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View Full Version : Decade Maple Review and Pics!



Elessar
09-23-2017, 11:28 AM
Hey! I mostly lurk here, but thought I'd post a Decade Maple review for others who might be considering this kit.

To start, I normally play a 6-piece kit from another brand. I love it, but it's somewhat of a hassle to move, and I'm not getting any younger. For the past three years, I've owned a small late 90s Pearl Masters Studio Birch kit as a gigging set. No problems with it as such, but it was HEAVY and I never particularly bonded with the toms. You know how some particular drums sound good only at a specific pitch? I couldn't get the Masters toms to tune to intervals that I particularly liked. They were all too close together.

But enough of the past.

I wanted to purchase just 12", 14", and 20" Decade Maple drums as my gigging kit. However, I found that purchasing the individual drums was something like $25 less expensive than purchasing the 10/12/14/20 shell pack (which also comes with a snare!). Couldn't resist that. I chose Solid Yellow, because who doesn't love Tony Williams? Yes, I know these aren't the sizes he played in his famous Gretsch kit, but they're what I need.

To begin with, I'll say that the whole kit is packaged very conscientiously, with little margin for damage. No over- or under-packaging at all. Mine arrived in perfect shape. There are very small issues with the finish--a couple of the drums have seams that remind me of my first Pearl kit (an '87 MLX). They're not horrendous, but not the smoothest thing I've ever seen. There are one or two SMALL finish imperfections on the drums, and a couple of small cosmetic issues on the metal hoops. My bass drum batter hoop is a slightly different yellow than the rest of the kit. (I've been in touch with Customer Service at the vendor where I ordered these, and hope they can take care of me.) Still, I've never seen a painted finish on a kit in this price range that is applied so well.

I mention these things not to be a nitpicky stick in the mud, but because I know that everyone wants to understand what kind of quality they're getting. Well, let me tell you: it's spectacular!

As a disclaimer, I must say that I haven't used the snare, so this review doesn't cover that part of the kit. I have a couple of old favorites, so I'm going to sell this one even though it matches the kit. I simply don't need any more drums.

The Decade Maple toms are full and resonant, and I love the single-ply heads. That's what I always use, anyhow. I'm probably going to try some Remo CS black dot heads on the kit, because again, who doesn't like Tony Williams? Not problems at all tuning the 6-lug floor tom. (In fact, the whole kit is simple to tune. Bearing edges are true, and every single one of the drums tunes easily.) This 14" floor is deep and resonant without being flappy. The pitches on these drums are gorgeous, and if I had more, I think I could go full-on Terry Bozzio and get a whole melodic scale going.

The Decade Maple bass drum is the best 20" drum I've ever heard or played... and I've owned 10-12 kits (from vintage to modern products) with 20" bass drums. This thing is punchy, FAT, and has a beautiful note. I may not even swap out the batter head on that. I'm not using the pillow, as I PS3 heads are all I put on my bass drum. My resonant head is one that my son painted for me when he was almost 2. It's just a Ludwig-branded coated Ambassador with no PS3 style ring, and it helps add to the breathy fullness of the bass. Plus, it looks stunning with the Solid Yellow finish.

One of the best aspects of all is how lightweight these shells are. They're not cheap or flimsy, mind you, but they won't break your back OR your bank. If you've been thinking about investing in one of these sets, they're clear winners.

therocker
09-23-2017, 05:40 PM
Great review and great pics if a beauty kit. Congrats!

PatrickDC
09-23-2017, 08:21 PM
Drums are instruments and our musician tools. No matter which kit you pick as your next. you are still going to have to go through the effort of learning and knowing your kit for complete command of your playing with in it

dale w miller
09-24-2017, 02:46 AM
Nice review. Where does this fit in regards to Pearl and their other lines?

Mike Foreman
09-24-2017, 05:55 AM
Nice review. Where does this fit in regards to Pearl and their other lines?

I', not sure if I am answering the question you are trying to ask, but as a rule I think you can go down the list of lines on the Pearl web site Products page. As you can see, the Decade Maple line is far down, but it really strikes me as an exceptional value, all things considered.

dale w miller
09-24-2017, 07:47 AM
I', not sure if I am answering the question you are trying to ask, but as a rule I think you can go down the list of lines on the Pearl web site Products page. As you can see, the Decade Maple line is far down, but it really strikes me as an exceptional value, all things considered.

That's it and kind of what I thought. His review was fair, though the details he was criticizing I would just accept. Thanks.

Elessar
09-24-2017, 08:51 AM
Dale, sorry if the tone of my review didn't come through correctly. I used the "nitpicky stick in the mud" comment to indicate that, yes, there are minor cosmetic issues here, but no, they're not deal-breakers. It's just the mismatched bass drum hoop that I hope can be fixed.

Eric
09-24-2017, 09:04 AM
Sweet kit and a great setup too.

dale w miller
09-24-2017, 10:44 AM
Dale, sorry if the tone of my review didn't come through correctly. I used the "nitpicky stick in the mud" comment to indicate that, yes, there are minor cosmetic issues here, but no, they're not deal-breakers. It's just the mismatched bass drum hoop that I hope can be fixed.

No, it was fine. It was a nice review. I just think my reaction may have been, "But what you expect for paying a kit on the much lower scale/nonprofessional kit."

Elessar
06-30-2018, 03:35 PM
I popped on some Remo CS Black Dot batter heads, and got instant Tony Williams tones! They're rumbly and warm while still being focused and punchy. Now all I have to do is work on my chops! Tony's quite a lot to live up to.

As a result of bringing the pitch of my toms up some, I'm using a different snare with the set. I can't stand snare buzz, and I'm too lazy to retune. :-)

RushDrums24
06-30-2018, 04:34 PM
Love that kit, the yellow really suits it.

TMdrums
07-01-2018, 06:43 PM
Nice kit Elessar! Love the TW color! Maybe add some big floor toms in the future to get those thunderous lows Tony's old Gretsch kit use to produce.

Elessar
07-02-2018, 04:37 AM
Nice kit Elessar! Love the TW color! Maybe add some big floor toms in the future to get those thunderous lows Tony's old Gretsch kit use to produce.

Great idea! If the extra floor toms come with roadies and the ability to execute lightning-fast Swiss triplets, I'm in.;)

Yodelling_Sheep
07-02-2018, 04:25 PM
I popped on some Remo CS Black Dot batter heads, and got instant Tony Williams tones! They're rumbly and warm while still being focused and punchy. Now all I have to do is work on my chops! Tony's quite a lot to live up to.

As a result of bringing the pitch of my toms up some, I'm using a different snare with the set. I can't stand snare buzz, and I'm too lazy to retune. :-)

Yes! Love the look of the kit with those heads (amazing quality heads too). Awesome :)

TMdrums
07-02-2018, 07:37 PM
Great idea! If the extra floor toms come with roadies and the ability to execute lightning-fast Swiss triplets, I'm in.;)

That's about right! Love TW's drumming!