Has Gretch quality decreased? We’re Gretch drums sold to another company?

I have one of the stave maple snares made in Taiwan and the quality is really good. the Broadkaster snare I have is being replaced under warranty due to lug alignment issues. when browsing for color options I came across so many new snares that have the same lug splay issue. it appears to be a common problem which I don't really get.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I suspect he's referring to the Catalinas. Or as I call them, Crapalinas. There's a world of difference between those and Renowns. Catalinas are basically budget kits with cheap hardware marketed as a mid-level kit (which they are not), while the Renowns are pretty much on par with the USA-made stuff from a quality and sound standpoint. They're just at a cheaper price point since they're made in Taiwan and have fewer options.

Actually, to be perfectly honest, the USA Gretsch's do sound slightly better than their Renown counterparts—but only just so. Yet they are 3x more expensive. However I still lust after them, even though I know my Renowns are ever so close to sounding as good!
Good to know, and somewhat comforting to hear despite knowing full well that my Renown RN2 is a superb kit.

I'm fine with the USA-made kits being even better than the Renowns as it's nice to have something to aspire to. My next set of Gretsch drums will be a set of Brooklyns as I am now firmly in the Gretsch camp.
 
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tfgretsch

Junior Member
I have one of the stave maple snares made in Taiwan and the quality is really good. the Broadkaster snare I have is being replaced under warranty due to lug alignment issues. when browsing for color options I came across so many new snares that have the same lug splay issue. it appears to be a common problem which I don't really get.
Could you explain the lug issue you have with your broadcaster snare, thanks
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
A corporation's main purpose is to perpetually increase profits and shareholder wealth (or so it has been said). To do that, drum companies have been forced to come up with more ways to generate income. Whether it is forced obsolescence (discontinuing lines, changing designs) or adding new lines at different price points or laying off employees.

The "China" equation, and general outsourcing of labor to countries that have a cheaper labor pool rubs me the wrong way for a number of reasons. Quality isn't usually a factor, as most of this stuff is done with machinery that guarantees a certain level of quality. The bit that requires human tweaking is probably done by well-trained workers. The part that gets me thinking is whether the workers are treated fairly or not, and if their workplace is truly safe. If the whole world adhered to universally agreed upon standards, it would be a moot point. I seem to be drawn more and more to getting a set of Ludwig, or INDe, or Jenkins Martin and selling all of my Chinese made stuff. We'll see what transpires with the Hong Kong situation. I have a feeling things are going to get very dicey fast.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The "China" equation, and general outsourcing of labor to countries that have a cheaper labor pool rubs me the wrong way for a number of reasons. Quality isn't usually a factor, as most of this stuff is done with machinery that guarantees a certain level of quality. The bit that requires human tweaking is probably done by well-trained workers. The part that gets me thinking is whether the workers are treated fairly or not, and if their workplace is truly safe. If the whole world adhered to universally agreed upon standards, it would be a moot point. I seem to be drawn more and more to getting a set of Ludwig, or INDe, or Jenkins Martin and selling all of my Chinese made stuff. We'll see what transpires with the Hong Kong situation. I have a feeling things are going to get very dicey fast.
You can just be brief and say "slaves" without dancing around the wording. Independent of any sort of nationalism, race, ethnicity, religion, you're ultimately saying that you really don't want to buy goods made by slaves, including the slaves on our own soil.

Regarding KMCmusicorp and the Catalina, I have not seen anything on CLW regarding their APAC factories.
 
I think one thing to consider here is the Gretsch formula. The classic construction is:

Round or flatter bearing edges
No re-rings
Maple/poplar/maple shell (varying plies depending on era)
"Silver sealer" (aluminum fence paint)
Die cast hoops

There are some variants but that's kind of what made their name. The same can be said about Ludwig, Slingerland, and Rogers.

6-ply shells with 45 degree edges and no re-rings are still great drums, but it's a pretty basic and mass produced configuration. At that point the only difference is the mounts and hardware. That's why people say "it's not a real ___(insert brand name)___" when they release a kit under a name without the formula.

A Gretsch Catalina is like a front wheel drive 4-cylinder BMW made in Mexico. It's still probably a fine car but not really what the brand is all about.
 
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