About high Tom and Low Tom Gretsch Drumset (Catalina Birch)


New member
I have just got a 2nd hand Gretsch Drumset (Catalina Birch). I found that the 13" Tom has a higher pitch than the 12" Tom. This really surprised me. I thought it might be due to the drum skin so I replaced the skin of 13"Tom with a new one which is similar to that of the 12" Tom. But the sounds didn't change.

Obviously both Toms are original and there is no damage on them. Anyone know what made the 13" Tom has a higher pitch than the 12" one? I really need to fix this problem!


Silver Member
Same reason some larger men can sing soprano and some little guys can sing bass. (cymbal crash) But seriously. Take my wife....please. (another cymbal crash) Here's my question to you. Have you tried retuning the toms? There's no reason I can think of that would cause a larger drum to be higher pitched than a smaller one. Then again, a 13" is not that much bigger than a 12", so....it's got to be that your 12 is tuned lower than the 13 and/or visa versa. Try tuning them again and do it by ear not using a gizmo that registers tension. Good luck.

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
As John explained, all things being equal, the 13 shouldn't sound higher than the 12. That means all things aren't equal. Tamper with your tunings as needed.