Selecting My Pearl Music City Custom Snare Drum: Resolved

KEEF

Senior Member
Walnut gets my vote C.M- as others have alluded to, richer sound in the low to mid range imo . Maple only maybe just possibly slightly perhaps maybe edges it at higher tuning.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
If you’re playing country, go with the walnut. And then next year, get the maple. 😬
 

s1212z

Well-known member
1
I can't confirm where the planks get bent, but according to Pearl, each shell is crafted by a single artisan in Nashville. That's good enough to qualify as American made for me.
I don’t mean to spoil the excitement. Sounds like a fine instrument but I don’t like their marketing here and I think they could drop the price a bit if not in-housing shells. Bending of the 1 ply into a shell is supposedly most labor intensive process to justify the higher cost. If this is a Taiwan import and sticking the customers at boutique price with a proud US flag in the background as a branding, it’s pretty shameless. I can’t confirm the SS but the MC drum set line is doing this. Nonetheless, vote for walnut, the Med tension sounded sweet and I always go for ‘darker’ shell types for 5”.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
If you’re playing country, go with the walnut. And then next year, get the maple. 😬

In the end it is your call, but
the crowd is leaning towards walnut.
I do prefer the maple.
It rightly is a staple.
So if I may enable
GAS, add both to your stable.
Though attaining both shells is an alluring suggestion, my minimalistic nature prohibits that overture. I like having a single snare that meets all my needs, with a second on hand as a mere backup. It's hard to justify buying two snares of this stature and designating one of them as a benchwarmer. I've already made room for a new main snare by selling one of my Session Studio Select shells. My other one will remain on call for emergencies while the Music City Custom takes the spotlight.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Though attaining both shells is an alluring suggestion, my minimalistic nature prohibits that overture. I like having a single snare that meets all my needs, with a second on hand as a mere backup. It's hard to justify buying two snares of this stature and designating one of them as a benchwarmer. I've already made room for a new main snare by selling one of my Session Studio Select shells. My other one will remain on call for emergencies while the Music City Custom takes the spotlight.
My argument against this approach is: through the decision process you have eliminated all but two drums, and either of these drums will work as a "first call" instrument. They are both professional quality instruments, both capable of delivering the sounds you want. After purchasing the walnut snare and are certain there's no buyer's remorse, purge the other snare drums, use that money to defray the cost of the second Music City drum. Then you have both drums that will cover 100% of your music.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
My argument against this approach is: through the decision process you have eliminated all but two drums, and either of these drums will work as a "first call" instrument. They are both professional quality instruments, both capable of delivering the sounds you want. After purchasing the walnut snare and are certain there's no buyer's remorse, purge the other snare drums, use that money to defray the cost of the second Music City drum. Then you have both drums that will cover 100% of your music.
That's a perfectly rational plan, but I always end up liking one shell more than others and find myself using it ninety-nine percent of the time. Given this tendency, it makes more sense for me to keep a Session Studio Select snare (also a pro-quality instrument) on the backburner instead of consigning a Music City Custom shell to second-string status. Throwing a grand at a snare I won't use daily is something I'm reluctant to do.
 
Though attaining both shells is an alluring suggestion, my minimalistic nature prohibits that overture. I like having a single snare that meets all my needs, with a second on hand as a mere backup. It's hard to justify buying two snares of this stature and designating one of them as a benchwarmer. I've already made room for a new main snare by selling one of my Session Studio Select shells. My other one will remain on call for emergencies while the Music City Custom takes the spotlight.
I was just kidding of course - hence the terrible rhymes. :p $1000 is a lot of money. The single substantial part of my post was that I'd prefer the maple version, while most users prefer the walnut, so there are contradicting opinions. Is there any store where you can play those drums yourself? Maybe that trip could be combined with a nice weekend foray.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Is there any store where you can play those drums yourself? Maybe that trip could be combined with a nice weekend foray.
That would be my preferred process, of course, but no local retailer has this line in stock. I'd need to travel a considerable distance to encounter a specimen in person. Hence, I'm relying on sound files and my experience with Pearl's craftsmanship. Both resources grant me sufficient knowledge to make a decision. It's now just a matter of choosing my shell.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
IMO both maple and walnut do both low and high well.

I particularly like the walnut at higher tunings. It has a great sound tuned high.

I also particularly like the 5" depth for lower tunings, no matter the wood. So walnut for both high and low tunings. (same as maple really, just a different personality/flavor)

Counter-intuitive since I thought of walnut as excelling more in the low tunings...which it does. I was pleasantly surprised at the personality the walnut shell took on at the higher tunings. It's got a little extra something something.

A solid walnut shell, 5" deep, is definitely a different sound than a solid maple shell of the same size.

More people play maple than walnut IMO. Meaning you won't sound like the maple crowd, not throwing shade at all. I love the sound of my solid maple snare

You know maple, but it doesn't sound like you have much experience with a walnut snare. Forgive me if I'm off there.

I would go walnut. No compromises, and maybe a little bit of an edge over maple.

I have solid shell drums made from maple, ash, walnut and padauk. Honestly, some days I prefer just one of those drums over all the others, but it's always changing. This week it's my walnut snare. Such a big sound tuned low. So I can't pick a favorite. I would settle for any one of them if I could only have one.

Maple is safe, and a known quantity. Worst case scenario, you don't like the walnut, in which case I betcha you could exchange it for the maple within 30 days of purchase...if your dealer has the 30 day return policy. Take the original heads off and play it with your favorite head. So if you return it, it doesn't look used.

Really looking forward to your choice. Either way you're golden.
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
Throwing a grand at a snare I won't use daily is something I'm reluctant to do.
Agreed, but the cost would be offset by the sale of the other instruments. It's also a fun way to explain arithmetic to your friends and family.

I'd need to travel a considerable distance to encounter a specimen in person.
Sweetwater will allow you to try a drum and return it if not satisfied. Although you'd pay return shipping, if I recall. They might also throw in a drum bag for you if you are nice to them and ask politely.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
Beautiful drums mate. At a push I probably prefer the maple (for all of the reasons most people here don’t!) but also loved the sound (and prefer the look of) the walnut. I don’t think you can go wrong with these masterpieces! Based on your comments above expressing a preference, I imagine that the @C.M. Jones “walnut whip” will be coming to a venue/recording studio near you!! Enjoy! :D (y)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I would think the decision would partly depend on what snare you're using now,
and if the new one will be a replacement for it, or an addition to it.
We can call it a replacement for sure. It will be my everything snare -- live, studio, practice, and any variation thereof. I'll be keeping a Session Studio Select snare on hand just in case my Music City Custom falls prey to the ravages of fate. Of course, should such devastation occur, I'll succumb to a state of paralyzing despondency and not be able to drum at all.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
IMO both maple and walnut do both low and high well.

I particularly like the walnut at higher tunings. It has a great sound tuned high.

I also particularly like the 5" depth for lower tunings, no matter the wood. So walnut for both high and low tunings. (same as maple really, just a different personality/flavor)

Counter-intuitive since I thought of walnut as excelling more in the low tunings...which it does. I was pleasantly surprised at the personality the walnut shell took on at the higher tunings. It's got a little extra something something.

A solid walnut shell, 5" deep, is definitely a different sound than a solid maple shell of the same size.

More people play maple than walnut IMO. Meaning you won't sound like the maple crowd, not throwing shade at all. I love the sound of my solid maple snare

You know maple, but it doesn't sound like you have much experience with a walnut snare. Forgive me if I'm off there.

I would go walnut. No compromises, and maybe a little bit of an edge over maple.

I have solid shell drums made from maple, ash, walnut and padauk. Honestly, some days I prefer just one of those drums over all the others, but it's always changing. This week it's my walnut snare. Such a big sound tuned low. So I can't pick a favorite. I would settle for any one of them if I could only have one.

Maple is safe, and a known quantity. Worst case scenario, you don't like the walnut, in which case I betcha you could exchange it for the maple within 30 days of purchase...if your dealer has the 30 day return policy. Take the original heads off and play it with your favorite head. So if you return it, it doesn't look used.

Really looking forward to your choice. Either way you're golden.
Thanks for your thoughtful analysis, Larry. You submit two points in particular that resonate with me: first, that the maple crowd is vast, making walnut a less common and thus more intriguing option, and second, that I've owned several maple snares but have never had a walnut model. Both factors, in concert with sound characteristics, are nudging me toward the walnut camp.

I'll make a decision this week. I'm sure it seems that I've been pondering this transaction interminably, but a snare of this caliber is something I want to be sure about. I intend to play the hell out of it.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Just gave them a couple listens. I like the maple better at low and high tunings, and the walnut at medium tuning.

If I had to pick between those two, I'd get the maple.
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
I haven't played either but I'd wager a bet that the difference between the walnut and the maple would be less than the difference from changing the batter head from a PS3 to a Fibreskyn.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I haven't played either but I'd wager a bet that the difference between the walnut and the maple would be less than the difference from changing the batter head from a PS3 to a Fibreskyn.
Head variations would potentially make a stunning difference, another topic of discussion entirely.
 
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