Should I get a reference pure?

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Hi guys, just wanting some opinions.
I’ve used a pearl reference pure as backline twice and both times I really enjoyed playing them. I also tapped on one at a drum convention and it was lined up next to an sq2, collectors and several other top tier kits and it was actually my favourite, (but then it might have also been the tuning that I preferred).

Just randomly, I saw a picture of a satin rose gold kit and I know it’s not the most masculine finish but I have wanted a kit in that colour for a while.

I am very lucky to own two high end kits already so I know I’m being greedy, and trying to talk myself out of it.

Does anyone have any long term experiences of this kit? Like them? Not like them?
How would this kit fare against my dw collectors maple and sakae almighty birch?

I have some older kits that I never play anymore so I figured if I sold off 1 or 2 of those I could justify it.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
They’re known to be heavy. They have that graduated wood type and graduated bearing edge system. For people that love them, they’re very satisfying. I’d listen to a little of videos and play at least one kit before I’d decide, they’re fairly expensive.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
They’re known to be heavy. They have that graduated wood type and graduated bearing edge system. For people that love them, they’re very satisfying. I’d listen to a little of videos and play at least one kit before I’d decide, they’re fairly expensive.
I’ve owned both Reference and Reference Pure. They’re awesome drums. The Reference is the heavy one, though. The Pure was the marketing response to players who wanted lighter - although it was obvious the Reference is the louder of the two. It’s nice that they’re priced the same, so you can decide which version you want.
 

C.M. Jones

Diamond Member
The Reference is a distinguished series. That goes without saying. If I were on the market for a kit, I'd ask myself the following question: Does the Reference have stand-alone traits (qualities I can't find in other Pearl offerings) that captivate me to the extent that I won't be satisfied with anything else? If the answer is yes, I'd get a Reference. Otherwise, I wouldn't. Shells in that price range have to arrest me to the point of infatuation, the way my Pearl Music City Custom snare does. If they don't, I keep my money.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I’ve owned both Reference and Reference Pure. They’re awesome drums. The Reference is the heavy one, though. The Pure was the marketing response to players who wanted lighter - although it was obvious the Reference is the louder of the two. It’s nice that they’re priced the same, so you can decide which version you want.
Yes I remember you had a lovely black one. Why did you end up selling it?
 

Square

Active Member
I was recently in a similar situation, although not on the same level. I have three very nice kits, all of which are more than I will ever justify with my ability. I was recently smitten by a Pearl Masters Maple Complete.

I wrestled with this for a while and when the finance department (wife) gave me the nod, I ordered them. You only go around once in life...

As long as it's not financially burdensome, I say do it.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
That's a lot of dough for a kit made in China. I didn't even know Pearl made drums that expensive! I can't keep track of their nomenclature.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yes I remember you had a lovely black one. Why did you end up selling it?
Because drums are like clothes. And I wanted that kinda white oyster wrap finish. Then I got a Reference in natural maple. All great drums, but I also like a lot of other brands too - so I kinda play what I like until I don’t like it 😉
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
That's a lot of dough for a kit made in China. I didn't even know Pearl made drums that expensive! I can't keep track of their nomenclature.
I do kinda feel the same. The reference series is charging the same or more than high end drums made by DW, Sonor, Ludwig, & Gretsch.

the thing is… DW is making them in California, Ludwig in NC, gretsch in SC and Sonor in Germany…. All places where the cost of labor is high.

but pearl is charging more or the same for drums that aren’t paying their workers anything like what the other high end companies do. I do find that a little weird, even if the drums sound good.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I do kinda feel the same. The reference series is charging the same or more than high end drums made by DW, Sonor, Ludwig, & Gretsch.

the thing is… DW is making them in California, Ludwig in NC, gretsch in SC and Sonor in Germany…. All places where the cost of labor is high.

but pearl is charging more or the same for drums that aren’t paying their workers anything like what the other high end companies do. I do find that a little weird, even if the drums sound good.
Is the geo-politics really a factor in buying a set of drums? I always thought it was, “I like these, they’re inspiring to play, I think I’ll get some”. Especially when you consider how much day-to-day stuff is imported into America to be bought and sold - it always strikes me as funny how people want “high-end Western quality” but never seem to mind the imported meats and other foods coming in from China or elsewhere that we consume everyday. A lot of our smart phones come from “over there” but nobody screams about that. Pearl isn’t the only one making stuff in China as far as musical instruments are concerned.
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
Is the geo-politics really a factor in buying a set of drums? I always thought it was, “I like these, they’re inspiring to play, I think I’ll get some”. Especially when you consider how much day-to-day stuff is imported into America to be bought and sold - it always strikes me as funny how people want “high-end Western quality” but never seem to mind the imported meats and other foods coming in from China or elsewhere that we consume everyday. A lot of our smart phones come from “over there” but nobody screams about that. Pearl isn’t the only one making stuff in China as far as musical instruments are concerned.


Literally has nothing to do what with I said. Buy what you like and what sounds good.

My issue is the price of said goods... why are Chinese goods and thus Walmart so popular in America? Its because they make a cheaper product that is generally of decent quality. But cheaper is the key word.

When I buy a Sonor kit, I understand that a lot of the cost is associated with the cost of operating a business in Germany as well the labor associated with it. But with Pearl, I don't think they even manufacture their highest end kits in Japan where they are headquartered.

So my question is... Wouldn't pearl (who makes great stuff) be able to sell their high end product at a better rate than other high end companies ? But the answer is no
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Literally has nothing to do what with I said. Buy what you like and what sounds good.

My issue is the price of said goods... why are Chinese goods and thus Walmart so popular in America? Its because they make a cheaper product that is generally of decent quality. But cheaper is the key word.

When I buy a Sonor kit, I understand that a lot of the cost is associated with the cost of operating a business in Germany as well the labor associated with it. But with Pearl, I don't think they even manufacture their highest end kits in Japan where they are headquartered.

So my question is... Wouldn't pearl (who makes great stuff) be able to sell their high end product at a better rate than other high end companies ? But the answer is no
But then you could say that about many more companies other than Pearl. Yamaha does mostly all of their lines from Taiwan, and they sell their stuff at higher prices than Pearl, and we pay those prices (else they wouldn’t be that high). So we can assume one of two things: maybe we don’t have a handle on what’s really going on in the world of economics, or ALOT of companies are just making too much money from consumers. The answer is probably somewhere in between.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
I do kinda feel the same. The reference series is charging the same or more than high end drums made by DW, Sonor, Ludwig, & Gretsch.

the thing is… DW is making them in California, Ludwig in NC, gretsch in SC and Sonor in Germany…. All places where the cost of labor is high.

but pearl is charging more or the same for drums that aren’t paying their workers anything like what the other high end companies do. I do find that a little weird, even if the drums sound good.

however dw is not paying high wages whatsoever relative to living expenses in LA.. they pay around minimum wage in CA.. which is what... $14 minus taxes?? unless they changed this ........ then go find an apartment in LA.. You know the average rent of an apartment in a decent area in LA currently?? if you are doing the general shell working at dw.. you are renting a bedroom in LA.

Taiwan minimum wage is $6..... but the cost of living is a massive fraction of USA.. and especially LA.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Yamaha does mostly all of their lines from Taiwan, and they sell their stuff at higher prices than Pearl, and we pay those prices (else they wouldn’t be that high).

Yamaha is out of China .. which is even cheaper than Taiwan to operate I believe....... but the quality they put out is easily better than DW and most others IMO.
 

Timmy

Active Member
Also, just because something is made in China doesn't mean it is crap (I had a Chinese person straighten me out on this, lol). They make what you want them to make. You want crap, you got it. You want high quality, they can do that too. Now, if you don't like their politics, that's a whole nuther subject.
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
I’m not saying it’s crap. Pearl makes great sounding drums (so does Yamaha)… but it seems like the price should be cheaper if you are producing high end kits in a low wage market..

I just feel like pearl is saving a lot of labor costs and should be passing that on to the customer. But they dont. It goes to their pocket.

I just find a little unethical. But all corporations do it. Nike could be manufacturing in the US and still have great profit margins but they don’t. It’s one of the biggest things that rubs me wrong about pearl. A corporation taking jobs away from their home market not for cheap consumer cost just bigger profits.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I’m not saying it’s crap. Pearl makes great sounding drums (so does Yamaha)… but it seems like the price should be cheaper if you are producing high end kits in a low wage market..

I just feel like pearl is saving a lot of labor costs and should be passing that on to the customer. But they dont. It goes to their pocket.

I just find a little unethical. But all corporations do it. Nike could be manufacturing in the US and still have great profit margins but they don’t. It’s one of the biggest things that rubs me wrong about pearl. A corporation taking jobs away from their home market not for cheap consumer cost just bigger profits.
Concerts are $50 a pop for the low end acts. When I started going to concerts, they were $5 and I thought KISS charging $6.50 was an outrage in 76! Nowadays we can only dream about paying $6.50 to see them, and Ace and Peter are long gone :D

It's what the market will bear, and nothing else matters.
 
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