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Gretsch Roundbadge Bass Drums – All good things come in threes

It all started out with a very unusual Gretsch round-badge kit from 1960: 20″ Kick, 13″ Tom and 16″ Floor Tom. Unusual because the 13″ and 16″ toms come usually with a 22″ bass drum and this 20″ bass drums with 12″ and 14″  toms.

Beautiful sounding kit but as you can imagine this 20″ 6-ply bass drum didn’t deliver that chest hitting low end. So the hunt was on for a single 22″ round badge kick. Not easy but I was able to acquire a vintage pre silver sealer 3-ply 1952 round badge kick and there it was this deep punch and smack!

Ok, perfect sound – but not the looks. Non original hoops and an ugly non original baby blue sparkle finish. What to do? Refinishing? Looking out for another 22″? Then it happened. I got offered an all original  gold sparkle 3-ply round badge kick from 1960 and I just couldn’t let it pass. The plan was to compare the baby blue kick with the gold one and keep the best sounding for the studio.

Same heads, same tuning and… damn they sound completely different. Much more sustain and overtones than the baby blue but way less sub-bass.

To make a long story short we now have 3 amazing Gretsch round badge kicks at Schleiwies Studio and each has a very different character:

From left to right:

22″ x 14″ Gretsch round-badge, 3-ply bass drum from 1952 for a modern rock kick sound.

22″ x 14″ Gretsch round-badge, 3-ply bass drum from 1960 for a vintage kick sound with a lot of size and sustain.

20″ x 14″ Gretsch round-badge, 6-ply bass drum from 1960 for a lighter feathering Jazz kick sound.

Tunings are:

22″ Modern kick sound : Evans EQ3 Batter head with a lug pitch of 55Hz and Evans EQ3 Reso head with a lug pitch of 65Hz

22″ Vintage kick sound: Evans G2 Batter head with a lug pitch of 55Hz and a Evans EQ3 Reso head with a lug pitch of 65 HZ

20″ Jazz Sound: Evans EQ3 Batter head with a lug pitch of 64Hz and Evans EQ3 Reso head with a lug pitch of 96Hz

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