Gretsch USA Custom Vs. Renown

rinlow

Active member
Hi All,

I'm new to this forum. I'm actually a guitarist that is looking for a decent Gretsch drum set for recording and occasional gigs/rehearsal. I'm came across a 2018 renown kit for $1000.00 locally and a nice USA custom for $1300. Given those prices, I would assume the USA custom would be a better value and the quality may be a bit better. I've heard really good things about the renowns and of course, the usa custom.

If you have any thoughts or recommendations of other kits to check out, please let me know!

Thanks
 

TJK

Well-known member
USA custom all the way at that price difference if the condition of the customs is similar. Renowns are good drums but the customs are the real deal top of the heap lifetime drums. Once you own a kit of customs one usually will only give it up for another.
 

rinlow

Active member
USA custom all the way at that price difference if the condition of the customs is similar. Renowns are good drums but the customs are the real deal top of the heap lifetime drums. Once you own a kit of customs one usually will only give it up for another.
Thanks for the quick reply back. The renowns are in better condition, but i'm sure the sound of the customs are better. The customs are a satin natural and oyster... for the renown. Here's a few photos of both sets below.

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88013
 
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TK-421

Senior Member
I can't believe I'm saying this, but in this instance, I'd go for the Renowns. Sound quality is very comparable between the two, but I vastly prefer the sizes of the Renown.

The Renowns appear to be (depth listed first):
7x10, 8x12, 14x16, 18x22

The USAs appear to be:
9x10, 10x12, 12x14, ??x22 (can't see enough of the bass drum to make out the depth)

The shorter tom depths on the Renown make a big difference in positioning the toms comfortably, plus a 16" floor tom (with legs) trounces all over a 14" hanging floor tom, which is what comes with the USA.

And now that I'm looking closer at the pics, it looks like the USA's die cast hoops have been swapped for triple-flange hoops. So those USA's won't sound like USA's, though I'm sure they'll still sound good. Assuming you're starting from nothing, that $300 you'll save can go toward cymbals or hardware.
 
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TJK

Well-known member
I can't believe I'm saying this, but in this instance, I'd go for the Renowns. Sound quality is very comparable between the two, but I vastly prefer the sizes of the Renown.

The Renowns appear to be (depth listed first):
7x10, 8x12, 14x16, 18x22

The USAs appear to be:
9x10, 10x12, 12x14, ??x22 (can't see enough of the bass drum to make out the depth)

The shorter tom depths on the Renown make a big difference in positioning the toms comfortably, plus a 16" floor tom (with legs) trounces all over a 14" hanging floor tom, which is what comes with the USA.

And now that I'm looking closer at the pics, it looks like the USA's die cast hoops have been swapped for triple-flange hoops. So those USA's won't sound like USA's, though I'm sure they'll still sound good. And assuming you're starting from nothing, that $300 you'll save can go toward cymbals or hardware.
Touché!
 

rinlow

Active member
Thanks so much for your honest opinion! Good point on the tom positioning and floor tom, and the hoop swap! I guess that's big deal and I never would have caught that. Here are sizes below for each kit.

Renown Drum sizes: 18x22 bass drum, 7x10 & 8x12 rack toms, 14x16 floor tom

USA Custom: 20' X 22" bass drum, 10" rack tom ,12" rack tom, 14" floor tom (with no legs)

Also, the USA custom doesn't come with any stands for mounting the toms. Take a look at these more detailed photos of the tom mounts. What type of stands would I need to get to mount the three toms? Ball joint? They aren't included for the USA Custom. Sorry, as a mentioned I'm a guitarist. :)

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88017
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The Custom maybe better built, but for sound, with the right tuning, the Renown can sounds as good. Renown owner, to qualify. I'm not sure I would want the 20 inch deep bass drum.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Now that I know the USA has a 20" deep bass drum, that makes me like that kit even less. But they're still USA's, so it's hard to go totally wrong. Since you asked, the tom mounts will need a 12.7 mm L-arm, which I see are included. Those specific ones are designed to mount to a 1" (?) post, as in this pic. I'm not certain of that post diameter, but I can measure mine when I get home.
 

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rinlow

Active member
The Custom maybe better built, but for sound, with the right tuning, the Renown can sounds as good. Renown owner, to qualify. I'm not sure I would want the 20 inch deep bass drum.
Thanks for your input. Looks like the majority of replies are leaning towards the renown.
Now that I know the USA has a 20" deep bass drum, that makes me like that kit even less. But they're still USA's, so it's hard to go totally wrong. Since you asked, the tom mounts will need a 12.7 mm L-arm, which I see are included. Those specific ones are designed to mount to a 1" (?) post, as in this pic. I'm not certain of that post diameter, but I can measure mine when I get home.
Thanks for the info on the tom mounts.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The beauty of a 20” deep bass drum is its way easier to cut down to 16 or 14 without worrying about the legs or lugs limiting the transition to a more manageable size.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like the deeper toms of the USA's and I am really curious as to what USA Custom kit sounds like with TF hoops. I'm not the hugest fan of die casts on toms.

The 20" deep bass drum is the dealbreaker for me though, no matter how great the USA's are. The hanging 14" floor tom just cements the decision.
 

TJK

Well-known member
Shit, I didn’t notice that the customs didn’t have die casts. That throws a wrench into it now. Sorry, I’m totally bowing out of this thread lol, I have no more useful information lol.
 

rinlow

Active member
Shit, I didn’t notice that the customs didn’t have die casts. That throws a wrench into it now. Sorry, I’m totally bowing out of this thread lol, I have no more useful information lol.
No worries at all, and thanks for your input. The hoop swap must reflect the low asking price for the USA custom. I think you guys may have sold me on the renown!
 

rinlow

Active member
I like the deeper toms of the USA's and I am really curious as to what USA Custom kit sounds like with TF hoops. I'm not the hugest fan of die casts on toms.

The 20" deep bass drum is the dealbreaker for me though, no matter how great the USA's are. The hanging 14" floor tom just cements the decision.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of the hanging floor tom, plus that means I need more hardware too.
 

gish

Senior Member
Where is that Renown kit located? Because if you don’t buy it, I will! As mentioned previously the drum sizes in each respective kit makes this an easy decision IMO.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Yeah, I’m not a fan of the hanging floor tom, plus that means I need more hardware too.
Hanging FTs are an easy fix. Finding a matching 16 in that color shouldn’t be all that tough either. Swapping back to cast hoops sours the deal. Certainly nothing wrong with the Renown’s. I almost bought that exact size color combo myself. The only thing that stopped me was GC had it advertised as Excellent Condition, but upon closer inspection the BD and 12” shells had been dropped and visibility broken without having to remove the heads. They got taken to the cleaners on that one.
 

CYP47

Member
I'd buy neither of these, and look for a $700 set of RN1's Renowns (cast hoop, virgin BD) or a USA Custom in reasonable sizes.
They are all rock maple, great hardware. Excellent suggestion. You can usually find good deals at Guitar Center.
 
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