> > > BeatIt Vintage Test: 90s Pearl Masters MMX Kit

In early June, when we locked ourselves away at Perlazza Studio (based in Poznań, Poland), where we tested quite a number of vintage drum kits and snares provided by Mateusz Wysocki and his MW-Vintage company, which (as the name suggests) specializes in vintage drums. We performed the test under the sonic supervision of musician, award-winning producer, studio owner and, most of all, a drum maniac, Przemysław Wejmann. To be more exact, it was drummer Max Psuja, who tested all the gear while the beatit.tv team recorded the video and the sound engineer/producer took care of the sonic side of things.

Max Psuja, as an utter vintage drum maniac, a former employee of a drum shop, and a great drummer, who has collaborated with a host of popular acts in Poland, such as Kumka Olik, Holak, Lilly Hates Roses or Yoachim, was perfect for the role of ’lab tester’. Needless to say, he was more than eager to do the job.

We have been publishing the results of our tests successively throughout the summer, and there’s lots more to come. Today…

We are testing a 90s Pearl Masters MMX drum kit


photo: en.beatit.tv

1. Product

Pearl Drums are Japanese power brokers in the global drum market. The company has been operating since 1946 and the brand needs no introduction among drum maniacs the world over. In the 1990s, the maple version of the Masters series (alongside Yamaha Recording Custom) set the sonic standard for what recording studios should be equipped with. The kit tested here is made from 4 mm North American maple plywood. The shell finish is natural lacquer, and the sizes are: 10″ x 10″, 12″ x 10″, 14″ x 12″, 16” x 14”.Mateusz Wysocki estimates the date of production

2. Basic drum kit specification:

  • Manufacturer: Pearl
  • Model: Masters MMX
  • Year of production: Mid 1990s
  • Material: American Maple
  • Configuration: 22” x 16” bass drum, 10″ x 10″, 12″ x 10″, 14″ x 12″, 16” x 14” toms
  • Finish: Natural lacquer
  • Rims: Pearl Super Hoops
  • 4 Pearl TH88 tom holders included

3. Test and sound

When testing the Pearl Masters MMX drum kit, we also used a 14″ x 6,5″ Pearl Jupiter Chrome Over Brass snare, Impression cymbals, Aquarian heads (Response 2 Coated on the toms, Super Kick I Coated on the bass drum) and a Remo Ambassador on the snare.

Max first presented the sound of the kick drum produced by single strokes at different levels of dynamics, then the kick drum together with the snare drum, each of the toms in isolation, only to finish off with a rhythm figure using all the kit elements as well as performing a groove.

We are dealing with a drum kit, the sound of which is characteristic of a large number of 90’s music, especially rock recordings. To this day, many sound engineers and music producers regard this instrument as a classic representative of maple sound. The toms sound in a singing, warm and deep manner (regardless of the size). Back in the day, the bass drum used to be THE standard as far as the low end was concerned. It doesn’t display too much of a bright “clicky” sound, It is more of a darker punch. Mateusz Wysocki has categorized this kit as “modern vintage”. Quite rightly so, we think.

This is what Max Psuja had to say about this kit: “Although I myself prefer older, more vintage-sounding instruments, I must say these drums sound beautiful. The attack on the toms is rather bright, the low end is quite strong. The kit is very musical, perfect for anything from rock through to jazz. It is also a very good studio tool due to its sonic and stylistic versatility”.  

Max Psuja Pearl Masters MMX

photo: en.beatit.tv

The drums are available for purchase at MW-Vinage Internet store under this link: http://mw-vintage.pl/pearl-perkusja-masters-custom-22-10-12-14-16/

Drummers and Drummerettes! It’s time to put the 22″, 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″ Pearl Masters MMX drum kit to the most important test of all, i. e. the en.beatit.tv viewers’ test! Exclusively for you, we give you Max Psuja!