This snare drum was introduced around 1961; The earliest models of these drums had a smooth shell with no decorative central markings. The drums from the early 60’s to 1967, featured the micro-sensitive throw off, to be replaced with the Lightening throw. From the early 70’s the ‘fishtail’ butt plate began to appear and the drum was offered with or without the tone control dampener.
The drum featured today is a late 60’s 4160 with the knurled centre markings. This drum has a 14 x 5” Seamless spun brass shell, chrome plated and highly polished. Fitted with a Round Badge but the lightening throw off dates it somewhere between 67 and 71. The drum features 8 single lugs and solid die cast counter hoops with a tone control dampener fitted.
The 1966 catalogue describes the drum as this;
“The Gretsch metal snare drum sounds better than any you’ve ever heard. Its got the clean crisp modern sound that really stands out. An eye catching beauty with highly polished chrome plating, it has Wide 42 power snares to give your drumming that extra power professionals demand. No wonder you look better, feel better, sound better with Gretsch.”
All parts on this drum are original and in excellent condition, no dents to the shell just a few surface scratches; there is no paper badge in this drum. A nice design feature is the drum key holder, which secures the original key in the badge (see photos).
These snare drums are fairly rare in the UK, generally the 4160 snares seen on these shores feature the later badge with or without the dampener.
Fitted with Remo Ambassador heads top and bottom, this drum sounds lovely. A lot more open and lively than a Ludwig to my ears, suitable for all styles; although damped a little with a gel or wallet and tuned down low, you get a nice fat backbeat snare whack out of it! The previous owner fitted 32 strand Puresound Custom wires to the drum, as close to the original 42 ‘power snares’ that would have been fitted as standard.
Many big names have played Gretsch through the decades, the drums certainly holding their own sound that players either love and play Gretsch almost exclusively, or have a preference for other brands. This drum suits all styles of music, with a sensitivity that would suit a jazz leaning.
This drum is currently available at our shop and on the website.