i had an idea...

ALotSirSwings

Well-known member
a cheap kit, but souped way up. i was thinking gretsch catalina, but replace all the hardware and hoops with the ones they put on the USA's, and install muffles and snap in key holders, all the nice stuff that you can only get "custom". has anybody ever tried this?? seems like a fun experiment to have a cheap custom kit, that would feel personal and like your own product. any thoughts?
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
a cheap kit, but souped way up. i was thinking gretsch catalina, but replace all the hardware and hoops with the ones they put on the USA's, and install muffles and snap in key holders, all the nice stuff that you can only get "custom". has anybody ever tried this?? seems like a fun experiment to have a cheap custom kit, that would feel personal and like your own product. any thoughts?
Why not, do it and post pics! I did something similar on a smaller scale with an old Prem APK snare to make it my own and soup it up to be road ready! Here it is all restored and polished with new hoops, butt plate, heads, lugs, and just prior to installing puresound 30 strand wires!! It’s unique to me now! (y) :D

3C973BC3-39EA-421A-B24C-6D30F082EB72.jpeg
 
It's only a good idea if you also replace the Catalina shells with something better before assembly. ;) [Edit: I was thinking about the old Catalinas, no experience with the new versions.]
In this post, you'll see the costs of all parts of a small set: https://drummerworld.com/forums/index.php?threads/the-sound-of-the-drum-is-within-the-heads.172069/#post-1735520
So with $600 hardware (Gretsch hoops should be even more expensive) and Catalina shells, you'll have already about $800 invested. At that point, I'd just buy a used Renown.
There might be some cheap shells where it's worth it - old Premier (and other British companies) mahogany shells or Sonor beech shells (The cheap Swinger series used plastic lugs), someone mentioned Ludwig Rockers as a good, cheap shell. Those can be found for rather low prices but even then, the hardware will still take up $600 if you need to buy everything new. If you enjoy the building process, it's fun, though!
 
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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
It definitely won't be cheap to acquire all of the hardware. Why not pick something older. Some great shells that are missing the hardware.

I like refurbishing old drums. It's a ton of work. Finding lugs that fit--that's exciting. If I'm going to have to drill, I'll just buy un-drilled shells.

Have fun if you go that route.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Do all of the holes line up???
This is one of a lot of considerations when adding new hardware.

Honestly - I think you'd be better off building a whole new kit with some virgin shells and just going for the whole experience.

Especially considering that hardware really won't make much of a sonic difference and all the cost associated with lugs and hoops and bass drum mounts, etc.

I like tinkering - but the end result just doesn't seem to justify the price and time.
 

acsunda

Junior Member
I had a Catalina jazz kit for a while, it was a fine kit all by itself. After a certain price point, it’s all about heads and tuning. I made compact kit out of a 16” Tama Imperialstar floor tom, a 13” Ludwig Rocker tom, and a 10” Ludwig Backbeat tom. You’d never know it, they sound great.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
Why not, do it and post pics! I did something similar on a smaller scale with an old Prem APK snare to make it my own and soup it up to be road ready! Here it is all restored and polished with new hoops, butt plate, heads, lugs, and just prior to installing puresound 30 strand wires!! It’s unique to me now! (y) :D

View attachment 95974
Wonder where you got the hoop selection idea from? 😏
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I wanna do what you want to do, sort of. I want to take my vintage Wood/Fiberglass kit and equip it to match my Midtown kit. The Midtown has better spurs, nicer lugs, wood hoops, nicer finish IMO, and I will then have a matching shell bank more or less.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I could see doing it if .....

1) You're madly in love with the sound of the shells and the finish.

2) You're madly in love with the hardware you want to use.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
3) You're really mad. (as in crazy)
Well, while that might be true ..... that's not really the topic.;)

I've seen a few kits made like this.

One .... was a Fibes kit. Had the Jasper maple/gum shells, in a honey amber finish that Gretsch wasn't offering, anymore. Buddy of mine replaced all the hardware with Gretsch hardware, and made a Charlie Watts kit. Turned out really nice.

Another was a Gretsch Catalina (Bop sizes, perhaps, forget which wood) kit in Bermuda Sand (Champaign Sparkle) .... guy put regular Gretsch lugs and hoops on it. Pretty cool little kit .....

Third was a Yamaha Oak Custom that had Ludwig hardware on it. What a sleeper that was. At the time, Ludwig wasn't offering anything like that, then.
 
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