Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
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.
 

The Black Page Dude

Senior Member
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!
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
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
 

Soupy

Silver Member
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.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
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
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
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!
 

RickP

Gold Member
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.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
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.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
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
 

RickP

Gold Member
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.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
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.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
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
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
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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Nickropolis

Senior Member
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?
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
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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