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Studio drums - Gretsch Catalina vs. Yamaha Stage Custom
Old 13th October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
riffster's Avatar
 

Studio drums - Gretsch Catalina vs. Yamaha Stage Custom

Looking at outfitting my studio with a drum set. I’m in between the Gretsch Catalina (maple) & the Yamaha Stage Custom (birch). Those are my choices. With the variables of birch vs. maple, hardware differences, stock heads & looks, I’m trying to narrow it down. While I am not a drummer I can hold a beat. The kit would really never leave my studio. The type of folks who find their way to me are anywhere between folk to metal. Any feedback on recording these two drum sets pro / cons would be appreciated.
Old 13th October 2013
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Bear in mind that changing the skins makes far more difference to the sound than the timber used. With that said, generally maple is more middly where birch has a scooped middle. I've had both of those kits - the Yam was more robust (more solid / better hardware) and would be my choice. The Gretsch was a little more versatile.
Old 13th October 2013
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
riffster's Avatar
 

Thanks for that Herc.
Old 13th October 2013
  #4
Here for the gear
Gretsch Catalina.. Fantastic drum kit. Perfect in the studio..=)
Old 14th October 2013
  #5
I have a Yamaha Stage Custom set in my studio, it never misses a beat (so to speak...) The stock snare is not going to set the world on fire, but it does OK, I've used it on quite a few recordings. I did replace the skins with Remo Performer 2's, that improved things a lot.

The 2 times I've had Gretsch Catalina's in, they've both proved to be quite rattle prone in the toms. That said, once in the mix they sounded nice.

Good luck with the decision! Maybe if you have session drummers that you rely on you could poll them to see what they think?

Cheers,

Tim
Old 14th October 2013
  #6
I have both in my studio. The Gretcsh are more warm/dark. The Yahamha brighter. Yamaha has a little nicer hardware, but the Grettsch stuff is fine. Stock snares are garbage.
Old 14th October 2013
  #7
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shortstory's Avatar
Interesting response above. I'm a drummer of many years and have many different kits including a Yamaha and several Gretsch kits including a Catalina kit.

I would actually characterize them the exact opposite. The Yamaha sounds dark & a bit deader thru mics whereas the Catalina sounds round & snaps.

The Catalina kit is the best value on the market right now as far as kits right off the floor.
Old 14th October 2013
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
JeromeMason's Avatar
Stage Custom is a great kit for tracking.
Old 14th October 2013
  #9
Gear Addict
 
madhermit's Avatar
 

Stage Customs can sound great. It's all about the tuning.

But - if it is a used kit with the black plastic quick release lugs, you may want to move on. We had at least 10 of those things just snap on us. Even when no one was playing. It was like if the drum changed in humidity too much, crack! It really sucks when you get a great take only to realize half way through the song the snare turns to crap because one of the lugs snapped.
Old 14th October 2013
  #10
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Tough decision. I'm a Gretsch man and will say go for the Catalina Stage Customs are great though and may entice drummers to use the house kit.
Old 14th October 2013
  #11
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I agree about tuning & especially the choice of heads- and of course, importantly the song and even the room they're tracked in. That's why we have more then one kit usually. But me personally, I find the Catalina a bit more flexible. Getting the Yammies to sound bright is hard with the kit I have.
Old 14th October 2013
  #12
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guavadude's Avatar
I ended up going with an older made in Japan Tama Starclassic kit that I found on clist for $400. Great hardware, RIMS mount, great snare. Deals are out there on used kits.
Old 14th October 2013
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
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Thanks fellas! You've helped out a lot. Definitely leaning towards the Yamaha kit, just working out the hardware issues now through MF (15% save day). In the end, the deciding factor was hardware availability and finishes. Pretty sure either one of these kits are equally decent for me at this time with some room to improve here and there. Thanks!
Old 10th November 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 

The stage custom birch kit is great except the snare. It is important to change the top and bottom heads on the toms. You could use the stock batter heads for the bottom.

The stock bottom heads are very thin which may explain some people finding them bright. Double ply clear sound amazing on these drums with ambassador on the bottom.
Old 17th December 2013
  #15
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ricfoxx's Avatar
Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz Kit

Just scored the Catalina Jazz kit for $288 new at musiciansfriend...a steal.
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