Gretsch Catalina Birch Standard Kit Reviews 5

Bought my new 6 piece (10 inch add on tom) Gretsch Catalina Birch drums from Bang Music in Stafford Virginia. I paid $869.00 for the kit with 5600 Series Gibraltar hardware. A much better price than the on-line dealers. The kit is Red Cherry Lacquer Gloss.

The kit is much more than an intermediate kit with all the professional features that are standard. Isolation mounts on the three toms. No metal touches the wood anywhere, every lug, spur mount, and tom mount is on a plastic isolation pad. This allows the drum to resonate without interference from the mounts and lugs. The G1 Evans heads are a good quality head and again another surprise. I did change out to Remo Pin Stripes but the Evans are quite good and may be just fine for many peoples likes. The tom mount is probably the best made and is what Gretsch places on all its pro line kits. Birch shells are also a step up from the normal shell material in this price range. Birch and Maple are considered the best wood for building drum shells and these are true with superb construction and bearing edges. The Gibraltar hardware is not their best option but for a weekend drummer these stands are strong, durable, and light weight. I added a second straight cymbal stand for my setup. The finish on these drums is as good as they come. The grain in the wood on my Red Cherry kit is beautiful. I did buy new cases to keep them in like new condition. The bass drum comes with an Evans EQ4 and this head is perfect for an 18 inch deep drum, it thunders. The snare comes with and Evans G1 and this is a perfect head for this drum. I like a tight snare and though not as good as my trusty Slingerland Brass snare this drum tuned up very nice and in a way it offers a sustained ring when played near the edge that is quite pleasing. A better drum than I expected in this price range. Yet another pleasing surprise.

The only thing I didnít care for was using a drum key to secure the bass drum pedal to the hoop. I guess Iím old school and like the wing-nut approach to attaching your pedal. Iíve been playing for 35+ years and one gets set in their ways. All in all not much to complain about and this pedal is well built & responsive

Great care was used in this kits design and build. Everything on the drums is professionally crafted and the finish is stunning. The drums tune easily and the bass drum thunders. I honestly donít know how they could build these drums any better. My 1981 Slingerlands (now retired) where well made drums for their time but this new Gretsch kit is outstanding.

If youíre a weekend drummer like myself and are looking for a new kit add the Gretsch Catalina Birch to your choices. Compared to the intermediates from Tama, Pearl, and others these are a cut above them all. Experience ďThat great Gretsch SoundĒ

Slingerland/Gretsch Drummer rated this unit 5 on 2004-12-26.

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