Gretsch Renown

gish

Senior Member
I have an opportunity to pick up what appears to be a very nice used 13-16-24 Renown kit for a great price. I’ve read just about all of the posts and threads on the Renowns; I’ve yet to see negative feedback on these drums. So, if some of you could weigh in for me; any negatives with these drums? Known quality issues? How is the shell hardware? I’ve admired these drums for some time, having played a few kits in stores. I do not know anyone personally that has a kit, so any additional feedback that anyone could provide would be helpful.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
The only negative I can think of is that they are heavier drums. But it's not really a negative in my book, it's more of a testament to how robust the build quality and hardware is.

Honestly I would buy them if they were even heavier, they're that good.

Post some pictures if/when you get them!
 

basset52

Senior Member
The only negative I can think of is that they are heavier drums. But it's not really a negative in my book, it's more of a testament to how robust the build quality and hardware is.

Honestly I would buy them if they were even heavier, they're that good.

Post some pictures if/when you get them!
My sentiments exactly. Everytime I look at my Renowns ( new 2018) I note how well made they are.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You're looking for negs. The rack toms only have 5 lugs a side. I prefer 6. That was the only dealbreaker for me.

It doesn't bother most people but it bothers me.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
You're looking for negs. The rack toms only have 5 lugs a side. I prefer 6. That was the only dealbreaker for me.

It doesn't bother most people but it bothers me.
Funny enough, my 10" and 12" both have 5 lugs and they're literally the best-sounding rack toms I've every played. Incredible tone and resonance, and I think that's due in large part to 1 less lug.

I can totally understand it being a dealbreaker for you though. On paper it doesn't seem like it would work, but for Gretsch it 100% works, and I believe is what makes their toms sing so well.
 

gish

Senior Member
The kit I’m looking at
 

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TK-421

Senior Member
Those are great drums. That version of Renown is arguably the best, as they have 100% North American maple and die cast hoops. The current RN2s have a mix of North American and an unspecified "softer" maple (likely Asian), along with 302 hoops. Assuming they're in good shape, I'd snatch those up. With Protection Racket bags, that's a pretty good deal you've found.

BTW, I own this version of Renown in different sizes. I think they're the best bang for your buck in all of drumdom. Quality is top-notch (supposedly even better than Gretsch's USA-made drums), and the shell hardware is second-to-none. As long as their weight isn't an issue for you, I can't think of a single negative.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
The current RN2s have a mix of North American and an unspecified "softer" maple (likely Asian)...

TK-421, this is news to me.
Can you provide a source link for this info.?
 

Mr Joshua

Junior Member
I am currently playing a kit of the same vintage in the picture, in my opinion it's difficult to come up with any negatives about these drums. They sound great and look great. I typically play mostly rock and use clear batter heads like Emperor's, G2's. One thing, and I can say and I'm probably being a bit picky about this but... I've noticed the clear coat to be a bit soft which can make the shells more susceptible to scratching, this may just have been that particular production run. Otherwise no complaints I've been happy with them.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
TK-421, this is news to me.
Can you provide a source link for this info.?
When Gretsch first released the RN-1 Renowns (the predecessors to the current RN-2s), they described the shell on their site like this:
"...Gretsch still uses the proven and unique Renown formula that combines North American Rock Maple with a slightly softer maple species...."

You can see the discussion here:

While Gretsch have since removed this language from their current site, I was able to find this about the RN-2s:
"Gretsch uses its tried and true Renown formula in the shells. A combination of North American Rock Maple with a slightly softer maple are the key ingredients in the rich warm low end timbre of the shells."

You can find that on the Steve Weiss website:
 

Neilage

Junior Member
When Gretsch first released the RN-1 Renowns (the predecessors to the current RN-2s), they described the shell on their site like this:
"...Gretsch still uses the proven and unique Renown formula that combines North American Rock Maple with a slightly softer maple species...."

You can see the discussion here:

While Gretsch have since removed this language from their current site, I was able to find this about the RN-2s:
"Gretsch uses its tried and true Renown formula in the shells. A combination of North American Rock Maple with a slightly softer maple are the key ingredients in the rich warm low end timbre of the shells."

You can find that on the Steve Weiss website:

Thank you, TK-421. Greatly appreciated.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Funny enough, my 10" and 12" both have 5 lugs and they're literally the best-sounding rack toms I've every played. Incredible tone and resonance, and I think that's due in large part to 1 less lug.

I can totally understand it being a dealbreaker for you though. On paper it doesn't seem like it would work, but for Gretsch it 100% works, and I believe is what makes their toms sing so well.
I had my reservations with the 5 lugs also, but when I got them I was sold. The rack toms sing. 2nd benefit is you don't have to turn on your brain to tune. You just use the star pattern. LOL!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
So, if some of you could weigh in for me; any negatives with these drums? Known quality issues? How is the shell hardware? I’ve admired these drums for some time, having played a few kits in stores.

I had an RN series for a couple years. 8/10/12/16/22. Wonderful kit for both live and recording. The hardware appears to be made by Gibraltar, and is roughly equivalent to their 9000 series in terms of durability.

Downsides:
At the time, option toms were hard to acquire. Gretsch now sells them separately.
The 22" BD had a depth of 18", which was far greater than my preference of 14".
 
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Tamaefx

Silver Member
I currently play a 2012 Renown Motor City. If I really was to look for details that bother me, I would say that the toms seems to detune a bit fast. Nothing to be too concerned. Other than that : gorgeous drums with gorgeous finish. The snare drum is mind blowing, beautiful sound. Top chrome And paint, good quality hw.
The 5 lugs is no problem at all. The 10” tom is my favourite 10” for the moment - and I tend to dislike 10” tom. The GTS rim is maybe large but works great.
i have coated G1 on the toms, powercenter on the snare : those drums sing but keep a woody, warm attack.
About the weight, yes they’re heavy, but not as heavy as my British Signia, the Gretsch Tom tree is really heavy though.
 
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