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Pearl Export 5-piece Drum Set Review: A Kit That Is Played by Majority of Drummers

The Pearl Export drum set is one of, if not the all-time bestselling drum kit.

Known as a workhorse drum set, it excels well in all genres and is built with durable quality throughout. The majority of drummers have played this kit at some point in their careers, and many famous stickmen are endorsers of the Pearl brand.

With so much fanfare we wanted to look at it up close, and understand what makes this kit so special.

pearl-export

Keep reading to find out!

At a Glance – Our Initial Thoughts

Those that are looking for a step up from a beginner kit, but want something that goes easy on their bank account should consider the Pearl Export series. Not only does the kit look beautiful, but (more importantly) it plays well and can be upgraded as you go along.

We think this kit is suitable for advanced students and those that are interested in light gigging. It provides a good blend of being a practice kit, mixed with the right amount of higher quality features that are suitable for live applications.

With well-crafted shells and hardware that will last a long time, we think you will have zero problems getting some great sounds out of this kit, and have a great time doing it.

What’s in the Box?

The Pearl Export series is an intermediate level kit that comes with most everything you need to get drumming.

A 5-piece configuration, the bass drum measures 22 x 18 inches for a full sounding kick, and it comes equipped with three toms: 2 rack-mounted, and 1 floor. The rack-mounted toms measure 12 x 8 and 13 x 9, with the floor tom coming in at 16 x 16 for punchy and bright fills.

Helping you hold down your beat is a versatile 14.5 x 5.5-inch snare drum, that comes complete with a single-ply, 10mm, coated Remo head for a balance of tone and control. Remo heads are also included on the toms and bass drum for consistency across the kit.

Pearl includes a few integral hardware pieces with the Export model so you have a minimal amount of add-ons you need to complete the set.

The P930 Demonator bass pedal, H830 hi-hat stand, S830 snare stand, C830 straight cymbal stand, and BC830 boom cymbal stand give you all the components you need to makes some noise, and TH70I holders will mount the toms to the bass drum.

How Does It Stand Out?

Super Shells

There’s a simple reason why the Pearl Export series has been so consistently popular – it sounds great.

Drums with excellent sonic characteristics start at the root, with the type of materials used to create the drum shells. These 6-ply, 7.5mm poplar/mahogany shells provide a smooth and even tone, with soft highs/mids, and increased warmth in the low end.

Covering the shells are Remo drum heads that allow excellent performance for a stock head. All 10mm and single-ply across the kit, the snare has a coated head while the toms and bass drum heads are clear.

pearl-export-finishes

Additionally, the shells are also striking to look at – with 7 different color wraps to choose from.

Helpful Hardware

The 830 hardware pack is what you get with these drums, and it gives you an excellent array of stands that perform well for all styles of drumming.
The stands are double-braced for support and have rubber-tipped fit to prevent slippage during the performance. The H830 hi-hat stand is chain driven with a standard clutch while remaining compact and lightweight.

Similarly, chain-driven is the included bass drum pedal. The P930 Demonator, for a “student quality” pedal, is pretty impressive, and a big step up compared to entry-level pedals. It can be finely tuned and adjusted to your comfort level, making it easier on your foot to play for longer periods of time. Additionally, if you would like to get a double-bass pedal down the road, Pearl sells the P931 expansion model, which can be added on for some metal mayhem.

Rounding out the hardware are TH70I tom holders that lock the rack toms in place, allowing the drums full expression, and floor tom legs are also included which can be height adjusted for comfort.

Add Your Own Accents

The only accessories this kit doesn’t supply you with are cymbals and a drum throne. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you are upgrading from an entry-level kit, you will have those pieces already, and if not, you can customize your kit with some very important pieces that you can have for a long time.

Hi-hats, ride cymbal, and crash cymbal will be your three main components to add to the Export kit. There are plenty of different cymbal manufacturers you can choose from, and different sizes as well. They all have unique sonic characteristics, so doing your homework before you buy your accents will pay off in the long run.

As for the drum throne, a basic throne doesn’t cost too much, and as you go up in price they add a bit more comfort to the seat. If you are someone who enjoys playing for long periods of time, its best to invest in a throne that will suit that time frame.

Expand It

Like all drum sets, they can be customized with different upgrades all around the kit.

From Pearl, you can order smaller, 8/10/14 inch toms to fit the kit, while many players will also swap out the drum heads for skins that are more to their liking.
Other areas that can be customized are; the snare wires for a looser or tighter feel, dampeners to help choke the ring from the drums, and upgraded pedals for a more fluid performance.

Also worth mentioning is stick selection. Sticks can make a huge difference in the quality of your playing, as well as the sound. They are also very inexpensive, so you can easily trial-and-error your way into the right fit for you.

F.A.Q.

What is included in this kit?

This set has most everything you need – drums, hardware, bass drum pedal, snare stand, hi-hat stand, cymbal stands. The only things it does not include are cymbals and a drum throne, all of which you will have to purchase separately.

What heads are included on these drums?

Pearl provides Remo, one-ply heads on the drums. These tend to be on the thin side and many drummers will upgrade them for more durability as well as better sonics for their particular style.

Can I use this drum set for live shows?

Absolutely. It is an intermediate level drum kit that sounds good in rehearsal, during live shows, or on recordings.

Does the bass head have a port hole?

It does not, but you can have this cut at your local music store, or you can pick up a pre-cut head if you need one. Port holes are used for easier mic placement on the bass drum, as well as adding projection, attack, and brightness to the sound.

Our Final Thoughts


As with all drum kits, there are pros and cons and this one is no exception.

While it does need a few pieces to complete it, the foundational pieces it supplies you with make it a real standout among the competition. The entire kit, from the shells to the hardware and accessories, emits a feeling of quality and versatility.

We think you will get a lot of use out of this drum set. It can be used for various applications, upgraded at will, and allows you to drum on a well-rounded set that will fit any musical style.

If this acoustic drum is not what you were looking for, check out our Best Acoustic Drum Set Under $1000 Post.

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