New kit selection - Gretsch purewood wenge?

gramps

Junior Member
Hi everybody,
I'm new to these forums and i know you must get heaps of annoying threads like this about new kits but i'm in a bit of a spot selecting and need some advice. I live in Queensland, Australia and have no shops within at least a days drive that stock a decent range of quality drums to try so ive been doing alot of research and alot of listening to youtube clips of kits from people like the memphis drum shop to try narrow things down. I've played for around 15 years and have nearly always played on an export kit i bought new in 2002 so i think i'm certainly ready for an upgrade. I've always loved the sounds i can get out of the pearls but i'm open to all brands really.

I've narrowed my searches down to Pearl Masters Premium Maple (MMP) with the 4 ply shells, Tama starclassics in either maple or bubinga, Yamaha maple absolute, yamaha live oak customs or the kit i keep coming across and love the look of is the Gretsch Renown Wenge Purewood.

Most of these kits i can seem to find plenty of info on and video's but the Wenge kit i can only get videos of fully mic'd setups or what sounds like poorly tuned drums. I also can't seem to find and decent user reviews of the kit, there's plenty from websites and magazines but they all just sound copied and pasted.

If theres anyone out there who has played the Gretsch kit and hopefully a couple of these other kits any input/ advice would be great and much appreciated. Sorry about the long read but i have searched the net for days looking at drums. Also i'd just like to add i'm trying to work to abit of a budget and the Gretsch kit is coming in cheapest so far, but i am still pretty open to spending being that i probably won't be buying another kit for years and want to be 100% happy with what i order.

Thanks alot drummers
Jake
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Most of these kits i can seem to find plenty of info on and video's but the Wenge kit i can only get videos of fully mic'd setups
Jake
Welcome to the forum Jake :)

I can't help you with direct experience of the wenge ply Gretsch kit, but you're right to be discerning regarding how these video clips are made. You're obviously seeking something that represents the real sound of the kit, rather than something processed to sound like god on his own harp ;) Good onya!

I can tell you that wenge is inherently a bright wood when used in drums, & delivers a shorter fundamental. The ply construction further shortens & brightens the tone, so I'd expect something fairly attack based with a birch like bottom end, & quite focussed (depending on bearing edge sharpness).

Good luck.
 

gramps

Junior Member
thanks alot for your reply. i wonder if anyone on here has played one of these kits at all being there are only 100 of them. yeah your right you never know what sort of eq has gone into mic'd drums so its abit strange to be trying to "sell" the sound of a kit like that, they should tuned well and just a good room mic in my opinion anyway (its making my life difficult. starting to get sick of searching through drums for honest sounds) .
by shorter fundamental note do you mean they would be less resonant than say maple?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
by shorter fundamental note do you mean they would be less resonant than say maple?
No, a shorter note does not mean the shell is any less resonant, it just means the length of time the shell is excited is less. It's perfectly possible to have a drum that delivers a short note being much more resonant than a drum delivering a long note. By resonance, I'm not referring to head sustain, that's a totally different thing, & much less important than shell resonance (in most cases). A highly resonant drum produces a prominent shell resonance influenced fundamental tone. That's the stuff you actually hear in most circumstances. It's the "voice" of the drum.


yeah your right you never know what sort of eq has gone into mic'd drums so its abit strange to be trying to "sell" the sound of a kit like that, they should tuned well and just a good room mic in my opinion anyway (its making my life difficult. starting to get sick of searching through drums for honest sounds) .
That's why we produce all of our drum videos with complete honesty & transparency, & certainly without EQ or any other processing.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The Gretsch Wenge Renown kit is a limited production kit so it may be difficult to find anyone who has played it. Go to Gretschdrums.com for any other info.
 

gramps

Junior Member
Ok thanks for the info on the note. I have been to gretsch drums. I've been all over the net and in countless forums and sent private msgs to drum shops and am not having much luck. I'm basically tossing up between this wenge kit and a set of pearl masters mmp 4ply. I know and trust the sounds of the pearls but don't really like the available finishes a great deal. And I love the natural finish of the wenge kit and really like the idea of slightly shallower toms for better mounting positions but I don't know the brand at all and whether they would be of as good quality as pearl masters. I ruled yamaha out because I don't really like the tom mounting system being drilled and bolted to the drum and I think starclassic bubinga'soght be out off price range. Really appreciating the feedback thanks guys
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Grunt, something weird about that first link. It's playing way too fast for some reason. Maybe it's just here :(

Gramps, the second clip Gruntersdad posted shows exactly what I mean by a short note. Even though the sound has quite a bit of EQ manipulation, & it's close mic'd (that will add further bottom end through proximity effect), you can still pick up the short note offered by wenge. This gives you great separation & articulation on faster playing, & also offers good control for sound reinforcement live or studio work - if that's what you're shooting for. We've both made & played wenge solid stave drums. I've not seen this clip before, but it was interesting to hear that some of the characteristics of wenge carry over into the Gretsch kit, although obviously quite different from a solid stave construction.

FWIW, I think the Gretsch Renown kits offer very good value for money. They're one of the kits out there right now that punch above their weight. The Pearl is a higher range kit than the Renown, but that doesn't necessarily translate into being "better". One thing's for certain, the Pearl & the Gretsch will sound quite different to each other.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
That first link is boogered. I posted without watching hoping it would help. I can't do Youtube from work, but just did it on my mobile phone and it is wrong.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Here is another video, probably recorded with a cellphone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P86Vmn8QIoU

To me, it sounds like a drumset. My ear may not be as highly tuned to all the very subtle differences that some others around here are, but overall it sounds good to me. One thing to consider is that the Wenge is a limited production set, so its value should stay a bit higher than the Pearl kit. So if one day you don't like the sound, or want something else, the Wenge kit would likely be a more sound investment in that regard.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
i wonder if anyone on here has played one of these kits at all being there are only 100 of them.

GRETSCH makes 100 of their limited run kits, but not all survive the shipping process, I can tell you this as a matter of fact.

The PUREWOOD series is RENOWN specs/hardware with different wood(s). They'll sound/look like RENOWNS plus whatever the wood species adds to the mix. I've yet to hear the WENGE, tho every PUREWOOD GRETSCH set I've played/heard was beautiful and did not disappoint, hard to go wrong with PUREWOODS, they're a solid drum kit all around. Excellent value for the money, good-excellent resale value.
 

gramps

Junior Member
Thanks for clearing up a few of my thoughts. I thought the pearl might have been a slightly higher range kit but yeah i sorta liked the idea of having the limited edition kit and thought it would probably hold good value for years to come. I have seen all those videos and the video with the kit mic'd makes it sound real nice. Think I'll probably get the gretsch. If I do I'll be sure to post some pics and a sample of it. Once again thanks a lot.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
I own a Purewood Hickory and a Purewood Oak and would just like to chime in that I am very happy with both of them. You get the same hardware as on the top line USA Custom.

Best regards

jorn
 

gramps

Junior Member
Hey everybody so I got the purewood wenge kit! Absolutely beautiful drums they sound amazing. The only thing I'm not happy with is the emad bass head it's to quiet and not boomy enough, I've tried all sorts of tuning with it and just don't like it. It's the first emad I've had but the second of played and u didn't like the one on my mates kit either . Anyway a quick change to a faithful power stroke 3 should fix this in no time. The finish is second to none and the tones are really nice and deep. Very happy with my purchase thanks for all your input everyone. Little pic here doesn't do the finish any justice but trust me it's awesome! Also minus a couple of cymbals.
 

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I'm so mad at myself for not seeing this post until now, I have a purewood wenge kit but of course I'm too late to help in your decision, however I will add that I believe you made the right choice ;) . In regards to your bass not having enough cannon behind it, I threw an Evans Retro Screen on the reso side and an Evans Onyx EMAD on the batter(not much different from the EMAD that came with it except for it being a double ply with a black coating, I mainly got it so my bass drum wasn't transparent). It has the same effect as playing without a resonant head at all but it's more pleasing to the eyes. I mainly use it for recording but if you're looking for a boom then this will blow your face off. I made a bold decision by trying it out and I've never been more satisfied. Are you using the G1's that came with the set or did you replace your tom heads already? I'm curious as to what sound you're going for.

Oh, and you're probably one of, if not, the only person in Australia to own this kit. Let that sink in for a moment.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
Beautiful kit, man. I love the idea of having a kit few people will ever have a chance to play. Have fun with that one!
 

gramps

Junior Member
Haha yeah man there's only a few in the country I much preferred that idea than having something everyman and his dog has plus I got a great deal on it apposed to going for another pearl kit or a tama in a similar series. I've always gone for a deeper bigger sound with my drums even my old export kit only had a 14 floor tom but I managed to get it sounding nice and surprisingly deep but it just got to a point It wasn't big enough. The 16 on this kit is plenty deep enough. Mine came with clear G2's on the top and G1's on the resonant and they are great so far. I think a 2 ply emad would be better like you have, I don't see the sense in them putting 2 ply heads on all toms then a single ply bass head. My 16 floor tom almost seems like it's dwarfing the bass drum. Even the 10 tom sounds real nice and deep it really surprised me I thought I'd probably never bother with it and just use 3 toms but anyway so far so good. I play mainly harder rock music mixed with generic pub sets of softer rock aswell, using a much smaller set up for those though.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have a Gmad head on my batter, and am using only about 2/3rds of the fat foam ring. I just cut it. Play around with it wide open, small foam, large foam, no foam on the top see what happens.
 
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