'78 Pearl Vari-Pitch

CommanderRoss

Silver Member

charliedrummer

Senior Member
I remember seeing a set of these in my local music store in the late 70s. They were basically roto-toms with shells extending below the head.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I remember seeing a set of these in my local music store in the late 70s. They were basically roto-toms with shells extending below the head.
Makes me wonder how they sounded with that extension? Concert tom-like?
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
Makes me wonder how they sounded with that extension? Concert tom-like?
this is the only vid i can find that comes close to them. you can hear the 70s concert tom style sound, so im assuming they sound like this

 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Never heard of these.
@C.M. Jones you wanna weigh in on them?
Definitely new to me. Peter Criss is present in one of the adverts you've posted. Perhaps @Ransan can educate us on this series.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Here's my snare, looking much better than it sounds! I can't speak for the Vari-Pitch toms, but this snare is an atrocious piece of crap.


_drum_vari-pitch.jpg
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
im gathering that it was a good idea on paper, in reality.....not so much
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I remember those! I saw exactly one drummer use them live. There was a touring group called Up With People that came to our high school several years. The drummer used those one year. They had them miced like concert toms, and they sounded pretty much like concert toms. He did some cool things with the rotos during his solo. At least, my 15 y.o. self liked it, lol.

I can't even imagine how bad a snare drum version would sound, though. Sheesh!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Here's my snare, looking much better than it sounds! I can't speak for the Vari-Pitch toms, but this snare is an atrocious piece of crap.


View attachment 104128
The question is “why do you have one?” Those were/are horrible to begin with. I remember playing around with one of those at a music store in ‘78 when I was a kid thinking “there’s something worse than the SynDrum!” Eek!
 

Ransan

Senior Member
Definitely new to me. Peter Criss is present in one of the adverts you've posted. Perhaps @Ransan can educate us on this series.
Yes a 70s experiment that unbelievably lasted until early 80s. I believe they were Pearl’s answer to ‘canning’ roto toms for a contemporary tunable ‘shell’ system.

Also weren’t they made with Phenolic shells?
That’s the reason I believe The Catman is tagged - he used Phenolic shells.

I don’t ever recall him with a single vari pitch.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Yes a 70s experiment that unbelievably lasted until early 80s. I believe they were Pearl’s answer to ‘canning’ roto toms for a contemporary tunable ‘shell’ system.

Also weren’t they made with Phenolic shells?
That’s the reason I believe The Catman is tagged - he used Phenolic shells.

I don’t ever recall him with a single vari pitch.

I believe fiberglass, not phenolic. And I agree - I don't think Peter Criss was in that ad because of the Vari-Pitch drums. I was a KISS fanatic at that age, and I never saw any photos or mentions of him with the Vari-Pitch.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I played a show with a guy who had some. To say they sounded different is being nice.

Remember being a kid a sticking your head in a barrel and listening to the echo? That's kinda how these things work. It's an echo chamber for a roto tom.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I believe fiberglass, not phenolic. And I agree - I don't think Peter Criss was in that ad because of the Vari-Pitch drums. I was a KISS fanatic at that age, and I never saw any photos or mentions of him with the Vari-Pitch.
No they are phenolic.
Phenolic are a composite material not quite fiberglass.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The question is “why do you have one?” Those were/are horrible to begin with. I remember playing around with one of those at a music store in ‘78 when I was a kid thinking “there’s something worse than the SynDrum!” Eek!

Strictly for the collectability. It was in EXCELLENT shape, and priced right.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
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