Is this a Gretsch tom?

Discussion in 'Vintage Venue' started by JazzDrumGuy, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    First of all, I don't have pics, so please don't kill me!

    I have an 8x12 Grestch tom. Supposedly was a SSB vintage era. 5 lugs up, 5 lugs down, no tom mount, inside grey paint, inside vintage orange/black paper tag (#4415).
    I see 4 holes for the diamond plate very professionally plugged and flush to the inside, and the plugs are grey. I see both upper/lower muffler holes, also pro plugged/painted over. It came with generic Gretsch triple flange hoops (aftermarket) and was "original" wrapped in a vibrant orange glass glitter.

    Odd things: The bearing edge is a 30 degree from inside to out, but rounds over about 2/3 to the outer edge. The wrap is cut back nearly 1/2" from each edge, so clearly not an original 70's drum. The grommet flares out on the inside and is not like Gretsch that has 8 little tabs. Oddly, the outside of the shell that is visible due to the cutback is natural lacquer finished, too!

    The lugs are real (hex head bolts). The paper tag is real (but in between the 2 mufflers).

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

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    Well with 5 lugs per head on a 12" tom it's either got to be Gretsch or some el-cheapo type MIJ tom which would most likely be obvious with a luan interior . From the rest of your description I'd say authentic Gretsch. Now as far as what may or may not have done to it ( rewrap, edges recut, etc.) during its lifespan that would be hard to say.

    I have seen grommets done both ways by the factory, crimped down or the little "flower petals" spread out. If the wrap is a deep orange sparkle it would be Tangerine (which was only briefly available into the early ssb era before being discontinued), but wrap from that era wasn't cut back from the edge by the factory.
     
  3. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    It's not tangerine like my tangerine kit. It's definitely a newer more yellowish-orange color. I forgot to mention the shell is 6 and looks like other Gretsch I have. I don't see any other extra holes. Grommet install is definitely amateur. The grain runs vertical compared to a few RB toms I had and sold (last pic with diamond plate inside). Here are some pics:

    20181031_192213.jpg 20181031_192221.jpg 20181031_192429.jpg 20181101_204858.jpg 20181031_192235.jpg 20181031_192255.jpg 20181031_192339.jpg RB 12 champ unlabeled4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  4. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

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    Gold sparkle. looking at the grommet I'd say rewrap which would also explain the cutback wrap.
    Vertical grain on the interior strikes me as odd though but looking at one of my RB 12" toms it has the same orientation (which I hadn't noticed before). Model # on the tag is correct to an 8x12.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  5. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    Thanks, KO. All signs point to yes, and what I believe is a RB or early SSB (without the ghastly ball socket mount), except I can't figure out the modern, non-roundover bearing edge!

    On that note, I plan on stripping the wrap and finish and refinishing in amber shellac to match a kit I'm doing......
     
  6. KCDrumDad

    KCDrumDad Very well Known Member

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    Here are a few thoughts about the label:
    The serial number looks like 4890, but it could have an additional digit that has been painted over.
    If it is 4890, in the Round Badge era it would appear as 4890 just like yours. In the stop sign badge era it would appear as 04890 with a leading zero.
    If there is an extra digit (4890X), in the Round Badge era, the model number would be stamped like this.
    In the Round Badge era, the model number would appear as it is on your drum. In the Stop Sign badge era, the model number would have been handwritten rather than stamped. Therefore, because of both the serial number and the presentation of the model number, the label is likely from a RB drum, not a SSB drum.
     
  7. K.O.

    K.O. DFO Master

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    That's some serious sleuthing Rick. I'm certain that you know all the ins and outs of Gretsch badges, labels, serial numbers, etc. better than anyone (having LITERALLY written the book on such). I wondered about the tag myself but only pursued it to the point of verifying that the model # matched the size of the drum. I suppose someone swapping out a label could be smart enough to insure that they used a label with the right model number on it.

    The vertical grain on the interior also gave me pause but looking at one of my own drums (that I'm certain is original) it appears that the interior grain is oriented the same way on it (although hard to tell for certain on my particular drum due to the somewhat thick silver paint).
     
  8. JDA

    JDA DFO Master

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    Hex screws all the way around too.. point to..I'll let KCDD take that one ; )
     
  9. KCDrumDad

    KCDrumDad Very well Known Member

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    As JDA knows, the hex head screws to mount the lugs were introduced in the 1967 +/- time frame, during the Round Badge era, in about the 98000 serial number range, well after the serial number at issue here. This points to ... an altered drum.
     
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  10. Tanabata

    Tanabata Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a '70's natural maple drum that's been rewrapped.
     
  11. JazzDrumGuy

    JazzDrumGuy DFO Master

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    I suspected the label wasn't original to the drum. It's definitely a real label, though. I had an early 60's RB 8x12 with an 082xx serial # so that doesn't jive with KC's trusted analysis (that was 100% real deal RB tom confirmed by other collectors here). This one is definitely 4890 but I see where the grey paint is partly covering what could be the last #. I don't see a number though so it is possible it is 4890x...just can't tell. Hex head are for sure later vs. a 4K serial # (good to know they started in '67 - thanks!). I've never seen a 70's natural maple original finish that didn't have the large ball/socket mount. I thought it was rare in that finish so it makes it more odd someone covered over it. Right now, I assume it's a late RB shell that someone had re-edged.....

    Since I will be stripping it, maybe that will shed more light......but thanks for the info so far.....
     

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