Sitting under their flagships of Masterworks and Reference, and aimed at drummers who don’t need umpteenth options and full customisation, Pearl has streamlined things with the Masters Complete Series with just two variants to keep things simple – MCT and MRV. I got a chance to have a look at the MCT and it’s something of a gem in a world of so many choices.
MCT is the replacement for the previous MCX. The shells are made of thin cross-laminated 6ply/5.4mm North American Maple, which are thinner than previous models. The striking standard finishes include Matte Black Mist, Vermillion Sparkle (Red), Bombay Gold Sparkle, Absinthe Sparkle (Light Green) and Satin Natural Burst. You can also order Inferno Red Sparkle, Burnished Bronze Sparkle and Matte Caviar Black should you desire.
The MCT isn’t short on the goodies for construction either, featuring factory Remo UT heads, Opti-Mount Suspension System tom mounts, CL Bridge lugs and 2.3mm SuperHoops. You also get the ever-reliable chrome hardware, such as the SP-30 spurs, the air suspension LB-40 floor tom legs and insulated diecast bass drum claw lugs. Bass drums also come with a pre-cut hole should you wish, and even a muffler pillow. Overall, the drums look great – uncomplicated, well proportioned and handsome depth of detail finishes.
The peeps at Pearl have put some thought into their recommended configurations for the MCT. Matching 14x5.5” and 14x6.5” snare drums are sold separately but the following are available straight up:
I love that you have the option of buying a shorter bass drum in a configuration, and you can also buy individual drums too. But really these configurations will offer something for everyone and the prices are sensational for a kit of this calibre.
I got to try the 20x14 / 12x8 / 14x14 configuration and immediately the thinner shell with 28% thinner plies delivered a wider and more open sound than its predecessor. The option of resonance is always welcome and you have it with the MCT. The combination of the new shell with SuperHoops, as opposed to the heavier die-cast variety aids this openness. There’s a serious amount of punch and volume from the toms and the bass drum. The tuning range opens right up too, allowing for a lower fundamental note, should you wish.
I must say, I loved the bass drum too; the shorter length delivered a controlled punch that really lets you feel the attack. There’s a nice amount of low-end frequency that comes through the whole drum kit. I tried a 14x6.5 matching maple MCT snare drum as well and it’s worth mentioning because the attributes I’ve described above remain true for the snare. In its mid range there’s a beautiful width, depth, volume and a meatiness that just needs to be heard. Then you can crank it up or have it low and fat if you desire - a great drum to match a seriously cool drum kit.
There’s a real sense of quality and reliability to Pearl drums and these Masters just feel well made. I loved the combination of punch and openness that the new shells offer, and the projection too.
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