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  #1  
Old 04-19-2013, 04:56 PM
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Default Alternative to Speedking...?

I have been using old Speedkings since I was 14 (so, 17 years now) and will always love the things but... well, they keep breaking and I can't keep replacing them. Today, my current one stripped the thread on the beater holder (this is the 2nd one that's done this) so I'm gonna have to gig tonight with it gaffer-taped in place! Grrrr :(

I'm toying with the idea of finally upgrading to a modern pedal, but, i must say my experience with them is not great. Chains feel sluggish and I like how the hinge in the SK is an inch up the footplate so I can use my heel to recoil the beater - in fact, most of my technique is based around this action, so to lose that is gonna really affect me! I play with the springs very loose and most of the return action on the pedal is either head rebound or heel-driven with the hinge.

I tried IC's before and I hated them! In fact, Ive had my feet on a few chain pedals and theres just no 'finesse' to the feel in my opinion

Can any of you wonderful lot help guide me into something that might be good for my situation?

SKs are between 75-125 over here ($130-$200!!!) so it's an expensive taste to have to keep satisfying and I'd rather buy something that would last a few years. I'm no brand 'snob' but I'm also not made of money so any suggestions considered.

HELP!!
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySomersett View Post
I have been using old Speedkings .......
Maybe get a new Speed King.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Maybe get a new Speed King.
I thought they'd stopped making the reissue?
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

There are other direct-drive pedals out there these days... I don't use them so not familiar with all of em, but I've heard the "demon drive" is popular.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Ahh the Speed King. Pedal of my youth. When the straps broke I'd use plastic tie wraps to replace them. LOL! I wasn't so fussy back then.

Once you get particular about pedals, the price usually goes up.

I know that some of the pedals like the DW 9000 and one of the Pearls (Eliminators?) have interchangeable straps. You can have a chain or direct strap. The Pearl Demon has a direct model.

I've wanted to try some of the Yamaha direct drive pedals for a while. This one looks nice and might be a candidate. Yamaha Direct Drive Pedal

Not cheap and doesn't have the foot board feature you mentioned but Yamaha hardware is rock solid. I have some (not bass drum pedals) and they just keep going.

Bottom line is you need to get to drum shop to try different ones out. If you can find a good one it will probably cost more than the Speed King but will last longer

Jim
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

The Axis A longboard is the closest feel to the Speed king. My pedal (DRA21) Was designed to feel more like the original speed king as that's what I grew up playing also.

If they are a little pricey for you...the Axis X series has a similar feel as well.

Cheers,
D
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2013, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roddy View Post
The Axis A longboard is the closest feel to the Speed king. My pedal (DRA21) Was designed to feel more like the original speed king as that's what I grew up playing also.

If they are a little pricey for you...the Axis X series has a similar feel as well.

Cheers,
D
Agree with Derek! ....and the A series pedals afford you more adjustments than the less expensive X series, so getting the hinge point where you want it can be done with the A series pedals....
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySomersett View Post
I have been using old Speedkings since I was 14 (so, 17 years now) and will always love the things but... well, they keep breaking and I can't keep replacing them. Today, my current one stripped the thread on the beater holder (this is the 2nd one that's done this) so I'm gonna have to gig tonight with it gaffer-taped in place! Grrrr :(

I'm toying with the idea of finally upgrading to a modern pedal, but, i must say my experience with them is not great. Chains feel sluggish and I like how the hinge in the SK is an inch up the footplate so I can use my heel to recoil the beater - in fact, most of my technique is based around this action, so to lose that is gonna really affect me! I play with the springs very loose and most of the return action on the pedal is either head rebound or heel-driven with the hinge.

I tried IC's before and I hated them! In fact, Ive had my feet on a few chain pedals and theres just no 'finesse' to the feel in my opinion

Can any of you wonderful lot help guide me into something that might be good for my situation?

SKs are between 75-125 over here ($130-$200!!!) so it's an expensive taste to have to keep satisfying and I'd rather buy something that would last a few years. I'm no brand 'snob' but I'm also not made of money so any suggestions considered.

HELP!!
That's how much they are around the States as well. It's actually cheaper than other newfangled modern pedals you're talking about. I'd just get another Speed King. I've tried a lot of different pedals and none of them feel like the SK. What works for you already works. I'd stick with it.
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2013, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

If you're going to be trying out different types of pedals, you might want to look into a strap drive. I have an old Speed King (which has never given me any problems btw) that is my main pedal, but I wanted to get a cheap pedal for use on my practice kit. I picked up the Gibraltar strap drive (forget the model number). It has a different feel from the direct drive. I can't say that it's better or worse, just different.
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Here is a cheap remedy. Go to a hardware store and buy a tap (probably around $10) and tap the hole and put a new screw in.

If you are looking for a durable replacement, try a used Ghost. I've been using the same one for 45 years.
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

http://youtu.be/pNycXjnnDx0 I'm Tellin Ya True, This is the answer to anyone who has ever had the, "Speed King Blues" as I call it ...
I played a SK pedal for over 30 years, I loved it but it only took me so far. It has its limits.
I needed a change so I checked out every pedal on the planet. I settled on the Tama/ Camco pedal.
Try the Tama/ Camco pedal.
Trust me on this one, You will not be disappointed.
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

I stumbled across this website called drummechanix.com. These guys restore old Speed King pedals, and some of them are even painted to look more modern. I've never played one myself, but the review I read on them are all very positive. They also run the same price as new Speed Kings. That might be worth a try.
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2013, 05:54 AM
Supraman5x14 Supraman5x14 is offline
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

I just got my Speed King (early 1970's much better than the new model which I also have) back from Jesse at Drummechanix yesterday, and it is absolutely great in terms of performance, and appearance. His craftsmanship is first rate and is well worth the price to rehab an old pedal, by not just cleaning it, but by improving on the speed, durability, and quietness of the pedal. His turnaround is super fast, too, and he is a real pleasure to work with. I highly recommend his fine service! Check him out for yourself.
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch whammin View Post
Agree with Derek! ....and the A series pedals afford you more adjustments than the less expensive X series, so getting the hinge point where you want it can be done with the A series pedals....
I've just been over to the Axis website and had a dig around. Look like interesting pedals for sure.

I cant see how the hinge by the heel can be moved up the footboard though, but, the longboard ones have a small overhang at the back that I reckon I could easily extend with a few minutes on the drillpress and tap and die set.

Personally the A series looks a little over-complicated for me...I like having less adjustments to worry about so the X seems a better fit.

It's a shame there's literally almost zero UK distributors to go and try before I buy though.


As for the refurbed SKs, I hadn't considered that much, Ill go have a look into it now.

Thanks y'all!
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySomersett View Post
I cant see how the hinge by the heel can be moved up the footboard though, but, the longboard ones have a small overhang at the back that I reckon I could easily extend with a few minutes on the drillpress and tap and die set.

Personally the A series looks a little over-complicated for me...I like having less adjustments to worry about so the X seems a better fit.

It's a shame there's literally almost zero UK distributors to go and try before I buy though.


As for the refurbed SKs, I hadn't considered that much, Ill go have a look into it now.

Thanks y'all!
Hey Johnny,

You're right. You can't move the heel hinge.
But, it is made exactly for what you want to use it for. (The gentleman that designed the Axis pedal is a heel down player) There's plenty back there to get your "heel on". More than a SK infact.

As far as adjustments....there are only 3. (The Axis pedal actually has less adjustments than every pedal on the market)

Spring tension
Beater distance/height
VDL setting

That's it. The X series lacks the VDL but, I highly suggest you get the A with the VDL if you go that route.

Give me a day or 2 (it's the weekend) but, I'll find out who has em in the UK from Axis on Monday and, get back to ya here. There are a few dealers but, don't know if any of them will be close to you.

Cheers,
D
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roddy View Post
Hey Johnny,


Give me a day or 2 (it's the weekend) but, I'll find out who has em in the UK from Axis on Monday and, get back to ya here. There are a few dealers but, don't know if any of them will be close to you.

Cheers,
D
Yet another reason I love this forum. Johnny, a pro drummer is checking into pedal distributors for you... how cool is that? Also, kudos to Mr. Roddy, once again proving himself a fine gentleman.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Yet another reason I love this forum. Johnny, a pro drummer is checking into pedal distributors for you... how cool is that? Also, kudos to Mr. Roddy, once again proving himself a fine gentleman.
hear hear

a good man indeed
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  #18  
Old 04-21-2013, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Roddy View Post

Give me a day or 2 (it's the weekend) but, I'll find out who has em in the UK from Axis on Monday and, get back to ya here. There are a few dealers but, don't know if any of them will be close to you.

Cheers,
D

Cheers Derek, that'd be awesome!

I don't mind travelling a bit - this country isn't exactly big, but our roads suck. No rush anyway, just whenever you like. I'm sure there's other people struggling to find Axis over here too...I guess that's kinda why companies endorse people - to boost sales!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

No worries Johnny. I put a call into them yesterday. As soon as they hit me back I'll post again.

Cheers,
D
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

if you love your SK pedal you can have it rebuilt/modified by http://drummechanix.com/ they seem to do some nice work but for a price.
or you can buy another direct drive pedal as others have said. there is one DD pedal i can think of that is around the same price of a SK. it is the mapex raptor pedal. i have no experience with the mapex pedal so i recommend you try before you buy.

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  #21  
Old 04-23-2013, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySomersett View Post
I've just been over to the Axis website and had a dig around. Look like interesting pedals for sure.

I cant see how the hinge by the heel can be moved up the footboard though, but, the longboard ones have a small overhang at the back that I reckon I could easily extend with a few minutes on the drillpress and tap and die set.

Personally the A series looks a little over-complicated for me...I like having less adjustments to worry about so the X seems a better fit.

It's a shame there's literally almost zero UK distributors to go and try before I buy though.


As for the refurbed SKs, I hadn't considered that much, Ill go have a look into it now.

Thanks y'all!
Oops...just saw this...I was referring to the VDL adjustment at the front hinge of the pedal..sorry if that wasn't clear..adjusting the VDL allows for a different feel to how the beater strikes the head...
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  #22  
Old 04-24-2013, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
http://youtu.be/pNycXjnnDx0 I'm Tellin Ya True, This is the answer to anyone who has ever had the, "Speed King Blues" as I call it ...
I played a SK pedal for over 30 years, I loved it but it only took me so far. It has its limits.
I needed a change so I checked out every pedal on the planet. I settled on the Tama/ Camco pedal.
Try the Tama/ Camco pedal.
Trust me on this one, You will not be disappointed.

+1 for the Camco. I lucked into this pedal when I bought my Granstars back in the late 80's. It has been my main pedal ever since.

Good luck,
radman
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  #23  
Old 04-24-2013, 03:54 AM
TWerner TWerner is offline
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnySomersett View Post
I don't mind travelling a bit - this country isn't exactly big, but our roads suck. No rush anyway, just whenever you like. I'm sure there's other people struggling to find Axis over here too...I guess that's kinda why companies endorse people - to boost sales!
I'm sure boosting sales is why they endorse great drummers. I'm also sure they don't expect their sponsored drummers to track down distributors for potential customers in other countries. That's way above and beyond, kudos to Mr Roddy.
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  #24  
Old 04-24-2013, 05:16 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
That's how much they are around the States as well. It's actually cheaper than other newfangled modern pedals you're talking about. I'd just get another Speed King. I've tried a lot of different pedals and none of them feel like the SK. What works for you already works. I'd stick with it.

That's what I was thinking too. Most other new pedals are going to be at least that much, or more.
If the Speed King is what works best for someone, that's probably what they should stick with.

I like the Yamaha direct drive pedal that Shedboyxx linked to in post #5, and it's only a few bucks more at some places. But I've never owned a Speed King, so can't really compare them. And besides that, everyone has their favorite pedal, and you're always sure to find a lot of people who wouldn't choose that pedal for their self.
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  #25  
Old 04-24-2013, 07:55 AM
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Pete Stoltman Pete Stoltman is offline
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Default Re: Alternative to Speedking...?

I recently purchased a refurbished Speed King from drummechanix and love it. Haven't had a Speedking for many years and thought I'd give it a try since they seem to have worked out the "bugs" that always plagued the stock SK pedals. It is fast, responsive, and quiet plus it's about as compact as can be. I like the compression spring feel. They only build on older Chicago era pedals which apparantly were built a little more sturdy than the more recent vintage Ludwigs. Nice powder coated finish and a very reasonable price tag to boot. If you are a fan of Speed Kings but want the "hot rod" version I would highly recommend giving it a try.
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