Got to try a Gretsch kit last night

Stroman

Platinum Member
I had a chance to try a Gretsch kit for the first time at a (new to me) blues jam last night. Two firsts for me, actually, because the kit had an 18" bass drum, which I've never played before.

I have to say I was impressed. This was the little Catalina Club jazz kit that sells new for about $650, so it isn't a high-end kit by any stretch. I've even heard some mixed reviews about the Catalina products. But it sounded sweet in the room and was a pleasure to play. It was a real joy to play a well-tuned, well-maintained kit at an open jam. Most of the ones I've been to have pretty poor beater kits.

I have to say, I LOVED that little 18" kick! It was fat and punchy with plenty of low end. The fellow had the stock Gretsch heads (Powerstroke type) with no muffling, and it was perfect sounding, both behind the kit and out front.

Oh, another cool thing - he had just gotten a set of 17" hi-hats (made me think of Bo!) and those things were a blast to play, too. Very different. I had to think about the hats in a whole different way because of the lower pitch and slower response, but they were very expressive with a whole range of different voices. Really a nice change of pace.

All in all, it was a great experience. Lots of great players out there!
 

RickP

Gold Member
If you think the Catalina is nice, wait till you try a Gretsch USA Custom. Without coming off as a gear snob, the Gretsch USA Custom kits are what I think of when I think Gretsch. These offshore manufactured "Gretsch" kits just aren't Gretsch kits to me, regardless of what it says on the bass drum head.

There, my old fuddy duddy rant is done,now I can go have my nap.

:)
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
If you think the Catalina is nice, wait till you try a Gretsch USA Custom. Without coming off as a gear snob, the Gretsch USA Custom kits are what I think of when I think Gretsch. These offshore manufactured "Gretsch" kits just aren't Gretsch kits to me, regardless of what it says on the bass drum head.

:)
It's important to remember that not everybody can afford the kits in the upper spectrum of the drum world like the USA Custom.

I own a Gretsch Catalina Maple and I love it. It's round, shiny and smells good, too! Perhaps one day I'll see a USA Custom and will get a chance to play it. Until that time comes, I'm happy.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I had a chance to try a Gretsch kit for the first time at a (new to me) blues jam last night. Two firsts for me, actually, because the kit had an 18" bass drum, which I've never played before.

I have to say I was impressed. This was the little Catalina Club jazz kit that sells new for about $650, so it isn't a high-end kit by any stretch. I've even heard some mixed reviews about the Catalina products. But it sounded sweet in the room and was a pleasure to play. It was a real joy to play a well-tuned, well-maintained kit at an open jam. Most of the ones I've been to have pretty poor beater kits.

I have to say, I LOVED that little 18" kick! It was fat and punchy with plenty of low end. The fellow had the stock Gretsch heads (Powerstroke type) with no muffling, and it was perfect sounding, both behind the kit and out front.

Oh, another cool thing - he had just gotten a set of 17" hi-hats (made me think of Bo!) and those things were a blast to play, too. Very different. I had to think about the hats in a whole different way because of the lower pitch and slower response, but they were very expressive with a whole range of different voices. Really a nice change of pace.

All in all, it was a great experience. Lots of great players out there!
I tried one of those a few years ago and loved it as well. Those little Catalina jazz kits are great bang for buck (second to the Sonor offerings, though). But they're really nice and definitely gig-worthy. So are you gonna get one too?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I tried one of those a few years ago and loved it as well. Those little Catalina jazz kits are great bang for buck (second to the Sonor offerings, though). But they're really nice and definitely gig-worthy. So are you gonna get one too?
Maybe someday, lol. I actually would like to have a smaller gigging kit, and I really did like that 18" kick. Not in the budget right now, though, despite the attractive price tag.

Someday. :)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Maybe someday, lol. I actually would like to have a smaller gigging kit, and I really did like that 18" kick. Not in the budget right now, though, despite the attractive price tag.

Someday. :)
I can understand that. I feel a bit out of control with acquiring a third set in the next week or so (and I don't really need them). But Gretsch also did a limited edition Catalina kit with a 14x20 bass drum (like a Ringo kit) and that kit was great too. You don't hear much about them, though. What surprised me is that unlike the Sonor snares they use on the Safari and the Bop, the Gretsch Catalina snare is really good.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
That is what I have. There is at least one member here who thinks of them as firewood, but mine sounds quite good, and the other musicians with whom I play like that kit too.
 

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Stroman

Platinum Member
That is what I have. There is at least one member here who thinks of them as firewood, but mine sounds quite good, and the other musicians with whom I play like that kit too.
That is the kit right there, except he had the walnut finish. I can't imagine anyone thinking they are firewood - they sounded very, very good, especially for the price tag.

As someone who experienced what "budget" kits were like in the seventies, I would say people have it pretty good these days in terms of the value-for-money available in intermediate kits.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
If you liked those, try a catalina maple kit... for the $ I have yet to hear a better sound. Get one used and its even better.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Without coming off as a gear snob, the Gretsch USA Custom kits are what I think of when I think Gretsch. These offshore manufactured "Gretsch" kits just aren't Gretsch kits to me, regardless of what it says on the bass drum head.
)
um, reading that, you just did. :)
 
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