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An old Gretsch? Yes please!
When do you ever see one of these!? And yes, those magic Jasper shells! Even though we love our Ludwig here at ADC, every so often we get something different in that'll surprise us. This outfit is a perfect example of why there's so many Gretsch-nutters out there. When you find a good one, they're really good! The thin Jasper shells, 30 degree bearing edges and that mystical 'Silver Sealer' all add up to a very warm, rounded sound. The added focus comes from the DieCast hoops and lugs - Gretsch were ahead of their time in this regard. If only modern drums sounded like this!
So, looking at the money shot, you'd be forgiven in thinking that this kit is pristine. Look at her, she's so pretty! This ain't camera trickery either, these tubs are that beautiful. But then you look at the price and wonder... "What the hell are ADC thinking!? This is far too reasonably priced for such a set of drums!" This is where the 1990s come back to haunt us... This is a player's kit as it's been modded. You could argue that this has been for the better as it certainly makes this kit solid and more giggable but we are just sticklers for originality. We're talking a BLX tom bracket on the rack tom and BLX spurs on the kick. Now, whoever has done the work on this kit has done a good job of it. The holes for the Pratt Mufflers have been filled on both of the toms. And the mad lad even filled the holes from the original Gretsch tom mount on top of the kick! Cool! A virgin bass drum! Almost... There's a few dings and scuff on each of the drums as you'd expect on lacquer shells of this age. Two of the floor tom leg boxes have been re-tapped, etc.. The rack appears to be '70s, while the other two drums are from the 1980s. The nature of dating Gretsch drums, with the almost meaningless serial numbers and various other factors, mean it is hard to determine this kit's full history. We'd argue the difference in badges mean that this is not a factory outfit and the interior paper tags reinforce this. However, the build of these shells is one in the same and the finish is so good, these drums appear to have aged together. It is hard to say. Again, it is a player's kit so when considering such things in regards to a kit that looks and sounds like this, the obvious answer will most likely be ...who cares? So to get the picture, there's details that detract from the value of this outfit but god damn look at 'em! Do you care!? Beautiful drums that sound mega.
Rack Tom – Good condition. As mentioned above, this has a Pearl BLX tom holder on it. The holes from the original tom holder plate have been filled. As have the holes for the Pratt Mufflers! The odd scuff and ding on the shell and hardware, bit of age on those DieCast hoops but the important things are there. The Jasper shells are doing their job, nice and thin. Classic 30 degree bearing edges, factory Silver Sealer shell interior and paper tag displaying the serial number #68449. The Stop Sign Badge is slightly different on this drum from the other two too. The paper tag and badge put this drum in the 1970s but the nature of dating Gretsch is so ropy that that's as far as we can go. Even with that big, ugly piece of Pearl hardware on the player's side of the drum, it still sounds absolutely brilliant. Great drum.
Floor Tom – Good condition. Better than the rack tom. Another belter. Yes the damper holes have been filled but there's nothing in the way of serious mods to this drum. The only other thing worth mentioning is the that two of the leg plates have been re-tapped and the wing bolts have been replaced with '60s Rogers ones. One of the plates is still the original Gretsch bolt with the original thread. So, apart from that, odd scuffs and dings, much the same as the rack tom. The things that are right about this drum are again the same as the rack tom. Bearing edges, factory interior, original legs, hoops, etc., all good. The paper tag on this drum is only partly intact. There is however a pencil date written above the tag reading '88 but we wouldn't care to speculate what this date refers to as Gretsch drums themselves were rarely date stamped anyway. This drum again sings, booms and rumbles as it should - perfectly marrying up with the rack tom. They do sound like the perfect pair and that's with a set of old/knackered/gak heads on 'em!
Bass Drum – Good condition. The most interesting out of the three in terms of mods. Filling the holes of the original tom mount just seems like such a waste of time but do you know what, even though it's quite large, unless you're looking for it, it ain't immediately obvious! The craftsman has blended the colour of the filler with the lacquer well. The Diamond Plate cymbal mount holes have also been filled well. The Pearl spurs are the most interesting mod here as there doesn't seem to be any original/additional holes on show, inside or out. Obviously these spurs are solid. They have knocked the lacquer a little when they've been folded up and not tightened correctly. Apart from the modifications, you're just looking at the standard features you'd expect on a lacquered kick drum of this age - dings, scuffs, pedal rash and claw marks, all of the trimmings! But as we have said previously, we just keep on looking at that main picture, that's what your adoring fans will see, that's how these drums will be perceived and a single word comes to mind, stunning. The sound of this drum is exactly as you'd hope: a proper thump and all of the rumble. The things that are right about this kit are certainly right; that shell, the bearing edges, the factory interior and the paper tag, with a serial reading #126081. Fantastic drum.
This is a drum kit that makes us appreciate the job we do. Getting an old set of drums in, tuning it up, giving it a dust, trying to figure out when it was made and what it's been doing since. It's also a lovely change of pace. We love Ludwigs, of which we have many, but Gretsch drums are designed differently, built different and sound different. Better? Well, that's subjective. We can certainly say that we're a fan of this outfit. You won't be disappointed.
Non-UK buyers, please contact us for shipping and payment options.