I own the Live Oaks with 22x18 bass drum, but tested the Live Oaks, the Stage Customs, the Masters BCX, and DW Performance all in the same room. All bass drums were 22x18 export for the Stage Custom with a 20". All stock heads.
To me, the Stage Custom was blown away by the other bass drums. I would put the Masters and DW about even in volume and punch. The Live Oak bass drum hit harder and seemed louder to me.
Yes, I did. Volume was not the primary factor as the Masters and DW were plenty loud. I've always liked to be a little different and the oak just sounded different (and better to me) than the birch and maple kits. I will say that the Pearl hardware and build quality is outstanding. I found the DW quality pretty lacking in comparison.
I currently have a set of Live Oaks and I also owned the DW Performance drums. Both bass drums were 18x22. The DW sounded great to my ears, however I am not a fan of virgin bass drums. I traded them in towards the Live Oaks, I also owned the Oak Customs. I love the Live oak bass drum, plenty of volume and great sound, but it is heavy. You may have seen my kit in the classified section for sale.
The reason for trying to sell the kit is age. I'm 62. I work about 120 gigs per year and the 22x18 oak bass drum is heavy. I have been using my 4 piece Magstar kit with 20" bass drum, or my Littlebird kit with a 20x14
see your ad on ebay too. decent price, i'm thinking of the deal on musicians friend get a coupon add zildjians, wondering between the 20 or 22 bass. extra 50 bucks get bigger bass and bigger floor tom.