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  #1  
Old 02-02-2017, 06:47 PM
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Default USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Greetings fellow drummers,
New member and first time poster here.
Have been a lurker for a long time and enjoy your opinions, banter and advice.

I am about to order my first Gretsch drum set. I have been a long time Yamaha guy and still love what they do and am proud of that but I am at a point in my career where I am able and have always wanted to add Gretsch to my stable of equipment.

I would like to ask your opinions about a choice of finish. This will become my main gigging kit and I play somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-80 gigs a year. My gigs now are almost exclusively jazz society stuff... country clubs, up-scale restaurants, private party etc... so I don't need something too out there.

I'm also committed to the Nitron at this point so it will be durable and I like several of the wrap finishes, and since all of my Yamaha kits are of course wood grain Lacquer, I want this one to be different. wrapped, bop sizes, and I want it to be a bit more classic. I currently own a natural maple (light colored) and a beautiful Yamaha walnut (kind of a medium shade), so I was thinking something dark, even black (yes, I know that's not a fav to some of you) but remember, I'm looking for a classic look and I play a lot of coat and tie / tuxedo gigs.

I"m also set on USA Custom, I want the maple/gumwood shell with die cast hoop classic sound. I can afford it and I want it.

My question I guess is, when looking at the finish options on the Gretsch website of all the lines, I really like a few of the darker oyster finishes found on the Brooklyn/Broadcaster lines. So...is it ok to try and get say a black or silver or smoke gray oyster on a USA kit? My understanding is Gretsch will allow crossover finishes from other lines on customs but is that something I should do?

I have been looking at hundreds if not thousands of kits on line to get an idea for what finish but I only seem to see custom's in the offered finishes and the oyster finishes all seem to be from the brooklyn's.

Am I the first one who has ever thought of getting a wrap from slightly "lower" line (no offense)? That doesn't seem right.
Is it not kosh to do?
Will it negatively effect the value of the drums or just be very unique?
Is the quality of wrap and application less?

I don't know, I just was wondering why I don't see any other custom's in like the black, gray or silver oysters, or from unique finishes from the other lines.

Thoughts, opinions would be much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2017, 11:41 PM
ConvertedLudwigPlayer ConvertedLudwigPlayer is offline
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

I have a 12" orphan Brooklyn tom in the black oyster (or whatever they call it). The wrap is very subtle. I sold most of my Brooklyn drums, but still have a 24" bass in smoke oyster wrap. It is a gorgeous wrap and would be fine in the environment you play, IMO. It is subtle but noticeable. The wraps are applied the same way between the lines I would think.

I assume others have thought of using wraps from other lines, and I don't see anything wrong with it.

I have a Renown in Blue Burst (discontinued finish), but it is really nice; and a USA Custom from the early 80's - a double bass jazz kit (two 18"bass drums) in Walnut. I think the Walnut is a great finish. I would have no problem with either of those types of finishes in the places you play.

I have a Recording Custom in black and it is a timeless look, albeit a bit boring. I also had Recording Customs in Cherrywood (classy) and Cobalt Blue (bright and not to everyone's taste, that's for sure).

If it were me, I would opt for what looks classy and inspires you to play. Personally, if I were buying a new Gretsch, I would look long and hard at the Savannah Sunset finish.
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2017, 01:07 AM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

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Originally Posted by Drumprof View Post
My gigs now are almost exclusively jazz society stuff... country clubs, up-scale restaurants, private party etc... so I don't need something too out there.
I guess Tony Williams' Nitron yellow is out then.
Of the other options you list, I'd go for piano black.
What about good old white marine pearl? Timeless.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Welcome to the zoo. I like the Deep Black Marine Pearl. I too would love to own the USA custom but for now have a Renown. I see no issue with a wrap since you will be gigging and moving about. Let us know what you decide...
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2017, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Thanks guys. Yes, that black marine pearl is top of the list GD.
Still, it's hard to gauge from some of the images. Some I see don't come off to appealing, kind of looks dirty and a little more pearl than black.
Some look fantastic and more of a true black pearl.

I wonder if the wrap has changed in the past few years. Some of the images that are a bit less appealing are a couple years old. The more recent one's look really nice and more consistent. I notice that is used to be called black marine pearl but now I see the name deep black marine pearl. Don't know if there is a difference or if there has been a change to the consistency of the wrap color.
I also realize lighting has a lot to do with it.

I have asked Gretsch to send me a sample and they said they would. I think that will seal it for me. It's just if I'm going to drop 3+ grand on a kit, I want to know exactly what I"m getting when I open the boxes.

Thanks again guys. I enjoy our community here and will be looking to participate more.
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:48 PM
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2017, 09:48 PM
Groov-E Groov-E is offline
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

I love the black pearl as well as white marine pearl since it has to look classy. I would add the Gold Glass as I like orange sparkles !

A wrap is a great idea for your intended use.

Can you get a discount since it is the least expensive option for the manufacturer ?
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:51 PM
Groov-E Groov-E is offline
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

...and the sky blue pearl !
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

The problem is I copied a picture from a web site, posted to another web site, and you get to look at it thru the eyes of three different processings so who know what the real color is. Good idea to get the sample. Let us know.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2017, 01:18 AM
kanefsky kanefsky is offline
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

I've found that it's easy to fall in love with some of the professional shots of a kit with a given finish, but when you put it in a real-world environment it's not nearly as nice. One big factor is that a lot of product shots are against a pure white background, but your real-world environment might be quite dark and cluttered in comparison. A lot of colors look really nice against pure white but not as nice against a darker background. Similarly a lot of patterns might look nice against a solid background but not as nice with real-world clutter all around them (especially shiny metal finishes).

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Old 02-04-2017, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Sounds like this will be a kit you hang onto for a good long time,
so re-sale value needn't be a consideration.

I don't know if Gretsch will put a wrap from a less expensive line on a more expensive kit.
But if they will - who cares if other people do it.

Like you say - you can afford it, and you want it.
So if that's what will do it for you, I say go for it.
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2017, 04:37 PM
incrementalg incrementalg is offline
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Gretsch's website doesn't do justice to any of their finishes. Everything I've seen on their site pales in comparison to the real thing. I've not seen the finish you're looking at in real life yet. Looking forward to hearing what you think of the sample.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2017, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Quote:
I've found that it's easy to fall in love with some of the professional shots of a kit with a given finish, but when you put it in a real-world environment it's not nearly as nice.
Quote:
A lot of colors look really nice against pure white but not as nice against a darker background. Similarly a lot of patterns might look nice against a solid background but not as nice with real-world clutter all around them (especially shiny metal finishes).
That really nailed it Kanefsky!
Gretsch is sending some samples. I'll let you know what I decide.

Two things real quick....
Anybody read whoistony ('s) thread on his Yamaha stage customs compared to his USA Customs? Interesting from a poster I much respect.

Was actually thinking of getting rid of my 2015 Stage Custom Birch bop kit for this USA. Hmmmm. Might re-think that.

My motivations was to move on from mid-line kits and only play my best gear. I know this opens the discussion of a gig or beater kit but I find myself always grabbing my Stage Customs for my around town gigs and the Absolute Hybrid Maples hardly ever get played. Kind of like the Roll's Royce that never leaves the garage argument.
I thought if I got rid of the Stage Customs and only left myself with two high end kits to choose from (absolute hybrids and USA Customs) I would break myself of the habit of owning high end drums but only gigging my mid-level kit. Any thoughts on that boys? I know it's deep my brothers. I feel like I need drum therapy sometimes.

Second and lastly....and this is easy...
Thoughts on snare strainer?
It appears I have the options of the Lightning, Dunnett or Micro Sensitive.
Since I have never owned a Gretsch drum in my life. I just don't know what is best or what?
I'm thinking Micro-Sensitive. I kind of like that it doesn't engage horizontally but vertically if you know what I mean.
Any opinions or advice on the strainer? I'ts going to be on a 6.5x14 snare.
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2017, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

I have a Lightning strainer on mt Gretsch Brooklyn snare. The release is on one side and the tensioning screw is on the other, bt it works like a dream.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2017, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumprof View Post
.... I find myself always grabbing my Stage Customs for my around town gigs and the Absolute Hybrid Maples hardly ever get played.....
Have you played the Hybrids out at all? If not, maybe give them a try.
That said, there's nothing wrong at all using the Stage Customs for gigs.
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2017, 01:45 AM
Groov-E Groov-E is offline
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Well if stage customs were good enough for Chris Johnson at the superbowl, I'd say they're good enough for any gig.
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2017, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

I have a friend who took his time picking the right color for his kit. Then he bought one of every size they make, so he just picks and chooses what he wants to use for that particular gig. So if you're like this, choose wisely ;)
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2017, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: USA Custom Finish Question / Opinion

Quote:
Have you played the Hybrids out at all? If not, maybe give them a try.
Yes, I have taken them out a few times and let me tell you, they are outstanding quality drums! Warm, beautiful resonance...the wenge gives them a bit darker and lower pitch center than just solid maple. Kind of like a maple dark. The tune up nicely to mid-high jazz tuning and can be really fat and warm tuned lower.

I'm not sure why those aren't getting more traction in the drum world? Probably a combination of cost, and country of origin seems to be an issue with some.

All of you, including Tony are correct. The Stage Custom's are just an incredible sound value. Yamaha can do that. I really think they just set the bar so high with many of their lines in the past, they have a hard time topping it and sort of lost their mojo in the drum world in recent years.
When I was a teenager and well into my 20's, Yamaha and Pearl ruled the world, and Tama was in there as well.

I have decided I will be keeping and continue to gig the Stage Customs, probably moving to the Gretsch, once I get them broke in a bit and see how I like them and occasionally breaking out the Hybrid Maples for nice occasions when I want to change up the look and sound. We'll see if the USA's end up taking the place of the SC's.

Expecting the samples from Gretsch this week. Probably going to be the Black Marine Pearl. Dark finish, black even, nice and formal but with a little something something. Thanks for all the reply's.
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