Re: Adjustable bass drum beaters
So I got a pair of the Axis Sonic Hammers today. My favorite beater of all time used to be a cork beater that I had sanded flat. That got lost to time somewhere. I was pleased to see that one of the pads that Axis supplied was cork. The other one was felt. They are both totally flat discs, no radius on the striking surface. I like that as to get maximum contact area with the flat head.
So I peeled the paper backing off the cork pad and stuck it on the hammer, nothing to it. Put the beater on the pedal, and tightened it down. Then I got the beater shaft to 12:00 and tightened the hammer adjustment shaft down with a drum key operated stud located right on the top, nice and easy. The new hammer edge was a full inch and a quarter forward of where my DW hammer edge was at 12:00. That's the part that I got fatigued on, stretching the spring more than I had to. Heel down that makes a difference.
The hammer itself is universal because it swivels on a ball, and it's that detail, coupled with the adjustable hammer shaft, that makes this an ideal design for a beater IMO. It can change the feel of any pedal. Needless to say, I immediately felt like it was easier, lighter actually, more natural feeling, and best of all, I liked the tone better. There's more contact area than with my bigger DW beater. So I felt right off the bat that it was a definite improvement.
Interestingly enough, I weighed both the DW beater and the Axis Sonic Hammer. The DW weighed in at 106 grams. The Sonic Hammer? 128.
The difference is that on the Axis beater, the shaft is where most of the weight is, and on the DW, the hammer is where most of the weight is. So the Axis, while heavier, feels lighter to play because it isn't nearly as top heavy as the DW.
The plastic wingnut I read the bad review on...it's actually a metal thread with a plastic wing on it. They should have used a metal wing too. But it could easily be replaced with something else, if it even becomes an issue. I don't think it's a 10/24 thread though, it looks coarser. At any rate, I haven't gigged with it yet, but I'm pretty sure it will be a nice improvement indeed, as long as the wingnut thing holds.
And Henri, just for the record, with the beater shaft at say 1:00, as long as the hammer is hitting perfect...I probably couldn't tell the diff...it's more of nit pick thing that I obsess about. Plus it's easier to adjust the hammer shaft than the whole beater angle, especially for those times when you are using your pedal on a different kit with different width hoops.
I give this thing an A+. I will be getting some for every pedal now, I like the non top heavy feel. Any wingnut issue can be easily addressed.