Gretsch bearing edges 60's and 70's

Kenskin

Junior Member
I have helped a couple friends over the years with their Gretsch kits and now I have one as well. What I have noticed is that some Gretsch's have a bearing edge that I can best describe as routered from the outside and curved with no cut at all from the inside of the shell (it seems to me that they may have been trying to match the contour of a drumhead) and it seems like I have seen this type on the 5 plies from the late 60's, but a friends stopsign badge early 70's had this type as well. The other bearing edge I have seen on the 5 ply shells seems to be a very old school round over bearing edge. I have no experience with earlier 3 ply shells so not speaking of those at all. Can anyone out there provide more info on what, when, where, etc?

Thx, KS
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Gretsch was an inovator in shell design and bearing edge cuts.
I had a Gretsch kit from the mid seventies that had full round over edges.
Before that I recall the outside round over edges that you speak of.
As far as I know Gretsch didn't start cutting sharp 30 degree edges with a back cut until the 80's.
Here is a 3 part video http://youtu.be/zxqniBoLBF0
http://youtu.be/aP33f5dlvPA
http://youtu.be/BW5rGulOwNw
Jess from Steve Maxwell's does a wonderful job of explaining the drums of the major American manufacturers from the 50's through the 70's.
This is a must watch for all those interested in vintage drums.
My personal favorite sounding vintage Gretsch drums are the 50's 3 ply without silver paint inside of the shell. I currently own a kit from that era.
 
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tamadrm

Platinum Member
I have helped a couple friends over the years with their Gretsch kits and now I have one as well. What I have noticed is that some Gretsch's have a bearing edge that I can best describe as routered from the outside and curved with no cut at all from the inside of the shell (it seems to me that they may have been trying to match the contour of a drumhead) and it seems like I have seen this type on the 5 plies from the late 60's, but a friends stopsign badge early 70's had this type as well. The other bearing edge I have seen on the 5 ply shells seems to be a very old school round over bearing edge. I have no experience with earlier 3 ply shells so not speaking of those at all. Can anyone out there provide more info on what, when, where, etc?

Thx, KS

Gretsch ,went from a 3 ply to a 6 ply shell in their early 60's transition....not a 5 ply.Their shells were also made by Jasper,and no longer made in the Gretsch plant in Brooklyn.The 30 degree bearing edge ,with rare exception,is pretty much a Gretsch trademark,weither it's an inside or outside with round over cut.Some Catalinas had a 45 degree inside cut,with roundover.The amount of bearing edge contact with the drum head, is what makes the difference.

Steve B
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
You are welcome. I'm glad that you appreciated the vids like I did when I first watched them.
They really put vintage American drums into perspective.
 

Zipster

New Member
Hi everyone.. can You help? I own 2 15 x 12 toms one is square badge that I bought complete.. the other is a drop g with different bearing edges any idea whats going on? square badge shell is on the left
 

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jda

Silver Member
always bear in mind- New York era 6 ply Gretsch drum sets- each had Two bearing edges- One for the toms (Floor toms included) and Another Edge for Bass drum and snares.
(just wanted to mention) (and this may in USA Custom continue to today
~
When the plant moved to Arkansas the tom/floor edge changed (to whats used SC today (on USA customs)
A reverse of the old New york RB Tom/floor edge)
bass and snare remained same +/-
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
...... one is square badge that I bought complete.. the other is a drop g with different bearing edges any idea whats going on?
You've got 2 different era's ..... so 2 different bearing edges. Your Square Badge has the "modern" 30 ...... the Drop G has the baseball bat.
 
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