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  #1  
Old 08-02-2012, 10:58 PM
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Default Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

The Sonor Perfect Balance (JoJo Mayer) pedal came to the shop yesterday.

They got 2. One I looked over, played around with it's different adjustments, and then played on my friends pedal which he already bought. It was set up in his lesson room on a pad.

It's very nice.

It's pretty light (nice!). Lighter than it looked to me in pics, and it's very compact when folded. I knew it wasn't going to be like a Trick pedal in weight, but didn't expect it to be comfortably light in my hand all folded up.

Before, I though, "eh, I wouldn't fold it if I had one", but now that I see it, I'd for sure utilize it.
It really doesn't seem like it would fall apart after a while either. It's pretty cool.

The workings are simple and easily done. You could do them and talk to someone while you folded it up.

The magnet to hold the spring is pretty strong as well. It's not hard to get the spring OFF the magnet, but it's not going anywhere while it's connected.

The spring tension is held in place by two nuts on either side of the nub where the spring goes through, and a final "really hold it in place" larger nut (like other pedals), at the very bottom.
The nuts were all easy to grip, but the extra nut above the (usual) longer length bottom nut struck me as maybe being overkill...a tiny bit (but that's Sonor--it's not going anywhere haha!)

The strap was light weight, but didn't seem like it was weak, or prone to breaking at all.
..................

The pedal I played was set up by my friend who bought it, so I didn't change anything from what he had. Here's some thoughts from playing it "as is"......

Very smooth, but I still "felt it" under my foot.

I reeeallly liked the open right side a LOT.

The smooth footboard was really nice, and it wasn't "slippery", as it appears it could be in pics (to me it did anyway). The low heel plate was awesome.

It was pretty effortless doing singles and patterns.
Some really smooth pedals can feel odd doing patterns, but this one felt good. I think someone could play this pedal all night on their gig and feel great afterward. Even though you can feel it under your foot, it doesn't fight you at any point of the stroke at all.

Unlike other Ultra Smooth, or DD pedals I've played, the PB felt good to me right away. Probably because it's still a "regular" pedal, it just has a way smoother stroke.

I did however have to do all the strokes. It didn't really do me any favors.
A tighter spring tension might have given more rebound, but I didn't change my friends settings which were kinda loose. Even with that, I think it would only take me a couple hours to really get accustomed to it.

I bought another newly released pedal a few months ago, and I'm still not used to it. It's kinda pissed me off frankly, and I stopped using it (will likely sell it).
The Perfect Balance is a lot nicer than that pedal. More money, but nicer :-)

Is it worth $249 (US)?

I have to say Yes.

It would be freakin' awesome (as in, "I'll take one now") if it was less money than that, but at least it's not $300+ or something.

$249 seemed kind of expensive at first, but I've spent more on a cymbal recently, so I suppose I shouldn't feel like "Holy cow I spend a million bucks on this thing" if I did buy one.

Bottom line, IMO people in the market for a pedal in this price/quality/performance range should check this pedal out (if at all possible) before buying something else.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

What I think is cool is that Jojo wanted the design to incorporate standard nut and bolt sizes so the working drummer could buy parts at a hardware store. IMO that is really looking after your customers. Thanks for the review Karl ... well done!
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

I am going to give it a look online right now. Thanks Karl!
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Nice job on the review there buddy.I can remember in 1970, when a new Ludwig Speedking was 25 bucks at Mannys on 48 st.So I guess 249 is a decent price considering what some pedals go for these days.I think the standard nut and bolt thing is a great Idea as well.Way to JoJo.I hear when he's not designing pedals,he's a pretty fair drummer.:)

Steve B
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

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Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
I hear when he's not designing pedals,he's a pretty fair drummer.:)

Steve B
And that guy still owes me 20 bucks ;)
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

You've got a new Atlas Pro pedal, right, Karl? Any comparison thoughts there?

$250 is for a single pedal does place it in the upper tier of pedals, cost-wise. Sounds like it would be right up my alley though, if I were looking for a pedal.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
And that guy still owes me 20 bucks ;)
???? ... how come? Can you tell the story?
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
And that guy still owes me 20 bucks ;)
I would love to hear the story Bo.So he's a dead beat?Why don't you hit him up for a new pedal.I mean with the vig...it must come out to 249 right?I say we go get the monster.Pitchforks,and torches for everyone.....with inspector Kemp leading the way...darts in his wooden arm and all.OK ...sorry,went a little too far there.....back to the Olympics.:)

Steve B
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

I'm not a big fan of Jojo, but I won't deny he's talented. His techniques are just way too innovative, and I'm more oldschool when it comes to technique. But I would like to sit down and have a talk with him about pedal balance. I feel that pedal manufacturers should really build all pedals balanced. It would make everything more efficient. I experiment with different springs, beater heights, and I've even tried counter-weighting beater shafts to balance things out, but you can never seem to achieve real balance.

I'd love to get my hands on one of his pedals, but they aren't available in doubles, and I can't afford one!
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Nice review, gonna test one out in the near future.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

I bought one yesterday and I am really impressed at how quickly I have adapted to it.
I currently own a Trick Pro 1V , an Axis X Longboard and a Rogers Supreme Pedal.
I think the Perfect Balance pedal is going to become my main gigging pedal. It is that good !

I had the opportunity to chat with JoJo last year after one of his clinics for about 30 minutes uninterrupted and he was explaining his pedal concept and the fact that he was designing a new pedal. It was a very intersting conversation and the logic behind his design is sound.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Yeah Rick, I only played on it for 15 minutes or so, but I got used to the feel really quickly too.
Not positive if I will buy one, but, I haven't counted it out (AKA, yeah, I'll probably buy one haha!)

Soupy, yes I have an Atlas Pro single.
It's very nice as well, but there are a few things I haven't gotten on with.
I have had it for a few months and I never got used to the feel of the rotating spring connection.
It's very smooth, and I loved it at first, but after I used it for a while, I still wasn't used to some aspects, when it shouldn't have been an issue at all after a few hours.
I wasn't able to do things on this pedal that I can do effortlessly with my Eliminator.

For patterns, and straight playing (or fast DB work in metal), the Atlas Pro would probably work great for someone. I just do some different things, it didn't work for them, and the other pedals I have do. Why? I have no idea.

I decided to stop fighting what my foot was telling me, and started using the Eliminator again.
BTW, I am also able to do everything I want on my Tama Camcos, an old DW 5000 Strap, and the Tama IC Flexi pedal, so it's the action of the Atlas that's not working for me.

I cleaned every speck of "use" on the Atlas and plan to sell it.
I'm a fan of Ludwig, and it's a nice piece, but I'd rather have the $$ than look at it on my shelf :-)
I DO however LOVE the Classic (flat base) hat stand, snare stand, and cymbal stands I bought!

As for the Perfect Balance, I may be able to borrow the one on the floor at the shop for a day or so to see if I really want to buy one. Like I said before, it was pretty dang easy to get used to it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Marvelous! I think I'll take a look at that pedal, thanks for the review! I wonder how long before Sonor releases a double version? ;)

Hey Rick, do you remember specifically what Jojo was saying about the pedal? I', very curious!

-Jonathan
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

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Originally Posted by Pass.of.E.r.a. View Post
Marvelous! I think I'll take a look at that pedal, thanks for the review! I wonder how long before Sonor releases a double version? ;)

Hey Rick, do you remember specifically what Jojo was saying about the pedal? I', very curious!

-Jonathan
JoJo was saying telling me that with his bass drum pedal technique the spring was of minimal importance, in fact he could almost play without a spring. He also said he preferred strap drive pedals to chain drives because of the smoother feel. He also preferred pedals with amooth footboards because he frequently changed position on the footboard and slid his feet up and down the footboard. I found him to be a very analytical, intense person.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

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Originally Posted by RickP View Post
JoJo was saying telling me that with his bass drum pedal technique the spring was of minimal importance, in fact he could almost play without a spring. He also said he preferred strap drive pedals to chain drives because of the smoother feel. He also preferred pedals with amooth footboards because he frequently changed position on the footboard and slid his feet up and down the footboard. I found him to be a very analytical, intense person.
I sure as heck hope this paves the way for manufacturers to make more strap pedals. For that matter hi-hat stands as well....

Would love to give this pedal a demo someplace.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:19 PM
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I sure as heck hope this paves the way for manufacturers to make more strap pedals. For that matter hi-hat stands as well....

Would love to give this pedal a demo someplace.
I love strap pedals, I have a Yamaha and a Tama Iron Cobra strap bass drum pedal that becomes part of my foot when playing them. I guess this is why I didn't see a need for another in the new Sonor pedal after playing it a month ago.

Dennis
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Thanks for the review Karl. I currently use a DW 5000 double chain single pedal that's getting up there in age and have been thinking of what to try next. Was thinking of another DW 5000 or maybe a Yamaha Direct drive but this Sonor may be worth a try?

Bring back my old Ghost (ball bearing) pedal. I loved that pedal.
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  #18  
Old 08-10-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Up until recently I've always thought that strap driven pedals were seen as lower end. I do have both a strap double and chain single and now that I think of it, the strap feels less stiff or rigid. Which is good, kind of like a looser snare batter for a better touch. Makes sense why the double gets more use.

I also use a low spring tension, like super low. I just checked it and I can easily unhook the spring with thumb and index finger. I've just gradually kept going down and down...sounds like the Perfect Balance might be a good fit for me?
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

is Sonor going to introduce a double pedal model as well ?
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

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is Sonor going to introduce a double pedal model as well ?
I doubt it, being a design in collaboration with / and for Jojo, it's a bit like a signature pedal, maybe if the pedal become very popular and the demand for a double pedal is sufficient, Sonor might consider it, but as it is, it's a double bass drums setting for those who want 2 of them.
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Yeah bro that make sense :)
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Here's my 2-cent review. :)

Backstory:
I've been playing a Tama Speed Cobra since they came out and I while I initially really liked this pedal I just couldn't get used to the longboard. Now that I look back on the last 18 months or so with this pedal, it seems to have caused me to play a great deal more heel up and to use my whole leg to play, just stomping my toe down onto the middle/lower part of the heel plate. I had done some research on the Sonor Perfect Balance pedal and also the Tama Camco and had decided that at some point I would see if I could test out a Camco and/or a Jojo pedal and possibly switch to one or the other. I was intrigued by the design of the Jojo pedal (hinge, strap drive, round cam, etc...) and also wanted to get back to a lighter/smaller pedal like the old Camcos.

On Friday, I went to my local Sam Ash on the way to a gig to pick up a couple of things that I wanted but really didn't need (new cymbal bag, a new soft case for a snare, etc...). Maybe y'all can relate to that, LOL. As I was walking around, I was looking at the kick pedals and saw that they had just received their first shipment of 6 Jojo pedals. I almost didn't see them, since they didn't have one down on the floor as a demo model. I picked one of the boxes up, slid open the box and the bag and took a look at the pedal itself, and fell in love.

The drum department manager happened to be there (on his day off, no less) and came over and asked if I would like to to try it out on one of the drums out on the floor and of course I said yes. He had just got them in and the staff hadn't had time to play around with one yet since they were getting ready for inventory over the next couple of days. We took it out of the bag and clamped it onto a kick drum (love the folding/clamp system) and we both were amazed at how smooth it was. I immediately dropped everything that I had picked up that day and headed to the counter to buy it. They took a picture of me for their Facebook page since I was the first one in San Antonio to get one, LOL.

Review:
I've got to say, this was the smoothest pedal I've ever played. Took it right to a gig that night (and another one the next night) and played it without any adjustments at all. It responded like I had a direct link from my brain to the kick drum. I actually had to force myself to relax and to let the pedal do its thing. I played way more heel-down and felt 10 times more relaxed than I normally do. The pedal really lived up to its name, it has the Perfect Balance. You can really tell that this is a well-engineered piece of equipment that will stand up to the test of being played on for years. It is light but strong, the hinge/clamp mechanism is solid (at least on the one I have, I've heard of a few glitches in that department), and the foot board is the perfect size for my foot (a tiny bit longer than "standard" foot boards, nowhere near as long as a longboard).

I've played 1/2 a dozen pedals over the last 25 years but this will be my last!
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Oh, one or two more things. Our sound guy is also a drummer and he remarked on how well it felt. Even the guitarist sat down and tested it and said it felt very smooth, haha.

I also noticed that I didn't need to use as much force to get a solid thump out of the kick drum. I "felt" each hit in my foot, possibly due to the "normal" sized beater of the PB pedal as opposed to the small, triangular head of the Speed Cobra beater, or possibly because I played more heel down and had my whole foot on the foot board.

Anyway, I just love this pedal and I am sitting at work thinking about how much fun I had at the gigs this weekend and how I can't wait until Saturday to play another one. Between switching to the PB pedal and also my new set of Paiste 2002 cymbals I am one happy drummer!!
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Awesome real world review!!
I haven't seen my friend at the shop to see how he likes his yet. I will Saturday though.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

It kind of reminds me of the MRP Lightspeed pedal, with the strap and round cam.

http://www.mrpdrums.com/pedals/pedals.php
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Too tempting-) I just ordered one from Memphis Drumshop. Am currently playing Tama double or single Iron Cobra.
Also ordered 2 Pearl S-2000 snare stands.
Prohibitive ship cost to Malaysia of total USD 230.
Can feed a family here for a month..
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Our local Long & McQuade just got their shipment a couple days ago and I gave it the once over twice, fiddled with settings and played a pad for a few minutes.

Like others have said, this thing is smooth. It comes with a fairly light beater which is effortless to get a solid stroke out of. No problems with the heel plate, solid construction all around. The way it looks overall reminds me of a fighter jet or something, streamlined piece of high tech machinery.

Conclusion: I want it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Glad to hear you had a good experience with the one you checked out at L&M.
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  #29  
Old 09-21-2012, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

i just heard that jojo's pedal is made in china not germany.im sure his are made in germany.there have been so many problems reported with this pedal its just unbelievable.i went to my local drum shop,i wont name any names but they wouldnt touch it with a ten foot pole.they had no interest in helping me with testing it out.what i found out on my own is that it needs a major overhaul and needs to be made in germany.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

Here's my take on it...

I like the feeling a lot of the pedal, and I truly enjoy the fact that playing it is almost effortless. As one of my friends put it when he tried it out, "It's like it's there, but it's not." So, the idea of it being invisible isn't totally true, but provided the PB parts are on there (and not, say, any other springs from any other pedal), it will not resist your foot at all.

However, setting up the pedal can be frustrating. I've become used to the setup process, so that's not a problem anymore. What makes it more difficult is retractable bass drum spurs. I've gone so far as to measure out the exact extension of each spur by the millimeter to get it feeling right, and while that does work, it's a lot of hassle... and this pedal also become useless if the spurs on said bass drum aren't set up correctly in the first place (as in, the drilling of the spurs' holes are offset...)

Finally, I tried something recently based on observation of the pedal design to see if a different pedal would work based on this observation... and while I found that it's not the PB feeling, there isn't resistance anymore. And this might help out those who want the feeling of the pedal but hate the set-up process.

If you look at the spring on the PB when set up, you'll notice that the spring's alignment is not parallel to the surface of the bass drum head. That's important to the entire operation of the pedal becoming "invisible," so the easy solution to getting that feeling is to tilt your bass drum so that you get that angle. Best way to do this is to put a standard tight-spun felt beater on your pedal, and adjust your spurs until the beater hits the bass drum head directly, without an angle.

I'm not sure how well this would be possible with smaller kick drums on a riser, though.

If you're sold on using the Perfect Balance pedal, then all the more power to you, because I enjoy it too. But having run into situations where the time it takes to set up the pedal is not there, I've had to deal with my other pedal, and this system of adjustment works best to get essentially the same feeling.

Last edited by Eyamsiyu; 04-14-2014 at 06:49 PM. Reason: extra input on experience
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