Pearl Rhythm Traveler 5-Piece Portable Drum Kit Customer Review
These drums produce a great sound with good heads. I'd give them a 10 if they had the option of being double headed, but for single headed drums (like the concert toms sets of the 70s) they have a direct punchy sound that when mic'ed produce a tom sound that can compete with "full-sized" drums. The Kick drum is nice and solid with padding and a microphone. Again though, good quality heads are a must. I use pinstripes on toms, and an Evans eq3 type on bass drum, Pearl logo front head with hole for microphone and air venting.
I'll give the features a "6" rating as everything is functional, but I believe the set would be better if Pearl would have made the tom mounts the same as on the "Export" series (no metal to metal contact). These fittings are a little "cheaper" and could result in stripping/hardware damage over time.
As for raliability, I've recorded and gigged with these for over three years with no problems, and the finish still looks great. The big advantage of this set is the portability. They really help out when space is at a minumum. With gas prices the way they are, a drummer no longer needs a huge van or truck to get his drums to the show. You could put these in a VW Bug or other economy car, and still have a great drum sound. With the cases/bags designed for these drums, a cheap army-surplus duffel bag for hardware, and my Cymbal-bag backpack, I have loaded in and out in one trip.
Pearl service is great. Their "Drummers Forum" at their web site is also a great resource for Pearl drummmers.
Well worth the price.
The Wow Factor:
I like funky looking gear, and I like portable gear, so naturally I think these are great. I like the fact that I'm the only drummer in my area that plays live shows with these drums. Let other guys lug around larger, heavier drums that end up sounding and looking the same as the next guys set. My set looks unique, sounds unique, and rocks just as loud (through a PA, and acousicly) as other drummers' "dime a dozen" drum sets.
I'm a gearhead, so I'm always looking for more gear, but these fit a need, and I'm happy with them. I imaginge I'll always have a set of Rhythm Travelers.