Chain vs Direct drive durability-wise

magicpants

New member
I know there are a bajillion other threads discussing these two types of pedals, but reading through them, I couldn't really find what I am looking for.
I live in a student house that has a music room for all the residents and we're planning on buying a new pedal, as well as some cymbals. What I would like to know is which kind of pedal would be better for a shared drumset like that. My first thought was that the direct drive, while possibly less commonly used by amateur drummers, seems a bit more durable. I was taking a look in particular at the Millenium PD-122 and Millenium PD-123, and got the doubt since they're the same price.
To sum it up, I'd like to know which one would be more durable/easily repairable (bearing in mind that we're on a budget).
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm a metal drummer using 20 year old Pearl single chain pedals. I can literally stand on a pedal with both feet and jump up and down. It's a chain. Its plenty durable.

To put things into perspective, chains get used on motorcycles, bicycles, chainsaws, engine timing gears, and a myriad of other things that put the chain through its paces far more than a drum pedal will.

Durability is not what to consider when considering a drive system for a pedal. Feel and use should be your main concerns.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I doubt there's any real difference. I'd lean towards chain in most cases since that's what most people are used to and comfortable with.

It's a very inexpensive pedal though, which generally would lead to me recommending going second hand.
 
I'm a metal drummer using 20 year old Pearl single chain pedals. I can literally stand on a pedal with both feet and jump up and down. It's a chain. Its plenty durable.

To put things into perspective, chains get used on motorcycles, bicycles, chainsaws, engine timing gears, and a myriad of other things that put the chain through its paces far more than a drum pedal will.

Durability is not what to consider when considering a drive system for a pedal. Feel and use should be your main concerns.
Truer words never spoken. We're oversold all of this pedal technology. Look at what all the great drummers of yesteryear did with the likes of a Speed King, or Gretsch Floating Action pedals. I say that, as I just finished playing my nineteen year old Tama single-chain Iron Cobra Jr. double pedal.
 

calan

Silver Member
I currently own and use direct drive, strap, and chain pedals, and have had many over the years. I’ve only had two linkage failures:

1) Leather strap on a 60s slingerland pedal. It lasted well into the 90s. I was a teenager at the time, and it did not get treated gently.

2) Single chain DW 5000, probably early 90s. One side of one link split in the middle 2010s, and was still quite playable, so not even a complete failure. Probably 25 years of life.

I expect the direct drives and Kevlar straps that I most often use will outlive me. I don’t feel this is a salient concern.
 
Last edited:

harryconway

Platinum Member
I've got a couple of Tama/Camco single chain pedals that are 40 years old. A Ludwig Speed King (direct drive) that's older. So, as far as chain vs. direct drive ..... a well built pedal is a well built pedal.

As far as Millenium pedals ..... I think I'd skip those and go with a name brand (used, if you're on a budget) like Tama, Pearl, DW, Yamaha, etc.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
My vote: chain drive. Just make sure it’s not made in China. Is that even possible?

I’ve played dozens of church kits and the direct drive pedals always failed due to lateral force causing binding in the linkages.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I’ve played dozens of church kits and the direct drive pedals always failed due to lateral force causing binding in the linkages.
I'm shocked. I would have thought the solid bar would aid in preventing in lateral movement due to its rigidity. Perhaps the flexibility of the chain has some unseen bonuses.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I'm shocked. I would have thought the solid bar would aid in preventing in lateral movement due to its rigidity. Perhaps the flexibility of the chain has some unseen bonuses.
A church kit on a weekday: kids crawl all over them while parents putz in the church offices. Get a nine-year old alone with a kit, who doesn’t know what he’s doing, and things get jacked.
 

force3005

Silver Member
I have played on both and as stated, it's what feel good to you. I played most of my 40 plus years on direct systems and I use both my chain drives for back ups or to practice on. It all comes down to what feel comfortable when playing.
 

brushes

Well-known member
I recommend that you get a good chain-drive pedal, as this is what most people are used to. A used Iron-Cobra (Jr.) is tough as nails, same goes for Yamaha pedals. I play a Yamaha FP1200 direct drive and it will live longer than me, I guess (impossile to ruin such a pedal), but most drummers had problems using it, when sharing the pedal, because direct drive feels and reacts in a different way. Direct drive just istn't for everyone.
 

brushes

Well-known member
I’ve played dozens of church kits and the direct drive pedals always failed due to lateral force causing binding in the linkages.
May I ask, which pedals those were? I really cannot imagine how my direct drive pedals could get killed like that, they are built like tanks.

And how can kids crawl and jumpg onto a pedal, when it is in a very tiny space between snare and floortom? You gotta explain that to me. :unsure:
 
Last edited:

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Well first of all what kind of church allows kids to crawl all over the stage and mess with stuff.. when I was little my mom would've made me pay dearly for acting up in church. (I was very hyper so it was really hard for me to sit still for any length of time). My mom made sure I behaved by using very hard pulls on my side burns, that hurt a lot and it made me hate church even more, I stopped going since I was 12.. I only had to go to my sister's wedding, and to my mother's funeral.. otherwise not for me...but back to the stupid crawling kids.... I literally would berate the shitty parents that allow that behavior... That is why we have a bunch of cry babies that get offended by everything they don't like...Because shitty parents allowed them to get away with everything....
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
May I ask, which pedals those were? I really cannot imagine how my direct drive pedals could get killed like that, they are built like tanks.

And how the f*** can kids crawl and jumpg onto a pedal, when it is in a very tiny space between snare and floortom? You gotta explain that to me. :unsure:
The two lead pastors had 8 kids between them, add their friends, both Sunday & after school/events, and an elementary school age range, and drums (the only instrument left up & ready) got played with.

Pedals were early 1990s Gibraltar & Pearl, if I recall. And the damage looked like someone who, couldn’t depress the bass drum pedal very hard or loud because of spring tension, had stomped on it at a side angle.

This particular church has changed quite a bit and the main kit is used only by team members at the allocated time. But back when it was growing from 300 people to 1500, there was a dedicated worship area for the 12–18 crowd and that kit took some hits.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Truer words never spoken. We're oversold all of this pedal technology. Look at what all the great drummers of yesteryear did with the likes of a Speed King, or Gretsch Floating Action pedals. I say that, as I just finished playing my nineteen year old Tama single-chain Iron Cobra Jr. double pedal.
But by that logic, look at what today's drummers are doing with current pedals. There are few if any original designs that haven't been either improved upon or abandoned, in either case for something superior. Being mechanical systems, pedals are only getting better, and when it comes to pedals, advancement in technology is king.

Having said that, I'm sure there are new pedal features that are just for the sake of marketing, as well as concepts that are released before they are perfected just to stay ahead of the competition.

As far as the durability of chain vs DD, I own both, and it appears to me the only part of a chain drive remotely susceptible to wear or damage is the chain itself, which is probably easier and less expensive to replace than a DD linkage. But you would really have to abuse either one to damage them.
 
Last edited:

iCe

Senior Member
I know there are a bajillion other threads discussing these two types of pedals, but reading through them, I couldn't really find what I am looking for.
I live in a student house that has a music room for all the residents and we're planning on buying a new pedal, as well as some cymbals. What I would like to know is which kind of pedal would be better for a shared drumset like that. My first thought was that the direct drive, while possibly less commonly used by amateur drummers, seems a bit more durable. I was taking a look in particular at the Millenium PD-122 and Millenium PD-123, and got the doubt since they're the same price.
To sum it up, I'd like to know which one would be more durable/easily repairable (bearing in mind that we're on a budget).
I was about to say 'don't get those!' until i read that it's for a shared set haha. I have the double pedal (chain) version of it that came with the Alesis DM10 pack (with throne, sticks, headphone etc) years back and the pedal feels very sluggish.

Pedals are very personal. If i play a house kit, i always bring my own pedal. If budget is an issue, either one is fine. Most drummers have pedals with a chain, so that seems to me the most logical option. Like stated before, i used better quality pedal is something to consider too.
They're almost double the price, but still affordable: the Pearl P-930 or the Tama HP200P would be an improvement.
 

wraub

Well-known member
OP- I see you are in Germany--- I would imagine Sonor and Yamaha have pedals that you could easily get and that would be "better" than the one you linked... for example The Yamaha FP7210A is a basic reliable pedal that is inexpensive.

I am also on a budget and good inexpensive gear has become a "thing" for me.

Good luck in your search.
 

ricohorton

Member
On the student budget I would say just go with a Tama Iron Cobra pedal or Pearl Redline Pedal. Both use chain drive. The thing that's nice about the Pearl Redline is it comes with 4 cams so you can change the feel of pedal to your preference. And if your sharing the pedal with different drummers this may be good option for you.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
the direct drive, while possibly less commonly used by amateur drummers,...
The Ludwig Speed King was easily the most commonly used pedal by ANY drummer back in the 60s/70s.

I suggest getting a strap drive. The straps never break, and even if they do, a replacement strap is super cheap.
 
Top