Pearl Masters Maple Complete Review

Pearl Masters Maple Complete Drum Set

Key Features

  • 6-ply maple shells
  • Pearl SuperHoop II hoops
  • OptiMount suspension system
  • Lacquer finishes
  • Extensive configurations
  • Warm and punchy tones

82/100

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The Pearl Masters Maple Complete is a fine example of Pearl’s commitment to excellence in drum making. It has top-quality maple shells and robust hardware, making it one of the best professional-level kits on the market. Plus, It’s a lot more affordable than the higher-tier drum sets from the brand.

Pearl Masters Maple Complete Drum Set Review

The Pearl Masters Series has been one of the top sets from Pearl for decades. The most recent iteration of the set is the Pearl Masters Maple Complete. The great thing about this shell pack is that you can get it in several configurations, giving you plenty of options when it comes to your drum setup.

There are 6 configuration options in total, with the toms ranging from 10” to 16”. The bass drums are either 20” or 22”, but you can also special order a 24” version from Pearl.

The maple shells are the main feature of the drum set, and they’re supported by Pearl’s SuperHoops. Other than that, the drums are held together by high-quality Pearl hardware such as the Masters Bridge lugs and the rubber gaskets around the legs.

In this Pearl Masters Maple Complete review, we’ll be putting this four-piece drum set shell pack to the test to help you decide if it’s worth buying.

The exact kit we have for review is comprised of a 22-inch bass drum, 10-inch, and 12-inch rack toms, and a 16-inch floor tom. Read on to learn more!

Pearl Masters Maple Complete Drum Set Ratings

Sounds

Build Quality

Playability

Value

Finishes

Sound Quality

This Pearl Maple drum set has incredible tone quality. This is largely thanks to the way Pearl creates the shells. They use what they call Superior Shell Technology to construct the shells in a way that ensures maximum projection and resonance. The goal is to get multiple-ply shells to become as strong as solid shells. The end effect is a drum that sings beautifully.

The toms on the Pearl Masters Maple are fairly balanced. The 6 plies of maple wood give it extended warmth, but the SST also provides the drums with great projection and resonance.

This makes the kit perfect for every application, sounding great in studios and on live stages. It’s also versatile enough to handle any genre of music very well.

Another contributing factor to how the toms sound is the hoop choice. You get Pearl’s SuperHoop II counter hoops. These are triple-flanged hoops that provide a decent amount of cut from the drums. This allows them to be heard through a mix fairly easily. However, the sounds are still warm enough to sound very full.

The sound quality is one of the biggest reasons to buy a Pearl Masters drum set. Whether you tune the drums high or low, you’re going to get a beautiful tone from each drum.

Build Quality

Pearl drum kits are solidly built, and the Pearl Masters kit continues this trend. The first thing that you should look for when checking out the structure of a kit is how the toms are mounted. It’s one of the variable components of every kit, and you may find that you prefer some tom mounts to others.

This particular set uses the Pearl Opti-Mount suspension system for the toms. There’s a clamp that attaches to the toms via the lugs. The mounting arm then attaches to that clamp, stopping anything from touching the shell itself.

This allows for the most vibration possible, which further enhances the tone of the toms. The toms also need to be mounted to cymbal stands instead of the bass drum.

While the toms have triple-flanged hoops, the bass drum has matching maple hoops. The claws that keep those hoops secure are die-cast. These die-cast claws are a bit higher in quality than standard ones, making tuning the bass drum a lot easier.

The rubber feet of the bass drum have retractable spikes, allowing you to keep the bass drum securely planted onto a floor. While most bass drums have something like this, the ones on the higher-end Pearl drum sets always seem to be superior. Drummers often realize this when they see them.

Finishes

There are 5 finish options for the Pearl Masters Maple Complete. These are as follows:

  • Chrome Contrail
  • Ice Blue Oyster
  • Matte Caviar Black
  • Satin Sakura Coral
  • Almond Red Stripe

All those finishes look amazing, especially when you place the kit in an open area under good lighting. However, there are a lot more finishes to choose from as music stores generally still stock older versions of the kit.

There are more finishes that you may be able to find, including White Marine Pearl, Absinthe Green Sparkle, Bombay Gold Sparkle, Chrome Contrail Metallic Lacquer, Quicksilver Black Lacquer, and Satin Natural Burst.

For a professional-level kit, the quality of the finishes is fantastic as you would expect. There is a nice selection to choose from, and they are all applied expertly which you can really appreciate upon closer examination.

One last finish to mention is the Cain and Abel graphic. When Pearl celebrated two decades of making their famous Masterworks kit, they offered drums with special art drawn on by a well-known artist named, Jessica Hancock. One of these graphics made its way to the Masters Series, and it looks epic.

Playability

If you’ve ever played any of Pearl’s lower-quality kits such as the Roadshow or Decade Maple, you’ll feel a definite difference when jumping onto the Masters Complete Maple. It feels incredibly solid to play.

When you buy the kit, it comes stocked with Remo UT heads. The toms have UT Pinstripes on the batter sides and UT Clears on the resonant sides.

While these are fairly decent to start with and the excellent tone from the shells will still carry through, it would be incredibly beneficial to get higher-quality heads that are made in the US.

The main disappointment I have for this Pearl Masters Maple Complete review is that the UT heads are made in China, and they’re thinner than standard professional heads. They come stocked with drum sets because they’re very affordable.

Luckily, the Remo UT Powerstroke 3 on the bass drum is quite good. So, changing the heads on the toms would be the first plan of action to get the best possible sounds from this kit.

The toms can also be difficult to position when setting the kit up. Pearl tom mounts use a pin system that often makes it tricky to get the right angles. This is something you wouldn’t find is an issue with ball-and-socket tom mounts.

However, the Pearl mounts are a lot sturdier. So, you’re sacrificing adjustability for sturdiness. Once you lock your toms in optimal positions, the sturdiness is all that’s going to matter.

Value

The most vital aspect to consider when thinking of value is the fact that Pearl Masters Maple shell packs don’t come with snare drums. Out of the 6 configuration setups available, they all only come with toms and a bass drum.

Pearl does make Masters Maple snares, though. You just need to buy them separately from the shell packs.

This drops the value-for-money a bit as the shell pack is quite expensive. Depending on what shell sizes you get, you’ll be paying around $2000 for the set. The closest competing maple drum set is the DW Design Series, which comes with a snare drum.

However, you could argue that the Pearl kit sounds better, but I personally love the sound of the DW Design series.

If you’re not looking for a kit with a snare drum, the value of the Pearl Masters is excellent. You get incredibly high-quality toms and a bass drum to build a drum setup. If you want a Pearl Masters snare as well, you’ll need to pay an extra $400+ to get one. The value of the set may not seem as attractive in that case.

Lastly, the shell pack doesn’t come with tom arms. You’ll need to buy those separately as well.

Verdict

Overall, the Pearl Masters Maple Complete is an excellent drum kit for professionals and hobbyists alike. It has immaculate build quality, and the tones it produces are warm, resonant, and powerful. You also get an impressive number of finishes to choose from, and the sounds are fantastic.

But the downsides are that you need to buy the snare drum separately, as well as the tom arms. Furthermore, the Remo UT stock drumheads are pretty disappointing and they don’t bring out the best tones from the set.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend this kit to anyone wanting a sturdy professional drum set, especially if you already have a good snare drum to use with it.

What Comes In The Pearl Masters Maple Complete Drum Set Box?

  • 22x18 kick
  • 10x07 tom
  • 12x8 tom
  • 16x14 floor

Pearl Masters Maple Complete Drum Set At A Glance

Pros

  • Drums have a balanced mix of projection, sustain, and punch
  • Very versatile sounds with an overall sense of warmth in the tones
  • Impressive build quality all-round
  • Beautiful finish options

Cons

  • Disappointing that the kit comes equipped with Remo UT Chinese-made drumheads
  • Doesn't offer as good value as the DW Design Series drums
  • No tom arms or snare drum included either
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