I have been playing drums for quite a while, and I have never come across a drum set that I did not like. My interest in new drum sets is like that of a government official looking for a good weapons system.
And in this case, I am always very keen on drum brands on the market. Pearl has always been one of my favorites.
Every drum set they have produced has had excellent features that work for the modern drumming community. And I have over all of them.
Pearl’s Rhythm Traveler is no different. It is one of those drum sets you just want to have for silent practice, and Pearl has it to look so impressive.
Well, it is not an all-perfect drum set, but it comes with several nice features I found worthy of looking at.
Hence, this review will bring you this wonderful drum set while trying to uncover some of the features that make it stand out. Continue reading
Pearl rhythm traveler review
The Pearl Rhythm Traveler drum set is a perfect example of an affordable, good-quality drum set. Coming from one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, you can expect to get the best performance from this set.
The drum set is made in Taiwan, featuring good material and performance. I have been using the
Rhythm Traveler drum sets for a while not, and I must admit, there is nothing to complain about at this price range. I would love to say it’s a perfect drum set, but I don’t want to sound unbiased.
Yes, it comes with great features, but it’s not what you call the ideal set for high-end performance. Hence, I will be basing most of this review on the price tag.
The reason I bought my first Rhythm Traveler full kit was that the heads were mesh. Also, the cymbals were plastic, which made it easy to practice silently.
Although I had to sell them later for a more serious drum set, I could still feel some attachment to this kit. I went ahead and bought another one because I wanted a more silent practice.
It was hard using a full set in the house with other people around, as you can imagine. I used this second one until electronic drum sets came into play. But that did not stop me from getting another one.
Looking at this trend and how much I have used the kit, one can easily say it’s one of my favorites, and they would be right. It’s not only because of silent practicing but because of Pearl’s reputation that I find these kits amazing. Each time I ordered, they came packaged in two boxes, which easily fit in a subcompact hatchback.
Please store these packages for future use because this is not a drum set you want to have forever.
I could not use the cymbals included, so I had to replace them with better ones. All entry-level cymbals are known for bad sounds. These ones actually do a better job than most first kits. However, you will not like the crash/ride sound. The hi-hats are not very badly off when closed, but opening them will make you look like a cartoon character.
I love Pearl because they have included everything you will ever want to start playing right from the box. It comes fully packaged with all the drum sets, hardware, accessories, and other necessary components. This way, you can just take from the box and start play.
Here is what to expect from the box:
The bass drum comes in configurations of 20 by 8 inches kick drum shells. The toms are 10 by 5, 12 by 5, and 14 by 5 inches. It also features a fully assembled 13 by 5-inch snare drum bearing black lugs, mounts, and brackets.
These are all the drums you find in a complete drum set. And the fact they come with easy assembly makes them even more attractive.
The fully assembled snare is one of the features I find most interesting. This is a bonus for beginners since it takes out the time you would spend figuring out what goes where.
Entry-level hardware is not something to look forward to. They are usually designed to start you off, and many of them will break down sooner than you may have expected.
Nevertheless, Pearl has included some very study hardware in this drum set. It comes with all the good features you can think of at this price range.
First, you will notice the chrome cymbal stand and the chrome hi-hat stand with a black base. And then there are three black L-arms and two black bass drum spurs.
Pearl has an aluminum clamp for mounting the low tom to the cymbal stand. This makes it easy to set the tom in place and start playing immediately.
Also, the packages feature an aluminum/black bass drum pedal. It may not be the best drum pedal, but it’s worth the money. Besides, you will only be using it for practice, and hence, not such a bad deal.
You will also find a chrome snare stand in the package. Note also that this is not the sturdiest snare stand out there. But it’s fine, and you can use it to mount your tom-toms.
Besides, these are a two-sided beater (felt/plastic), two 20-inch anodized aluminum hoops with black inlay, and three black rims (10-inch, 12-inch, and 14-inch. Another two 13-inch black rims are already assembled on the snare.
Last but not least, you get 12 claws for the kick drums and a bag filled with chrome T-rods. These ensure that you set your gear in place fast and with ease.
I also loved the heads on this drum set because they are kind of unique. It is not something you would expect from any drum set at this price range.
The set is crafted with a black 20-inch rez head featuring a white pearl logo. The 20-inch clear batter head comes with an integrated ‘O-ring.’
The 10-inch, 12-inch, and 14-inch batters heads are filled with ‘Pearl Protone’ dual play hydraulic oil. In other words, they are oil-filled, which gives them better resonance and sounding features.
The coated 13-inch and clear 13-inch rez heads already assembled on the snare gives it the same sound features as the rest of the drums. They sound really great for a practice drum.
Each head is also included with a complete set of batter-side mesh. These make them a strong whole, delivering better tonal ranges than many other products at this price range.
Pearl has included a wide range of accessories with this kit that will make your drumming more fun.
They include a tuning key, a Poster with Swedish furniture stores like assembly instructions, and a small lug grease container.
As if that is not enough, you get two dense adhesive foam, pads for muting the cymbals, a rubber pad for mounting the bass pedal to the hoop, and a setup manual. The included pedal makes the hoop unnecessary, but you will find it very useful when you upgrade.
The drums come with excellent overall quality at this price range. They vary intolerance based on each drum.
Besides, they are differentiated by the bearing edge’s trueness, ‘out of roundness, the bearing edge finish, and the rim/hoop’ out-of-flatness.
The 10-inch toms show slight imperfection on the bearing edge, which is acceptable, and it has a perfect rim. The 12-inch tom and the 14-inch tom feature a perfect bearing edge finish but different rim perfection (perfectly flat on the 12-inch inch and an out-of-flat on the 14-inch. The kick features a perfect bearing edge, as with the snare.
A perfect snare bed that is not over-exaggerated is not a common feature in budget drum sets. It comes as a gentle tapper on both sides as it slopes down with a few mm. I find the ‘out-of flatness’ feature on the snare very high side, although in the right range.
Excessive out-of-flatness makes it hard to tune, which is perhaps one thing you should notice here. All the other drums, including the 14-inch tom, have a role in the tuning. It is surprisingly easy to tune the snare, which could be due to its pre-setting.
The tom brackets are just like any other 7/8-inch’ poke-the-arm-into-the-drum type while the spurs on the kick are hinged. Simple spurs may not be the most effective for the bass drum, but they are very functional.
The hardware is quite useful too. I was looking at the snare stand and the cymbal stands and discovered they don’t suck as I had expected for anything at this price range. They seem suspiciously light-weight, but you will find them perfect for the job.
Also, the hat stand is nimble and light. It looks a bit ‘sluggish’ from afar, but it loosens up once you start playing. It comes with all the best functions you can get with an entry-level drum set.
There is nothing much to say about the bass pedal quality. It never just feels right for me, but this depends on personal experience. However, anyone will agree that it’s well-constructed with decent quality.
When you get any kit, you will want to replace the heads. Many of the heads supplied by drum manufacturers are horrible in sound, which compels many people to find better ones.
In this case, I find the heads included perfect for this kit. Well, the dual-ply hydraulic heads may seem to lessen the timbale effect, but this comes down to personal preferences are well. The snare heads are good, but not perfect.
Set Up and sound
The Rhythm Traveler features a complete batter head side made from mesh and with plastic cymbals. This means it’s made mostly for silent practice. Also, it features ‘Muffle Heads,’ which are single-ply great quality.
The set offers just enough sound to make you feel like you are playing something. But you will not be in any trouble with your neighbors as you sound silent.
This kit is easy to assemble and disassemble, disregarding the stands. It is small enough to fit in the passenger seat of your car. This could be one of the most portable drum sets you can ever have for a five-piece drum kit.
In terms of sound, this is a subjective matter that depends on the personal ear. It would be best if you listened to it before making any judgments. However, I found the bass to sound a lot larger than its size. It features six lugs on each side, which makes it easy to tune. The toms are not as good sounding ones, but they are better than many at this price range. The snare lacks a large range, but it delivers an overall pleasing tone.
For the price, these features are just right.
- An affordable set
- From a good manufacturer
- Perfect for silent practice
- They don’t nest
- Tolerances on the shells and the bass pedal
I find the Pearl Rhythm Traveler pod to be more than just a great kit for the money. It comes with more pros than limitations, which is not bad for anything at this price range. There is nothing wrong with a good drum set for silent practice.