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Pearl Session Studio Select | Ultimate drummers guide

pearl session studio select drum kit

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The Pearl Session Studio Select is a drum kit that aims to give you a professional sound at a great price point. The sound is punchy with sturdy hardware that will last.

Let’s find out more about the Pearl Session Studio Select.

Who is the Pearl Session Studio Select for?

The Session Studio Select from Pearl is an entry-level professional kit. It sits above the Pearl Export kits but below the Masters and Masterworks drum kits.

Even though it isn’t in the top kits from Pearl, it certainly does have many of those top tier features. That makes this kit a good option for drummers wanting a professional sounding drum kit without breaking the bank.

Alternatively, if you are a drummer that does shows often, this kit is a great workhorse. You could invest in a Session Studio Select for touring whilst keeping your best drum kit safe at home or for studio work.

What woods are Pearl Session Studio Select shells made?

The Pearl Session Studio Select drum shells are made from two different kinds of wood. 

Masters grade Birch hardwood and African Mahogany imported softwood.

There are four plies of the birch on the outside of the shell with two plies of mahogany on the inner.  

Pearl Session Studio Select wood

Birch offers a full rounded tone full of projection whilst the mahogany adds the low end and punch.

Using premium and cheaper wood produces a professional sound whilst reducing the purchase price. 

The shells feature a 60-degree bearing edge to help increase the volume and resonance of the shells without the harsh tones.

The sound

The combination of the shells and the bearing edge produces a kit that sounds punchy with an almost pre-EQ’d sound. The toms are very musical and flow well as you play through the different sizes.

Depending on the heads used and tuning of the kit, it can be used for a wide range of musical applications. Tune the heads low for more punch in a rock band or tune them up for jazz gigs.

Have a listen to the kit here

What hardware comes with the Session Studio Select?

The hardware on the Pearl Session Studio Select drum kit is designed for the working drummer. Everything is built to be sturdy, reliable and durable. 

2.3mm Superhoop II Hoops

These 2.3mm Superhoop II Hoops are triple-flanged and are one of the better hoops offered by Pearl. These are designed with hard hitters in mind.

They will maintain tuning and drum resonance even after a long session of playing. 

Optimount Tom Isolation System

The optimount tom isolation system from Pearl removes any contact between the hardware and the shell. The mount attaches to the lugs of the drum rather than the shell itself.

Therefore the shells are not being interfered with in any way. Ensuring you get the best sound from the shell woods.

Remaining hardware

The rest of the hardware on the kit is sturdy and dependable. It isn’t the premium quality as on the Masterworks kit but is perfect for this kit.

Pearl has ensured that the premium hardware is included where it has an impact on the sound. Holding back on the other elements helps keep this drum kit at a great price point for you. 

What finishes are available?

The Pearl Session Studio Select drum kit is currently available in five different finishes. Either as a wrap or a lacquer. All of which look amazing.

Pearl Session Studio Select finish options

High Gloss Lacquer

  • Gloss Barnwood Brown (#314) – this is a beautiful finish that allows the wood to peer through the dark fade.
  • Piano Black (#103) – the timeless finish that looks good on any drum kit.

Premium Delmar Wrap

  • Nicotine White Marine Pearl (#405) – a classic shell finish that still looks good to this day. If you are wanting white, this is as close as you will get.
  • Black Mirror Chrome (#766) – for that classic black finish that reflects at you.

Matt Ash Lacquer

  • Scarlet Ash (#847) – this finish is a combination of red with the natural wood pattern. Personally, this is my favourite finish available. The longer you look at it, the more beautiful details you see. 

Of course, the finish of a drum kit is unique to each drummer’s tastes. With that being said, Pearl has done a good job at offering something every drummer will like. 

The limited options also make it easier for Pearl to produce. Once again, keeping the costs down and giving you a lot of drum kits at this price point.

Pearl Session Studio Select kit configurations

The Session Studio Select is available in several basic configurations.

The “funk” set (STS904XP/C)

This configuration features slightly smaller sizes making it perfect for pop/ funk. 

  • 20″ x 14″ bass drum
  • 10″ x 7″ and 12″ x 8″ toms
  • 14″ x 14″ floor tom

The “standard” set (STS924XSP/C)

This configuration features the most common sizes you find on a drum kit. 

  • 22″ x 16″ bass drum
  • 10″ x 7″ and 12″ x 8″ toms
  • 16″ x 16″ floor tom

The “rock” set (STS943XP/C)

This configuration features larger size drums and the one up one down tom setup favoured by rock drummers. 

  • 24″ x 14″ bass drum
  • 13″ x 9″ tom
  • 16″ x 16″ floor tom

The “small” set (STS983XP/C)

This configuration features smaller size drums. This makes it perfect for a younger player who hasn’t grown into a full-size kit yet. Or a player after a tight sound.

  • 18″ x 14″ bass drum
  • 12″ x 8″ tom
  • 14″ x 14″ floor tom

Extra options

You can also order extra drums separately to create a custom setup to your liking. Also, none of the kits above come with a snare but they are available to order as extra if you wish.


DimensionsModel Number

Tom toms

DimensionsModel Number

Floor toms

DimensionsModel Number

Gong bass drum

It is nice to see Pearl adding some of the more unique drum pieces to this line.

That being said, the Pearl Session Studio Select Gong Drum is only available in one size. 20″ x 14″ (STS2014G/C)

Bass drums

DimensionsModel Number

Are Pearl Session Studio Select drum kits good value?

Without a doubt, the Pearl Session Studio Select is a great value kit. You are getting a professional sounding drum kit at a great price point. 

Pearl has invested in the elements that give you a great sounding kit and tactically used cheaper parts in certain places to bring down the cost.

Where can I buy one?

Luckily for you, Pearl drum kits are available from all online music stores or your local music shop. 

If you are looking to order online, check out the link below.

Frequently asked questions

What drum heads come with the Pearl Session Studio Select?

As standard, the kit comes with Remo UT Pinstripes (Tom Batter), Remo UT Clears (Tom Resonant) and Remo UT Powerstroke3 (Clear Kick Batter).

Where are the best alternative kits to the Pearl Session Studio Select?

The best alternative drum kits at this price range are the Tama Starclassic Performer and the DW Design Series

What are our thoughts?

The Pearl Session Studio Select is a perfect fit for a lot of drummers. If you have had a Pearl Export Drum Kit and you are looking for an upgrade, this is a logical next step. 

This kit sounds great and it will last you a long time. 

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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