Pearl e/Merge e/Hybrid Electronic Drum Set Review

Pearl e/Merge e/Hybrid Electronic Drum Set


Value for money






Sound quality



  • Great MDL-1 module with tons of quality sounds
  • Acoustic feel
  • Looks fantastic
  • Full bass drum - great for double pedals
  • Collaboration between two great brands (Pearl and Korg)


  • Not as compact as many other e-drum sets
  • Price range (It's a premium set)

Pearl entered this market with their e-Pro series in 2010 and steadily developed and honed the electronic drum range. E/Merge is a new Pearl high-end electronic drum series made in collaboration with Korg.

Both manufacturers worked together and brought their own technologies into this project to come up with this, top of the line electronic drum set.

Pearl e/Merge Set – Features

In this set you’re going to find 14” snare drum, 18” bass drum and 10”, 12” and 14” toms, together with 2 cymbals (15” crash and 18” ride) and a hi-hat. It comes with the rack to mount it all up but note that you’re going to need your own pedal and hi-hat cymbal stand. Also, you get the brain of this e-drum – MDL-1.

You will get a bunch of cables needed for the operation of this electronic drum set. They might look a bit much, but they snuggle rather well around the rack with Velcro tapes you get together with the set.

Even though the set has a lot of parts to it, it is relatively compact and not as big as some other sets of this size on the market. It does have full-sized pads but still, it all fits together nicely and nothing is crammed on top of each other but falls in space as it should.

The Pads

The Pads on this set are where the collaboration between Korg and Perl comes most to light. The snare is built with Korg’s Wavedrum technology, meaning it has really realistic and gentle playing. The sensors on this drum cover the whole space on the drumhead and have a really fast response. This means that everything you play has an impact, so you get a fully realistic sound on your drums, opening the whole new world when playing electronic drums.

The Toms, on the other hand, are built with Pearls PureTouch technology, together with two rimshot sensors. Rimshot sensors are also put on the snare drum, so there is no need to avert playing rimshots. On the hi-hat, you will get two-zone sensors and an open-close technology, as well as on the crash, while the ride has three zones to play on. The pads, as well as cymbals, can be tightened or loosened up, so you can get that acoustic drum playing feel while you play.

The Pads and cymbals are made out of high-quality plastic and rubber, with acoustic drum looks. Cymbals are made out of black plastic with nice red details and the whole drum set has that high-end look to it, and not the cheap plastic look electronic drums usually have.

The Sounds

As with all of the drums, acoustic or electronic, what matters the most is the sound they produce. Pearl is well known for creating fantastic sounding drum modules, and Korg are one of the best names in music gear. The MDL-1 is a module made together by Pearl and Korg and as such is the best from both worlds.

It comes in a nice black and red robust case, with several different knobs and buttons and I/O on the side of the module. All of the buttons knobs are also used as buttons, so the module is really user-friendly and easy to use and there is no need for exhausting going in and out of menus as in some other modules. Everything is made out of quality plastic and/or rubber, so there is no need to worry about the longevity of items on the module.

The sounds you can find on this module are a mix of the best Korg and Pearl have to offer. Pearl brought acoustic kit sounds and Korg brought their library of synthetic and world percussion sounds. They are separated into eight different categories which you can choose simply by pushing a button.

A great addition to these sound presets is the Ambience slider. This is a slider on the module that lets you instantly lower or raise the level of room mics on which the original sounds were captured. This gives you the option to go from a really crisp, tight sound to a full room ambient sound filled with reverb and echo.

Inputs and outputs

As for the inputs and outputs on this module, there is a standard ¼” premixed mono and stereo outs. The great thing about this drum which really separates it from the competition is the individual outs for every pad and cymbal, eight in total. This way, you can mix the sounds any way you want and you’ll get a lot more of the wiggle room while recording. Also, you have an option of expanding your drum set with three ¼” inputs on the side of the module. Headphones out and a separate headphones volume knob are there too.

The internal memory of the module has 16GB of space for your own personal sounds you want to record or use, but this can be upgraded via the USB input. This way, you’re not limited to the sounds that are on the module, but you can add anything you like or need on your drums.


It’s obvious just from looking at the price alone that this is really meant to be a top of the line product for serious musicians and producers who are going to use it properly and to the full extent. If you have the budget, it’s worth paying for quality.

In this instance, the saying you get what you pay for really is true, because this is one of the best electronic drums on the market today. It was built by two highly established companies to bring the best the technology has to offer and build this high-end drum set.


Pearl’s e/Merge e/Hybrid drum set is one of the best electronic drum sets you can buy. From the quality of the materials put into it to craftsmanship used to design it and build it to unprecedented levels of similarity with acoustic drums. The sensors and the brain module this drum uses are some of the best modern e-drumming technology has to offer.

Sure, you’re not going to use all of the 700 sounds there are every day, but you have that option. And as such, you can experiment and use this vast library to find the right sound you need for your song. The playing experience of this drum is as close to playing acoustic drums as you can get and everything is adjustable, so you can get the response you like while playing.


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