When my client dropped off this vintage Gretsch round badge kit in March 2021, I was not sure if I could restore it back to its vintage goodness. I've seen a lot of dirty drums and have repaired a lot of wrap seams, but the nicotine stains on this were unbelievable! The chrome was a yellowy green, the blue sparkle wrap had turned a hue of slightly transparent pea soup over blue, and every drum had significant seam separation and shrinkage. Parts were missing too and sourcing period-correct Gretsch parts is not easy nor cheap.
This was a vintage drum restorer's dream and I accepted the restoration challenge without hesitation. The vintage Gretsch RB kits are simply some of the best and I wanted to ensure my client had something he could be proud of for another 50 years.
It is amazing to see the transformation of this kit. The pictures speak for themselves. It was a couple of months in the works and the timeframe was mainly sourcing the right period parts it needed to be era correct for a 1960-61 Gretsch Bop outfit (with optional 22" bass drum). Page 3 of the 1961 Gretsch drum catalog no. 40 showcases this kit. One of the tell tale signs that this is the Gretsch Bop outfit and not the Gretsch Name Band outfit is the 12:00 location of the cymbal arm mount on top of the bass drum.
This kit is not a pristine museum piece and that's what I love about it. It has character. It has a story — it was rescued and restored and it's a great example of a vintage drum kit that has been well gigged. I mean, some folks joke that you can't unsee some things...well, in this case, you can't unsmell 50 years of nicotine caked on the formerly white-turned-brown felt of the Jimmy Pratt bass drum muffler. And while the kit is unrecognizable (in a good way) to how it came in, I kept the brown felt Jimmy Pratt muffler in tact and didn't change out the felt...
This one's ready for its next chapter!
14x22" bass drum
16x16" floor tom
9x13" rack tom
5 1/2x14" snare drum with micro sensitive throw and tensionable butt
Bass drum-mounted cymbal holder
This Gretsch Bop outfit retains all original shell wrap, original lug casing hardware, original snare throw and butt plate, original mufflers in all drums, original tension rods, except — 6 tension rods on the snare were replaced, 8 T-rods and claws were replaced with period correct parts. original rail consolette on bass drum, original floor tom legs (outfitted with new rubber feet). The snare batter side rim was replaced with a period correct Gretsch die cast rim. The 13" tom received a period correct tom mount bracket. The bass drum wood hoops received new Delmar blue sparkle inlay and fresh gloss black paint. All drum heads replaced with new; old BroadKaster heads saved for the collection.
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