Drum Set Reviews
Looking for a good price? After searching for ages the best price I found for this set was here online. Check them out!
The Pearl Forum Series is Pearl's entry-level drum set. Designed with new players in mind, the Forum hasn't got all the bells and whistles of more expensive drum sets, but Pearl say it has everything a starter needs.
The Forum Series can be bought as just a shell pack or with some pearl hardware (stands, bass drum pedal) and cymbals included.
The set I tried included a 22"x18" bass drum, 12" and 13" toms, a 16" floor tom, and a 14"x5.5" snare drum. It also came with the hardware and cymbals, so they were put to the test as well.
There are a lot of entry-level sets on the market, so does the Forum stand out from the crowd? Let's have a look and see what it has to offer...
The Forum Series shells are made from 6 plies of Poplar. Poplar doesn't have the same musicality as Maple, Birch or more exotic woods, but does its job well enough here. Pearl uses its exclusive scarf joint (gapless seam) construction to give the shell a uniform vibration all the way around. After checking the shells It was clear that they were indeed smooth and didn't have any nasty gaps.
The Pearl I.S.S tom mounts do a reasonable job and let you position the toms in more or less any position you find comfortable. They are a bit on the chunky side and don't offer inch perfect positining, but at this lower price range some compromises do have to be made.
Pearl also give you some basic drum heads. These really don't seem too great but will be good enough until you find your feet. I'd reccommend buying some better quality Evans or Remo heads though to get the best sound from the set.
The hardware that comes with the set includes 2 boom cymbal stands, a hi hat stand, throne, and a bass drum pedal. They are sturdy, will last for quite some time, and are definately enough to get a new player started. I personally found the bass drum pedal a bit unresponsive, but this is something you could replace later on when your playing has improved.
How does it look? Well, you can choose from 5 basic finishes including jet black, pure white, zenith gold, red wine, and smokey chrome. The kit I tried came in black and while it didn't blow my socks off with its stunning looks, it actually didn't look too bad at all. Respectable enough.
The most important thing about an entry-level set is the sound. Entry-level sets are cheaper so aren't built with the best materials, but a decent sound is definately still possible. The sound of the set is generally quite warm and compared to some other entry-level sets I've tried, it's a little richer sounding, and the drums also resonate well letting the sound ring out.
The rack toms have a decent sound and fair amount of body. They are made with a cheaper wood but they still sound good. Not amazing but ok.
Like the rack toms, the floor tom does a much better job than you might think. There's a good amount of depth to the sound, and it has plenty of volume.
However, the 14"x5.5" snare drum is a bit bog standard and isn't really that inspiring. Again this isn't so much of a problem when you're just starting out, but upgrading to a mid-level snare drum once your in a band or starting to play live would be a good move.
The bass drum has a solid sound, but it isn't as powerful or penetrating as a drum on a more expensive set. But, having said that, it is good for the price and still gives a nice deep, full sound.
What about tuning? Well, the tuning range of the Pearl Forum is reasonable enough. Tuned higher it sings out with some nice clear notes, and tuned lower it gives a pretty good fat sound. I prefered it tuned to a medium tension where you got the best of both.
The 18" crash/ride cymbal and 14" hi-hats that come with the set aren't too great sounding. Of course that isn't a major problem if you just want a basic drum set to learn on. Further down the line you'd probably want to change these for something a more musical. But to get you underway they'll do just fine.
In the entry-level drum set market, the Pearl Forum Series manages to hold its own pretty well. In fact I'd say the it does a little better than that and leaves many other sets looking a bit poor.
Any downsides? There are a couple of negative points such as the cymbals, snare drum, and hardware. But that's to be expected on any entry-level drum set - you're not spending as much so not everything will be fantastic. However, as a whole it's still a good starter set.
There are a couple of things you can do about the hardware and cymbals. First, just buy the shells on their own and then buy some slightly better hardware and cymbals seperately. Or second, get the shells with the hardware and cymbals - then upgrade them when you're ready.
As for the price? Well, It's reasoanbley cheap considering everything you get with it. There are cheaper entry-level sets available but they won't sound as good as this. Where's the cheapest place to buy? Here's the cheapest site i've found. They usually have the lowest price and sometimes free delivery too, so I recommend checking them out for the best deal!
The final word: if you're a new player and want something to take you through your first couple of years, the forum Series is a soild drum set that will do the job nicely. I would advise you upgrade the cymbals, snare drum, and possibly some of the hardware as you become a better player.
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