Immediate upgrades/hacks for a 90's Pearl Export?

dkerwood

Silver Member
The kit I was going to buy sold before I got to it, so I'm now looking at this Pearl Export. Everything you see (except the A Custom crash, which sold separately) for $250. First of all, can anyone give me more information based on the badge? I know the lugs make it 90's, but I can't immediately find what kind of wood or a more specific date for the kit.

Also, what immediate changes/upgrades would you make? I'm already starting to look for wood hoops to replace the plastic ones. I'm also starting to make plans to rewrap the kit. Not sure if I want to bother with an ISS right off the bat - I'm not a fan of bass-mounted toms at all, so I might decide to put the tom on a snare stand instead. I'm buying totally different cymbals, so the ones with this kit will either be sold off or go to a second mini kit that I'm building out of some mismatched toms. Also going to stick with my old throne, DW kick pedal, and DW hi hat stand from my old kit... the Pearl's stuff will go to the mini kit for now.

So yeah - otherwise, what do you see? What am I missing? I tricked out my old maple-shelled kit ten years ago and didn't really touch it since.

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Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
i would dismantle everything first and give hardware and shells a well deserved cleaning, check for rust on lugs and tension rods, the drum will be looking a lot better then, and that might sway you away from a re wrap (unless you really don't like the finish, and I wouldn't really blame you). take off bass drum rosette and tom mount, you could put the tom on a snare stand or buy a rims mount and hang it off the cymbal stand, i would swap out the hoops for wooden ones (if you had extra money after all this) and invest in a nice white pearl reso as that would liven the drum up visually i think. maaaaybe memory locks for the floor tom legs as that kind of holder frequently loosens with playing (i really really hate yamaha's floor tom leg holders they put on the MCAs because the drum keeps collapsing after a few hours of playing).
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
Agree with Bo here-- do a good cleaning, fix or replace anything that's broken, and get good heads. Get cymbals if the ones you have are bad. That's it. No reason you can't do most local gigs or practicing with just that kit.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The kit I was going to buy sold before I got to it, so I'm now looking at this Pearl Export. Everything you see (except the A Custom crash, which sold separately) for $250. First of all, can anyone give me more information based on the badge? I know the lugs make it 90's, but I can't immediately find what kind of wood or a more specific date for the kit.
Great score. I think prior to 1994, these Export shells were 8 plies of Philippine Mahogany with an inner ply of Birch. After that, Pearl started playing with the shell formula, so it's kinda hard to tell.
 

Thin Shell

Well-known member
I agree with the suggestion of a good cleaning and new heads. You don't necessarily have to take them all apart to do the cleaning, but I wouldn't rule it out. I wouldn't modify anything because that will hurt resale later down the road. Which already won't be that much. Investing in a rewrap is not money well spent IMO, because that would cost as much as the kit, more if you are paying someone to do it.

Just get them back in good shape and enjoy them for what they are.
 

dkerwood

Silver Member
I agree with the suggestion of a good cleaning and new heads. You don't necessarily have to take them all apart to do the cleaning, but I wouldn't rule it out. I wouldn't modify anything because that will hurt resale later down the road. Which already won't be that much. Investing in a rewrap is not money well spent IMO, because that would cost as much as the kit, more if you are paying someone to do it.

Just get them back in good shape and enjoy them for what they are.
I'm seeing a lot of people using heavy-duty craft vinyl to rewrap. This vinyl can be had for less than $15 a yard, which means I can rewrap an entire 4-piece kit for about $30.

In fact, I still have some bits and bobs from an old Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit that a buddy gave me in college (converted the 20" kick into a gong drum) and I'm also picking up some toms for a bop conversion kit. I'd be tempted to do all the drums in the same wrap so I can mix and match to my heart's desire.

 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Another vote for what's already been said; a thorough cleaning and new heads is probably all the kit needs. I had a set from that era and they're built like a tank.

The exterior ply of wood is a fairly open grain, so removing the wrap can be tricky and lead to ripping chunks of wood out if you're not careful.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
Another vote for new heads and some cleaning. If everything is in working order, I'd clean the hoops, clean and lube the tension rods and that's it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
JMO,

Here's a vote for not putting one thin dime towards this kit.

I think it's a great deal to buy it, but just to play it, not to upgrade it.

You can't polish a turd. It's not the kind of kit I would even think about upgrading.

JMO, your call.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
Like the guys said above, nice new heads and a spring clean for starters. After that it’s a question of how far you want to take it. This is an ideal kit to hone your wrapping skills, and if you can adapt the kit more to your liking you’ll enjoy playing it even more! Enjoy it mate! :D (y)
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
That looks like Pearl's Deep Ocean wrap. If you clean and polish it it is a beautiful wrap. It changes color from near black to blue/gray depending on the light. I'd give the kit a good cleaning, put new Remo Ambassadors or Evans G2 heads on it and go. oh, check the bearing edges before you get too deep into it. If you start replacing hardware, cutting bearing edges and re-wrapping you'll add up big bucks pretty quickly. Get Flitz polish for the chrome, it works wonders.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'd just clean and rehead it. Not completely disassemble to clean. Just remove the heads and clean.

If you do completely disassemble the kit, be aware that each one of those lugs is actually 3 pieces, not just one long piece.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
That looks like Pearl's Deep Ocean wrap. If you clean and polish it it is a beautiful wrap. It changes color from near black to blue/gray depending on the light.
Yup .... if the wrap is in decent shape, and it looks like it is. A little dirt and dust, but I don't see any major dings or scratches ..... I wouldn't alter it at all.
Not sure if I want to bother with an ISS right off the bat - I'm not a fan of bass-mounted toms at all, so I might decide to put the tom on a snare stand instead.
The I.S.S. clamps to the rim, and tends to choke some drums (and this, being a power tom, weight wise, is a candidate. If the tom sounds fine suspended from the factory tom arm ..... maybe just us an auxiliary clamp and hang it off the cymbal stand. If the drum chokes on the factory arm, I'd go with a RIMS type suspension. (I've acquired RIMS in all the normal sizes, and added Yamaha mounts to them ..... that's my go-to for almost any drum). If you wanna stick to Pearl hardware, the Optimount works great. A little pricey if you buy it new, if you can score a used one ???
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If you wanna stick to Pearl hardware, the Optimount works great. A little pricey if you buy it new, if you can score a used one ???
The OptiLoc is less expensive and is on new Midtowns, Exports, and Decade Maples. As long as the vent hole is in the same location, those would work as well.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
You can't polish a turd.
Sure you can, Ford has been doing it for decades. All you have to do is chrome dip it first.
Jokes. I'll be here all week. Leave your insults in the heckle jar on the back of the commode.
 

Redbeard

Senior Member
My first kit back around '91 was an Export with those badges and lugs. I forget the name of the color but the wrap looks like brushed aluminum and is still in great shape. The only issue with mine after traveling all over the place is some of the chrome on the floor tom batter hoop is flaking. It's been a practice kit for the last 15 or so years but still makes the occasional public appearance as a loaner or in sketchy situations and sounds just fine with clear 2-ply heads.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
The best thing you can do for a cheap drum set is buy a good snare and good cymbals. This will make a cheap kit sound great! New heads are also your friend as well as is a good cleaning.

If you like the virgin kick look, get a Pearl Masking Plate. I think they look great! They are about $20. Mount the rack tom on a snare stand, and go nuts.


With a good cleaning, new heads, a solid snare and cymbals, this is a terrific set IMO!
 
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