Pearl Roadshow Drum Set Review

Pearl Roadshow Drum Set Review: An Affordable Option for Gigging Drummers

The Pearl Roadshow drum set delivers an impressive amount of value in an affordable package designed for gigging drummers on a budget. As one of the more popular beginner and intermediate-level drum set options on the market, the Roadshow punches above its weight class thanks to Pearl’s quality control and use of select hardware upgrades.

In this Pearl Roadshow drum set review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about these kits to determine if they match your needs, playing style, and budget. From the different Roadshow configurations available to the sound, quality, and overall value, let’s take a close look at what these affordable drum sets from Pearl bring to the table.

Overview of the Pearl Roadshow Drum Set Line

Pearl Roadshow Drum Set

Pearl offers the Roadshow kits in six different bundled configurations from a compact four-piece to a full on seven-piece kit complete with hardware, cymbals, a throne, and sticks. Roadshow shells are six-ply poplar and the kits are available in five distinct wrap finishes: Jet Black, Bronze Metallic, Wine Red, Charcoal Metallic, and a fade Forest Fade.

Here’s a quick look at what’s included with each Roadshow bundle:

  • Roadshow New Fusion 4-Piece Shell Pack
  • Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set with Hardware
  • Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set with Cymbals and Hardware
  • Roadshow 5-Piece Double Braced Hardware Shell Pack
  • Roadshow 5-Piece Double Braced Hardware Set with Cymbals
  • Roadshow 7-Piece Drum Set with Cymbals, Hardware and Throne

The shell packs come with Pearl’s new ISS mounting system to keep your toms stable while the cymbal pack options include Zildjian, Sabian, or Pearl-branded cymbals ranging from beginner level brass to intermediate cast bronze.

As you move up the configurations, you’ll get upgrades like double-braced hardware, better Quality cymbals, and larger tom and bass drums. Almost all options include everything you need to start playing out of the box besides sticks and a throne on some models.

Pearl Roadshow Shells and Hardware

The foundation of any great drum kit is the shells and hardware. This is where Pearl got it right with the Roadshow series – opting for quality components over cutting costs.

The 6-ply poplar shells provide a balanced tone with plenty of sustain thanks to Pearl’s superior sealing technology. Poplar is a dense hardwood that helps project volume while the 6-ply shells cut down on unwanted overtones. This gives the Roadshow kits a focused, rich sound that works well with any genre.

Pearl also includes their new Optimount isolation mount system on the toms which gives you the ability to tune out extraneous resonance for a tighter, purer tone. The Roadshow bass drums feature projection-focused power with accurately cut bearing edges for head alignment and rebound.

The 800 series hardware on standard Roadshow kits is double-braced to prevent rack wobble during aggressive playing. Pearl has stepped up the quality of the wing screws for quicker set-up times and better stability under frequent adjustments. Upgraded Roadshow configurations come with Pearl’s demon drive chain-drive bass drum pedals and 900 series hardware for even greater strength and reliability.

Configurations and Sizing
With so many bundled options available, Pearl gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to sizing your Roadshow kit. Here’s an overview of what’s included with each Roadshow configuration:

4-piece Shell Pack

Roadshow New Fusion 4-Piece Shell Pack
  • 22”x16” Kick Drum
  • 10”x7” and 12”x8” Toms
  • 14”x5.5” Snare
    Great configuration for tight spaces like smaller venues or if you need to transport your kit frequently. Compact and portable while still delivering full, punchy tone.

5-piece Sets

Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set with Hardware
  • 22”x16” or 22”x18” Kick Drums
  • 10”x7” and 12”x8” Toms Standard
  • 14”x5.5” Snare
    Optional Add-on Tom Packs:
  • 13”x9” Tom
  • 16”x16” Floor Tom
    Standard rock configuration with extra floor tom options available for fuller sound. Perfect for cover bands or drummers needing maximum tonal flexibility.

7-piece Set

  • 22″x18″ Bass Drum
  • 10′′×7′′ and 12″x8″ Mounted Toms
  • 14′′x14″ and 16″x16″ Floor Toms
  • 14′′x5.5′′ Snare Drum
    Large configuration best suited for drummers playing multiple genres from rock to fusion who need extra tonal options.

Roadshow Cymbals and Hardware Upgrades

While shell packs give you the core sound, cymbals and hardware round out your kit with added projection, sustain, and stability. Pearl bundles the Roadshow with beginner Zildjian, Sabian and Pearl cymbals as well as 700 and 900 series hardware upgrades:


  • Zildjian Planet Z Pack
  • Sabian B8 Performance Set
  • Pearl VX Bridge Series Bronze


  • 700 Series Single Braced Hardware
  • 900 Series Double Braced Hardware
  • Demonator Bass Drum Pedals

Having upgraded cymbals and hardware already included with Roadshow bundles will save you money compared to buying everything separately. It also ensures quality control and compatibility out of the box.

Sound and Performance
When you sit behind a Roadshow kit, the quality of Pearl craftsmanship allows the tonal potential to shine through. The shells are well-built with excellent sealant and hardware attachments to prevent leakage or excess air loss. Head installation and tuning range is smooth and easy right off the bat.

The poplar shells produce a balanced sound that sits right in the middle-frequency range – ideal for rock drumming. They bring out more low end than maple but still have enough attack and definition for articulate rhythmic playing. Combined with the coated ambassadors, you get plenty of warmth with enough brightness on the snap of the snare and shimmer of cymbals.

Since they are designed for working drummers, the Roadshow kits record excellently in studio and project with the power to cut through a live mix. Toms have enough body for big-sounding fills while the kick provides thump and rumble without getting boomy. Cymbal crashes open up with complex overtones and you can get very nuanced, detailed stick articulation on the snare.

Overall, the Roadshow delivers professional quality sound and versatility in an affordable kit perfect for weekend warriors. The components are built to handle heavy playing while providing the dynamic response needed for continually changing musical situations.

Who is the Pearl Roadshow Drum Set Best Suited For?

Pearl designed the Roadshow series specifically for gigging drummers who need a quality, reliable kit to handle live playing across different venues and genres. Popular with school music programs and weekend cover bands, here is an overview of drummers who will get the most value from investing in a Roadshow:

Beginner Drummers
An affordable go-to option for drummers starting lessons or who want to upgrade from an entry-level starter kit. The durable components allow new players to learn without frequent replacements while still leaving room to grow technically.

Gigging Drummers
The Roadshow delivers professional-grade performance night after night thanks to durable build quality and versatile sound. Easy to transport and set up, they are perfect for drummers playing club gigs, weddings, churches, or local concerts.

Drummers on a Budget
No sacrificing key features for price. Pearl finds the sweet spot of price to performance value allowing budget-focused buyers to still get pro features like chain drive pedals and multi-ply shells.

Fusion/Rock Drummers
The punchy attack, defined low end, and open sustain make Roadshows well suited for rock, alternative, metal, and fusion drummers who rely on power and dynamic versatility.

Jazz/Orchestral Players
Provides enough sensitivity and delicate tones for low-volume jazz clubs or orchestra pits while still able be felt in large rooms when needed.

DIY Customizers/Upgraders
The sturdy shells and quality components allow drummers the ability to incrementally upgrade heads, cymbals, and hardware over time while still relying on a solid foundation kit.

Common Questions About the Pearl Roadshow Drum Sets

Over the years, I have fielded lots of questions from drummers about the Pearl Roadshow series. Here’s a compilation of the most frequent ones:

How durable are the shells?
Quite durable thanks to precise cut bearing edges, quality poplar wood ply, and Pearl’s air-sealed Glue Ring technology. Gigging drummers report getting years of reliable performance without any structural issues.

Are the stock heads and cymbals decent quality?
Yes, Pearl made smart component choices. The Remo UX coated ambassador batters provide punchy attack with full sustain. Included Zildjian, Sabian, and Pearl cymbals offer impressive responses for all riding, crashing, and hi-hat needs.