by danny

November 29, 2020

Catalina Maple series is available in four different configurations (4, 5, 6, and 7 piece kits) and five different color combinations to make it more appealing on stage. To this day, Gretsch remains one of the top producers of the best-sounding drum kits. One of their most exceptional drum series is the Catalina Maple series.

For 135 years, Gretsch has been one of the most iconic drum brands used by many notable drummers such as Phil Collins, Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Vinnie Colaiuta, and more. From Jazz drum kits to full-size rock drum sets, their kits are impressive and made to last. With their excellent craftsmanship, superior materials, and aesthetic finishes, Gretsch has set both classic and modern drum manufacturing standards.

Gretch drums are made in Ridgeland, South Carolina, especially their Custom & Signature Series.

Gretsch Catalina Maple Review

Gretsch Catalina Maple Reviews

The Catalina Maple series drums are available in different configurations, ranging from 4-piece kits to a whooping 7-piece kit. First introduced in 2005, the Catalina Maple series was revamped in 2011, further improving its design and sound quality. It combines the innovative hardware designs of new drum kits while maintaining the legendary Gretsch sound that has been favored since the dawn of the classical drum legends such as Tony Williams, Phil Collins, and Max Roach.

With the Catalina Maple series, you can achieve that perfect Gretsch sound that all drummers love and establish your performance on stage with its eye-catching, sleek, compact design. It sounds robust, vibrant, and warm. It provides a natural and dynamic response, ideal for playing solid grooves.

The REMO drum heads are perfect for complementing the sound of Maple shells. Its 30-degree bearing edges offer a wide range of tuning options, making it a good starting drum kit. The durable T-Wing nuts provide stability and more effortless position adjustment.

Aesthetic appearance. Admit it, we all love a drum kit that looks lovely. The Catalina Maple is one of the gorgeous drum kits (read the reviews here) that you’ll ever see at its price point. Not only will it make an aesthetic addition to your home/studio, but it will also make you appear classy and professional. You get an all-around acoustic kit with several toms and drums to play for such a reasonable price. You can easily adjust each component based on what the music demands.

Catalina Maple is not a complete beginner-friendly drum set as you might need to spend a few more bucks as this kit does not include a set of cymbals, a snare stand, and the bass drum pedal. If you have a more extensive setup containing several cymbals, you’ll have to buy the stands separately as it only comes with one cymbal holder.    

Who is it suitable for?

Although the Catalina Maple series considered an entry-level, intermediate drum kit, it exceeds most of the kits’ expectations under this level. Its ergonomic design makes it easy for starting drummers would develop their techniques properly and play comfortably as they learn.

With its distinct Gretsch’s sound, it is also versatile enough to be used by starting professionals to gear up for on-stage performances or recording sessions. Overall, we think this kit is an excellent investment for anyone looking for a good-sounding and durable drum set.

What’s in the box?

gretsch catalina maple 6 piece

The Gretsch Catalina Maple Series is available in different configurations. You might want to browse among these configurations on their official product page. Depending on which configuration you choose, the size of the drums would vary. However, for this article, here are the components for their 7-piece rock shell-pack:

  • 22-inch x 18-inch Kick drum
  • 14-inch x 6-inch Snare drum
  • 8-inch x 7-inch Rack tom
  • 10-inch x 7-inch Rack tom
  • 12-inch x 8-inch Rack tom
  • 14-inch x 14-inch Floor tom
  • 16-inch x 16-inch Floor tom

Aside from the shell-pack, you also get exclusive hardware set further discussed below, which are essential in mounting the rack toms and keeping the floor toms in place.

Key Features and their Performance

As mentioned earlier, if you are looking for a great all-around starting acoustic drum kit, you’ll never be disappointed with what Gretsch Catalina Maple drums have to offer.

You can expand your playing dynamics and achieve a whole new drumming level with Catalina Maple’s 7-piece kit. With its excellent craftsmanship, elegant finishes, durable hardware, and superior sound quality, you are just one step away from your drumming goals.

Build & Finishes

gretsch catalina maple 7 piece review

The Catalina Maple series, as you might have guessed, is made purely of Maple. With 7-ply maple shells, the drums sound warm and powerful. Maple wood is ideal for musical instruments as it provides good acoustics, together with a durable structure.

The shell-pack has 30 degrees bearing edges, perfect for maximizing sound resonance and sustain. Furthermore, each drum is equipped with 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops, allowing a fuller resonance without making the kit heavier. The kit comes in different Lacquered finishes, but the most common finishes are the Satin Deep Cherry Burst and Walnut Glaze.

Lacquer finishes last longer and can remain glossy for years without any signs of deterioration. Just make sure to keep this drum kit clean, and we guarantee that it would age and still look brand new.

Hardware

  • GTS tom suspension system allows the mounting of toms without affecting the resonance of your drums. It prevents unwanted buzzing between the rack toms and ensures even distances between your mounted toms.
  • Complete Tom and floor leg brackets offer maximum stability and prevent the floor toms’ movement when hit with intensity.
  • Bass drum mount plate with “G” memory lock, allowing a faster and precise setup.
  • Gretsch T-wing nut allows a more secure and stable adjustment of the components, especially the mounted toms.
  • Single Cymbal mount for mounting one of your existing cymbals,

Playability

I’ve experienced playing the kit, and all I can say is that you won’t outgrow this kit quickly. The drums are aesthetic. It gave me the extra confidence that I need to play on-stage. The hardware looks sturdy and durable, which improves the overall playability of this kit. You can hit each drum with a full stroke, and you don’t have to worry about adjusting the angle of the drums in the middle of a performance.

Furthermore, the Catalina maple snare drum offers a great response. From the softest ghost notes to full rimshots, you can achieve the sound you desire with its versatile snare drum.

Finally, the three mounted toms and the two floor-toms are fun to play with. You can flavor more of your fills and improve your dynamics with a configuration this wide.

Sound Quality

Maple drums offer great resonance and sustain. It has a warm, buff sound that is powerful enough to set the groove. The Catalina Maple’s 30-degree bearing edges inherited the classic, vintage tone that has boosted Gretsch’s reputation.

The toms sound bright and warm, while the bass drum provides a stable, distinct sound. Fine-tuning the snare drum, depending on your preference, would further improve the kit’s overall sound. The equipped REMO drum heads contribute to the smooth highs, mids, and lows of the drum kit.

If you want a versatile drum set with a classic warm sound, you’ll find a home behind Gretsch’s Catalina Maple Series.

Conclusion

gretsch catalina maple drum set review

If you want a complete 7-piece kit with Gretsch’s distinct sound, the Gretsch Catalina drum set is the best deal you can get. Its features, exclusive hardware, and sound quality overthrow most of its competitors at the same price point. It is an excellent all-around acoustic kit and is perfect for beginners to starting professionals.

The Maple shells, 30 degrees bearing edges, and the REMO drum heads make it possible for this kit to sing. It produces an overall warm sound with powerful attack and resonance, suitable for different music genres.

This kit would surely last due to its sturdy hardware and superior craftsmanship. It offers excellent playability, allowing you to express freely and reach your drumming goals faster. It is easy to find a kit that sounds professional but quite challenging to find a professional-looking kit. With Catalina Maple Kit, you can have both!

About the author 

Danny

I am Danny. A Father, Hubby, Full-Time Drummer, and Part-time teacher. I have been drumming for 10 years and on average gigs 150 times a year. Drums are my passion. I play for local and some regional bands too. Aside from that, I started this blog to share my knowledge about musical instruments.

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