drumdude wrote:I also heard rave reviews about the Pearl Reference series being unbelieveable also. Never hear/seen one yet...fairly new line.
My honest impression of those drums is that they're the just the by-product of a smoke and mirrors advertising campaign by Pearl. The need to create "the greatest new thing" has resulted in a lot of unnecessary "innovations" in drum production (i.e. gaping holes in snares, multi-ported bass drums, and split maple shells). All the customer reviews I've heard of the Reference Series state that they're "okay." High-end drums are never going to sound bad, but I'm under the impression that there is nothing positive about these drums to distinguish them from other high-end products out there, even Masters Series or Masterworks.
One new line of drums I have heard very positive things about (from customers, not advertisements) is the Gretsch Puresound series, which is similar to the Mapex Deep Forest Series of drums. They come in walnut or cherry and reportedly sound extremely warm and boomy.