Vintage Gretsch Progressive Jazz Outfit
First appearing in the Gretsch catalog in the mid-1950s, the Progressive Jazz Outfit consists of:
*14" (depth) x 20" (diameter) bass drum;
*8" x 12" mounted tom;
*14" x 14" floor tom; and
*4" x 14" snare drum.
Collectors and jazz players have long sought out vintage Gretsch drums in smaller sizes, and finding this outfit complete today is rare. The 4" deep snare drum, called the Max Roach model at the time, is often the missing link, as it seems that many original buyers opted for the standard 5" deep snare or even the brass 4160. The 14" floor tom is also scarce.
Additionally, this example presents several rarely seen features:
*"Virgin" bass drum with hoop mounted tom;
*Dual sided tone control muffler on the bass drum;
*Calfskin bass drum heads;
*Intact Micro Sensitive throwoff system on the snare drum;
*Original snare wires; and
*Heater installed in the snare drum.
This is a transitional kit featuring both 3-ply and 6-ply shells. The former are more associated with the 1950s, while the latter are more associated with the 1960s; though Gretsch seemed to use 6-ply shells exclusively by the early 1960s, experts have stated that they existed much earlier. Based on the mix of shells and the diecast hoops on the toms and snare, I would guess that this kit dates to the late 1950s.
Please note that the set came to us with a mixture of old heads and we installed brand new Evans heads for the purposes of recording the embedded video. The lead photo shows the kit with Evans heads, while the other photos depict the originals. Both sets of heads are included. Please review the photos carefully and contact us with any questions or concerns.
In terms of condition, the drums are playable and look good as is. The major note applying to the whole kit is that the marine pearl wrap on the toms has remained remarkably white, while on the kick and snare it has yellowed more, as is typical. We have lit the photos of the set to highlight the difference, and you'll see the fade in the heads-off photos of the kick and snare. The kick and snare do match each other.
The floor tom legs, bass drum "anchor," and tom mount are all included, and comprise all of the included hardware.
Here are additional notes on condition, drum by drum.
This is a 6-ply shell with the "spade" receiver bracket and mufflers top and bottom. The heads appear to be original, as they feature the Gretsch Perm-A-Tone logo. The batter is well-worn, but the reso is in nice shape. It felt a bit tight when we removed it from the bottom of the drum. New heads are Evans Strata 1000.
There are two areas showing minor cracking in the wrap under lugs. One is barely visible, while the other is pictured. Wrap seam is good, also pictured.
This is a 6-ply shell with mufflers top and bottom. The heads are old Remo, a well-worn Diplomat on top and an Ambassador in nice shape on the bottom. New heads are Evans Strata 1000.
The wrap seam on the 14" (pictured) is a bit looser than on the 12", but still intact.
This is a 3-ply shell with mufflers front and back. The mufflers are operated by a single knob at 3:00 from the drummer's perspective. The heads are calfskin, with initials on the reso side. New heads are Evans G1.
The wrap seams (pictured) are very good. There is a bracket installed on the bass drum for a cymbal arm (not included). The "anchor" is included; it seems old, though it may or may not be original. The hoops have some wear, with bare wood visible in several spots, especially on the batter side.
This is a 3-ply shell with a muffler on the batter side. Note that a heater was installed somewhere along the way, a common means of dealing with calfskin heads. Original Gretsch ResponsO snare wires. Batter head is a Remo Ambassador in nice shape and the reso head is an Ambassador snare side in nice shape, which we left on the drum. We replaced the batter with an Evans G1.
The badge incorporates a vent hole, which was installed a bit off-center, as you'll see in the photos. The wrap seam (pictured) is good. The Micro Sensitive throwoff still has its full handle.
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See and hear these drums in our Video Vault (TM) and buy with confidence!