant. But I've also played some more recently with stock clear heads, and they were much harsher sounding.
 

JD Jones

Member
They were the stock heads on the Stage Custom. I have no doubt that one could probably get closer to a warmer sound using different heads, but other inexpensive kits manage to sound warmer and more resonant with cheap heads. Here are a couple of good reviews (from the same people) of both the Stage Custom (with the reviewers noting similar things with the sound) and Tama Superstar Classic. I prefer the Tamas for sure but the Yamahas aren't necessarily bad-sounding.



Just for kicks, here is their review for the Renowns...wow, those toms and BD (and it's only a 20").

 

Jbravo

Senior Member
I absolutely love the 302 hoops on my Brooklyn snare. I’ve thought about retrofitting then on my Classic Maples, but decided the small difference wouldn’t be worth the cost...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If I was having this same issue, I would find a way to save my knees, not get lighter drums. Because no matter how light the drums are, they will still stress the knees. Eliminate the knee stress, not reduce it, is the route that makes the most sense to me. New loading habits don't cost anything.

Get a cart. If you load and unload the cart from a sitting down position, no knee stress. Getting the drums out of the basement and up the stairs...again, if my knees were that bad I'd pull them up the steps with rope on a ramp. Or something. Any creative thing to not use my knees.
Pay a kid a few bucks or buy someone a drink for hauling the drums up steps. There's many ways to solve this issue without changing drums.
 
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