I just acquired this 1950 Gretsch Bop Kit

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry Bob, missed this (distracted ;)

What size is the bass drum? I'm interested in the period perception of a bop kit too :)

What I really like the sound of, is that it's pre "we don't have to pay attention to the inner ply" coating. Very much looking forward to some sound clips Bob. I've payed (although not extensively) a few pre internal graffiti 3 ply kits over the last few years, & I've liked all of them that were in good condition. Less plies = better fundamental.

Congratulations!
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Sorry Bob, missed this (distracted ;)

What size is the bass drum? I'm interested in the period perception of a bop kit too :)

What I really like the sound of, is that it's pre "we don't have to pay attention to the inner ply" coating. Very much looking forward to some sound clips Bob. I've payed (although not extensively) a few pre internal graffiti 3 ply kits over the last few years, & I've liked all of them that were in good condition. Less plies = better fundamental.

Congratulations!
Until Bob gets back to you - the bass drum is 14X22, tom 9X13 and floor tom 16X16. This is from memory, after looking at the ebay listing. I'm sure the bass drum is 22" though.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
+1.Those were the sizes of the drums.

Andy,the term "bop" outfit was in my opinion,was used as more of discription of the music that these drums were designed to play and a certain sound,rather than a term used to discribe the sizes.

Gretsch 50's,early 60's, "bop" outfits had 22 or 20 x14 bass drums 14x14 or 16x16 floor toms and 12x8 or 13x9 mounted toms.In the early 60's,Gretsch was still selling tack bottom mounted toms,as they weren't the most innovative of drum companies and way behind the other big 3 American companies.

Gretsch,stopped using the term "bop" altogher in the early 60's and started using "progressive jazz or rock n roll to discribe their drums,which were basicly the same size,with the 14x4 progressive jazz snare now making some headway over the 14x5.5 or 14x5 metal snares.

Steve B
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Until Bob gets back to you - the bass drum is 14X22, tom 9X13 and floor tom 16X16. This is from memory, after looking at the ebay listing. I'm sure the bass drum is 22" though.
+1.Those were the sizes of the drums.

Andy,the term "bop" outfit was in my opinion,was used as more of discription of the music that these drums were designed to play and a certain sound,rather than a term used to discribe the sizes.

Gretsch 50's,early 60's, "bop" outfits had 22 or 20 x14 bass drums 14x14 or 16x16 floor toms and 12x8 or 13x9 mounted toms.In the early 60's,Gretsch was still selling tack bottom mounted toms,as they weren't the most innovative of drum companies and way behind the other big 3 American companies.

Gretsch,stopped using the term "bop" altogher in the early 60's and started using "progressive jazz or rock n roll to discribe their drums,which were basicly the same size,with the 14x4 progressive jazz snare now making some headway over the 14x5.5 or 14x5 metal snares.

Steve B
Thanks guys, that is indeed most interesting. The way I see it, these days, a "bop" kit is generally assigned to a description of sizes. I refer to our 20" x 12" bass drum set as a bop kit, but I was held to task by a few jazz players at LDS because they reckon a bop kit has a maximum bass drum size of 18". That seemed a bit rigid to me, so this back story is an eye opener. Thanks :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
OK, well you guys seemed to have answered your questions amongst yourselves. :)
The term Bop is general indeed. Just marketing. The original owner has a page from the cataloge that the kit was sold from. It refers to the kit as a "Broadkaster Bop Kit"
I also asked why the kit was being called a Bop kit before I made my offer.

Yes the sizes are 14x22, 16x16 and 9x13.
I will evaluate the old heads when I receive the kit and proceed from there as to whether I need to order new skins. I played a marching drum with calfskin heads in a drum corps back in the late 60's for a brief period of time. They switched to mylar shortly after I joined.
I have never tucked skins before but there are skin heads available pre tucked with aluminum hoops. I will probably go that route if I buy heads.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Wow, that kit is gorgeous and in really nice shape. Congrats! If I'm not mistaken you now own 3 WMP kits?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Wow, that kit is gorgeous and in really nice shape. Congrats! If I'm not mistaken you now own 3 WMP kits?
Thank you drumdevil, andYes, I have a 2012 Club Date SE, A 60's Ludwig 6 piece, This latest Gretsch kit.
I really like WMP. Especially old WMP that has turned creamy in color.
I have the black pearl 65 Slingerland for contrast :)
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Thanks guys, that is indeed most interesting. The way I see it, these days, a "bop" kit is generally assigned to a description of sizes. I refer to our 20" x 12" bass drum set as a bop kit, but I was held to task by a few jazz players at LDS because they reckon a bop kit has a maximum bass drum size of 18". That seemed a bit rigid to me, so this back story is an eye opener. Thanks :)
It really comes down to terminology,and what the drum companies insist on shoving down our collective throats.(did I say that ?)

The term kick drum is relativley new,as is rack tom.Drum rack=rack tom.They were always refered to as tom toms or mounted tom.The word "jam" used to mean something different also.It use to mean "improvise",and not just play.

The drum companies had to differentiate their"new" and innovative ?, small transportable drums from the larger sizes ,so the resurrected an 40's term ..."bop.".When bop or more accurately "be-bop" ,used back then,meant something totally different.Be-bop,was jazz,not small sized drums.

Modern marketing,and not so thinly vailed;more in your face,than anything,changed the deffinition of the term.

I still refuse to call a bass drums a kick drum, or this # a hashtag.It's a number sign or a pound sign.I see no reason to change the deffinition of a word,that works perfectly well as it is.

What's old,shall become new,but just renamed,as marketing exects., scramble to make recycled goods,into the newest innovative products,to better serve the drumming community.These guys would be sunk,if the younger players,started looking at catalogs from a few dacades ago,and realize,the're being sold a bill of goods.

Sorry Bob.I really went off the rails there,but it's kind of OT....well,maybe just a little.:):)

I can't wait to see pics of the newest Gretsch kit,in Bobs WMP drum corralle.The rock n roll doctor says,the only cure for GAS,......is more gear.:)

Steve B
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
No problem Steve, we have some time to kill until the drums arrive. :)
Be-Bop drummers of the day played the same sized kits as Big Band drummers.
The Be-Bop, or Bop label is all about how the music differs from Swing music.
There really is no such thing as a Bop kit except in the minds of marketing staff from drum companies.
Drummers used different sized drums for different sounds and the size of the room and the size of the band.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Thanks Kona;
Here is a 50's catalog page showing the Bop kit with either 20" or 22" bass drum.
They even had special Bop cymbals :)
 

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poika

Silver Member
Very nice, congratulations!
I've only tried my hands on a calf skin drum once, but it was like butter!

Looking forward to pics and the whole nine.
 

KONA

Silver Member
The prices in the catalog are to die for....especially the K Zildjian cymbals - my God!
It was a little pricy maybe even back in the day...but you're getting the complete kit with hardware AND K Zil cymbals including hats.....those 50's K's are worth a lot of money today. That kit priced at $700 ...in 1958.....would be about $5300 in today's dollars. But, I don't think you could buy that kit with the cymbals listed for $5300 today. Interesting how some vintage items keep ahead of inflation.
I have the Gretsch 58 (75th Anniversary) Catalog and it's fun thumbing through it. Interesting side note regarding the finish Gretsch picked for the Anniversary. The finish - Anniversary Sparkle (black with gold flakes) - did not make the catalog cutoff so it's not in the catalog. Strange huh....that they would pick a finish for the Anniversary too late to make sure it was listed in the catalog.

Sorry for straying - thought some might like to hear it.

Thanks for posting the catalog page = always nice to read and reread this stuff.

Thanks Kona;
Here is a 50's catalog page showing the Bop kit with either 20" or 22" bass drum.
They even had special Bop cymbals :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Printing a catalog in the late 50's was a big deal. You had to have all of your pages set long before the presses started rolling. It was hard to add or change something once the pages were blocked up. Printers charged a lot of money for a last minute adjustment. They also would print on a tight schedule just as soon as they had the pages set. I can see how a slow decision could cause items to be left out of a catalog. The catalogs were probably printed and in their boxes ready for distribution when the 75th anniversary kit was decided upon.
It wasn't like today where you just click a button on a mouse and make a change on a website.
 
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KONA

Silver Member
Totally agree with you Bob.
I was a little selfish with my aforementioned comments in that I just could not believe my eyes when I got my copy of the 58 catalog and looked for my finish and it wasn't there haha.

Printing a catalog in the late 50's was a big deal. You had to have all of your pages set long before the presses started rolling. It was hard to add or change something once the pages were blocked up. Printers charged a lot of money for a last minute adjustment. They also would print on a tight schedule just as soon as they had the pages set. I can see how a slow decision could cause items to be left out of a catalog. The catalogs were probably printed and in their boxes ready for distribution when the 75th anniversary kit was decided upon.
It wasn't like today where you just click a button on a mouse and make a change on a website.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The pdf of the catalog that I posted is from1958. Not much changed in the 8 years since the kit that I am awaiting delivery was produced. My kit of course is dated 1950.
Change happened slowly back then.
The automotive industry was the leader in yearly model changes. They had only just started doing yearly changes to make you think that your 2 year old car was outdated.. The idea of changing products yearly was a new marketing concept in the 50's.
Before that, only the fashion industry made annual changes.
 
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wildbill

Platinum Member
The catalog says check out the new, large size, high pitch Zildjians.

Sounds like they were striving for higher pitches back then. Makes me think they might have been a little on the heavy side.
 
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