New pearl kit... Help!

Csxman

Junior Member
I have a question that I hope some can answer here. There are a lot of knowledgable drummers and musicians here and I'm sure the advice I get will come from people in the know... I recently sold my yamaha stage custom and have had my eye on a beautiful pearl masters mcx kit in Birdseye maple. I fell in love with everything about it... Until I played it! Guitar center allowed me to set this kit up, tune it and have my way with it last week but I was very disappointed in the sound/tone that I got from these drums. I was hoping to get a nice smooth round warm and especially a low tone from this kit but instead they were very bright, high pitched, really focused, and somewhat brash. Just the opposite of what I am looking for. My question is: could this be the cheap heads that were on the drums causing these maple shells to be so high pitched? Maybe the thicker shells? Could some Evans g2 heads help get this kit to produce the tone I'm looking for?.. Money's not an issue, if I have to go with reference pure, mmp, or legend series, I'm willing to spend the extra$$ to get THAT sound I'm looking for. Thought I could save a few$ going with mcx. What are your thoughts?... Which kit will give me that nice clean Maple, low, singing sound I'm looking for? Or is it possible to get that from the mcx by different head selection... Thanks in advance for you input, it's greatly appreciated!!
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
The MCX drums are supposed to come with stock Remo ambassador heads so I'm not sure that would be the problem - although probably a thicker head, or a double ply one will get you into the warmer territory. I'm not sure what the problem is as those are top-notch drums and lots of people use them and get great tones out of them.

There is a difference when you step into the Reference Pures because they start mixing maple and mahogany and round the bearing edges as the drums get bigger (while adding more mahogany) so if that's what you need, that might be the way to go. But I have maple drums with the same bearing edge cut on all the drums and I can manage to get them to sound great. Or do these MCX drums you're looking at not come with the standard Ambassadors? If not, then I'd start there.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Yes, they had rom ambassador heads which is something I'm not accustom to. I've always used 2ply heads for a deeper, fatter rock sound and not used to the wide open time from a single ply head. Maybe that was the difference. I know these mcx have a thicker shell (7.5 mm) than most maple shells that you normally see. Tempted to take a couple of g2 heads from home and try on the mcx to see what happens. I don't really want to go up in price to the reference or pearl premium but ( double the $$) but this will be my last kit and I want to make sure I can get what I want this time. The yamaha 6mm, 6ply maple kits sing so nice and maybe that's what I was looking for in this kit.

Try the thicker heads first. Those drums can give you what you want. I've heard others get deep and low too.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I was hoping to get a nice smooth round warm and especially a low tone from this kit Which kit will give me that nice clean Maple, low, singing sound I'm looking for? Thanks in advance for you input, it's greatly appreciated!!

The sound you describe might come more from a more mahogany based kit, and/or even something 3 ply with rounded bearing edges, and not sharper 45 degree ones. Also the room you are playing in (GC or wherever) might also be affecting what you hear.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Wow that's great, enjoy your new drums. Sounds like a real good deal. Did you get a super kick head too? They've been my kick head of choice for many yr. SK1
 

FritzDrummer

Senior Member
I would definitely try ambassadors or emperor heads. I have the Pearl MMX which is 4 ply maple shells and they sing. I've played several MCXs and got a great tone out of either all emperor heads with ambassador reso heads or ambassador heads on 10 and 12 inch toms and emperors on my 14 and 16 inch floor toms. Also got a great sound and thump out of the bass drum with a Evans Onyx Emad bass drum batter with the stock reso. Good luck! Pics please!
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Sounds like you're looking at the wrong drums. I, too, had my heart set on MCX Masters, but they didn't even hold a candle to the thick warm sound of my Tama Royal Stars. Someone pointed me to the Mapex Saturn instead. I was surprised to hear how great they sounded, and even more surprised at how cheap they were. You might want to check them out.
 

Master Cast

Junior Member
I've been playing my Pearl Masters MCX kit since November 2009 and I love it. I use the Coated Emperors over Clear Ambassadors on my toms, a Coated Ambassador over a hazy Snare Reso, and a Clear PS4 (2 plies) bass batter with the White Pearl Logo PS3 Reso. I have a 6 piece and have ordered a 14" x 11" RT that should be here this summer. I love my sound and the Master Cast (die cast) hoops keep my drums in close to perfect tuning all of the time. I do tune my Reso Heads tighter than my batters and it works really well for me. I've heard them from front and back as well as driver's seat and the sound is perfect for me and countless others. I have 22 x 18, 10 x 8, 12 x 9, 16 x 14, 18 x 16, and a 14 x 6.5 matching snare.
 

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Master Cast

Junior Member
The MCX drums are supposed to come with stock Remo ambassador heads so I'm not sure that would be the problem - although probably a thicker head, or a double ply one will get you into the warmer territory. I'm not sure what the problem is as those are top-notch drums and lots of people use them and get great tones out of them.

I couldn't help but notice that you are from Disneyland. I'm from Pasadena, CA
and have spent lots of time California Dreaming. We moved out here for 9th grade and used to go back and forth a lot with 2 sets of grandparents in LA still. Now I haven't been there since 1999; but it's a great place to be from! I Love LA! (Randy Newman)
 

Master Cast

Junior Member
I have played all Pearl drums since 1988 and am very happy with each drum they made. They've made 29 perfect drums and number 30 is now being made. It's a MCX 14" x 11" RT in #407 Red Glass.
 

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Pearls'N'Paistes

Junior Member
I have a question that I hope some can answer here. There are a lot of knowledgable drummers and musicians here and I'm sure the advice I get will come from people in the know... I recently sold my yamaha stage custom and have had my eye on a beautiful pearl masters mcx kit in Birdseye maple. I fell in love with everything about it... Until I played it! Guitar center allowed me to set this kit up, tune it and have my way with it last week but I was very disappointed in the sound/tone that I got from these drums. I was hoping to get a nice smooth round warm and especially a low tone from this kit but instead they were very bright, high pitched, really focused, and somewhat brash. Just the opposite of what I am looking for. My question is: could this be the cheap heads that were on the drums causing these maple shells to be so high pitched? Maybe the thicker shells? Could some Evans g2 heads help get this kit to produce the tone I'm looking for?.. Money's not an issue, if I have to go with reference pure, mmp, or legend series, I'm willing to spend the extra$$ to get THAT sound I'm looking for. Thought I could save a few$ going with mcx. What are your thoughts?... Which kit will give me that nice clean Maple, low, singing sound I'm looking for? Or is it possible to get that from the mcx by different head selection... Thanks in advance for you input, it's greatly appreciated!!

Yes, the same thing was true with me when I played a set tuned by the music store neanderthals. They cranked those ProTone stock Pearl heads up so tight the toms sounded like bongo's. Ignore that. I have Remo clear pinstripes on top and Ambassador clear resonants, that's all you need. You will shake the foundation of your house with your 14 and 16 inch floor toms, and your bass drum with a nice Evans EMAD batter will cave in somebody's chest. You don't need to overtighten heads, I'd go gradual and make sure to seat them correctly. I have tried other brands of heads on mine, Evans G2's and Aquarians too. But nothing sounded as good as the Remo's on mine.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Good point about heads being tuned, or not, as is the case with many stores. I also agree that Pinstripes are some of the best sounding batter heads, in my opinion, and nothing beats an Emad2 on a kick.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Heads will play a big part in getting a warmer sound. A coated batter head would be a good place to start.​
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
I just read the OP's original post again. I think the "problem" he's describing is due to the fact that Ambassador batter heads are single-ply. While it is likely that Pearl purposely matched these heads with the MCX to produce a brighter sound, swapping them for 2-ply heads will surely result in a fatter sound. In my opinion, although thicker by nature, coated heads emit more of a round and ringy tone, and subdues the attack, which I personally don't care much for, so I would put clear 2-ply heads on for starters. That said, sticking with Remo, I think Pinstripes tuned low would probably get closer to the sound the OP is looking for than Emperors would.
 

Pearls'N'Paistes

Junior Member
Certain heads sound better on certain drum brands because of the bearing edge contact, shell characteristics, and other factors. I can only speak of my own experience and that although I tried Aquarians, and Evans, the Remo collars seems to work best on my Pearl Session Customs which are 13 years old and are 100% maple 6 ply 7.5 mm shells. The clear Ambassadors on the resonant side toms and clear Pinstripes on top, give a great rock or jazz fusion attack and sustain. For acoustic or classic jazz, R&B, motown, they are a bit too loud. The Coated Ambassadors work better for that style. They are brighter and more attack with a narrower spectrum.
 

12x7

Senior Member
I find that tuning the Pearls requires a lot of time getting the heads in the right pitch. As far as heads being too loud for jazz, that is just silly. Use your technique and play quieter.
 
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