Gretsch Catalina Rock kit. - 16x26, 9x13, 16x16, and a 16x18.


Silver Member
Here's my review on the Gretsch Catalina Rock kit. Not just a normal review, I've been GIGGING with the kit for over a month now. Doing all kinds of rooms and situations with the kit.

Well, I've had occasion to buy and USE a Gretsch Catalina Rock kit. The kit is a 16x26, 9x13, 16x16, and a 16x18.

The first thing noticeable about the kit is it's extraordinarily BEAUTIFUL to look at!! This particular kit is covered with the Green Glass Glitter wrap and looks awesome up close and from an audience perspective. It's a VERY professional LOOKING kit, so much so that I am now convinced I will be re-wraping my 1999 Ludwig Classic kit in Green Glass Glitter as my personal nod to the green sparkle kits from the vintage days of Ludwig. (as soon as I can afford it, L0L)

No, it doesn't sound quite like a high priced maple kit, but it sounds more like the deeper tones you'd get out of an old mahogany kit. More like an old Ludwig or Slingerland. Not exactly, but heading in that direction.

I'm using the standard Evans G1 batters that come with the kit, but I did change out the kick batter with a new PS3 which did add a bit more low end to the kick.

The kick drum sounds best out of all the pieces of the kit. It's a room filling BOOM that you'd expect from the size and depth, no disappointment at all there, it's AWESOME! The toms are a LITTLE bit weak, but none too bad. I've had high priced quality kits that've sounded worse that this. I'm not sure what the Gretsch people put on the kit as reso heads as they are unmarked, but the kit might benefit from the new Evans Resonant line to beef up the resonance of the toms. That would be all that's needed to bring the toms to the forefront I'm sure.

The hardware of the kit works excellent and it's a bit different from the the other Catalina kits I've seen. The floor tom leg brackets are EXACT copies of the 1980's Gretsch Techware brackets I had on my high priced 1980's Maple Gretsch kit. (wish I'd KEPT that kit!!) The legs also are exact copies and very sturdy. I did add Iso Feet to the floor tom legs, I pretty much add them to all my floor toms. I get the Iso Feet here as I haven't found them cheaper ANYWHERE!!

The 13 had one of those mini RIMS style iso mounts, and though it worked just fine, I couldn't let that design remain as that little rubber plug leaning against the 13's shell was bugging me, so I put a real RIMS mount on it more to appease myself than for a real need for it. the original DW style cymbal stand clamp tom mount was also more than adequate for the job of holding the 13 to your favorite cymbal stand for positioning.
I DID however take the liberty of installing a real 1980's Techware mounting system on the kick drum as that's MY personal preference, the kit didn't NEED it, I just WANTED it.

I REALLY liked the kick drum spurs, not so much that they're anything special, as they're just your usual Pearl style rotating spurs, but they worked SOOO smooth, much easier to position and more positive lock that any of the high priced kits I do own with that style spurs. Amazing as one spur still had the little gold sticker advertising it's Asian origin. They too were designed to match the other hardware of the kit the 1980's Techware look to them. Nice touch for a low priced kit.

The Lugs, Rims, Hoops, Claws, Keyrods and such seemed just fine and didn't need to be modified or changed in any way even to meet MY fussy ways of doing things.

The Bottom line:
The Gretsch Catalina Rock drumkit is quite a value as for small money, you can get good tone that will do you right on a myriad of gigs. It's well enough put together to make setup and teardown easy and trouble free

My rating on a ten star scale would be
8.5 stars out of 10