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Handcrafted in Ridgeland, South Carolina, USA, the new Gretsch Broadkaster series rejuvenates the roots of the storied 3-ply Gretsch drum shell and legendary Broadkaster series. Gretsch has a long history producing 3-ply drum shells, beginning in the 1920’s in Brooklyn, New York when the company first engineered the laminate drum shell. Those shells were a 3-ply mix of maple/gum (or poplar)/maple, made without reinforcement hoops and were rounder, lighter and more musical than other shells typically found during that time period. As part of their flagship drums, Gretsch offered the original Broadkaster drums between the 1930’s-1950. Gretsch continued to produce that basic 3-ply Broadkaster shell through the mid-late 1950’s, while experimenting with various bearing edges, including a “reverse roundover” beveled edge. Sonically, the classic 1950’s 3-ply shells are known for their organic, woody tones with low frequency thump.
New Broadkaster shells are USA-produced using state-of-the-art shell making techniques and constructed with North American maple/poplar/maple wood layup without reinforcement hoops. Shells are .265” (6.7mm) thick. The non-reinforcement hoop design differentiates the new Gretsch Broadkaster shell from most other 3-ply shells on the market today. Each shell interior ply has an integrated scarf joint (tapered overlap) that provides structural integrity needed for the 3-ply specification. Shell interiors are finished with classic Gretsch Silver Sealer.
All toms and snare drums are outfitted with Gretsch’s “302” 3.0mm, double flanged steel hoops. These hoops are similar to “Stick Chopper” hoops used in the 1950’s, but are heavier gauge to stand up to today’s more assertive playing styles. They produce a tone that is more “open” than die-cast hoops and add an ambient flavor to the overall tonal characteristic of these drums. Bass drum hoops are standard-build 6-ply maple and include Nitron inlays.
Sizes on this Classic Jazz set are 12x8, 14x14, 20x14, and 5.5x14. The vintage buildout includes diamond brackets, 9.5mm floor tom legs, t-rods, bass drum rail mount, internal batter and resonant tone controls, vintage spurs, key holder in the snare drum, Micro-Sensitive throw-off, and Fiberskyn logo heads. Finish is Antique Pearl.
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