Pearl H930 Series Drum Hardware
By Dendy Jarrett |
by Dendy Jarrett
Hardware. When I was asked to do this review I thought: “Oh, great – reviewing hardware should be about as interesting as watching grass grow!” So, I suspect upon first glance you probably had the same thought.
To a drummer, hardware is the goods that anchor a drum kit. It has to be solid or you are faced with components moving around from the constant forces of downward impact and that thing called gravity. We’ve seen many changes since the “real” advent of the double braced stand in the early 1970’s., … some good and some not so good.
Pearl is no “pup” in this game. Having been founded in 1946, and building drums since 1950, they have been a major force in the evolution of these things we call drum hardware.
900 SERIES – THE GENESIS
The Pearl 900 Hardware Series was first released in 2007 as a mid-range level of hardware for Pearl. It was enough of a hit that it won them the coveted MIPA (Musikmesse International Press Award) Award for Best Drum Hardware of 2007 (A vote cast by 107 world wide magazines). That year saw Pearl’s launch of what they refer to as their Advanced Hardware System — which applied to the revamped lines in 2007.
The Advanced Hardware System featured on their hi-end hardware includes things like double strut legs to prevent lateral movement, and hidden nylon bushings within the tubes to prevent metal-to-metal contact thus ending the worry of squeaks or rattles that can be picked up on a mic — or even more-so just worrisome if you are practicing by yourself! And there are also oversized rubber feet to help keep stands from creeping but also act as isolators from the floor or riser as well.
930 SERIES — THE EVOLUTION
This year (2013) saw Pearl release the 930 series, which is a new revamped version of the original 900 Series. Some of the changes are subtle and would only matter to us drum geeks. And some are a pretty big part of the evolution.
Let’s break it down:
C930 Straight Cymbal Stand – This is a three-tier stand that functions as a straight cymbal stand only. The base (on all of these stands), is a tripod base that Pearl calls the Trident-Design Base. It features an all newly designed die-cast pipe joint that stems from their higher end 1030 series and (as Pearl states) provides “super human clamping power.” (I love that terminology)
The feet are super-cushy and provide a nice isolation from the floor, which would also negate sympathetic vibration in a recording situation. All of the clamps are “clam-shell” design collars and use Pearl’s “Ultra-grip” wing-nuts —which do make the tightening easy.
There are no memory-locks on these stands by design. After polling drummers, Pearl determined that the majority of people remove their memory-locks because they complicate collapsing the stands. I have to admit that I too have found this to be the case with my own set up and tear down.
What was a real nice surprise was to determine that this stand at this price point had a toothless tilter mechanism. Pearl refers to this infinity tilter as the Uni-Lock on the 930 series. It’s great because it allows you to get the cymbal in the “sweet spot” with ease.
BC-930 Boom Cymbal Stand – The boom stand has all the same features of the straight stand but is a convertible/retractable boom. The boom has a nice reach and isn’t too long … or too short. I liked this stand better than the C930 straight stand but mainly due to personal choice of flexibility. If I were buying this series, I would probably opt for two of the BC-930s for my set up.
S-930 Snare Stand – The snare stand has all the Trident Design base features, but also has a few things to point out.
There is a new Butterfly basket-tightening nut, which is easy to find without having to get off the drum throne. It also allows you to get a pretty good torque if you really need to tighten the drum basket down.
The snare stand also features a new “air suspension” rubber tip for the snare to “ride” on. This special tip allows the snare to essentially float on an isolated rubber strip that stands away from the ends of the snare basket. I noticed my snare was able to “sing” more with this snare basket.
NOTE: S-930D – Pearl also makes a version of this snare stand for deep snare drums. It allows the basket to have a longer reach and a lower stance.
930 SERIES PEDALS- THE REVOLUTION
and the pleasant surprise along the way —
Sometimes your eyes are opened to something by accident. We become set in our ways (especially at my age) and wouldn’t normally be open to change. That is why these new pedals were a pleasant surprise.
The bass drum pedal and hi-hat stand were totally re-vamped from the old 900 Series. They are all new from the ground up.
P-930 Bass Drum Pedal – Why was this bass drum pedal such a pleasant surprise? The footboard! This pedal features the same type footboard from the Demonator pedal. The pedal is a solid footboard (meaning no heel plate). Well, this old drum geezer plays heel down 95\\% of the time, so I have always had pedals with a heel plate. Seemed natural to me. With the footplate on this pedal only available in a solid plate, I had not choice. What did I find? The pedal really increased the velocity of the beater hence increasing the power and volume. I’ve always considered my bass drum hits to be the weakest part of my personal playing. I always had to focus on adding extra umph to my kick to match up with the power with which my hands are playing. This pedal board made up for any weakness I felt. So, it was really a pleasant surprise for me. It is also (at the present time) the only long board pedal in this price point class on the market. Pearl calls this footboard a Powershifter and they hold a patent on that term.
The quick history is that in 2009 Pearl released the Eliminator Demon Drive Pedal. It too won a MIPA award. It was a pretty innovative design on several fronts for Pearl.
The Demonator (As they refer to the P-930) incorporates many of the same features of their Demon Chain Drive pedal in that it is a single side post design with an adjustable shaft and an infinitely adjustable beater. The beater is a dual surface beater with a hard side and a soft felt side and has what they call a Control Core technology. [and now I go all drum geek on you — the Control Core technology was inspired by golf clubs that have an elastomer insert inside that isolates the head from the shaft. The same concept of “vibration isolation” is in play here, so that your foot, shin, and lower leg does not feel the shock or impact with striking the bass drum head. This is especially noticeable when you are playing an electronic bass drum or e-pads. They also hold a patent on this.] Can you tell that I was really impressed with this pedal … especially for the price point!
H-930 Hi-Hat Stand- The hi-hat features the Trident–Design Base features as mentioned before. It is a three legged hi-hat (and there are some that prefer 3 legs over the two legged hi-hat stands — this seems to be a personal preference thing).
The real feature that sets this hi-hat apart is that fact that it has the same Demon-style long footboard. I found this to be a very comfortable footboard and again, I am used to playing a split footboard with a heel plate.
I found this hi-hat stand to be rock solid.
Both these pedals (bass drum and hi-hat) were very pleasant surprises for me. I did not expect to find the features and the quality for the price point. Both of these were “wins” in my book.
The pedals are what really set this HWP-930 hardware pack apart from the rest in this price point. The only draw back for me as I mentioned above is the desire to have two convertible booms verses two different cymbal stands, but again, that is simply a matter of opinion. And honestly, given the use of these, I would purchase additional BC-930’s anyway, as I use more than two cymbals — but I digress.
Another great point is that it is packaged very nicely in a small compact box (for a hardware pack!). You’ll find that it is also light in the weight class while retaining stability, so it isn’t going to break your back schlepping it around.
All in all this is a well thought out offering and a price point that fits the pocket of a budget minded drummer. And if what I have reported in this review isn't enough to sway your decision — Pearl backs all of their hardware with a Lifetime Warranty! How can you go wrong with that.
For the HWP-930 Hardware Pack: Retail: $699.00 Street: $399.00
For the individual components:
C-930: Retail: $139.00 Street: $ 83.00
BC-930: Retail: $159.00 Street: $ 95.00
S-930: Retail: $119.00 Street: $ 69.00
H-930: Retail: $219.00 Street: $129.00
P-930: Retail: $149.00 Street: $ 83.00
S-930D: Retail: $139.00 Street: $ 83.00
NAMM 2013 Launch Video:
Available for purchase:
Dendy Jarrett is the Editorial Director and Director of Communities for Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.