Gretsch Renown 18" or 20" bass drum


Hi all,

I was hoping for a bit of advice, preferably from those who are familiar with the Gretsch Renown series.
I am planning to buy a Gretsch Renown kit in the next few months and am 80 or 90% sure I want the 18" bass drum set up. The extra 10" tom that comes with the 20" bass package is not really a concern, I'd only play 1 up, 1 down (though 10" toms are v nice).

The kit would be used for my jazz band, I have a separate kit for my rock band with a 22" kick so that's not an issue.

My very slight doubt is just that I know a 20" bass is more flexible, and they look good but I could always order this separately in the future if needed.
The kit would not be being used in extremely loud situations.
I have a 20" Catalina bass just now which I have (jazz) gigged with, I will be selling this kit.

Does anyone have experience of either or both and can offer any info on how adaptable either is or any pros/cons, personal preferences with either?


Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I have an acrylic 18x16 bass drum, I know it would sound different to a maple but it is punchy as hell and has plenty of volume. The only shit thing is you need a riser... I bought one that was perceived to be the best ("The drum riser") but it's still a bit fidgety and your pedal will be further away from the head.

I'm a fan of 10" toms anyway so in that scenario I'd probably just get the 20 and skip the whole riser thing.


Platinum Member
I think you'll be happy with the 18-- it's easier to schlep, it blends nicely with the other drums, and it does actually make your job a whole lot easier when you have to play really quiet. They're just fun to play. The Catalina 18s are weak sounding, but you can probably get a big sound out of the Renown when you need to. I've never used a riser with my 18s.


Senior Member
Well I have the New Classic 18" bass drum - playing mostly rock, and have no problem with that, it is very punchy and focused. Before I had a 22" Ludwig but I don't want to go back to that one, although it was louder. I don't know the difference between the New Classic bass drum and the Renown, but I don't think I could tell them apart.


Senior Member
I have a Renown 18" bass drum and it's finicky and takes more work to tune in. I love my other 20" bass kits and prefer that size. Nevertheless, Renowns are very well made and the best buy out there I think...

Matt Bo Eder

Years ago, before DW became huge, a friend of mine picked a nice finish, and ordered every size he thought he'd need. That was a good choice. Years later he still has them all and picks and chooses what he needs for a particular gig. I say get both!


Thanks very much for all the replies folks.
Seems like my leaning toward the 18" may work out well. I like the comment about the 18" being so much fun to play. I don't think the size will be an issue going by the comments, also I use a Ludwig Breakbeats in rehearsals, with the 16" bass and it's absolutely fine. And importantly - so much fun to play!

As mentioned, I can always add the 20" later, I like Matt's suggestion! ;)
(not sure my fiancee will tho!)

Thanks all. Can't wait to actually buy the kit now!