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Old 08-22-2009, 06:03 PM
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stillgroovin stillgroovin is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York state of mind.
Posts: 366

I wanted to share my experience with my Gretsch Catalina Maple kit. There has been a enormous amount of discussion here about drum quality, and affordability. Often it seems that the the only way to achieve that pro=sound is to plink down BIG bucks on a pro kit or a custom job. This in itself is fine, especially if you can afford to do this or if you are a working drummer that needs this kind of imediate quality. Guys like me that aren't working all the time or just can't afford $5,000 for a kit are often resigned to buying the intermediate stuff, which in its own rite isn't bad, but never seems to quite measure up in the sound department. Well, here's what I did about it. I researched the differences between the the Gretsch Renown and the Catalina line and to my surprise found very little seperating the pro line from the intermediate line. Basically it involves labor and sealing. The Renown line's shells are finished with silver sealer ( a Gretsch thing that improves the sound through resonance and sealing the pores of the wood). Other than that, the Catalina series lacks - A. Finished interiors on the shells and B. good heads. Heres what I did. I dis- assembled all the drums and sanded the interiors with 300 grit paper so that they were baby skin smooth. Then I sealed the interiors with Teak oil, applying several coats until the interiors were sealed and had a nice low sheen. The sealer, although not the silver paint ,that Gretsch uses on the Renown line, accomplished the same thing. That being, smooth sealed resonant interiors, that improve the sound. I then added Evans G2 over G1'heads and tuned them up. The bass drum has a Emad batter and the stock reso and I am using the Evans Emad pillow for just a little muffling. The difference is phenominal !!!! to say the least!. I will put my Catalinas up against any high end Gretsch kit and I bet you wouldn't hear the difference. Pro kit with a little sweat equity..........not bad,eh? Let me know what you think and If you try this.
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Gretsch and Paiste
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