Pearl Drums first dabbled with acrylic drum shells in the '70s, which is when they established the Crystal Beat name. This latest revival shares the name, but Pearl say the material they're using this time is more flexible and less brittle than the originals.
The configuration we have here is an undrilled 20"x15" bass drum, 10"x7" and 12"x8" suspended toms and 14"x13" floor tom. Shells are entirely seamless. The shell pack doesn't come with mounting hardware so you'll need to pick up a stand adaptor and Optimount tom arms.
The Pearl-branded, clear double ply heads match the look of the drum kit and tune up well, the 45 degree, slightly rounded bearing edges helping with warmth and focus. As you can hear from the demo video the toms record really well, even with a basic mic setup and without any dampening.
What the drums lack in opacity, they certainly make up for in volume. These drums are naturally very loud and suited to heavier styles of music, although their tuning versatility means they wouldn't sound out of place in other styles too and naturally they'd look great under stage lights. You'll have to be careful when pairing these drums with the right snare drum. We matched them with a 14"x6.5" walnut stave snare and the combination was complimentary and mixed well.
Watch our video to see how the kit performs in the flesh.
For a full review pick up issue 245 of Rhythm, on sale 28/07/15.