The Drum Workshop 9000 series hardware is so great. Strong, solid, well-designed, easy to adjust… it rules. It’s absolutely my go-to for heavy duty hardware.

Pearl stands, on the other hand, are such a bummer. I’m using some on the backline kit at my gig today and it is seriously disappointing. I know I have my quirks and preferences as a player, and I’m also very accustomed to the DW stuff, but I don’t think the issues I’m having are simple lack of familiarity issues. I’ve never had as much trouble with hardware as I am with this (very expensive and “top of the line”) Pearl equipment today.

Specific disappointments:

– DW boom arms have separate wing nuts for rotation and extension, whereas Pearl’s only uses one wing nut for both. Is Pearl’s single joint approach more streamlined? Yes. Does this make it more convenient? Not at all. And as far as streamlining goes, the Pearl boom arms don’t retract into the lower tube level, so they’re cumbersome when positioned completely vertical. 

– Pearl hihat stands have an infinite spin on the top cymbal rod at the point where it attaches to the base of the stand, rather than threading into the socket and staying still once fully threaded.

– Pearl boom stands have the plastic sleeve attached to the top wing nut, so that if the wing nut is off then there’s no sleeve on the stand anymore. I like my cymbals to sway as much as possible when I’m playing, and I sometimes even take a cymbal off its stand entirely during a performance. So in order to play without the wing nuts tonight I had to wrap electrical tape around the top pin of the stand so my cymbals didn’t rub metal on metal.

To be fair though, I had a Pearl T-99 hihat stand back in high school that lasted me for a LONG time, and I’ve always loved it.