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Pearl Masterworks Stadium Drum Set Review

If you walk into the Drum Center of Portsmouth at any given time, chances are good you’ll hear so 80’s metal playing through our speakers.  It’s no secret the owner likes his big drum sounds from this era. That’s why we weren’t surprised when he returned from the 2018 NAMM show with the biggest Pearl Masterworks Stadium Drum Set we’d ever seen.

Pearl Masterworks Stadium Drum Set

What’s Old is New

Pearl Masterworks Stadium recipe shells are the sound from big 80’s rock.  Originally made popular by the Sonor Signature line, thick shells and deep toms were the fashion of the day. Other manufacturers followed - Tama released their famous Artstar Cordia line, and Pearl followed up with the “Custom Z” series.  As the 90’s rolled around, grunge worked its way east from Seattle, taking most of the big drums with it.

Power. Toms.

If you identify with the huge, rumbling tone of 80’s drums, the Pearl Masterworks Stadium Shell Drum Set is right up your alley.  Our review kit features thick 8-ply maple toms with 10-ply floor toms, bass drums and snare drum. The 10, 12, 13 rack toms are in “power tom” depths (of course) and the floor toms are a massive pair of 16 and 18 inch beauties.

THICC Maple shells

Refined Rumble

The Pearl Masterworks Stadium Drum set is indeed 100% rock in tone, but its build and appearance is nothing short of breathtaking artistry.  The massive maple shells are wrapped in Artisan Exotic Zebrawood and finished with transparent Tiger Yellow Gloss. The 2.3mm Power Hoops and Reference style lugs are nickel plated, tying everything together nicely.

2.3mm Pearl Super Hoops

Power vs. Practicality

Let’s be completely honest.  An 8-piece double bass drum set in 80’s power tom sizes isn’t the most practical kit for every gigging drummer.  Sitting behind this kit is the equivalent of a rollercoaster ride with Iron Maiden blasting in your ear drums - it’s intense!  Every drum rumbles with powerful low end projection and tremendous sustain, especially the floor toms. The 18x16 is just plain scary.  The 14x6.5 Snare drum is among the best maple snare drums we’ve played, featuring die cast hoops and a magnificently sensitive strainer.

The perfect Maple snare

If you long for the drum sound of Steve Smith and Nicko McBrain in the 80’s, the Pearl Masterworks Stadium shell recipe is just what the doctor ordered.  As an added bonus, you get artisan grade aesthetics and elite craftsmanship, ensuring these drums will still be around when it’s cool to have a mullet again!

Trust Drum Center of Portsmouth for Your Pearl Masterworks Build

Creating your own Pearl Masterworks Drum Set is amazing because of the limitless options you have to choose from.  Creating your own Pearl Masterworks Drum Set is also somewhat daunting because of the limitless options you have to choose from.  We speak Masterworks. Talk to the pros at Drum Center of Portsmouth to confidently craft your ideal Pearl Masterworks drum sound!