Pearl vs. DW Drums Which do you prefer?

notvinnie

Senior Member
I don't like DW's hardware at all. I guess people are referring to their pedals when they say they love DW's hardware. Their pedals are decent, but other brands are as good or better, and more affordable. DW's tom mounts and cymbal stands are not as simple and functional as Yamaha. Not by a long shot.
 

Aboulger116

Active member
The DW Collectors kits make me warm and tingly on the inside, I just really like them. I would not, however, buy one new due to what I see as unnecessary cost. Higher end Pearl kits have also always appealed to me, but I've never had the chance to play any :(

If I hadn't gone Ludwig I probably would have gone down the DW rabbit hole, but also considered Pearl amongst a few others as an option. I agree that flagship kits across all big brands are all fantastic, comes down to what you enjoy. In the "all of the money in your 401k" price range, my first choice would be Sonor personally.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
So a label on the shell is obligating you to tune in some specific fashion?
There's no obligation involved; it's the mere presence of a note embossed on a tom I find absurd. The convention seems yet another offspring of the inane movement to reclassify drums as melodic instruments, but I won't elaborate on that topic. The discussion is always a hopeless one.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
There's no obligation involved; it's the mere presence of a note embossed on a tom I find absurd. The convention seems yet another offspring of the inane movement to reclassify drums as melodic instruments, but I won't elaborate on that topic. The discussion is always a hopeless one.
The note is called a refference note, so shells can be matched together in one kit before the assembly.

You can’t tune them to that pitch because that pitch is gone after all the hardware is added, but the shells still work best together.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The note is called a refference note, so shells can be matched together in one kit before the assembly.

You can’t tune them to that pitch because that pitch is gone after all the hardware is added, but the shells still work best together.
I know. The topic has been addressed in great detail. It's the note itself, not its purpose, that bothers me.
 
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graysonator

Well-known member
Given that I've been an exclusive player of Pearl for over three decades and that I've never owned a DW kit (or even a single DW drum), the obvious answer is Pearl. My current set is a four-piece Pearl Session Studio Select. I put great thought into the selection, and it's exactly what I wanted. I have nothing negative to say about it.
I was thinking after I'm done with my Decade Maple kit, I was thinking of grabbing a Masters Maple/Gum
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I was thinking after I'm done with my Decade Maple kit, I was thinking of grabbing a Masters Maple/Gum
Welcome to the forum!

The Masters stuff is excellent, of course. But my favorite Pearl line, evidenced by the photo above my forum ID, is the Session Studio Select. I find the birch/mahogany combination unlimitedly versatile. You get a great blend of clarity and warmth, and the tuning range is vast.

Your Decade Maple series is nice as well. I don't think you can go wrong with any Pearl equipment.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Monster player Shannon Forest said he sold all his Gretsch recording kits when Pearl came out with maple/gum - but his are MasterWorks drums - a bit out of my league.
Masterworks is on a plane unto itself. I wouldn't go that route unless Pearl offered to craft the kit of my choice for free. But if I were to take the mammoth financial plunge and order a Masterworks lineup, I doubt I'd have the courage to leave home with it. It's not a pragmatic option for a gigging drummer who isn't fully funded through endorsements.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Masterworks is on a plane unto itself. I wouldn't go that route unless Pearl offered to craft the kit of my choice for free. But if I were to take the mammoth financial plunge and order a Masterworks lineup, I doubt I'd have the courage to leave home with it. It's not a pragmatic option for a gigging drummer who isn't fully funded through endorsements.
Oh I don’t know. That’s why we have those super-expensive instruments - to play them in public. I would take it out every chance I got. My Reference always went out, just as my Collectors always go out. I’ve worked with folks at Disney that insist on using their $10k Martin guitar or vintage Selmer saxophone. Best foot forward at all times.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Oh I don’t know. That’s why we have those super-expensive instruments - to play them in public. I would take it out every chance I got. My Reference always went out, just as my Collectors always go out. I’ve worked with folks at Disney that insist on using their $10k Martin guitar or vintage Selmer saxophone. Best foot forward at all times.
You're probably right; if I had a Masterworks, I'd likely venture out with it just to show it off. It's still hard to justify dropping that much on drums when you can get a great kit for a fraction of the cost -- though it would, of course, be fun to customize from the ground up as well.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You're probably right; if I had a Masterworks, I'd likely venture out with it just to show it off. It's still hard to justify dropping that much on drums when you can get a great kit for a fraction of the cost -- though it would, of course, be fun to customize from the ground up as well.
We’re probably on different planes. Most of my career was made on top flight stuff, which is why I’ve never considered a Masters or a Session for what I do. For the same reason I’ll probably never play less than a Collectors from DW. But there are a lot of great kits out there these days under $2k.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
We’re probably on different planes. Most of my career was made on top flight stuff, which is why I’ve never considered a Masters or a Session for what I do. For the same reason I’ll probably never play less than a Collectors from DW. But there are a lot of great kits out there these days under $2k.
Two thousand is right about what I paid for my Session, when you include the price of the snare, which has to be purchased separately. I wouldn't oppose going higher than that if I wanted to. I just really like the kit. I had a Masters set a while back but like my Session more. It's hard to use cost alone as a measure of what you want. There's so much variance among pro-level kits that the costlier one isn't always the most appealing, as appeal is always subjective.
 
Well, this is fun! Greetings, everyone, and I hope there is room for one more at this party. I've really enjoyed the comments in this forum, and I'd like to add my own experiences and questions on this topic. I haven't participated in drummer forums for a while, so it's great to be back in the game, so to speak.
For the past 18 years I've played a DW Collector's series kit. It was a 6-piece with a matching snare and a custom ordered lacquer-over-satin finish. I did a lot of research to find what I wanted, and that kit was it. It looked amazing on stage, and it sang (to me) every time I played it. Tuning those drums was easy, and I hate tuning drums. They stayed in perfect shape for all of those years. It was the kit of a lifetime....but then the cat dies and on to life #2.
I had been restless for a couple of years, wanting to change my setup and my sound. I was changing my rack layout, and I was about to swap all of my Paiste Signature Series cymbals for Sabian HHX replacements. Then I zeroed in on my shells. I loved them, but I was ready for something different. And, like Bo and so many of you have pointed out, hearing the sound that you want to hear is the most important aspect of kit ownership.
I find myself once again performing research and due diligence to find the drums with "right sound" for me. I just started, but it has been liberating and fun, given all of the changes in wood types, configurations, hardware, etc.
I never really thought that I'd leave DW Drums. Well..... I never really had any interest in Pearl. Well.... My first decent kit (3 lifetimes ago) was a Tama, but I never thought I'd consider a high-end Tama like Star Maple or Star Bubinga. Well.....did I mention that this has been fun?
I find myself really intrigued by Pearl these days, at least the shells and tones. Their hardware has always left me scratching my head. But, now that I've given credence to both DW Drums and to Pearl, I'm interested in reading/hearing more comments on this topic.
Thanks for letting me crash your party!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Two thousand is right about what I paid for my Session, when you include the price of the snare, which has to be purchased separately. I wouldn't oppose going higher than that if I wanted to. I just really like the kit. I had a Masters set a while back but like my Session more. It's hard to use cost alone as a measure of what you want. There's so much variance among pro-level kits that the costlier one isn't always the most appealing, as appeal is always subjective.
I don’t do it just to be costlier. The costlier stuff usually lasts longer because more attention to detail is put into it. Pro stuff tends to be subjected to more abuse - we’ve had kits sit in the sun and the rain for hours and get handled by the worst stage hands. Then we cook them with lighting during a show. This is why you pay what you pay for the pro level stuff - not because we’re impressing anybody with the price tag. I really don’t have time to have something break on me in transport or worse, during a show. People who hire me aren’t expecting me to have any kind of technical problems, either. It’s hard enough dealing with the musical issues, I don’t need gear issues.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I don’t do it just to be costlier. The costlier stuff usually lasts longer because more attention to detail is put into it. Pro stuff tends to be subjected to more abuse - we’ve had kits sit in the sun and the rain for hours and get handled by the worst stage hands. Then we cook them with lighting during a show. This is why you pay what you pay for the pro level stuff - not because we’re impressing anybody with the price tag. I really don’t have time to have something break on me in transport or worse, during a show. People who hire me aren’t expecting me to have any kind of technical problems, either. It’s hard enough dealing with the musical issues, I don’t need gear issues.
No question. That's a perfect summation of why I've stuck with Pearl so long. Nothing has ever malfunctioned, and I've been playing Pearl over thirty years. If I get new Pearl hardware, it's really because I just want it, not because my current hardware has failed me. Reliability is at the top of my checklist. It's something I don't want to worry about when performing or recording, though anything material can fail at some point. I've just been really lucky in that regard.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
Is there a lot of drum envy within the DW drum owners community? Do the collectors series guys scoff and look down at the performance and dare I say the Pacific guys? It's like Mercedes they make real junk and real nice cars. If you buy a c-class ( the pacific drums by DW) you may as well buy a different brand but the s-class is amazing. The e-class( Performance series) is ok but your just saying "I couldn't afford the s-class"( Collectors series).
I would always feel inferior if i bought something less and thats not how I view Pearl. To me it seems like there are more divided camps in DW than Pearl. Pearl makes drums for everyone, DW makes them via a class system. I like both brands, I own Pearls, never played DW but don't dislike them.
 
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