I just acquired this 1950 Gretsch Bop Kit

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I'm glad the heads fit.Some of the older Gretsch and Slingy stuff,like Radio Kings,are a beast when it comes to finding heads that fit.

I have calf /slunk heads on my 47 Radio King snare,and they sound great,as do Aquarian vintage American heads.

Now you need to get yourself a 40's-mid 50's Slingy Radio King set....with matching Radio King snare ....in WMP ...of course.A 26 " bass drum is a must.,and you have to play them wearing a white dinner jacket,black bow tie....:)

Great drums Bob,

Steve B
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Man - those look really good.

I won't even get on your case about drilling holes, 'cause that mount looks slick. LOL
Seems like there's a lot of adjustment range on it.
The heads you picked look good on there too.
An all around nice job of it.
 

poika

Silver Member
Very, very, very nice!

Although if there's one thing I have to say it's that the Earthtone stamp would look better without the "feel the real" -text on it.

Looking forward to hearing them.
Congratulations!
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I got a kick out of the "Feel The Real" slogan too poika.
Wildbill, I didn't have to drill any holes in any drum. The ludwig Atlas mounts fit where the old lugs were. That is the beauty of them. These drums can be put back to stock condition. I filled the holes where the original rail and tom mount was with plastic plugs that can be pushed out at any time.
Steve, a Radio King with matching snare would be wonderful. I keep looking, but the price for a really good RK kit is up there.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
...Wildbill, I didn't have to drill any holes in any drum. The ludwig Atlas mounts fit where the old lugs were. That is the beauty of them. These drums can be put back to stock condition. I filled the holes where the original rail and tom mount was with plastic plugs that can be pushed out at any time....

If I'm understanding it right, that is really slick. The lugs are a built-in part of the mount, and it fits in the existing holes. That's one of those 'why didn't someone think of this before' ideas.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
If I'm understanding it right, that is really slick. The lugs are a built-in part of the mount, and it fits in the existing holes. That's one of those 'why didn't someone think of this before' ideas.
I know, why wasn't this done before? Ludwig should win the Nobel Peace Prize for this hardware breakthrough :)
Now, you can update a vintage kit and not disturb the value.

Lets be honest, A great deal of the mounting hardware on vintage kits sucks in many ways. Anyone who has experienced vintage kits after playing modern kits soon learns this fact. The drum companies back when made great drums, and hardware was a secondary thing.
Slingerland and Rogers had the most advanced hardware of the day. You see many vintage drums from Gretsch and Ludwig with Slingerland and Rogers mounting hardware installed on them. Drummers simply upgraded their drums with what they saw as the best hardware of the time.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Just arrived today from my buds @ Greenbriar Music.
Atlas Pro Scissor Lift (Short).
A great way to hang a splash cymbal from your tom mount L rod, or any 12.7mm rod.
I highly recommend it.
 

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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Bob I really am liking that scissor thingy. Does it extend or is what you see what you get? I could use one or two of those.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Bob I really am liking that scissor thingy. Does it extend or is what you see what you get? I could use one or two of those.
Yes Larry, it can be extended straight up. Every joint pivots 360 degrees in every direction. The adjustments are unlimited! They make a long version also. Ludwig really got it right.
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
+1 on some vintage hardware not being so awesome. Amazing job you have done to make your kit very usable and not disturb the value. I am planning my moves with my Gretsch kit as we speak. Normally I do the rack in a snare basket so not too hard.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I can't wait to see your Gretsch kit when you are finished Manny.
I will mention one thing that is con about the Ludwig hardware that I am using. It ain't cheap! The bills add up quickly when you start ordering various things.
The piece of original hardware that came with this kit that I like is the bass drum spurs. The hideaway spurs are so cool looking. I don't like any other style of hideaway spurs but the old Gretsch type.
 

slingerlandfreak

Senior Member
man i am not so often here in last 2 years but every time BoB has new drums in his collection and every time is this something that i like ....man round badge ...big congratulation BoB , i hope i will find one in 18x14,12x8, 14x14 in my life.... have a great time with this stunning kit!
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
I can't wait to see your Gretsch kit when you are finished Manny.
I will mention one thing that is con about the Ludwig hardware that I am using. It ain't cheap! The bills add up quickly when you start ordering various things.
The piece of original hardware that came with this kit that I like is the bass drum spurs. The hideaway spurs are so cool looking. I don't like any other style of hideaway spurs but the old Gretsch type.

I hear you on everything adding up! I kinda went a little crazy buying up some vintage kits. That being said with all the deals I have made and gear I have flipped I am not into it that much. Maybe total out of pocket on my Ludwig, Gretsch and Rogers kit is just under $1k. Anyway I am going to start on the hardware first. My mufflers need some serious attention (some rust) otherwise I would just slap heads on it and start playing. I think I need to address the rust first. I am nearly done with my Ludwig kit so I would think in the next few months mine will be up and running.

Great work on the video btw!

Manny
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Thanks Manny;
Here are my impressions of the earthtone heads after 4 days of experimenting with them.

As I mentioned earlier, the earthtone heads will not work with the original Gretsch Stick Chopper hoops. I am using replica 2.3mm Stick Saver stamped hoops on the snare and toms. The earthtone heads are designed for modern drums and they are not a direct replacement for vintage heads. They did however fit the 50's Grestch drum shells very well. They are not tight at all. The counter hoops on the earthtone drumheads spin freely around the drum shells on the snare and toms of the 50's Grestch kit. The hoop on the bass drum head fits the bass drum shell but it puts pressure on the tension rods. I have to install gaskets under the bass drum lugs to raise them up slightly. Gretsch used the same lugs on both the toms, and the bass drum in those days and the bass drum lugs are not high profile enough for a thick modern bass drumhead counter hoop. The Ludwig Atlas mounts work fine and the tension rods that are located in the positions where I mounted the Atlas mounts on the bass drum clear the counter hoop just fine.

When you first install the earthtone heads you have to crank them up tight to seat them. I normally install a mylar head on a tom or a bass drum and I only tighten it about 1 to 1 1/2 turns after the tension rod has been finger tightened to seat it. I had to crank the earthtone heads about three turns to seat them on the toms and bass drum and leave them tight overnight. I then wound up final tuning them to about one full turn from finger tight which is about 1/2 to 3/4 turns tighter than I tune 10 mil mylar heads on toms and bass drums.
I got best results on the toms when I tuned the batters and resonate heads to about the same tension. I tuned the resonate bass drum head tighter than the batter.

Snare; Be Careful!
Seat the heads like the fore mentioned toms at about two turns from finger tight. The bottom snare side head will be almost at max at that point so don't push it much farther like you would a 3 mil mylar head. You cannot tighten real skin heads on a snare as tight as you can with mylar.
Do the same with the batter head and wind up at about three to four turns from finger tight to max out the tension. If you are a tight tuner on snare batters as I am you will notice that you will not be able to achieve the tension that you would with single ply mylar heads.

The sound is warm and pleasing to the ear as the video in post 73 shows. The attack is soft and there is less shock feedback through the stick felt in the hands. The real heads do not have the same tone at tight tuning that 10 mil mylar heads have. They lose sustain quicker when they are tight. They also have a deeper tone at loser tensions than 10mil mylar heads. They go dead much quicker than mylar when they are loose. The tuning range is narrower because of this. That is the nature of the beast, (Get it? Real skin heads and the term, "Beast") so far I really like the, "Beast" :)
I am very pleased with my earthtone heads.
I also like the modern aluminum counter hoops that the skins are set in.

One more note; Do not use a DrumDial on real skin heads. It will not work properly. I experimented with my DrumDial readings and I compared them to the pitch at each lug. The dial was very inaccurate to the point that it was useless. More useless than usual :)
 
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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
A stitch in time saves nine!
The outer ply was beginning to separate at the batter side bearing edge in a few areas on the 13" tom.
I took a sponge and I wet the edge. I put a small amount of wood glue in the crack and I let it settle in. I then clamped the areas for drying.
What had the potential to be a big problem is now a non issue.
If you own vintage drums is is a good idea to closely inspect them from time to time
Later I will sand the edge smooth with a fine sponge sanding block.

You can see that I removed the mufflers and installed the knobs with the springs to keep them tight to give the appearance from the outside that they are functional.
I have no use for the mufflers because they rattle. Certain mufflers I can fix from rattling but not these. I saved the parts for reinstall in case of resale in the future.
 

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AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Nice catch and fix! I found you can buy brand new muffler assemblies for $25 so I think I will go that route. I will throw up my old ones on eBay all together and I am sure they will sell easy. I will try keeping them in there for now but yeah I hear you with modern heads, moongels and so forth we really don't need them.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I find it odd Manny that Gretsch installed a muffler on the Snare, and 2 mufflers on each tom, and no muffler on the bass drum.
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
I find it odd Manny that Gretsch installed a muffler on the Snare, and 2 mufflers on each tom, and no muffler on the bass drum.
Yeah I really think two mufflers per drum is a bit much. To be honest the round badge drums with the die cast hoops already are a bit more tame. I thought your bass drum had the Pratt muffler on it? I know mine came with it.
 
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