whats the silver in Gretsch shells?

spunkler

Junior Member
Simple enough? Whats the silver stuff? Paint ,sealer? And where can I get some . I've opened a can of worms with this 70's refinish progect. Thanks
 

tbmills

Gold Member
its called gretsch silver sealer. dont know where or if you can get it. call gretsch, they could probably help you out. also, there are alot of vintage gurus here who have probably hit the same wall. maybe they can help. ill keep looking.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
It is "mystery stuff". Long held "secret" by Gretsch, they disclose "nothing" about it's origin, or composition. That being that....it's probably silver paint.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Send me 19.95 plus S &H and I will send you the secret formula.
Mail payment to:
Johnny Gretsch
Seminole Florida
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
According to a Gretsch history book...it IS silver paint, nothing more.
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
Thanks all. I'll go with the majority and use some good ole silver paint. Thanks again.
I don't have the book with me but the story goes (paraphrasing as I read it 3 years ago)

"At one point, Fred Gretsch wanted something to make his product stand out. One of the things that comprise 'that great Gretsch sound' was the use of silver sealer on the inside of shells. That silver sealer was (whatever the model number was) silver paint that Fred found at a local hardware store. The rest, is history."
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Probably that old silver paint they use to use to paint the radiators in old homes. The ones used to heat the house.
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
I forgot to mention that the silver sealer isn't just cosmentic, it does have an acoustic effect.

Gretsch and other drum companies discovered long ago that if you lacquer or paint the inside of a drum shell, the sound reflectivity increases.

The paint/lacquer fills in pores and imperfections in the wood shell resulting in a more uniform surface.

There is a bit of a difference you can here between a lacquered and unlaquered (inside) shell, especially nearfield.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The paint/lacquer fills in pores and imperfections in the wood shell resulting in a more uniform surface.
And indeed, we would paint, or polyurethane, the inside of our Japanese 60's"cheesewood" drums, to get every extra bit we could out of them.
 
N

nhzoso

Guest
Would love to learn how this turned out. I doubt it is as easy as a can of spray paint from your local hardware store.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Would love to learn how this turned out. I doubt it is as easy as a can of spray paint from your local hardware store.
I heard it was, but then it would take all the mystique out of it.

Dennis
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
I don't have the book with me but the story goes (paraphrasing as I read it 3 years ago)

"At one point, Fred Gretsch wanted something to make his product stand out. One of the things that comprise 'that great Gretsch sound' was the use of silver sealer on the inside of shells. That silver sealer was (whatever the model number was) silver paint that Fred found at a local hardware store. The rest, is history."
Somehow this has morphed into a "special sauce" type of thing.

GJS
 

sXeDanimalsXe

Senior Member
I was once told, or read that the pain on the inside of the shell was because during the war (WWI I think) they had lower quality wood, as most of it was going to the war effort. So they painted the insides to hide the cheap wood they used.

I also have been told that the paint does change the sound of the drum, allowing a more lively reflective sound.

But real people in the know... know the "special silver sealer" know it is actually the magic dust made out of Chick Webb's remains, and Phill Collins' spit. It's his spit that gives it the silver color. True story.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I doubt it is as easy as a can of spray paint from your local hardware store.
Rust - Oleum has been around, since 1921. A book I'm reading on Gretsch drums refers to the paint used as "galvanized fence paint" .... I think it is as easy as a can of spray paint ... from the local hardware store. As long as it's silver.​
 

Stixnergard2

Senior Member
Rust - Oleum has been around, since 1921. A book I'm reading on Gretsch drums refers to the paint used as "galvanized fence paint" .... I think it is as easy as a can of spray paint ... from the local hardware store. As long as it's silver.​
I use Rustoleum paint color name "Aluminum" for my Gretsch restorations and it matches great.
 
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