Pearl Crystal Beat Kit
While writing this, I realised that its been nearly ten years since I last reviewed some acrylic drums. On that occasion, it was a few snare drums from another manufacturer. But now, its a full Pearl kit in front of me.
Acrylic drum kits have enjoying a resurgence for some years now and are, or have been, offered by many manufacturers both large and small.
The review kit is in Ruby Red but there are also two other colours available – Ultra Clear and Tangerine, plus there’s been a few limited editions as well.
The kit didn’t come with a snare drum, so it’s just a shell-pack, and it’s in what is called the ‘Rock’ configuration.
The drums are a 12x8 rack tom, 14x13 and 16x15 floor toms and a 22x16 bass drum. The 12” tom came with an Optimount isolation mount on it, which means the drum could be mounted off a cymbal stand if you so wanted, although I actually mounted it in a snare stand and took the mount off. The tom arm comes separately and isn’t with the kit itself.
The shells are made from seamless acrylic; 6mm for the toms and 7mm for the bass. The kick drum also has matching acrylic hoops (which I thought was really quite cool and visually striking) with recessed claws that have a rubber lining. I have no idea if the hoops have an acoustic effect on the sound, although someone somewhere may argue they do. All of the toms have 1.6mm triple flanged hoops and all drums have dual 45° bearing edges.
As far as heads go, the drums came with clear Pearl branded heads. These were lower end grade heads but actually didn’t sound too bad at all. Even so, I did change all of the heads to clear Remo Emperors on the tom batters with clear Ambassadors on the bottoms. The kick drum had had a coated Powerstroke 3 on the batter side and a smooth white Powerstroke 3 with a small hole on the front.
Sound-wise, the drums are bright and punchy with less ring than wood drums. They are also quite loud. The kick drum, with the original two full heads on had a nice sub-type low end to it. With the small hole, it lost the sub sound but was a little more punchy and direct.
Physically, the drums seemed to be well made and I couldn’t find any issues with them. I liked the fact the shells were seamless. This means there is no scope for them to come apart in a few decades time due to the glue drying out, like some of the acrylic kits from the 1970s.
All in all, the more I played the kit, the more I liked it. The overall sound was nice and full. Although I didn’t use it in a live context, I don’t think there would have been any problems with being heard, or the overall sound.
While this particular kit is intended for a more rock orientated setting, you can also get additional rack toms as well, so there is facility to expand if you want to make a bigger kit over time.
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