New "vintage" kits

dajazz

Member
I was thinking of getting a new kit to play with a jazz quintet I recently joined, I often find my 20" bass a litte too much to carry around and I wouldn't mind trying an 18" since I already got a 16" (from an 80s / 90s Honner kids drum kit that I play with a trio). I've seen a couple of kits that I am interested in buying, the Gretsch Broadkaster and perhaps Pearl President, are these new vintages (for lack of better term) worth at all? is there any other kit like these? has any of you tried them at all?
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Gretsch is the first that comes to mind.
Ludwig also has the Legacy series in Mahogany or Maple - both 3 ply with rings.
You can order 18" bass drums - 14" deep for Mahogany, and either 14 or 16" depth for the Maple.
I haven't had any of them, or even a chance to try them.
 

RickP

Gold Member
For me there are two kits I would consider for a Jazz gig ( small group or big band ) and they are either a Gretsch USA Custom or Sonor Vintage series .
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
The Gretsch Broadkasters would actually be the most neo-vintage build. It's based on the drums from the 1920s/1950s with the thin three ply shell with the reverse roundover bearing edge.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The Gretsch Broadkasters would actually be the most neo-vintage build. It's based on the drums from the 1920s/1950s with the thin three ply shell with the reverse roundover bearing edge.
Agreed. I had Chris Heuer demonstrate to me the Gretsch 3 ply vs later 6 ply shell. The 3 ply shell had a higher fundamental frequency ..... which enhanced the higher tuning typical of some jazz players. The 6 ply shell ..... certainly a lot of jazz players use them as well ...... but they do "rock" really well.

Ludwig Legacy would also be very worthy. Really ..... it just depends on what you want your kit to sound like.

USA's are very modern sounding. A lot of sustain, compared to kits with that roundover bearing edge. Great drums, but not my choice for a jazz kit.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
The Gretsch Broadkasters would actually be the most neo-vintage build. It's based on the drums from the 1920s/1950s with the thin three ply shell with the reverse roundover bearing edge.

The current Broadkaster is actually the Thickest shell that Gretsch offers.. around 6.7 mm.. The Custom and Brooklyn are both around 5.5 mm.
 

dajazz

Member
Thank you guys, I should have mentioned I was looking for a 3 ply shells kit, very interesting kits mentioned here.
 
I've heard good things about Stone Drums - they also make 3 ply shells (Slingerland Heritage): https://stonecustomdrum.com/#
Is there anybody who has compiled the depth of the individual plies of various drums? I think I remember a discussion about the number of plies and then somebody brought up, that some 6-ply shells are not thicker than a certain 3-ply shell and so on. I take it, you're mainly looking for a thin shell and not necessarily for a certain number of plies, right?!

I just realized that you live in the UK. Considering the added costs of shipping and taxes (Brexit...), I'd look for custom builders in the UK, too.
A vintage mahogany Premier would also be nice, but you said that you want a modern set and 18" bass drums are very rare. I'd still consider it if you can find one for a decent price. :)
 
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s1212z

Drum Expert
WFLlll- they switched to making their own shells in-house, 3-ply

Chicago Drum Co - believe they are reproducing the Slingerland formula as well

DW has their take on LA Camco 'Santa Monica'

Rogers has a re-issue as well 3 ply

C&C - Definitely vintage inspired with numerous 3 ply configuration

Sonor vintage series
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
It seems to be that there's enough recent Vintage type kits out there where if you're looking for that sound, you should be able to find it. It's not my cuppa but I know it appeals to many drummers. Best part is you won't have to deal with vintage hardware.
 

dajazz

Member
I've heard good things about Stone Drums - they also make 3 ply shells (Slingerland Heritage): https://stonecustomdrum.com/#
Is there anybody who has compiled the depth of the individual plies of various drums? I think I remember a discussion about the number of plies and then somebody brought up, that some 6-ply shells are not thicker than a certain 3-ply shell and so on. I take it, you're mainly looking for a thin shell and not necessarily for a certain number of plies, right?!

I just realized that you live in the UK. Considering the added costs of shipping and taxes (Brexit...), I'd look for custom builders in the UK, too.
A vintage mahogany Premier would also be nice, but you said that you want a modern set and 18" bass drums are very rare. I'd still consider it if you can find one for a decent price. :)
You have two very good point, I'm curious to find out if the 6 ply but as thin as 3 ply will give the same sound result.
Regarding living in the UK, I'm seriously thinking of moving as I'm originally Italian, I may move back to Italy next year so open to all sort of inputs regarding brands and models.
 
If you might move in a year, you could also wait for your "final" set since moving to another country with drumsets is not that much fun. :)
I guess that this is a pretty good price, so you could play them for a year and then decide to either keep them or sell them for a similar price.
 

Neal Pert

Regular Poster
Well, getting back to the original question: The answer is yes. I mean, I really dislike the aesthetics of the Pearl President kits in person-- they're a kit that, in my eyes, looks better in photos than in person. But I can't testify to the sound.

Having owned about a dozen Gretsch kits of all eras over the years, my favorite are the current Gretsch Broadkasters, with the USAs not far behind. I've owned one with a mostly vintage build (modern spurs). But I've also owned a couple actual vintage RB Gretsch kits, so I am very aware of how the spurs work. My opinion is that the "vintage build" Gretsch kits are just much more temperamental than the ones with the modern hardware. But they look cooler.

I ended up swapping out the vintage diamond plates with the more modern ones just because they were a LOT more reliable. I'd still buy a vintage build kit but ONLY if it was a home-only kit
Agreed. I had Chris Heuer demonstrate to me the Gretsch 3 ply vs later 6 ply shell. The 3 ply shell had a higher fundamental frequency ..... which enhanced the higher tuning typical of some jazz players. The 6 ply shell ..... certainly a lot of jazz players use them as well ...... but they do "rock" really well.

Ludwig Legacy would also be very worthy. Really ..... it just depends on what you want your kit to sound like.

USA's are very modern sounding. A lot of sustain, compared to kits with that roundover bearing edge. Great drums, but not my choice for a jazz kit.

I mean, BY FAR the most popular jazz kit has been the USA Custom in its various iterations. The Broadkasters are, because of the edge, a less precise sort of sound. That's good or bad, depending on the band. If I were playing Americana-Roots music, old school country, and the like, I'd get Broadkasters. If I were playing in a more modern rock band, I'd get the USAs.

As some of the other guys have indicated, there are lots of other options in the generally vintage sound (and sometimes looks) area. DW Jazz Series are great, as are all the Canopus lines. I've never found the Sonor Vintage drums to sound that great for the high tunings typical of bebop, but maybe others have had other experiences. And the Ludwig Legacy drums are very nice. And even though I've found the owner of the company to be pretty problematic, the George Way stuff is gorgeous.

On the other hand, even though they're not "vintage" sounding, per se, a LOT of jazz guys use Yamahas--The Absolute Hybrid Maple and current Recording Customs both sound fantastic in a jazz context. And the Tama Starclassic Maple drums sound fantastic and Gretsch-like.

Anyway, you've got loads of options, all of which will sound amazing but one of which will probably jump out at you. I'd suggest getting yourself to a great shop if at all possible. Try the Gretsches, Canopus, DW Jazz Series, and maybe a few others. And then after you've picked one out based on the sound, make sure you think it looks cool before buying. :D
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Take a listen to the Noble & Cooley new Union series drums as well as their time tested Horizon series.
 
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