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Thread: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Drum Review

  1. #1

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    Default My Gretsch Catalina Maple Drum Review

    Ok, gang. I've had the drums for almost 2 weeks so here's my review.

    First off, as some of you know, there was some damage on delivery. The leg lock knob for the 14" FT poked through the box and got scarred up. Upon opening the box I also noticed some strange cracks that looked like a spider web under the clear coat.





    I was heartbroken. I called Kaman Music who is the distributer for Gretsch in the US. I spoke with a customer service rep who said "No Prob, dude. We'll send you another kick drum."

    I was shocked. I have never had a customer service rep be so cool. I was in disbelief. I said don't you want pics, or anything? He laughed and said "no, that's OK, I'll get you a new one with a return label for the other drum."

    I set my kit up and layed down some beats. The drums are beautiful and pics just don't do it justice. The stock heads are Remo UT heads which is a Taiwanese spec single ply ambassador. They're not the best batter in the world so I stripped them for some Remo clear 2 ply Emperors.

    Wow, what a difference. The toms have a resonance that just hangs in the air of a warm mapley goodness. They have plenty of attack too, so there's really no wanting for anything, tonally. The floor toms are a bit tricky to get dialed in. I have read that upgrading to better rubber feet will help so the floor toms are more suspended and less grounded. This is only what I've read about, so I won't confirm or deny it until I try it.

    The snare is warm and has an incredible crack. The strainer is smooth and works beautifully. It has a wonderful overtone that I enjoy and is not over the top at all.

    The kick is thunderous. The stock batter is a single ply with an internal ring like an evans EQ4. It's very punchy, but I'll eventually want an EMAD. It has matching maple hoops which is a nice touch.

    I've really been happy with the kit and my wife asked me "When are you getting the replacement drum?"

    I had actually forgotten all about it, since the marks as pictured are hidden below the 10" tom. I called Kaman Music TODAY and asked for the same rep I dealt with two weeks ago. (It pays to jot down the name of who you speak to.)

    The rep says "Oh yeah, I have your order right here. It was out of stock in our parts warehouse so we broke apart a kit for you.It shipped out last Monday, so it should be arriving today."

    You gotta be kidding me. Again, this cat on the phone made my day. I took delivery of the new drum tonight and it is perfect.

    I am so pleased that I bought this drum kit, and even more pleased with the customer service I recieved. After all, every manufacturer makes mistakes; that's life. It's how the mistakes are handled that defines a company, and I am thrilled. If this is how I was treated with a "mid-grade" kit, I can only imagine the level of service provided for their pro lines. In fact, I was at a GC today while my wife was in a dr's office and I saw a cherry red maple renown and wow.... It was awesome too.

    In closing, if you're looking for an awesome drum kit and are on a budget, look no further than the Catalina Maples. Street price is only $750 for a 100% maple shell 6 piece kit configured as a 2 up 2 down, 6-ply 8 x 10" & 9 x 12" rack toms, 14 x 14" & 16 x 16" floor toms, a 9-ply 6" x 14" snare and an awesome 7-ply 18" x 22" kick. The kit has 45-degree bearing edges, natural interiors and mini Grestch lugs.
    Last edited by CycleDude; 03-19-2009 at 09:48 PM.
    Kevin
    DW Performance series - Gun Metal Metallic Lacquer
    24/12/16 6.5x14
    Sabian AA/AAX hi-hats & crashes
    Sabian HHX Evolution ride

    Drummers can be very tempomental.....

  2. #2

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    i wonder what all the cat owners here will say about this review. personally, ida been like what the? theres like a metal block sticking out of the box! they should have paid you for the damage too. awesome lookin drums, its almost an honor to see them up so close

  3. #3

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MortalDrumbat View Post
    personally, ida been like what the? theres like a metal block sticking out of the box! they should have paid you for the damage too.
    Um, no they shouldn't have. It happened in shipping. These things happen. They replaced the scratched part with zero hassle at all. You don't get better than a free replacement part.
    Kevin
    DW Performance series - Gun Metal Metallic Lacquer
    24/12/16 6.5x14
    Sabian AA/AAX hi-hats & crashes
    Sabian HHX Evolution ride

    Drummers can be very tempomental.....

  4. #4

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MortalDrumbat View Post
    i wonder what all the cat owners here will say about this review. personally, ida been like what the? theres like a metal block sticking out of the box! they should have paid you for the damage too. awesome lookin drums, its almost an honor to see them up so close
    It's not like Gretsch was the one who did the damage...it had to happen while enroute to his house. And getting free drums at ZERO cost for shipping, with a return label for the damaged drum...WITHOUT SEEING EVIDENCE that it was messed up.

    Come on dude, it doesn't get better than that.

    Great review CD! I am glad they got there safe and sound this time!!

    Enjoy my friend!!
    DW - PEARL - PDP - ZILDJIAN - EVANS - VIC FIRTH


    Click for Gear Pics!

    DW Collector's Series - Blue Glass - 10, 12, 14, 16, 23
    Pearl Session Custom - Green Burst - 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 22
    PDP CX Maple - Red Glass - 12, 14, 16, 24


    Quote Originally Posted by LudwigLifer View Post
    If we had centerfolds for drums,that kit would be in one of them!

  5. #5

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Excellent review CycleDude, and I concur with everything you said about the kit. I haven't needed customer service concerning my drums, but I did email them a question on a couple of ocassions, and I received a reply within 24 hrs. I would call that responsive!
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  6. #6

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Yeah, great story, great service, great drums, and yer not too bad of a drummer neither!!! Please do not let a teacher see this comment........it would only bring pain!

    No seriously, I REALLY liked yer vid.
    Yamaha DTXtreme III FrankenXpress w/ various pads and cymbals
    Pearl Eliminator w/Vater Bomber
    Roc-N-Soc Motion
    Vater 7A Sugar Maple
    Simmons DA-200S
    Sony MDR-7506
    MacBookPro Core2 Duo 2.33,4gb,500gb w/SD2, Reason 4, and LE9

    http://s591.photobucket.com/albums/ss358/Charlygo/



  7. #7

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Huh.. and I thought you liked 'em...

    They really are all that and a bag 'o chips!!


    -Les

  8. #8
    Larrysperf Guest

    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Great review and great service and thats what counts today. Also wanst the hardware in boxes of there own or was it also broken Nuff said

  9. #9

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    The hardware pack was in a third box and was fine.
    Kevin
    DW Performance series - Gun Metal Metallic Lacquer
    24/12/16 6.5x14
    Sabian AA/AAX hi-hats & crashes
    Sabian HHX Evolution ride

    Drummers can be very tempomental.....

  10. #10

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    Excellent review!
    Ludwig Accent CS Custom- Black with Chrome Hardware
    22 x 18 Bass Drum with Evans EMAD batter and EMAD reso
    6 x 14 Snare with Evans Genera HD Dry batter over Hazy 300
    12 x 9 Tom Remo Pinstripe over Remo Clear Ambassador
    13 x 10 Tom Remo Pinstripe over Remo Clear Ambassador
    16 x 16 Floor Tom Pinstripe over Remo Clear Ambassador
    16 x 18 ^



  11. #11

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Thanks Rocker
    Kevin
    DW Performance series - Gun Metal Metallic Lacquer
    24/12/16 6.5x14
    Sabian AA/AAX hi-hats & crashes
    Sabian HHX Evolution ride

    Drummers can be very tempomental.....

  12. #12

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Sometimes shipping services can take you from the height of anxiety to that of punch in the gut, I couldn't think of any other analogy, but you know what I mean. This happened to me several time with different shippers. I'm glad everything worked out well for you and in a speedy manner, that's what's important.

    Great review! Go put some time on those heads and enjoy.

    Dennis

  13. #13

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    Default Re: My Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

    Great review glad you are so happy with the drums. I've had correspondence with Kaman music regarding questions about an Ovation guitar I own (Kaman also owns Ovation), as well as my Catalina Birch set, and they have always been quick to respond. The costomer service you describe was just way above and beyond the expected these days. Glad to hear there is a company out there that still stands behind the products they sell.
    Gretsch Catalina Birch 6 piece fusion set (10,12,14,16in. Toms, 22 Bass). Sabian 20" HH Classic Ride, 16" Istanbul Agop Dark Crash, & Zildian K 13" Hi-hats.

  14. #14

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    I also own the Cat Maples and CD's review is very accurate. Mine sound awesome with coated Emperors but like CD I found them a little hard to dial in. Once I got them there though I'm very happy with how they sing.
    Kits
    DW Performance(white marine): 8x7/10x8/12x9/16x14/22x18
    Gretsch Renown '57(Motor City Onyx): 10x8/12x9/16x16/22x18/14x6.5

    Snares
    Pork Pie 14x7 Cherry/Bubinga
    Pearl 13x5.5 Sensitone Brass
    Homemade 14"x5.5" Maple(10 ply Keller)

    Cymbals
    Paiste
    14" 2002 med/heavy hats
    18" Giant Beat multi
    18" Sig Full crash
    20" 505 heavy ride

  15. #15

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    hmmm.....? My Cats tune up like a dream!

    -Les

  16. #16

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    i suppose that spiderweb crack can be seen as exotic artwork..

  17. #17

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    CD, you did a great job on your review! Well thought out and very concise!

    I'm glad the drums are working out for you.
    Signature here

  18. #18

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    just curious as to how the cats are holdin up? I've been looking at them lately and if I can sell my harley and get our financial situation fixed up I'm considering getting that kit.

    I've read some really good reviews but I've also read a lot of reviews saying they have a lot of QC issues.

    http://bipolarbarbierocks.com

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    Quit belly aching and just do it...no other way.
    - RIP Frank

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesizmor View Post
    hmmm.....? My Cats tune up like a dream!

    -Les
    same here, couple of turns to the little drum key and they are ready to play
    The only way to catch a butterfly is never waiting for the wings.

  20. #20

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    i bet that spider web crack hurt, i acually found a scratch like that on my 12" tom about a week ago ,i didnt notice it at first cause the place where its at faces towards the 10" tom, anyways, but i think its a little to late to do anything about it, ive had the drums since early december
    The only way to catch a butterfly is never waiting for the wings.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadcam79 View Post
    just curious as to how the cats are holdin up? I've been looking at them lately and if I can sell my harley and get our financial situation fixed up I'm considering getting that kit.

    I've read some really good reviews but I've also read a lot of reviews saying they have a lot of QC issues.
    I really love these drums. Some things have come up and I haven't played them much, but they are an awesome kit.

    As for QC issues, mine had a pretty noticeable flaw. There was a huge spiderweb looking crack, almost as if the laquer was aplied to thick. Then it was clear coated over. I immediately called Kaman Music, who is the Gretsch distributer here in the US, and it was literally the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE experience I EVER had.

    No Questions asked - they shipped me a new drum with a pre-paid return label for the bad one.

    As far as I'm concerned, every manufacturer whether it be drums, cars, clothing, or whatever will miss the occasional defect. It's the law of averages. If you make a million drum sets, odds are a few might have a knick or a scratch that slip past QC. It's to be expected. Nobody's perfect.

    With that said, how the company handles the customer service experience in handling that particular "miss" will define them, and Gretsch / Kaman have been nothing short of amazing for me.
    Last edited by CycleDude; 06-10-2009 at 10:38 AM.
    Kevin
    DW Performance series - Gun Metal Metallic Lacquer
    24/12/16 6.5x14
    Sabian AA/AAX hi-hats & crashes
    Sabian HHX Evolution ride

    Drummers can be very tempomental.....

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by gretsch View Post
    i bet that spider web crack hurt, i acually found a scratch like that on my 12" tom about a week ago ,i didnt notice it at first cause the place where its at faces towards the 10" tom, anyways, but i think its a little to late to do anything about it, ive had the drums since early december
    Oh man, when I unboxed the kick drum and saw it right by the darn badge I felt like I was kicked in the you-know-what.

    Call Kaman like I did. You never know....
    Last edited by CycleDude; 06-10-2009 at 10:47 AM.
    Kevin
    DW Performance series - Gun Metal Metallic Lacquer
    24/12/16 6.5x14
    Sabian AA/AAX hi-hats & crashes
    Sabian HHX Evolution ride

    Drummers can be very tempomental.....

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleDude View Post
    Oh man, when I unboxed the kick drum and saw it right by the darn badge I felt like I was kicked in the you-know-what.

    Call Kaman like I did. You never know....
    i might do that.

    yeah it was about a month or so ago and i thought i might try something new so i was changing the config. on my set
    and the lighting shined right on that pesky buggar.
    The only way to catch a butterfly is never waiting for the wings.

  24. #24

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    Thanks for the review.
    Got my Gretsch kit a month ago, no problems with shipping
    Quit playing almost 18 years ago, so I am very old and rusty !!
    Any tips on tuning the 16in. floor tom ? that thing is killing me.
    thanx,
    btbill

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by btbill View Post
    Thanks for the review.
    Got my Gretsch kit a month ago, no problems with shipping
    Quit playing almost 18 years ago, so I am very old and rusty !!
    Any tips on tuning the 16in. floor tom ? that thing is killing me.
    thanx,
    btbill
    I found with my floor tom that I had to really tighten the heads before the drumhead lost its rattle. I'm not saying I had to tune it high but just that it took a bit more torque to get it where it should be.
    Kits
    DW Performance(white marine): 8x7/10x8/12x9/16x14/22x18
    Gretsch Renown '57(Motor City Onyx): 10x8/12x9/16x16/22x18/14x6.5

    Snares
    Pork Pie 14x7 Cherry/Bubinga
    Pearl 13x5.5 Sensitone Brass
    Homemade 14"x5.5" Maple(10 ply Keller)

    Cymbals
    Paiste
    14" 2002 med/heavy hats
    18" Giant Beat multi
    18" Sig Full crash
    20" 505 heavy ride

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