I play Renowns too and I am happy with it but I want to upgrade to New Classics. I like new ITS and 9025 hinged tom brackets. I am really wonder how they sounds. I got some tips from people who play NC already and they all are very satisfied with the sound. So can anyone tell us something more about it ?
I own a Gretsch Renown Maple. A friend of mine bought a New Classic on my advice that he should buy a Renown (He thought he was buying the same thing). I've played the New Classics and they are excellent drums. I don't really like them better than the Renown Maples however. The New Classics have the old style lugs, which look cool I guess. They also have proportionate shell thicknesses, like the Pearl Reference Series, whereas the Renowns have uniform shell thickness in the toms, thicker on the snare and bass. I like the way both the Renowns and New Classics sound. It just depends on what you prefer, but I personally couldn't justify spending more on the New Classics. As for quality of the hardware, both Renowns and New Classics have very solid hardware. The lug style is different, and they have slightly different suspension systems for the toms. Other than that they are about the same. You can check them out at Gretsch.com.