BY RADIM MCCUE
Flagship Series Delivers Vintage Sound With Modern Advances
One of the most iconic drum sets ever made is back. The Gretsch Broadkaster, known for its three-ply shell construction and “reverse roundover” bearing edge was an integral component in the development of “That Great Gretsch Sound,” the company famous tagline from the classic era. Originally produced in Brooklyn, NY, Gretsch Broadkaster continues to be USA made, with the new Broadkasters built exclusively in Gretsch’s Ridgeland, South Carolina factory. [Ed. Note: The Broadkaster name was also applied by Gretsch to stringed instruments and was the inspiration for Fender naming its early model the Telecaster.]
The Broadkaster’s thin three-ply maple/poplar/maple shells were originally designed with a structural integrity that allowed construction of a thin-shelled, resonant drum without the need for reinforcement hoops. When the reverse roundover bearing edge was introduced over a decade later, it made the 1950s Gretsch Broadkaster one of the most sought-after drums ever produced.
“It’s incredibly exciting for us to take a valuable piece of Gretsch history and recreate it for modern-day applications,” said John Palmer, Director of Product for Gretsch Drums. “With the Broadkaster redesign, we closely studied a 1947 kit, and numerous other kits from 1950s, to determine how we could use modern-day drum building technology and still preserve the nuances that made the original Broadkaster so special. Now drummers have the opportunity to own a vintage sounding and feeling instrument with a modern build. The drums speak for themselves.” [Gretsch 1958 catalog, right]
Broadkaster is available in five popular shell-pack configurations (both with or without snare drums) and in two hardware configurations—Standard or Vintage. The Vintage hardware package is particularly unique, because it echoes the same styling and functionality of the 1950s Broadcaster, including drum mufflers, floor tom leg brackets, a Rail Consolette tom holder and bass drum T-rods.
The Standard Hardware package includes heavy-duty Gretsch lugs, spurs and straight-sided GTS tom suspension found on Gretsch USA Custom and Gretsch Brooklyn kits. All Broadkaster toms are outfitted with Gretsch’s exclusive “302” 3mm, double-flanged hoops and USA-made Remo® drumheads.
Broadkaster is available in two Nitron wrap finishes, Anniversary Sparkle and Antique Pearl, and two Nitrocelluose Satin lacquer finishes, Satin Classic Maple and Satin Copper. For more information visit http://www.gretschdrums.com