Pearl doesn’t disappoint so long as you don’t set your sights on perfection. I owned a mid 1980s pearl export series back in the mid 1990’s and it was absolutely fantastic back then. If I was going to use that same set today, I wouldn’t be so amazed. Likely because in the last 15 years or so, drum shell manufacturing has become much less varied and more precise between different setups.
But I digress, as I was recently at a weekend gig where there was only a Pearl Export series in red. I got to know the set really well over the next few nights, and I was surprised by how well the sound was, but at the same time I was relieved to stop using the set at the end of the weekend. Here’s why: 1. The set moved around a lot. The rubber bottoms to the floor tom were harder than I like and slid around the wood floor. I guess I should have procured a drop rug for the set, but it wasn’t my call. 2. the toms move around a lot. This is common with DW too, and I attribute this to the common use of simple hardware connections. I don’t mind this as much, but it can get annoying after a while, and it might rub against the body shell of the kick drum and etch and mark the set.
If I can recommend a better bang for your dollar, go with a Yamaha stage custom. It’s not as common as this set, you don’t see everyone sporting one, and it sounds a lot better, and I think Yamaha really has their equipment together, from the manufacturing to the presentation. Little things are missing from this set, and in the bigger picture, when combined, leave me missing out on an experience by a long shot. I can’t say for sure totally what is wrong with this cheaper set, but for starters for the price, you should be getting a maple wood, but you are not.
A beginner should be in the market for something durable, easy to transport, light, and seem somewhat nice looking. This kit is that and more.
When I first started playing drums I was using one of these kits, and frankly, it did its job well. I can say that spending money on replacement heads is a must and should be done from the factory purchase set asap. I also would say that the black hardware is prone to chipping but that might just be my experience with these. Afterall, I was using different type sticks and really gave these a beating lugging them around to gigs at churches and veteran halls throughout the east coast when I was young.
I noticed early on that the ply started to split on my kick drum, and immediatley contacted pearl about it. At first they kind of slighted me, but after persistant contact they addressed my issue and sent me a replacement kick. I never had this issue again. Over the years I’ve seen other people using these kits and I notice not all are the same. I think that these are great for a beginner just starting out, because the placement of the set and the need to replace and tinker with it to get it right, is exactly what a beginner needs to get into drumming. In otherwords, if this kit was free from maintenance and required tuning every now and then, the beginner drummer would never learn the importance of maintaining a good drum tone, and proper usage and technique of the machine. These are aspects of drumming every single professional has, and every good drummer should know. This kit will teach that.
All in all, I think this kit is a great addition to any beginner’s rig, and with the standard equipment, adding additional add ons is easy and always an option. I see these kits around alot, and wouldn’t disapprove the purchase of a used one so long as it plays nicely. Please change the heads as the stock heads are horrible however.
The Pearl Export is a good starter set for up and coming drummers. Pearl has always prided them self on putting a quality product with a great sound. Pearl has a great reputation when it comes to music equipment. Unfortunately after play with this drum set it didn’t feel as good as it did on the higher in models that Pearl makes. The snare didn’t quiet sound like I liked it, and even after trying to tune it several times I still couldn’t get it to be how I wanted it. The toms are pretty good, cant really complain about them too much. They do tend to have a deeper lower more hollow sound than other Pearl sets that I have used or experimented with over the years.
I have tried several Pearl models throughout my life, and this is the only one that I felt really fell short of my expectations out of pearl. But like I said, if this is your first set then its great. If you’re a beginner you definitely want to go with this set and get a feel for Pearl. But you will need to upgrade at some point throughout your drumming career.
With knowing what I know now if I went back in time, I wouldn’t have got this set. Even though I am happy with the set, I would have just put out more money and got the upgraded version of this Pearl set. The price of this set is a little to high for the quality of it. You can get other sets on the market for a cheaper price that are the same as this Pearl Export. My advice would be to shop around and look at different brands if this is what your price range is when you are buying your drum set.