Any Pearl drums enthusiasts? What’s your opinion on Pearl?

shilohjim

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I've had 4 Pearl kits over the years and they've all been fantastic. And never a single failure of any kind from the hardware. I find it amusing when people talk about the heavy, gigantic pipe mounts. The heaviest gyro-lock tom arm is still lighter than most L-arm mounts, and the pipes are a thinner diameter too. And I don't know why this is never mentioned, but Pearl also offers an L-arm mount in their catalog. It was part of the Rhythm Traveler Pod kit, which is long discontinued, but last I checked you could still order it separately. That's what I did when I got my Wood-Fiberglass kit. Used a BT-3 mount on the bass drum, and an LB-40 bracket attached directly to the 12" tom, along with the pod L-arm which is 9.5mm. Looks classic and clean.
 

Tomb

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all I know is last time I saw Deep Purple, Ian Paice used a gorgeous Pearl kit, and that kit sounded fantastic! But then again he's Ian Paice.....
 

Bri6366

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I was always a Tama guy and never into Pearl. Then in the 90s I was in Sam Ash and hit an MMX 14x12 suspended floor tom. Wow!! This is a Pearl kit? That was one round sounding tom.

Another time I was in Sam Ash and a dude that was a Temple music student and also played drums on the Spirit of Philadelphia dinner cruise at the time, was buying an MMX kit. That dude could play, but those drums!! The 20x18 kick was amazing. After that I had to get one of those kits. I finally picked one up in the late 90s and it's been my main kit ever since. When I was gigging, I got tons of compliments from other drummers who sat in on them and from sound guys as well.
 

thejohnlec

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I’ve been playing a maple MLX kit since my junior year in college in 1988. I’m the second owner. It’s 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 22 - it’s now split into two separate kits. Black lacquer inside and out, with an original Jamieson/Porcaro rack and enough cymbal stands to accommodate everything without the rack. It still gets a lot of stage time along with a birch Yamaha. I’ve had a total of 2 stripped screws and 1 broken tom mount, all only within last couple of years. The hardware is rock solid and the kit still sounds amazing. It’s been to 35-40 states and 4 countries. It’s a workhouse and has never failed.

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ConvertedLudwigPlayer

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I have had many Pearl kits.
90's Pearl MX - Made in the USA set in the year or so they made them here; two 90's BLX kits; 2006 Export (hated the ISS mounts); 2010's Masters (Birch) which I loved, 2010's MCX (Maple) I bought new.
I have 3 WMP Fiberglass toms I am looking to sell. I recently sold my 90's Pearl Custom Z.

I have a couple of Jupiter snares including one Chad Smith played at his mother's church supposedly.

I always wanted a Reference and now would like a Reference Pure. Not sure I would pull the trigger on either anytime soon unless I got a great deal.

I have a friend that is an endorser and he loves them.

Quality drums. The thicker maple shells are a little cold to my ears, but those drums will project.
 
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BennyK

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I've owned and gigged lots of Pearl drums : MLX, wood/fiberglass,Session Custom Maples, Fiberglass .... it's their snare drums that I find consistently impressive . I'll try to always have a Fiberglass kit around , there's never been anything quite like them .

To the best of my recollection, there's only been one semi stinker - 22x16 MLX .
 

RIDDIM

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I wouldn't go by the brand, unless it's associated with a certain sound, al la Brady, Hendrix or Gretsch.
Pretty much everyone makes great stuff at the higher ends, and the lower ends are a lot higher quality than when I was young.

If you travel a lot, it's not hard to find Pearl dealers, or compatible hardware, e.g., 7/8" tube, all over the world. That's a plus if you're considering an endorsement.
 

cribbon

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Shells aside and focusing on Pearl's hardware for a moment, I know the general consensus here is that the Pearl mounting system is fugly, invasive, etc., but to my way of thinking it's extremely reliable and simple. I never considered using it until I bought a used beater kit whose toms wore Optimounts and whose bass drum already had the Pearl twin receiver installed. I found that combination eminently practical and bulletproof. Everything stayed where it was supposed to be and the Optimounts negated any pipe-through angst.

I'll admit to favoring things in my life (drumming and otherwise) that are simple and functional and don't require a lot of babying and fussing-with. The Pearl twin bass drum receiver is - for my workaday purposes - a very versatile unit. Although I do use two rack toms on the rare occasion, I normally just use a single tom, in which case I use the other receiver either to hold a boom arm for my ride cymbal or to mount a cowbell or any other percussive do-dad I may require for a given situation. Because it's 7/8", you can use Yamaha tom and cymbal pipes or ones from Gibraltar, you're not stuck with using Pearl tubing if you don't like it (I use the Gibraltar 10.5mm L-arm on ball mount). For the bar grind of the weekend warrior, nothing much beats Pearl's stuff, and I say that even though I don't use Pearl drums (except for a FFS piccolo snare).

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Elvis

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If you travel a lot, it's not hard to find Pearl dealers, or compatible hardware, e.g., 7/8" tube, all over the world. That's a plus if you're considering an endorsement.
Back in the days before the internet, I used to call a 22/12/14 Pearl kit a "World-Tour-on-a-budget kit".
Like you say, no matter where you went, EVERYONE had at least a head in 22, 12 and 14 sizes. Then there's the hardware.
Sometimes, "common" is very, very good.
...in other news...
I'm starting to think about a Crystal Beat kit....

 

Snowdog

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I’m not really a fan.

I respect the quality of their high end drums, but they are really heavy and sound a bit sterile.

The people who work for them and the customer service they give are top notch. I have nothing but good things to say about them.
Spot on regarding Pearl's artist support, and customer service in general. I remember many years back I asked Gene Okamoto at Pearl a question about a used Free-Floating snare I had just bought and his kind (and lengthy) reply full of helpful advice and tuning tips still makes me smile to this day. And yes, in general their drum lineup & hardware for the most part is bulletproof...I'm still using a D900 throne I got in 1989 from Veneman's and it still works 100%.
 

CC Cirillo

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I’ll admit Pearl doesn’t have an emotional draw for me. Perhaps because I irrationally connote then with the 80’s.

And YET there is this: I gigged a lot with a Pearl 4x14 maple piccolo, and it was a stellar drum.

Likewise for my brass Sensitone I often use now.

Two snares that together cost less than $300 used yet sounded like a million bucks.
 

dale w miller

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Spot on regarding Pearl's artist support, and customer service in general. I remember many years back I asked Gene Okamoto at Pearl a question about a used Free-Floating snare I had just bought and his kind (and lengthy) reply full of helpful advice and tuning tips still makes me smile to this day. And yes, in general their drum lineup & hardware for the most part is bulletproof...I'm still using a D900 throne I got in 1989 from Veneman's and it still works 100%.
I know a couple of the guys personally by attending NAMM over the years. Good people, including Gene. I had the same experience with him breaking down the Demon pedal when it first came out.
 
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dirtcity

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I was obsessed with Pearl in my teenage years. My friend had an Export that I thought was the best kit ever when I was 14. I posted on the forum, I toured the factory in Nashville when I was 15. The forum staff, and their customer service was top notch. Sent me a whole new (top of the line) snare stand when just a single piece on the one I had purchased started to fail. Didn't even ask for a receipt, just mailed me a new stand (I still use both stands on tour today). The first pro level kit I ever bought myself was a Pearl Session birch when I graduated high school. So there is a definite soft spot for Pearl in my heart.

That all being said, I ended up moving away from Pearl when I realized the sound just wasn't what I was after. I guess I found them lacking character? Someone earier called it sterile. I guess I'd agree with that. A couple years into college I rekindled a love for vintage drums (brought on from the old Slingerland kit I played at lessons growing up) and once I fell into Ludwig it was game over. The only Pearl equipment I still own are those two s-2000 snare stands.... still my favorite stands though.

Now if one of those older four ply + rerings Masters shells fell into my lap, I wouldn't sneeze at that. I did really love those shells.
 

shuffle

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As said by others,Pearl doesnt do much for me except their snares,Sensi's,Dennis Chambers snare,their Utility snares,all talked and could compete with many other brands!
 

langmick

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Great drums, I could never get the toms where I wanted without a rack for some reason. They seem to have a very focused sound, a bit tight, and solid, no warbling or vibrations, you hear the head and the drum.

I use the Eliminator exclusively, and have for years, it is bulletproof and feels so damned good.
 

Elvis

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Now if one of those older four ply + rerings Masters shells fell into my lap, I wouldn't sneeze at that. I did really love those shells.
Pearl brought the maple version of the 4-ply shell back a few years ago.
It's now known as the Masters Maple Reserve.
Of course, you can have one built through the Masterworks program, as well....and not only in Maple. :thumbup:

Elvis
 

Cauldronics

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How did I forget my fiberglass kit? There is no louder bass drum in existence! When you stomp into it, you get every ounce of energy back in volume. Actually the same goes for the toms. The only problem is the floor tom doesn't sound good the second you try to put legs on, or set into a snare basket (I have one with arms that go to 16), or try to set traditionally at all. If you hold it by the rim and give it a whack, it sounds great...

I don't know what to do with that drum. Take it off the kit in favor of a well-behaved 16? Nope. Then you lose the continuity and slightly different character of the fiberglass shells. Nothing else sounds like them.
 

Tornado

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How did I forget my fiberglass kit? There is no louder bass drum in existence! When you stomp into it, you get every ounce of energy back in volume. Actually the same goes for the toms. The only problem is the floor tom doesn't sound good the second you try to put legs on, or set into a snare basket (I have one with arms that go to 16), or try to set traditionally at all. If you hold it by the rim and give it a whack, it sounds great...

I don't know what to do with that drum. Take it off the kit in favor of a well-behaved 16? Nope. Then you lose the continuity and slightly different character of the fiberglass shells. Nothing else sounds like them.
Have you tried the Pearl isolation feet? They are magical.
 

Cauldronics

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Have you tried the Pearl isolation feet? They are magical.
I haven't on that drum because the holes on the brackets only fit the skinny legs that came with the kit. Then again I haven't looked at Pearl's inventory. They might have them in a fitting size.

Another option would be the LBS (little booty shakers) to put some shoes on that drum. I had meant to try them.

That drum might just be anti-floor. I can't figure it out.
 


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