Consequences of Drum Workshop’s takeover?

EssKayKay

Senior Member
It’s been almost a year now since we/I first heard about DW buying out Fender’s percussion brands, Gretsch in particular. Has anyone noticed any distinct changes either way – good or bad; maybe not only for DW or Gretsch but what about some of the other companies – Sabian, Gibraltar, KAT, etc.?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I'm not sure but what I think I read after the fact was that the Sabian deal was for distribution rights and that fell through.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Re Sabian, that was just a distribution deal, and DW announced literally a day or two before NAMM last year that they wouldn't be taking on the line. That meant Sabian was scrambling at the show, everyone was suddenly thrown into sales mode (where before, the KMC reps dealt directly with the dealers.) Sabian has new distribution and everything is business as usual again.

My understanding about Gibraltar is that there was a serious hiccup in dealers getting orders filled at first, but I think that's been sorted out too.

Bermuda
 

poppies

Senior Member
I've heard that Gretsch shell sizes are no longer oversized compared to the typical standard, but it's hard for me to believe.
 
I've heard that Gretsch shell sizes are no longer oversized compared to the typical standard, but it's hard for me to believe.
I'm interested to know what you mean. I have a USA Custom set and the shell sizes are normal ... but man the lugs and mounting gear make them hard to stuff into cases/bags.
 

poppies

Senior Member
I'm interested to know what you mean. I have a USA Custom set and the shell sizes are normal ... but man the lugs and mounting gear make them hard to stuff into cases/bags.
Gretsch has typically sized their shells larger than peers, such that heads fit tighter and hardware protrudes further in comparison. Sometimes the head fit has been so tight as to require special heads. Gretsch has been known to trim wraps far from the edge because of this, so heads don't sit on wrap.

It's possibly for this reason that Gretsch drums are known for their characteristic bite and short sustain, among many other factors. Accordingly, I'm surprised to hear they may be futzing with the formula.

Perhaps the sound difference is negligible, but it could heavily decrease customer complaints/returns. That would make lots of sense, it's by far the largest source of gripes regarding USA Customs.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have a set of Renown. 8, 10, 12, 14 and two Catalina toms, 12 and 16 and they fit just fine. Not sure where this info is from...
 

charliedrummer

Senior Member
I had this problem with my old Gretsch Progressive Jazz kit. I had to take my drums into my local drum shop to find heads that would fit.
 

EssKayKay

Senior Member
Gretsch has typically sized their shells larger than peers, such that heads fit tighter and hardware protrudes further in comparison. Sometimes the head fit has been so tight as to require special heads. Gretsch has been known to trim wraps far from the edge because of this, so heads don't sit on wrap.

This is the first I’ve heard of any problems with Gretsch rims. The reason I ask is I’m seriously considering purchasing a Renown 4-piece Groove kit. I do not have easy access to any true "drum shop" (closest one is nearly 100 miles away) and rumor has it they do not carry many Gretsch kits - possibly no Renoun kits - so running over for an adjustment may be out of the question. However, there is a Guitar Center a bit closer. But, I may still have to reconsider this a bit.

Thanks for the heads up. . .
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
As I posted above, I have a Renown kit as do many others on this forum and I haven't nor have I heard of any problems with regular heads on these drums. Fear not.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
As I posted above, I have a Renown kit as do many others on this forum and I haven't nor have I heard of any problems with regular heads on these drums. Fear not.
I had read a couple posts regarding Brooklyn and USA Customs where the author indicated that the the head's hoop was a tight fit over the wrap. My Renown is lacquered like yours, and I do not believe that the lacquered kits suffer from the issue.
 

EssKayKay

Senior Member
Thanks guys - I'm reassured. Now for the color - leaning toward Satin White or possibly Vintage Pearl.

Later,
SKK
 

jbonzo1

Silver Member
As I posted above, I have a Renown kit as do many others on this forum and I haven't nor have I heard of any problems with regular heads on these drums. Fear not.
A Renown kit is not made in the USA.
The imported, Asian made Gretsch, Renown and Catalina, are fine.
It's the USA made Customs that are oversized. I owned a set in Walnut Gloss that did not like the stock Permatone (Remo) heads. Evans Level 360 heads were a better fit and Remo Fiberskyn heads worked.
The Brooklyn drums are fine, they use a standard undersized shell.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I can see how variations in wrap thickness / application / seams can equate to head fit issues unless the wrap is cut back, but I seriously doubt variation in outside shell diameter within the same series. Moulds are a constant, & Keller shell production dimensions are consistent according to widely held industry reputation
 

jbonzo1

Silver Member
Keller uses molds supplied by Gretsch for the Customs.
The Brooklyn shells use Keller molds. Unless DW told Keller to use their molds for the Custom drums, they have not changed.

The Custom shell is 1/16" undersized compared to the standard 1/8" undersized Brooklyn shell. Also, the Custom shell has no counter-cut on the edge, this puts the edge on the collar of the Permatone (Remo Ambassador) head, not the flat portion.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I have a set of Renown. 8, 10, 12, 14 and two Catalina toms, 12 and 16 and they fit just fine. Not sure where this info is from...
Well, nether of those sets were actually made by Gretsch, they were made under license from Gretsch.

As for the USA made stuff, Gretsch quality control has always been horrible.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Well since the OP said they were interested in a set of Renown drums, I responded with info on that model. Had the OP said USA Custom etc etc etc my response may have been different

The reason I ask is I’m seriously considering purchasing a Renown 4-piece Groove kit.
 

singing drums

Senior Member
WOW - that's worrisome.
...that will all change shortly...going back to the OP's question and as i understand the situation, DW is now implementing its quality standards in gretsch's south carolina factory (including upgrading gretsch's antiquated 50-year old machining tools)...since gretsch's crew is still in charge of production, the changes have to be introduced gradually...
 
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