Direct vs chain drive

TLegan85

New member
I have played on a DW 9000 for 16 years and am finally contemplating a new pedal. I utilize a lot of heel/toe doubles in my playing, but also like to do a lot of single foot work similar to Jojo Mayer’s technique. Anyone have a recommendation for a new pedal? I’ve been eyeing the Pearl Demonator.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
The Demonator is a great pedal. I doubt you'll find anything better for its price. I've played nothing but Pearl pedals for many, many years now and have never experienced a malfunction. They last as long as you need them to.

I currently use a Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive, and while it's a great product, it offers multiple adjustments I have no need for. The Demonator has a much simpler design, though it's still adjustable in pragmatic ways. Aside from altering spring tension every now and then, I tend to play my pedals with their out-of-the-box settings. The Eliminator Demon Drive has luxury features I've never even fooled around with. The Demonator is a better workhouse pedal for the gigging drummer. I'd be happy to get one down the line, and it's price is unbelievably reasonable.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
You can also add the Yamaha FP9500D to the list. Amazing pedal for the price.

The Mapex Falcon is a chain drive pedal out of the box, but there's a DD conversion for it for not much $$. Another amazing pedal, be it chain, strap or direct drive.

I'm about to go a different direction for giggles and try the old school pedal styles again with no base plates and few adjustments. Seem to recall them being pretty fast, before the luxury add ons. I pretty much drop my pedals down and play them as is. I've found if it's anything outside of a simple tweak to a spring or beater angle, they will likely never feel quite right. I've spent hours and days adjusting high dollar pedals and ended up selling them for simpler models. The fancier, generally the heavier and the heavier, the less responsive. The above pictured DW DD may be an exception, but I'll likely never know, because I'll never spend that much on a pedal. Have two that already work great at 1/3 the price. Both killed my DW9000 out of the box.

That said, pedals are like shoes, so your mileage will definitely vary. One thing I have discovered though. direct drive doesn't mean faster. It's just different.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I pretty much drop my pedals down and play them as is. I've found if it's anything outside of a simple tweak to a spring or beater angle, they will likely never feel quite right.
That's my philosophy as well. Intricate adjustments might be impressive from an engineering standpoint, but they aren't terribly useful in my universe. Simpler is often better.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Apparently not many engineers play drums. They spend time in a research lab applying their knowledge of physics, etc., which looks good on paper and in theory. At least that's my take on the subject.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Apparently not many engineers play drums. They spend time in a research lab applying their knowledge of physics, etc., which looks good on paper and in theory.
Most engineers would be bored and disappointed if given a drum pedal to design. What more to do? Incremental gains.
But....an engineer would love to design a frictionless ball-bearing, or cam, and that could find its place on anything, including a bass pedal.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
How about swapping out the chain and sprocket for a cam and strap? It’ll definitely make the 9000 behave like the Jojo and it will feel a lot lighter. I learned on the old Camco style and just de-modified my 5000 Accelerator to cam/strap and the pedal now plays faster and lighter. A relatively cheap experiment as well - $18 for the replacement DW cam and another $8 for the strap.
 

J-W

Well-known member
How about swapping out the chain and sprocket for a cam and strap? It’ll definitely make the 9000 behave like the Jojo and it will feel a lot lighter. I learned on the old Camco style and just de-modified my 5000 Accelerator to cam/strap and the pedal now plays faster and lighter. A relatively cheap experiment as well - $18 for the replacement DW cam and another $8 for the strap.
+1 on the Accelerator cam/strap swap. Since I'm not a "serious drummer" but rather just an "enthusiast" I have the luxury of experimenting with different pedals. Among others, I have a DW5000 Accelerator strap and it has a quick, "light" feel. I'm currently using Axis A series and I'm faster on those, but the DW's are very close. I just like the solid feel of direct drive, but YMMV.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
+1 on the Accelerator cam/strap swap. Since I'm not a "serious drummer" but rather just an "enthusiast" I have the luxury of experimenting with different pedals. Among others, I have a DW5000 Accelerator strap and it has a quick, "light" feel. I'm currently using Axis A series and I'm faster on those, but the DW's are very close. I just like the solid feel of direct drive, but YMMV.
You should talk to Bermuda about the luxury of trying different pedals 😂

I think he’s played them all by now.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
How about swapping out the chain and sprocket for a cam and strap? It’ll definitely make the 9000 behave like the Jojo and it will feel a lot lighter. I learned on the old Camco style and just de-modified my 5000 Accelerator to cam/strap and the pedal now plays faster and lighter. A relatively cheap experiment as well - $18 for the replacement DW cam and another $8 for the strap.
+1 I picked up a clean, lightly used demo DW5000 Accelerator single chain drive last year and converted it to strap drive to serve as a backup pedal. I still prefer the action of my 1990's DW5000ND Delta II USA made strap drive pedal (which is my primary pedal), but in all honesty the newer
DW5000 strap conversion is close in feel to the USA model.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
+1 I picked up a clean, lightly used demo DW5000 Accelerator single chain drive last year and converted it to strap drive to serve as a backup pedal. I still prefer the action of my 1990's DW5000ND Delta II USA made strap drive pedal (which is my primary pedal), but in all honesty the newer
DW5000 strap conversion is close in feel to the USA model.
Aren’t all DW pedals USA made? Just sayin....
 

NackAttack

Well-known member
Aren’t all DW pedals USA made? Just sayin....
I thought for some reason that only the MFG pedal was made in the US. I feel like I heard a few years ago the other pedals started coming from Asia. I’m probably mistaken, I don’t know to much about DW except for what I read.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I thought for some reason that only the MFG pedal was made in the US. I feel like I heard a few years ago the other pedals started coming from Asia. I’m probably mistaken, I don’t know to much about DW except for what I read.
I dunno. I could be wrong too. But DW started in southern CA so I just figure it would do what it could do in the US. That said, I’ve owned DW5000 pedals since 1983 and over the years I couldn’t tell you if I noticed a change in them if they started making them overseas. In fact they just continually got better over the 37 years I’ve played them.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Aren’t all DW pedals USA made? Just sayin....
Bo, my 90's DW5000 pedal was made and assembled in house at the DW factory. Several sources have told me that in the early 2000's DW outsourced manufacturing and assembly of the 5000 series pedals to Asia. Currently 9000 series pedals are partially assembled in house at the DW factory and the MD series pedals are totally manufactured and assembled in house at DW.

My 90's DW 5000 is pictured below on the left, and my 2019 DW 5000 strap conversion is pictured on the right. There are several minor differences between the two pedals, but if you have an all original 5000 series pedal made in house at the DW factory the footboard will be stamped USA.

DW5000Pedals copy.jpg
 
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