Most drummers are familiar with Pearl Sessions, but it seems that the earlier ones are somewhat of a mystery. My second kit was a set of 1990’s Pearl Session Series shells, paired with a Pearl Piccolo snare. I picked up those shells for practically nothing on an local eBay auction that was “pick up only”, so it wasn’t a hard fought auction with me being the only bidder. Over the years I’ve tried to do some research about these kits, but I haven’t come across much solid information yet.
As I recall, my kit had a 20″ kick with 10″, 12″, and 14″ toms, but they did offer different sizes. The toms were rim mounted with Pearl’s I.S.S. mounts. The I.S.S. mounts are fairly decent, but the way they mount can cause some stress for the rim, especially on the larger toms. I have read complaints that these mounts have caused rims to bend over time, as well as affect how long your drums will stay in tune. I never had a problem with it, but then again, I wasn’t gigging or playing long hours on them either. After delving into Pearl’s model history, it appears they changed the name of the Session lineup, along with the wood for the shells. From what I have gathered, my set was badged as “Pearl Session Series”, and my shells were made out of maple and mahogany. I’ve heard people claim that theirs are made of either maple, mahogany, or birch, some as a combination, others as just a single wood.
The Pearl Session Series is a mid-range kit that packs in a lot of value for your money. I loved this kit (especially the kick), and it has gotten generally positive reviews, aside from the I.S.S. complaints. You can scoop these shells up pretty cheap these days. Some sellers want some decent money for pristine examples, but I have seen them go online for under $300. I got mine for $250. They’re a great sounding kit for the what you can buy them for, and they’re a great deal for a beginner who can enjoy them for a bit longer than some of the entry level kits in the same price range. Like I said before, there isn’t too much information about these kits out there, but that could be why they are sold at such a bargain at times. If you have experience with these kits and have any more information, please comment below!
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