Product review: Axis Sonic Hammer (bass drum beater)
This thread is dedicated to that wonderful gentleman, Henri, aka MAD
For those who have followed my "adjustable bass drum beater" thread, this is basically an extension of that, but I wanted to start a new thread, because there's not a whole lot of dedicated info about the Sonic Hammer. So seeing as the words "Sonic Hammer" is part of this thread title, this is for the people in the future searching for info on this particular product.
When I got it and evaluated it my studio, it seemed to check all my idiotic "logic" boxes. It allowed me to keep the beater shaft at the angle that my infallible (not) "logic" told me should be ideal. It was weighted more evenly than my DW beater, which I have been used to for 10 years now. The surface striking area of the SH, even though it looks smaller, actually touches more of the head on initial contact than my DW beater, because it is totally flat, not radiused. So on paper this is a superior beater right?
Wrong. I learned that my precious "logic" is very deceiving. Just because I think something "should" be better, well that just wasn't so in this particular case. So at the risk of looking even more like an idiot, I will just flat out say that I was way off on this.
The real acid test of a piece of equipment is at a gig, and last night I did my first gig with the SH, in a room that required me to hit as hard as I prefer. In other words, I didn't have to "keep it down", the room was big enough with plenty of people. I play unmiced 99% of the time and have to adjust the way I hit for each room, as a lot of us have to.
The fact that the SH wasn't nearly as top heavy as my DW beater...I thought would be a good thing...that I wouldn't have to work as hard. I'm a heel down player who uses full rebound on every stroke, I don't bury ever. So yea, no, it actually made me have to work harder to get the same power and oomph as my DW beater. The weight just wasn't there at the hammer. I played it for 1 and a half sets and off it came. I was immediately much happier with the power of the "top heavy" DW beater that I have conditioned myself to since 2003.
So there's my logic hard at work failing me. Lol. I'm such a tool, but like Edison, before he actually succeeded with the lightbulb, and when someone commented to him "Tom, you failed to make a lightbulb...he said, "Oh I didn't fail, I just found 10,000 ways that didn't work". Lol. Not that I am comparing myself to Edison, but I do like that attitude. So in the future I will consider how fallible my precious stupid "logic" actually is.
All that glitters ain't gold. I found out through this experience that I like a top heavy beater, it just packs more ooomph. I had to work harder with the "non top heavy" SH to equal the bass drum punch I am used to. I guess it's like a boxer going to lighter gloves. In theory it should be easier, but at the point of impact, the extra weight makes a considerable difference.
So that's pretty much it. Thanks for letting me sound like a tool and allowing me prove it beautifully, publicly, for all to chuckle at...
Great art is born out of great pain.