Been playing drums for over 10 years, played in several bands (currently in two start-up bands). I teach drums, have various performance experience. I mostly listen to progressive/rock/metal
Drum store, brand new, Australian retail is $10,000 (I paid less with store endorsement discount)
I love Gibraltar hardware, there's no t-bar mounting on the bassdrum so it's not inhibited by extra hardware.
The drums have Gretsch's well-known 30 degree bearing edge and their silver coating on the inside which helps to project the sound of the drums out to the front of the kit, rather than back towards the drummer. The hardware is all triple-flanged, very solid and holds its tune quite well. The cherry stain finish is beautiful.
The drums have an amazing musical and organic sound when you are in the audience, and its musicality becomes amazingly apparent when mic'd up. I can not exaggerate just how musical this kit sounds when it's in a live environment.
Due to its nature of construction, the sound of the kit does not transmit back to the drummer as much as other kits tend to do. This has caused me only a little bit of strife.
I ditched Remo heads in favour of Aquarian single ply coated heads on the toms to get as much resonance out of the drums as possible (which were already the most resonant drums I've heard anyway). It took me a while to be happy with how the drums were tuned as in my practise room the acoustics of the kit tend to conflict a little bit and I have found the kit difficult to tune unless you're in an open area.
The kit sounds a lot quieter to the drummer (while being a lot LOUDER out front of the kit) in comparison to other drumkits, and I even have to have my bassdrum sent back into my foldback so I can hear it when playing live.
The drums are constructed perfectly. Nothing has come loose so far after over a year.
It's a wonderful sounding kit, but the lack of sound coming back towards the drummer takes a bit of getting used to.
My only real issue is the price of the kit, which I fortunately didn't have to pay. AU$10,000 for a 5 piece kit (10, 12, 14, 22, 14) seems quite steep and if I was going to have to pay full price for a kit I would have got something else as there are plenty of other great kits out there for half the cost. So if you can get one of these in the sizes you want for a price you want then go for it! Gretsch have a good reputation for good reason and that is demonstrated in this kit.