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  1. Registered User

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    Default New Reference Pure's First Outing and Head Choices

    Back in August I ordered myself a Reference Pure kit to go with a Masterworks snare drum that I've been dreaming of for a couple of years now. It arrived just before Christmas (Who could ask for better timing, am I right?) which meant it lined up perfectly for me to take it out for a New Years Eve gig. Took a few pictures before we started and thought I'd share them here.

    Sizes are 10 X 8", 12 X 8", 14 X 14" and 20 X 18". My previous kit (read: beginner kit that I started learning on back 15 years ago) was an old rock 12", 13", 16" unit that I mis-measured to have a 22 X 18" kick drum. It was in fact 22 X 16", so while the rest of the drums are all substantially smaller than I'm used to, my new kick is kinda like a cannon, but I can't say I'm complaining .

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    This image I used the 'pro' mode on my phone and I may've slightly over-stressed some saturation, but it's very difficult to capture the right hue, I find. Also looks a bit lighter on my phone than here.

    I play in a small jazz/blues/classic rock outfit and a 20-piece big band, but I've never been a fan of how high jazz toms are usually tuned, preferring a more Tower of Power-esque sound (Think "Sexy Soul") . This has led me to put coated emperors on the 10 and 12" toms and a coated vintage emperor on the floor tom. Resos on the 10 and 12" are ambassadors and the floor tom sports an emperor as its reso. This is still a little imperfect and I suspect I'm going to control dot the floor tom reso in the future - but the tone I've got from this set up is incredible - the 10" in particular - every change I make now is solely to change/control resonance .

    I have to say Pearl have knocked it out of the park with these drums. The build quality is superb and really feels like a premium product without being so over-built that they become impractical. Tuning them is amazing fun because they just want to sing all the time and above anything else they really feel like a musical instrument - something some drum kits (and tuning jobs) lose really quickly, I've found. My one complaint is that they wouldn't gold up my tom arms to match

    I plan on taking some better pictures as I replace the god-awful stands and get some new hardware and cymbals - along with my snare, of course - but that will have to wait a while as I pay off a few more pieces. Just couldn't wait to share what I have already!

  2. Playing since 1976

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    Very nice kit! Is that finish Wine Red?
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  3. Thwunk

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    May 2014
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    Absolutely gorgeous. Nice work
    HHX hats, K crashes, K & Bosphorus rides
    Snares: Yamaha Bamboo Custom 5.5x14 / Ludwig Black Beauty 5x14, COB Supraphonic 6.5x14, Acrolite 5x14 / Pearl Mahogany Classic Limited Edition / Sonor D505
    Pearl Reference Pure (matte walnut) / Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute (plum lacquer)

  4. Registered User

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    Aug 2013
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    Very nice...wish I had the slightly thinner 12" as well. I have a 10x8, 12x9, 14x14 , 20x16....in #335, Black Cherry. Some day like to add a 16x14.

  5. ...A mind like Water...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumming-4-Life View Post
    Very nice kit! Is that finish Wine Red?
    Imagine taking your Masterworks kit to a gig? Haha.
    Owner of two gorgeous Pearl Masters kits. Metal drummer, music and drums for life!

  6. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumming-4-Life View Post
    Very nice kit! Is that finish Wine Red?
    Thanks, and yes it is! I forgot to mention, Wine Red with Gold Hardware. I was worried it would look a bit too opulent, but I feel it's been kept classy, Pearl does a good job with the gold.
    The finish is amazing too, I find it really comes alive outdoors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelling_Sheep View Post
    Absolutely gorgeous. Nice work
    Thanks, YS! I love it

    Quote Originally Posted by notoriousRJD View Post
    Very nice...wish I had the slightly thinner 12" as well. I have a 10x8, 12x9, 14x14 , 20x16....in #335, Black Cherry. Some day like to add a 16x14.
    Do you mean thinner shells or shorter depth? I'm still in two minds about the 12 X 8, I love having the two toms set up at the same height so easily and think they look great, but there is a difference in the way the two drums resonate. It's minor, but I'm a bit manic about these sort of things. I plan on experimenting with different reso heads on the 12" to see if I can give it some more extension - in the same way that I've killed some with the emperor on my 14 X 14".
    Out of interest, why would you go 16 X 14" if you've been going for deeper toms and gone square for your 14? Aesthetics? I'm considering it myself, but haven't made up my mind yet. Plan on getting an 8 X 8" sometime in 2018 to complete the top.

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Sentiment View Post
    Imagine taking your Masterworks kit to a gig? Haha.
    I was so paranoid about scratching or marking this kit that I ordered Protection Rackets AAA series bags/cases from the UK (I'm in Australia). Only 2 arrived in time so I re-boxed the other two and took them in as brand new. Don't yet have a drumming mat, so laid a towel to save my kick drum.
    Have to say, the AAA cases are just about perfect. They're actually sturdier than I had hoped they would be. Seriously recommend them to anyone looking for serious protection for gigging.

  7. Registered User

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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sciriez View Post
    Do you mean thinner shells or shorter depth? I'm still in two minds about the 12 X 8, I love having the two toms set up at the same height so easily and think they look great, but there is a difference in the way the two drums resonate. It's minor, but I'm a bit manic about these sort of things. I plan on experimenting with different reso heads on the 12" to see if I can give it some more extension - in the same way that I've killed some with the emperor on my 14 X 14".
    Out of interest, why would you go 16 X 14" if you've been going for deeper toms and gone square for your 14? Aesthetics? I'm considering it myself, but haven't made up my mind yet. Plan on getting an 8 X 8" sometime in 2018 to complete the top.
    Shorter depth. I actually like the quicker attack of shorter depth drums as well as the ability to set everything lower and flatter with the shallow toms. You should be able to work out the resonance issues with heads and tuning. Sounds like you are also working on your floor tom resonance . I know my 14x14 floor tom resonates for days! I have tamed mine with a hydraulic batter. These kit was a bit of departure from my Natal kit where I had a 1 up 2 down configuration with a 14x14 and 16x14 on the floor....I miss that extra low end I got from the 16x14 and would like to add that back at some point if I can get the funds together (as you well know these aren't cheap drums!) or find a great deal. Also considered going the direction you are with an 8" and make it a 3 up 1 down. configuration. Oh, the possibilities! Congrats again on the set...gorgeous with the gold hardware.

  8. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by notoriousRJD View Post
    Shorter depth. I actually like the quicker attack of shorter depth drums as well as the ability to set everything lower and flatter with the shallow toms. You should be able to work out the resonance issues with heads and tuning. Sounds like you are also working on your floor tom resonance . I know my 14x14 floor tom resonates for days! I have tamed mine with a hydraulic batter. These kit was a bit of departure from my Natal kit where I had a 1 up 2 down configuration with a 14x14 and 16x14 on the floor....I miss that extra low end I got from the 16x14 and would like to add that back at some point if I can get the funds together (as you well know these aren't cheap drums!) or find a great deal. Also considered going the direction you are with an 8" and make it a 3 up 1 down. configuration. Oh, the possibilities! Congrats again on the set...gorgeous with the gold hardware.
    Yeah, the flexibility of setting up with shorter depths is amazing, I'm still playing around just to see what I can do. Very glad I used the BB3 mount, though, makes everything sit really nicely for me. I like the measured decay of a longer drum, personally, and I can't say I don't get that from the 12 x 8", just that it measures differently to the 10 X 8". The difference is small enough that I reckon the right head/tuning combo will fix it nicely, just being particularly anal about that

    You're not wrong about the 14"!! It really loves to sing. I usually tune my reso head roughly one note higher than the batter, but on my floor I'm running the reso one note lower, using a heavier head than I'd ever have thought to to control it. I hadn't considered a hydraulic batter - largely because it had never crossed my mind - but I'll definitely keep it in mind. What are you using for reso on it? I like my initial tone, but the resonance needs more control. Control Dot or Control Dot X are my thoughts on this one so far.

    Ideally I'd have 3 up, 2 down for practising and then just take a mix 'n' match kit to gigs, but you're not wrong about expense. For me in Jazz having that extra high end makes more sense, though I have already put my old 16" floor with the new 14" and it is amazing fun.

  9. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sciriez View Post
    Yeah, the flexibility of setting up with shorter depths is amazing, I'm still playing around just to see what I can do. Very glad I used the BB3 mount, though, makes everything sit really nicely for me. I like the measured decay of a longer drum, personally, and I can't say I don't get that from the 12 x 8", just that it measures differently to the 10 X 8". The difference is small enough that I reckon the right head/tuning combo will fix it nicely, just being particularly anal about that

    You're not wrong about the 14"!! It really loves to sing. I usually tune my reso head roughly one note higher than the batter, but on my floor I'm running the reso one note lower, using a heavier head than I'd ever have thought to to control it. I hadn't considered a hydraulic batter - largely because it had never crossed my mind - but I'll definitely keep it in mind. What are you using for reso on it? I like my initial tone, but the resonance needs more control. Control Dot or Control Dot X are my thoughts on this one so far.

    Ideally I'd have 3 up, 2 down for practising and then just take a mix 'n' match kit to gigs, but you're not wrong about expense. For me in Jazz having that extra high end makes more sense, though I have already put my old 16" floor with the new 14" and it is amazing fun.
    Mine's a virgin kick but I did notice that mount seems to place your toms perfectly! So far I haven't messed with the resos on these, still have the stock Ambies. Only experimented withe the batters...EC2s and then the hydraulic. If you are really looking to tame, you might want to try the Evans reso7s.

    The gold hardware must look even better in person with the brass inserts in the lugs. I get a bit of that effect using my Bronze snare...love how it looks with the Black Cherry and brass inserts.

  10. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by notoriousRJD View Post
    Mine's a virgin kick but I did notice that mount seems to place your toms perfectly! So far I haven't messed with the resos on these, still have the stock Ambies. Only experimented withe the batters...EC2s and then the hydraulic. If you are really looking to tame, you might want to try the Evans reso7s.

    The gold hardware must look even better in person with the brass inserts in the lugs. I get a bit of that effect using my Bronze snare...love how it looks with the Black Cherry and brass inserts.
    You know, I can't really understand the trend to virgin kicks. The idea sounds good, but an uninterrupted kick means a more resonant kick which means more deadening would be required to control resonance which means dead heads or pillow or similar and now why bother with a virgin shell? That being said, for me it was purely a practical consideration. I play big and small-band jazz and as such need to be able to downsize pronto. having extra hardware is a pain to move and to set up, so with the BB3 I can go one up, one down and stick a ride cymbal in the spare hole with a splash as shown. Instant stripped back setup.

    As it's resonance I'm trying to work with, I'm mostly focused on the reso heads, but I'll take a look next time I'm looking to experiment.

    Funny you should mention the inserts - they're silver! Brass inserts on silver hardware, silver inserts on gold hardware. Weird, but I'm kinda okay with it. I suspect it's to keep the two goldish finishes from clashing. Black cherry is a seriously nice finish, and yeah, I can see those little points of warmth being a great accent to it. The gold does look great in person. It's hard to capture, but it changes depending on the light. In more fluorescent light it looks almost white-gold and gives a really classy look while the red gets dark and in sunlight the whole thing comes alight in reds. Its been 2 weeks and I really, really love it.

  11. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sciriez View Post
    You know, I can't really understand the trend to virgin kicks. The idea sounds good, but an uninterrupted kick means a more resonant kick which means more deadening would be required to control resonance which means dead heads or pillow or similar and now why bother with a virgin shell? That being said, for me it was purely a practical consideration. I play big and small-band jazz and as such need to be able to downsize pronto. having extra hardware is a pain to move and to set up, so with the BB3 I can go one up, one down and stick a ride cymbal in the spare hole with a splash as shown. Instant stripped back setup. As it's resonance I'm trying to work with, I'm mostly focused on the reso heads, but I'll take a look next time I'm looking to experiment. Funny you should mention the inserts - they're silver! Brass inserts on silver hardware, silver inserts on gold hardware. Weird, but I'm kinda okay with it. I suspect it's to keep the two goldish finishes from clashing. Black cherry is a seriously nice finish, and yeah, I can see those little points of warmth being a great accent to it. The gold does look great in person. It's hard to capture, but it changes depending on the light. In more fluorescent light it looks almost white-gold and gives a really classy look while the red gets dark and in sunlight the whole thing comes alight in reds. Its been 2 weeks and I really, really love it.

    RE: virgin kicks... I agree in that it's really not important to me for a small kit. As it happens, my larger kit (never gets out for gigs) has a rack and I have no use whatsoever for a BB-3, therefore I would have quite liked a virgin kick drum. In relation to the gold hardware... also agree it's a shame the arms are chrome. I thought at some stage Pearl did make gold arms... is that right?
    Last edited by MattKeaton; 01-03-2018 at 12:36 AM.
    Pearl/Dixon/Paiste/LP/Remo/Pro-Mark 5ABN

  12. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKeaton View Post
    RE: virgin kicks... I agree in that it's really not important to me for a small kit. As it happens, my larger kit (never gets out for gigs) has a rack and I have no use whatsoever for a BB-3, therefore I would have quite liked a virgin kick drum. In relation to the gold hardware... also agree it's a shame the arms are chrome. I thought at some stage Pearl did make gold arms... is that right?
    I can totally work with that. If I was working a rack system I would probably go virgin just for cleanliness of presentation. That makes a whole lot of sense to me. But for smaller kits I just see too many set-ups that could have a much smaller footprint if they'd had a bass mount and I feel like the idea of the virgin kick is actually more desirable than the actuality.

    Pearl did do gold tom arms previously but do not anymore. The most recent I've seen was 3 years ago, I spoke to Tom Storch about them when I was making my Masterworks Snare order and he said they weren't an uncommon request, but not one that Pearl do anymore, which I found quite strange. I plan to find somewhere to have them plated sometime between now and May - when the snare is due to arrive.

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