I love my Gretch Renown Kit! Although I've had my eye on a Gretch Renown White Marine Pearl Kit but satisfied with what I have for now. I can't wait to put my new heads on to see what it sounds like.I love high end things. I like things that are built well, with integrity and good design. But in last 4 years I've owned a lot of drum sets and the more I buy, the more I find that the best Value in drums is in the Mid range.
I think the gap between the sub $1200 drum market and the $1300 to $2000 market is so much greater than the gap between the mid range and the drums that cost $2000 or more.
I had always wanted a USA Ludwig kit, so I bought one 2 years ago ( and sold it) and I always wanted a German Made Sonor kit, so I also bought one (and sold it) but since then I have bought Mid tier kits from Pearl (Session Studio Select), Yamaha (Tour Custom), Sonor (AQ2), and finally Gretsch (RN2) and after comparing my experiences with high end drums Vs Mid tier, Im finding that the sound is similar (and in the Renown's case, better), the hardware is either on Par or Better and the shell construction from drums made in Taiwan is every bit on point as what people are making in the USA and Germany. In fact, I had more issues with the German made Sonor kit than I did with the Chinese made AQ2 kit.
Right now I have a full kit of Pearl Session Studio Selects, Gretsch Renowns and a 10" tom from a Yamaha Stage Custom. To me, these 3 kits could easily hold their own against drums that cost thousands more. The value and craftsmanship that you get from any Pearl Drum made in Taiwan is off the charts and after hearing these Gretsch Renowns, Im blown away and not sure how a USA made Gretsch kit could sound much better.
Any one else think that best value in Drums is in the mid tier ?
The only other kit that I had a chance to play is the Pearl Decade that I recently purchased and I really don't care for it but my son loves it so we traded... he gave me his Gretch Renown and I gave him the Pearl Decade.
Other than that I would just assume that the middle ground would be the best bang for your buck and of course heads would have a lot to do with what they sound like also. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Below is a picture of my kit.