Anyone Playing Pearl Masters Maple Complete?

RobertM

Platinum Member
Just wondering if anyone has played or owns one of the newer Pearl Masters Maple Complete kits, and what they think of them. They seem to be the best pro option for a thin-shell maple kit under $1400.
 
I've been rambling on in another thread about building a Keller kit and how much cheaper it would be and how production drums never check all the boxes etc. But, I've got to say, the Masters Maple Complete in 24/13/16 gets about as close to checking all the boxes for me (at least in specs) without getting into the $2,000+ price range. I have to admit, I've had my eye on them for a while.

Never been able to play a set. There are YouTube videos on the MCT in the more basic 22/10/12/16 and 20/10/12/14 configurations. But, nothing on the 24/13/16. Bummer. The specs make me think Ludwig Classic Maple in the ProBeat configuration, which is what I would be trying to emulate with a Keller build. But, my experience with Pearl snares tells me that you can't judge them by specs alone. They get close, but they often end sounding . . . blah. Just my opinion, don't flame me.

And, I hate the finish options. First of all, there are only 5. 3 of them are, again, IMO, God awful sparkle lacquer jobs. They have fancy names, but thy are basically red sparkle, green sparkle and gold sparkle. The other two are, well, just boring. Matte black and some ugly fade job. I guess out of all those finishes, I would pick the black. Not because I like it, but because it's the only one I wouldn't hate. That's a big negative. I'd have to really settle for a finish if I bought a set of these.

But, in the end, sound matters. I was hoping Sweetwater would do a demo video of the MCT in the 24/13/16 configuration. They seem to have skipped it, even though they have been selling it for over a year.

If anyone has one and can upload a soundfile, I'd like to hear it.

I'd probably pass on the MCT unless it was on sale for a giveaway price. And even then, I'd only buy the 24/13/16.
 
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The finish Pearl is calling "Absinthe Sparkle" looks like a drummer downed a bottle of glitter and then puked all over his drum kit. Just sayin'
 
You heard the Superstar Classics ?? Those sizes would be a grand... brand new.
Not really familiar with the Superstar Classic. I've never really looked at anything Tama makes below the Starclassic Performer. I did a quick google search and didn't see any offerings for the Superstar Classic in a 24/13/16 configuration. Would be interested to hear them if they exist. The smaller sizes sound good. Tama hardware is great.

According to the Sweetwater demo, the Superstar Classics are 100% maple. What isn't specified is whether they are softer Asian maple (as many of the maple kits in that price range are) or if they are hard maple. My guess is that, at this price point, they are not hard maple. I don't know how much that matters if you like the sound. But, a good set of Keller shells would be hard maple.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Good points. I like the sound--they sound way better than the previous masters maple iteration--but the finishes are lacking.

On a different note, folks mentioned Bernie Stone's Stone Custom Drums recently in a different thread. Sweetwater sells them and they're quite affordable: 3 piece shellpack for ~$1250. And they're not a Keller shell builder: they make their own shells from the old Slingerland equipment. Three-ply shells (Chicago vintage) and 5-ply shells (Niles series, no rings). Both Maple/poplar.

That's an incredible deal for American made custom drums. Wonder if those are worth getting--and you can pick any finish or wrap you want. Most other Keller custom builders charge at least $1800 or more for 3 piece Maple kit.

I've been rambling on in another thread about building a Keller kit and how much cheaper it would be and how production drums never check all the boxes etc. But, I've got to say, the Masters Maple Complete in 24/13/16 gets about as close to checking all the boxes for me (at least in specs) without getting into the $2,000+ price range. I have to admit, I've had my eye on them for a while.

Never been able to play a set. There are YouTube videos on the MCT in the more basic 22/10/12/16 and 20/10/12/14 configurations. But, nothing on the 24/13/16. Bummer. The specs make me think Ludwig Classic Maple in the ProBeat configuration, which is what I would be trying to emulate with a Keller build. But, my experience with Pearl snares tells me that you can't judge them by specs alone. They get close, but they often end sounding . . . blah. Just my opinion, don't flame me.

And, I hate the finish options. First of all, there are only 5. 3 of them are, again, IMO, God awful sparkle lacquer jobs. They have fancy names, but thy are basically red sparkle, green sparkle and gold sparkle. The other two are, well, just boring. Matte black and some ugly fade job. I guess out of all those finishes, I would pick the black. Not because I like it, but because it's the only one I wouldn't hate. That's a big negative. I'd have to really settle for a finish if I bought a set of these.

But, in the end, sound matters. I was hoping Sweetwater would do a demo video of the MCT in the 24/13/16 configuration. They seem to have skipped it, even though they have been selling it for over a year.

If anyone has one and can upload a soundfile, I'd like to hear it.

I'd probably pass on the MCT unless it was on sale for a giveaway price. And even then, I'd only buy the 24/13/16.
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Played the wife video demos of 3 in same price category: the Pearl, Stone Custom, and Yamaha Live Custom, and she voted #1 to Yamaha.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
I've been checking these out and they seem to be a steal of a kit.
.
.
Of course nobody really talks much about them because the brand i.d. falls into that sort of vanilla category.
.
.............https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv6-58mGrQE
I think they sound pretty damn good. Patrik from Drumcenter.CZ is a beast of a player and his demos are some of the best on the 'net. One thing about Pearl though is they have some of the most confusing nomenclature when it comes to their different models. That and those Rube Goldberg looking tom mount contraptions, ugh. Their drums always sound pretty damn good though.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
I've been checking these out and they seem to be a steal of a kit.
.
.
Of course nobody really talks much about them because the brand i.d. falls into that sort of vanilla category.
.
.............https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv6-58mGrQE
Not so long ago a Pearl kit was in the mcflurry oreo/smarties category with sparkles and caramel on top.

I think a little marketing budget is in order. Maybe they are big in Europe and Asia, which would explain the lethargy in North America.

I'll jump on the bandwagon when it passes if it sports bright shiny lights and cheerleaders.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Not so long ago a Pearl kit was in the mcflurry oreo/smarties category with sparkles and caramel on top.

I think a little marketing budget is in order. Maybe they are big in Europe and Asia, which would explain the lethargy in North America.

I'll jump on the bandwagon when it passes if it sports bright shiny lights and cheerleaders.
I'll go on the record as having brought up this point with a couple of Pearl people at NAMM last year. I flat-out said if they didn't push that Export back in the 80s so much, they'd have more people into their professional lines. I was told that they're going to start promoting the upper lines more, and maybe offer incentives to dealers who stock the high-end drums. This would go a long way to giving potential customers an alternative whenever you walk into a Guitar Center or a Sam Ash. So hopefully we'll start seeing a change soon.

I'll be completely honest, Pearl was never really on my radar up until I really gave them a look at NAMM a few years ago, and had the president of the USA portion show me the Reference Pures along with his National Combo Marketing manager. Plus they seemed like real genuine people too, so that's always a plus. I knew big artists played them, but they did have this 'vanilla' vibe about the brand I couldn't put my finger on. I'm hoping this will change. Heck, they have Masterworks, which is like Sonor's SQ2, so you have the ability to create whatever you want. Who else offers that as part of the general catalog?
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
I'll go on the record as having brought up this point with a couple of Pearl people at NAMM last year. I flat-out said if they didn't push that Export back in the 80s so much, they'd have more people into their professional lines. I was told that they're going to start promoting the upper lines more, and maybe offer incentives to dealers who stock the high-end drums. This would go a long way to giving potential customers an alternative whenever you walk into a Guitar Center or a Sam Ash. So hopefully we'll start seeing a change soon.

I'll be completely honest, Pearl was never really on my radar up until I really gave them a look at NAMM a few years ago, and had the president of the USA portion show me the Reference Pures along with his National Combo Marketing manager. Plus they seemed like real genuine people too, so that's always a plus. I knew big artists played them, but they did have this 'vanilla' vibe about the brand I couldn't put my finger on. I'm hoping this will change. Heck, they have Masterworks, which is like Sonor's SQ2, so you have the ability to create whatever you want. Who else offers that as part of the general catalog?
I'm 100% with you on this Bo.

A drummer friend of mine whom I shared a space with bought a natural lacquered finish reference (not pure) kit and it sounds as good as anything out there in that price range.

They absolutely need to put the word out, they have incredible gear, kits, pedals and hardware but we do not get the hype other manufacturers pay a hefty sum to create around their own products.

Go Pearl, make us believe once again !
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I'm 100% with you on this Bo.

A drummer friend of mine whom I shared a space with bought a natural lacquered finish reference (not pure) kit and it sounds as good as anything out there in that price range.

They absolutely need to put the word out, they have incredible gear, kits, pedals and hardware but we do not get the hype other manufacturers pay a hefty sum to create around their own products.

Go Pearl, make us believe once again !
True dat. I'm trying to help the cause.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
And the shell structure makes a lot of sense to me, the snare and higher tom's birch composition and adding the warmth of mahogany the lower they go.

It's pretty brilliant if you ask me.
Although not a new idea, I was really surprised at how well it worked when I got my kits. And the Reference stuff is really the most popular choices people were making when they were picking out their Masterworks kits. So rather than suffer paralysis by analysis, I just went with those. I'm glad I did! Too many choices to go wrong if I went Masterworks!
 
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