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Pearl Corporation
FormerlyPearl Industry, Ltd.
IndustryPercussion instruments
Founded2 April 1946; 75 years ago (1946-04-02)[1]
FounderKatsumi Yanagisawa[1]
Area served
Key people
Katsumi Yanagisawa: Founder
Masakatsu Yanagisawa: President & CEO
ProductsAcoustic & Electronic drum kits
Drum hardware
Frame drums
ParentPearl Musical Instrument Company

Pearl Musical Instrument Company (パール楽器製造株式会社, Pāru Gakki Seizō Kabushiki Gaisha), simply known as Pearl, is a multinational corporation based in Japan with a wide range of products, predominantly percussion instruments.


Pearl was founded by Katsumi Yanagisawa -who began manufacturing music stands in Sumida, Tokyo- on April 2, 1946. In 1950, Yanagisawa shifted his focus to the manufacturing of drums and named his company "Pearl Industry, Ltd."

By 1953, the company's name had been changed to "Pearl Musical Instrument Company," and manufacturing had expanded to include drum kits, marching drums, timpani, Latin percussion instruments, cymbals, stands, and accessories.

Yanagisawa's eldest son, Mitsuo, joined Pearl in 1957 and formed a division to export Pearl products worldwide. To meet increasing worldwide demand for drum kits following the advent of rock and roll music, in 1961 Pearl built a 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) factory in Chiba, Japan to produce inexpensive drum kits, also known as "STENCIL KITS" that bore the brand names of more than thirty distributors such as Apollo, Coronet, Maxwin, CB-700, Stewart, Werco, Ideal, Crest, Revelle, Revere, Roxy, Lyra, Majestic, Silvertone, Toreador, WESTBURY and Whitehall.[2]

In 1966, Pearl introduced its first professional drum kit, the "President Series".

In the early 1970s, Pearl was distributed in the U.S. by Norlin, the parent company of Gibson guitars at the time.

Today, Pearl's Taiwanese operation encompasses five factories whose output supplies nearly the entire worldwide market for Pearl products. The original Chiba factory now caters to the domestic Japanese market, producing drum kits, marching drums, timpani, and symphonic chimes.

Adams Musical Instruments are sold in the U.S. through Pearl dealers, Hughes and Kettner guitar and bass amplifiers are distributed through Pearl's main warehouse in Nashville, Tennessee and Sabian cymbals are distributed in Japan through Pearl dealers.

Pearl created several drum products, such as shells in the 1970s that were made of wood with a fiber-glass lining. There was also a shell made of a composite called "Phenolic." Additionally, Pearl combined roto-toms and these Phenolic shells to create the Vari-Pitch line of drums. Other early innovations included shells that were slightly undersized, so that the drum head would extend over the edges, much like a gong drum. Pearl manufactured seamless, extruded acrylic shells that were different from the tabbed-and-seamed Vistalite shells used by Ludwig. Pearl also developed the hinged tube tom-arm, a design widely copied by many other drum manufacturers.


Pearl has made shells for more than 30 companies. In the 1960s, they ceased making shells for other companies, and began manufacturing drums under their own name and used the Pearl logo for the first time.[3][4]

Their construction technique is known as SST or "Superior Shell Technology." All Pearl drums feature this construction. Each ply is placed into a cylinder, and pressure is applied from both sides. While in the press, the shell is heated to bring the glue to a boil, thus forcing it through the wood grain and fusing the shells very tightly. The individual plies are scarf jointed, and all the seams are offset, resulting in a "seamless" drum (Pearl demonstrates the strength by parking a Humvee with its tire on a tom shell).[5] This creates a drum shell of incredible strength.

Drum lines

Drum kit.
Pearl Midtown Compact drum kit in Grindstone Sparkle
Pearl Midtown Compact drum kit in Grindstone Sparkle
Pearl Reference Snare drum in Scarlet Fade
Pearl Reference Snare drum in Scarlet Fade
Opti-Mount Suspension System
Opti-Mount Suspension System
Pearl Eliminator Redline pedals P2050C
Pearl Eliminator Redline pedals P2050C
SensiTone classic 2 brass shell 14'5 snare drum.
SensiTone classic 2 brass shell 14'5 snare drum.
Drum kit.
Bass drum of a marching band in Ohio.

Beginner and semi-professional lines

Professional lines

Electronic drums

Discontinued acoustic drums

Limited Edition

Over the years, Pearl has released a number of limited edition kits, normally special versions of existing lines:

Snare Drums

As well as drum kits, Pearl is a renowned producer of snare drums. Low-end kits (Vision series and lower) come standard with snare drums, and higher-end series have snares which must be bought separately. Individual snares, as well as artists' signature snares, are also available.

Series snare drums

Individual snare drums

Discontinued snare drums

Hardware and Pedals

In addition to producing drums, Pearl has also produced hardware for its drum and percussion instruments as well as pedals. One of Pearl's major improvements was the introduction of the Uni-Lock tilter on their tom mounts and cymbal stands. Introduced in 1982, the Uni-Lock tilter uses a frictionless, gearless tilter, allowing the player to make more precise angle adjustments to their toms and cymbals. This was further improved with the introduction of the Gyro-Lock tilters which rotate a full 360 degrees. Most of Pearl's pedals come equipped with PowerShifter heel plates, which allow the player to adjust the pedal's feel by sliding the plate either forwards or backwards.




Many famous drummers play Pearl, such as: Jeff Porcaro, Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Daniel Erlandsson, Dennis Chambers, Tanner Wayne (In Flames), Ray Luzier (Korn), Eric Singer (KISS), Jon Larsen (Volbeat), Mike Mangini (Dream Theater), Todd Sucherman (Styx), George Kollias (Nile), Brian Frasier-Moore (Justin Timberlake), Omar Hakim, Joey Jordison (Vimic), Casey Cooper, Jason Bowld (Bullet For My Valentine), Ashoor Zafarmoradian(Mayar Fallhi, Haman Band), Gary Husband, Michael "Moose" Thomas and many more.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Pearl History: Tradition of excellence" at Pearl Europe website
  2. ^ "Pearl - The Best Reason To Play Drums". Archived from the original on 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
  3. ^ "Pearl's History". Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
  4. ^ "Pearl's Commitment to Quality". Archived from the original on 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
  5. ^ Pearl Drums SST Video (2:57)
  6. ^ Europe, Pearl. "Website – Pearl Drums Europe". Pearl Europe. Retrieved 2019-05-09.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Pearl Export EXL product page
  8. ^ Review, Drummer's (2019-01-24). "@NAMM 2019: New Additions For Pearl". Drummer's Review. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  9. ^ Review, Drummer's (2018-05-04). "Pearl Drums launch new e/Merge kit". Drummer's Review. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  10. ^ "The Pearl e/MERGE Electronic Drum Kit Emerges from a New Collaboration Between Pearl and KORG | News at". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  11. ^ "Summer NAMM 2016: Slate and Pearl introduce the Mimic Pro drum brain". 2016-06-27. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  12. ^ Arblaster2016-06-24T15:09:00.175ZTech, Simon (24 June 2016). "Summer NAMM 2016: Pearl Drums teams up with Steven Slate to release Mimic Pro drum module". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  13. ^ Europe, Pearl. "Export EXA in Teal Blue Ash. Limited Edition". Pearl Music Europe. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  14. ^ "Website – Pearl Drums Europe".
  15. ^ "Pearl Japan's page on the Eliminator pedals" (in Japanese). Pearl Drums. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  16. ^ "Artist Roster". Pearl Europe. Retrieved 2019-05-10.[permanent dead link]