Pearl Export Series Review of both EXX and EXL variants

Last Updated on July 30, 2021 by Danny

The Export is one of the oldest series of Pearl as they’ve been making them for around three decades. Millions of Pearl Export have been sold over the years. The Export has had numerous variants over the years, but this review is gonna focus on the two latest models, the EXL and the EXX. Both these drum sets are possibly one of the best beginner/intermediates in terms of sound and reliability. While the set isn’t cheap, the quality of the set surely makes the cost reasonable.

Pearl Export Series Review

pearl export series review

The Pearl Export series drum set offers an extremely convincing package. The poplar/mahogany shells combined with the Remo heads sound good and are suitable for nearly all genres. The included 830 series hardware is quite sturdy and durable enough to last you years even if you practice for long hours every day. You also get the Demonator bass drum pedal which is one of the best at its price point. You however do not get any cymbals. The finish of the kits is simply superb, with the EXL versions providing a lacquered finish that will just catch everyone’s eye. 

All these features make the Pearl export drum set a great option for beginners and intermediate players. While the kit is indeed quite expensive, it’s a good investment that will last you many years.

  • The shells are simply incredible
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Opti-loc mounting system provides better stability and resonance
  • Offers great value for money
  • No cymbals included
  • Stock drum heads aren’t very good

What’s in the box?

pearl export exx

There are three main variants of Pearl Export EXX available and they differ in their shell sizes.

  • The EXX725 features three toms of sizes 16”, 13”, and 12” along with a 22” bass drum.
  • The EXX725S consists of 16”, 12”, and 10” toms with a 22” bass drum.
  • The EXX705N comes with 14”, 12”, and 10” toms along with a smaller 20” bass drum.

The common components of both kits are:

  • 14”x5.5” snare
  • P390 Demonator bass drum pedal
  • Pearl 830 series boom cymbal stand, hi-hat stand, and a straight cymbal stand

The Pearl Export EXL is an exact replica of the EXX, except that it features a lacquered finish. 

Features and Performance

The Pearl export drum set comes with 6-ply Poplar/Asian Mahogany blended shells that provide good tonal range and sound quality. You also get a variety of different finishes with the EXX and EXL variants. 

The 830 series hardware included is chromed and double-braced so it should last very long. You also get Pearl’s Opti-loc suspension system for mounting the toms. This mounting system doesn’t need holes to be drilled into the toms and thus give you better resonance. However, you will have to compromise on positioning the toms as it doesn’t offer 100% mobility. 

The pearl drums export series also boasts the “Superior Shell Technology”. What this term means is that the shells are all airtight and will thus give you a better tone. You also get Remo heads which are alright for stock heads. You also get a lifetime warranty for Export.

The quality of the shells, hardware, and heads provide you with a kit that performs solidly as a practice kit. It is very sturdy and sounds good, so you will not have an issue playing for long durations. With just a few upgrades, the Export can also be made into an incredible stage performance beast.

Drum Hardware

The Export comes with Pearl’s 830 series hardware. It consists of double-braced stands which are quite stable and durable. Even if you regularly assemble and disassemble your kit, the Export’s hardware should last you years without issue. 

You also get a boom cymbal stand, which gives you much higher versatility than a straight stand. You could even position your cymbal to be right above your toms. The Demonator bass drum pedal looks pretty good and is probably the best pedal at its price point.

pearl export review

Snare & Bass Drum

The snare is the most played drum in most kits and it’s important that you have a good sounding one. The snare sounds good for an intermediate set, but you might want to upgrade the head in the future. 

You should properly tune the snare drum irrespective of whether you have stock or upgraded heads as it will significantly boost the sound quality. The poplar shell of the snare drum is quite lightweight, so getting deeper tones might be hard. The snare drum also gets a matching finish to the set, thus increasing your visual appeal. 

The bass drum has nice tones and is quite powerful. The drum pedal included fits snuggly and allows you to play comfortably and powerfully. The drum sounds loud and has a nice feel to it. Adding dampers will help further improve the low-frequency sounds.


You do not get any cymbals included with this set. While this isn’t nice, it’s quite typical. This is because the best drum manufacturers do not make cymbals and best cymbal manufacturers do not make drums. You can get cymbals with some lower-priced kits.

You’ll only find included cymbals with inexpensive kits, but those cymbals simply sound bad. Thus, you will have to buy a cymbal pack. While you might feel tempted to hand pick each cymbal, understand that it will be substantially more expensive than buying a pack.

How does the kit Sound?

The Poplar and Asian Mahogany hybrid shells of the Export provide quality sound and a wide tonal range. The only issue is that the stock heads aren’t too good. 

While you could tune them and improve the sound significantly, it’s hard to get studio-quality sound with them. However, they are decent-sounding and should be good enough for practicing and a little gigging. 

If you want a better sounding kit, you can always get better sounding heads. Once you attach new heads and properly tune them, the Pearl Export becomes a beast with snappy sounds that are suitable for great onstage performances and nuanced studio recording sessions.

Who is this kit best for?

pearl export exl

The kit will be suitable for both beginners and intermediate drummers. For a beginner, the high quality of this kit would mean that the Export will be a set they can grow with. Even when they transition from a beginner to an intermediate player, the Export will still be relevant and allow you to continue playing without having to buy a new kit. 

For an intermediate player, this would be an amazing practice kit as it sits. However, once you upgrade the heads you will get a pretty good stage kit. The finish of both the EXX and EXL also looks good on stage.

How do you set up a pearl Export drum kit?

The assembly process of the Export is quite uncomplicated. Only the bass drum and hardware need to be set up as all the other drums come preassembled. The included instructions are pretty straight forward and you should be able to assemble them without needing assistance. If you do get some hiccups, there are plenty of YouTube videos to help you. 

Make sure that you find the appropriate video for your model as there have been plenty of variants of Export over the years.

Different Versions of the Pearl Export?

The variants of the EXX are the EXX725, EXX725S, and the EXX705N, their compositions have been mentioned before. 

The smaller toms of EXX725S provide you with a broader tonal range compared to EXX725, but you’ll have a broader tonal hole due to the significant size difference between the 16” tom and 12” tom. 

The EXX725 lacks this tonal hole but has a narrower range. The EXX705N is the smallest of all the configurations and the smaller size provides higher notes, but the bass lacks the boom of the EXX725 series. 

The EXL only differs from EXX in its lacquered finish. The EXL variants are known as EXL725, EXL725S, and EXL705N respectively. The lacquer finish gives you a better gloss and allows you to see the wood grain. This boosts the visual appeal of the kit incredibly. 

While both the EXX and EXL do look professional, the EXL simply looks way classier and you cannot underestimate how important visual appeal is to an audience.


The Pearl Export is a good drum brand and has spent over thirty years is the #1 best selling drum. The one-millionth Pearl Export set got sold way back in 1995. Over the years the Export has been the starting point for many drummers and will continue to be so. So if you want a drum with a long legacy, the Export will be the one for you. Also, check out the list of best acoustic drum set for beginners.


So this is our detailed Pearl export series review. Both the EXX and EXL drum sets come with an incredible set of features. The hardware that comes with the set is pretty good and the bass pedal is possibly one of the best. 

While you can get birch shells at the same cost, you need to understand that the birch kits do not come with hardware. Also, the tonal difference between birch and poplar isn’t that big. 


The only issue with the kit is that its stock heads aren’t that good, but once they are upgraded and tuned you will get a studio-quality set. 

The Pearl Export has been sold since 1982 and hasn’t gotten its legendary reputation for free. The Export offers an incredible value for money and this combined with its quality has helped cement its place as the best selling drum set of all time.

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