I'm 52 and have been playing drums off and on since I was 10. My first set was a Slingerland Radio King, and like a first love it holds a special place in my heart. In my career I have played rock jazz and country. I don't have a preferance except that the people I play with have to want to play, and not necessarily be great, but really enjoy making good authentic music.
When my daughter experessed an interest in the drums we went shopping and found this Gretsch Catalina Birch shell pack in sunbusrt fade online at musicianfriend.com for $425. I never bought anything like that online before but I couldn't pass up a deal like that. Haven't seen it that low before or since.
I like just about everything about this set. It looks great and sounds great. It seems cliche when I say it sounds like sets costing hundreds more, but it really does, and itas looks and feels like a much more expensive set than it is.
There are only two things I don't like about this set: The 12 " tom has only 5 lugs each top and bottom instead of 6. This made tuning it a bit tricky, but it still sound great. The other is that the shells seem to be kind of soft and will dent if you bang your drums together, I would definitely recomend rim bumpers
Although this set is made in Taiwan or somewhere over there, the quality is 1st rate. The hardware is very strong, easy to adjust, and stays where you set it, even under hard playing. Once the set is tuned it sounds great, but a little ringy. That was easlily fixed with a set of damper rings, and now sounds awesome.
I would definately recommend this set for any level drummer. Even for beginners, It could very possibly be the only drum set you or your child would want to own.
I got this kit at a guitar center on a special sale day (no tax on anything in the store). It listed for $699 plus tax but i got it for $625. I got this set because my band was starting to get gigs and I didn't want to play with my begginer set which really sucked.
This is an awesome set. The tom mounts are very sturdy. They don't penetrate the shell which allows the shell to vibrate freely. The birch shells sound great. Once tuned up, the shells create a warm, tight, punchy sound. The snare is a great wood snare. It has a nice crack with a nice resonant sound. Once you replace the factory head, it sounds awesome. The bass drum creates a big rumbly thud which sounds awesome. Also surprisingly, the factory heads aren't all that bad. This is set rivals sets costing hundreds more.
There isn't much to not like about this set. The only thing is, the snare comes a little funky but all it needs is some tuning.
The shells are 6-ply 100% birch and 45 1/4 bearing edges. It features low mass die-cast lugs, GTS suspension tom mounting system, and 1.6 mm hops on toms and snare. The catalina birch has a beautiful lacquere fnish. The tom mounts are all high quality and make me feel comfortable rockin out hard on them.
I love my new set. It has great tone and makes me feel good when I play it. The hardware it came with is very sturday and the lacquere finish is stunning. This is a great set and is very affordably priced. If you are seeking an intermediate set or are looking for a gigable set, you should deffinetely look at the Gretsch Catalina Birch drum set.
The Gretsch Catalina Birch is one of the best deals out there. It costs only a few hundred dollars more than the entry level range, but it sounds and looks miles ahead of entry level. Because of the value, I usually recommend this kit to new drummers rather than a cheaper set because even after you grow out of the Catalina Birch and look for a high end pro kit, you can still appreciate its sounds and possible use it for gigs or practice or whatever else.
The birch wood is a really nice upgrade from the cheap mahogany or mixed shells of entry level kits. The toms sound great, even with the really thin stock heads it came with. The snare is also excellent, with a broad tunable range. I could get it high pitched and poppy or loose and deep no problem, with both sides of the spectrum being acceptable. The bass drum sounded a little ringy and inconsistent. probably because of the stock heads. This was nothing that new bass drum heads or a pillow couldn't fix. It balanced with the rest of the kit, and all the toms matched as the sizes changed. More than most kits, the toms blended with the bass drum when tuning.
The shells I played had the same look as in this picture, a red glossy finish. This is another thing that the Catalina Birch line has going for it, as every model looks amazing. The beautiful, high end look goes well with the high end sound. Again, it really highlights how great of a deal this is. The mounting hardware is not super sturdy by any means, but is as good as any other comparable setup. The toms are sort of hard to get where you want them to go initially, but they stay there when you tighten them up. Unless you are going to be taking this hardware apart all the time and reassembling it, it is not necessary to upgrade the hardware at all. In general, the Catalina Birch seemed exceptionally durable. This is one of the best deals available.
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seboon_ekho's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
I have this drumkit for almost a year and a half and I am very happy.
The sound is very good and really fit what I wanted.
I had the opportunity to test two batteries in this range and the sound was really different! I bein to vary the tension of the skins but one had a sharp sound (too much for me) and the other in a more mid / low (what I was looking), tested in several if you have the possibility.
I would do without hesitation that choice, value for money is very good, especially if you have the accessories.