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

Tom Holder

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I remember Pearl drums from the old days (70's) when they were humble, cheap knock-offs and cost $200 for a full 4-piece kit. Of course, they sold like Coney Island hot dogs and they invested their profits wisely and GREATLY improved their products. Tama did the same. In the 90's, I bought a nice vintage Slingerland kit that I was so proud-of... I played a show with another drummer who was using a Pearl Export set. I was so pissed-off when I heard those cheap Pearl drums... they sounded WAY better than my Slingerlands that I'd spent so much money on. Now... I know it could have been the heads, mic-ing, etc. There are a million variables. But I'd played a Pearl Export kit before, in a rehearsal studio. Those drums are amazing. It is possible to make them sound freakin' amazing! And they're like, the cheapest thing out there! I would advise ANY young drummer out there with a limited budget to consider Pearl Exports.
 

Han

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I would simply ask you to go to your local drum shop and ask someone who works there to play 3 or 4 kits tuned about the same with the same heads.
Don't look to see what brand they are playing and then pick the one you like best. Next, sit at each kit and play it. That should be enough to tell you which
one you prefer.
 

TorchmanRG

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I think Pearl has a negative stigma (at least with some folks) that they don't deserve. I had an early 2000's Masters MRX kit. They were great drums. I bought them because they were closest thing the Yamaha gold lug Maple Customs that cost too much new and were impossible to find used at that time. When I finally landed a set of the Yamahas, I realized that the Pearl set sounded just as good.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Mmm, Pearl is a turn-off for me. It weird, it’s hard to say why. It seems that every Pearl fan either got started on Pearl or idolized a Pearl player... I don’t see anyone morphing into a Pearl fan later in life.

Part of it is the logo - they need some serious help in the design dept. That logo is just, idk, generic. No style. Last cool Pearl logo was like 1967. Also, no logo change from line to line - buy the cheapest drum or the top of the line and you get the same blue bubbly bullshite puffy Pearl ugliness. Can’t do it.

There’s a kinda ugh feeling I get from Pearl. I can’t say they’re bad or anything, the Masters this and that lines sound great, they make some cool snares. They just all have a Walmarty something to them. All their finishes look somehow cheap, like a $20 hooker on a Tuesday night.

In the (American) biker world, nobody rides Kawasaki. They’re not terrible, they’re just not the thing to do. You ride a Suzuki, Yamaha, or Honda. Period. Pearl has ALWAYS struck me as the Kawasaki of drums - nothing wrong per se, but no thanks. Kawis are like big girls - fun to ride, but you don’t want your buddies to see you on one.
 

Houndog

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Pearl, makes good hardware, and the very best low volume drum heads.
However, I never liked their drums.. Owned them and played them .... they all sounded dead ... near zero sustain, and their head tone rings off flat.... They were very difficult to get tuned and and don't retain their tuning. I continued to try them through the years, finding them to be identical to my initial reaction.
I think they experimented early on with designs that pleased recording engineers, which is the exact opposite of the design necessary for live play.
I never recommend Pearl drums, even through I have been asked many times over the decades. I always tell folks to go play them and compare them to other drum manufacturers products.
I call BS , you don’t know what you are doing if this is your determination.
 

Houndog

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Mmm, Pearl is a turn-off for me. It weird, it’s hard to say why. It seems that every Pearl fan either got started on Pearl or idolized a Pearl player... I don’t see anyone morphing into a Pearl fan later in life.

Part of it is the logo - they need some serious help in the design dept. That logo is just, idk, generic. No style. Last cool Pearl logo was like 1967. Also, no logo change from line to line - buy the cheapest drum or the top of the line and you get the same blue bubbly bullshite puffy Pearl ugliness. Can’t do it.

There’s a kinda ugh feeling I get from Pearl. I can’t say they’re bad or anything, the Masters this and that lines sound great, they make some cool snares. They just all have a Walmarty something to them. All their finishes look somehow cheap, like a $20 hooker on a Tuesday night.

In the (American) biker world, nobody rides Kawasaki. They’re not terrible, they’re just not the thing to do. You ride a Suzuki, Yamaha, or Honda. Period. Pearl has ALWAYS struck me as the Kawasaki of drums - nothing wrong per se, but no thanks. Kawis are like big girls - fun to ride, but you don’t want your buddies to see you on one.
I don’t know what “ biker world “ you are in . But that is nonsense . Kawasaki is hugely popular .
 

Seb77

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It seems more of a statement about yourself to not like Pearl than a stament about the drums.
Most major Pearl players didn't start out playing them. Take Billy Hart, he's been with them for a long time, but started out way before the company even existed.
 

Elvis

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I still have my forst set of drums , from about 1966. They are " Stewarts" . I looked them up and found out that that was Pearl before they changed their name.
One of several "brands" made at the Pearl factory back in the 1960's.
I had set of Stewart's back in the 90's. Good sounding drum. Wish I still had them.

Elvis
 

Drumbumcrumb

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I don’t know what “ biker world “ you are in . But that is nonsense . Kawasaki is hugely popular .
I’m in the US, in the Japanese sport bike world. Kawasaki IS hugely popular, but mostly in the rest of the world. In the US, the Ninja 250 is the Kawi model that sells in big numbers. Not a bikers bike in the US, it’s a first bike or a ‘learning’ bike. It’s the best selling bike in history worldwide, but we have a size thing here, so it doesn’t enter into a US sport biker discussion. I don’t expect to convince a Kawi guy, but in the sport bike world there’s CBR, R6/1, GSXR... and then there’s Kawasaki. Thats demonstrable. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a Kawi guy, I’m saying it’s a minority preference, that’s all.

In overall units sold, Kawasaki is still right near the bottom in the US, (beating out ONLY Suzuki) and that’s with selling a sheeet-ton of Ninja 250s. Yamaha and Honda still sell double the units. Now - If you narrow it down to just the type R bikes, the US Kawasaki market share is nonexistent as compared to the big 3 competitors.

All way OT, so I’ll leave it at that!
 

Elvis

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I’m in the US, in the Japanese sport bike world. Kawasaki IS hugely popular, but mostly in the rest of the world. In the US, the Ninja 250 is the Kawi model that sells in big numbers. Not a bikers bike in the US, it’s a first bike or a ‘learning’ bike. It’s the best selling bike in history worldwide, but we have a size thing here, so it doesn’t enter into a US sport biker discussion. I don’t expect to convince a Kawi guy, but in the sport bike world there’s CBR, R6/1, GSXR... and then there’s Kawasaki. Thats demonstrable. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a Kawi guy, I’m saying it’s a minority preference, that’s all.

In overall units sold, Kawasaki is still right near the bottom in the US, (beating out ONLY Suzuki) and that’s with selling a sheeet-ton of Ninja 250s. Yamaha and Honda still sell double the units. Now - If you narrow it down to just the type R bikes, the US Kawasaki market share is nonexistent as compared to the big 3 competitors.

All way OT, so I’ll leave it at that!
I'm a TU250X fan, myself.
I think it would be a fun work vehicle or something to tool around the countryside on, on a lazy Sunday. =)

Elvis
 

ToBBa

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I'm also one of those guys who dislike Pearl mostly for stupid reasons. I like their hw but their drums do nothing for me.

I've played on a lot of pearl kits over the years and they all did their job well.
One if my bands used a shared rehearsal space with backline for over a year.
The kit was a mid 90's session series and it sounded Great.

But they have always felt like a very soul-less generic brand to me. They have no mojo, i almost feel like a cyborg when playing pearl.
I know it sounds stupid and that instruments don't have a soul but thats how i feel.

And then there is the plumber tube tom mounts... They really make me cringe.

And since i'm a Premier guy, i realy hate them for this:
pearl_square_badge_large.jpg


But as i said, their hw is rock solid and very well engenered.
I use the p2000 eliminator as my go to pedal, and have done so the last 16years.
 

J_Boomy

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There is a lot of drum brand psychology in this thread :D
I was smiling a lot because I recognize myself in a lot of your stories.
….and sometimes it is just reversed.

My first set was a mixed set (Premier, Pearl, TAMA, Maxwin) but that set does not count.
For my first real purchase there was only three different options in the beginner’s price segment.
- Pearl Export
- Tama Rockstar
- Yamaha (was it called V something??)

I knew about Ludwig of course but the catalog I got at the time in Sweden directly put me off.
I still have the catalog and pulled it out some weeks ago and it is still just as dreadful (black and white pictures for starters). I guess the 90´s was not a big era for Ludwig.

A lot of my favorite drummers at the time used Pearl so I got a brand new Pearl Export.
I loved that set and later automatically, without bench marking, upgraded to a beat up Pearl MLX which I still use.

Some of you loved TAMA and could never think of sitting behind a Pearl set.
I think exactly the same about TAMA and for no logical reason. There is just something that happens with me when I see a TAMA logo that isn’t good.

But my love for Pearl has slowly faded over the years. I don’t hate them, they are still great sounding drums but the mojo as some of you said is not there for me anymore.
The only logical explanation I can find is that now a days a lot of the drummers I listen to use American brands like Ludwig or Gretsch.

So right now, I am trying to endure the long painful wait for a brand-new Ludwig Classic Maple set to arrive :D

To summarize I guess you can call me a poser but I certainly get influenced a lot by what other artists uses.
I totally believe in the vibe thing but it is very subjective and hard to describe or explain.
When you think about it, it is kind of ridiculous.
Sound vise I really think you can use whatever brand and Pearl is one of them.

While my Pearl-vibe has gone down I guess it is going up for somebody else.
……I will continue to use Pearl hardware though, because it is just damn excellent ;)
 
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drummingbulldog

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Pearl makes good drums. I love their snare drums. I've never owned Pearl drum sets but if they offered me an endorsement I would happily accept. One thing about Pearl & Yamaha that I read time & time again over the years is that the company is user friendly. What I mean is if you have a gig in L.A. they're there. You have a gig in Germany, they're there etc. Do they make the best sounding stuff? I don't know. I love Gretsch but I wouldn't count on them if I needed a kit overnight. Now I could be wrong but I don't think so. Pearl always had great distribution and was popular because they made millions of exports. Pearl and Tama are almost singly responsible for the beginner & midline kits being so much better made than 20-30 years ago.
 

glaze148

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I recently picked up this Masters Custom MMX Kit in a beautiful color.
I knew nothing about Pearl. It was an impulse buy in a drum shop.
I really don’t know why I bought them, as I typically go for 4 pc bop kits, by Slingerland, Gretch or Ludwig.
I guess I was looking for a more modern sound for a change and a 10” tom which I’ve never owned. They do supply that contemporary sound. It’s also fun for me to play 2 up for some new inspiration. I’m now a believer about the snares. It sounds really good.
They are really beautifully made, and have unusual satin dye cast rims.
 

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tecomaldonado

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My first kit was a Pearl, I have a soft spot for this brand, Whenever I see that logo it puts a smile on my face.

With all these manufacturers on the market, where do they stand today? I know they have well-known endorsers and ALL of their models are made in Taiwan, their hardware is probably one of the better ones. What do you think of Pearl drums? Would you pick up a modern Pearl kit?
Looking at their website, the Masters Maple Complete seems to be a great choice for a new kit and a 20/14/12 is $1400 brand new.
Why would someone pick Pearl over Yamaha, Gretsch, or Ludwig?
Although I’d say all those brands are “the same”, I once bought a crappy, used, cheapass entry level Pearl kit for a gig. The floor tom was even off round...and it sounded amazing. I couldn’t believe it and it even made me sad to leave it behind...never heard an entry level kit sound that well. Their top level stuff is quite nice, so why not?
 

Furious Styles

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I recently picked up this Masters Custom MMX Kit in a beautiful color.
I knew nothing about Pearl. It was an impulse buy in a drum shop.
I really don’t know why I bought them, as I typically go for 4 pc bop kits, by Slingerland, Gretch or Ludwig.
I guess I was looking for a more modern sound for a change and a 10” tom which I’ve never owned. They do supply that contemporary sound. It’s also fun for me to play 2 up for some new inspiration. I’m now a believer about the snares. It sounds really good.
They are really beautifully made, and have unusual satin dye cast rims.
Nice. That's a sweet little kit. Ocean Sparkle is probably my favorite Pearl finish. Looks great with the satin hardware, too.

I have a 12/15/20 MMX kit in Emerald Mist. ;)
 

AustinFitz

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I've been playing drums for over 20 years, and have played all kinds of different kits both new and old. Throughout that time I never really paid much attention to Pearl, though I was definitely aware of them. That all changed the day I found this kit in a pawn shop though... Since then I have fallen so deeply in love with these drums that I can't help but sing praise for the brand. It's an older kit, but it's the best sounding kit I've ever played! It's not just the sound though. The sizes, the configuration, the feel, the hardware, the look, the finish... Absolutely everything about it is just perfect in my opinion! The gearless 900 series hardware is definitely one of my favorite features.

It's a 1980 Pearl G-Series Maple shell Big Beat outfit in high gloss Walnut lacquer, and a 14×6.5" chrome over brass Jupiter snare. The shells are 8 ply Maple, no re-rings, only 6mm thick, and have beautifully rounded over 45 degree bearing edges. For me they just make the drum sounds I've had in my head for years into reality!

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