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About This Listing

First we had the re-issue, now we have a real one from 1958! Here we have one of the most rare and exclusive kits ever handled at Drumazon! This is an absolute jaw dropper of a drum set! Said by Steve Maxwell to probably be the most desirable Gretsch drum kit of all time, the Gretsch Round Badge Birdland is the kit Gretsch built for the legendary Birdland Club in NYC in the late 50's. The original colour scheme of Green Nitron with Gold hardware was inspired by a Guitar Gretsch had already produced and they decided to commission the same finish for this drum kit.

It is believed that less than 12 of these kits in this exact finish were ever made, we know that two reside as part of Steve Maxwell's personal collection. During the period there were some variances in the specifications, some were wrapped, others painted, some were 3 ply, others 6 ply. Some came with-or-without the silver sealer, stick chopper hoops or die cast rolled over hoops were offered at different points. Steve has said that it is very likely that original kits out of the factory could have had differing finishes and even differing ply lay ups from new, the kit we have here however is all finished in the Cadillac Green Nitron wrap version, the bass drum and the toms are all 6 ply with silver sealer interiors, the snare drum is earlier with a reinforced 3 ply Maple shell and clear maple interior. Gretsch only ever offered Gold hardware with this colour combination at the time, every part of this drum kit with the exception of the snare strainer and bass drum spurs is gold. A very notable point is that the two cymbal L-arms and Consollette Rail on this kit are gold too, we know that many were originally supplied with chrome ones.

This kit was imported from the USA in the early 2000's and has been owned by the same collector in the UK until the kit came to us. Everything on this kit is completely original with the exception of the bass drum hoops which have been replaced, the kit has not been subjected to any modifications or refurbishments which is far more desirable and recommendable for a kit with such provenance, (refurbished sets are not as desirable). The fact the kit has matching finish spec throughout and matching ply spec throughout the Tom, Floor Tom and Bass Drum is also a huge bonus, this could be one of the best matched examples around. There is some rash on the 13x9 tom around the badge, we understand that the original owner (as was common in the 1960s) had used the 13 x 9 tom inverted, with the Gretsch badge facing the snare drum and the large Gretsch dampers on the audience side. Thus the snare/tom rash has marked Nitron wrap quite a bit around the round badge.

The thin gold plating on the Tom, Floor Tom and Bass Drum are very consistent throughout though the gold has faded over time. The Snare drum appears as a more yellow Gold than the rest of the kit, we can only assume that the plating was done a different way on the earlier drums. As a whole kit it looks breath taking and the finish is 100% consistent throughout all 4 drums with no signs of fading.

A very rare opportunity to get the exact same sizes and finish commissioned for the Birdland Club, this is certainly one of the most collectable Gretsch kits of all time. We are very sure that this will suit a collector more so than a gigging player, that said they sound phenomenal and would be a real draw as a top end studio kit or even a once in a while special occasion set!

  • 22 x 14 Bass Drum 6 ply, Silver Interior
  • 13 x 9 Tom 6 ply, Silver Interior
  • 16 x 16 Floor Tom 6 ply, Silver Interior
  • 14 x 5 Three Ply Snare Drum, Clear Interior, Microsensitive Throw-off
  • Diecast Rolled over Hoops on the Tom and Floor Tom
  • Stick Chopper Hoops on the Snare Drum
  • Cadillac Green Nitron Wrap finish throughout all drums
  • Gold Plated Hardware throughout all drums with the exception of the bass drum spurs and snare strainer
  • 2 Cymbal L-Arms with diamond plates fitted to the bass drum
  • Original Consollette Bass Drum Rail and Diamond Tom bracket
  • Original Floor Tom Legs with Diamond Brackets
  • Original T-Rods, Claws, Spurs and Tone Controls all present and correct
  • Tom, Floor Tom and Bass Drum made in 1958, snare drum made at an earlier date.
  • A desirable, highly collectable and incredible piece of American drum history

Product Specs

Listeda year ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more

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