Gretsch model names through the years

Discussion in 'Vintage Venue' started by DrummerJustLikeDad, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. DrummerJustLikeDad

    DrummerJustLikeDad That's Me, The Silent Son

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    Pardon a pretty ignorant question.

    From what I understand, Gretsch USA customs haven't always gone by that name exactly. What names has their top of the line, iconic, 6 ply drum sold under through the years? I realize my question assumes that it's always had the same number of plies, same hoops, same wood combos, etc. etc. But if certain specs have changed on their top of the line model, I'd want to know that too. How different is, say, a 1960s kit to today's?

    Thanks!
     
  2. bellbrass

    bellbrass DFO Master

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    You are going to get some very detailed answers, that's for sure.
     
  3. JDA

    JDA DFO Master

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    Think top line chrome, pearl, or a couple wood finishes were called Broadkasters (including 6 ply) up until 65 66 67...maybe a little beyond. Sets had Model names..
    Sets continued to have model names 80s 90s Power Jazzette can't think of the others.
    6 ply.
    Best to look thru do a catalog sweep say at drumarchive.com
    But a... no shell change until most recent reintro Broadkaster (3p) and Brooklyn.
    So- Name (hence lines) pertained more to the configuration.
    Shell was basically same until recent reintro revert of the 3 ply of the 50s. (and addition of a Brooklyn shell line) 6 ply has soldiered on thru out since what? 59 58 57 or so (till today) Same. With one top and bottom bearing edge change to the tom tom around 77 78 or so 76.

    "maple/ gum/ maple/ gum/ gum/ maple" outside to inside
    ^ some guys have that as a tattoo
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  4. VintageUSA

    VintageUSA Very well Known Member

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    My Gretsch catalog from 1977 (same year as the shells I still play) reflects that the USA line at that time was simply called "Gretsch Professional Drums".
    They were priced either by "Pearl Covered" wraps or by a selection of "Wood Finish".
    Most of the model numbers of the shells are still in use today.
     
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  5. DrummerJustLikeDad

    DrummerJustLikeDad That's Me, The Silent Son

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    Thanks very much, JDA. That looks like exactly what I was looking for.

    Question: I read on the reliable inter-web somewhere (a YouTube comment) that the six ply shell’s edge used to be rounded on the outside, much like today’s broadkaster, until Gretsch straightened it sometime in the late 70s, early 80s. Is that basically accurate, that today’s USA customs don’t have the same edge they started out with when introduced? I think I’ve also observed die cast hoops now don’t have as high a profile as they used to, too.

    Love the tattoo comment!
     
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  6. JDA

    JDA DFO Master

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    That's right. But remember the Bass drums and snare drums had their own edge thruout. It was the tom edge (tom toms &floor toms) that were 'rounded to the outside' (not snares and bass) And that tom tom edge changed ( went opposite basically) outside in / rb toms to \ in stopsign later & sq badge.

    remaining constant, Snares and bass drums had their own -pretty normal -edge .
    It was the toms (edge) that inverted.
    Hi on the inside (early edge) to Hi on the outside (later edge) : Toms
     
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  7. VintageUSA

    VintageUSA Very well Known Member

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    Interesting................
    My tom shells are high on the outside.................built in Arkansas in 1977...............stop-sign badge.

    IMG_2387 (3).JPG
     
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  8. DrummerJustLikeDad

    DrummerJustLikeDad That's Me, The Silent Son

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    Those hoops definitely look higher profile than what you see now.
     
  9. JDA

    JDA DFO Master

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    That's right in line with all available info.
     

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