Pearl Masterworks Custom Drums
Pearl Masterworks drum sets are entirely hand made 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 instruments, made to your exact specifications.
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All Masterworks shells are constructed using Pearl's proprietary Superior Shell Technology. First, Pearl craftsmen select woods for their unique acoustic attributes and mill them to precise thickness with overlapping scarf joint seams, creating a perfect, air-tight fit. These wood plies are saturated with Pearl's "AcoustiGlue", which permeates the woods' pores and dries to the exact consistency of the wood, resulting in optimum resonance. Lastly, the plies are formed in high-temperature, high-pressure molds, producing drum shells that exhibit superior tone and strength.
Maple has been a favorite choice of drum manufacturers since the late 1700's. Its grain provides an excellent surface for transparent finishes, and its smooth, warm tone, with even hi-end, mid-range, and low-end is ideal for virtually any application. Like all of the woods used for Masterworks drums, Pearl's craftsmen hand-select Masterwork' North American Maple to meet their strict standards for density, age, and grain and color consistency.
Birch drums are renowned for their "naturally EQ'ed sound,", which makes them a very popular choice for drummers and engineers in the studio. Pearl uses prime Scandinavian Birch, offering a slightly boosted hi-end cut, with a smooth mid-range and a deep low-end.
Pearl's high quality African Mahogany provides an accentuated low-end, with smooth mids and slightly tapered highs. Drums made from African Mahogany have a distinct warmth and body, and were the standard industry choice for over fifty years, thus making African Mahogany an excellent choice for a classic sound with extra low-end and punch.
With Pearl Masterworks you can custom configure drums down to the specific wood plies used for the shells. A multi-wood composite shell blends the characteristics offered by Pearl's different materials. For example, you could choose outer plies of Maple or Birch for their sound as well as their grain and the look they add to a finish, with inner plies of African Mahogany to boost bass and low end punch. Virtually any configuration is possible and each drum in your kit can utilize a different configuration.
If you're looking for an ultra-modern alternative to pure wood shells, Pearl Masterworks offers an exotic carbon fiber hybrid shell, featuring 6 plies of 5.4mm Maple sandwiched between an inner and outer ply of carbon fiber. These drums create a very unique sound unlike anything else on the market.
Aside from the shell material, a shell's bearing edge has the most influence on the overall response and tonal spectrum of a drum. With Masterworks you can choose between three distinct bearing edges:
Pearl's 45° bearing edge delivers a perfect blend of attack and warmth. A very popular choice for modern applications.
The rounded 45° bearing edge provides greater head-to-shell contact, resulting in a boost to the mids and highs.
The fully rounded bearing edge provides maximum head-to-shell contact for a significant boost in mid to low range frequencies.
In addition to choosing your drum shells' material and bearing edge, with Masterworks you can choose the thickness of each individual shell to precisely fit the sound to your needs. Thin shell drums offer increased resonance and tone best appreciated in near-field applications, while thick shells offer extreme "efficiency" and provide increased volume and projection. Medium thickness shells offer an excellent compromise between volume and resonance well suited for general applications.
Thin shell drums' sound offers the best "near field" or player's experience, which have made them an increasingly popular choice. Pearl's 4 ply, 5mm shell enables relatively easy energy transfer from the heads to the shell, causing the shells to more fully vibrate, imparting a rich, warm "wood" tone to the overall sound. This effect makes thin shells a great choice for recording, where miking techniques can utilize the warmth and tone of the drum. Masterworks' thin shells also feature an extra 4 ply, 5 mm reinforcement ring at both top and bottom to strengthen the shell and add support at critical head contact points.
Medium thickness drums have slightly greater stiffness than thin shells and resist some of the energy transfer from the heads, which allows the sound to be slightly "cooler" than a thin shell drum, but with greater volume and projection. As such, Pearl's 6 ply, 7.5mm medium Masterworks shells drums are a great choice for general purpose applications, with a perfect blend of warm, full bodied wood tone and attack, loudness and presence.
Thicker shell drums allow most of the player's energy to be focused through the heads directly to the audience, which prevents volume loss through shell resonance. They offer good tone and warmth, but at a lower level than thinner shell counterparts. These drums are ideal for large venues and other applications requiring high sound pressure and volume levels. Masterworks drums offer both an 8 ply, 10mm thickness and a 10 ply, 12.5mm thickness.
Pearl's Masterworks wood snare drums can be ordered with up to 20 plies, including a solid 1 ply shell, and with any number of wood combinations and bearing edges, making them one of the most versatile wood snare drums available.
Drum Hardware Options
Pearl's master craftsmen apply the same stringent quality standards that go into Masterworks' shells to the drums' hardware. With Masterworks, you can choose the 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) that go on your custom drums, and can choose whether your drum hardware is plated with Chrome, Black Chrome or Gold.
All Masterworks Series drums are available in your choice of Chrome, Gold, or Black Chrome plated drum hardware finishes for a truly custom look.
MasterCast Die-Cast Hoop
MasterCast hoops are superior quality die cast hoops that feature a perfect combination 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 BRL lugs swivel to allow the tension rods to align perfectly into the lugs, eliminating lateral pressure against the hoops for maximum resonance and sustain.
Bridge style lugs and floor tom brackets provide maximum resonance with minimal shell contact.
Swivel Tube Lugs
Pearl's swivel tube lugs assure perfect rod to lug alignment for optimal seating and tuning.
Golden Ratio Air Vents
The Golden Ratio, also known as the Golden Section, Golden Mean, Golden Rectangle, and the Divine Proportion, has intrigued mathematicians since the time of the Pharaohs. It is a mathematical constant (1.61803) 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.
Pearl's engineers sought to determine whether they could apply Golden Ratio to drums and more specifically to the location of the air vents. They discovered that for every drum depth there is an upper and lower Golden Ratio location, and testing revealed that the upper location noticeably improves attack, which is perfect for snare drums, while the lower position improves low frequency response, ideal for toms and bass drums. The results of these efforts are Pearl's Golden Ratio air vents, available exclusively on Masterworks Series drums.
Unlike many other "custom" drums, there are no pre-fabricated shells or pre-determined finishes for Pearl's Masterworks drums. You can customize any number of fades, sunbursts, grain-thru mists, opaque colors, marbleized finishes, satin oil burnishes, or Pearl Exotic Artisan Exterior Ply Finishes to tailor a style that's right for you.
If you have a certain color or fabric that you want your drums to match, you can keep a sample of the fabric or color swatch and Pearl will match it, giving your drums a 100% unique appearance.
Want more info?
Looking for more information or ready to start building your custom configuration? Give us a call at 1-888-659-3477 or use the form below to contact us.