New member - Pearl Session Studio Select Issue?

Mark K

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Hello fellow drummers - Been lurking and my current issue has me wanting some opinions.
I'm 66 - far from pro level - played in classic rock/oldies bands for over 15 years. I learned rudimental drumming in a drum corps and didn't sit at a kit until I was 40! A guy I worked with wanted to start a band and off the cuff asked me I played an instrument? I told him I played triples in the drum corp and he said he was a drummer but wanted to play the bass guitar. I began my accelerated foray into drum set on Saturdays and after a few months, we were at the local bar and from there it took off and was a great run.

I retired in 2019 and decided to buy a nice kit and try to improve my skills. The Pearls are great drums. They have a wide tuning range and the build quality is excellent. Fast forward to January 2020 and the current pandemic situation: my wife was sent home to work and I built her an office in the room next to my drum room! NO more drumming for me unless she is off shopping, etc. It stinks!

So.... yesterday she goes to visit my daughter and I pulled the sheet off and started running around the kit - man it was great. I decided to give the heads a 1/4 turn on the tension rods to brighten things up a bit and when I looked into the 10" tom I noticed something weird?
The original heads are on the kit - I use American Jazz #4 sticks and am not a heavy hitter so they still have plenty of life in them. I pulled the tom and removed the bottom head and found a Lot of these white spots. I have no idea what the heck it is? None of the other drums have any of the same crap and I can use my fingernail and scrape the spots but have no idea what caused it??? The African Mahogany is beautiful - I don't want to mess with the shell. I called Pearl USA in Nashville and the fellow I spoke to basically said "Oh well - call the dealer".

Has anyone ever seen this in a shell? It's Not mold or mildew and like I said, the heads have never been off until yesterday? Any ideas? I did notice that there are a lot of tiny "holes"- like rain drops on fresh concrete in the shell as well.
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1988fxlr

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If you’re certain its not mold, is there any chance its fine sawdust and you never noticed before or it was down on the heads and got kicked up onto the shell playing? I would clean them off with a very mildly damp rag. Let the shell dry completely reinstall the heads and just check it every now and then. Is there any musty smell inside the drum?

Are the tiny holes just part of the mahogany grain and consistent with the other drums, or possibly tool marks in the veneer?
 

Mark K

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Hello, and thanks for the reply! Not sawdust - it's a waxy white substance and I carefully scratched it off with my thumbnail and actually did attempt to wipe it off at first with a slightly damp rag as you mentioned - no dice! I'm familiar with the grain structure of the mahogany and the "pitting" is round rather than longitudinal as grain would run. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen. What is baffling is that the 10" tom sits right next to the 12" and the 12" is spotless? Notice the light narrow spot between the lug screws at the upper end - it looks like the finish is gone? The kit hasn't moved since set up new and lives under a new cotton king size white sheet. This qualifies as a bona fide mystery! My concern is the future of the shell - it looks and sounds / tunes fine?
 

Square

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Agreed. Mahogany is an open pored wood. So have a look at the other shells and see if the little holes are consistent.

Just read your second post. Okay so it's not the grain... any possibility it is some sort of infestation; worms, beetles?
 

1988fxlr

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Is the interior of the shell finished or raw? If raw try removing a small spot of the white with alcohol somewhere discreet and see if it removes the white or causes any issue
 

1988fxlr

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Hard to make a guess on the holes without looking at it personally but any chance they are tool marks from a planer
 

Mark K

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I removed the bottom head from the 12" after discovering the spots and it's smooth as silk. I've built over 80 all wood and bamboo backed longbows from several wood species and restore bamboo fly rods as well. Aside from drumming, those are my main interests although since retiring I haven't shaved any wood.
 

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cworrick

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any possibility it is some sort of infestation; worms, beetles?

This is my thought as well.
SomeTHING has gotten into your drum. You've kept it covered, so my guess is something that likes it dark as well. Some kind of bug.


Oh, and WELCOME TO THE FORUM! :hello2:
 

Mark K

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You are extremely intuitive! There was a ladybug inside the shell, dead of course, but I dismissed that right away. I said to myself that there is no way one tiny ladybug could have produced that amount of substance? No other drum shows any signs of "funny stuff"?

Thanks for the welcome! Aside from the drums, my cymbals are: Istanbul Mehmet crashes - 18" med. 16" med. 18" med-thin. 1970 UFIP Bravo 22" heavy ride. Paiste Signature sound edge bottom and 60's Zildjian medium top hats.

Thanks to all for the replies!
 

Mark K

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No insect active evidence - the white spots are on the surface - the integrity of the mahogany isn't compromised at all. Just plain Weird!
 

Mark K

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Sorry about the pic. overkill - these were taken a few days after I set things up.
 

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Tommy D

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I wouldnt worry too much. But I'm also crazy so I would probably sand down the interior of the shell with 400 grit paper then apply a coat of boiled linseed oil to it. But that's just me.
 
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Matched Gripper

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Hello, and thanks for the reply! Not sawdust - it's a waxy white substance and I carefully scratched it off with my thumbnail and actually did attempt to wipe it off at first with a slightly damp rag as you mentioned - no dice! I'm familiar with the grain structure of the mahogany and the "pitting" is round rather than longitudinal as grain would run. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen. What is baffling is that the 10" tom sits right next to the 12" and the 12" is spotless? Notice the light narrow spot between the lug screws at the upper end - it looks like the finish is gone? The kit hasn't moved since set up new and lives under a new cotton king size white sheet. This qualifies as a bona fide mystery! My concern is the future of the shell - it looks and sounds / tunes fine?
Return the defective shell for a new one.
 

Mark K

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I sent pics and spoke with the sales person at the shop I bought them from. They're very reputable and I'm waiting to hear back as it was only yesterday afternoon.
 

Redbeard77

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I'd clean off the residue, change the heads (just in case) and see if it comes back. Not much else you can do after contacting the dealer and Pearl.
 

Mark K

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Hoping to hear from the dealer next week. The shells are thin and resonate really well. I'd have to describe the drums as really versatile. They can be tuned just above wrinkle and are fat and warm, and for a 20" kick the Superkick2 batter really packs a punchy thump that has a pure tone. As you come up in tuning the shells start to sing and higher tunings don't choke these. I sold a Masters kit and don't regret it.
Build quality is great and the issue with the mystery spots aside, the drum has zero ill effects. Developed for a "natural EQ" with Birch outer and the Mahogany inner plies seems to be accurate. The black halo finish is cool - changes in lighting almost makes the shells have an illusion of colors flickering.
 

turnerma81

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Pearl has very good customer service in my experience. Hopefully they will help you out through your dealer.

Going back to the 90s the Session series has been one of the best produced by any of the major drum companies and is an exceptional value. Extremely versatile and very recordable. They don't command the respect that the Masters series does but they sound every bit as killer. I have a 2005 Session Studio Birch and will never sell them. I've had Masters Maple (MMX) and Recording Customs but the Sessions have remained. The only drawback is finding matching component drums 17 years removed.

Best of luck on your dilemma.
 


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