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Thread: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View 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.
    Yep, had drums in an isolated room too. One thing I found that hindered my own creativity was the separation between the other players in the room. I rely on eye contact and I also watch where the hands are on the fret of the guitar. If you ever have a chance to catch "Studio City", a documentary produced and directed by Dave Grohl, you'll see why we choose to record in one big room.





    Stuck the guitar amps in separate rooms. This one was in the toilet.



    Here's different studio recording situation with the drums in a different room, on a separate floor (two story recording complex). Played to a click and I didn't have to re-track the drums but the studio had no "vibe".

    Last edited by late8; 06-23-2016 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #27

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    "Studio kit" lol! They told me it was a Gretsch. When I showed up, it was a freaking Catalina. I should of brought my USA Customs...



    Nice heads too...




  3. #28

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Stuck the guitar amps in separate rooms. This one was in the toilet.
    I have worked with guitarists that would fit well in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Nice heads too...

    Unforgivable.....................
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    I have worked with guitarists that would fit well in there.
    Well played!

  5. #30

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    Wait a minute here! Help me, cause maybe I'm not seeing this correctly. In the diagram of the DW suspension system, are the black rings meant to be held by (behind) the turret lugs?

    If so, then tell me...whats the difference if you simply have one mount bolted to the shell that hold the tom (like drums were for decades) and eliminate all the unnecessary chrome steel from the fronts of the drums? It appears to have just gone full circle. Confused

    all the best...

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Wait a minute here! Help me, cause maybe I'm not seeing this correctly. In the diagram of the DW suspension system, are the black rings meant to be held by (behind) the turret lugs?

    If so, then tell me...whats the difference if you simply have one mount bolted to the shell that hold the tom (like drums were for decades) and eliminate all the unnecessary chrome steel from the fronts of the drums? It appears to have just gone full circle. Confused

    all the best...
    No. It's just a rubber ring that prevents any metal on metal or metal on wood contact. The entire thing floats, but makes contact with both the lugs and shell at times.

    Collectors Black Ice Finishply
    10x8,12x9,15x12,16x14,20x18,24x16
    14X6 Collectors 10 and 6 snare Natural Satin
    14x8 Collectors Black Nickel over Brass

  7. #32

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    Bumping this up. Moved the DW kit into my friend's home recording yesterday studio afternoon to continue recording some original material as we have been doing with the Gretsch USA kit. We used his piano and tuned the toms according the the timbre pitch stamped on each shell. However, we didn't bother tuning the snare which is a 6.5x14" 6 ply Gretsch USA maple/gumwood with Silver Sealer added to the interior ply of the snare shell.

    7x8" -A
    8x10"- Eb
    9x12" - G#
    11x14"- Eb
    16" roto- Bb (added)
    18x22" - F



    As we listened to a short recording of just the drums with no EQ added and heard the distinct notes at which each drum was tuned at and we were equally impressed with the clarity and the tone from each drum.



    I added a 16" roto floor tom with a Remo clear single ply Ambassador head and it complimented the 11x14" tom very well.



    Last edited by late8; 06-27-2016 at 11:31 AM.

  8. #33

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    With cymbals added:

    7" Sabian HHX splash
    10" Sabian AAX splash
    14" Zildjian K Custom Dark hats
    16" Zildjian K Custom Dark crash
    18" Zildjian K Custom Dark crash
    20" Zildjian K Custom Dry ride
    14" Zildjian A Fast crash



    After recording with my buddy for almost 4 years, I still feel the overheads are too far away from the toms and have suggested using close up micing techniques and use the D series Audix mic for the rack toms but we haven't crossed this threshold yet.

    We recorded a scratch track with guitar and vocals yesterday and over dubed the bass and plan to over dub the drums later to clean up the mix. I think I'll try to make my case again to close mic the toms to get them into the mix without having to drive the overhead mics so hard.

    Drum mics:

    Snare- Shure Beta 57
    HiHats- Audix i5
    Kick reso- Shure Beta 52A
    Kick batter- Audix D6
    Overheads- (2x) CAD 95 series (1x) AKG T-170



    The rack proved itself again as a valuable tool to reduce the footprint of the kit in very tight quarters:

    Last edited by late8; 06-27-2016 at 11:03 AM.

  9. #34

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Love that kit, Rich. Looks incredible.

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
    Love that kit, Rich. Looks incredible.
    Thanks!

  11. #36

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    Those K's look dreamy. Kit looks right at home in the studio. There's just something about the clarity of the note that until you've played a DW up close, you really don't know what you are missing.

    Still the cleanest sounding drums out there. But, alas, I'm partial to my BB's but I know how pure those DW's sound.

    Very cool, Rich! Thanks for sharing.
    Signature here

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
    Love that kit, Rich. Looks incredible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bish View Post
    Those K's look dreamy. Kit looks right at home in the studio. There's just something about the clarity of the note that until you've played a DW up close, you really don't know what you are missing.

    Still the cleanest sounding drums out there. But, alas, I'm partial to my BB's but I know how pure those DW's sound.

    Very cool, Rich! Thanks for sharing.
    +2................Rich, that DW kit is absolutely gorgeous!..............I can feel a case of G.A.S. coming on!

  13. #38

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    I've owned a DW Collectors kit and a Gretsch USA Custom kit for about eight years. I too have set them up side by side and have done a similar shoot out. Your observations are spot on and explained well.

    The Gretsch has a warmer tone and records great. The Gretsch kit in the photos was played in clinics by Stanton Moore and Hannah Welton. I ended up trading that particular USA Custom kit to a friend that borrowed it for a bunch of recording projects. I had picked up a secnd set of Gretsch drums, the second kit is from 1972. I traded the walnut Gretsch kit for an Ampeg SVT Classic head, SVT 810E, and a SVT 212AV cabinet. I did okay.

    The DW has a clear, clean, bell like quality to the toms in particular. And yes, the toms sound tune super easy. If you hit two toms together on the DWs, it sounds almost like playing a chord. Daniel Glass used this kit for a local clinic a few years back. This is the kit that I play out live most of the time.



    To me neither is "better" than the other.
    Last edited by drummer5359; 06-28-2016 at 10:11 AM.
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Cymbals happen."

  14. #39

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    Wow. I disappear for a while and late8 buys a DW. Beautiful looking kit. I bet it sounds great.
    Mmm... Saturns.

  15. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer5359 View Post
    I've owned a DW Collectors kit and a Gretsch USA Custom kit for about eight years.


    To me neither is "better" than the other.
    That is an impressive photo.
    Not only does it display the best in American drum shell craftsmanship but it also reflects a beautiful natural wood finish contrasted by a sparkling glass-wrap.............two of my favorites.

    Every set of drums I've ever owned were natural wood finished.............my old USA shells are Ebony maple gloss.
    I had an old Slingerland (1964) snare refinished in conventional silver sparkle two years ago and it is stunning.
    Bish had a glass Pearl kit that was gorgeous too..............one of the most beautiful wraps I have ever seen.

    Those are two good looking sets, 5359.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  16. #41

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    Added an older photo of 1977 SSB USA Customs....................13, 15, 18, 24:

    Last edited by Ricardo; 06-30-2016 at 12:28 PM.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bish View Post
    Those K's look dreamy. Kit looks right at home in the studio. There's just something about the clarity of the note that until you've played a DW up close, you really don't know what you are missing.

    Still the cleanest sounding drums out there. But, alas, I'm partial to my BB's but I know how pure those DW's sound.

    Very cool, Rich! Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks Mark! I'm in the process of getting some sample audio files together with a slide show edited in Microsoft Movie Maker (which I despise) to demonstrate the differences I hear between the two kits which will conclude this "shoot out".

    Quote Originally Posted by longgun View Post
    +2................Rich, that DW kit is absolutely gorgeous!..............I can feel a case of G.A.S. coming on!
    Thanks Butch! What ya got in mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer5359 View Post
    I've owned a DW Collectors kit and a Gretsch USA Custom kit for about eight years. I too have set them up side by side and have done a similar shoot out. Your observations are spot on and explained well.

    The Gretsch has a warmer tone and records great. The Gretsch kit in the photos was played in clinics by Stanton Moore and Hannah Welton. I ended up trading that particular USA Custom kit to a friend that borrowed it for a bunch of recording projects. I had picked up a secnd set of Gretsch drums, the second kit is from 1972. I traded the walnut Gretsch kit for an Ampeg SVT Classic head, SVT 810E, and a SVT 212AV cabinet. I did okay.

    The DW has a clear, clean, bell like quality to the toms in particular. And yes, the toms sound tune super easy. If you hit two toms together on the DWs, it sounds almost like playing a chord. Daniel Glass used this kit for a local clinic a few years back. This is the kit that I play out live most of the time.



    To me neither is "better" than the other.
    Great review and comments

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    That is an impressive photo.
    Not only does it display the best in American drum shell craftsmanship but it also reflects a beautiful natural wood finish contrasted by a sparkling glass-wrap.............two of my favorites.

    Every set of drums I've ever owned were natural wood finished.............my old USA shells are Ebony maple gloss.
    I had an old Slingerland (1964) snare refinished in conventional silver sparkle two years ago and it is stunning.
    Bish had a glass Pearl kit that was gorgeous too..............one of the most beautiful wraps I have ever seen.

    Those are two good looking sets, 5359.
    I agree 100% with this post!

  18. #43

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  19. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    Thanks Rick............looks better...............how is that done ?
    Man................I love that old kit.

    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Thanks Rick............looks better...............how is that done ?
    Man................I love that old kit.

    I just love that band name!!!
    Signature here

  21. #46

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    Ricky,

    If you use photobucket, once you upload your picture, click on it and it will go to where you have a edit whatever, click that and then above it should be several whatever's, 1 of which will be resize. There are 2 numbers above the picture, you just use the 1 on the left. Click the right hand side of it to erase it, and if the picture is too small, make the number bigger (don't worry about the numbers on the right, they take care of themselves.

    After you adjust the numbers, click apply to see how big the picture is. If it's too big or too small, keep adjusting the numbers on the left until you get the size you want, then hit save. The picture will be moved to where you can copy it and bring it to DC or wherever.


    Simple stuff. Only took me 8 years to figure it out.


    Just practice at it, work on a picture, bring it to DC reply, put it in the box but don't post it. Hit preview, and see how it is. If you are using photobucket, you are just bypassing the edit and therefore the resize. It is a bag of shells.
    Last edited by rickthedrummer; 07-01-2016 at 03:03 PM. Reason: ===

  22. #47

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    I hope the two youtube links below works for you guys. I haven't posted a video in ages. The two audio clips below are the start of the scratch tracks for a new song I'm working on at my friend's home recording studio. Drums and guitar were played and recorded together and the bass on both tracks are overdubbed. I had the opportunity to use both the Gretsch USA and the DW Collectors on two different days.

    This is work in progress but it will give you guys an idea on how both kits sound in the same room using the same mics with a lot of bleed from the guitar amp but the drum shield helps with the process of recording and working out a useable scratch track to use as a reference guide for changing the arrangement or using different instruments. Both kits sound pretty much the same but the Gretsch kick has more bottom end and I think it's due the ported reso and the Remo Fiberskyn head.



    Last edited by late8; 07-01-2016 at 03:50 PM.

  23. #48

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    Hard to tell about the toms and bass but the snare on the Gretsch kit is so much better than the DW kit. More defined might be the best way to describe it. Both kits do sound great though.
    Now playing Gretsch and Slingerland Drums

  24. #49

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    Default Re: Gretsch USA-DW Collectors Shoot Out

    Quote Originally Posted by rritter View Post
    Hard to tell about the toms and bass but the snare on the Gretsch kit is so much better than the DW kit. More defined might be the best way to describe it. Both kits do sound great though.
    Thanks rritter. I think it's in the mix because I used the same snare on both audio clips; a Gretsch USA all maple 6.5x14" (pictured with the USA kit below).

    Brought the DW kit home yesterday and had time to set up both kits today. Walked back and forth between the two and I noticed right away the Gretsch is louder and the toms project back into your face. In my opinion, the DW has musicality but will get buried in the mix without being mic'd. The Gretsch has the edge on volume. Both are very unique and the differences were made obvious today.

    Last edited by late8; 07-03-2016 at 10:28 PM.

  25. #50

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    Yes you are likely right about the mix having some differences. I have given a second listen and as I said both kits sound great. The Gretsch snare is a great sounding drum. Hang on to that one.
    Now playing Gretsch and Slingerland Drums

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