gretsch broadcaster sparkle

Gretsch Broadkaster Series Drum Kit Review

From the 1920s through to 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 Gretsch Sound.” The Broadcaster has now returned, being manufactured in their South Carolina factory.

Hit Me

This is a drum set that will give you that vintage vibe. The shells are made with a North American maple/poplar/maple formula. The shell has been designed to have a lot of contact with the head, to get a lot of sound from the shell. It uses the Brooklyn 302 hoop which works nicely together with the head and shell.

The Broadkaster toms and snare are outfitted with Gretsch’s “302” 3.0mm, double flanged steel hoops.

The bass drums are available as 16”, 18”, 20”, 22”, 24” and 26”. We tried the 24” bass drum version.

gretsch broadcaster

The Sound

This is the lovely part. Sitting back and playing this kit really takes you back to the vintage sound, although Gretsch have added modern touches to this kit – mostly improvements so the kit can be used for many years.

It’s warm but has plenty of tone, and isn’t as loud as a rock kit – but you wouldn’t want it to be.

The shells certainly do sing, something that we haven’t come across for quite a while from all drum manufacturers. Gretsch have clearly set out to make this all about the shells, and the maple/poplar/maple combination works wonderfully.

The Broadkaster records well, with close micing or room mics.

gretsch broadkaster snare


The Gretsch Broadkaster has a stunning, vintage sound, exactly what they set out to achieve. It’s well-built, a deep warm tone, and glorious to play. Definitely one for the wishlist.


  • Maple/poplar/maple shells sound great
  • Vintage sound all the way
  • Huge selection of finishes


  • One trick pony, not for modern sounding drums, but it’s not designed for that

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