Pearl Reference Series Drums Reviews 5

I've played drums for over 20 years. I've played with a few bands, but I am currently playing for hobby. My taste in music varies from classic/prog rock to hard rock to jazz and fusion.

I was looking for a new professional quality set. I tried various brands and models. I tried the Pearl Reference series at a local Guitar Center and loved the look and sound. The kit is a six piece (10,12,14F,16F,22 - I purchased the snare separate)and I paid about $3450 for the drums.

The Pearl Reference series has the excellent vintage sound that I love in drums. The resonance is not excessive like some kits. The drums have the perfect amount of decay and a fantastic, smooth tone. They are extremely easy to tune and the stock heads (Remo Ambassadors) are perfect. The bass drum is almost cavernous sounding. It doesn't sound like any other bass drum out there (in fact I'm still getting used to it). The appearance of the drums is spectacular. I purchased the Granite Sparkle lacquer and it is just stunning to see. I can stare at them for hours. The swivel lugs and other attention to detail really make this kit shine. The chrome rounded OptiMount Tom holders definitely look better than Pearl's previous OptiMount system.

This kit was pretty expensive, although not that out of line with other high end kits. The sound and appearance makes it all worth it. The drums are considerably heavier than other brands due to the thicker shells and heavy duty hardware (lugs, mounts). However, the bass drum was not as heavy as I had expected from some other reviews I read. Other than that, I can't gush enough about this's great.

If you are looking into this kit, you are probably already familiar with Pearl's departure from the pure wood formula for drums. The only pure wood drum is the 12" tom. It is six plies of maple. The 10" tom is 4 ply maple with 2 inner birch plies. The floor toms are 4 ply maple with 2 inner African Mahogany plies and the bass drum has 2 exterior maple plies with 6 inner Mahogany plies. The bearing edges on the 10"/12" toms are rounded 45 degree and the floor toms and bass drum are fully rounded bearing edges. These bearing edges definitely help give the drums the smooth shorter decay and vintage tone. The lugs have swivel joints to allow for different hoop styles and sizes and they also make it much easier for changing the bass drum head. You don't have to unscrew the claw -rods the whole way to change the head. Again the finish and details are beautiful.

I may sound like a walking ad for Pearl, but I'm not. All the high end kits I looked at were excellent drums (Yamaha, DW, Tama). I just really love the sound and look of these drums. They are the most acoustically smooth sounding drums I have heard. Their tone is just awesome. If you're looking high end, you may want to check these babies out.

cornabis rated this unit 5 on 2005-11-27.

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