Gretsch 70s 4160 cob snare


Senior Member
Hi Gretsch experts!
I picked up a stop sign badge era 70s Gretsch 4160 snare shell in good shape a few weeks ago from Denver Craigslist ad, for around $45. I have been looking to start a snare project and possibly collecting as well, and been reading about as well as seen some drum restoration projects on YouTube. To get this right, I have been looking for some time now for the proper components and have narrowed them down for the most part. I have talked to a Gretsch rep from the company and he says I can get reissued parts from Hal Leonard company. Some parts I will be able get from Hal Leonard, if I go that route but others aren’t available. Please forgive the naivety in advance, I have a couple of questions:

There is a crack in the grommet holding stop sign badge, should I replace or not to worry?
Will the G5472 lugs work on this snare?
It looks like it uses the G5375 lighting throw off (Gumby), is this correct?
All things equal does it matter what snare rim system I get as long as it’s die cast?
You’re help is greatly appreciated.


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Senior Member
Great find!

Now see if you can find a great deal on a used Renown or Full Range series snare, which will give you the diecast hoops and lugs you'll need. Just make sure it has the same number of lugs as your shell, otherwise the hoops won't work. And that it uses those one-piece lugs instead of individual lugs for the top and bottom. Ideally, the donor snare would also be metal, so you'll get the spacers needed for the lug screws. But those are easy enough to get if the donor snare is wood.

However the throwoff mechanism (and I believe the butt plate) will not fit those holes. So those you'll have to buy individually. But if you can find a good enough deal, you can hopefully get everything else you'll need for the price of two new diecast hoops.

I wouldn't worry about the existing grommet.


Senior Member
Thanks for your input, I do think the rims will be tricky and most expensive.

The top image is a rim that appears to be for USA I found online from the Hal Leonard site, appears die cast, I will inquire with them tomorrow to see if it will fit. Just hope the rep I get is connected with my particular model of snare.

I also wonder if these lugs will work (lower image), these are the ones that match your description and will ask if there is/was a standard size tension rod for this as well.

I’m sure it uses a lightning throw-off.

For internal muffler - is it the double ended one, kinda like a paddle?
Also what about the butt plate for G5375 (Gumby) throw off?
Does anyone have pics of muffler and butt plate they can provide?


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Senior Member
That hoop by itself is $96 on Hal Leonard. I found this 8-lug Renown snare on Reverb with diecast hoops for $175 + shipping, but apparently that price is up for negotiation.

Then you'll get both hoops, all 8 lugs and tension rods. Since the Renown is a wood shell, you'll most likely have to buy spacers to get the lug screws to fit. Or you can buy shorter lug screws. Either way, that's pretty inexpensive.

You'll also need a Lightning throw and butt, but those can be found for around ~$35 each on eBay.


Senior Member
That hoop by itself is $96 on Hal Leonard. I found this 8-lug Renown snare on Reverb with diecast hoops for $175 + shipping, but apparently that price is up for negotiation.
You'll also need a Lightning throw and butt, but those can be found for around ~$35 each on eBay.

Yes I saw the dc hoops, I did not make that connection, thanks for your insight.
Also a butt or two on eBay (same price point you mentioned), not sure if it is the one for that throw off style.
Here are pics of the butt plate and muffler.
Do these look right for that snare?


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Senior Member
That butt plate looks correct, but it's $53. Even a quick search showed them as low as $37. I'm not sure about the muffle, but it seems like it might be correct. But personally, that would be my lowest priority since it's not essential.

Forgot to mention that if you bought that Renown snare, you'd also get snare wires and heads (though you may want to go with new heads anyway), in addition to everything else.


Senior Member
Thanks TK for your input. I may go this route.
I did see a Renown just to see what they look like, best price I see is around $150. For searching simplicity, are you saying to buy one and use for scrap regarding those components?


Senior Member
For searching simplicity, are you saying to buy one and use for scrap regarding those components?

That's exactly what I'm saying. Depending on how good of a deal you can find on a Renown snare, you can get everything you need (except the Lightning throw and butt) for hopefully no more than about $150-175 (that's about as high as I'd go). If you bought all those components individually, you'd likely spend at least $250.

Then you can put the Renown shell up on eBay and try to recoup some of that money.


Senior Member
I want to follow up and say my first snare project is complete! It is a tank of a snare, the sound is very nice.

Every component from the interior to exterior I was able to get parts for. The lightning throw off and the butt plate were the hardest to get a hold of. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it does not use a fishtail butt plate for the lightning, rather it used the 4 point plate for the micro sensitive - early 70s possibly (during throw off transition)? To make it correct, I added the Gretsch Wide 42 Power snares. I also used a pair of die cast rims from a renown snare I purchased.

No I did not end up gutting the renown - too beautiful of a drum - I went ahead and left it alone except for the 302s I brought which are now on the renown. See pic of the two side by side

To expand on what TK (thank you Sir) mentions above, he is correct for the lug and die cast hoop compatibility between the renown and the 4160. However if you are to do the lug switch out you need to get cup washers (due to shell thickness) which drums on sale carries.


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Senior Member
Great, I'm glad to see that you got this beautiful drum finished. How does she sound?


Senior Member
Yessr! I would say it has a warmer (not steel bright) crisp attack, and sounds every bit of its depth.
One thing I need to get used to is the smooth stroke of the lightning throw off. I keep disengaging with my stick (I think that’s the intent but I want to preserve functionality).
As mentioned I did get 302s and may see how that sounds with it.


Senior Member
Piggy backing on this thread, late October I had my 4160 snare sent off to Bentleys in Fresno for a repair and overhaul.

(This is only reference I’ll make regarding my profile Avatar.) *Note my Avatar with Gumby in Gretsch lightning throw likeness.*

My Gretsch 4160 snare had a slight issue where the snares were loosening over time. Well reading and finding about the lightning throw, the 1st generation, it had a design flaw on the lever or throw side of the bracket. The tension over time would weaken and slip so I had to have the screws rethreaded so that level fast holding tension could be provided once again. I also had him check for round integrity as the bottom head was hard to put on before.

Here’s two pics I provided him for preliminary review. Note second pic how the throw sits more on one side.

The package arrived yesterday and just wanted to say the snare is repaired and the snare lever feels solid. I even have a level of tightness I didn’t have before as the component was slipping. As for rounding, Dana said the snare is perfectly round, these just were finicky in sizing, he wanted me to go with new skins. I’ll take his word on this he’s very knowledgeable.
So, they put Aquarian Modern Vintage on top and bottom they sound nice and crisp, but prefer Ambassadors.
He was nice enough send me my heads back that I had put on, they were fairly new.


Senior Member
Really nice!! Turned out great!

What do you think of the Renown snare with the 302's? I love mine.
I didn’t like the Renown with 302s at first, it opened up the snare resonance, and overtones came about. Before it had a nice buttery warm full ‘body’ to its tone, the sustain was controlled.

Removing the die casts initially lead me to believe that die cast were made for maple shells lol as they need IMO something to keep them focused.

But after a while I took the snare back out and started tweaking it and now I love it. It’s more open and has a sweet spot not quite to the extent of die casts with buttery tone; that makes me smile.

Only drawback is the 302s are some stick shedders when rimshot, if you know what I mean.