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  #1  
Old 01-18-2009, 11:15 PM
Muse FTW Muse FTW is offline
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Default Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

So I was talking to my friend the other day and he was convinced that the Pearl Reference series was the best sounding drums on the market right now.

Now as a Tama player myself (or at least at the moment), I had to make a case for Tama's Starclassic Bubinga, because quite frankly, they are the best drums that I have played.

Although I have yet to play a single Pearl set, I have heard many and they sound amazing, just as my friend was stating.

Hypothetically speaking, if I were to have enough money to buy either of these amazing kits, I would not be able to decide between the two.

Which one, in your opinion, is better?
Are there any significant pros or cons to either of these kits?

Thanks in advance for the info and settling this debate.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2009, 12:35 AM
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Khaine88 Khaine88 is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

if your talking starclassic bubinga. why not even the star classic bubinga omni tune which apart from the warlord kits i believe is tama's very top end kit. and not having heard any of them i cant say which i think sounds best but then again its down to opinion some people swear by pearl and some by tama or whatever. allthough i can say ive heard a sonor SQ2 and it would take something to beat that(as far as big companies go).....drooool
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2009, 01:34 AM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

There's a lot of marketing hype around both of these kits, just like there is about the high-end kits from most other companies. Obviously your friend has bought into Pearl's marketing hype. It seems as though you are loyal to Tama, which, in my estimation, probably means that you bought into their hype or have a lot of positive experience with their kits, and not so much anyone elses'. If you have the kind of dough to dish out on a kit of this level, you'd be better off doing yourself a favor by trying out EVERYTHING you can! Don't limit yourself to brands or "quality levels". There are intermediate kits out there that have a great sound that you might actually prefer over the higher-end stuff. Or, you might find that you yourself like the sound of the Pearl References better than the Bubinga. Or, you might like the Starclassic Performer (birch) more than the Bubinga. You'll never know until you get out there and find out what YOU like from YOUR experience. It would be a shame to drop a few thousand on a kit only to hear a different kit a few months later that you find you like the sound of better...

Now, my personal opinion, which is just that and shouldn't impact your decision at all, is that all Pearl kits sound "tubby"--even the References. I'd go with the Tama Starclassic Maple, myself.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2009, 06:38 AM
funk_drum funk_drum is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

I looked at both of these kits. I went with Starclassic Bubinga, actually I got an Exotix 2005 Red Viking. They are by far the best sounding drums I've ever heard.

I'm into the custom side of things a bit and have listened to many different wood species. I've heard that when you start combining woods you get an average of their qualities, not the best of all of them. The Pearl drums are nice, very heavy, and have the different edges. But for what I heard when I played them, the bubs are crazy good. Not to mention the bubinga snare kills the reference in resonance. But that's just me.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

So your friend has never played a Pearl Masterworks if he thinks reference are the best thing going!!!

I own a Pearl Masterworks, if someone said want to swap for a Tama Bubinga I'd bite their hand off.............
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2009, 04:02 PM
Bearman52 Bearman52 is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

I agree with Caddy in what he is saying. If you are truly down to those 2 kits, it is well worth the time for you to find a location who may have a used or new kit so you can listen for yourself. I just purchased the Starclassic birch bubinga and personally thought it was exactly what I was looking for. I went down to the local GC to play the all SC Bubinga with intentions on buying it, but after hearing the B/B side by side, ended up going that route. I'll be honest in saying it was to get the "It costs more, so it must be better" thing out of my head, but after going back and forth with the two, made the right call. The next guy in line may think I'm crazy for liking the "cheaper" Starclassic but back to the original point, the beauty lies in what you hear and what you want, not what someone else thinks. I made a point of not buying a kit I could not hear and play in person this time and am very glad I went that route.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Now, my personal opinion, which is just that and shouldn't impact your decision at all, is that all Pearl kits sound "tubby"--even the References. I'd go with the Tama Starclassic Maple, myself.
Ya know, I've heard people say this and I wonder if it's based on their own personal experiences or maybe heard someone playing one and dismissed all Pearls based on that?

I owned a Pearl Masters MCX and those drums sang like a church choir. I detected zero "tubbiness" when playing those drums and would happily buy another one of those kits. The price can't be beat and the quality was above anything I had seen on kits many times more expensive.
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2009, 12:02 AM
Muse FTW Muse FTW is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

This is the problem. The stores that I buy from (Sam Ash, Guitar Center, LI Drum Center) don't put those sets on display! Heck, they don't even have those in stock, let alone one set up!

That is why I have such a hard time deciding, I can't try anything out!
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2009, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

Well, first off, i guess Pearl doesn't give an explanation of why they call it a "reference" kit. After years of the masterworks program and having hundreds of people order that series, Pearl came up with a "consensus" of opinion of what sounds the "best". since there is no way to quantify "best", they just took a consensus to what the most people thought sounded best. They took the design aspects of that: the shell construction/ composition and bearing edge and came up with the "reference" kit. Now, the reference kit is supposed to be used as a tool for prospective "masterworks" buyers, their true custom, top of the line kits. You are supposed to "refer" to the kit and say, "hey, i want more boominess in my 12" tom, lets take out a couple plies of maple and add a couple plies of mahogany. Hey i want more attack out of my 10" tom than the "reference" 10" tom, let's do away with the maple and replace it with all birch. Hey, i don't like the boominess of the reference 16" floor tom, i want more attack, lets put a 45 degree bearing edge on it instead of that rounded 45" and so on and so on. It all boils down to personal opinion. To me anyone who says the reference kit itself is the best sounding kit has totally bought the hype, are basically sheep and really can't be objective for themselves. I know exactly what i like and i've gotta say, the reference kit sounds great but as far as the best kit, no. In my opinion, my ddrum dios all-bubinga kit blows away the reference and i consider the starclassic bubinga and omni-tune its equal. But again, that's just me...
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2009, 07:09 AM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Ya know, I've heard people say this and I wonder if it's based on their own personal experiences or maybe heard someone playing one and dismissed all Pearls based on that?

I owned a Pearl Masters MCX and those drums sang like a church choir. I detected zero "tubbiness" when playing those drums and would happily buy another one of those kits. The price can't be beat and the quality was above anything I had seen on kits many times more expensive.
I've played lots of Pearls. I guess they make all of their shells the same way, using the same method and machines. I've played all of the lines, I'm pretty sure. I just find them "tubby" and kind of bland. That's just my opinion. Maybe the "blandness" that I'm describing is another way of saying they have a flat EQ compared to most other drums. That's good when you're shopping for a condenser mic, right? I just happen to like drums that have a little special character that stands out about them.

By the way, "tubbiness" is EXACTLY the quality that I like in 3-ply Gretsch round badge kits, but it's a different kind of tubby.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2009, 07:38 AM
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Crusto 62 Crusto 62 is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

Hey Muse ftw, IMO both pearl and Tama make some really nice drums, especially the tubs made in Japan. When I was looking for my kit I went to a lot of Drum shops Not guitar stores. I looked and played every thing that was within my buget, It took me a few days.
I ended up getting a Tama starclassic B/B because I loved the way it sounded, the way it looked and it was in the sizes I liked. With my budget I could not have afforded a Pearl reference kit. I could have gotten a Pearl Masters maple Kit but I went with the Tama b/b and I have NO regrets. Beautiful kit and built to last.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2009, 05:12 PM
fusssion
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

It's all personal opinion! There are MANY on here that swear that an intermediate kit can sound better than a top of the line kit! So, ..it's all in YOUR ears!
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2009, 10:44 PM
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trysthedrummer trysthedrummer is offline
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Default Re: Pearl Reference vs. Tama Starclassic Bubinga

Definately.

Image a line up of all the high end kits, nicely tuned. Would you be able to tell whats what? Make? Wood used?
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