Maple/African mahogany composite
Flame maple with unique custom spider web graphics (lacquer)
18×16“ kick (8 lugs)
20×16“ kick (10 lugs)
22×18“ kick 10 lugs)
24×16“ kick (10 lugs)
26×18“ kick (10 lugs)
8×10“ rack tom (6 lugs)
9×12“ rack tom (6 lugs)
10×13“ rack tom (8 lugs)
10×14“ rack tom (8 lugs)
15×16“ floor tom (8 lugs)
16×18“ floor tom (8 lugs)
Vic Firth 5A American Hickory (sticks)
Kick (batter side):
Remo Controlled Sound Clear (Kick 1, 3, 4), Remo Ambassador Coated (Kick 2), Remo Ambassador Renaissance (Kick 5)
Kick resonance side:
Remo Powerstroke 3 coated (Kick 1, 2, 3, 4)
Toms batter side:
Remo Controlled Sound Clear
Toms resonance side:
Remo Ambassador Clear
MORE IS MORE.
There are several boutique brands that offer made-to-order drum kits, but speaking in terms of major players, Pearl’s Masterworks series truly offers a pick-your-own buffé of options unlike anyone else. Literally anything can be customized – from choice of wood, number of plies, shell thickness, the option to pick several woods for composite finishes down to different degrees of bearing edges, nuts and bolts. In essence, a dream for anyone looking to have their kit as personalized as possible.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.
If you were to single out and remove any one of these custom components, it likely wouldn’t have a tremendous effect on the overall tone. However, add them all up and together they’ll undoubtedly play a pivotal role both for playability, feel and sound. A detail that sticks and that one may think doesn’t add much to the tone (since it’s on the actual outside of the shells) is the finish. Think again! This kit features a custom paint job featuring a thick lacquer graphic of a yellow spider web over a red Flame Maple finish. The extra layer of dense lacquer not only adds lots of weight to the shells, it also makes them sound noticeably more solid and inelastic. This factor combined with the regular specs of the wood and the choice of the bearing edges result in a truly unique tone.
“Coming from a jazz and fusion background, I don’t think I would have gone for a spider web finish, but leaving aesthetics aside – the thick coat of the lacquer really adds a tremendous amount of stability to the tone. I was kind of shocked in a very positive way when we played it for the first time in the main hall at Galaxy. It sounded like thunder! Playing it, I could really feel the impact and resonance of the thick lacquer”, comments sampling drummer Norman Garschke.
HIGH-END WITH BOOSTED HIGH ENDS.
To add to this, the shells were configured in a 6-ply composite of maple and African mahogany with the bearing edges rounded in 45°. This combined makes for a tone with a slight boost of the higher mids and high frequencies.
“To me, this is as close as one can get to a custom but still allround pop, rock and metal kit that is super loud but still has a lot of finesse suitable for maybe jazz fusion and prog rock. This is a drum set that will find its way to cut through in any dense mix, for sure. I can only imagine that it’d be a perfect kit for the stage as well. E-drummers, rejoice!”
To further add to the characteristics the shells in themselves had, we experimented a lot with different drum heads and ultimately ended up using Remo Controlled Sound heads on all drums. These really further intensified the punch and power of the stick attack, making the drums even more full-sounding with raw power. For the different bass drum sizes, we tried out lots of different tunings, heads and muffling as well as adding additional weights inside the drums. And speaking about sizes…
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL.
As always, our quest is to provide the broadest possible palette of options, and this kit is no exception – rather the opposite. With this one-of-a-kind finish, we were surprised (but fortunate) to get all the sizes we were on the look for. In the end, we sampled five different kick drums (18“, 20“, 22“, 24“ and 26“) and six toms (8×10“, 9×12“, 10×13“, 10×14“, 15×16“ and 16×18“). This is the definition of a monster kit with sonic superpowers. Norman recalls:
“This kit must have cost a fortune to purchase for the lucky person who originally ordered it. It’s a deluxe monster with everything one can ask for or want in a drum set. Sampling it was a massive undertaking that took the better part of a week, hitting each drum from soft to hard hundreds of times. But having it available 24/7 on my e-kit or in my songwriting sessions made it worth every second invested”.
Here’s a selection of drums-only demos.
PEARL MASTERWORKS KIT SETUP TIMELAPSE.
FAMOUS DRUMMERS WHO PLAYED PEARL MASTERWORKS.
Dennis Chambers, Omar Hakim, Gary Husband (and many, many more).