80s Pearl DLX conversion project

cayjarlson

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
39
Location
MN
I scored what I feel is a pretty cool project: Pearl DLX 10/12/13/14" hanging toms and a 16" floor tom. My plan is to convert these into a kit with a 16" bass drum, 10 and 12" rack toms, and 13 and 14" proper floor toms. The previous owner told me that they got the 10, 12, and 13" toms (used, pretty beat up) at one time and later purchased the 14" rack tom and 16" floor tom.
IMG_0191.PNG


There are a bunch of things I still need to figure out, mostly related to the 16" floor tom/future bass drum. I definitely want to mount the 10/12 toms off the bass drum. I also want it to look like a kit that could have been factory back in the day, so I'm seriously considering drilling the floor tom for a big ol' BB3 mount. I doubt I'd use the 16" as a floor tom in the future, but doing so still seems pretty destructive.

All that being said, I also want to avoid excessive drilling and am leaning toward just grabbing some bass drum legs that will fit the existing floor tom leg brackets since they're already there. The mount on the top is trickier; I'd consider going the Inde route but the toms are already drilled for the big Pearl arms, and it seems sort of silly to not use those. Assuming I keep using the existing tom brackets, I need to reconcile bass drum mounts with the big Pearl tubes. As a test, I'm considering of trying an Inde L-rod on the "top" floor tom leg bracket with a 3-way clamp to hold the tom arms, just to see how that goes. It doesn't seem like it will be stable enough but I'm happy to be wrong.

And I'm also learning that these may have non-standard tension rods all around, which will impact bass drum tension rod decisions. There was some tension rod stickiness when I was briefly tuning them earlier. It could be that they simply need some TLC, but I'm wondering if perhaps someone threaded standard rods into metric lug nuts. We will see!

Anyway, I'm pretty stoked about this project and am hopeful that it will turn out well. If folks have words of wisdom I'm all ears. Thanks for reading!
 

Attachments

varatrodder

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
751
Reaction score
928
I would use something like this to mount the toms on the bass drum. Then you’re only drilling one hole in the bass, and still get to use the Pearl tom arms.

 

Redfern

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
457
Reaction score
390
Location
Atlanta
@cayjarlson I’d definitely consider using the inde rail consolette. Then just take off the tom mounts, cover them with the Pearl block off plates which are not bad looking and use the inde lug/tom brackets. Assuming you have the BT3 brackets.

I’d also say that it’s pretty easy to plug holes in those drums and color match the plugs. Then you could really make the 16” an actual bass drum that looks factory. Move those 16” leg brackets over to the 14”. Boom and done.

F82A5899-AB03-4F55-B12E-3CCE2D215BFF.jpeg
 

Pounder

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
12,194
Reaction score
683
Location
Norman, OK
You've got choices. If it were me I'd keep the 16" stock but replace the hoops, ts, claws and heads for bass drum, then find either a small riser to raise it up for the pedal or just get appropriate spurs for 2 of the mounts on it. The resulting top mount could be turned into an l-arm cymbal mount. Then put the 2 high toms on a stand to the left, and the 2 lower toms down and to the right on a stand, fusion style.

This makes sense to me because you'd be able to turn the 16" back into a proper floor tom if you found a larger bass drum, and/or if you were hell-bent on going whole-hog and drilling the 16 for post mounts you could still do this later, after determining if the less-invasive method was sufficient.
 

cayjarlson

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
39
Location
MN
Thanks everyone for the excellent input and advice! Have been away for a few days and getting back to this project today. DFO is such an awesome resource.

I have set up the drums on a couple stands on either side and am pretty sure this is what I want positionally. Pictured here next to my 22/13/16 Ludwigs:
8AAA2A3E-AF5C-4DFD-924A-871BA94DE3D5.jpeg


Similar to what @Redfern and @Pounder suggested I decided to defer drilling decisions until some point down the road. I ordered 16” bass drum hoops/claws/rods/spurs and won’t drill it (for now). I’m pretty dead-set on mounting the 10 and 12 off of the bass drum though. I like the ergonomics and efficiency.

@Redfern, the Inde rail mount could work and is probably the ideal solution. But I’d end up spending almost as much at Inde (after tom mounts and such) as I did on the drums!

What I have decided to do is order a Pearl Optimount to mount the toms. I’ve got the other clamp scaffolding needed to hold a couple of toms relatively elegantly. I am concerned about stress on tension rods and all that, but it was a pretty low-cost and zero-drilling way to go in the short term. Worst-case scenario I’ll be a good “don’t do this” example on DFO :)

In my brief time with these, they sound great. I can’t wait for a fresh set of coated heads top and bottom.
 

Redfern

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
457
Reaction score
390
Location
Atlanta
Thanks everyone for the excellent input and advice! Have been away for a few days and getting back to this project today. DFO is such an awesome resource.

I have set up the drums on a couple stands on either side and am pretty sure this is what I want positionally. Pictured here next to my 22/13/16 Ludwigs:
View attachment 502030

Similar to what @Redfern and @Pounder suggested I decided to defer drilling decisions until some point down the road. I ordered 16” bass drum hoops/claws/rods/spurs and won’t drill it (for now). I’m pretty dead-set on mounting the 10 and 12 off of the bass drum though. I like the ergonomics and efficiency.

@Redfern, the Inde rail mount could work and is probably the ideal solution. But I’d end up spending almost as much at Inde (after tom mounts and such) as I did on the drums!

What I have decided to do is order a Pearl Optimount to mount the toms. I’ve got the other clamp scaffolding needed to hold a couple of toms relatively elegantly. I am concerned about stress on tension rods and all that, but it was a pretty low-cost and zero-drilling way to go in the short term. Worst-case scenario I’ll be a good “don’t do this” example on DFO :)

In my brief time with these, they sound great. I can’t wait for a fresh set of coated heads top and bottom.
Pearl Optimounts are solid. I wouldn’t worry about any stress. I’ve owned several kits with Optimounts and they’re awesome. Good luck with the kit!
 

cayjarlson

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
39
Location
MN
I’ve owned several kits with Optimounts and they’re awesome
You’ve had several kits with an Optimount sideways as a bass drum tom mount? That’s awesome. What were they?

edit: and thank you :)

old Pearl DLX drums are some of my all time favorite drums. Love the sound
This forum is the reason I bought these. They came up locally and I’d been hankering for both a smaller (sized) kit and more... maximal (number of pieces) kit than my usual four-piece.

For my benefit and for the benefit of those to come, what’s been your experience with these Pearl DLX drums? Did you score just the toms from an 80s rock outfit like I did? ;)
 
Last edited:

cayjarlson

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
39
Location
MN
I’d been hankering for both a smaller (sized) kit and more... maximal (number of pieces) kit than my usual four-piece
In other words, these toms were voted most likely to do both the Elvin Jones Thing and the Bill Bruford Thing
 

bassanddrum84

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2009
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
770
If it was me I’d put legit spurs, wood hoops and claws and make it look factory 16” bass drum. Put a single hole mount with 3 way clamp post and call it a day. This coming from someone who hates pearls mounts. Cradle risers look tacky IMO. And if you truly want it took look factory then Spurs and wood hoops.
Just saying that is factory.
 

Attachments

cayjarlson

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
39
Location
MN
If it was me I’d put legit spurs, wood hoops and claws and make it look factory 16” bass drum.
I ended up going with Inde spur conversion kit but otherwise pretty much did this!

In other news, this is done! for now…

D812E6FD-EA46-4EDA-87C4-75B00E4B3062.jpeg

868E5503-6A19-480D-AF5B-742BD4ADE1DA.jpeg

B4C6C093-1884-4EC9-9AD1-7521816ACE53.jpeg


I may yet replace the mess of adapters holding the 10” and 12” toms with a single post mount. If I did that I might also put more legit spurs on - the Indes are cool but there’s a built-in wobble that I don’t love, and these drums aren’t exactly light-weight. Aaaand if I was already doing that, might as well cut the bass drum down. We’ll see.

All in all I’m pretty happy with how this turned out! Lots of cleaning and grease but I’m glad it’s in a playable state now; I daresay it was worth it.
 

bassanddrum84

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2009
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
770
I ended up going with Inde spur conversion kit but otherwise pretty much did this!

In other news, this is done! for now…

View attachment 504147
View attachment 504148
View attachment 504149

I may yet replace the mess of adapters holding the 10” and 12” toms with a single post mount. If I did that I might also put more legit spurs on - the Indes are cool but there’s a built-in wobble that I don’t love, and these drums aren’t exactly light-weight. Aaaand if I was already doing that, might as well cut the bass drum down. We’ll see.

All in all I’m pretty happy with how this turned out! Lots of cleaning and grease but I’m glad it’s in a playable state now; I daresay it was worth it.
Looks killer. Great job those maple hoops set off that finish!!!!!
 


Top