Setup / Maintenance Questions
- What's the proper way to set up my kit?
There is no right or wrong way and it all comes down to personal taste and functionality. Become a member of the Pearl Drummers Forum and see what drummers all over the world are doing.
- What should I use to clean my drums?
What to use: Any high-quality (non-abrasive) furniture/guitar/drum polish/wax should give excellent results on lacquered and covered finishes. Trick Cleaner "wipes" are easy to use and an excellent alternative to spray on cleaners.
It's not necessary but it's recommended that you remove the hardware from the shells to make cleaning faster, easier, and more thorough because you don't have to navigate around the hardware. Removing the hardware also reduces the risk of scratching the finish from grit that accumulates around the hardware. Remove dust from the shells using a feather or "Swiffer" type duster.
Use a soft clean cloth for cleaning/polishing - microfiber cloths are ideal. Don't use paper towels as they are too abrasive. Apply the polish/wax then carefully wipe it off turning the cloth over frequently. It's easier and more thorough to polish the hardware before reattaching them. To prevent unnecessary nicks in wood bass drum hoops, position the claws exactly in the same spot before they were removed.
- How often should I change heads?
Change the heads when they are damaged, stretched, or sound dead. Depending on your playing style, heads can last for years or minutes. Even though the bottom heads are not hit, they still stretch and loose their resiliency and must be replaced periodically. For expert advice on choosing replacement heads, visit your local authorized Pearl dealer.
- How can I make my bass drum less "boomy?"
One of the simplest ways is to put a pillow or blanket into the bass drum. There are many other muffling methods available including drum heads with built-in muffling and muffling rings. See your local authorized Pearl dealer for recommendations.
- How can I make my snare drum less "ringy?"
Pearl's OM-1 Tone Control clips onto the hoop and features an adjustable pad for partial or total "ring" elimination. "Donut-shaped" mufflers, such as Rem-Os by Remo, Evans E-Rings, and Noble & Cooley Zer-O-Rings and drumheads with built-in muffling such as Pinstripes by Remo, Genera Dry by Evans, and Performance II by Aquarian are also effective.
- How can I get the snares to stop rattling when I hit my bass drum or toms?
Muffling the drums works adequately but excessive muffling makes them sound dead and constricted. Try tuning your snare drum higher or lower to minimize the interaction between it and the other drums. Also try detuning the four tension rods on the snare side adjacent to the snares until the rattle is reduced. Still having problems? Try moving your drums to a larger room and/or minimize reflected sound by adding sound absorbing materials such as rugs, furniture, drapes, acoustic tile, etc.
- When I try to turn the knob to tighten the snares, nothing happens. How do I fix this?
The snare tension knob is probably tightened as far as it will go. To correct this, turn the strainer to the "off" position and loosen the strainer knob until the slider, the part that goes up and down, is halfway. Loosen the screws that hold the plastic strap or cords on the slider and pull the strap or cords about an eight of an inch. Retighten the screws. Turn the strainer "on" and test. Readjust if necessary. For best snare sound, the snares should be centered evenly and squared on the snare head.
- How often should I replace the snares on my snare drum?
Wire snares are basically springs and over time they loose their springiness as they are played. At some point the snares will have nothing left and the drum will sound choked. When this happens, replace the snares.
- My drums were sounding great but as I played the pitch dropped. I tuned them again and they've been fine ever since. What happened?
Heads need time to stabilize or "seat" into the rims and conform to the bearing edges. You can seat the heads by playing but a quicker way is to press the heads with your hands (like giving CPR) while tuning the drums.
- What does S.S.T. stand for?
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. Click here to learn more about our Superior Shell Technology.
- What is a bearing edge?
The bearing edge is the only part of the shell that the drumhead touches. Our standard edges feature a 45 degree angled bearing edge on the inner diameter with a 45 degree backcut over the second ply from the outside of the shell for a highly focused contact point, providing outstanding balance between attack and resonance. Click here for more information on our bearing edges.
- What is a scarf joint?
A scarf joint is the method of joining end to end pieces of the raw drum shell. Our scarf joint seams provide 800% greater surface area than conventional butt joints used by other companies. This provides extreme strength and integrity to the shell while simultaneously eliminating air pockets that can disrupt vibration, so the shells vibrate uniformly for superior resonance.
- Why do Reference Series shells have different shell specs?
To fully understand the Reference Series you must understand that the desired tonal characteristics of a 10" tom are completely different than that of a 22" bass drum. Thus to use the same material in both drums would result in a compromise. Reference Series drums use a combination of task specific bearing edges and three types of proven woods, Birch, Maple, and African Mahogany. Click here for more information about the Reference Series.
- What is the difference between birch, maple, mahogany, carbon ply?
A fine grain wood with a smooth even texture. Rich lustrous lows with an even balance of mid tones and high frequencies has made this the all around accepted premium shell material for years in the acoustic drum industry.
A straight grained wood with a fine, even texture. Known for its strength and resilience, Birch provides a lively interior springboard for sound waves thus in turn creating a noticeable increase in the higher frequencies.
- African Mahogany
A relatively "soft" hardwood that offers a dramatic boost in lower frequencies. This bass boost effect is most likely due to its loosely packed cellulose network that creates a natural Helmholtz resonator effect in the lower frequencies.
6 plies of exotic African Mahogany 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.
- Should I get a thin or thick shell?
The shell is the beating heart of your drums. The number of plies effects how readily energy is transferred from the heads to the shell. This single factor has a profound effect on the tonal characteristics and projection of the drum.
- Thin shells (4 ply, 5mm) enable relatively easy energy transfer from the heads to the shells thus causing the shells to vibrate. This vibration imparts a very rich "wood" tone to the overall sound that can be most appreciated in near-field applications and especially in recording.
- Medium shells (6 ply, 7.5mm) have greater stiffness and resist energy transference from the heads. With less shell vibration, a trade-off is achieved: the sound is slightly "cooler" than thinner shells but projection is greater. Drums made to this thickness are ideal for general-purpose applications and / or situations requiring more "horsepower."
- Thick shells (8 ply, 10mm and 10 ply, 12.5mm) are extremely "efficient" and allow most of the player's energy to be focused to the audience. These drums are ideal for coliseum-type venues and other applications requiring high sound pressure levels. Snare drums made in this thickness rival metal snare drums in intensity and projection.
- What is the difference in the I, D, C Ultra-Sound snare wires?
The Ultra-Sound snare feature patented Graduated Tension wires with strategically positioned looser and tighter wires.
- The C shaped snares have looser wires in the center fro outstanding tracking and are ideal for rock music and metal snare drums.
- The D shaped snares have tighter tension in the center for superb sensitivity and are ideal for classical music and wood snares.
- The I shaped snares have traditional even-tensioned wires with the benefits of non-plated rust proof snares.
- What do the different colors cams mean for the Eliminator series?
Bass drum pedals rely on the shape of the cam - round or offset, large or small - to give each pedal its characteristic action and feel. The Eliminator interchangeable cam system features six uniquely shaped cams:
- The Black Cam is Pearl’s original linear-feel cam for smooth, well-balanced action.
- The White Cam is also linear but larger in diameter for a lighter feel and increased power.
- The Blue cam is offset & starts with a light feel at the beginning of the stroke & accelerates with speed & power upon impact.
- The Red Cam is radically offset and provides great response for sensitive footwork and extreme power upon impact.
- The Purple Cam provides aggressive acceleration for high power and response, second only to the Red Cam.
- The Yellow Cam provides a slight inverse action. When maximum power is required, this is the cam of choice.
- What is the difference in golden ratio air vents on Masterworks and Masters Premium?
The Golden Ratio 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. Click here to learn more about the Golden Ratio.
- Can I buy direct from Pearl?
You can only purchase merchandise through an Authorized Pearl Dealer.
- How can I get another logo bass drum head?
Contact your local Authorized Pearl Dealer to order a front bass drum logo head for your kit. Masterworks (coated only), Reference (clear/coated), and Masters Series (clear/coated/ebony) Pearl logo heads can be ordered with their corresponding series insignia at the bottom.
- I have an older Pearl kit and would like to get more components for it?
Contact your local Authorized Pearl Dealer to check if there are available components that can be ordered.
- My drum kit color has been discontinued but I need more drums in that finish?
- Once a color has been discontinued it can no longer be manufactured but contact your local Authorized Pearl Dealer to check if there are available components that can be ordered.
- How can I get the latest catalog?
Visit your local Authorized Pearl Dealer or click here to view PDF versions of our latest catalogs.
- I want to sound like my favorite Pearl Artist but I'm not sure what kit to purchase.
Visit the Pearl Artists section to search for your favorite Pearl Artist and see what series of Pearl drums they prefer.
- What is the warranty on my Pearl product?
- Can I contact Pearl directly?
- How do I turn my floor tom into a bass drum?
Contact your local Authorized Pearl Dealer to order the JG16 Jungle Gig conversion kit. (I.S.S. suspension system and BT-3 bracket not included.)
- I believe I have a defective item, what should I do?
Immediately contact the Authorized Pearl Dealer where you purchased the item with all available details.
- How can I apply for an endorsement?
Send your promotional package (itinerary, media, contact info, etc) to:
Attn: Artist Relations
549 Metroplex Drive
Nashville TN. 37211-3140
- How can I apply for a position at Pearl?
- Where can I find out information on clinics?
Clinic information can be found in the Pearl Events Calendar.
- Where can I purchase Pearl Imagewear?
Click here to view the Pearl Imagewear site.
- How can I become a member of the Pearl Drummer's Forum?
Click here to visit the Pearl Drummers Forum.
- Does Pearl belong to any social networks?