Pearl Reference Snare Drum Purple Craze 14 X 5

Product #446698

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The Holy Grail of snare drums.

What if each drum in your drum set was engineered as an instrument unto itself? Each tom designed to respond perfectly within the confines of its respective frequency without compromise over any other area of your kit. This is the mission behind Reference Series drums. A complete set of individually engineered, incredible sounding drums.

In 1999, Pearl began its most ambitious undertaking, The Masterworks Series, the world's first truly custom drums. Designed for the player by the player. Every aspect of the manufacturing process was custom made, from the number of wood plies, to the wood selection, to the final finish. Over the last five years, through arduous listening tests, Masterworks taught Pearl drum makers a great deal about drums and what makes the perfect shell. So forget what you think you know about drums and take a close look at Reference Series, the most acoustically advanced drums in the world. To fully understand the Reference Series you must understand that the desired tonal characteristics of a 10" tom are completely different than that of a 22" bass drum. Thus to use the same material in both drums would result in a compromise.

Reference Series drums use a combination of task-specific bearing edges and three time-proven woods: birch, maple, and African mahogany. Using maple as a sole material has long been the traditional choice for shells and for good reason. Maple provides smooth, well-balanced tone that is perfect for a 12" tom.

Subsequently, all Reference Series 12" toms are composed of six plies of maple; this is the only single wood shell in the series. Pearl's 10" and 8" toms receive four plies of maple with two inner plies of birch for cut and attack. And for maximum response, all 13" diameter and smaller toms have a rounded 45° bearing edge, and a more focused area for head-to-shell contact to boost mid- to higher-range frequencies.

Each snare drum shell is composed of a blend of woods totaling an incredible 20 plies. This extra thick shell ensures that no energy is lost through shell vibration and all energy is focused on moving sound waves. The shell's bearing edge is 45° to promote a focused contact area with the head for response and crack. Six inner plies of birch provide cut and attack while the outer 14 plies of maple provide warmth and solid midrange punch.

Reference Series snare drums are available in three different shell sizes: 14"x 5", 14"x 6-1/2" and 13" x 6-1/2" to suit individual preferences and tastes. The heart and soul of your kit is your snare drum and Pearl's Reference Series snare drums shine through loud and clear. Simply amazing volume.

The snare tension knob features a locking mechanism to maintain snare tension at all times. Simply depress the button and turn the knob simultaneously. The strainer lever features a Positive Lock system that, while in the "on" position, removes the possibility of accidentally turning the snares off without depressing a button on the lever.

With Reference Series, it's not about compromise; it's about every drum in your kit performing at its optimal capacity.

  • 6 inner plies birch
  • 14 outer plies maple

The volume and response will amaze you. Order today!

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by PowerReviews
PearlReference Snare Drum

(based on 5 reviews)

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Reviewed by 5 customers

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My favorite Hands Down

By William

from San Ramon, CA

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  • Great Sound
  • Huge Tone


    Best Uses

    • Accompaniment

    Comments about Pearl Reference Snare Drum:

    I have had Bell brass, Edges, timeless timbers, Manu katchees, custom snares, all sorts of other name brand snares, beech, birch, maple, solid shell, brass, you name it. Have money will travel!! This 20 ply is a killer. Very solid. Sounds like a gun shot. If that's what you want, this is the one.

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    (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


    Great Snare Drum!

    By Andrew -K65pw

    from Lewisville, Tx

    Comments about Pearl Reference Snare Drum:

    This snare drum is one of my favorite snare drums that I own. I have previously owned a few other ply snare drums, but this one sounds the best. One feature I really enjoy is the snare throw off. It locks in place so I don't have to worry about my snares accidentally slipping off when I am grooving! Another feature I enjoy is the over all sound. This snare has an amazing crack to it and cuts through the music with ease. It is also very sensitive to the touch. When you are trying to add in ghost notes, they are picked up nicely by the audience. This snare has a slightly high price, but I believe it is worth it. The design is flawless and the structure of the snare feels like it could be run over by a car and have 0 damage. The lugs on the drum are pretty fantastic to and add to the overall cosmetic beauty of the drum. Overall this is a fantastic snare and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a cutting snare with a fantastic high end!

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    (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


    Simply Circular Perfection!

    By Steve-1O1SX

    from New York

    Comments about Pearl Reference Snare Drum:

    Looking for that one workhorse snare that will fill every slot in your lineup? Look no further. The Pearl Reference wood shells (and metal shells for that matter) are simply the most versatile snares on the market. They're plenty loud enough for live playing, but sensitive enough for studio and light/brush playing. They're tuning range is out of this world too. Low and fat sounding which is great for the studio or that classic rock sound live or cracked up for that new rock pop. You can't go wrong! The hardware is very heavy duty but user friendly and the RF-2000 throw-off is simply the best on the market; and thats coming from a DW and Trick Owner, who make some of the best throw-offs around. But don't take my word for it! Play one and you'll be dishing out the big bucks!

    Comment on this review

    (9 of 16 customers found this review helpful)


    Great drum, but hardware needs improvement

    By T.J.-O3uAK

    from Guam

    Comments about Pearl Reference Snare Drum:

    I purchased my 14x6.5 reference a year and a half ago. I absolutely love this drum! However the bridge lugs with swivel function system is weak and for situations where high tension tuning is required the castings tend to break.... I just recently noticed cracking on ALL of the upper sections of the castings. On certain gigs, I use high tuning but nothing that I would call extreme. I was very disappointed that after spending $ 520.00 that this would be an issue. Pearl did a wonderful job on every other aspect of the drum, but I think they tried to cut costs or something by using cheap castings. If they could "beef up" this lug system then there would be absolutely No Issues with this drum. All in all the sounds available from these snares are amazing; the rim shots are just beautiful!!

    Comment on this review

    (21 of 37 customers found this review helpful)


    ["14X"6.5] An incredibly focused snare, the best of both Maple and Birch worlds

    By Miguel of the 8

    from Olympia, WA

    Comments about Pearl Reference Snare Drum:

    I got the 14 by 6.5 version of this 20-ply Birch/Maple snare and I have to say it is quite dynamic sounding. It's applications are definitely more for rock/pop/metal and live stuff. The snare is sensitive enough that you don't have to hit it very hard to get it going. The sound range isn't incredibly wide on the snare, but the focused crack that this snare gives is uncanny. If you need it to get louder you don't have to hit much harder. But the "crack" hits both the high and low register pretty well with almost no mid-range "Boom," and "Crack," at the same time. The stroke rolls and accents, while controlling volume is a little difficult, are equally as defined and the responsiveness of the snare is super quick. The hardware is nice. They put good snare wires on the bottom. The lock on the snare strainer is easy to use: just click the button on or off. Like Pearl sez, the snares will not come undone no matter how hard you play unless you unlock them. The winding hardware for tighting the snares is pretty good too. All you need to do is twist the knob. The snare drum also comes with Emperor Coated head on the top and an Ambassador on the bottom. I'm not sure if I can recommend this for Jazz drummers, I play with 7A sticks and it seems like it might be too much but 14X5 model probably isn't as loud. If you use brushes they work well on this snare. All-in-all, I got mine for $499 and I have to say for the price, if you are looking for a well defined loud snare with many live and studio applications and your price range is between $300-900 , I can't recommend this one enough because the competition pales. The Tama Starclassic 12-ply Maple snare is the only thing that comes close but that's an entirely different sound.

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