I'm in love!!!

AustinFitz

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After a bad band breakup, and a 4 year hiatus from drumming I'm finally getting back into playing! I hadn't owned a kit in 4 years, so after deciding to get back into it I went shopping for a decent used kit. I was on a pretty tight budget, but managed to find something WAY beyond my expectations!

I ended up with this beautiful '80-'81 Pearl G-series Big Beat kit in walnut lacquer finish with 8 ply 6mm maple shells, a 6.514" late '70s Pearl COB Jupiter snare, 14" Paiste 2002 Sound Edge hi hats, a 21" Sabian AA Dry Ride, an 18" Sabian B8 Pro Medium Crash, a nice Tama bass drum pedal, and all of the various Pearl hardware pictured.

I think I got a pretty good deal on them too! They're the exact sizes and configuration I really wanted but didn't think I'd be able to find in my price range, to me they're drop dead gorgeous, and the biggest thing... THE SOUND!!! OMG THESE THINGS SOUND INCREDIBLE!!!

Being Pearl's top of the line shells at the time I figured they would sound good, but I was not expecting this!!! I was already really excited to start playing again, but finding this kit has put me over the moon! Playing is so much more fun when your kit gives you a hard-on lol!

Here are a few pics of them, and a shot from the 1980 Pearl catalog that lists the sizes. Please excuse the dirt and grime. They're still fresh out of the pawn shop I found them in. I've started cleaning them 1 at a time in between my new band's practices, and so far I've only done the 13" and 14" rack toms.













 

Fat Drummer

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WOW, those are in amazing condition! Congratulations on the wonderful find and glad your back behind the kit playing again! Thanks for sharing the photos, were proud for you.

Ward
 

AustinFitz

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Thanks guys! Yeah I'm still pinching myself thinking I'm dreaming! I don't think I could have found a more perfect kit for myself even if I would have had more money to spend. These really just fit both my personality, and the type of music I play. (mostly '70s style classic rock).

I know prices are relative to location, but for where I am in southeastern Louisiana I got a great deal on them! I walked out of the pawn shop with the drums, cymbals, hardware, pedal, throne, everything pictured for $600.
 

davezedlee

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definitely a classic Pearl look, before they started to get all crazy with their hardware shapes and 2 million different badges and fonts

congrats
 

AustinFitz

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Thanks! I'm really digging them. I felt a little lacking in the cymbal department though, and I spent everything I had getting the kit, so I decided to pull out a couple of old broken cymbals that I've had for years and try my hand at salvaging them.

I was pleasantly surprised by the results! Both actually sound really nice now, and the 16" Paper Thin which used to be my crash years ago has actually become my favorite crash once again!

Unfortunately I didn't take any before pics because I wasn't really expecting to end up with anything worth posting about.





 

icetech

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$600.. i am jealous, that kit is beautiful what a bargin :)
 

Tama CW

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As good as anything from that period regardless of manufacturer. You underpaid for the drums and got cymbals and hardware for free. Well done. Pawn shops do this from time to time. Most times they are asking over normal retail...lol. I find that a lot of sellers are confused on exactly what they have with 1980's higher end drums lines. A lot of nice deals out there in 1970's to mid-1990's drums.

I love those large sizes too. 13/14/16/18/24 and 14x6.5 free floating/super-sensitive metal snare. Killer.
 

AustinFitz

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I couldn't hand the cash over fast enough haha! They were originally asking $699 and had been advertising them on Craigslist which is where I saw them. Apparently they had been sitting there for months though, so the owner was willing to negotiate. That's how I got him down to $600 total which was every penny I had to spend on drums.

I don't think he really knew they were high end drums, and probably figured they were just some Pearl Exports or something. I agree that in my experience pawn shops are usually overpriced. I guess every once and a while they don't know what they have so they just slap a price on it.
 

edge

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I picked up one of those kits last year, Sold my Tama Star Maple after playing these, they just sounded AND felt better
 

AustinFitz

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Thanks!!! They've definitely gone to a good home. They'll be very well taken care of with me. I have no intention of ever selling them! I too love the sizes, although I really wouldn't have minded some power toms either. I've always thought they look cool lol.

I'm still in awe of the sound of this kit though, and as mentioned above they just FEEL really good to play as well. I'm not sure what it is, or exactly how to describe it, but there's just something special about this kit. It really speaks to me!

I've only had it for a short time and I've already gotten major compliments on the sound from everyone who's heard them. One of my drummer friends fell in love with the sound so much so that he said it was going to be hard to look at his '74 Rogers kit the same way again after playing the Pearls.
 

Big Beat

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Congrats! Excellent deal!

Pearl's higher-end lines from that era are very underrated and yes, a lot of people confuse them with the cheaper Exports. They look very similar if you don't know about shell composition and the various models in Pearl's lineup. Those lugs are are partly to blame, too. They are quality units on the Pearls, but there were a zillion crappy Taiwan knock-offs produced later in the 1980s that continue to cheapen the originals in retrospect.

I'm currently selling a set of c. 1985 DLX's that are also verynice high-end Pearls, and a few potential buyers have been surprised that they aren't priced in the same range as an Export set like they expected

http://www.drumforum.org/index.php?/topic/120468-for-sale-vintage-c-1985-pearl-professional-dlx-drum-set/
 

AustinFitz

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Thanks! Yeah these things are definitely no Exports haha! The high gloss lacquer finished G-series shells were Pearl's top of the line at that time. This kit actually retailed for just under $2k back in the early '80s!!! I've had them for a little over a month now and I still can't walk past them without grinning from ear to ear, and to play them makes me giggle like a little school boy lol. I know I keep repeating myself, but I just love the way they play!

I know a lot of people hate on the lugs and the tom mounts, but I honestly don't have a complaint on either one. As you said the actual Pearl lugs are very well made, and personally I happen to like the way they look. As far as the toms arms they're solid, extremely adjustable, and with a little tuning I easily got both the rack toms sing beautifully even with Pinstripes on them! I was considering converting them to some type of suspension mounts at first, but after playing them for a little while I think I'm more than happy with the shell mounts. I don't really mind that they're underrated either. I've always liked an underdog lol.

Your kit is beautiful, and if it were me I'd be keeping them, but I wish you the best of luck with the sale! They're worth every bit of what you're asking and then some in my opinion! I'm now a HUGE fan of high end '80s Pearl stuff, and would recommend anyone who doubts them to find some and play them for yourself! Being high end drums from a major manufacturer I expected them to sound good, but I was totally blown away by mine!!!
 

AustinFitz

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I really don't think I could have found another kit that fits me as perfectly as this one does. It's everything I wanted and so much more! This lacquer finish is going to be gorgeous once I get them all cleaned up. Hell, they're beautiful even dirty!

 

AustinFitz

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Here's another pic of them all set up at a friend's house for a jam session. Still dirty of course. I've been playing WAY more than cleaning. I'll get there though!

 

retrosonic

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Austin: You got a Great deal, and those Maple shells must sound fabulous....Congrats!
 

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