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Pearl Export Drum Kit | The Ultimate Guide (New for 2021)

pearl export drum kit

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The Pearl Export drum kit has become globally known as one of (if not) the best intermediate-level drum kits available. There is a valid reason for this. They are great kits for the pricepoint. 

A drummers gear generally goes like this. 

  1. Buys a cheap drum kit
  2. Realises they love the drums
  3. Progress to a Pearl Export drum kit
  4. Eventually progresses to a more expensive drum kit of their choice

Pearl Drums has expanded the Pearl Export line fresh for 2021. Let’s see what has changed and if these new kits live up to the legacy. 

The Legacy

Pearl Export, the best selling drum kit of all time passing the 1 million mark back in 1995. First released in 1982, the Pearl Export has been on quite a journey. As you can imagine with a drum kit line of this heritage the Export has had a few names. 

Drum roll, please… Pearl Export EX, ELX, ESX, EPX, EXR, EXX and EXL with multiple versions of each over the years.  

Pearl Export kits have always sat in the sweet spot between the very cheapest drum kits that don’t sound great and the entry professional level kits that are expensive. This makes the Pearl Export kit ideal for players who love the drums and want a good sounding kit but don’t need a professional kit. For example, drummers who mostly play at home and maybe some smaller shows.

The legacy of the Pearl Export Drum Kit is so strong due to a couple of factors. Mainly, because of how long the kit has been around, many of today’s professional drummers have had a Pearl Export at some point in there drumming career. We know how influential professional drummers are to up and coming drummers. If your favourite pro had one why wouldn’t you want one?

Secondly, Those drummers who had their first kit as children are now adults buying their kids Pearl Export kits.

What are the Pearl Export drum kit shells made with?

The Pearl Export shells are made with a blend of white poplar and dark Asian mahogany. This is a blend of wood so you can’t be too sure of the exact ratios used.

The main thing to note is that Pearl has developed SST (superior shell technology) to ensure that there are no gaps or small pockets of air in the wood. SST is a high-temperature hydraulic curing system that was developed to craft a multi-ply, bonded drum shell with single-ply resonance and strength.

So in short, you are getting a blended wood shell with the characteristics of single-ply. Using a blend of woods means two cheaper kinds of wood can be combined to mimic that sound of more expensive wood. 

Have a listen to the Pearl Export drum kit here with a demo from Casey Cooper.

What hardware comes on the kits?

The most notable hardware feature on the Peal Export drums is the opti-loc tom suspension system. Th opt-loc mount suspends the by two tuning points and one air vent. Drums resonate at there best with minimal contact with the shell so having only three points of contact is a welcome addition to the kit. 

Beyond the opti-loc suspension system, the rest of the hardware of the Pearl Export is standard for a mid-tier drum kit. There is nothing wrong with that and it is expected to keep the price down.

What is the difference between the Pearl Export EXX and Pearl Export EXL?

In short, the Pearl Export EXX and EXL are the same but the EXL has a lacquer finish rather than a wrap like you will find on the EXX. Due to the lacquer finish on the EXL, it is slightly more expensive than the EXX.

So if you prefer one of the wrap finishes on the EXX you may as well save your self some money. There is nothing else you are missing out on. 

What finished can the Pearl Export be purchased in?

Due to the two different sub-brands in the Export range, you have a total of nine different finishes to choose from! There is bound to be something to fit your tastes.

Pearl Export EXX finishes:

  • Smokey Chrome
  • Jet Black
  • High Voltage Blue
  • Satin White
  • Black Cherry Glitter

Pearl Export EXL finishes:

  • Azure Daybreak
  • Raspberry Sunset
  • Ember Dawn
  • Indigo Nights

These EXL finishes are brand new for 2021 and we think they look incredible. I think my pick would have to be the Azure Daybreak. That blue fade looks amazing.

What configurations of the Pearl Export are available?

The Pearl Export has three different configurations available for purchase. All of the kits are five-piece kits with a hardware and a Sabian cymbal pack. You get everything you need to start playing straight out of the box. You just need to choose from one of the tom configurations below. 

Option 1 (the funk set)

Model numbers:

  • EXX – EXX705NBR/C
  • EXL – EXL705NBR/C

Included in the kit:

  • 20″x16″ Bass Drum
  • 10″x7″ Tom Tom
  • 12″x8″ Tom Tom
  • 14″x14″ Floor Tom
  • 14″x5.5″ Snare Drum
  • Includes HWP830 Hardware Pack
  • Includes SABIAN SBR Cymbal Pack

Option 2 (the pop set)

Model numbers:

  • EXX – EXX725SBR/C
  • EXL – EXL725SBR/C

Included in the kit:

  • 22″x18″ Bass Drum
  • 10″x7″ Tom Tom
  • 12″x8″ Tom Tom
  • 16″x16″ Floor Tom
  • 14″x5.5″ Snare Drum
  • Includes HWP830 Hardware Pack
  • Includes SABIAN SBR Cymbal Pack

Option 3 (the rock set)

Model numbers:

  • EXX – EXX725BR/C
  • EXL – EXL725BR/C

Included in the kit:

  • 22″x18″ Bass Drum
  • 12″x8″ Tom Tom
  • 13″x9″ Tom Tom
  • 16″x16″ Floor Tom
  • 14″x5.5″ Snare Drum
  • Includes HWP830 Hardware Pack
  • Includes SABIAN SBR Cymbal Pack

Is the Pearl Export Drum Kit good value for money?

Without a doubt, the Peal Export kits are good value for money. When you consider that you aren’t just getting a shell pack, you are getting everything you need to start playing right out of the box. 

The only time this may not be a good a deal for you is if you are mainly wanting the sells. If you already have a set of cymbals, a snare you like and a bass drum pedal, it may be cheaper to consider buying the individual shells rather than being left without a load of redundant parts.

Where can I buy a Pearl Export drum kit?

As you can imagine with the best selling drum kit in the world, you can pick it up almost anywhere. Most online music stores sell it or you can visit your local drum shop! If you are looking to order online, here are some of our top choices.

Frequently asked questions

Do Pearl Export drum kits come with cymbals?

Yes, they do! They come with a Sabian SRB Cymbal Pack. These are brass cymbals that include a 20″ Ride, 16″ Crash,14″ Hi-Hat. If you already have some cymbals you may not want these as the quality isn’t amazing. If you are just starting to learn drums, these will be fine until you want to upgrade. 

Do Pearl Export drum kits come with hardware?

Yes, they do! They come with an HWP830 Hardware Pack. This includes a 1x BC-830 cymbal boom stand, 1x C-830 straight cymbal stand, S-830 snare drum stand, H-830 Hi-Hat stand and P-930 Demonator Bass Drum Pedal.

What heads come on the Pearl Export drum kits?

Out of the box, you will have Remo UK Clear on the toms, Remo UK Powerstroke 3 on the bass drum as well as Remo UK Coated and Remo UK Snare on the snare drum. 

What are our thoughts?

The Pearl Export kits are iconic and they still live up to the reputation in 2021. Sure, the competition has grown since its initial launch back in the ’80s but it still holds up to this day. 

If you are looking to start playing the drums and can afford to get a Pearl Export vs the cheaper entry kits it is a great investment. The sound and quality will make your drumming journey a little bit sweeter and you won’t need to upgrade your kit as soon for a better sounding replacement.

If you are looking for an alternative, we recommend having a look at the Tama Imperialstar drum kit.

The author

I’ve been playing the drums for over 15 years and I still love them! I am mostly a metal drummer but I am currently working on groove and applying rudiments to the kit!

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