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  #1  
Old 12-24-2011, 09:21 AM
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Default Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Finally, after long last, the restoration process is finished. I'm just waiting on new heads right now, but I thought I'd share the story, in pictures, with you guys. Enjoy the pics!

1. rack tom, painted a very, very thick blue...
2. rack tom, with hardware removed. You can see how the inside AND bearing edges were painted too...ugh!
3. chemicals only removed *so much* of the paint, so I had to sand the rest off
4. the bass drum was originally white satin flame, in terrible condition
5. I was expecting to simply peel the wrap off, but apparently you can't do that with satin flame wrap. Here is the plastic wrap taken off to reveal the shiny gunk underneath
6. chemicals didn't remove ANY of the shiny stuff, so I had to sand AGAIN. Here are the 4 layers...shiny gunky stuff, a grey gunk under that, the glue, and the wood
7. floor tom was stained, so I had to sand that, too
8. sanding the hoops took a LOT longer than expected, as well. They were painted black, and even commercial-grade stripper didn't remove the 50+ year old paint
9. here are the shells, completely stripped and waiting stain and finishing. I used Howard's Restore-A-Finish, and HIGHLY recommend it. It brought the grain of the wood out beautifully!
10. Here's where we are now--awaiting heads. When the heads are here, and the kit is assembled, I'll post some more pics...
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Looks good! Can't wait to see the finished kit!
Question: is the kit finished? The photo makes them look like bare shells - does the finish you use make it look like that?
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Question: is the kit finished? The photo makes them look like bare shells - does the finish you use make it look like that?
They ARE the bare shells! That's the original Gretsch maple, baby! After sanding it down, I rubbed the Restore-A-Finish on the bare shell, and it brought out the grain like nobody's business. After that, I rubbed it down with some wax, which brought out the grain some more, and gave it a little bit of a sheen. The kit is au natural...
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Very nice work Caddy..

I love working with wood, I had several years in school taking wood shop and although I'm no expert I have enough confidence to refinish about anything. I'd like to score a vintage kit too one day and see what beauty is hidden under that skin.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Huge props to you for the work you've put in on this Caddy. Man, that's a lot of effort to remove all that crap from the shells. I totally support your decision to keep them au natural, that way, you stand the best chance of wringing every last bit of resonance from those matured shells. Are you recutting the edges?
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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Originally Posted by Nodiggie View Post
Very nice work Caddy..

I love working with wood, I had several years in school taking wood shop and although I'm no expert I have enough confidence to refinish about anything. I'd like to score a vintage kit too one day and see what beauty is hidden under that skin.
Nice! I sure hope you get the chance to someday. When I was stripping the shells, I was amazed at the wood when it was revealed. This is usually the kind of wood that drum builders save for the veneer, but it's what the shells are made out of. The floor tom has a high level of quilting going on. I should snap a detail shot of that...it looks as if the shell is wet and dripping! Very cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Huge props to you for the work you've put in on this Caddy. Man, that's a lot of effort to remove all that crap from the shells. I totally support your decision to keep them au natural, that way, you stand the best chance of wringing every last bit of resonance from those matured shells. Are you recutting the edges?
Yeah, it was a LOT of work. At my last tally, I spent a total of about 17 hours on sanding alone, and that doesn't count the hours spent trying to chemically strip the paint, gunk, glue, or stain.

I am not going to cut the edges at this point. I sanded the edges of the 12" tom to get the paint off, but kept them very close to original. The edges are all flat/true and original on the other two drums, so I'm leaving them as they are. They sounded great before the refinishing, so I'm sure they'll sound great now, especially with brand new heads...
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

I remember asking you about this well over a year ago! Nice work there Caddy. Great to see those shells in working order. You know this means we're going to want recordings and the like too, right?
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Love those drums ! Welcome to the GRB club. looks like we have twins.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Ah nice Caddy! You assembled this kit drum by drum? Care to share total money spent? Would love to hear your take on this kit as compared to your Luds as compared to your DW's. And yes we need soundfiles of you playing all 3 kits, mandatory. Bernhard said so. (evil-ey twirls moustasche, as Caddy has never posted his playing AFAIK) There is one hitch though. It's in the 2nd to last photo. :) Based on your photos, I now know your true identity lol. ;) You're right, that is veneer quality wood that they wrapped/painted over. Very nice. Harry's drums have mufflers top and bottom. I don't see them on yours. Am I missing them? Also, I see 3 horizontal holes near the bearing edge. What the heck are they for? I'm surprised you didn't go with the blue. It's so beautiful lol.

Harry your kit looks new, I am assuming you restored it? And what is the deal w/ the new avatar, explanation please?

Last edited by larryace; 12-24-2011 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

This gonna be so cool mate. Can't wait to see the finished product.

That blue drum looks like it was a major PITA to square away. All that paint.....AND on the bearing edges.......man, nightmare!!

Looking forward to seeing it done.

Great job mate.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Also, I see 3 horizontal holes near the bearing edge. What the heck are they for?
Three holes is for the Jimmy Pratt muffler. I pulled mine off, as I don't care much for 'em.
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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Harry your kit looks new, I am assuming you restored it? And what is the deal w/ the new avatar, explanation please?
Restored yes, but not by me. I bought it this way. The avatar, Zach Anner ... google the man, he's quite an awesome cat.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Nice, Nice, Very Nice!
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
I remember asking you about this well over a year ago! Nice work there Caddy. Great to see those shells in working order. You know this means we're going to want recordings and the like too, right?
Yep. I'll have to figure out how to make and post videos now.

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Love those drums ! Welcome to the GRB club. looks like we have twins.
Yes. :D Yours looks to be 13/16/20...is that correct? I just realized I failed to list sizes on mine. Gonna go edit that now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Ah nice Caddy! You assembled this kit drum by drum? Care to share total money spent? Would love to hear your take on this kit as compared to your Luds as compared to your DW's. And yes we need soundfiles of you playing all 3 kits, mandatory. Bernhard said so. (evil-ey twirls moustasche, as Caddy has never posted his playing AFAIK) There is one hitch though. It's in the 2nd to last photo. :) Based on your photos, I now know your true identity lol. ;) You're right, that is veneer quality wood that they wrapped/painted over. Very nice. Harry's drums have mufflers top and bottom. I don't see them on yours. Am I missing them? Also, I see 3 horizontal holes near the bearing edge. What the heck are they for? I'm surprised you didn't go with the blue. It's so beautiful lol.
I didn't actually assemble the kit drum by drum. I bought it as a cobbled together orphan kit that someone I know sold when he left town. As for the amount I paid, you'll NEVER get it out of me!

Hmm...I'd love to post some playing on my 3 main kits, to compare them. Great idea! My kit has all of the mufflers, but I'm going to leave them off. Yes, that means there will be some extra holes in the drums, as well as extra holes from the tom mount on the rack tom and extra holes from the rail consolette on the bass drum. However, I DID reinstall the Pratt muffler on the bass drum, because those freakin' RULE!

You'll never know my identity, though. That 2nd to last picture was taken at a friend's house. Mwa-ha-ha! Well, okay, not really, but there's nothing in that pic to give away my identity. I had my people scour the picture for incriminating details before posting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
This gonna be so cool mate. Can't wait to see the finished product.

That blue drum looks like it was a major PITA to square away. All that paint.....AND on the bearing edges.......man, nightmare!!

Looking forward to seeing it done.

Great job mate.
Thanks! The blue was a HUGE PITA to remove! The kit is going to look and sound great once I get the heads on, though. It's just a matter of waiting for new heads now...

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Three holes is for the Jimmy Pratt muffler. I pulled mine off, as I don't care much for 'em.
Oh, man...the Pratt muffler is one of the coolest things about Round Badge kits! An adjustable felt strip on the bass drum--yes please! Modern kits need to offer them, or Gibraltar needs to sell them or something...
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Can someone shed some light on the Jimmy Pratt muffler thingy? You know how they say you learn something new every day? Little help? Is that a factory thing? If so do all GRB's have them?

Are you going to suspension mount that tom? Are you going to gig this kit? If so can I come? Pretty please?
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Can someone shed some light on the Jimmy Pratt muffler thingy? You know how they say you learn something new every day? Little help? Is that a factory thing? If so do all GRB's have them?
Yeah, all GRBs had them stock. Sometimes they'll rattle (mine doesn't, yet!). When they don't rattle, they actually work quite well, like a felt strip that doesn't touch the bearing edge, except that it will dampen the head quite a bit, it's not subtle. If you want a tight, funky kick, it can be very cool. Not so much for the wide-open jazzer sound of today.

Hey Conway, what's up with your upside down floor tom? I've seen a few floor toms on GRB kits this way, is there anything to it?
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:07 PM
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Hey Conway, what's up with your upside down floor tom? I've seen a few floor toms on GRB kits this way, is there anything to it?
For me, it justs gets the floor tom lower. I used to low ride behind my kits (can't do that anymore ... with my new titanium hip) ... so all my floor toms got flipped. Very few companies knurl their floor tom legs full length, so rather than try to clamp onto smooth metal rod, I flip my floors 180. Now that I have to sit a little higher, my floors might all wind up right side up, again. We shall see.
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Old 12-25-2011, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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For me, it justs gets the floor tom lower. I used to low ride behind my kits (can't do that anymore ... with my new titanium hip) ... so all my floor toms got flipped. Very few companies knurl their floor tom legs full length, so rather than try to clamp onto smooth metal rod, I flip my floors 180. Now that I have to sit a little higher, my floors might all wind up right side up, again. We shall see.
I have the opposite problem. I wish my floor tom legs were longer! I've just raised all my toms and they're much better now they're higher but I cannot get the floor tom to a high enough level. It's not uncomfortable to play at all but it could do with another four inches of height.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Yeah, all GRBs had them stock. Sometimes they'll rattle (mine doesn't, yet!). When they don't rattle, they actually work quite well, like a felt strip that doesn't touch the bearing edge, except that it will dampen the head quite a bit, it's not subtle. If you want a tight, funky kick, it can be very cool. Not so much for the wide-open jazzer sound of today.
Could you explain in more detail what it looks like installed, what it's made from, does it stretch across the head or just muffle the edge? Just one edge? All I know now is they may rattle, so OK that suggests metal. Is it a round pad? Rectangular pad? A strip? Is it adjustable or just on or off? What color is it? Who is Jimmy Pratt? Is he still alive? Am I annoying you enough yet?
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Could you explain in more detail what it looks like installed, what it's made from, does it stretch across the head or just muffle the edge? Just one edge? All I know now is they may rattle, so OK that suggests metal. Is it a round pad? Rectangular pad? A strip? Is it adjustable or just on or off? What color is it? Who is Jimmy Pratt? Is he still alive? Am I annoying you enough yet?
Chill out Larry, It is just a piece of felt that is anchored on one end inside of the bass drum and tensioned on the other end with a tuning knob.
My first Slingerland kit had one installed in the bass drum.
I did like caddy and I removed it because it was a pain in the ass to keep it from rattling.
I also removed the internal mufflers from all of my vintage toms and snare drums because they simply weren't that good.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

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Chill out Larry, It is just a piece of felt that is anchored on one end inside of the bass drum and tensioned on the other end with a tuning knob.
My first Slingerland kit had one installed in the bass drum.
I did like caddy and I removed it because it was a pain in the ass to keep it from rattling.
I also removed the internal mufflers from all of my vintage toms and snare drums because they simply weren't that good.
Great restoration project and labor of love. At least you will be able to fit heads on the kit's oversized shells with the wrap removed. Here is a picture of the Pratt muffler:
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  #21  
Old 12-25-2011, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Larry: I'll snap some detailed pics of it before putting the heads on.

Bobda: I'm planning on installing it. It is just so cool. I dig felt strips on a bass drum, and you can adjust the Pratt muffler to put different amounts of pressure on the felt/head, OR have the head unmuffled, all without removing the head. It's like an EMAD, but 100x more useful. It's a beautiful thing...

...but the tom mufflers are staying off, for sure!
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

I remember going to the external clamp on bass drum muffler way back in the day after I removed the Pratt.
That worked pretty good and it could be removed entirely when not wanted.

I would try the Aquarian Vintage heads with the felt attached.
They are made to fit a vintage drum properly too.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Great project! Brings back memories of my very first kit (long story) Should be a beaut when she's finished.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:44 AM
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Caddy, they are absolutely beautiful! Great Great Great work!!!! Gretsch just brings the true love of drums out in me so I truly appreciate you sharing!
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:01 AM
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Nice job Caddy!

...............
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I remember going to the external clamp on bass drum muffler way back in the day after I removed the Pratt.
That worked pretty good and it could be removed entirely when not wanted.
I can turn the Pratt completely off, too. I don't have the "rattling" problem that many people have brought up with that particular piece of hardware. I guess mine just works correctly, fortunately.

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I would try the Aquarian Vintage heads with the felt attached.
They are made to fit a vintage drum properly too.
That's what I'm waiting on...the American Vintage heads. Should be here any day now. Yep, any day now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pearlygates View Post
Great project! Brings back memories of my very first kit (long story) Should be a beaut when she's finished.
Do share! We've got time. :)

And, thanks for the kind words, DrumEatDrum and millerscapes. I'm super-excited...
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I remember going to the external clamp on bass drum muffler way back in the day after I removed the Pratt.
That worked pretty good and it could be removed entirely when not wanted.

I would try the Aquarian Vintage heads with the felt attached.
They are made to fit a vintage drum properly too.

Bob did the Pratt muffler come factory installed on your 70's Walnut Gretsch's?
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:56 AM
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Okay, Larry...here's some close-up shots of the Pratt muffler, so you can see what's going on. The felt strip is screwed to the bottom of the shell, via a small plate, and the knob tension device is used to simultaneously pull the felt upward and push it into the head, depending on the degree of muffling your want. It's on the batter side of the drum, and I might just add a second one to the reso side in the future, but not for right now...
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:13 AM
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Alright, and I just got the heads, slapped 'em on the drums, tuned them up, and played the restored Gretsch kit for the first time. Amazing! Here are the pics:

1. The obligatory hardware in the suitcase shot...those who have followed my saga will know that I like to pack all of my drum hardware into a single suitcase, minus the hi hat stand and throne. This is the hardware used with this kit, including a second snare stand to mount the rack tom, 3 flat-based stands (two modern Ludwig, one vintage Ludwig), a DW5000 bass drum pedal, the floor tom legs, and the original cymbal L-arm for mounting a cymbal on the bass drum.
2. Here she is...front view straight on.
3. Here she is again...front view from standing position. Note: I have yet to get a grommet for the bass drum badge, so it's not on there for the time being.
4. Here's the birdseye view. Yes, I DID get a 22" K Light Ride, thanks for noticing. Also, I'm using 15" 1950s A hats, an 18" Sabian Vault crash, a 20" K Crash/Ride (or a 19" Med. Thin Dark Crash, or even sometimes a 17" 1970s paper-thin crash), and a 16" Sabian HHX Evolution crash. Yes, these are my light cymbals for quieter gigs, and all of them "open up" very nicely at quiet dynamics.
5. Here's a close-up of the L-arm used to hold the 22" ride. Yes, I've tested its strength to make sure the cymbal won't fall one way or the other--this sucker isn't budging. I don't trust the bracket on my Ludwig kick drum, but this one on the Gretsch is rock-solid. Oh, and would you look at that grain on the bass drum! :D
6. Here's the snare I'm playing with the kit. It's a 1928 Slingerland Tone Flange, but with the "flange" removed, the screws taken out of the bearing edge, and the whole edge sanded down past the holes to leave a perfect bearing edge on top of the magnificent 80+ year old solid mahogany shell. That wrap on it is original, and is the very first "sparkle" finish ever created. It's more like a sand that kinda sparkles. Either way, it's beautiful and it's a miracle that it (the wrap AND the drum) survived this long.
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  #30  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

It's not often that I get severe gear lust.

Today isn't a normal day.
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  #31  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:55 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Good Lord that's beautiful! Nice work! I know it's a classic jazz kit, but the first thing that came to mind was Charlie Watt's Rolling Stones kit. You gotta record them so we can hear them!
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  #32  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:10 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

I want one!!

Looks great Caddy.....that K Light looks like it was born to ride that kit. Awesome!
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  #33  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

The thing that's especially niche-y about this kit, as I've played around on it and messed with tuning it all over the map, is that no matter how you tune it, the toms sound choked, like when people tune their toms sky-high for jazz. That's due to the lack of vent holes. It's weird to see my sticks hitting a 12" tom tuned JAW, but it sounds choked like a 16" tuned super-high.

I definitely start playing jazz licks while on this kit. I can't help it. Tuned medium-low, it sounds like Philly Jo's kit, and tuned up higher it sounds like Max Roach's kit. I tried to remember how to play Blues For Big Sid all the way through (I had to memorize it for a jury in college...). Time to get the sheet music out!
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  #34  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:05 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Wow beautiful work! Just gorgeous grain. Thanks for the Pratt shot, first time I ever saw one. The choked part sounds disappointing.
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  #35  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Really lovely piece of work there- you can hear the sustain from here, makes you want to get all swingy!
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  #36  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:39 AM
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toddy toddy is offline
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

that snare looks outrageous
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  #37  
Old 01-06-2012, 03:31 AM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Wow beautiful work! Just gorgeous grain. Thanks for the Pratt shot, first time I ever saw one. The choked part sounds disappointing.
I'm not too disappointed in the choked sound, because I played the drums before I refinished them and knew what I was getting myself into. I'm just not used to it because these drums have been out of commission for a few months while I refurbished them. It's like "instant jazz sound". They sound kinda like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1xeb125iaI

...and this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIPIc3bkYoc


Quote:
Originally Posted by toddy View Post
that snare looks outrageous
Thanks! It's pretty cool. Everything attached to the drum itself is original...the tube lugs, throw off, the wrap, badge, and butt plate. The hoops, tension rods, and heads are newer. It's definitely not a museum piece, and the wrap has a few small cracks in it, but the tube lugs are still going strong and not stripped...but the SOUND is incredible!
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  #38  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:00 AM
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toddy toddy is offline
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

i actually thought you'd re-wrapped it since it looks so shiney
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  #39  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddy View Post
i actually thought you'd re-wrapped it since it looks so shiney
Nope...that's the outer maple ply of the shell. It's shiny 'cause I used Howard's Feed-N-Wax on it. It's not THAT shiny in person, but the camera/flash brought out the shine a bit.
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  #40  
Old 01-06-2012, 01:29 PM
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dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Caddy's Gretsch Round Badge kit!

Serious stuff! Beautiful work for what I am sure is a beautiful sound.
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