this probably doesnt help at all, but. . . .
i havent played the demon drive, but i played the trick direct drive and owned an axis longboard. direct drive just isnt my cup of tea, so i cant imagine the demon to be better than either of those two.
I played it. It's amazing. Puts my Eliminators to shame. The fastest responding pedal I have ever played, and it takes such little effort to make a stroke. They did exactly what my feet did...there was no delay or weird quirks to adjust to. Usually better pedals don't make you play better--that's up to you and your feet--BUT, I think these pedals could actually be an exception to that rule. Maybe it's just that other pedals hinder the abilities of our feet with weighty springs, etc., while the Demon Drive doesn't. Sounded like it was very adjustable too, although I didn't get much time to mess with those settings.
One of you all should PM Derrek Roddy and get him in on this conversation as I believe he played it at NAMM as well.
This is what I wrote on the Pearl Forum after my time at NAMM.
I have been checking them out for a few days trying to be objective about it. It is hard when all the Pearl Fanboys are running around screaming about it. My reaction wants to naturally be questionable. I've had Gene from Pearl break it down for me one day, and I thoroughly agree with most on the floor once you decide on a pedal length more than likely that will be the one for you. The advantage of it changing from long to short I cannot see being a big deal from a players point of view once you figure what setting you like. It is not as though these settings are so simple they can be changed mid-set/song to song. If someone is a salesman, I could see where it would be a plus simply with less product to have on the floor. There is no question of how many to order of each that is for sure.
After Gene's explanation I had dinner with Mike Farris & the Pearl Forum guys and we got into the subject a bit. This had me check it out again the next day. Mike saw me and of course broke it down giving all the usual sales pitch but the best thing he said was Todd Sucherman (sp?) said playing in their promo video at the time, it is a literal pedal. What you play, is what you get.
Now this is where my story gets sort of weird. Ironically who was sitting there trying out pedals but Todd. I had no idea who he was but I asked Mike if that was him he said yes and he joined our conversation. After a few brief introductions & some chit-chat Todd basically said you have to be very careful with what you are playing because the pedal reacts immediately. The thing is most of us are used to slight delays due to bounce back or in some cases latency with a double pedal's left-side. This does not exist with this pedal. Todd said he had to almost rethink his playing using it but now that Pearl has taken the pedal away from him and he is back on his Elims, he is screaming for it back. I personally said, "it sounds to me like it makes you a worse player at first." Not sure why, but Todd didn't react, but Mike was defensive of that of course saying, "you simple have to get use to it" . He's possibly right but are the benefits worth the adjustments needed is the real question on my end.
My take on it: it is just another choice. Pluses versus minus do not out weigh the change for me especially at that price. What the pedal lacks to me is the natural feel of rebound. The beater comes back it doesn't necessary bounce back it is just there perfectly waiting for you. There is no "grab" or "swing" to it. It is almost too perfect sort of like Pro-tools and the way some producers quantize everything. If that is what you like, then this is the pedal for you. But as it stands I need something that "breathes" a little bit more, but that's style just as much as anything.