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The Great Gretsch Drums Shootout

USA Custom vs. Brooklyn vs. Broadkaster

Most drummers have heard of “That Great Gretsch Sound”.  Gretsch drums have been producing the most sought after tones for over 135 years.  When many of us think of the classic Gretsch sound, we immediately think of the Gretsch USA Custom line.  However, Gretsch has 2 other high-end offerings that are also handmade in their Ridgeland, SC factory.

Once again, we’ve put together the most comprehensive shootout video on the internet to help you decide which Gretsch kit is perfect for you!

Part One: Downbeat Configuration - 12/14/20/14x5.5

 

Part Two: Bop Kits - 12/14/18/14x5.5

 

Part Three: Rock Configuration - 12/16/22/14x6.5

 

Part Four: BIG Rock Configuration - 13/16/24/14x6.5

 

Gretsch Broadkaster

From the 1920s through the 1950s, Gretsch flagship drum set was the legendary Broadkaster Series. The thin, three-ply shell produced that original "Great Gretsch Sound". Drum Center of Portsmouth was influential in the prototyping of the Gretsch Broadkaster, when we visited the folks at Gretsch and discussed the possibility of a relaunch of the classic line.

These new classic Broadkaster shells are made with a North American maple/poplar/maple formula. Each 6.7mm shell includes an interior-ply scarf joint that adds structural integrity to the thin, musical shells. Like all USA-made Gretsch drums, shell interiors are finished with classic Gretsch Silver Sealer. The bearing edges are an exclusive reverse roundover, which allows greater surface contact with the drumhead. Toms are outfitted with Gretsch's "302" 3.0mm, double flanged steel hoops. The result is tone that is incredibly deep and warm, or "That Great Gretsch Sound."

Gretsch Brooklyn

Gretsch Brooklyn Series drums are proudly hand-crafted in their Ridgeland, SC, USA factory. This 4-piece shell pack produces a tone that is immediately recognizable, yet distinctively reinvented.

Brooklyn drums feature 6-ply North American maple/poplar shells and are slightly thicker than Gretsch's USA Custom Drums and have a 30-degree bearing edge. The inside of these shells are finished with Gretsch Silver Sealer. Each shell comes with a distinctive Brooklyn internal shell label that identifies the drum shell model number and serial number. The toms feature classic 3mm, double flanged Gretsch "302" hoops. Brooklyn delivers classic Gretsch tones that are full, punchy and warm, yet slightly more open and satisfyingly ambient. If the USA Custom line isn't quite your cup of tea, give the Brooklyn Series a shot.

Gretsch USA Custom

For over 65 years, Gretsch USA Custom Round Badge drums have been the classic American drum sound. At the heart of "That Great Gretsch Sound" is the legendary 6-ply maple/gum shell with its expertly formed 30-degree bearing edge, the exclusive "Silver Sealer" interior finish and rugged die cast hoops. These custom drums are handmade in Ridgeland, South Carolina using the highest quality traditional finishing techniques. You simply won't find a higher quality drum than a Gretsch USA Custom.

The Verdict

“That Great Gretsch Sound” is inherent in all 3 USA-made offerings.  The differences in sound are subtle across each line despite pretty big differences in shell composition.  “That” sound is a woody, shell heavy and articulate tone that makes itself known and gets right out of the way.  These drums are incredibly musical and sit perfectly in any mix. It’s these qualities that make Gretsch drums so desirable in a studio recording environment, as well small coffee houses and the big stage.

Drum Center of Portsmouth is your home for Gretsch Drums

Here at Drum Center of Portsmouth, we know that great Gretsch sound. Many of us own at least one Gretsch kit, and can help you identify the drum set that is perfect for YOUR needs.  Give us a call at (603)319-8109 today to find the USA Gretsch Drums of your dreams!

2 thoughts on “The Great Gretsch Drums Shootout”

  • Bruce Johnston

    Another great video folks - descriptive, informative, clear, concise, objective . I also love hearing the room mics which so often others don't do. Even though I will never own one of these kits ( I have a Renown ) I really like hearing them and understanding the differences. Well Done.

    Reply
  • Bret Wescott

    Love that you put so much time into educating the drumming public on the 3 USA made Gretsch kits in a variety of sizes and applications! I own a 2018 Broadkaster in satin maple and i was curious which drum heads would be best to enhance that drum's character and tone. I have Remo Ambassador X coated at the moment, but I have no brand loyalty, whatever enhances the sound is my goal.

    Reply
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