Pearl Masters Studio Birch Shell Reviews 4

I purchased it from Guitar Center for about 1290 dollars. I needed an upgrade from my old Pearl Export five pice because I need something closer to a professional level kit for use primarily in college level jazz bands. I wanted something powerfull enough to excell professional standards yet be easy to control by an intermediate drummer.

The first thing I noticed was the new opti-mount system. They really secure the drum in place and are probably the closest resonance mounting systems come to the stability of a good old fashion shell mount system. The wood is superb. The grain looks great and is flawless. The finish is mellow, enough to give the drum style while still managing to maintain the natural beauty of the wood. The non-slip lugs and sharp bearing edge make tuning a breeze. I bought some single-ply Remo coated heads and slapped them on and was producing superb jazz sounds right away. The bass drum has a wonderfu l deep, punchy sound. I can feel it in my chest when I play it. As far as hardware is concerned, the 800w double braced stands are very sturdy and durable and fairly light weight for its class. The mastercast hoops are very attractive and allow for very consistant contact between the head and the drum. The bass drum tuning lugs have rubber rim contacts wich enable very loose tuning with out pesky rattling of the lugs. Birch makes tuning a brease in that it can naturally produce rich low and high tones with no special tuning.

The uni-lock tom arm system does not support much more weight than a 14" tom. The arms are impractically long and comprimise the ability to position the toms. The extra length in the arms gives extra leverage makeing them even more suseptable to slipping. The cymbal stands have a tendancy to loosen up around the legs. The rivets begin to rattle making recording out of the question. My double pedal did not fit the angle that the bass drum rim was when propped up. This causes unwanted stress on the nice wooden bass drum hoops. I fixed this by simply bending my pedal foundation plate.

Regardless of the rattle, the stands continue to maintain their durability. The uni-lock is sturdy untill it becomes stressed. Then it becomes useless. The drums are very sturdy however. Pearl ought not pride itself on its basic hardware in that it is only average. The pedal is fantastic. It has withstood two-three hours of use a day and still works as well as it did when it was new out of the box.

Overall, the drums are super. They are a bargain and are comperable to high end DW drums. Very superb drums. The hardware is ideal for road use in that it will take a hard beating. The drums are worth the money and then some but a person might want to look into a better mounting system such as Tama or DW. I highly recomend them however.

Jonathan Hess rated this unit 4 on 2001-12-17.

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