Going Gretsch. Will I be happy with a set of Renowns?

incrementalg

Gold Member
Okay. I am supremely happy with these drums.

Aside from the rock-solid build quality, they have gobs of tone. I'm in love with the 14" floor tom. I'll add the 16" in a few weeks but I doubt I'll ever "need" it. I just happen to like 2-up 2-down.

The toms seem to have equal amounts of resonance and sustain which makes me really happy. I'll leave them wide open when playing un-mic'd but if I need to slap some Moongels or damping rings on them I can do so knowing that it isn't going to kill the tone.

I'm playing the kick drum unported and undamped for now but will be adding a port in the coming days because it makes it easier for sound guys to deal with. My little room does nothing for kick drums but from what I can tell, I'm getting a nice oomph from the 20".

The snare is solidly built with great body and articulation. The throw-off is silky smooth. I'm pleased to see that they used plastic sleeves instead of metal washers on the drum. Nice touch.

Speaking of plastic sleeves; I attempted to replace the metal washes on the toms with Hendrix sleeves but I can't get the washers off the tension rods. No big deal. I hit the rods with a dab of white lithium grease while I had them out and it did indeed make them smoother. Problem solved.

I'm feeling really good about this purchase and so far the Gretsch mystique is living up to the hype. I'll snap some photos of the assembled kit later in case anybody wants to see them. Thanks again to everybody who recommended that I go for it. You were right!
When you get the 16" it'll be like thunder when you hit em both. I have a 14 and 16 Gretsch USA floors and can't get enough of the sound I get when I hit them both.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
On the Renown i had, the washers were unremovable, it’s a feature. Rather a good feature, it avoids searching washers on the carpet.
What do you think about the new RIMs system? Is it flexible (a bit bouncy) or sturdy?
I really like the RIMs system. The toms sing and they barely move when I hit them. I try to avoid over-tightening wing nuts and ball clamps so we'll see how things hold up in the long run but the whole mounting system looks promising.
So....when will the name and avatar be changing?:ROFLMAO:
lol... I know, right?

Funny thing is, my username comes from my love of Yamaha stereo equipment. The drum bit is a coincidence but I still have TWO Stage Custom kits so I guess I'm covered. I'm really happy to be part of the Gretsch family though 😁
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
When you get the 16" it'll be like thunder when you hit em both. I have a 14 and 16 Gretsch USA floors and can't get enough of the sound I get when I hit them both.
Can't wait for that. My Stage Custom Birch has 14 and 16 inch floor toms and they sound fantastic when played together. 2-up and 2-down is my all-time favourite configuration.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I'm playing the kick drum unported and undamped for now but will be adding a port in the coming days because it makes it easier for sound guys to deal with. My little room does nothing for kick drums but from what I can tell, I'm getting a nice oomph from the 20".
Before I ported my 16x20, it sounded amazing as well. But I don't like the trampoline action on the batter head so I ported it soon after, and then all that rumble was lost. It's all attack, no oomph.

I will be very curious to hear what it sounds like when you port it. I have not run the complete gamut of options yet though and I'm optimistic that I'll find the right batter/reso combo. So far I've only done the P3 and the Superkick II.

Your description of the toms singing more like guitar strings is quite accurate, haha. They absolutely sing! And yeah, I am equally as impressed with my 14FT. It's the best 14 floor I've ever played. And the 10" and 12" toms also get a perfect A+ score from me as well!

Just gotta figure out the right combo for this bass drum. I don't know if it's a 20" bass drum thing, or if it's this specific bass drum, but I find it's not as "easy" or "comfortable" to play as my 22x18" PDP MX or 22x14" Vistalite or 22x16" Tour Custom. Maybe it's the extreme attack that highlights every nuance of my playing? That could be it. I feel more confident playing the 22s.

I also have grindy tension rods, especially on the bass drum. I thought about putting some white lithium grease on them, but haven't gotten around to it. I'm quite wary of putting more than a tiny speck of grease on the rods because I don't want them to back out. Especially with how low I tune the bass drum. They're barely finger tight.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Before I ported my 16x20, it sounded amazing as well. But I don't like the trampoline action on the batter head so I ported it soon after, and then all that rumble was lost. It's all attack, no oomph.

I will be very curious to hear what it sounds like when you port it. I have not run the complete gamut of options yet though and I'm optimistic that I'll find the right batter/reso combo. So far I've only done the P3 and the Superkick II.

Your description of the toms singing more like guitar strings is quite accurate, haha. They absolutely sing! And yeah, I am equally as impressed with my 14FT. It's the best 14 floor I've ever played. And the 10" and 12" toms also get a perfect A+ score from me as well!

Just gotta figure out the right combo for this bass drum. I don't know if it's a 20" bass drum thing, or if it's this specific bass drum, but I find it's not as "easy" or "comfortable" to play as my 22x18" PDP MX or 22x14" Vistalite or 22x16" Tour Custom. Maybe it's the extreme attack that highlights every nuance of my playing? That could be it. I feel more confident playing the 22s.

I also have grindy tension rods, especially on the bass drum. I thought about putting some white lithium grease on them, but haven't gotten around to it. I'm quite wary of putting more than a tiny speck of grease on the rods because I don't want them to back out. Especially with how low I tune the bass drum. They're barely finger tight.
I have an older Stage Custom with a 20" ported kick that uses the same PS3 that comes with the Renowns. It wasn't remarkable in the room my drums are in now but I moved it to a different room and it was like a cannon all of a sudden. Location, location, location I guess 😁

All that to say, I think that 20" kick drums are capable of bringing the thunder but they take a little work for sure. I'm going to use a small rolled up towel gently touching each head to start as I've had good luck with that in the past.

I too was a bit hesitant to use grease on the kick drum lugs but the lugs on that drum are longer than anything I've used before so I think they bite and hold pretty well. The dab of grease I used wasn't much bigger than a grain of rice anyway.

One last thing; I wrongly assumed that the kick drum beater ALWAYS had to strike at or just above the center of the drum no matter the size of the drum but I've come to realize that it's more important to have a comfortable beater height than anything else so I've left the beater at the same height I use on my 22" kick drum. Turns out it's just fine like that and better still, it feels right. Maybe you have some room to maneuver in that area?
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I think I got the kick drum right on the first try. It sounds and feels fantastic.

I rolled up two small towels and placed one against each head, following the curvature of the shell. They're held in place with gaff tape. I cut a 5" port in the resonant head, halfway between the center of the head and the collar at the 4 o'clock position.

Lastly, I tuned the batter side lugs to 71 Hz. I didn't tune the reso side to a pitch, I just took the wrinkles out and went about 1/4 turn past that. I could probably loosen that head a bit more for an even deeper thump. Same with the batter side, I suppose.

Anyway, the kick has a nice boom and great rebound and feel. The towels don't take up much room so the interior of the drum is still pretty empty. The drum is producing a fundamental pitch of 40 Hz so there's room to go lower if desired though that strikes me as pretty good for un-mic'd situations.
 
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incrementalg

Gold Member
I think I got the kick drum right on the first try. It sounds and feels fantastic.

I rolled up two small towels and placed one against each head, following the curvature of the shell. They're held in place with gaff tape. I cut a 5" port in the resonant head, halfway between the center of the head and the collar at the 4 o'clock position.

Lastly, I tuned the batter side lugs to 71 Hz. I didn't tune the reso side to a pitch, I just took the wrinkles out and went about 1/4 turn past that. I could probably loosen that head a bit more for an even deeper thump. Same with the batter side, I suppose.

Anyway, the kick has a nice boom and great rebound and feel. The towels don't take up much room so the interior of the drum is still pretty empty. The drum is producing a fundamental pitch of 40 Hz so there's room to go lower if desired though that strikes me as pretty good for un-mic'd situations.
Awesome! Any plans to gig or have band practice in the near future? I’m curious if your band members have any feedback on how the drums sound.
I think guys tend to over exaggerate on getting feedback from band mates and sound guys...”The sound guy ran up to me after the show, high fived me and yelled, “Whoa...I’ve never heard drums sound like those!!“. But, I did get nods of approval from jam buddies when I showed up and played with my current Gretsch set...lol.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Awesome! Any plans to gig or have band practice in the near future? I’m curious if your band members have any feedback on how the drums sound.
I think guys tend to over exaggerate on getting feedback from band mates and sound guys...”The sound guy ran up to me after the show, high fived me and yelled, “Whoa...I’ve never heard drums sound like those!!“. But, I did get nods of approval from jam buddies when I showed up and played with my current Gretsch set...lol.
Thanks!

My bandmates tend to react more to how my drums look (shiny!!) rather than how they sound so I'm expecting they'll love the new kit. I think it's gorgeous.

In all fairness, our guitarist also plays drums and he appreciates good sound. He knows I'm a stickler for good tuning.

Restaurants and bars up here are allowed to operate their patios so I'm hoping some gigs will come from that, soon. I'm bracing myself for the inevitable pay cut since they can only operate at half capacity. It's not unreasonable that bands will be asked to share the pain, at least in the cases of the clubs that paid well in the past.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
I think I got the kick drum right on the first try. It sounds and feels fantastic.

I rolled up two small towels and placed one against each head, following the curvature of the shell. They're held in place with gaff tape. I cut a 5" port in the resonant head, halfway between the center of the head and the collar at the 4 o'clock position.

Lastly, I tuned the batter side lugs to 71 Hz. I didn't tune the reso side to a pitch, I just took the wrinkles out and went about 1/4 turn past that. I could probably loosen that head a bit more for an even deeper thump. Same with the batter side, I suppose.

Anyway, the kick has a nice boom and great rebound and feel. The towels don't take up much room so the interior of the drum is still pretty empty. The drum is producing a fundamental pitch of 40 Hz so there's room to go lower if desired though that strikes me as pretty good for un-mic'd situations.
I thought I'd share some of the tuning frequency sweet spots I use on my new RN2's:

7X10:
BATTER Hz/DD Tension, Reso Hz/DD, Fundamental Note/Hz

220 hz/70229 hz/76C3, 130.5 HZ
251.5 hz/72250.5 hz/78D3, 146.5 HZ
279.5 hz/75279.5 hz/80E3, 165.0 HZ


8X12:
150.5 hz/68171.5 hz/75G2, 98.0 HZ
156.0 hz/76220 hz/78A2, 110.0 HZ

14X16:
156.0 hz/76156.0 hz/78D2, 74.0 HZ
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I thought I'd share some of the tuning frequency sweet spots I use on my new RN2's:

7X10:
BATTER Hz/DD Tension, Reso Hz/DD, Fundamental Note/Hz

220 hz/70229 hz/76C3, 130.5 HZ
251.5 hz/72250.5 hz/78D3, 146.5 HZ
279.5 hz/75279.5 hz/80E3, 165.0 HZ

8X12:
150.5 hz/68171.5 hz/75G2, 98.0 HZ
156.0 hz/76220 hz/78A2, 110.0 HZ
14X16:

156.0 hz/76156.0 hz/78D2, 74.0 HZ
Well, thanks. That was a bit of work to put together and it's much appreciated.

We tune our kits similarly. I'm aiming for a good un-mic'd sound which means higher pitches, generally speaking. I tune the 10" to 158 Hz, the 12" to 117 Hz and the 14" to 74 Hz plus or minus a bit on each drum. No doubt I'll try alternate tunings but I feel I've hit a homerun with them already and it's only week #1.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
Well, thanks. That was a bit of work to put together and it's much appreciated.

We tune our kits similarly. I'm aiming for a good un-mic'd sound which means higher pitches, generally speaking. I tune the 10" to 158 Hz, the 12" to 117 Hz and the 14" to 74 Hz plus or minus a bit on each drum. No doubt I'll try alternate tunings but I feel I've hit a homerun with them already and it's only week #1.
Thanks for the feedback, yammyfan. My tunings are for un-mic'd as well.

I am looking forward to trying your tom tunings. I prefer the higher tunings.
AND... I am hoping it will reduce some of the sympathetic snare buzz that I am getting from my 10" tom. I like some sympathetic buzz, however, as the RN2s sustain is so incredible, it seems to almost magnify the sympathetic buzz from my LM402 Supra.

Previously, when I've tried tuning the toms to a high pitch, they began to sound choked.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
Thanks for the feedback, yammyfan. My tunings are for un-mic'd as well.

I am looking forward to trying your tom tunings. I prefer the higher tunings.
AND... I am hoping it will reduce some of the sympathetic snare buzz that I am getting from my 10" tom. I like some sympathetic buzz, however, as the RN2s sustain is so incredible, it seems to almost magnify the sympathetic buzz from my LM402 Supra.

Previously, when I've tried tuning the toms to a high pitch, they began to sound choked.
Have you tried rotating the snare? I had some serious buzz with one of my snares and reduced it a lot by rotating the drum. I figured it out by accident then later saw it posted somewhere as a buzz fix.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
Have you tried rotating the snare? I had some serious buzz with one of my snares and reduced it a lot by rotating the drum. I figured it out by accident then later saw it posted somewhere as a buzz fix.
Thank's for the head's up, on rotating the snare. I have not heard that trick before.
 
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