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

MrDrums2112

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Great drums. I started out, like many here, on a Pearl Export kit in the 80s. I played the heck out of those for many years. Their mounting hardware does not bother me.
 

Furious Styles

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I think the tube-style mounting hardware looked ridiculous in the power time era, but take a 20 or 22" bass drum with shallower mounted toms and you get a nice clean, efficient flow with the shorter tube arms. That Ocean Sparkle MMX kit posted earlier is a good example. If I were ever in the position to put together (and properly utilize) a Neil Peart style kit with double bass and 3 up, I could totally see going the Pearl route since I don't like the look of racks at all.

Oh yeah, I have a 12/15/20 MMX kit with the 6.5" snare and a brass 5.5x13 Sensitone snare. All killer drums.
 

funkypoodle

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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
Stewart, also my first kit & family name, was one of the stencil names used by both Pearl & Star. Obviously only one of the two is made with "World's Supreme Quality". :icon_e_biggrin:
 

funkypoodle

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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.
This is a very good point! My brother works as a professional backliner in some of the biggest outdoor festivals in North America & I have a few friends signed to Pearl who tour extensively in Europe. Pearl, to my knowledge, do a great job with their artists worldwide. Gretsch seem to drop the ball, at least on the Canadian side of the border. My brother has had to drive to NY state to get rental kits for the likes of Cindy Blackman, among others.
 

ncdrumr

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Pearl makes a lot of great drums. I've always loved the tom sound that Gary Husband got on his instructional VHS. The drums were thin Masterworks maple w/rings, in traditional sizes. The sound was big, yet crisp, like Simon Phillips' tom sound. The only issue I have with Pearl (and I'm sure this has been addressed in the thread already) is those pipe tom arms. They have to go. It's time.
 

bob

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i had a set of pearl mlx in the early 90's , came with a 6.5x14 free floater brass snare
drums sounded ok , the snare was killer i like their stands but i don't like the bass drum mount
 

drummingbulldog

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Those pipe tom holders and the tom mount on the kick always bothered me aesthetically. They work well though if you don't bend them. My buddy used to have a masters extra maple kit & his mounted floor toms were hard to get a low fundamental pitch out of. I had Yamaha Maple Customs in the same sizes and they were plenty huge. His kick & smaller toms were great. The snare was fantastic. My kick on my MC kit was weird in that same way. Tried different heads. Tuning. Sold that MC kit because of that boxey crappy kick drum.

We tried different heads on his floor toms. Same thing. Could not get them sounding great ever. I have played other Pearl kits that sounded fine on the floor tom spectrum. Maybe just a case of bad shells? Idk.
 

troutstudio

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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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Pearl were one of the first Japanese drum makers to see USA maple as a benchmark. The Rogers XP8 as the future. I don’t think they ever lost their attraction to it. They’re not perfect drums. They have a ton of character. Great maple drums. Apart from the mahogany and birch outings which are all superb. Great story and enjoy that kit. PK
 

NYFrank

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Personally, I think Brand these days is pretty unimportant. All the companies are making very good kits. It gets down to choosing the right combo of price point, shell wood, shell sizes, and wrap or finish, not Brand.
 

Bri6366

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Personally, I think Brand these days is pretty unimportant. All the companies are making very good kits. It gets down to choosing the right combo of price point, shell wood, shell sizes, and wrap or finish, not Brand.
Given that Pearl will be around in thirty years, their lifetime warranty on their shells isn't just a slogan or marketing BS. Granted, there are several other drum manufacturers that will be around in thirty years as well, but another twenty or thirty that won't.
 

Jazzhead

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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.
Pearl has so many endorsers and some big big names played and continue to play Pearl drums, I am pretty sure their drums didn’t and don’t sound dead, maybe you need to keep trying lol
 

Jazzhead

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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.
Same thing can be said about Yamaha’s logo, not only they use it on drums but also on so many other things they make, I think Pearl’s logo is waaaay better. I also think 70’s Pearl logo is nicer than the 60’s one which looks like someone wanted to be so creative in 5 minutes. I think pearl gets the negative vibe from some folks because they are very popular in the entry level market that you see them everywhere so you kind of have the same perspective when you see their $5k kits which are top notch.
I don’t own any pearl drum set or snare drums at the moment but I’d take Pearl over so many other brands.
 

Jazzhead

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I own mostly Gretsch but I picked up a small 1969 Pearl Valencia shellpack a few years ago. I put new heads on it and they tuned up nice....sound amazing actually. I am downsizing my drum collection and recently sold the Pearl. 20/12/14 with matching finish 5.5x14 snare. I'll miss em. I do use Pearl cymbal, hats, and snare stands. I think they're top notch...the best I've found.
I am going to buy their new bass pedal and hihat stand, I like their new lightweight design.
 

Elvis

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Personally, I think Brand these days is pretty unimportant. All the companies are making very good kits. It gets down to choosing the right combo of price point, shell wood, shell sizes, and wrap or finish, not Brand.
Even more to the point, the less expensive examples of any particular brand yields a more well built drum these days, compared to what was available in that "class" 25-30 years ago.
So these days, you actually can get more drum for less money.

Elvis
 

Elvis

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Pearl has so many endorsers and some big big names played and continue to play Pearl drums, I am pretty sure their drums didn’t and don’t sound dead, maybe you need to keep trying lol
Could also be he got a blem. What we used to call a "Monday Morning..." or "Friday afternoon..." drum.
Regardless, the drum left a bad impression on him, so he'll probably always equate "bad" to "Pearl" and that's the real unfortunate outcome here, because now not only does he think that, he's also going to tell all his friends.

Elvis
 

michaelocalypse

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I've never been a fan of Pearl, mostly because of the tom arms. That peeve goes away if it's a 4-piece.
I've been told that they're made in a way that the resonant head is supposed to be tuned a little tighter. I usually tune pretty loose on both sides, so maybe that's why I haven't gotten a sound I like from them. (user error)

That being said, they look great and sound good when other people play them, so I've got no real problem with them.
 

Seb77

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I've been told that they're made in a way that the resonant head is supposed to be tuned a little tighter.
Which ones? With all the different shells they've come up with, not to mention hoops, edges, mounting systems etc., all these drums don't have much in common except for the Pearl name. Build quality maybe, but certainly not a particular tuning scheme.
 

michaelocalypse

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Which ones? With all the different shells they've come up with, not to mention hoops, edges, mounting systems etc., all these drums don't have much in common except for the Pearl name. Build quality maybe, but certainly not a particular tuning scheme.
I couldn't tell you. I've mostly had experience with the lower end stuff, and the person who told me had more experience with nicer stuff. Other than Export or Forum, I'm not real familiar with their line names. The tom arms with the larger deterrent for me. Again, it was something I was told. I never had luck tuning their drums the way I prefer to tune. I've had drums made by someone who supplied shells for Pearl and got along well enough with those. Could be true, could be coincidence, or it could be that I only ever used ones that were dropped out of a moving minivan after being soaked in Mountain Dew during a ska band practice.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I've had drums made by someone who supplied shells for Pearl and got along well enough with those. Could be true, could be coincidence, or it could be that I only ever used ones that were dropped out of a moving minivan after being soaked in Mountain Dew during a ska band practice.

Whoa hold on here . Who supposedly makes shells for Pearl ? Pearl is one of the few manufacturers that makes shells in house . This is the first I have ever heard of Pearl farming out shell production . Who did you hear this from ?
 

drummingbulldog

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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!

View attachment 453523 View attachment 453524 View attachment 453525 View attachment 453526 View attachment 453527
Is that a Jupiter snare drum?
 


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