Pearl Roadshow Acoustic Drumset Review


My take on the Pearl Roadshow Drumsets are that they are a great value buy regardless of the level you are at.

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It’s so hard to know if the cheap instruments online are going to be junk that your gonna end up wasting your money and time on, or if you are getting one of the best acoustic drums.  And on top of that, sometimes it’s hard enough to figure out what your going to get with your purchase as some descriptions are elusive at best.

Fortunately, The Pearl Roadshow Drumset offer an inexpensive option that is so much better than most of the options in it’s price range with many of the other drumsets being no better than cheap toys that won’t be fun to play and ultimately be a waste of money.  Not only is the quality great for the price but this drumset truly comes with everything you need to get up and playing, making it one of the best drums & percussion you can buy.

The Pearl Export Series Drumset was the drumset I started on and I still have the same drumset (now in my rehearsal space when I’m not on tour) and it’s been well over 20 years since I got the drums.  

Pearl is a tried and true drum company and if you are looking for a comporable but less expensive option to the Pearl Export Series Drumset, the Pearl Roadshow Drumset it the best solution.

In many ways, for an out of the box, ready to go drumset, this one may be the best value buy, although you’ll probably want to replace your cymbals before too long if you want to have the most enjoyable playing experience.  They aren’t bad for starter pack cymbals and for the price and the quality of the drums, it’s amazing that you even get them included with the package, not to mention the complete drumset comes with a throne, a bass drum pedal and all the harware you need.  Pearl is a trusted brand, the look is great (way better than it looked when i bought my first kit at 12 years old, or should i say when my parents bought me my first kit) and for the price, you can’t get up and running for any better.

What’s Included

  • Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
  • Ready to rock right out of the box!
  • 9 ply, 7mm Poplar Shells & 1.2mm Triple Flanged hoops. Comes with Heads and Double Braced Hardware.
  • Drums Included: 22×16 Bass Drum, 1×8 Tom, 12×9 Tom, 16×16 Floor Tom, 14×5.5 Snare Drum
  • Cymbals Included: 16″ Brass Crash-Ride, 14″ Hybrid Hi-Hats
  • Hardware Included: Cymbal Stand, Hi-Hat Stand, Snare Stand, Bass Drum Pedal, Throne, 2 Tom Holders

Drum Shells

The Drum Shells on the Pearl Roadshow are made out of Poplar Wood which is definitely one of the cheaper woods used in drum making, however, their 9-ply design is sturdy and has the ability to be fine tuned with decent drum heads and a little bit of tuning.  Of all the poplar drumsets on the market, Pearl seems to be one of the best at bringing value to less expensive drumsets.

Snare Drum

The 13×5.5 Pearl Snare Drum that comes with the kit, is amazingly good for how little you have to pay for the whole kit.  I have spent more on a single snare drum that the cost of this whole drumset. With that said, I recently bought an inexpensive Pearl snare drum to take on the road as a backup option that I have since set up during shows as a second snare with different dampening compressions and drum effects. (hyperlink dampening compressions and drum effects to an article i will write about it).  I would suggest upgrading the snare drum head pretty soon after buying the kit. It’s an inexpensive way to make the main drum on the drumset sound much better and will make playing more enjoyable. (click here for recommendations)


Bass Drum

The 22×16 Pearl Bass Drum is a standard sized based drum found on the majority of drumset models.  There are variations listed below under configurations with different sized bass drums but the 22×16 that comes with the road show has the ability of having a beautiful sound.  If you upgrade the drumheads you can really make this bass drum sing. It will sound good once you get it set up regardless and you can start drumming right away, but if you want to make it sound more professional I would suggest new heads or at least some dapening.


Drum Hardware

The fact that this kit comes with two cymbal stands, a hi hat stand, a snare stand and a kick pedal blows my mind.  I have spent more on a double bass drum pedal (Hyperlink that to double bass drum pedals article) than this whole kit costs.  While the hardware that comes with it wont exactly last long with the wear and tear of professional touring, there not meant to be used for professional touring.  If you get to the level where you are starting to tour professional as a musicians, please check out our articles “best drumsets for professional drummers” and “becoming a professional musician 101”

Bass Drum Pedal

I own this pearl bass drum pedal. I bought it on tour on the cheap because i was having an issue with my main pedal and wanted something just in case.  I would not recommend this pedal for consisent use as a professional music however, I as a professional musician used it at high profile events, so its really not that bad, and with this kit, your not really even paying for it, so it’s a steal!  



The god’s honest truth is that these cymbals are not amazing, but if you expect them to be, keep in mind that an “amazing” ride cymbal (hyperlink amazing ride cymbal and we will have a cymbal article) alone can cost more than the total cost for the Pearl Roadshow Drumset.  With that said, if you are just getting started as a drummer, this will absolutely get you going and of all the comparable kits, these are the most decent sounding cymbals. When you get to the point where you have enough “rudiments and grooves” (hyperlink rudiments and grooves and we’ll link to an article that reviews books and instructional videos)


The Pearl Roadshow comes in a few different series that all have different configurations.  The names of each series gives you a sense of what styles the kits are intended. I would say consider the size of the space you will have in your house for you drums and if you want a deep rocking bass drum tone or more of a singing jazz tone.  The bigger the bass drum the bigger the sound, although there are “small bass drums that pack a punch” <- Hyper link to article). They are all great. For smaller children the jazz option is the way to go as it has small drums and can be set up closer to the ground and in a tighter space.  

Fusion The Pearl Roadshow Fusion kit is a good drumset to cover alot of bases and styles.  If you aren’t a jazz drummer and you are looking for the biggest and loudest of the the series, this drumset is a great option.  The bass drum is 20×16 and there are 10×7, 12×8 and 14×14 inch toms and a 14×5.5 snare drum. The 14×14 in floor tom has a nice depth to it.  

Jazz The Pearl Roadshow Jazz drumset has an 18×12 bass drum which is going to be the smallest and have the punchiest lightest bass drum, although with proper heads and tuning this drum has a wide range of tones that sound great. (hyperlink heads and tuning) The toms are 10×7 and 14×10.  Two toms are standard for jazz drumkits and the 10 inch depth on the floor tom make for a punchier drum that will sing a little more as jazz kits are intended to do. The snare drums is 13×5 which is smaller than the fusion kit but that does not mean it is better or worse. If you are considering this kit for the size and price, don’t let the term jazz confuse or deter you.  Even if you want the kit for you young musician because of it’s smaller size, it doesn’t mean they have to prefer jazz to enjoy playing this kit and becoming a great drummer on it. Plus with our help, you can adjust the heads and tunings on just about any drum to get tones that will be feel good for you and inspire you to continue to practice and explore your music.

New Fusion The Pearl Road Show New Fusion Drum Set has a large 22×16 bass drum with a large 16×16 floor tom as well as 10×8 and 12×9 toms and a 14×5.5 Snare Drum.  I enjoy this kit. When I owned it I got it sounding great. I’ve read articles where people try to pigeon hole this drumset as a rock and roll kit, which it can be, but really this is a nice design and a fun kit to play and with the right amount of practice, you can make this kit sound great for a variety of styles.

Rock The Pearl Road show Rock kit is fun even if you don’t just want to play rock, however it is great for rock as it has the largest options for your drums that produce the biggest tones.  I however believe that even more than the drums, cymbals (hyperlink cymbals) are more important in creating a sound that can be pinned to a certain style. So for instance, even though this is a rock drumset,(hyperlink rock drumset)  with the right dry cymbals (hyperlink dry cymbals) you can use this kit for some funk, hip hop, blues and just about anything. Or if you want to go heavy on the rock end you could add rock cymbals or even metal cymbals and a double bass drum pedal to this kit to maximize the rock fee.  (hyperlink rock cymbals, metal cymbals and double bass drum pedal) Note: There are certain tones a jazz drummer or an afrobeat drummer maybe looking for that this kit does not have to offer. This drumset has a 22×16 Bass Drum, a 14×5.5 Snare Drum, 12×9 tom and 14×14 and 16×16 floor toms.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a good drumset for beginners?  

For the price, this is one of the best drumsets for beginners on the market.  It comes with everything you need to get started and has the ability to grow with you as you get better and will naturally seek different tones.  

Does this drumset need to be assembled or does it come put together?

Unfortunately, there’s not efficient way to deliver a drumset that is completely set up unless you want a floor model drumset stuffed into the trunk of your car.  I don’t recommend the floor model or having a fully setup drumset shoved into the back of your car. This drumset is fairly easy to set up and comes with very clear instructions.


8.7 Expert Score

Pearl Roadshow

I wouldn’t be in any rush to take this kit on tour as a professional musician, but if I was flying into a gig and any of the variations of this was the backline drumset with decent drum heads and cymbals, I would feel good about it.  I would definitely recommend this for beginners and intermediate drummers, but if you are intermediate moving towards being a professional musician I would suggest The Pearl Export Series Drumset which is a great value drumset or a comparable drumset in the Yamaha Stage Custom Drumset which i love for the price.  Check out my article Pearl Export Series Drumset vs. Yamaha Stage Custom Drumset for more information if your considering the upgrade.

  • This drumset comes with everything you need to start druming, including cymbals, drum hardware, cymbal hardware, drum throne, kick pedal and even sticks and a stick bag. At this price point, it’s unheard of!
  • The drums are of high enough quality that as you improve as a drummer, you can upgrade your drumheads (click here to learn about drumheads), improve how you tune your drumheads (click here for video on tuning drumheads) and upgrade your cymbals (click here for information on cymbals) to get this kit sounding professional and ready for performances.
  • If you are looking for a complete drumset under $500 there aren’t any cons
  • If you are looking for a drumset that out of the box you can take on stage and perform with this is not the drumkit for you, however this kit can be upgraded easily when you are ready to move from the practice room to the stage.
  • The Cymbals that come with it will get a beginner going, but this will probably be your first change you will need to make to the kit if your aspirations grow to want to become professional.