Photos of my 1973 Pearl fiberglass drum kit.

Too Many Drums - NAH!

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My first drum set, purchased used in 1976, was exactly like the one I have photos of here. It was a 1973 Pearl fiberglass 22/12/13/16. I think 1973 may have been the first year for this shell type. Like most everyone on DFO, I foolishly sold my first kit in about 1995. Since then, I've grown more and more nostalgic and decided to either get my original kit back from the person who has it now or to find and purchase another similar kit.

I contacted the man I originally sold them to, and he still has them. Since he still gigs with them and really loves their sound, I had to go to plan "B". Finding vintage drums is so much easier now-a-days with internet forums, auction sites, etc. I decided to find an original kit in the color mine was. Originally, my kit was "Pure White", but over time the white wrap Pearl used during this time period would mellow to this beautiful oyster color, like my new kit you see here.

About a year into my search, this kit appeared on eBay. The original owner was selling his huge nine piece Pearl double bass set, colloquially known as "The Ed Shaughnessy" configuration. Pearl officially called it the "Pearl Double 9". This set had all the sizes I needed to replicate my first drum set from nearly four decades ago and it also came with all the original pedals and stands. The icing on the cake was the gorgeous 6.5x14 COB snare.

I got the kit, kept the sizes I wanted, and sold the rest of the drums, along with a matching orphan 16x16 floor tom, to re-coop some of my money. The remaining drums, their chrome trim, the pedals and stands were all very nice, cleaning up with minimal effort. All new Remo heads finished it off.

During my search, I also located a 16x18 floor tom and a 12x14 rack tom, both wraps having mellowed to match the rest of the kit. I now have a 22/12/13/14/16/18 kit where all the wraps match exactly and a kit that sounds HUGE. Since they're fiberglass, they're quite light but very durable.

Sitting behind this kit now takes me back to 1976, when times were much simpler - at least they were for me! Do you remember your first drum set? Do you still have it? Let me know.
 

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AaronLatos

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That's super cool! Pearl's old synthetic shell drums are total workhorses. I played my '72 phenolic 13/16/22 gold(tiger) oyster pearl kit tonight. I bought them looking for a cheap, durable beater but have really fallen for their tone.

So cool that you found a kit like your first! Enjoy those.
 

Fayray

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Really nice looking kit and fantastic photos! I'm just working on a Pearl Crystal Beat kit from the same period and I'll be happy if it looks half as good as yours when I'm finished
 

FloydZKing

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Sweet set. I'm also having a great time right now with some Pearl stuff of that era, a President 20/13/16 and some fiberglass concert toms. Pearl in the 70s was awesome.

Something you must try :

Crank the heads on your fiberglass 16x16 as if to seat a new set. CRANK 'em up there and have a go with the tom in front. It's like having a bloody tympani for a rack tom. It doesn't choke a bit, it just screams at high tension. You really must try it, it's quite remarkable..
 

Rik_Everglade

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Yup. My Pearl Fiberglass drums were sent through hell and back several times. Those shells are among the best ever! Rain, ice, heat...They could handle everything, and I didn't even worry about them. They've got through two rewraps, and are now painted using Guitar Ranch Gold-top Gold. So now they have that delicate element to them, but I can always redo anything about them. All the lug spacing matches Pearls newer lugs, so I've got the cool BRL bridge lugs, and they look fantastic.
 

DWSlingerland45

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Well....um...my first kit was a 3 PC Gretsch round badge kit 20/12 14 snare no floor Tom. L cymbal mount and gretsch pedal and hh stand. Wrap was white satin flame. I sold it to my drum teacher for 275.00 huge profit because I paid 200.00 for it. Sold because I needed ROCK DRUMS that's right I opened the boxes on a brand new Tama Swingstar in black. If I only knew!! My teacher pulled the wrap off and stained them a turquoise stain w a matte finish and had them tagged at 900.00 in the store window a couple months later. :-(
 

gutenberg

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My 1st kit was a 1968 Kent Champagne Sparkle 3-pc. I sold it to pay for a 1959 Ludwig Blue Sparkle 4-pc. that my father got from an acquaintance. Then traded that towards a 1976 Pearl wood/fiberglass kit 6-pc. in White wrap. That kit got sold to fund a newer Pearl kit in 1980.

I wish I still had ALL of them!

Speaking of which, if anyone comes across a 1959 transition badge blue sparkle kit with 14x22 w/curved disappearing spurs (and probably extra holes) & rail mount, 9x13 tom, and a Slingerland badgeless 16x16 blue sparkle floor tom, that's my old kit, and I'll buy it back!
 

noahJT

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DWSlingerland45 said:
Well....um...my first kit was a 3 PC Gretsch round badge kit 20/12 14 snare no floor Tom. L cymbal mount and gretsch pedal and hh stand. Wrap was white satin flame. I sold it to my drum teacher for 275.00 huge profit because I paid 200.00 for it. Sold because I needed ROCK DRUMS that's right I opened the boxes on a brand new Tama Swingstar in black. If I only knew!! My teacher pulled the wrap off and stained them a turquoise stain w a matte finish and had them tagged at 900.00 in the store window a couple months later. :-(
Your teacher pulled one over on you???? A-hole!
 

DWSlingerland45

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noahJT said:
Well....um...my first kit was a 3 PC Gretsch round badge kit 20/12 14 snare no floor Tom. L cymbal mount and gretsch pedal and hh stand. Wrap was white satin flame. I sold it to my drum teacher for 275.00 huge profit because I paid 200.00 for it. Sold because I needed ROCK DRUMS that's right I opened the boxes on a brand new Tama Swingstar in black. If I only knew!! My teacher pulled the wrap off and stained them a turquoise stain w a matte finish and had them tagged at 900.00 in the store window a couple months later. :-(
Your teacher pulled one over on you???? A-hole!
Not sure he pulled one over on me. I was a kid and HAD to have the new Tamas. He just didn't explain how I was making a mistake....I remember my Dad ok'ing the deal making sure the new drums were suitable etc. The teacher never asked me to sell...they were in drum shop as a potential trade for the Tamas and he asked what I wanted I said 275. The teacher agreed...not sure what the vintage market was back then 80-81 ? Truth be told I never knew I got the wrong end of that deal till I started reading stuff here in DFO! :) Live and learn
 

BennyK

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Drums come and go through my life on a regular basis . Pearl fiberglass ? Wouldn't dream of it !! Mine are 22 22 12 13 15 16 16 and a homeade 14x5 snare, from a concert tom. All black .
 

funkypoodle

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Beautiful fiberglass Pearls!! Love 'em!!!

My first kit was a sparkle-blue Stewart, so would be a snap to find if I felt like it. My second kit, however, was a red 80's Gretsch 20/10/12/14. The 10" tom was 5 or 6" deep, so the lugs were off-set on this drum only. It was a pretty modern sized kit for the 80s! There was a picture of Harvey Mason playing this kit in an ad in Modern Drummer for years. Funny enough I can't seem to find a single pic on the net.
 


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