Pearl Masters Snare vs Free Floater

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I have a Pearl Masters 14 x 5.5 snare that I really like, and I'm looking at getting the same snare with a 6.5" depth because I want a little bit lower pitch on my travel kit. Before I really start taking a serious look at these, is the Pearl Free Floater worth the extra $200? Has anyone played these two snares side by side? Thanks!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The purported advantages of Pearl's free-floating system are enhanced shell resonance and the ability to swap out shells. The first benefit is a topic of debate. Pearl's standard snares already have minimal-contact lugs. Some claim the difference is vast; others say it's negligible -- if even present. Conflicting reports should come as no surprise. We're talking about drumming, after all.

The second factor, the capacity to switch shells within a free-floating system, has never been enough to draw me in. It isn't something I'd do amid a gig or a recording session, so convenience isn't part of the equation. Also, I'm not one to tinker with my drums a whole lot. I'd rather just have a backup snare in readiness than purchase several shells to accommodate a free-floating setup. I'm all about keeping equipment logistics simple and efficient.

In conclusion, I've been playing nothing but Pearl since the '80s and have never wanted a free-floating snare. Thus, I wouldn't spend the extra money on one. Two-hundred bucks can yield an ample supply of heads, sticks, or other essentials. I'd rather get definite returns on my investments.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I have a Pearl Masters 14 x 5.5 snare that I really like, and I'm looking at getting the same snare with a 6.5" depth because I want a little bit lower pitch on my travel kit. Before I really start taking a serious look at these, is the Pearl Free Floater worth the extra $200? Has anyone played these two snares side by side? Thanks!
🤔

It’s time, Mr. Pie, for one of these.

 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
🤔

It’s time, Mr. Pie, for one of these.

That WMP inlay is so goofy looking.



I had a brass Pearl Floater for many years and I absolutely loved that snare. I played the same size and shell material from Pearl on a friend's kit and actually found there to be some sonic differences - but I wouldn't say enough to notice under most playing conditions. It felt like that the slightly more open tone and resonance disappeared pretty quick in the context of toms and especially in the context of music.

I'd bet if you did a super high quality video / recording of the two drums side by side - you'd notice a difference, but in 99% of real world applications - you wouldn't.

And as CM notes - having multiple shells - while being cool - always seemed impractical to me as well.


(it was a great snare though - brass....loved it)
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
WMP absolutely rules, man. I'll need to post some photos of my Session Studio Select kit in WMP soon.
Oh I really like it - but not in contrast with that beautiful wood finish and the black piping on the same drum....looks like someone wrapped a bass drum hoop from WMP kit around a nice natural finish snare - it's bizarre. The other two are lookers.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Oh I really like it - but not in contrast with that beautiful wood finish and the black piping on the same drum....looks like someone wrapped a bass drum hoop from WMP kit around a nice natural finish snare - it's bizarre. The other two are lookers.
Yeah, I'm with you there. I'd nix the WMP inlay on a Music City Custom snare. It's a distraction from the lovely wood craftsmanship.

I can resist until the cows come home, but it's only a matter of time before I cave in and buy one of these. I get weaker and weaker every time I see one.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Your cows just came home. According to you, your resistance is supposed to run out then :)
I've just vaulted my wallet to ensure I won't reach for a credit card.

You know, I've always been an equipment pragmatist. As long as I'm playing professional-quality gear, I've never felt the need to go overboard. These Music City Custom snares are exceptions, however. I'm almost inclined to the belief that I deserve one as a long-time Pearl player. And, though I doubt I'd ever gig with something so exquisite, I'd like to hit the studio with one, just to be able to say, "I'm playing a Music City Custom snare in that recording." It's a bit silly, but it's tempting nevertheless.

We'll see how badly I want one after the lockdown.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Second stimulus check! Smells like cows to me!
Ha! It's not a question of having the money; it's one of spending it wisely. One reason I have no financial issues and am completely debt free, aside from my mortgage, is that I approach all large purchases with systematic caution. I never pull the trigger on expensive items unless I'm certain they'll be of justifiable use to me. And while I know Music City Custom snares sound top-notch, they aren't so otherworldly as to greatly outshine more fiscally conservative options. It then comes down to aesthetics and status. Well, they definitely win the contest on those points. But just how important are those factors to me? I'll guess we'll know if I decide to get one.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Ha! It's not a question of having the money; it's one of spending it wisely. One reason I have no financial issues and am completely debt free, aside from my mortgage, is that I approach all large purchases with systematic caution. I never pull the trigger on expensive items unless I'm certain they'll be of justifiable use to me. And while I know Music City Custom snares sound top-notch, they aren't so otherworldly as to greatly outshine more fiscally conservative options. It then comes down to aesthetics and status. We'll, they definitely win the contest on those points. But just how important are those factors to me? I'll guess we'll know if I decide to get one.
Have you ever thought about being a financial advisor?

I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I just came into a substantial inheritance too so now I'm figuring out the best way to NOT SPEND ANY OF IT haha. (maybe catch up on debt).
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Have you ever thought about being a financial advisor?

I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I just came into a substantial inheritance too so now I'm figuring out the best way to NOT SPEND ANY OF IT haha. (maybe catch up on debt).
Hey, you could celebrate your windfall by sending me a Music City Custom snare. I'll take a cherry in 14x5. While you're at it, get something nice for yourself too. :)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Ha! It's not a question of having the money; it's one of spending it wisely. One reason I have no financial issues and am completely debt free, aside from my mortgage, is that I approach all large purchases with systematic caution. I never pull the trigger on expensive items unless I'm certain they'll be of justifiable use to me. And while I know Music City Custom snares sound top-notch, they aren't so otherworldly as to greatly outshine more fiscally conservative options. It then comes down to aesthetics and status. Well, they definitely win the contest on those points. But just how important are those factors to me? I'll guess we'll know if I decide to get one.
Same here, no debt. Everything is now paid for.

I approach big purchases the same way. There is lots of numbers crunching, including when I want to have it paid off. Not when it should be, when I want.

The stimulus is basically free $$$ at my house. Monthly expenses are already accounted for. I'm basically a finance nazi. I've been poor my whole life, but make it work better than most.
 
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