Yamaha Stage Custom v.s. Gretsch Catalina Maple

koifishay

Member
hey everyone!
quick question, which drum set is better the yamaha stage custom or the gretsch catalina maple.
also, for anyone who has the catalina, does the bass drum have lots of punch?
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Yes. Maybe. Depends.

In other words, what you're asking is highly subjective and will illicit responses you never bargained for. Hold on to yer underwear!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Stage Custom.

Historically, the hardware has been better. Bundle with a Yamaha 700 series or a Crosstown hardware kit and enjoy.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
a punchy kick is all in the head, tuning and muffling

There is no apparent winner or loser, just different choices. The SC has modern appeal because it has functional hardware and modern features. The Catalina has vintage appeal with older style hardware, finishes and a 5 lug rack tom. Pity it doesn't have silver sealer...

You're not making a wrong choice by choosing either one of them, so just play them and get what's good.
 

Superman

Gold Member
Neither is bad..nor is either one particularly great. Maple vs birch. I personally feel that the Stage Customs are kind of overrated, but again that is just me. Get a good snare and good cymbals and either one will serve most purposes.
 

Kuromaku

Well-known member
I'm a big believer in the Yamahas. Though I want to be clear that I'm not saying the Catalinas are bad.

The Stage Customs are great for me - I truly love the resonance of my toms and the punch of my floor tom and kick. Are they hand selected work of art shells? No. But they are so solid to me.

I'm not a pro musician, but I've played legit venues and played with folks who've done tv and movies. And the Yamahas performed beautifully.

I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to hear the thousands of dollars of difference between this level and pro level. I can of course hear and feel the difference compared to what are closer to toys than instruments. But Stage Customs and Catalinas are very much in the instrument category. I've played PHXs and very expensive DW kits and I really can't tell that there's a huge difference - except that they looked and felt beefier, like an oak table vs a pine one.

The thing is, I see people with top of the line drums and they put gels and tape and stuff on them - or they're all pure with over-ringing heads and both sound weak and uncontrolled. You get some good heads, tune them properly, and drums in this range can sound so much warmer and musical than drums that cost 5 times as much.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm a big believer in the Yamahas. Though I want to be clear that I'm not saying the Catalinas are bad.

The Stage Customs are great for me - I truly love the resonance of my toms and the punch of my floor tom and kick. Are they hand selected work of art shells? No. But they are so solid to me.

I'm not a pro musician, but I've played legit venues and played with folks who've done tv and movies. And the Yamahas performed beautifully.

I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to hear the thousands of dollars of difference between this level and pro level. I can of course hear and feel the difference compared to what are closer to toys than instruments. But Stage Customs and Catalinas are very much in the instrument category. I've played PHXs and very expensive DW kits and I really can't tell that there's a huge difference - except that they looked and felt beefier, like an oak table vs a pine one.

The thing is, I see people with top of the line drums and they put gels and tape and stuff on them - or they're all pure with over-ringing heads and both sound weak and uncontrolled. You get some good heads, tune them properly, and drums in this range can sound so much warmer and musical than drums that cost 5 times as much.

Nice analysis. If drums were made without badges and all included the same hoops, I suspect that perceived differences among brands and series would start to diminish rapidly. Certainly, woods and metals have unique qualities, but we have a tendency to exaggerate their importance.
 
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wildbill

Platinum Member
....I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to hear the thousands of dollars of difference between this level and pro level. I can of course hear and feel the difference compared to what are closer to toys than instruments.....

I've heard quite a few people say the Stage Customs sound almost the same as the Recording Customs.
The difference is in the hardware and finish details and so on, rather than in the sound.
I've had a lot of stage customs, but never had recording customs, so can't say from experience, but the stage customs sound fine to me.

I do have newer maple Tour Customs and a Maple Absolute set, and the difference in sound is negligible - almost identical.
That one I can say from experience.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I compared them and most others in their price range (Pearl, Ludwig, etc) and Yamaha was the clear winner. Better everything: hdwr, mounts, workmanship, finish. I have the 20" bass and it's really loud, louder that the 22" I replaced. No idea why, sucker just rips.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
In the broadest of generalizations, birch is brighter and sharper, and maple is warmer.
The stage customs have 45 degree edges and the catalinas have 30.
The edges contribute a lot to the difference. 45's are quick responding with a lot of attack.

I had a hard time adjusting to the brightness of the stage customs, but I did get used to it after a while.
Overall I prefer maple though.
 

koifishay

Member
In the broadest of generalizations, birch is brighter and sharper, and maple is warmer.
The stage customs have 45 degree edges and the catalinas have 30.
The edges contribute a lot to the difference. 45's are quick responding with a lot of attack.

I had a hard time adjusting to the brightness of the stage customs, but I did get used to it after a while.
Overall I prefer maple though.

so if i’m looking for a sorta dry (but not dead) punchy sound..
which would you recommend ?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
so if i’m looking for a sorta dry (but not dead) punchy sound..
which would you recommend ?
Punch would be more a product of what heads you put on the drums. Personally, I tend to gravitate to maple. It's inherently warmer .... gives off a more classic "vintage" sound. The Gretsch serves that up, not only with the maple shells, but also the 30 degree bearing edge.

That's not to say I haven't owned my fair share of birch kits. 3 Yamaha Recording Customs and 1 Yamaha 9000 (pre-RC) series kit. Birch shells hit the US like a ton of bricks, in the late 70's. The Japanese all did birch really, really well. So I generally consider birch a more "modern" drum sound.

I'd start with listening to some video demo's of each kit.
 

Kuromaku

Well-known member
Regarding the birch vs maple conversation, I have to admit a lack of ability to really tell the difference, again.

I'll say this though, when I was a kid, my drum instructor had this righteous Recording Custom that I would drool over. I think it was an eight piece kit - the toms were so amazing and the bass drums were the real definition of "cannons" (everyone likes to use that word), but they had both crack and boom.

And I don't know if the claim that it's the most recorded kit in history is true or not, but let's say that a lot of the music we listened to over the past few decades were on a birch kit.

Those two things combined made me gravitate toward birch.

Disclaimer: I play maple snares. Perhaps due to the nature of the instrument, I wanted to round off some of the snap.
Disclaimer 2: I'm building out a seven piece kit and it must be from me chasing that ideal sound from my youth. Which ties into another selling point for Stage Customs - they're ridiculously inexpensive to add more drums.
 

koifishay

Member
Regarding the birch vs maple conversation, I have to admit a lack of ability to really tell the difference, again.

I'll say this though, when I was a kid, my drum instructor had this righteous Recording Custom that I would drool over. I think it was an eight piece kit - the toms were so amazing and the bass drums were the real definition of "cannons" (everyone likes to use that word), but they had both crack and boom.

And I don't know if the claim that it's the most recorded kit in history is true or not, but let's say that a lot of the music we listened to over the past few decades were on a birch kit.

Those two things combined made me gravitate toward birch.

Disclaimer: I play maple snares. Perhaps due to the nature of the instrument, I wanted to round off some of the snap.
Disclaimer 2: I'm building out a seven piece kit and it must be from me chasing that ideal sound from my youth. Which ties into another selling point for Stage Customs - they're ridiculously inexpensive to add more drums.

thanks!
 
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