Mid-range Gretsch and Ludwig Brass Snares... and kits too.

volvoguy

Senior Member
I'm getting real close to plunking down some coin (wife has approved!) on a "portable" kit that I won't mind just throwing in the car sans cases for practice/gigging... so I can minimize the travel scars on the Ludwigs (I'm a little OCD with these!).

Loving vintage set-ups (and barring what the used market offers on other stuff), the finalists in the kit category are the Ludwig Cherry/Gum Elements and the brand new Gretsch '64 reissue (14,13,16,22) Catalina Club. Gotta check both kits out. Has anyone seen/played either these in person? I'm assuming the Grestch is mahogany.... and the sizes are *exactly* what I'm after. I'm also kinda considering Catalina maple and maybe the smaller Renowns kit. Big maybe, though.... these last two don't fit as well into the "portable" category.... and I am partial to the Ludwig name. Oy. :)

Also on the menu is a brass snare... which I feel I must have for some reason. In the "less expensive" category, I'm thinking Ludwig Black Magic, the B/W badge Ludwig brass snare, and Gretsch has the "Full Range Series" hammered brass snare. Might anyone have any thoughts on these? I'm pretty sure I'll be going 5x14. I know the the Black Magic gets top marks by many in the Ludwig circles. I just don't know what my take is on die-cast hoops. I do kinda like a snare with some ring.

Depending on how long I want to camp out on the couch, a COB Supra is very much in play. I'd love a BB, but that's just too much right now. ;-)

If you've read this much, thanks! :)

-Ryan
 

tacopaco

Junior Member
I briefly fiddled around with a Ludwig Element in a crazy phsycodelic finish the other day. From my tap test they sounded ok but couldnt really tell. I totally wanna get on that Gretsch 64 re-issue! I use to have one of their Catalina Jazz kits and Gretsch really knows how to make that cheap mahogany work. I'm not sure if it would carry over to bigger sizes but I'm definitely interested in finding out. My humble opinion would be to go for the Gretsch because of the rockstardom configuration! =)
As for brass snares, I would recommend my Pork Pie BOB but its a 14x6.5. I haven't gone with a Black Magic for that same reason, not crazy with die-casts on a brass snare. Within budget, I would check out the World Max snares, I've heard a 14x5 in person and it KILLS. You just gotta be ok with the old school "stick killer" hoops it comes with. Like you mentioned, you cant go wrong with an old Supra as well...or an Acrolite for that manner, eventhough its not brass its an amazing little snare for a not much money.
Hope this helps!
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
I've got that Gretsch hammered brass 6.5 X 14, and it's a killer drum. Great crack and body, but not too ringy with the die cast hoops and the hammered shell. If you just wanna try a brass snare, you could always pick up one of those cheap pacific sx hammered brass snares off of ebay. You can typically get these for around a 100 $ on Ebay. I've got one, and it sounds great.
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
Thanks for the input!

I think for the price, the World Max is hard to beat.... especially since the word on the street is that it's basically the same shell and strainer as a Black Magic.... but with the triple flange hoops and chrome plating that I'd be after. This will probably satisfy until I can get some other snares under the wife radar. :)

I'm planning on making the pilgrimage to the well stocked drum shop tomorrow and should be able to play the Gretsch and Ludwig drums.

-Ryan
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The Gretsch Catalina series is mahogany and if you buy a set of Renowns and throw them in the car sans cases I will have to call the drum police. The finish on my Renowns is better than any furniture I own and will call in sick the day I put the first scratch on them. I would love to have a hammered brass snare from Gretsch.
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
The Gretsch Catalina series is mahogany and if you buy a set of Renowns and throw them in the car sans cases I will have to call the drum police. The finish on my Renowns is better than any furniture I own and will call in sick the day I put the first scratch on them. I would love to have a hammered brass snare from Gretsch.

Agreed... that's why I wouldn't consider the Renowns so much. *Those* I would have trouble throwing in the car. :) I don't think I'd put any lacquered kit in the car without cases. There are the Cat Maple kits that everyone raves about.... the deep amber is really nice.

-Ryan
 

RogerLudwig

Senior Member
The local GC has the Gretsch kit. It is great...sounds good, looks terriffic. the only thing I couldn't figure out is if the rail mount folds down far enough to get the kick drum in a case or if it has to be removed.

You should know I'm Ludwig person, but I'd go for the '64 Gretsch if it were my money.
 

volvoguy

Senior Member
The local GC has the Gretsch kit. It is great...sounds good, looks terriffic. the only thing I couldn't figure out is if the rail mount folds down far enough to get the kick drum in a case or if it has to be removed.

You should know I'm Ludwig person, but I'd go for the '64 Gretsch if it were my money.
I actually just made the road trip to the music stores. Saw the '64 Gretsch in a stack at GC. *Beautiful* finish and hardware, but that place is simply toooo over the top harsh for me to have stayed in there any longer. I was sold on getting the '64 reissue from the nice folks at the local drum shop, but.....

....no one outbid me on fleaBay, so I just wound up with an Element SE in Citrus Mod for a relative song. It's a floor model of the "two up, two down", conveniently minus the drums I would have shelved anyway (the snare and 10" tom), leaving a "one up, two down", just like my classic maples.... plus the kit is close enough to go fetch it myself, so no shipping.... it's almost as if planets were in alignment. :)

This really just leaves the snare question. I checked out the Ludwig snares at the well stocked, friendly drum shop (Columbus Percussion).... which apparently is stop number one for the 1st Ludwig Gold Triumphal Snare. Really a beautiful looking piece of work. It was under glass, so no touching. Had I $7,000 idle one dollar bills....

The Black Magic is a *really* nice drum. Very sensitive, just a pinch too dry for my tastes with the cast hoops. I messed around with a 5x14 Black Beauty for quite a bit. Tube lugs, 100th anniversary badge. It was too nice. Price was itchingly close to what I could get away with. Wife would kick my arse, but maybe not throw me out. Gotta struggle with this. :)

Cherry on top for the day was one of those silly Pro-Mark sizzle thingies for my 20" Nostalgia crash-ride. Sounds great, and now I really want to get out the drill and rivets!...

-Ryan
 

RogerLudwig

Senior Member
The Luddies were an excellent choice. Post pics as soon as possible. I saw a citrus mod kit up close in the local shop and its was killer.

Since you're looking for a new snare, this is my new favorite: Ludwig brass snare LB442. Its so new that as of last month, only 16 had been shipped, including both the 440's (5 x 14) and the 442's (6.5 x 14 ) it comes hammered or smooth, tube or imperial lugs, die cast or triple flanged hoops, P=85 or P-86 strainer

It might look real sweet with the citrus mod
 

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