Pearl Masterworks Sonic Select Recipes

New for 2017 - Pearl have unleashed 5 Masterworks Sonic Select 'recipe' kits!
Made in collaboration with their most high-profile artists, these premium kits are built with performance and quality in mind.

A short history of Pearl Masterworks

Pearl have been making Masterworks kits for nearly two decades (since 1998). These are the highest-quality, flagship kits produced by the drum powerhouse, handmade and built to custom specifications. With woods, shell dimensions, finishes and hardware selected by the customer, Pearl can turn your dream kit into a reality.

Pearl's artist roster includes many of the world’s top-flight players, and for 2017 the company's elite drum craftsmen have created five 'select' recipes, in collaboration with their pro artists over several years of development. These recipes are extensively tested and fine-tuned for their given performance needs and applications!

The Recipes

Studio, Heritage, Urban, Stadium and Modern Dry. Each brings its own elements and character, from wood choice, bearing edge profile, hardware and hoop choice. The name is a way of framing the kits but doesn't limit what genres they're suited to.

For those looking for a custom kit but want to have someone do all the legwork, the Sonic Select Recipes are the way to go. Let’s take one recipe at a time and try and explain why they're so special.

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The shell is a 6 ply composite with 2 ply gumwood inner and 4 ply maple outside. This is a combination of hard exterior wood with a milder tone wood to maximise vibration and allow free explosive mid to low warm tones. The bearing edge is a 60-degree outer cut which helps the thinner shell speak with brightness and power without sounding harsh. Hardware and fittings are Pearl's world renowned Mastercast hoops which allow the thinner shell to have some added weight and give the drummer more volume.

So what does that actually mean?

The Studio will deliver pure midrange projection with good low end. With articulate clean tones, you'll be able to play vintage and modern styles. The shells will capture every nuance of your performance.

Don't believe us? Check out Dan from our Drum Department giving the Masterworks Studio Select a spin!

The shell is 4 ply composite, with 2 ply mahogany inner and 2 ply maple outer and 4 ply maple reinforcement rings. This combination has a classic midrange tone but the mahogany adds a thunderous low end. The bearing edge is a straight 45-degree cut. This gives a projective response and allows the darker tones from the shell to speak out.

Hardware and fittings are the FatTone hoops which are light weight but allow the shell to vibrate. This extends the shells sustain without losing rigidity and helps tuning stability. To finish the drum off the minimalistic STL lug is added to the shells to maximise the shell vibration.

The Heritage therefore delivers subtle projection with exceptional sustain and great low end.

The shell is a 6 ply composite. It has 2 ply birch, 2 ply gumwood, 2 ply birch and then a 4 ply maple reinforcement ring. This recipe brings something else to the line-up - the snares. The snares are 8 ply with the extra 2 plies in the middle made from gumwood. This combination of woods delivers a quick and even decay on every hit. The trump card of the Urban recipe is the high volume and punch.

The trump card of the Urban recipe is the high volume and punch. This could explain just why the snares sound so damn good. The bearing edges are also different across each individual drum. The toms have rounded 45-degree bearing edges. The bass drum is fully rounded and the snares are a sharp 45-degrees.

Pearl purposely designed the urban recipe to have increased head contact with the shell this is very evident on the bass drum which features subdued sustain but maximises the low-end punch. The shell is then dressed with the 2.3mm Super Hoops II which are heavy and sturdy allowing for hard hitting players to really hit their drums. To finish the drums off the lug choice is my favourite - the classic and classy looking STL medium weight tube lug.

The Urban will deliver very modern sound with quick responses for live use. From big arenas to smaller clubs, these drums will fit your gig!

The shells are all maple, with 8 ply snares and toms whilst the bass drum and floor toms are 10 ply. The bearing edges are 60-degree outer cut to increase brightness and limit unwanted overtones. The hoops are the 2.3mm Super Hoop II on all the drums apart from the snare which has MasterCast die cast hoops to help give your rim shot that extra kick. The lugs are the very functional BRL lugs which swivel and help head seating and tuning.

What do these specs mean?

The Stadium will deliver a full-bodied attack with a neutral midrange and great lows. This recipe has taken some influences from the MMX and CZX from Pearl's past. As a result, they have been designed to be heavier, thicker drums to give a powerful sonic presence. As the name says they're focused on stage use and touring, where power and volume are important. The drums are powerful and bright but are not uncontrollable - perfect for big performances.

The kit we have on order is 10"x7", 12"x8", 13"x9", 16"x16" and 22"x16" in a carbon outer finish with red stripe and red gaskets. The red stripe gets bigger as the drum gets bigger and fits the Masterworks badge perfectly in the middle of the stripe on the bass drum. The hardware is black and has the detail of the red gaskets to match the red stripe.

The shell is 2 ply gumwood inner with 2 ply maple outer and 4 ply mahogany reinforcement rings. A thin shell with softer tonewood reinforcement rings adds to the low end. The bearing edges are an inner 45-degree cut which is a bit unusual for Pearl. This was done to focus the head and shell contact to the inner plies and increase control when tuning the drum is tuned lower. The hoops on these drums are the MasterCast Hoops adding weight for increased volume and sustain. To finish the shell off the STL lugs have been selected for minimal shell restriction.

What do these specs mean?

The Modern Dry delivers full-bodied attack across the midrange with a focused low end. Personally, this was my favourite bass drum from the five kits I played.

The kit we have on order is 10"x7", 12"x7", 14"x13", 20"x16" in satin cranberry Tamo with central natural stripe and nickel hardware. There is also a matching snare 13"x5".

Want to know more?

We've ordered one of each Masterworks Sonic Select Recipe apart from the Studio, which we ordered two of. These have already started to arrive with the rest coming throughout the rest of 2017. If you are interested in building your own Masterworks kits or want to get the latest on our own builds, check out our "How to Design and Order Your Pearl Masterworks Drum Kit " guide now.

Or you get in touch on 01483 456777 or email

We'll update you as the drums arrive, so keep your eyes peeled for updates!

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