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  1. Percussion Czar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Harleysville, PA
    Posts
    45

    Thumbs down What is going on with Pearl?

    I donít want this to become a bash thread, because Iíve been a loyal Pearl user for 25 years. This is stricly some observations by me as to why itís becoming increasingly difficult to remain brand loyal.

    1. Pearl has not put out a drum kit I would actually buy since the MCX/BCX. Iíd consider Reference, but they are too costly for the semi-pro/weekend gigger. Between the cost cutting on the hardware used on the mid-level kits (rims, number of lugs) and some of the rediculous finishes the last few years, thereís no way I would spend money on any of the current lineup.

    2. Lack of local dealers/support. Within the last year or so, all my go to stores here in PA are no longer affiliated with Pearl. Daleís Drum Shop in Harrisburg, while an hour and a half away, was good for personal support. If I needed something quick, I had Sam Ash and Guitar Center within 30 minutes of me. Now, all I have is online. Not good Pearl.

    I really hope things start to change at Pearl. Iím seriously considering finding a new brand at this point that supports me and my needs.

  2. Registered User

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Berlin - Germany
    Posts
    2,631

    Default

    What are you looking for in a kit? I'm no pearl fanboy by any stretch but it's pretty undeniable they have the semi-pro market absolutely covered. They have sessions, which apparently kick ***, the crystal beats, which look awesome, decade maples and those cheaper masters kits. The finishes seem to be basically the same as they've always been, for better or worse.

    As to the second point - I have no idea, but they are one of the biggest names in drums, I think they have pretty good dealer support but I could be wrong.

  3. Registered User

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Baja California North
    Posts
    2,199

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolDrum3 View Post
    I

    1. Pearl has not put out a drum kit I would actually buy since the MCX/BCX. .
    I would agree for the most part.. except for Masterworks which is incredible stuff IMO.

    But the regular Pro lines.. I think they did better and had more respect when the Masters first came out in the 90's.. There was ALOT of interest in those IMO compared to the current Complete, Reserve, Reference.. The Vision was like a Pro kit in itself.. go compare the PARTS on those drums to the Decades.. LOL..

  4. Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Quebec City
    Posts
    659

    Default

    I think there is also the lack of thick shell drums (7.5mm) like pearl used to make in the lines mentioned by the OP
    My previous Ludwig kit; Pearl Sensitone Aluminum , Pork Pie, Black Panther and Crush snares.
    DW 5000, Pearl modded P-102, P-120P & P-2002B. IC Powerglide. Many cymbals from the big 3.
    Tiny pic of my old cymbal setup.

  5. ....

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Melbourne-Australia
    Posts
    1,128

    Default

    I've got to agree on the finishes front. I just got back into drumming after a number of years and just thought a new lot of the new finishes these days are just...meh.

    Back in the ELX days they had some classy finishes including fully lacquered bass drum hoops at a low price point. Amber & Cobalt Fade were fire. Then you had the older masters lines and colours such as Emerald Fade and Diamond Burst spring to mind.

    Now it seems you have to go really high up to get the good finishes. I mean there a few good finishes now, but it's not like it used to be.
    Pearl Reference - Inca Gold Burst with Black Hardware
    20x16 10x8 12x9 14x14 16x14 (ETA Jan 2022)
    Snare: Masters Maple Complete 14x5.5- Antique Walnut

  6. Dalmi Joedi - Jedi

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Ocean
    Posts
    19,902

    Default

    1. What’s they point of you buying a new kit if it’s not going to be an upgrade?

    2. This is not Pearl’s fault. This is the direction of the industry.

  7. PEARL EXX

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    350

    Default

    I guess it can’t be too bad, I see members showing they newly purchased drums and the all response are….Great kit, Sweet, Eyecandy, I love it and so on.

  8. Registered User

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Charlotte, N.C.
    Posts
    2,825

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dale w miller View Post
    1. What’s they point of you buying a new kit if it’s not going to be an upgrade?

    2. This is not Pearl’s fault. This is the direction of the industry.
    This.

    The early/mid 2000's were the golden times of gear. We will most likely never see that level of variety across all product lines again.

  9. Unban nik12

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    6,751

    Default

    I'm also not crazy about the finish options that Pearl is offering these days but since I'm not in the market, I guess it doesn't really matter what I think. If you're not finding what you want from Pearl, why not check out other manufacturers? Everyone makes a nice set of drums and you'll definitely find what you want from someone. I also daydream of owning a Reference because I tend to gravitate towards thick shells, but I don't feel disappointed in my thin-shelled Starclassic Maples at all.

    Also, looking at Pearl's site, it's crazy how many different series they offer now. I would say that there's probably something for everyone, and they offer diecast hoops and other parts a-la-carte, so you can customize your drums however you'd like. I'd be tempted to go that route anyways because I like having gear that other people don't.
    Black Lives Matter

    Tama Starclassic Maple

  10. Pearl Masters Drummer

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    6,059

    Default

    I can't speak for your dealer support and would be curious to know why a dealer would drop the biggest drum company in the world, but no one has a better warranty or corrects any mistake or flaw in their product like Pearl. Plus, you can come here and communicate directly with Pearl to get things going or expedited if you're dealer has issues with communicating or responding to you. Pearl's response time to issues has always been second to none and one of the many reasons I like the company so much.

    As far as offerings, again this is part subjective and part fact I suppose. They offer a kit for pretty much any budget and are extremely competitive among other drum companies in terms of pricing and quality. I will agree that the Masters Maple Complete and Session Studio Select have limited finish options. The Sessions have a much better finish option to me, but yes, still pretty limited and that is likely part of keeping the price low I'm thinking. Once you get to Masters Maple Reserve and above, you have more finish options than most other brands.

    I would like to see the masters maple complete with the aluminum optimounts, but I'm guessing that would send the price above where it is now, but likely lower than the older Masters Premium Legend kits which also had the Masterworks floor tom brackets and bass drum spurs. It would instantly change the look of those kits for the better though. Now I'm starting to get off course : ). Hope your dealer situation is remedied soon.

  11. Drummer since 1963

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    994

    Default

    Totally agree, just look how sucky this Session Studio Select kit looks! And you should hear how big and round the toms sound and the way the matching snare cracks, it's pitiful.
    In a world where just about anything is at your fingertips online you're worried about Pearl losing a dealership because it's close by? In the last 31 years Pearl has never failed me if I couldn't find even the smallest part nearby whether it was swivel nuts for my MLX kick or bushings for a 900 snare stand.
    I've heard horror stories about trying to get parts or service from other companies. Best wishes and good luck to you out there!



    Last edited by Ron Gerber; 08-20-2021 at 05:30 PM.

  12. The Sensitone Guy

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,489

    Default

    Overall, I'm very happy with my Pearl drums. I'm down to just one kit: an MCX and it does everything I need it to. My six snares are all metal shelled Pearls. I couldn't be happier with them. When I need a tiny kit for gigging, I grab a couple of my smallest MCX toms, a 20" Yamaha SC bass drum and I'm good. (If I ever run into a 20" MCX kick drum in bronze glass, it's mine!).

    I would agree that some of the finish choices on the new MCT drums, aren't what I would like. But hey... That's just personal preference. Recently I was drooling over the gorgeous Yamaha tour custom wood shells - just stunning! Apparently, I was the only one who liked them. Everyone else thought they were butt ugly.

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