Gretsch Renown 18” vs 20”

Hrusko25

New member
Hey :)

I need an advice about buying Renown kits.
So I have a Pearl vision maple 22” and was looking for a smaller kit and decided to buy the renown 18. But recently I talked to a friend that told me that he knows a guy who si selling a 20 kit at the same price of a new 18 kit.
I’m playing mostly rock with my band and the smaller kit will be for when we play in smaller places. But that friend told me that if I will buy that 20 kit I will probably just sell the Pearl kit and use the Gretsch for every occasion.

So my thoughts and questions are:
- Is 20 small enough
- Is the price of the 20 kit good enough (new 18 with 1 tom and floor tom 1190€, little used 20 with 2 toms and floor tom 1200€)
- Is going from Pearl Vision to Gretsch Renown a big/worth upgrade

Thanks in advance :)
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
the Renown 20" kick is 16" deep which I think is a great depth for any kick drum under 24". I think that depth matters more than height as far as taking up room is concerned.

I don't know how the Renown stacks up against the Pearl Vision in absolute terms but the Renowns are iconic in their own way.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
You should get the 20" unless you specifically want an 18" for its sound. I adore 18"s, but most of my kits are 20x14 for good reason. The Renown is 20x16 as @yammyfan mentioned, but that is still a good size for just about anything.

The main take away is a shorter depth will probably save you more space on the bandstand than diameter. You could have your bass drum cut down to 22x14 and save yourself some money.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
20 inch kicks are a great size IMO. They can be tuned to do bop, country and/or western, rhythm and/or blues, rock and/or roll...all convincingly with no compromises, plus easier rack tom access. IMO a 20 and a 22 covers fully 95% of what's needed
 
Are the new Renowns considerably lighter than the old ones with die cast hoops? I assume that the used set has the older die cast hoops. Anyway, it's not really a big issue for a gig set as hardware is normally the heaviest stuff. I'd at least have a look at your friend's 20 set - 18 12 14 might be too much for your taste if you prefer Rock.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
You can play any style of music with any bass dimensions. Once a bass is mic'd, an engineer can make it sound as big or as small as you want it to. It's in acoustic settings that distinctions among sizes are mostly noted, but even then, perceived contrasts might be minimal, depending on a host of factors.

Having said that, I always buy a 22" diameter, usually with a 16" depth. It's the perfect size for me, both tonally and logistically.

"Is going from Pearl Vision to Gretsch Renown a big/worth upgrade?"

Any response to this question will be arbitrary. I'm a Pearl adherent and would take a Vision over a Renown, whereas Gretsch zealots would label my decision insane. A set of drums is no better than you think it is. We all like different things for different reasons.
 
"Is going from Pearl Vision to Gretsch Renown a big/worth upgrade?"

Any response to this question will be arbitrary. I'm a Pearl adherent and would take a Vision over a Renown, whereas Gretsch zealots would label my decision insane. A set of drums is no better than you think it is. We all like different things for different reasons.


You sir, are a crazy man.

Renown is superior to the Vision in everyway. Sonics, hardware and playability. And I used to play Pearl vehemently and yes, I now own a Renown!
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I wouldn't go any smaller than 20" if you play lots of rock gigs. An 18" will work, but it won't have enough oomph if you have to compete with loud guitars.

A Gretsch Renown would be a huge upgrade. The Pearl Visions don't sound anywhere near as good. The build quality, hardware, and materials used are also a lot better on the Renowns.

@Swissward Flamtacles, to answer your question about the newer Renowns...they're really heavy too because the 302 hoops are really no lighter than diecast. Trust me, they're hefty. But even though I gig with them, I kinda like it because it makes them feel more premium.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
There is simply no comparison between Pearl Visions and Gretsch Renown. The Renowns are better in every way imaginable. Most importantly, the sound absolutely trounces the Vision kit, with a punchy, rich, highly musical tone. And a 20" bass drum is a great size for gigging, as you can tune it low to get to a similar oomph as a 22", yet slightly more compact for smaller stages.

Pretty much the only downside is their weight. Renowns are heavy drums—with or without die cast hoops. But TBH, that doesn't really bother me. I'll gladly deal with the weight to play a kit that I love.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Hey :)

I need an advice about buying Renown kits.
So I have a Pearl vision maple 22” and was looking for a smaller kit and decided to buy the renown 18. But recently I talked to a friend that told me that he knows a guy who is selling a 20 kit at the same price of a new 18 kit.
I’m playing mostly rock with my band and the smaller kit will be for when we play in smaller places. But that friend told me that if I will buy that 20 kit I will probably just sell the Pearl kit and use the Gretsch for every occasion.
It's really the depth of your Vision that's stealing floor space. Those are 22x18? You'd be saving a few inches going to the 20x16 Renown. More with a 18x14. I'd probably get the used 20 (10, 12, 14). And your friends right. You might just retire the vision ..... after you drive the Renown a while. Add a 16 floor tom ..... for when you hit the big stages. Use just the 14 for smaller venues. Lots of guys play a 20 all the time.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've said it many times before, but I'm happy to say it again...

I don't know why this is, but to my ears (and foot), a 22" and a 20" are pretty comparable. Yes, there is a sound and feel difference, but they both are great IMO and either work well for all the different genres I've played (rock, country, worship, etc.). However, there seems to be some sort of weird threshold between the 20" and 18" kick drums to me. Granted, I've never played a "high end" 18" kick, but a kick at that size just doesn't do it for me and is just unusable unless it's a special set of circumstances (I'm not a jazz or be-bop player, and I always muffle the kick). It's weird how similar a 20" and 22" sound, but then how an 18" and a 20" sound so different. It seems like it shouldn't be that way, but it is to me.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
I purchased a new renown kit in 2020 with the 18x22 kick.
In hindsight, I wish I had gone with the 16x20.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
So my thoughts and questions are:
- Is 20 small enough

You should go see the drums directly at a store. That's how I determine if something is too big or too small. In astronomy I was told to buy a 10" tube F6, when I saw it in the store it was intimidating, I picked the 8" F5 instead which smaller and much lighter. Less light gathering but easier to lift, weight won over light for me.

Same thing with the bass drum but if you are lucky, it's even possible to test a 18, a 20 at the store.

I use my 18" for jazz, unmuffled I love it, it's very easy to manage. For rock I would be tempted to pick a bass drum a bit bigger.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
....- Is the price of the 20 kit good enough (new 18 with 1 tom and floor tom 1190€, little used 20 with 2 toms and floor tom 1200€)....

Difficult call. IMO, the four pc. 20" is a great all around kit to use for anything.
OTOH - a Gretsch bop kit, even a Renown, just has the vibe and the rep.

If I had to choose though, and it was going to be my only kit, I'd go with the 20", four pc.
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I purchased a new renown kit in 2020 with the 18x22 kick.
In hindsight, I wish I had gone with the 16x20.
Weird, I had the opposite experience. I bought a Renown kit with a 20x16" kick and wish I had gotten the 22x18. Just recently I ordered the 22x18" and it's so much better.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
Weird, I had the opposite experience. I bought a Renown kit with a 20x16" kick and wish I had gotten the 22x18. Just recently I ordered the 22x18" and it's so much better.

What were your issues with the 20x16 BD? I am asking before I decide to order the 20x16.
 

Pootle

Well-known member
I bought my Renown with the 22x18, sold it, and bought a 20x16. I don't honestly think there's much in it soundwise, the 20 packs a huge punch but far more practical.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
What were your issues with the 20x16 BD? I am asking before I decide to order the 20x16.
I couldn't get the 20" to sound big and full enough. Too much attack and not enough rumble.

I tried different tunings and even switched to a SuperKick II, but it wasn't low and boomy enough for my taste.
 
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