DW 5000 Strap Pedal & DW 9000 Strap Pedal Input

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
It's not fair to compare pedals with different cams. This has to be the main part of the difference, right?

I'm still having a hard time imagining the weight of the chain being a factor. The spring pulls the footboard back, my foot just has to get out of the way, so I'm not working when the beater is on the return path. Meaning the chain weight isn't a factor. On the return path.
Here's photos showing the difference between the DW Accelerator single chain cam and the DW strap cam used in the conversion. In the photo on the right the cams are aligned precisely on where they would mount on the shaft. Yes, this contributes to some of the difference in feel no doubt. In a perfect world the cams would be identical for a true A/B test, but the results would be skewed if we didn't use the cams the way DW designed them for. Here, what is being compared is the difference in feel between the strap and single chain because all other components of the same exact DW pedal are identical: spring tension, same bearings, same beater, etc.

I played the new DW 5000 Accelerator single chain for about a half hour, did the strap conversion and played the strap drive immediately without any further dialing in. Night and day difference in my book. Same exact pedal, the only difference being single chain drive and strap drive. I think the difference in feel between the two can be somewhat attributed to the different cams, but I think the "greater" friction of the chain may be the primary difference. I am open to being corrected here.

After trying out numerous other pedals before purchasing my first DW strap drive I honestly thought I would gravitate towards either the DW MDD pedal or back towards the DW 9000 dual chain. The DW 5000 strap drive pedal--feel wise--landed somewhere in-between the direct drive and the dual chain drive for me. The big surprise was how the DW 5000 strap immediately felt under my foot. No other pedal I've tried has compared. But in all fairness I'm still trying to figure out the 5% difference between my older USA DW 5000 strap drive and my newly converted one (the most likely difference being the weight of the two different width footboards and/or more break-in time on the older pedal).

I don't believe strap drive pedals are for everyone. Nor are direct drive pedals. But you honestly can't know until you play them side-by-side what you truly like. We all have different preferences. Some players love the response and feel of a direct drive pedal. Some players swear by the feel and power transfer of a chain drive. Others like the finesse and "smoothness" of a belt drive. Factor into the mix the differences between Brand A and Brand B. And I do believe that some players can't tell the difference at all between the drive systems, or those differences don't amount much of a difference to them. The bottom line is that we're all wired differently.
 

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Skilas

Member
Compared to a single chain, it's definitely less noticeable, but a double chain compared to a strap is quite different. I feel a difference from single to double chain too. Of course I'm assuming that the same cam is used.
No one can feel the difference between 999 and 1000. You neither.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Skilas, I apologize for the confusion in my statement. I can see where that could be taken a different way then I intended. I thought I made it clear earlier in the thread that things were equal by using the same pedal with the same spring tension, same beater, same footboard but the only difference was between the original DW Accelerator sprocket with single chain being converted to the DW strap drive (cam and nylon strap). I should have worded that differently. Thanks for pointing that out.

Just out of curiosity, have you played a strap drive or direct drive pedal before?
 

michaelg

Member
well you can see there is a noticeable difference between the 2 cams side by side,,i would bet this accounts for a lot too.
thank for the pic.
 

Skilas

Member
Relevance? We're talking about straps vs chains.
Did I miss something? I do not understand the question. We talk about the difference between strap and chain the whole time. And that's the difference: with strap, the pedal has one-thousandth moment of inertia less than with a chain. And you say you can feel it.
 
Fascinating discussion here. I have to admit, in my little world there are no such things as friction between a chain (or strap) and a cam. It's like lifting your shoe up from the ground. It would be a tedious work to walk if you had to fight friction. Friction is a power that results from sliding two surfaces (as well as air, liquids etc.) against each other and can't happen if the two elements are firmly connected.

Has anybody ever played identic pedals with different connections? From what I experienced, they at least differ on cams. And if I tried two machines of the same make and model, I still had to make sure they're built at the same time. Nowadays companies make minor changes all the time in order to present "the best xxx-model ever" to keep selling their stuff.

I completely agree that one might prefer one version over the other. But the difference one feels is for sure a combination of differences concerning the entire construction.
To figure out you had to buy two identical, brand new pedals, where the connection can be interchanged at will, and do a one against one comparison with your eyes closed.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Doug is a steady, reputable guy and I believe him when he says there is a big difference in feel.

Trying to figure out why that is...is fun.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
the pedal has one-thousandth moment of inertia less than with a chain.
No it doesn't. My measurements show that it has approximately 657/1000 moments of inertia less than with a chain. Perhaps your measurements were conducted on a planet with a lower force of gravity, or maybe, just maybe, I'm completely insane and don't even know what a bass drum pedal is.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
To figure out you had to buy two identical, brand new pedals, where the connection can be interchanged at will, and do a one against one comparison with your eyes closed.
Exactly. And it's easy to do with Yamaha's pedals. You need to play them for a few hours to really notice a preference for one or the other.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
My apologies for opening a can of worms with this thread. The original intent for this thread was to provide information for drummers on the fence about the merit of doing a strap conversion to their existing chain drive pedals.

I reached out to a close friend who is a physicist and quite literally is one of the most brilliant and gifted individuals I know. He's also a saxophonist, but let's not hold that against him. Skilas, my friend concurs with you that by design there ought to be no technical difference in pedals and responsiveness by their design. Any differences would be so minute the general population could not feel it. Most people would need to be hit on the head with a 2 X 4 to feel any sort of difference (his words, not mine).

Let me pause here to apologize for opening a 55-gallon can of worms with my friend's second observation. Larry, this may help you in figuring things out with my observations/statements. He continued by noting that some people are finely wired for sensation. They can be sensing things that others cannot because of their finely tuned senses. My physicist friend has known me for 32 years and said that I am "the bloodhound of feedback sensations." That was an epiphany for me.
 

Skilas

Member
My apologies for opening a can of worms with this thread. The original intent for this thread was to provide information for drummers on the fence about the merit of doing a strap conversion to their existing chain drive pedals.

I reached out to a close friend who is a physicist and quite literally is one of the most brilliant and gifted individuals I know. He's also a saxophonist, but let's not hold that against him. Skilas, my friend concurs with you that by design there ought to be no technical difference in pedals and responsiveness by their design. Any differences would be so minute the general population could not feel it. Most people would need to be hit on the head with a 2 X 4 to feel any sort of difference (his words, not mine).

Let me pause here to apologize for opening a 55-gallon can of worms with my friend's second observation. Larry, this may help you in figuring things out with my observations/statements. He continued by noting that some people are finely wired for sensation. They can be sensing things that others cannot because of their finely tuned senses. My physicist friend has known me for 32 years and said that I am "the bloodhound of feedback sensations." That was an epiphany for me.
It is not your fault that some people are extremely stubborn. And you do not have to apologize. In the end, many drummers got the right information through your thread. And something important(for me), I'm not a fan of chains, I love straps but for the right reason: silence.
By the way, I did not say you did not feel a difference. I said that it is not on the strap or chain. It is the cam. Through this cam you have a completely different pedal.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
It is not your fault that some people are extremely stubborn. And you do not have to apologize. In the end, many drummers got the right information through your thread. And something important(for me), I'm not a fan of chains, I love straps but for the right reason: silence.
By the way, I did not say you did not feel a difference. I said that it is not on the strap or chain. It is the cam. Through this cam you have a completely different pedal.
Thanks Skilas. Appreciate your input.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Great thread.
I played a 1960's Slingerland strap pedal for almost 50 years. Then I got a DW9000 chain drive. I like it but you guys have convinced me to try a strap pedal again. Heck why not give it a try...........

.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Did I miss something? I do not understand the question. We talk about the difference between strap and chain the whole time. And that's the difference: with strap, the pedal has one-thousandth moment of inertia less than with a chain. And you say you can feel it.
The cam with a chain on this pedal (DW5000) is different than the cam for the strap. It's never going to be apples to apples.

The feel of a DW 5000 with the strap cam feels much different than the same pedal using a (single or double) chain.
Just sitting down and hitting a drum might not feel too different, but in actual playing it does.

The feel between the footboards also feels different. One version has a fatter footboard, and the other has the original, skinnier style.

I really like my skinnier footboard strap 5000, but when I went to get a new one, it had the fatter footboard and didn't feel anything like my original one. I had it over a month, and did every adjustment you could, and it didn't feel as good to me.
Using the "engineering specs" between the two, the footboard shape really shouldn't have affected the feel in any noticeable way. But it did. In all other ways, the pedals were the same, because it was before they changed to the red cross bar. Same cam, same posts, same strap material, same Delta hinge, same spring adjustment which was the NON rotating spring.

The feel of a strap or chain with the Pearl Eliminator using the chain or strap is a little different because the chain links react differently than the solid strap material. The basic feel is "the same" because you can use the same cam style to compare.
On my Pearl Eliminators (original and Red Line), I prefer the strap to the chain. I like how it reacts more than the chain.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So if I want to convert my DW 9000 pedal to a strap, do I have to change the cam? I'm thinking I'd get the same feel using the stock cam. That sounds right, right?
 
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