|Thanks for your interest in dating your Gretsch drums. Here
is some basic information on the manufacturing dates of Gretsch
With two major fires at the Gretsch factories in the past,
most of the historical records were destroyed including any
documents referencing serial number details for drum production.
Since these records are no longer available, we are unable to
provide detailed production years of individual drums based
on serial numbers.
To help date you Gretsch Drums take a close look at your logo
badges on your kit. You can use the following information to
give you an idea when your Gretsch drums were manufactured:
BADGE #1 1883 to 1971
The original Gretsch Round Badge design.
This was the first badge used on Gretsch drums going all the
way back to 1883. The badge was round with GRETSCH written across
the top and DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883 along the bottom. The older
version of the Round Badge used a carpenter’s tack to
attach the badge to the shells while later version used the
standard brass grommet to affix the badge. Final production
of Gretsch drums with the Round badge was in 1971
BADGE #2 1972 to 1979
The next badge design for Gretsch was an octagon shaped badge.
This brass badge had the GRETSCH logo written in block type
with an elongated letter “T “in the middle of the
Gretsch name. One the right side of the brass grommet the word
DRUMS appears in block letters. To the left the initials U.S.A.
appear in block letters. The bottom section of the badge reads
“THAT GREAT GRETSCH SOUND”. Final production of
Gretsch Drums with this badge was in mid 1979. This is the only
badge to carry the infamous “Great Gretsch Sound”
BADGE # 3 1979 to 1980
The second version of the octagon badge went into production
in late 1979. This badge is very similar to the previous badge
but the tag line on the bottom was changed back to “DRUM
MAKERS SINCE 1883” in block letters.
BADGE # 4 1980
A brief glimpse into the modern day drum badge.
In 1980, due to the popularity of multiple –tom outfits,
the badge was changed to a square shape with the corners cropped.
This would allow the badge to look the same no matter which
way the tom was mounted. The brass badge had the GRETSCH logo
in block letters above the grommet. The GRETSCH logo below the
grommet was placed upside down to allow for the varied positioning
of the toms. U.S.A. was on the left and right side of the grommet
with the left U.S.A. letters upside down. This badge would be
used in 1980 and the shelved for a brief period of time before
it was brought back into production.
BADGE # 5 Early 1981
A short return to the octagon badge.
This time the brass badge was redesigned with the GRETSCH logo
in the drop “G” font above the grommet. U.S.A. appeared
to the right of the grommet and DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883 was at
the bottom of this badge in block letters.
BADGE # 6 Late 1981 to Modern Day.
Back to the square badge design. By late 1981 the brass square
badge had returned and is still being used on Gretsch Custom
OTHER SPECIAL GRETSCH BADGES
BROADKASTER and USA MAPLE SERIES
The BROADKASTER series and the USA MAPLE series use the modern
day square badge design but in antiqued pewter finish instead
of the traditional brass material that has been used on all
previous series of Gretsch drums. The modern BROADKASTER series
was reintroduced in 1998 and features gunmetal plated die cast
hoops and lugs and satin lacquer wood-grain finishes. The USA
MAPLE series was introduced in the mid 2001 and features chrome
plated hardware and satin
100th ANNIVERSARY BADGE
This special badge was used in 1983 on a limited production
of exotic wood grain kits with all gold hardware. Only 100 sets
in these special finishes were produced.
The badge was a large upright rectangle with the corners cropped.
The Gretsch logo features the drop “G” logo style
and the badge reads “THE CENTENNIAL 1883-1983” along
the top in block letters.
120th ANNIVERSARY ROUND BADGE
In 2003 Gretsch celebrates its 120th anniversary with a limited
production of CUSTOM SERIES drums that feature the original
Round Badge design. A total of 120 bebop drum sets in Champagne
Sparkle or Dark Walnut lacquer will be produced. There will
also be four individual snare drums that will only be produced
in 2003 and will also feature the Round Badge design. For additional
information concerning the 120th Anniversary products please
go to the home page of GRESTCHDRUMS.COM.