Gretsch Renown Maple – My Top Recommendation

Hi guys. My name is Andrea, but you can call me Andy. I started my career as a percussionist, but since becoming Christian, I play the drums for worship ministry. I love to create melodies with the drums and I try my best to play in a musical way. To do this I had to search for an instrument that would allow me to express myself in a way that would reflect my style of playing. My search came to an end when I discovered the great “Gretsch Sound.” The Gretsch Renown Maple is definitely a drum set to consider if looking for a drum with character, versatility and an amazing sound. Let’s go a bit deeper into discovering this instrument.

Why Gretsch? 

Gretsch Renown Maple - Gretsch LogoAs an Italian, I really appreciate products that have a history behind them. I want to see character in a product – what makes it stand out when compared to another? I have found all of this in the Gretsch company – this is probably why I like it so much.

Gretsch was founded in 1883 by Friedrich Gretsch, a German immigrant who opened a music shop in Brooklyn, New York, producing drums and guitars.

Gretsch is part of the history of modern music. Its drums have been used by pillars of the modern era like Max Roach, Elvine Jones, and Tony Williams, as well as contemporary artists like Vinnie Colaiuta, Mark Guiliana, and Mike Johnston.

The thing that I love about this brand is that each model, from the Gretsch Catalina all the way up to the famous USA Custom, has the characteristics of the great “Gretsch Sound,” including the Gretsch Renown Maple series.

Who is the Gretsch Renown Maple for?

Gretsch Renown Maple - Drum KitThis kit is definitely a professional kit. It’s great for any live setting, but can also satisfy studio requirements. The nice thing about the Renown Maple is that it offers high-quality characteristics but at a reasonable price, falling in the mid-high category of drumsets.

I would suggest this drum kit to anyone who takes drumming seriously, but who may not be willing or able to spend $5000 for a USA Custom. The Renown will do the job in any situation.

If a community wants to invest in the worship ministry by buying high quality acoustic instruments I believe this model can be a good solution. Keep in mind that as I already mentioned, this kit can be used in any situation, from live to studio.


Gretsch Renown Maple - TomThe Gretsch Renown Maple features 7-ply formula maple shells. One of the main things that makes Gretsch drums so unique is the 30° bearing edge. It gives an articulated and rich tone, with great stick definition and clarity of tone, producing a round colorful note. This is why I love them.

Each shell has an internal “Silver Sealer.” The rims are the new 302 — creating a similar sound to the die-cast hoops but allowing the drum to have a more open sound since they are not as rigid. This type of hoops is also featured on the Brooklyn and the Broadcaster, which are two of Gretsch’s top drum models.

The drum skins are all done by Remo (offering good quality). There is no need to replace them unless looking for a different sound.

Gretsch Renown Maple - ConfigurationOn the snare, we have a Coated Ambassador and a Remo Resonant. On the toms, we have a Clear Emperor, which is a 2-ply head made by 2 single plies of 7 ml each. On the bass drum, we have a clear Powerstroke head with a muffling ring. All of these are very widely used, classic drum heads. The Renown is very simple to tune and it sounds great at all tuning ranges.

The sides of this particular model are: Bass drum 18×22″, the toms 7×10″, 8×12″, 14×16″, the snare drum is a 5.5×14″. These are the most used sizes.

The hardware features the GTS suspension system, low profile leg brackets, and a single cymbal mount.

Gretsch Renown Maple - Tom System

  • 7-ply Maple shells
  • Silver Sealer
  • 30° bearing edge
  • 302 hoops
  • Remo skins
  • GTS mount system


Pros and Cons

Gretsch Renown Maple - Bass DrumThe pros of the Gretsch Renown Maple are many. All reviews list it as a winning model thanks to its great sound, versatility, rich and defined tone, and great overall quality at a good price.

Something to consider is that when purchasing a drum kit on a professional range, it doesn’t come with the stands or the cymbals. Of course, this is the same for any brand at this price range.

When choosing a drum set of this level it’s difficult to find cons, since the quality is high. Apart from the lack of stands, one obvious con would be if you don’t like the Gretsch sound. Since this brand has so much character, either you like it or you don’t. It’s like dating someone who has a strong character; either we love them or we hate them. But honestly, I have never spoken to a drummer who does not appreciate the Gretsch sound.

Listen to the video to get a clear idea of the type of sound that I’m talking about.

I strongly recommend using headphones!


  • Great sound
  • Good price
  • Good drum heads


  • No stands
  • No cymbals
  • Specific sound

Gretsch Renown Maple - Pros and Cons


Gretsch Renown Maple – My opinion

Gretsch Renown Maple - Renown LogoI honestly love all the Gretsch drums. I have a Catalina model, but I love the sound so much that I’m saving in order to by the USA Custom model – the most expensive Gretsch model.

I believe the Gretsch Renown Maple is a great solution for whoever is looking for a professional kit with character and a sound that stands out from all the others. The Renown offers all the qualities of the more expensive models but at a more reasonable price. The differences are in the fact that the higher quality models resemble more the vintage traditional Gretsch sound from the old days and the Renown doesn’t.

I would say that the higher price range models of Gretsch are for passionate people who are willing to spend anywhere from $3000 to $5000 in order to have the classic vintage sound.

However, the Gretsch Renown Maple lacks nothing to be a great kit. Its versatility and accessibility are probably what have made this kit so popular within the drumming community.

Final thoughts

I do believe there should be a good reason behind the purchase of a professional kit, especially when it comes to a church context. If we want to invest in buying a drum set in this price range then we are likely seeking to have a worship ministry which functions at a professional level. This doesn’t mean we need to have the most amazing drummer, but you need to be able to justify the investment.

If this is the case, I’m sure that the Gretsch Renown Maple satisfies these requirements.

Click here to read more about the best drum set brands at a low cost

I hope you enjoyed the article, feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below.

God bless you so much,


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6 thoughts on “Gretsch Renown Maple – My Top Recommendation

  1. Great Video … and great article

    Only last night, I remarked to my partner that I wanted a drum kit to entertain myself during lockdown and maybe use to ‘clap for the carers’. I used to play the drums in my younger years but only for fun!

    Today, I started googling in my spare time, to find out what was on offer and come across your article. The Gretsch looks absolutely amazing although if I’m honest probably way above my price bracket and my level of experience.

    But I can dream!

    1. Hi Lawrence, thanks for commenting.
      I understand when you say it is above your budget. For beginners, I suggest kit on another range. If you are interested you could check out this article
      about the best low budget drums.
      Wish you the best,

  2. Hi Andy, great article. I love listening to rock and a bit heavier music and the drums are a big part of every good rock band. I like the video and the sound of the drums in it, I can imagine how great it sounds live. Do you know any rock band that plays on this kit?

    1. Hi Srdjan, there are plenty of drummers using the Renown series. To check you could go directly on the Gretsch site. One drummer that I like is Nathaniel Townsley, but hi is more towards fusion.
      God bless

  3. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for.

    Great sound, I must admit.

    I had dreams when younger but the parents just wouldn’t give in to my demands.

    I have a friend who is a drummer in a rock band. A young guy but can he play.

    Call me a little naive, but can you put me in the direction of the type of music you play?

    Great article, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Mick,
      I love soul, funk, Jazz and also Latin music. But I honestly like to play anything. In a church context usually, the songs tend to be more Rock oriented so I fit with that too.
      God bless you so much,

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