Gretsch bass drum L-arm cymbal holders - old and new

Discussion in 'Vintage Venue' started by JazzDrumGuy, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

    Messages:
    5,531
    Likes Received:
    178
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    Pebble Beach, CA
    I have some vintage RB and SSB kits and have yet to use the cymbal L-arm for a ride mounted on the bass drum. How do these things work in general? How sturdy are the old vintage ones? I don't have any vintage ones, but I am thinking about ordering the newer reissue vintage ones? Are they useful in general or just more of a gimmick?

    I am trying to downsize my footprint on a few kits and hope to get rid of the right side ride stand.....thanks!
     
  2. retrosonic

    retrosonic DFO Veteran

    Messages:
    2,785
    Likes Received:
    69
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    Jazz: Well, I think the issue is what kind of music you play.

    I mean, I LOVE the L mounts for ride cymbals and think they look cool as all hell. The flip aside is that they werent designed to hold a ride thats constantly being hit playing rock music. I've always been afraid to use mine, and used a cymbal stand for the ride instead. Plus, I use a 20 inch crash ride, so i need it to be stable when I crash it.

    I will say this...the Rogers collet system is the best system I have ever seen to hold cymbal rods on bass drums. In fact, I'm restoring my old Gretsch set, and it has a hole from 1977, when stupid idiot that I was, I drilled it for Ludwig post mount. Since I have a Rogers collet in my parts box, I'm sorely tempted to install it in that hole thats there anyway.
     
  3. Osahead2

    Osahead2 DFO Master

    Messages:
    3,957
    Likes Received:
    135
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Location:
    Flying to airshows across America in a B-29 Superf
    Well, I use my old school bass drum cymbal mount on my Gretsch RB kits all the time. I always place my beloved 22" ride cymbal there... always.

    I never extend the post up... I keep it down low which balances out the stability. IMO that works best for me but again I'm not playing any rock music... I'm all about playing traditional jazz. Good luck.
     
  4. airborneSFC

    airborneSFC Very well Known Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Location:
    Maryland
    I have used them often playing heavy rock and punk zero issues. As a much younger drummer I thought the "virgin" bass drums were cool. Now I also prefer to minimize my footprint. It's like they were on to something years ago.
     
  5. Trev

    Trev Very well Known Member

    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Orstray-ya
    I have heard the vintage Gretsch L-arm mount was not that crash-hot, compared to the other three "Biggies", and the arm would often drop. Not having used a Gretsch one I can't really speak, but my Ludwig ones handle my 20" ride pretty well, and I play jazz, blues and 50s rock'n'roll. And sometimes pretty hard.

    It's certainly taken a bit of weight out the traps case and, as Retro says, they look cool as hell!
     
  6. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

    Messages:
    18,563
    Likes Received:
    539
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    I love them myself but they can topple over. The problem usually isn't the arm but the bracket on the bass drum. Gretsch probably had the weakest design here since the total area gripping the "L" part of the cymbal arm is not that big. Ludwig's bracket with the eyebolt inside is less likely to let go, although none of these is foolproof if you're bashing away at a big heavy cymbal.

    You can get a newer version of the Gretsch diamond shaped mount that will grip better. There is a version that uses an eyebolt and another version with an even more modern setup. I believe they will all retrofit the original hole pattern. I had the eyebolt version on one of my RB bass drums for a while until I needed it for use on a floor tom for leg holding duty.
     
  7. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

    Messages:
    5,531
    Likes Received:
    178
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    Pebble Beach, CA
    Good info here. Anyone guess what type of music???? Yes, 99% jazz and the occasional rest of it. Rides alternate between 20 and 22. Low mounted sounds right. I do agree the bracket is weak.....I have a few certain FT brackets that like to slowly loosen which is what I fear. I want Gretsch although the Rogers thing is interesting. If the bracket fails, I may try an updated bracket......thanks, all!
     
  8. airborneSFC

    airborneSFC Very well Known Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Location:
    Maryland
    A good compromise is to put the new modern Gretsch bracket (part number G4820V) which has a wing nut and thread just a little larger than the 60's variety. Has the same hole pattern as the original so no mods.
     
  9. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch DFO Veteran

    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    207
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Where Black is the color, where None is the number
    The original Gretsch diamond with original Gretsch arm is honestly the weakest combination. I'd go with either the GS4820 (the captive eyebolt design) or the G4825 (hinged clamp w/memory lock) and pretty much any other arm. I like the look of the G4825, and it appears stronger. drumsonsale.com has both for $24 and $30, respectively, and both 10.3mm and 12.7mm modern Gretsch arms for $36.

    The vintage Gretsch hardware is cool if you make a little shrine and don't play it, but I wouldn't put an irreplaceable ride cymbal on it and go bananas.
     
  10. Neal Pert

    Neal Pert Very well Known Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Likes Received:
    116
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Among the Coastal Elites
    The new arm that fits into the old (and new) diamond plates is great. I used one all the time on my last RB kit and a 22" jazz ride and now have my 23" Sweet ride on the one on my new vintage build Broadkasters. Excellent.

    You can definitely make the old diamond plates work, but just lube the hell out of them with white lithium grease and make sure to replace them if they're worn out or otherwise not functional.
     
  11. wflkurt

    wflkurt Deafus Maximus

    Messages:
    8,883
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Chichester NH
    I don't have experience with the Gretsch ones but I have used a Ludwig one almost exclusively for years with zero problems. I tend to use either a 20" giant beat or 2002 on there and it is fine. The new Ludwig ones can accept a memory lock too which is helpful. I play modern top 40 country and crash ride all the time and never have a problem.

    Does Gretsch offer a memory lock system on the new ones now?
     
  12. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch DFO Veteran

    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    207
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Where Black is the color, where None is the number
    This is a vintage Gretsch

    [​IMG]

    This is the modern one

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Prufrock

    Prufrock Very well Known Member

    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Location:
    USA
    +1 on vintage Rogers mounts. They will NOT topple over since they are screwed down with two screws. I have original Rogers hardware on a vintage George Way kit, and I am really happy the original owner made that choice.

    I have also used the Gretsch and Slingerland arms and mounts. They can slip, especially the Gretsch. Saying this, taking a hint from Rogers, I don't use a wingnut to hand tighten the arm in the mount. I take a small square-headed screw like you would use with the Rogers mount, and use that instead. You can then use your drum key to really tighten it. Having done this, I've never had a vintage l-arm topple over. Just keep the original wingnuts labeled so you know where they came from!

    By the way, I use a vintage Rogers l-arm when possible, even though I have original Gretsch and Slingerland ones to go with my kits. The reissue by Maxwell is great as well. Anyone who has used one of these knows the solidity and ease of use. That Swiv-o-matic stuff was (and is) amazing.
     
  14. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

    Messages:
    5,531
    Likes Received:
    178
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    Pebble Beach, CA
    Okay, well I think I'll go with the new reissue Gretsch arm and hope it works in the vintage bracket. If not, probably upgrade the bracket, too......cheers.....
     
  15. retrosonic

    retrosonic DFO Veteran

    Messages:
    2,785
    Likes Received:
    69
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    Jazz: Good choice..
     
  16. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

    Messages:
    18,563
    Likes Received:
    539
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    Here's the newer version bracket when it was on my drum. It's a bit chunkier than the original but the eyebolt design holds much better. That's a Ludwig cymbal arm too which has a better tilter mechanism than the original Gretsch ones. The newer design Gretsch bracket with the new Gretsch arm should be pretty bulletproof (within reasonable parameters of ride cymbal size and weight).

    Eventually I decided to put these style brackets on a floor tom I had and at the time I could only find two of them on ebay (at a reasonable price) so I pulled this one off the SS set to use there and put the original style bracket back on.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. LFBarfe

    LFBarfe Very well Known Member

    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Gloucestershire, UK
    I've got a no-name cymbal arm in a Premier 392-35 mount on my Gretsch SSB 20". It seems good and solid. I used the Premier because when I came to rewrap the kit, I found a pair of filled holes fitting the Premier spacing in the right position, and I had a couple of 392-35s in my spares box. In the 1970s, many UK Gretsch owners plumped for Premier hardware.
     
  18. LFBarfe

    LFBarfe Very well Known Member

    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Gloucestershire, UK
    Excuse the mess of my office. Here's mine. The tilter on this one (about £15's worth from STdrums.de) is very basic, but it works.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

    Messages:
    5,531
    Likes Received:
    178
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    Pebble Beach, CA
    KO, nice set up!

    I ended up scoring 2 new reissue vintage Gretsch L. arms from Reverb (chicago drum exchange) for $36 each shipped - I guess I'll update the post when I get them....thanks, people......
     
  20. JOE COOL

    JOE COOL DFO Veteran

    Messages:
    1,880
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    i have the original l arm in a box of parts.

    would really like to use it or even upgrade to new and improved, but i cant get it low enough.

    i can cut down the inner rod, but not the outer tube.

    i dont know the height of the newer ones but based on pics it looks like the original.
     
    Leffty likes this.

Share This Page