A "chicken or the egg" discussion

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
The logical discussion with bass drum pedals is that they're like old comfortable shoes you wear, so they're comfortable to play for hours. Unfortunately, I think this mind-set (and foot functionality) gets learned early on when you learn how to play. So whatever pedal you're learning on, is "the" pedal that every pedal you get afterwards will be judged on.

So, if you already know what your foot likes, and you upgrade your pedal, you're going to make it feel like that first pedal, so what did you upgrade for?

I remember spending a couple of days with a new Pearl Demon Drive pedal with it's infinite adjustments, and making so many adjustments, at the end of it, I made it feel like my ancient Camco from the 60s that I learned on. So what did I gain by applying all that to a near-$400 pedal? Would it have made more fiscal sense to just continue to play the old Camco?

I thought this was a interesting thought-process and am interested in your thoughts. We upgrade, but we make it feel like what we're used to. Unless it was broken, did we need to upgrade? Does the new pedal make us play differently in light of the fact that we just made it feel like our "old"pedal?

This is one of those "Losing sleep" thought processes, no?
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
My first pedal was a Rogers strap drive, followed by an old Tama. The two were nothing alike. From there I got a Yamaha 7 something double with double chain drive, then a DW5000 single with single chain, then Axis X short, Axis A long, DW9000, Yamaha FP9500d and finally Mapex Falcon. None felt like the one prior. While I’ve attempted to make each feel comfortable, I wasn’t really going for anything in particular, or make any feel like the previous. For me it was more about finding the pedal that kept me from looking for the next one.

The Falcon did it with the 9500d a close second. Still have both. They feel totally different, but both are nice and I never give either a second thought when playing.
 
Interesting you ask, as earlier today I posted my list of currently/past-owned pedals. Like many kids of my generation, I started off with the venerable Ludwig Speed King. I stayed with it for ten years. Then went to a Pearl P-880. Five years later, I picked up a Tama HP-45. All three were no nonsense pedals very limited adjustability. Then I moved onto the Iron Cobra, which had much more flexibility, and thus, at the same time, added complexity for someone so used to sitting down, and just playing whatever was under foot. And like you Bo, once I got too far beyond the factory settings, I found myself trying to replicate one of the prior used pedal's performance and feel. Yes, the new pedals are quieter and smoother than those we used years ago and can, if we don't get too carried away, help us realize our playing potential. That said, I always seem to go back to a pedal with the most simplistic of designs. End of the day, there are no short cuts for good solid technique. My two cents worth...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Interesting you ask, as earlier today I posted my list of currently/past-owned pedals. Like many kids of my generation, I started off with the venerable Ludwig Speed King. I stayed with it for ten years. Then went to a Pearl P-880. Five years later, I picked up a Tama HP-45. All three were no nonsense pedals very limited adjustability. Then I moved onto the Iron Cobra, which had much more flexibility, and thus, at the same time, added complexity for someone so used to sitting down, and just playing whatever was under foot. And like you Bo, once I got too far beyond the factory settings, I found myself trying to replicate one of the prior used pedal's performance and feel. Yes, the new pedals are quieter and smoother than those we used years ago and can, if we don't get too carried away, help us realize our playing potential. That said, I always seem to go back to a pedal with the most simplistic of designs. End of the day, there are no short cuts for good solid technique. My two cents worth...
That's kinda where I am with bass drum pedals nowadays. I'm using a new-ish DW5000 with regular round sprocket and I took the red plate off. So it's basically the old Camco I had, which became the DW. But it was also my old Slingerland Tempo King, and my ancient Tama Flexi Flyer. Somewhere in there I had the original Tama Camco pedal too. They all feel the same to me.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
On the assumption your first pedal was something reasonable, I agree with you, to a point. However wether our first pedal was good or not, we all soon found a pedal that worked for us in our early stages. For me, from that point on, the only upgrade I looked for was functionality / quality, but I have very simple requirements. My playing doesn't require anything more than occasional modestly up tempo doubles / triplets.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
As someone who spent years doing the search for the "holy grail" of pedals I agree and also disagree. To start, I still have a squeaky old Ludwig speed kick and that pedal feels great. Zero adjustments on it, just clip it on and play it. I have also put my feet on pretty much every boutique pedal and double pedal and owned far too many as well.

I think if you switch from short boards to long boards, you are going to have a hard time for a few weeks/months regardless. Same goes with chain to direct drive. They are a totally different beast. I remember buying my first Axis pedal and was really struggling for a few weeks, fast forward 10 years I still love me direct drive long boards. Now, I play different pedals for different situations too. I can get much more volume and power out of a short chain pedal, but I can play fast without getting super tired on the longboards.

too many settings also means guys who tinker, (Most of us) spend so much time adjusting we end up going past the point of it feeling good or we are chasing something and end up making it worse. I do like to be able to adjust my pedals though. And personally I love the demons. They are a great pedal, smooth feeling, and work great. Keep playing with it and you can make them feel like any other pedal. I find the power/finesse setting makes a huge difference. You can also change the beaters and have to restart at 0 for adjustments with the difference it makes too.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Interesting thread. When I bought this Pearl Rhythm Traveler POD it comes with this simple flimsy pedal (in pic) so "naturally" I thought heck my Iron Cobra pedal would work much better. Well Heck no what a disaster that little pedal works great and obviously designed for kick-super agile you can do anything with it stuck on that little kick. The physics behind the difference is puzzling to me. I can't tell the difference between my Pearl or Tama (a double) pedals and I don't remember the first strap I played other than it was fine. I always felt the onus was on me rather than the pedal. I never noticed one pedal being faster than any other but fluid mechanically I note differences.
 

Attachments

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Why did I upgrade?

It had nothing to do with feel, action, etc.

It was because this:



is a little more durable and road worthy than this:

 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I have to say the only adjustment that I need to adjust is the spring tension. I guess it relates to the speed of my foot. If the pedal board does not keep up with my foot while I’m playing, that is a major problem. When I play other drummers’ pedals at jams I can’t believe they are playing their pedals with such a light spring tension.

I don’t mean to derail this discussion; But the same thing happens to me with snare drums. I get a new one and I eventually get it to sound like my old Ludwig snare drum.

.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I have to say the only adjustment that I need to adjust is the spring tension. I guess it relates to the speed of my foot. If the pedal board does not keep up with my foot while I’m playing, that is a major problem. When I play other drummers’ pedals at jams I can’t believe they are playing their pedals with such a light spring tension.

I don’t mean to derail this discussion; But the same thing happens to me with snare drums. I get a new one and I eventually get it to sound like my old Ludwig snare drum.

.
This is true. Hollywood I like a really light spring-when I pull back the beater I want it to swing a lot but little tension and I don't like fighting a tight spring. And with snares that is true-everyone has a crack, or fat, or crisp, etc., sound they like and try to get a snare to emulate the sounds they are looking for. I generally like dark washy cymbals but listening to my Zildjians I have now I note they are higher pitched, pingy, and crisp than I thought LOL.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm gonna disagree. My first few pedals were cheap crap like this:
31gp9AvN3BL._AC_SY400_.jpg

I finally got a decent Gibraltar pedal after about a year. It was a Ferrari compared to the junk I had. But yet my Eliminators were even better still. So no, it took a few pedals to get everything right.

BTW, the egg came first.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well a chicken is a bird and a bird is a dinosaur-the dinosaurs came from reptiles, and the reptiles evolved from the jawed sea vertebrates that evolved from jawless vertebrates, that evolved from early chordates so a sea squirt LOL. We can back to first universal common ancestor of all present life but we should stop with earliest in vertebrate line. So the squirt came first. Then comes up the Origin of Life. Which I think Prometheus bound covered that LOL.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I don’t mean to derail this discussion; But the same thing happens to me with snare drums. I get a new one and I eventually get it to sound like my old Ludwig snare drum.
To me, that’s part of the fun of having multiple snares. Getting them tuned up to the same tone and feel, then enjoy the differences the shell material, head choices bring to the table.

not sure I could get my Falcon to feel like my old Axis As or a DW5000 with a gun pointing at my head. The designs are way too different. The only similarity I can think of would have been spring tension, so the pedal board would move with my foot. Out of the pedals I tried the Axis longboards were the only ones I just couldn’t live with. By the time I got the tension right, the back side of the adjustable beater rod would hammer the top of my foot. If I moved the rod away, then I would lose feel.

Tons of folks here love those, so no knock on them, but my point is I just don’t think pedals can be made as similar as snares. Each pedal has their own sweet spots, cams, footboard angle/length, etc. you’re limited to the physics of the pedal to a great extent. For me anyway, they either work or don’t. Some I’ve tried were fantastic heel up, but I couldn’t manage them heel down, others were the opposite.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Why did I upgrade?

It had nothing to do with feel, action, etc.

It was because this:



is a little more durable and road worthy than this:

That Tama is exactly what I played for years-with a cam and a strap! I’m not exactly sure how much more durable the 9000 is (had one of those too). About the only thing that would break on the Tama is that radius rod on the bottom. Other than that, the 9000 has all the same deficiencies.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
My first real pedal was a Tama Camco pedal which eventually became the Rolling Glide in various iterations. I STILL prefer this pedal design. The only other pedal(s) I really like are the DW Turbo versions .

edited to add: I have a Yamaha Direct Drive Flying Dragon double pedal that I like, but don't love and am looking to trade for a DW5000 double pedal.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I started playing with a piece of junk CB pedal. There was so much side to side action that the first piece of real gear I bought was a pedal, even before I bought my own cymbals.
Got a cheap second hand Yamaha single strap drive which is great, but i didn't realise the uncovered metal of it has gouged my bass hoop on the outside :(
Wanted to get double pedals, and to try them out got some second hand Stagg pedals, but I could not get them to behave at all, the beater angle was horrible, the chains were rubbish and I found it difficult to even play single on them. They got passed on for the cost of postage and I went back to my single pedal.
This year I've invested in Yamaha FP9 double chain drive. When they work I am in love, but they slip on the infinite cam. At the shop they think they've fixed it with an extra washer. Let's see eh?

Do I try and get my latest pedals to feel like my CB that I learnt on? Do I f***!
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
A big portion depends on what you play too. In my one band I do a ton of gear sharing, and I can play on pretty much anything. In my extreme metal band I need my pedal with my settings. I think as things get more technical, faster, or harder to play it makes a huge difference. I can't play as fast on cheap pedals as my "overpriced" ones. I currently have 2 Axis Percussion doubles and a set of Demon drives. For singles I have a speedking and a few speed cobras. WAY to much money invested into pedals.

I also find once you hit the upper tier they are the same as snares in a way. I have snare "sound" in my head. If you give me 20 snare drums I have a bad habbit that I will make them sound all the exact same. I tend to do that with my pedals to a point. It makes more sense on the pedals. But you can make pedal A feel pretty similar to pedal B if it has enough adjustments.

I'm also a fan of a longer throw with less tension. For things like playing fast heel toe in metal I can't do it on some pedals.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
88109


I first learned my footwork on this Tama King Beat pedal (Tama's version of the Speed King basically).
Over time, it got real sloppy & the spring inside just wouldn't cut it.

Then I got a DW5000 and it was like my foot was reborn. I've been with the 5000 series ever since.
I do have a Speed King and use it for my compact shows (as it comes apart) and it feels like this King Beat.
 

nolibos

Member
DW 5000 with a nylon strap (since the upgrade from WFL Speed King in 1997), can't imagine anything else being better.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
My first "real" pedal was a used Speed King.

I used a bunch before having the Eliminator (original & red line).

I never noticed until one day I happened to have the SK and Eliminator next to each other-- I had the footboard of the Eliminator at pretty much the same angle as the Speed King has, and the Red cam of the Eliminator is about the same as the cam on the Speed King.
It was NOT intentional, as I had several other pedals between the SK and Elim.

I haven't really cared for other direct drive pedals until I tried the new Tama Dyna Sync. I dig it a lot, but I'm really not at the stage of switching stuff like that up much anymore (plus, it's almost $400...).
 
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