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Thread: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

  1. #1

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    Default Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    2013 Gretsch USA Custom 6 ply maple/gumwood
    Shell Sizes:
    8x10” 8x12” 16x16” 18x22”
    Exterior Finish: Ebony Gloss lacquer
    Interior Shell Finish: Silver Sealer
    Rack Tom Suspension System: GTS
    Heads: Remo Clear Emperors/Clear Ambassador





    2007 DW Collectors 6p ply Standard shell/maple
    Shell Sizes:
    7x8” 8x10” 9x12” 11x14”
    Exterior Finish: Twisted Exotic Veneer Lacquer
    Interior Finish: Clear Lacquer
    Rack Tom Suspension System: STM
    Heads: DW/Remo Clear coated/DW/Remo Clear reso




  2. #2

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    First Impressions when played side by side:
    In my opinion, the Gretsch has more warmth and volume than DW. I think the Keller shell made to Gretsch specifications with one ply of gumwood along with five plies of maple for the USA Custom and the Silver Sealer used to coat the interior of the USA and Renown shells are responsible for “That Gretsch Sound” and it literally hits you in the face and chest when you’re sitting behind the kit. I believe the 30 degree bearing edges with the round over also contributes to an “old school” sound that’s embedded in over 130+ years of drum making history.



    GTS mounting system:



    The DW on the other hand has more clarity and tone and is more musical than the Gretsch in the sense that you hear the effort put into timbre matching of the shells to create a “family” of drums as John Good put it. The 45 degree bearing edges also give the DW more attack and the toms “sing” when played and that was pretty astonishing to hear and it was a first for me to get what sounded like musical notes from the toms.




  3. #3

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out



    Next comparison will be at my friend's home recording studio where I'll record backing drum tracks from both kits. I'll post them in this thread so stay tuned!

    Last edited by late8; 06-22-2016 at 01:30 PM.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    I'm a huge fan of the DW STM system. It doesn't touch or place any pressure on the tuning rods. It goes around the lugs and the other thing with this is when you're setting them up there is no play or flex in them. When you go to set them they are right where you held the drum. Some STM mounts are so floppy and sloppy that if you hold the drum and set the mount once you let go of the drum it drops down 1/8th"

    Both kits are gorgeous and build with great purpose! But man that DW just BLOWS MY MIND!!!!
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 10pc PDP X7 Sparkle Orange | 9pc Ludwig Jr. wine red | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone | 39 Snare drums and growing!

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    Some STM mounts are so floppy and sloppy that if you hold the drum and set the mount once you let go of the drum it drops down 1/8th"
    Very well described. But JUST a 1/8th? Mine seems more like a half inch or more.

    But we learn to compensate, right?
    Signature here

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Very nice, I like both but I agree the DW Tom suspension mounts are much better IMO. I also notice on both kits when mounted to the left of the BD off a cymbal stand you cannot see the badges. Is there a way to mount them on that stand so you can see the badges?
    http://www.redskymary.com/ NOT MY BAND, JUST A GREAT LOCAL BAND WHO SHOULD BE SOOO MUCH BIGGER IMO

    DW Collectors

    Premier Elite Black Sparkle

    Zildjian K Cymbals

    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

    MOST ORCHESTRA'S ARE JUST 1800'S COVER BANDS!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bish View Post
    Very well described. But JUST a 1/8th? Mine seems more like a half inch or more.

    But we learn to compensate, right?

    No you're right it's a big drop... 1/2" is way more realistic.. if not 3/4" lol
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 10pc PDP X7 Sparkle Orange | 9pc Ludwig Jr. wine red | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone | 39 Snare drums and growing!

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    I'm a huge fan of the DW STM system. It doesn't touch or place any pressure on the tuning rods. It goes around the lugs and the other thing with this is when you're setting them up there is no play or flex in them. When you go to set them they are right where you held the drum. Some STM mounts are so floppy and sloppy that if you hold the drum and set the mount once you let go of the drum it drops down 1/8th"

    Both kits are gorgeous and build with great purpose! But man that DW just BLOWS MY MIND!!!!
    I totally agree about your assessment of the STM system's use of taking full advantage of shell resonance by avoiding any weight or pressure on the tuning lugs. The GTS mounting system has been shelved for the RN1 mounting bracket but the need for an upgraded lug to accept the bottom receiver is needed but again, it's hung off of the tension lugs which I think affects the tone of the heads.











    Quote Originally Posted by Bish View Post
    Very well described. But JUST a 1/8th? Mine seems more like a half inch or more.

    But we learn to compensate, right?
    In my opinion, what seems to "choke" the DW toms are the size and mass of the Collectors large turret lugs. They seem to take up a lot of real estate on the exterior and interior of the shell and possibly inhibiting it to reverberate in its fundamental tone.




  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDK View Post
    Is there a way to mount them on that stand so you can see the badges?
    Yes, but the badges will be more or less off to the sides rather than straight ahead as they are when mounted over the bass drum.

    On a stand-Ride side:



    On a stand-Hihat side:



    On a rack with Badges facing straight ahead:



    Toms over the bass drum:


  10. #10

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I totally agree about your assessment of the STM system's use of taking full advantage of shell resonance by avoiding any weight or pressure on the tuning lugs. The GTS mounting system has been shelved for the RN1 mounting bracket but the need for an upgraded lug to accept the bottom receiver is needed but again, it's hung off of the tension lugs which I think affects the tone of the heads.


    In my opinion, what seems to "choke" the DW toms are the size and mass of the Collectors large turret lugs. They seem to take up a lot of real estate on the exterior and interior of the shell and possibly inhibiting it to reverberate in its fundamental tone.
    What would be great is if they did the small lugs from the performance series on all the smaller toms 8" and 10" and maybe 12" and then anything larger 14" and 16" etc used the larger collectors series lugs.
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 10pc PDP X7 Sparkle Orange | 9pc Ludwig Jr. wine red | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone | 39 Snare drums and growing!

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Considering the options for the DW kit, I like the rack configuration best.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  12. #12

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    Rich..................That photo of your studio friend has a poster from Sun Record Company.

    On my way back home from the Gretsch SC tour last Summer, we stopped in Memphis for BBQ and the Sun tour.............very cool.

    You stand in the same room (which has been restored with the original acoustic tiles, etc.) where recordings were made by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.............among others.

    The place also has the same recording equipment that was used...........as well as the guitars, amps and the Ludwig kit.

    The tour takes an hour or so and cost only $12................worth it !
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  13. #13

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Considering the options for the DW kit, I like the rack configuration best.
    Ricky, here are two videos of what I could find that represents both kits the best. Tell me what you hear are the significant differences. Thanks!

    Gretsch USA Custom:



    DW Collectors:

    Last edited by late8; 06-23-2016 at 09:31 AM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    What would be great is if they did the small lugs from the performance series on all the smaller toms 8" and 10" and maybe 12" and then anything larger 14" and 16" etc used the larger collectors series lugs.
    I totally agree!

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Rich..................That photo of your studio friend has a poster from Sun Record Company.

    On my way back home from the Gretsch SC tour last Summer, we stopped in Memphis for BBQ and the Sun tour.............very cool.

    You stand in the same room (which has been restored with the original acoustic tiles, etc.) where recordings were made by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.............among others.

    The place also has the same recording equipment that was used...........as well as the guitars, amps and the Ludwig kit.

    The tour takes an hour or so and cost only $12................worth it !
    Thanks for the heads up...now on the bucket list.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Ricky, here's two videos of what I could find that represents both kits the best. Tell me what you hear are the significant differences. Thanks!

    Gretsch USA Custom:



    DW Collectors:

    The Gretsch kit seems to have a "woody-er" sound, but the DW kit seems to have a bit more ring from the shells. Still, both kits sound awesome, especially the DW snare.

    I actually prefer the "Gretsch sound"....
    Stolen from EddieV:
    Boom, ching, boom boom ching, fuggadugga fuggadugga fuggadugga crash. Rinse, Repeat ad-nauseum.

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Come on Mark. You steal copy. Just look at your signature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    Nothing says 'tough' like a drummer with ducklings on his drums. Ha!

  17. #17

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    Yep, sounded like drums to me.

    They are played in different rooms, maybe with different heads, so of course they are going to sound different.

    On my scale of 1 to 2, this stuff falls into the "who cares" category.

    Buy the drums you want, put the heads that you want on them, tune them how you want, then play the damn things. Everything else is superfluous bull to try and get people to buy set A, B, C, or D.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by spazapproved View Post
    what would be great is if they did the small lugs from the performance series on all the smaller toms 8" and 10" and maybe 12" and then anything larger 14" and 16" etc used the larger collectors series lugs.
    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    i totally agree!
    +1
    Signature here

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Ricky, here's two videos of what I could find that represents both kits the best. Tell me what you hear are the significant differences. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Markadiddle View Post
    The Gretsch kit seems to have a "woody-er" sound, but the DW kit seems to have a bit more ring from the shells. Still, both kits sound awesome, especially the DW snare.
    I actually prefer the "Gretsch sound".
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    They are played in different rooms, maybe with different heads, so of course they are going to sound different.
    Both sound gorgeous, as expected.........................exceptional materials and craftsmanship.

    The DW sound a bit more musical to me BUT...........he is using clear heads and he has them tuned with a slight "dip" (check out the first 25 seconds).............we used to tune that way in the late 70s and 80s..........it does sound great.

    The Gretsch kit has coated heads and sounds more "percussive"............certainly not dampened, but less musical.

    Rick does bring in some thoughts that do limit the comparison.............it is difficult to say the least.............rooms, microphones, etc.
    My USA kit actually sounds lousy in the room where I practice (too lively) but it doesn't matter because I'm wearing headphones anyway.
    At the gigs, they sound like they should.

    I would be more interested in a direct A/B comparison with your two kits in the same (dead) room and the same heads.
    And my expectation would be that, in the end, I'll really like both.

    Mark is correct..............the DW snare is sounding great.

    I think I could make both of those bass drums sound better...............but, maybe not............. I tend to think that about every bass drum I hear.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    Yep, sounded like drums to me.

    They are played in different rooms, maybe with different heads, so of course they are going to sound different.

    On my scale of 1 to 2, this stuff falls into the "who cares" category.

    Buy the drums you want, put the heads that you want on them, tune them how you want, then play the damn things. Everything else is superfluous bull to try and get people to buy set A, B, C, or D.
    Ahhh go have a drink and chill out rick! I totally agree with your frank assessment. In my humble opinion your Ludwigs sound like they're played in a concrete bunker and if you really look at your surroundings, it actually is, but there's no denying that there's a fundamental starting point for every drum regardless of what room, what heads blah blah blah...

    If it floats your boat, go for it!
    Last edited by late8; 06-23-2016 at 12:47 PM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markadiddle View Post
    The Gretsch kit seems to have a "woody-er" sound, but the DW kit seems to have a bit more ring from the shells. Still, both kits sound awesome, especially the DW snare.

    I actually prefer the "Gretsch sound"....
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Both sound gorgeous, as expected.........................exceptional materials and craftsmanship.

    The DW sound a bit more musical to me BUT...........he is using clear heads and he has them tuned with a slight "dip" (check out the first 25 seconds).............we used to tune that way in the late 70s and 80s..........it does sound great.

    The Gretsch kit has coated heads and sounds more "percussive"............certainly not dampened, but less musical.

    Rick does bring in some thoughts that do limit the comparison.............it is difficult to say the least.............rooms, microphones, etc.
    My USA kit actually sounds lousy in the room where I practice (too lively) but it doesn't matter because I'm wearing headphones anyway.
    At the gigs, they sound like they should.

    I would be more interested in a direct A/B comparison with your two kits in the same (dead) room and the same heads.
    And my expectation would be that, in the end, I'll really like both.

    Mark is correct..............the DW snare is sounding great.

    I think I could make both of those bass drums sound better...............but, maybe not............. I tend to think that about every bass drum I hear.
    I agree with both of your comments and I knew you guys could hear what struck me in the same way. The Grestch sounded like drums and the DW had more clarity and ring and both appealed to my ears. I got Remo clears heads on the Gretsch and DW kit right now so this is about as close to having equal components as I can make it. This will be an fun and interesting series of recordings.

    I use 7 mics on the kit when I record.

    Bass drum: Shure Beta 52 on the ported reso




    Audix D6 on the kick batter:




    Audix i5 on the hats and a Beta 57 on the snare:



    (1x) AKG T-170 (2x) CAD 95 series for overheads

    Last edited by late8; 06-23-2016 at 10:17 AM.

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    continued....

    Here's the recorder (Digital Audio Workstation- DAW) channel designations. If we record as a group, there's a total of 16 channels available and we do the "Studio City" type of recording where entire band gets recorded at the same time (hence the drum shield) but if I'm recording backing drum tracks, I'll use headphones and play to a scratch track of myself and the rhythm guitar track to get "clean" drum tracks to mix in post.



    Final mix down after the tracks have been recorded using Cool Edit Pro. These won't be Q8 zoom recordings



    Last edited by late8; 06-23-2016 at 10:41 AM.

  23. #23

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    90% of the crowd at a gig couldn't tell if I'm playing a $7k set of DWs or a $70 Taiwan kit. They just know they go "boom, thud, crash". Same goes for guitars. As long as the guitars in tune, they can't tell a $100 Squire from a Les Paul 335. As musicians, however, we appreciate the nuances.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    90% of the crowd at a gig couldn't tell if I'm playing a $7k set of DWs or a $70 Taiwan kit. They just know they go "boom, thud, crash". Same goes for guitars. As long as the guitars in tune, they can't tell a $100 Squire from a Les Paul 335. As musicians, however, we appreciate the nuances.
    In my opinion, as musicians, we play for the "phantom musicians" in the crowd. There's no denying this and if you gave me a choice, I rather play on a $7k worth of DWs and if I were a guitar player, it would be the Gibson 335. Why?...Why not?

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Here's the recorder (Digital Audio Workstation- DAW) channel designations. If we record as a group, there's a total of 16 channels available and we do the "Studio City" type of recording where entire band gets recorded at the same time (hence the drum shield) but if I'm recording backing drum tracks, I'll use headphones and play to a scratch track of myself and the rhythm guitar track to get "clean" drum tracks to mix in post.
    OK -- this will do the trick -- I'll be interested in the result (tell Rick it's OK to be curious and have a fun project).
    But my prediction holds.............I bet they are both ridiculous-good.

    I've recorded my USA Customs and had fun..............the 24 causes the engineer to pause but once he makes the adjustments, it rocks.
    BTW..............I'm a big fan of the Shure B52.

    In the studio where I have done most of my recording, the kit is in a separate, enclosed room and completely isolated............we play the song as a band with the intent of keeping only the drum tracks. Once we get the drums where they should be, we build other instrument tracks from that point forward.
    I love the approach..............although the big pressure is on me first, once it is over, I get to sit at the board for the rest of the day and learn from observation.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


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