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Gretsch Energy 5-Piece Kit Review: Comes with Everything You Need

Gretsch is a musical instrument company that has been around since the 1800’s. That’s a pretty good sign they know what they are doing when it comes to crafting long-lasting equipment.

Their Energy 5-Piece kit is an entry-level drum set, but don’t let that throw you off. This is a kit that comes with everything you need, is great value for the money, and has the Gretsch name and sound.


In this article, we take a closer look to see what makes it tick and encourage you to find out for yourself just how good an entry-level kit the Energy model is.

At a Glance – Our Initial Thoughts

With so many beginner drum sets on the market, we really like what Gretsch offers in their Energy Kit.

Suitable for players of all ages, we think it is advantageous for those that are just starting out, as you get an entire drum kit without needing to purchase any add-ons. Of note, the only thing you need to purchase separately is the drum throne.

Even though the parts are of entry-level quality, the construction of this kit is a durable one, and you can still get some really nice sounds from it. We also like how it can accommodate smaller players with adjustable low rack toms, so kids won’t be reaching for the sky trying to make some noise.

We were thoroughly impressed at what Gretsch has done with this kit and think you will be too. A sleek look, excellent sounding shells, and quality hardware make this a drum set you will be proud to call your own.

What’s in the Box?

Inside the box, you will find everything you need to bang away on and annoy your entire household and neighbors.

The Energy kit comes in a 5-piece configuration: a beefy 22” x 18” bass drum, 15” x 5.5” snare, two rack toms measuring 10” x 7” and 12 x 8”, and a 14” x 16” floor tom for some extra low end.


The drum shells are made of poplar. This is a bright sounding wood that performs well while keeping the cost down. Many people think of poplar as a “cheap” wood, but that isn’t necessarily the case. While it’s true that poplar is less expensive than birch or maple, it still has its own unique sound to it and has been used for many years in multiple levels of drum sets. Rounding out the shells are 30-degree bearing edges which cater to a warm vintage tone, and are covered by 1.6mm triple flanged hoops.

You will also get all the appropriate hardware in this package. A boom stands for easy cymbal placement, a straight cymbal stand, a hi-hats stand, and a snare stand is all double-braced with rubber-tipped feet for maximum security against slippage.

If that wasn’t enough, the box also contains a pack of Zildjian cymbals for your hi-hats, ride, and crash. These Planet Z models are made from brass, which works just fine but is definitely an entry-level cymbal. We would recommend upgrading them over time, as the jump in quality when going into an intermediate cymbal is quite noticeable.


Finally, Gretsch includes a nice kick drum pedal that has a double-sided felt/plastic beater for a range of sounds. It is fully adjustable for your comfort, chain-driven, and rebounds nicely off the head with each beat.

How Does It Stand Out?

All-In-One Kit

If you have never sat behind a kit, Gretsch makes it super simple to start by including everything you need to get drumming. The only piece that will have to supply is a drum throne, which is not too expensive (you can even pick up some second-hand ones for cheap).

But all drums are supplied (kick drum, snare, 3 toms), as well as good-quality, double braced stands, 3 Planet Z cymbals (hi-hats, crash, ride), and an adjustable kick drum pedal. Gretsch even throws in a pair of sticks for good measure.

Kits that include everything are great for those just starting out, as you can keep the cost down while getting all the necessary pieces needed to learn the craft.

Easy Adjustments

Gretsch does a good job supplying you with items that can be easily adjusted, making it a kit that all shapes and sizes can play.

The rack toms mount firmly and can be positionally adjusted with ease. The toms are also slightly more shallow than regular size toms, meaning they can be lowered very close to the bass drum, allowing for easier reach and making it an attractive kit for kids to learn on.

Additionally, the kick drum pedal Gretsch includes is a good-quality, chain-driven model. It is comfortable and rebounds well from the head. The pedal also has a double-sided beater that you can choose to use as plastic or felt, depending on your preference.


Upgrade As You Go

Even though you have everything you need to get playing, down the road you will most likely want to start upgrading areas of your kit to match your progression.

This kit can be upgraded in many areas, with the cymbals being the easiest items you can replace. Drummers tend to swap out the heads as well, preferring to go with a more high-quality head than what manufacturers include.

Drum heads can also make a huge difference in your overall sound, which is another attractive reason why they get replaced.

While this kit comes with a nice kick drum pedal, you can also upgrade that to a more comfortable model. If you are into music that uses a double-bass pedal, this drum set can accommodate that style as well.

Other things that can be played around with while you sculpt your style are drum head dampeners, which choke the ring out of the drums and stick selection. Sticks are probably the cheapest option that can drastically change what your drums sound like, as well as your playing style and comfort level.

Do I need to purchase any additional pieces for this drum set?

The only piece you will need to purchase is a drum throne. Gretsch provides everything else for you – drum shells stand, cymbals, kick drum pedal, and even a pair of sticks.

Can I use this for gigs and recording?

You can use this kit however you wish. However, it is an entry-level kit, so it will not have the same quality of sound as an intermediate or high-end drum set.

What heads are used on this kit?

Gretsch uses single-ply heads on the shells, lending to a more open sound. Drummers tend to customize their kits with heads that suit their style, and you can definitely upgrade them on this kit if you desire.

How many cymbals come in this set?

Gretsch provides you with 3 Zildjian Planet Z cymbals for your hi-hats, crash, and ride. While they are perfectly adequate for beginners, most drummers will upgrade them at some point.

Our Final Thoughts

Although the Gretsch Energy drum kit does have its limitations, that should not deter those that are just starting out from seriously considering this option. You will get everything you need, and while it does have an entry-level sound, Gretsch doesn’t produce products that are absolute garbage.

We think this is a great kit to learn whether you are young or old. With plenty of expandability and upgradability, you can swap items on the kit for better ones as you grow into your craft.

If this acoustic drum is not what you were looking for, check out our Best Acoustic Drum Set Under $1000 Post.

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