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  #1  
Old 01-10-2010, 09:35 AM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

These are my three kits as of Dec 22 09 with the new addition of the 1958 Gretsch 4pc in Gold Sparkle wrap. I tucked Calf hide onto custom fitted wood flesh-hoops (toms both heads - snare batter only). BD heads are Evans EMAD & Gretsch Ebony Logo as you can see - in the dark) - daytime photo in my signature.

Complete set of Valje congas including bongos - bought new in 1977

6pc Gretsch Renown Purewood African Mahogany shellpack (issued in 2007)

AND - my dream kit! 1958 Gretsch 4pc in Gold Sparkle - these were horribly neglected when I bought them locally Sept 09. I finished the restore just before Christmas.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:42 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

That gives you a roomfull of very nice things.......
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Love those drums! The Valje's look in great shape too; heirloom quality. Here's an old "artsy" photo from their store.

GJS
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Last edited by Skulmoski; 01-10-2010 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Photo
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:18 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

I want to play those congas! Are they US made? Great drums too.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

I can never get my head around people not having there toms in a sequential order of size..... Im bamboozled.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:50 PM
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WayneWickman WayneWickman is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Love that old Gretsch. Makes me want to go out and get another snare stand. I love my Renowns w/GTS but hate having to move mics and cymbals to take the toms off to change out heads.

Got any more pics of the kit w/ better lighting?
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:51 PM
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WayneWickman WayneWickman is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

found the link.....sorry
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:01 PM
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Garvin Garvin is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Awesome Valjes. The name was recently released from LP and his son now owns it again.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:06 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Garvin, aren't they gorgeous?? Man I'd like to get my hands on those skins. More exciting to me even more than the sparkle Gretsch!
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

A very nice little collection! The old Gretsch's look fantastic!
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Yeah, they look like they are in awesome shape. Theres a lot to be said for buying them new, rather than having some old re-worked club set.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:18 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

And he's got 4 of them! :-)

panting here...........breathing heavy too.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

you have chosen wisely my son....
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Wow! great kits. I would love to see more pictures of the 58 gretsch! does it have a rail consolette? How much restoration did they need done? Does the snare have the lightning throw off? Everytime I come across round badge gretschs the snares have problems with the throw off or the butt plate. I have a 70's gretsch kit that I restored, but I would kill for a good round badge set.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:15 AM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
That gives you a roomfull of very nice things.......
Pretty nice - ya. Fun to play.........I gotta get the band back together now that I'm outa jail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skulmoski View Post
Love those drums! The Valje's look in great shape too; heirloom quality. Here's an old "artsy" photo from their store.
GJS
Yes - I have a copy of that too. Lots of great American drum builder history there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
I want to play those congas! Are they US made? Great drums too.
Made by Tom Flores or someone that was in his shop on Sunset Boulevard LA around 1976 or so - I bought them new in 1977.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANIMALBEATS View Post
I can never get my head around people not having there toms in a sequential order of size..... Im bamboozled.
Ha ha.....It just feels right and it's so easy coming off a floor tom. If you think about it........it's a natural (R L) pattern. For example: R 1414 fl, L 912 rack (large on my kit), R 810 rack and L highest tuned rack on my kit. I saw a few drummers playing that way - Kenny Arnoff, Billy Cobham - and I gave it a try and liked it. Not for everybody I guess, depends on what you play. Fun stuff though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchdrum View Post
A very nice little collection! The old Gretsch's look fantastic!
Thanks - I put a lot of thought into it before going for the Gretsch Purewoods. I was going to buy (order) a Custom USA shellpack.....almost did it, and then I saw an add for these. Everything about them appealed to me and I settled on them.......very happy I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
And he's got 4 of them! :-)
panting here...........breathing heavy too.
I bought a full set at the time - not really thinking about it as far as a "collection" goes. But I've been told in last few years that I may have one of or maybe the only complete set that include the four drums Quinto, Conga, Tumba, SuperT and matching bongos. That's just what I've been told by some people that collect them and know about the history. I find it hard to believe that I have the only complete set. And I don't know what that means - other than I have a nice set of Val-je's

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbike View Post
Wow! great kits. I would love to see more pictures of the 58 gretsch! does it have a rail consolette? How much restoration did they need done? Does the snare have the lightning throw off? Everytime I come across round badge gretschs the snares have problems with the throw off or the butt plate. I have a 70's gretsch kit that I restored, but I would kill for a good round badge set.
Thanks, I could send photos - email me. Yes - I restored the Walberg & Auge rail mount. I used it for a few days. Then I bought a larger 'tongue' for the rack mount piece from JP2 Creations. That allows the tom more height adjustment. But in the end I put it on a Pearl S-2000 snare stand (from Santa) - much better! I keep all the parts I don't use - they're part of the kit/history too.
There were many hours spent on eBay, lots of cleaning - removing rust etc. and repairs here and there - careful repairs! I always consulted Vintage people/Gretsch Historians and drum builders for advice. I bought them Sept 26 09 and they were pretty well fully restored by Dec 22 09. The Throwo-off (Snare switch) is a Micro Sensitive - and I stress 'sensitive!' It was missing so I bought one on eBay - expensive little sucker - and it broke.......the dial receiver inside the drum shell stripped. The drum did come with the end plate part & adjustment and it's fine. It would not be difficult to mount a different throw-off on the shell. I would mount it on a plywood plate and then mount the plate using the existing holes on the shell (you do not want to go drilling holes in a nice 3ply Gretsch shell - so they tell me). I'm using my very adequate Tama StarClassic 8x14 G Series Maple snare for now (doesn't have calfhide though - I should chuck it hu!).
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:19 AM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

The MS Strainer is repaired (a long time ago).

This is my latest kit:

Original 9x13 3ply Cadillac Green tom (54 maybe 55 or as late as 58) with 24K gold hardware

22" Gretsch 3ply bass drum - 1951. It was a wrap originally and came to me a few months ago with a nice black lacquer finish....complete with ying/yang and Dragon logos in gold leaf. It came with the original Round Badge. I installed new inlay - PrecissionDrum vintage (small hexagon peices of sparkle) Gold Sparkle.

16" floor tom....1953 3ply....a little outa round though. It was a tacked reso headed drum with Dupont Color (DUCO) gold and black. I put lugs on the reso as you can see and added a period correct mute as well. It also came with the original Round Badge.

2012 LangPercussion in Gold Hardware....7x14 3ply in 'close-to-cadi-green finish. Custom made by Mr. Morris (Arnie Lang) of LangPercussion NY USA.
This drum is a fill in until my Will Tillman 6.5x14 3ply (Gretsch-like) shell arrives.
The new snare shell....along with the bass drum and floor tom will be finished in Cadillac Green.....as close to it as I was able to have a local high-end Automotive supply make for me. Gretsch would not give me the paint code.....don't blame em....it's business.

The toms and snare (the Will Tillman snare) have Stickchopper hoops.


I still have not decided whether to gold plated the three drums to match the original 9x13. If I don't I can leave them with chrome and use this 'orphan' 1953 3ply Gretsch tom pictured here and paint it as well. The drum is a re-wrap (not original) it is nice but the vintage value is gone so I would not feel bad about putting a cadi green paint job on it.

These photos were taken yesterday.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:32 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Now that you have a "second" rack tom, I'd go with painting all the shells green, and run chrome hardware.
The problem with gold plating (new) is it will never match the rich patina of the old, OG gold.
I'm running into the same thang with my Club Date project. I'm using all nickel hardware. Some of my pieces have a gorgeous (to me, at least) patina to them, and others (I need to swap out chrome hardware, on some of my drums) have been cleaned and buffed to an "almost" chrome like finish. Since all the drums are duco, they just scream "vintage" anyways. I figure I'll swap out all the hardware and see how it looks.
If it looks "too" funky, I'll polish all the hardware. And you have that option, too (but in a more expensive way). You can always gold plate everything, later down the road, if you see a need to.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:38 PM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

Exactly Harry.
The gold plating is going to cost between $1500 and $2000. I can buy a lot of nice chrome Gretsch parts for 1/2 that.....and....as you say.....later on down the road if I decide to plate gold...well, I have that option.
Yes...you have some very nice Vintage drums there too Harry. I've been saving the photos you put up...the Harry's Drums file. Don't worry, I'm not stalking you haha.

Cheers,


Quote:
Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Now that you have a "second" rack tom, I'd go with painting all the shells green, and run chrome hardware.
The problem with gold plating (new) is it will never match the rich patina of the old, OG gold.
I'm running into the same thang with my Club Date project. I'm using all nickel hardware. Some of my pieces have a gorgeous (to me, at least) patina to them, and others (I need to swap out chrome hardware, on some of my drums) have been cleaned and buffed to an "almost" chrome like finish. Since all the drums are duco, they just scream "vintage" anyways. I figure I'll swap out all the hardware and see how it looks.
If it looks "too" funky, I'll polish all the hardware. And you have that option, too (but in a more expensive way).

You can always gold plate everything, later down the road, if you see a need to.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:52 PM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Re: VALJE CONGAS, 58 GRETSCH 4PC & Purewood African Mahogany Renown

I guess I should add this here as well.

I bought this last year.
Gretsch USA Custom in Champagne Sparkle
18bd/12/rack tom/14 floor
The drums are a Vintage buildout....diamond legs plates, vintage spurs, vintage t-rods and claws. Actually the claws pictured here came with the kit by mistake...I ordered the 50's style fawcet-type and the factory sent me the proper ones later on...they let me keep these too...nice! Thanks Paul at the factory!
I could have put a rail mount on too but I thought with the 18" bd it was a little too bulky looking so I went with a virgin shell.

I ordered a spare Ebony reso head but I like the one that's on better so I haven't used it yet. It looks nice though with the champagne sparkle but the head that's on there is more in keeping with the vintage vibe.

I already had the 4.5x14 snare (125th Anniversary - Round Badge) thanks to Harry Conway here. When I found it for sale at Guitar Center they would not sell to Canadians...at least for this one item. Harry offered to buy it for me = awesome! Thanks again Harry!

That's a Noble and Cooley in the back.............picked it up a couple of years ago at Long and McQuade Victoria BC....$75.
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