Pearl vs. DW Drums Which do you prefer?

Darth Vater

Senior Member
To be honest, Darth, though I'm a devout Pearl disciple, I do find those Satanic Mapex shells of yours quite tempting. They're infused with beguiling evil. Even a pure-minded fellow like myself can't ignore them. I'm off to Confession now.
I really don't have anything against Pearl other than those dopey looking tom mounts of theirs. They look like shower heads! Aren't they the leading seller of drum kits? You better steer clear of those Saturns! Peeps will make fun of their funny name and goofy badges. I guess every drum company has their peccadilloes. It's all subjective in the pro segment. For high end I'd go Sonor and Tama Star over DW and DW is not even close. For the $2500-3500 segement I'd go Ludwig CM and Gretsch USA. $1500-2500 would be Mapex Saturn, Tama Starclassic, and Gretsch Brooklyn. Below that would Gretsch Renown and that is probably where I'd stop. I don't like buying kits where you immediately need to swap out all the heads. A pro kit should come with some good heads. That's just me. YMMV
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Koitan actually manufactures a kit with shells made of compressed Spam. It's a Japanese company known for it's meat packaging expertise. During the late 70s they had a deal with Hormel to develop new cans for Hickory smoked Spam because the "Hickory" sauce was extremely corrosive to the cans in current production. What Kioki Koitan the chief research and development engineer discovered was the new containers prevented the chemical transformation to corrosion. The down side was it caused an extreme hardness of the jellied "meat" to the extent that it was not only not edible, but could not be sliced. Mr Koitan found the only was to slice it was with a band saw. It was then he noticed the exotic wooden look of the sliced "used to be meat". As a former professional drummer he then decided to band saw several other cans and use the pieces to make a stave shell spam snare drum. Upon completion he manufactured a bass drum, rack tom and floor tom. To make a long story short, he has since made over 1200 kits from the not necessarily compressed but rather solidified Spam and marketed them worldwide. They have yet to take off in America, but then again John Good has not responded to the offer of joining Koitan as chief marketing officer. Updates will be forthcoming as events unfold.
Yes! I had one of those!
I say 'had' - until I went out for the afternoon and left my two jack Russells with access to the music room.
Boy, those little terriers can eat when they're bored ...
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I really do love my Session Studio Select kit. Superb drums. The birch/African mahogany combo is wonderfully balanced. I don't know that you'll find a better compromise between projection and warmth.

Tom arms: I don't use them. I'm a one-up/one-down player, and my up tom is in a snare stand. Removing Pearl's mounting system from a tom is but the work of a moment.
Pearl is doing great things!
Yes with birch/mahog they’re calling it full spectrum sound as you get 6 total plies in a thiner shell. 4 plies of their master series grade birch, to provide pre eq’d, known for its quality for hardness, while inner 2 plies are mahogany for that low end and provides a softer material, combine this with 60 degree edges.

What finish and sizes do you have?

My sessions kit will be larger, initially I wasn’t sure if wanted to order with BB3 brackets, or a rack, or two adp 30 with 2 toms on each side of kick.
For now, the plan is gyro lock arms for 4 racks sizes 8”-13” so there will be that in conjunction to optimount system. Just not sure if I will use 2 adp 30 adapters, or doubling on adp 20s for somewhat more flexibility.
I do have my 8” and 13” can you believe this finish is a lacquer?
I can gaze at these all day.
76840B4C-CA60-447B-8640-EB04915A16F7.jpeg7D8C9EC6-BEC9-44ED-9A8E-D09C4258C587.jpegA5642B13-2FF9-4D0D-9426-35D6EAACA0C1.jpeg
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Spill it, man. We're all adults here. What's the value of a forum if you can't vent your hatred? :)
I dunno - It's unproductive to bash on personal opinion between an A v B choice when my preferences would be C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L M, N, O, P far beyond A or B haha.

It would be like me arguing about whether or be a Pharmacist or an Accountant when they both sound like total shit jobs for me PERSONALLY but are fine choices for someone else.

Really they both make fine drums if you like their aesthetic and the sound of the series you are looking at.

I'm too old for heated internet debates - I had those when I first joined this site in like 2005 in great depth haha.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Pearl is doing great things!
Yes with birch/mahog they’re calling it full spectrum sound as you get 6 total plies in a thiner shell. 4 plies of their master series grade birch, to provide pre eq’d, known for its quality for hardness, while inner 2 plies are mahogany for that low end and provides a softer material, combine this with 60 degree edges.

What finish and sizes do you have?

My sessions kit will be larger, initially I wasn’t sure if wanted to order with BB3 brackets, or a rack, or two adp 30 with 2 toms on each side of kick.
For now, the plan is gyro lock arms for 4 racks sizes 8”-13” so there will be that in conjunction to optimount system. Just not sure if I will use 2 adp 30 adapters, or doubling on adp 20s for somewhat more flexibility.
I do have my 8” and 13” can you believe this finish is a lacquer?
I can gaze at these all day.
View attachment 92666View attachment 92667View attachment 92668
My Session Studio Select snare (14 x 5.5) is natural birch, a lacquered wood look. The rest of the kit is white. Sizes: 12" tom (which I mount in a snare stand), 16" floor tom, 22" bass drum.

I'll probably get the same snare drum in Barnwood Brown as well. Session Studio Select snares are excellent. I like the idea of a backup snare with an identical sound.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I dunno - It's unproductive to bash on personal opinion between an A v B choice when my preferences would be C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L M, N, O, P far beyond A or B haha.

It would be like me arguing about whether or be a Pharmacist or an Accountant when they both sound like total shit jobs for me PERSONALLY but are fine choices for someone else.

Really they both make fine drums if you like their aesthetic and the sound of the series you are looking at.

I'm too old for heated internet debates - I had those when I first joined this site in like 2005 in great depth haha.
I hear you, man, and I was kidding, of course. At the same time, views to the contrary can be very valuable. I'm always suspicious of persistent positivity.
 

GCRoberts

Well-known member
I chose DW myself. I agree with those that say that once you get above a certain price point, they're all good. In the end, I wanted to go on Sweetwater and pick a great sounding kit where I could get a 5 piece that's easily upgradable to a 7 piece as you find a few extra bucks. The only vendor I could find that you could easily do that was DW. Now I'm sure you can talk to your Sweetwater rep and he can get your prices on a 7 piece in pretty much any vendor, but they had all the DW's right in stock in multiple finishes. Why special order when you don't have to? Of course this was before the pandemic.
 

JaysonJeanChannel

Well-known member
I’ve owned both and both are great. They both offer something different depending on what you want. I’ve only owned DW Collectors series kits and my main Pearl kits are Reference series, both very different side-by-side. You can geek out on either one.

But truth be told, once you get past a certain price point, like say, over $2000, they’re all great. They all sound like drums and will survive the abuse of the road. So it’s really up to you. Which Pearl line are you thinking about getting in to?
This really blew up! I'm surprised that I haven't gotten any notifications.
But I really have my eye on the Session Studio Select Series from Pearl!
 

JaysonJeanChannel

Well-known member
My hatred of Pearl tom arms started back when I got a used 80s Pearl Export. The mounts went directly into the shells. I could never get the toms where I wanted them. Fast forward almost 30 years and the Pearl arms have barely changed...at least they no longer go through the shell.

I'm guessing that's part of why so many people dislike them. They aren't the prettiest mounts either because of how bulky they are.
I can agree on the tom mounts. It has gotten better ... but not really a pretty sight.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This really blew up! I'm surprised that I haven't gotten any notifications.
But I really have my eye on the Session Studio Select Series from Pearl!
Yeah, as soon as you say “DW vs ‘anybody else’”, all kinds of true colors come out. It happens here on this forum all the time. I think I’m one of the few that own both and can geek out on either one on any given day correctly. Although, I’ve not dealt with the “middle” lines of either. My whole time was spent with either the Collectors series or the Reference series, and price-wise they’re pretty close, but they take a different route on what makes a good drum sound. I’ve checked out and played the Session stuff and to me those are great drums. Lots of pros play them. I’m not sure DW has any pro artists associated with their Design or Performance lines though. I mean, you’ll see somebody like Abe Laboriel Jr. pictured with a PDP kit but you know when he’s out with Paul McCartney he’s playing his Collectors drums.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Spill it, man. We're all adults here. What's the value of a forum if you can't vent your hatred? :)
There is no trolling, flaming, or insulting of others allowed. Do not make comments that are sexist, racist, pejorative, obscene, inflammatory, spiteful, abusive, threatening, or in any way insulting or disrespectful to any individual or group of people. Do not allow disagreements to become personal. Attacking or insulting another forum member rather than disagreeing with their point of view will not be tolerated. If you do disagree with someone else's opinion, show your intelligence by arguing your position calmly and respectfully. Please do not start a new thread to discuss how much you don't like someone or something. If you have a chip on your shoulder or an ax to grind, this is not the place for you.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
There is no trolling, flaming, or insulting of others allowed. Do not make comments that are sexist, racist, pejorative, obscene, inflammatory, spiteful, abusive, threatening, or in any way insulting or disrespectful to any individual or group of people. Do not allow disagreements to become personal. Attacking or insulting another forum member rather than disagreeing with their point of view will not be tolerated. If you do disagree with someone else's opinion, show your intelligence by arguing your position calmly and respectfully. Please do not start a new thread to discuss how much you don't like someone or something. If you have a chip on your shoulder or an ax to grind, this is not the place for you.
For the record, I was referring, namely, to the poster's reluctance to express disapproval of a product on the basis of its quality and performance. I would never, nor would I encourage anyone else to, defame a person (or a person's affiliations or beliefs) for any reason. Taken in its proper context, my statement's intent is, I believe, apparent to most readers. In addition, I was being jocular, aiming for flippant irony. At the same time, I can see how misinterpretations are common among rigid and literal minds, making the clarifying reminder appropriate. I support every mandate in the preceding rules and regulations, void of any desire to violate them. I would hope that my history of substance-packed posts demonstrates that commitment, but hope is a flimsy entity to rely on.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I really like Pearl, my first kit was a Pearl (I still have it) and I love the Masters Custom series.

I also own a DW kit (Collectors Series) and I love it also.

DW for me, but both are great drum manufacturers.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Heck yeah, man. I mean, who wants hub caps for lug mounts? I couldn’t resist such a softball pitch.
I like them. But my reasoning is a bit of nostalgia: they’re the old Camco lugs. Camco was a great drum company right here in California back in the 50s/60s and made great drums. A friend of mine loaned me his for a show when I was in college and I just about didn’t want to give them back! And when DW began making those drums, they sounded identical and now that DW makes its own shells, they’re very close. So it represents a bit of home for me.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Heck yeah, man. I mean, who wants hub caps for lug mounts? I couldn’t resist such a softball pitch.
The DW lugs really don't bother me. I've always thought the round lugs were a unique look and while I do see where they might overwhelm smaller toms, they were designed in an era where little toms weren't much of a consideration. On standard 12"+ drums I think they look great.
 

equipmentdork

Junior Member
Pearl. I have 2 MLX kits as well as the original 90s run of Session Series, a sleeper kit if ever there was one.. That's not a knock on DW at all, just my preference. I love my original 5000 pedals, virtually untouched for repair since 1988!


Dan
 

JaysonJeanChannel

Well-known member
Yeah, as soon as you say “DW vs ‘anybody else’”, all kinds of true colors come out. It happens here on this forum all the time. I think I’m one of the few that own both and can geek out on either one on any given day correctly. Although, I’ve not dealt with the “middle” lines of either. My whole time was spent with either the Collectors series or the Reference series, and price-wise they’re pretty close, but they take a different route on what makes a good drum sound. I’ve checked out and played the Session stuff and to me those are great drums. Lots of pros play them. I’m not sure DW has any pro artists associated with their Design or Performance lines though. I mean, you’ll see somebody like Abe Laboriel Jr. pictured with a PDP kit but you know when he’s out with Paul McCartney he’s playing his Collectors drums.
That's actually interesting. I really don't know many people that use the Design/Performace Series.
 
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