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And that sound derived from the decidedly spindly, fragile shell.

He’d literally removed each head and affixed a two-inch wide cotton strip extending from the bearing edges an inch into the playing surface.

In retrospective, it’s obvious Randy had tweaked to the Pinstripe and EC formula—except that, in those days, there were no such pre-damped, or circumference EQ-ed heads, only Diplomats, Ambassadors, and Emperors.

This third wave of Pearl drums followed the chronology: Pearl stencil brands past life. Thus, we neglected to change heads, invariably replacing broken batters with bottom heads.

Say what you want when comparing the merits of wood vs. You see an awful lot of open-ended Japanese toms lying about for this reason.

Nowadays, I realize that my Coronet 14×14 floor tom featuring a mere 6-lugs is open and ambient in the extreme, partially due to the reduction of resonance-choking metal bolted to the shell. We’d have to wait until BBQ season and you could spill out onto the lawn.

The thing is, were you to hear these drums—I’m working on acquiring proper audio/video—you’d curse yourself for dismissing them outright as disposable.

They are not simply mis-badged prototypes for the soon-to-debut Pearl President line.

I long suspected greatness when playing these drums as I’ve related to you. And in that instance, that glimpse into the crucible of truth, we both realized what a huge dent we could make on perceptions and, in fact, on the vintage market, which had previous excluded such drums from considerations, notwithstanding a couple of excellent websites dedicated to Japanese stencil brands.

The look was interesting, granted, but the metal was soft and prone to crack; the shells were porous second-grade Asian softer-woods, overly flexible, and often untrue or out-of-round.

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