Yamaha vs gretsch


Pioneer Member
Well I would have to ask what are your thoughts on them? Are you looking at them and if so what has led you to choose between those two?


Junior Member
I think they are both great, but you pay a nostalgia price for gretsch :)

Yamaha's are great drums and usually come with a better price tag


Well I have a USA custom right now...but I have the opportunity to sell it for the same price and make a little money if I switch to a Yamaha custom. Plus I want a 20 bass drum not an 18 because I'm not just playing jazz. Any advice on this?


Gold Member
Both offer very good drums. However, Gretsch has a bit more prestige for many drummers and that is reflected in their re-sale values. Ultimately, I purchased new USA Customs this year with a 20" bass drum and I am very happy with my purchase.



Well-known member
Well I have a USA custom right now...but I have the opportunity to sell it for the same price and make a little money if I switch to a Yamaha custom. Plus I want a 20 bass drum not an 18 because I'm not just playing jazz. Any advice on this?
I've played both and they are both beautiful. It comes down to the sound you want.

Do you dislike the drums enough to sell them or could you just purchase a 20" Bass Drum so you'd have options for the future?

Ironically I'm in a reverse situation than yourself. I own a Recording Custom set that I purchased brand new in 1985 (but will never part with them).

I really want a USA Custom Set next in the classic Bop sized drums.

Doctor Dirt

I think the statement of a 100+ years is kinda miss leading here. The company had quite a few years of producing crap just like every other company went through. The Jasper shell era brought the company back on top even though they were doing pretty good at that time and that was just luck taking a shot at a furniture company turning out some shells. The Gretsch company didn't give them a recipe for producing a maple shell so the credit goes to Jasper. The company gained respect with the jazz players and never captured the early rock drummer market because the Slingerland & Ludwigs were the main stream at that time.
That said, to the OP if you think you won't miss your current kit an you can gain some money and try the kit you'd like to have go for it. When your young and can afford to maintain a kit you really like then keep them. I had a few kits that stayed with me for alot of years even though they weren't my main kit anymore. We do get attached to a kit or two or three or four hahahaha in our life times and its all good. Gonna part with my YRC pretty soon and I thought they were my last kit a few years ago. Never say Never! Doc


Platinum Member
Whats the sounds difference in the two? Does is just come down to preference?
They are different animals. Grestch uses heavy die-cast hoops, so the sound is drier, and a bit more focused. Yamahas use nice sturdy hoops, too, but not as heavy as Gretsch's, so the sound is more open.

The shells from both companies are of the thin ply design. Gretsch uses gumwood for some of the interior plies, and their shells are a bit thicker, whereas the Yamahas are maple and quite thin. There's bound to be some differences in sound here, but I think the hoops are going to provide the biggest difference. The edges are different (Yamaha = 45, Gretsch = 30), but both have a slight roundover.

Also, I think Gretsch's "Rims" mounting system is superior to Yamaha's YESS mounts (even with the newer design), but both companies rack toms have great sustain.

You really just need to play them both. When you're talking high-dollar kits, it's worth it to take a trip to Fork's Drum Closet or other great drum store and hit them yourself.

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I'm gonna say Yamaha, and not just because I own them. In fact, if I liked Gretsch better, wouldn't I play those instead?

Something about Yamaha stands out to me. Both companies have fantastic drums, but I just feel like there is more care taking in the Maple Customs than other drums of that range. It seems like fine artwork instead of just a drum. I know that might not make ant sense but it's my thoughts...
Just to reinforce the good advice provided by others already, both Gretsch and Yamaha make simply superlative drums. Play both and decide which you prefer. Bottom line is you can't go wrong.


I would definitely pick the one that sounded better. If they both sound alike, take the prettiest one, lol. I own a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute and a Gretsch Renown, so both companies are on my "A" list.



Platinum Member
You really couldn't be faced with a tougher decision IMO. But as smitten with Gretsch USA as I usually am, I think I'd end up with the Yamaha. I've never owned either kit, but have enough playing experience on both and they're both simply amazing.

If I had to complain, I'd say that I'm less inclined these days to go for die cast hoops but I like Yamaha's aluminum die cast hoops better than the massive zinc die casts on the Gretsch.

I'm also not over the moon on Yamaha's tom mounts and don't like that they won't make a 24x14 or a 15x14 ft. I could live with 24x16 kick (I suppose) and I could drill a 15x13 tom to install ft legs if I could order it without the regular tom mount (and if I could order it without a tom mount, I'd do the same with the other toms and mount some other way), but that's fairly minor stuff compared to how great those drums are.

The Gretsch USA are insanely expensive. I just can't justify that. If I had to have a Gretsch, I'd keep an eye out on the used market.

Oh man, I'm getting all worked up over here thinking about my next kit!