new 2 me pre loved kit

Ghostin one

Senior Member
I reeally don't care much about the badges, but I thought it was a nice touch that these older Renowns used different badges for different colored drums. Dark colors like this transparent ebony lacquer got the dark badge, blondes and the like got the brighter brass (?) badge.

The new round, black badge sticks out like a sore thumb on the vintage pearl finish, to me. And the vent holes are... elsewhere.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I reeally don't care much about the badges, but I thought it was a nice touch that these older Renowns used different badges for different colored drums. Dark colors like this transparent ebony lacquer got the dark badge, blondes and the like got the brighter brass (?) badge.

The new round, black badge sticks out like a sore thumb on the vintage pearl finish, to me. And the vent holes are... elsewhere.
That’s actually not the case. When Gretsch first launched the Renowns, they came with those silver/chrome badges (along with hanging floor toms and the older style bass drum and tom mounts). Then some time around 2004/5 or so (I can’t remember exactly when), they updated to the black square badges, floor toms with legs and more modern bass and tom mounts.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
The stop sign badge Renowns have 100% North American Rock Maple. That's a good thing. Once they moved to the round badges (RN1, RN2) they started to use a mix of that and some asian maple too. In addition to that the rack toms on the stop signs have the standard depth (12x9, 10x8) as opposed to the fast tom sizes of the newer RN's. That's funny you say that about the stop sign badge. I was just thinking of the various brands and how certain little things tend to stigmatize them.

DW - Devo hat lugs, John Good.
Mapex - Badge, name.
Pearl- Tom arms, numerous lines that appear and disappear, the longest model names in history.
Gretsch - Some badges, some logos, mysterious silver sealer
Tama - The word STAR in every kit range's name
Ludwig - Million years of bad snare strainers
Sonor - Over engineered hardware
Yamaha - Are they even a drum company? Everything is custom something LOL.

Any others?
While you’re correct about the round badge changes, your nomenclature is backwards. 7x10, 8x12, etc. toms are known as traditional sizes, while 8x10, 9x12, etc. are the FAST tom sizes (a term coined by DW in the mid or late 90s to differentiate from the power tom sizes, which were still common at the time).

And as for long drum kit names, I think Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute Nouveau takes the cake :)
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
While you’re correct about the round badge changes, your nomenclature is backwards. 7x10, 8x12, etc. toms are known as traditional sizes, while 8x10, 9x12, etc. are the FAST tom sizes (a term coined by DW in the mid or late 90s to differentiate from the power tom sizes, which were still common at the time).
If you say so. Call 'em what you want. I prefer the deeper tom depths. Especially on rack toms. Not being a big fan of DW, I've never really paid much attention to anything John Good has ever said. I go by terms that industry people use. 10x6.5 = hyper tom. 10x7 = fast tom. 10x8 = standard.

I like the square badges on this kit. They look nice being black w/ gold accents against the ebony lacquer. Only con to this kit is that they are HEAVY. I don't gig much anymore so that's not a big deal to me.
 
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Darth Vater

Senior Member
Fantastic drums and great look. Look into a Brooklyn Hammered COB snare as well. It does me good with my Renowns.
Hey thanks Johnny! Right now I'm using a Hendrix Stave Walnut 14x6 with the Renowns and it sounds killer. I haven't used metal snares for awhile now but I'd like to try the one you mention. Cheers.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Hey thanks Johnny! Right now I'm using a Hendrix Stave Walnut 14x6 with the Renowns and it sounds killer. I haven't used metal snares for awhile now but I'd like to try the one you mention. Cheers.
I'd like for you to try it too. It's about the only other snare I'm thinking I'd like to add. Metal snares seem to be where it's at for me.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
If you say so. Call 'em what you want. I prefer the deeper tom depths. Especially on rack toms. Not being a big fan of DW, I've never really paid much attention to anything John Good has ever said. I go by terms that industry people use. 10x6.5 = hyper tom. 10x7 = fast tom. 10x8 = standard.
I’m stealing this from another forum, as this is all accurate.

F.A.S.T. is an acronym for Fundamentally Accurate Sized Toms.

Where all of this came from requires a trip through history to THE BEFORE TIME. Back in the mid 90s, John Good was either: 1.having some issues getting a 16x18" floor tom to tune up and sound good, or 2. recognized that 16" deep floor toms were a pain in the jewels to tune. I don't remember how he arrived at it, but he cut a 16x18" shell down to a 14x18", and it sounded much better, so he started fiddling with the other diameter's depths.

The end result of all of this was a general shortening of depth from what was still popular at the time....power toms (I just puked a little). For those readers born after 1990, the theory behind power toms was essentially, "Golly, those toms sure are deep. They must sound HUGE!" Even to the mid 90s you could get square sized toms (8x8, 10x10, 12x12, &c...), but the average catalogs featured something like this:

(depthxdiameter)
8x8, 10x10, 10x12, 11x13, 12x14, 14x15, 14x16 rack toms, 14x14, 16x16, 16x18 floor toms.

Those are from the 1995 Pearl catalog in case you were wondering. Even the Exports were offered in all of those diameters. Nobody today, even Pearl, can seem to get that right again, but I digress...

If we went back even further, we would find that the drums were shallower than even the fast toms, and are referred to today as "traditional sizes", stemming from the jazz days. That's where you'll find 8x10, 8x12, 9x13, 10x14 and 12x15. The floor toms never really changed.

So, what John Good did was find the happy middle in between those two things, and based on his experience with the 14x18" floor tom (so says he, mind you), we wound up with the following sizes:

7x8, 8x10, 9x12, 10x13, 11x14, 12x15, 13x16, and 14x18.

That's it. Floor toms, rack toms, whatever, they seemed to work best at those dimensions, and they addressed some of the inconsistencies of the other common sizes. To wit: 8x10 and 8x12 toms (What, no 7x10? Premier was even showing a kit or two with 8x8, 8x10, and 8x12 toms) or 10x10 and 10x12 toms (why were the first two diameters square, but none of the rest?). Ludwig and Yamaha were a little better about this stuff, and had 9x10 toms, but Ludwig made a goober after that by making their 8" and 6" toms 9" deep. Really? Oversquare? Why on Earth, why?

As far as calling them FAST toms, it's just clever marketing, like Tama calling their shorty toms "Hyperdrive". It's probably all bunk, but they have to call it something, so there it is. Go cry on the US patent office's shoulder.

What's interesting is that since then, many drum manufacturers have come to offer size configs like this, if for no other reason than it makes sense, and probably sounds better. Too deep usually means boxy, and too shallow ends up sounding like rototoms.

I want to say that shorty toms were born out of OCDP, since Adrian Young was the first one I saw using them. After that DW and then Tama and Taye came out with short toms, but I might be mistaken. In any event those are referred to by DW as "Short Stack" sizes, completely separate from FAST toms.

So, now we have a vast and potentially confusing array of drum size ratios (including golden ratio. Not even going there) which are largely the result of the trends of their era. Traditional toms were more or less born with the drumset (chinese toms with tacked-on heads were 9x13, from what I understand), power toms and square toms were largely an 80s deal, as the 80s were completely ridiculous...why shouldn't everything else be too? FAST, or "alternative" sizes are pretty much the modern re-standardization of drum sizes, and the trendy thing now is to have your rack tom (never more than one, surely) just deeper than a snare drum.
 
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AzHeat

Platinum Member
All I can say about FAST vs the alternative, is they fit in the kit better. I've had way better success taming non-square FTs too. John Good and Tama can call them whatever, but I call some sizes convenient and sensible. I always found it interesting how we had super shallow BDs back in the day, paired up with deep FTs. Then, it was cool to make the rack toms all match and go super deep with those too, but BDs remained the same, then everything went shallow and BDs grew and grew..... Can't wait to see what other "must have" sizes we come up with next.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
All I can say about FAST vs the alternative, is they fit in the kit better. I've had way better success taming non-square FTs too. John Good and Tama can call them whatever, but I call some sizes convenient and sensible. I always found it interesting how we had super shallow BDs back in the day, paired up with deep FTs. Then, it was cool to make the rack toms all match and go super deep with those too, but BDs remained the same, then everything went shallow and BDs grew and grew..... Can't wait to see what other "must have" sizes we come up with next.
Yeah, but you're admittedly OCD about the subject. 🤣
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm developing a strong preference for the new, shallower toms. Standard sizes are good too but 'power' toms are out for me now. Two of the rehearsal kits I play have 'em and they're a pain to tune and position comfortably.

That Renown kit in question looks great, by the way.

The badge thing has been brought up. I've got one of the new round badge kits and I guess I'm lucky that I chose the Silver Oyster Pearl wrap because that particular badge/wrap combo is one of the least intrusive and most harmonious combos I have seen. Maybe it shouldn't matter but it does to me.
 
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AzHeat

Platinum Member
Yeah, but you're admittedly OCD about the subject. 🤣
I wouldn't say OCD, but curious why we keep switching somethings, but not using the same logic for others.

Power toms marketing - everyone knows you need deeper toms for that deeper sound, but that narrow BD certainly doesn't need to be any deeper.
Hyper Drive marketing - everyone is having a tough time fitting drums in tight places like your Smart Car, so we shrunk the toms for you. That big @55'd kick will be fine in your ski racks.
OCDP marketing - because she laughed at it, even with the light off!
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
If I could make the standard sizes for ME it would be 22x16, 10x8, 12x9, 14x14, 16x16 w/ optional fun drum of 8x7. Those are the exact sizes of my Prolite kit w/ the exception of the bass drum which is 22x17.5 which in my neighborhood is close enough. I consider my Saturn V kit to be of Fast tom sizes in that they state as much in THEIR brochure/website. 10x7,12x8,14x12, 16x14 with a 22x18 kick. Which are fine too. I'm an equal opportunity tom employer. Comes down to "tune 'em, play 'em".
 

TK-421

Senior Member
If I could make the standard sizes for ME it would be 22x16, 10x8, 12x9, 14x14, 16x16 w/ optional fun drum of 8x7. Those are the exact sizes of my Prolite kit w/ the exception of the bass drum which is 22x17.5 which in my neighborhood is close enough. I consider my Saturn V kit to be of Fast tom sizes in that they state as much in THEIR brochure/website. 10x7,12x8,14x12, 16x14 with a 22x18 kick. Which are fine too. I'm an equal opportunity tom employer. Comes down to "tune 'em, play 'em".
Those are pretty much my ideal sizes as well, except I prefer slightly shallower rack toms: 7x10 (or 7.5x10) and 8x12. Primarily for two reasons.

1) I'm not that tall (5'9") and don't like to sit high up, so there's no way for me to get a 9x12 tom to fit comfortably over a 22" bass drum. Beleive me, I've tried! I even went as far as buying a new (used) kit that was an exact match to mine but in shallower sizes, so I could swap my 9x12 tom for an 8x12. I also kept the 18" bass drum with that other kit and sold off the rest. Which leads me to #2.

2) I also play jazz and use a bop kit (hence keeping that 18" bass drum), so I prefer the traditional 8x12" tom with that kit. A 9x12 just looks wrong, and honestly doesn't sound the same when cranked up to jazz tunings. It's a little too ringy, while the 8x12 sounds perfect cranked.

And while I'd love an optional 8" tom, considering I use an offset tom setup, there'd be no place for me to put it (without having my hi hats WAY off to the left).
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
How do they sound? I'm guessing like the Renown '57s you had/have?
They sound good! I've got about 2 hours into them. Still doing little tweaks with setup/tuning. 22" Renown kick sound is pretty tough to beat. I'm using a clear EMAD with the thin trim ring. 5" port was already on the Reso side. Which is fine. Toms have tuned up nicely. Doug had some cotton balls in the FT that I've left in there for the time being as it sounds pretty darn good! I'm a low tuner but not to the point where the heads are flappy by any stretch. I usually run my tom reso's about a 1/4 turn higher than the batters as I tune by ear and lug tension feel.

I'm waiting on a three way gibraltar clamp/post which will allow me to use the fun drum (8x7) when I want. If there'a anything worth passing on to people here it's that Renowns are so far superior to the drums in the sub 1K range that's it's really worth it to find a good used set or save a few hundred more and pick up a set of these new when on sale. In my mind they are a legit pro kit. It's no wonder they have been a Gretsch staple for years.


Very nice looking kit DV. 🤩
Thank you sir. SONOR FTW! ;)
 
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