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The Pearl Musical Instrument Company (パール楽器製造株式会社 Pāru Gakki Seizō Kabushiki Gaisha?) is a multinational corporation based in Japan with a wide range of products, predominately percussion instruments and flutes.

Pearl was founded by Katsumi Yanagisawa, who began manufacturing music stands in Sumida, Tokyo on April 2, 1946. In 1950 Katsumi shifted his focus to the manufacturing of drums and named his company "Pearl Industry, Ltd."

By 1953, the companyís name had changed to "Pearl Musical Instrument Company," and manufacturing had expanded to include drum kits, marching drums, timpani, Latin percussion instruments, cymbals, stands, and accessories.

Katsumiís eldest son, Mitsuo, joined Pearl in 1957 and formed a division to export Pearl products worldwide. To meet increasing worldwide demand for drum kits following the advent of Rock and Roll music, in 1961 Pearl built a 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) factory in Chiba, Japan to produce inexpensive drum kits which bore the brand names of over thirty distributors like Maxwin, CB-700, Crest, Revelle, Revere, Lyra, Majestic, Whitehall, Apollo, Toreador, Roxy, and Coronet.[1]

In 1965, Mitsuo formulated a long-range plan to bring Pearl to the forefront of the percussion industry. Under this plan, Pearl would 1) develop new products with quality equal to or better than products offered by established brand name companies; 2) install the latest automated machinery in the China factory to increase production; 3) establish a sister factory in Taiwan; and 4) establish a world-wide sales and service network.

As part of this plan, Pearl introduced their first professional drum kit, the "President Series," in 1966, and in 1973, the Pearl Musical Instrument Company of Taiwan became operational.

Today, Pearlís Taiwanese operation encompasses five factories whose output supplies nearly the entire worldwide market for Pearl products. The original Chiba factory now caters to the domestic Japanese market producing drum kits, marching drums, timpani, and symphonic chimes.

Adams Musical Instruments are sold in the U.S. through Pearl dealers, Hughes and Kettner guitar and bass amplifiers are distributed through Pearl's main warehouse in Nashville, Tennessee and Sabian cymbals are distributed in Japan through Pearl dealers.

Pearl pioneered various bold and inventive drum products. Shells in the 70's were made of a composite called "wood fibreglass." Additionally, Pearl combined roto-toms and these wood-fiber shells to create the vari-pitch line of drums. Other early innovations included shells that were slightly undersized, so that the drumhead would extend over the edges much like a gong drum. Pearl manufactured seamless, extruded acrylic shells that were different to the tabbed-and-seamed vistalite shells used by Ludwig. Pearl also developed the hinged tube tom-arm: a design widely copied by many other drum manufacturers.

Gene Okamoto cemented his reputation as a very supportive and amiable person to deal with from both artists and Pearl customers (sometimes through Pearl's online forum) alike.



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