From the 1920s through the 1950s, the Gretsch flagship drum set was the legendary Broadkaster Series. It featured a thin, three-ply shell and produced what was to be, “That Great Gretsch Sound.” Today, in the Gretsch Drum Factory in Ridgeland, South Carolina, USA, with the help of advanced drum-making techniques, the Broadkaster has returned, bringing with it all of sonic brilliance of its namesake.
Broadkaster shells are made with a North American maple/poplar/maple formula. Each shell includes an interior-ply scarf joint that supplies added structural integrity to thin, musical shells. Like all USA-made Gretsch drums, shell interiors are finished with classic Gretsch Silver Sealer. The shell is hand finished with the exclusive reverse roundover bearing edge, which allows greater surface contact between the bearing edge and drumhead. The result is tone that is incredibly deep and warm.
Broadkaster toms and snare drums are outfitted with Gretsch’s “302” 3.0mm, double flanged steel hoops. These hoops are similar to “Stick Chopper” hoops used in the 1950s, but are constructed from a heavier gauge steel to stand up to today’s more assertive playing styles. The 302 hoop helps create a more open tone than a die-cast hoop and adds ambient overtones to the overall tonal characteristic.
Broadkaster kits are available with two different hardware packages, standard and vintage. The Standard package includes heavy-duty Gretsch lugs, spurs and straight-sided GTS tom suspension typical to Gretsch USA Custom and Brooklyn kits. The Vintage hardware package features hardware component styles used on 1950s-era Gretsch kits, including drum mufflers, floor tom leg brackets, Rail Consolette tom holder, spurs, bass drum T-rods, throw-off, and key holder.
Like its legendary predecessors from the 1950s, today’s Broadkaster faithfully produces warm, dense and punchy tones. Thanks to the modern manufacturing advances and finishing technology, today’s Broadkaster has even greater dynamic response and sonic presence than the originals.