With no assembly line boundaries and no mass production compromises, Masterworks drums truly represent all that is possible. There is no inventory. Every drum in your kit is designed by you, and hand built to your exacting specifications, one drum at a time. We've assembled an elite group of Pearl master craftsmen in order to manufacture the finest drums the world has ever known. Masterworks drums are as individual as you are, like no other you have heard or seen before.
Completely Custom, Totally Handmade, Pearl Drums
Custom Drums. There seems to be quite a few companies making them these days. Most buy shells from the same manufacturer, mount hardware they bought from some place else, and apply a custom paint job. The end result, after a lot of hype, is a custom drum set...or is it?
Masterworks hopes to change the way drummers view a custom set of drums. At Pearl, the word custom holds quite a bit more reverence. It means we made it, not assembled it. It means everything about the kit is made by hand, one piece at a time, by a Pearl master craftsman. From hand selecting the finest woods and painstakingly forming the shell, to die casting and plating the hardware that mounts to it, drums bearing the Masterworks badge are one of a kind ultimate acoustic instruments, hand made to your specifications, with the expertise and quality no other company can match.
With Masterworks, it's about choices. The choices begin with the selection of the shell material that precisely suits your playing style. Maple is an excellent choice for general purpose applications due to its smooth, warm, well rounded tone, with equal amounts of hi-end attack and mid-range body and an excellent low-end punch. Birch is known for its "naturally EQ'ed sound" that offers slightly boosted hi-end frequencies, a smooth, mellow mid-range and a deep low-end presence and is a great choice for any applications that require extra presence and cut. African Mahogany is the ideal choice when maximum warmth and low frequencies are a priority.
MapleMaple has been a favorite choice of drum manufacturers since the late 1700's. Its grain is a beautiful canvas for transparent finishing techniques, and its tone is ideal for general purpose, all encompassing applications. Our North American Maple, like all of the woods used for Masterworks drums, is hand-selected to meet stringent requirements for proper density, age, and consistency of grain and color. Maple offers a smooth, warm, well rounded tone, with equal amounts of hi-end attack and mid-range body, and an excellent low-end punch.
BirchBirch drums have gained an almost cult following over the years for their "naturally EQ'ed sound." Our prime Scandinavian Birch offers a slightly boosted hi-end cut, a smooth, mellow mid range and a deep low end presence. Many popular Birch shell drums have found their way into top recording studios, where they are a favorite of both the player and the engineer.
African MahoganyMahogany was the industry standard for drum shell for over fifty years, and one listen tells you why. Our supreme quality African Mahogany is extremely rich in low-end frequencies, with beautifully smooth mids and a slight roll-off in the higher register. Drums made from African Mahogany have warmth and body that sets them apart from all others. Without question, if your main requirements are "bottom" and punch, African Mahogany should be your wood of choice.
The beauty of Masterworks is the ability to custom configure a kit down to the wood plies used for the shells. A composite shell, featuring more than one wood, is a great way to blend the characteristics offered by different materials. For instance, you may choose outer plies of Maple or Birch for their ease of finishing, beautiful grain and sound characteristics, and inner plies of African Mahogany to boost bass and low end punch. While this is a very popular Masterworks composite, remember there is no wrong way to configure your shell and each drum in your kit can be different if you so choose.
If you desire something more futuristic, we offer the cutting edge of drums with Carbon Fiber. This ultra exotic hybrid features 6 plies of 5.4mm Maple sandwiched between an inner and outer ply of Carbon Fiber. This distinctive combination creates a unique sonic blend between the low frequency of African Mahogany and the mid to high range tendencies of Carbon Fiber.
Pearl’s Superior Shell Technology utilizes a proprietary technique for achieving the ultimate air chamber. It begins with select woods chosen for their unique acoustic attributes, milled to precise thickness with overlapping scarf joint seams, for a perfect air-tight fit. The wood plies are saturated with Pearl’s proprietary “AcoustiGlue” that permeates every pore and dries to the exact consistency of the wood for optimum resonance. Finally, the plies are formed in high-temperature molds with 1000 PSI of hydraulic pressure to produce perfect drum shells that exhibit superior tone, optimal resonance and extreme strength.
Other than the shell material, nothing influences your drum's overall response and tonal spectrum more than the bearing edge. That's why masterworks gives you three bearing edges from which to choose from.
Pearl's legendary 45 degree bearing edge delivers the perfect blend of attack and warmth.
Round 45° Bearing
The rounded 45 bearing edge boosts mid to high frequencies as a result of greater head-to-shell contact.
The fully rounded bearing edge provides maximum head-to-shell contact for a greatest boost in mid to low range frequencies.
Thin shell drums have become extremely popular in recent years as their sound offers the best "near field" or player's experience. Our 4 ply, 5mm shell enables relatively easy energy transfer from the heads to the shell, thus causing the shells to fully vibrate. This vibration imparts a very rich, warm "wood" tone to the overall sound that can be most appreciated close to the kit while it's played. This effect is also great for recording where miking techniques can capitalize on the warmth and natural tone of the instrument. Our 4 ply, 5mm shell also features an extra 4 ply, 5 mm reinforcement ring at both top and bottom to help strengthen the shell and add support at critical head contact points for stability.
Medium thickness drums, as with our 6 ply, 7.5mm Masters MCX shells, have slightly greater stiffness and resist some of the energy transfer from the heads. With slightly less vibration, a trade-off is achieved, allowing the sound to be slightly "cooler" than a thin shell drum, but with greater volume and projection. These drums represent a great choice for all around, general purpose applications, offering a warm, full bodied wood tone, with great attack, loudness and presence.
Thicker shell drums are extremely "efficient" and allow most of the player's energy to be focused through the heads directly to the audience. Since the shell provides greater mass, less volume is lost through the shell in the form of resonance. They offer good tone and warmth but at reduced levels compared to their thinner shell counterparts. These drums are ideal for coliseum-type venues and other applications requiring high sound pressure levels and ultimate volume. Masterworks drums are available in both an 8 ply, 10mm thickness and a 10 ply, 12.5mm thickness. Snare drums are available in these thicknesses, as well as a monstrous 20-ply thickness for the ultimate in power and volume.
Your snare drum is as custom as the rest of your kit
Pearl's Masterworks wood snare drums can be ordered with 1 - 20 ply shells with any number of wood combinations and bearing edges making it them of the most versatile wood snare drums available.
|Diameter||*1 ply 7.5mm||4 ply 5mm||6 ply 7.5mm||8 ply 10mm||10 ply 12.5mm||20 ply 25mm|
The Perfect Compliment to a Great Set of Drums
The same tireless pursuit of perfection that goes into our legendary drums is found in our drum hardware. With Masterworks, you get to choose which hoops (Die-Cast or SuperHoop II), lugs (Swivel-Style or Bridge-Style), and mounting brackets (I.S.S.-SuperHoop II only, Aluminum OptiMount, or Optimount) go on your custom drums. Finally, your drum hardware can be plated with Chrome, Black Chrome or Gold to make your drums truly unique.
Hardware Color Options
All Masterworks Series drums are available in your choice of Chrome, Gold, or Black Chrome plated drum hardware finishes to make your kit as unique as you are.
Golden Ratio For Air Vents
The Golden Ratio, also known as the Golden Section, Golden Mean, Golden Rectangle, and the Divine Proportion, has fascinated mathematicians since the time of the Pharaohs. It is a mathematical constant (1.61803) that is found repeatedly in nature and has been used by artisans for generations to create art and structure with pleasing proportions.
Stradivarius applied the Golden Ratio to define the location of the "f-holes" and proportions of his masterwork violins. The exterior dimensions of the Parthenon are said to form a perfect Golden Rectangle. The proportions found in Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" follow the Golden Ratio. Intrigued by this, our engineers asked if the Golden Ratio was applicable to drums and more specifically to the location of the air vents. For every drum depth there is an upper and lower Golden Ratio location, and testing revealed that the upper location noticably improves attack, which is perfect for snare drums, while the lower position improves low frequency response, ideal for toms and bass drums. Pearl's revolutionary new Golden Ratio air vents are so unique they're patent pending.
Experience the sound of Golden Ratio air vents, centuries in the making, exclusively on Masterworks Series drums.
MasterCast Die-Cast Hoop
MasterCast are the finest die cast hoops available and feature the perfect blend of thickness and mass to improve the depth, clarity, and focus of toms and snare drums.
Super Hoop II
SuperHoop II hoops are precision formed from heavy-duty 2.3mm steel, triple-flanged and engraved with the SuperHoop II logo.
Pearl’s revolutionary BRL lugs assure the ultimate in head seating and tuning integrity. The unique swivel function allows the tension rods to align perfectly into the lugs so there’s no lateral pressure against the hoops, thus assuring maximum resonance and sustain.
Bridge style lugs and floor tom brackets provide maximum resonance with minimal shell contact.
Swivel Tube Lugs
Pearl’s revolutionary swivel tube lugs assure perfect rod to lug alignment for optimal seating and precision tuning.
You Can Do Anything
Masterworks drums are very different than what other drum companies claim to be “custom” drums. There are no pre-fabricated shells on a shelf waiting to be painted with a “custom” paint job. Masterworks gives you every option, from shell composition, shell thickness, bearing edge, drum hardware, and of course, an infinite amount of finish possibilities. You will find Fades, Sunbursts, Grain-Thru Mists, Opaque Colors, Marbelized Finishes, Satin Oil Burnishes and our Exotic Artisan Exterior Ply Finishes to help you choose a color and style that's right for you.
If you have a certain color or fabric that you want your drums to match, send us the fabric or color swatch and we will match it, giving your drums a truly one-of-a-kind construction inside and out. Masterworks: A Drummer’s Dream Come True.
The drums of your dreams are waiting to be built.
Use this order form to design each of your components, then bring in the order form to an authorized Pearl dealer to begin your Masterworks experience.Download Order Form