Gretsch 4157 refresh


Hi, I recently acquired a ssb 4157 that needs new heads and snare wires. What would you recommend for a bop sound ?
Thanks !
Normally I'd recommend Remo Ambassador, but if it's an old Gretsch, the modern heads may be a tight fit. In that case, you should go with a Remo Vintage Ambassador. They have a more relaxed fit.

IIRC, an Evans G1 will also have a looser fit, and will work well with vintage Gretsch shells.
I just put a Remo Classic Fit snare side head and new wires from 2112 last eve on a pearl covered, 4103.
(same 8L 5" as a 4157 (except for strainer)
The Classic Fit spun on the 1965 (year) drum..

didn't (frankly) notice a whole lotta difference) *
Fairly new Emperor on top..

Extracting the "bop" sound (or any sound in your mind) is more "the you" extracting it/ with the hands
It's a mental thing more than tensioning

If you put "bop" (or "twist and shout") in .... It will come out.
Is about how I approach tensioning these days.

I tighten - even , meticulously- my 4 5 or 6 snare drums and I always (seem to) arrive at the same pitches (lol) anyway..

I then put that aside, (being aware of tension for stick feel and bounce) and just attack- extract the sound you want from the drum.

I have (currently) three 60s/70s Gretsch snare drums. 2 brass 1 wood..
also give new heads (and yourself time to settle in.
sometimes they will come around all on their own.. (Lol

* nice to know it's there tho..
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me ..personally never needed them ; had some originally on some original G snares but..when they wore (the metal end stretched/not the wire themselves) just went to 20... maybe someday again.....maybe I didn't get them then..
What about the the G5412 42wires, does someone use it, what do they have in particular ?
For most music, they're a match made in heaven with Gretsches! They increase the snap of the attack while keeping the dry, crisp Gretsch response. There's a reason Gretsch used them as standard wires.
Unfortunately, they might be a bit too bright for bop uses, depending on your tonal goal. Also they may buzz a bit on earlier RB drums with narrower, ultra-deep snare beds, but your SSB-era drum should be fine.