Perfect Balance Pedal-- I played it, thoughts

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Here's my 2-cent review. :)

Backstory:
I've been playing a Tama Speed Cobra since they came out and I while I initially really liked this pedal I just couldn't get used to the longboard. Now that I look back on the last 18 months or so with this pedal, it seems to have caused me to play a great deal more heel up and to use my whole leg to play, just stomping my toe down onto the middle/lower part of the heel plate. I had done some research on the Sonor Perfect Balance pedal and also the Tama Camco and had decided that at some point I would see if I could test out a Camco and/or a Jojo pedal and possibly switch to one or the other. I was intrigued by the design of the Jojo pedal (hinge, strap drive, round cam, etc...) and also wanted to get back to a lighter/smaller pedal like the old Camcos.

On Friday, I went to my local Sam Ash on the way to a gig to pick up a couple of things that I wanted but really didn't need (new cymbal bag, a new soft case for a snare, etc...). Maybe y'all can relate to that, LOL. As I was walking around, I was looking at the kick pedals and saw that they had just received their first shipment of 6 Jojo pedals. I almost didn't see them, since they didn't have one down on the floor as a demo model. I picked one of the boxes up, slid open the box and the bag and took a look at the pedal itself, and fell in love.

The drum department manager happened to be there (on his day off, no less) and came over and asked if I would like to to try it out on one of the drums out on the floor and of course I said yes. He had just got them in and the staff hadn't had time to play around with one yet since they were getting ready for inventory over the next couple of days. We took it out of the bag and clamped it onto a kick drum (love the folding/clamp system) and we both were amazed at how smooth it was. I immediately dropped everything that I had picked up that day and headed to the counter to buy it. They took a picture of me for their Facebook page since I was the first one in San Antonio to get one, LOL.

Review:
I've got to say, this was the smoothest pedal I've ever played. Took it right to a gig that night (and another one the next night) and played it without any adjustments at all. It responded like I had a direct link from my brain to the kick drum. I actually had to force myself to relax and to let the pedal do its thing. I played way more heel-down and felt 10 times more relaxed than I normally do. The pedal really lived up to its name, it has the Perfect Balance. You can really tell that this is a well-engineered piece of equipment that will stand up to the test of being played on for years. It is light but strong, the hinge/clamp mechanism is solid (at least on the one I have, I've heard of a few glitches in that department), and the foot board is the perfect size for my foot (a tiny bit longer than "standard" foot boards, nowhere near as long as a longboard).

I've played 1/2 a dozen pedals over the last 25 years but this will be my last!
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Oh, one or two more things. Our sound guy is also a drummer and he remarked on how well it felt. Even the guitarist sat down and tested it and said it felt very smooth, haha.

I also noticed that I didn't need to use as much force to get a solid thump out of the kick drum. I "felt" each hit in my foot, possibly due to the "normal" sized beater of the PB pedal as opposed to the small, triangular head of the Speed Cobra beater, or possibly because I played more heel down and had my whole foot on the foot board.

Anyway, I just love this pedal and I am sitting at work thinking about how much fun I had at the gigs this weekend and how I can't wait until Saturday to play another one. Between switching to the PB pedal and also my new set of Paiste 2002 cymbals I am one happy drummer!!
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Awesome real world review!!
I haven't seen my friend at the shop to see how he likes his yet. I will Saturday though.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
Too tempting-) I just ordered one from Memphis Drumshop. Am currently playing Tama double or single Iron Cobra.
Also ordered 2 Pearl S-2000 snare stands.
Prohibitive ship cost to Malaysia of total USD 230.
Can feed a family here for a month..
 

Nickropolis

Senior Member
Our local Long & McQuade just got their shipment a couple days ago and I gave it the once over twice, fiddled with settings and played a pad for a few minutes.

Like others have said, this thing is smooth. It comes with a fairly light beater which is effortless to get a solid stroke out of. No problems with the heel plate, solid construction all around. The way it looks overall reminds me of a fighter jet or something, streamlined piece of high tech machinery.

Conclusion: I want it.
 
i just heard that jojo's pedal is made in china not germany.im sure his are made in germany.there have been so many problems reported with this pedal its just unbelievable.i went to my local drum shop,i wont name any names but they wouldnt touch it with a ten foot pole.they had no interest in helping me with testing it out.what i found out on my own is that it needs a major overhaul and needs to be made in germany.
 

Eyamsiyu

Member
Here's my take on it...

I like the feeling a lot of the pedal, and I truly enjoy the fact that playing it is almost effortless. As one of my friends put it when he tried it out, "It's like it's there, but it's not." So, the idea of it being invisible isn't totally true, but provided the PB parts are on there (and not, say, any other springs from any other pedal), it will not resist your foot at all.

However, setting up the pedal can be frustrating. I've become used to the setup process, so that's not a problem anymore. What makes it more difficult is retractable bass drum spurs. I've gone so far as to measure out the exact extension of each spur by the millimeter to get it feeling right, and while that does work, it's a lot of hassle... and this pedal also become useless if the spurs on said bass drum aren't set up correctly in the first place (as in, the drilling of the spurs' holes are offset...)

Finally, I tried something recently based on observation of the pedal design to see if a different pedal would work based on this observation... and while I found that it's not the PB feeling, there isn't resistance anymore. And this might help out those who want the feeling of the pedal but hate the set-up process.

If you look at the spring on the PB when set up, you'll notice that the spring's alignment is not parallel to the surface of the bass drum head. That's important to the entire operation of the pedal becoming "invisible," so the easy solution to getting that feeling is to tilt your bass drum so that you get that angle. Best way to do this is to put a standard tight-spun felt beater on your pedal, and adjust your spurs until the beater hits the bass drum head directly, without an angle.

I'm not sure how well this would be possible with smaller kick drums on a riser, though.

If you're sold on using the Perfect Balance pedal, then all the more power to you, because I enjoy it too. But having run into situations where the time it takes to set up the pedal is not there, I've had to deal with my other pedal, and this system of adjustment works best to get essentially the same feeling.
 
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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I have one and I really like it, it's like a Camco on steroids. I have to say though that the best adjustment I found was to cut about half an inch off the strap, after that for me it felt right. But I use 5 different pedals and I don't have a favorite , some people hate speed kings but if you adapt to it it can be all you need.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
I am surprised people are not reporting a host of problems with the Jojo pedal.
I have gone through three of these in a short period of time (6 months) - and I am not a heavy hitter....errr....footer.

I really wanted one to work for me...but it was just not dependable at all. Mostly problems with the folding hinge - one was very loose (no way to tighten it) - one was so stiff, I could barely open it , BD clamp problems....strap and strap linkage problems on another one.

So I got a used DW9000 instead and haven't looked back. Also have Pearl Eliminator (hard to get away from, my 'home base' pedal- pun intended) and Yamaha singles.
For a super compact folding pedal, got a Speed King.
What I really want is one of the reissue Camco single pedals. Used to have a double , loved it.

Neal
 
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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I agree , I have an old Camco that just keeps on keep'n on, only thing I've ever done to it is an occasional spray with wd40 , heck I've never even cleaned it. The most reliable easy to use pedal I've ever had. Can't report any major probs with the perfect balance pedal though. I look at pedals like some would look at cymbals , some pedals work with a particular type or sizes of kit some don't. You just have to try them to see , some pedals punch hard on the beater head some don't . There is too much emphasis on the pedal being adjustable when really it should be the player who should adjust to a certain extent.Really like the Demon Drive too! One thing I have learned over the years is because I have long legs My hi hat and bass pedal stance is splayed, what I mean is if I'm looking at the front of the stage my left foot points to stage left and my right foot stage right so my bass drum is angled accordingly and so with the hi hat. My bass drum does not point to the middle of the stage,I find that to be a naturally comfortable stance. That's an adjustment isn't it? Anyway I'm ranting on too, many coffees this morning.
 

Schinbein Drum Co

Junior Member
I bought one of these last January, shortly after they came out. After a little bit of adjusting, and replacing the beater head with a Danmar hard felt hobby, I sold my DW 5000, I gave my 7000 away and now the only other pedal I have is the cheap/craptastic Yami that came with my practice digi kit. I remember back when the Eliminator came out we were all of a sudden obsessed with cam shape. Are you a blue guy or a red guy? It was ridiculous. Now that I've been stomping away on Jojo's finest for a year and a half I can't imagine going back to anything but this smooth balanced pedal. It just makes sense to me. I find that when i need some power I can get an even swing which returns nicely to a point where I can do it again quite effortlessly. That effect doesn't go away or diminish at all when the speed increases. Jojo is totally the man. BY THE WAY, is anyone else digging his 70's porno daddy look that he's been rocking lately? He kinda pulls it off, but I wish he wouldn't...
 

Eyamsiyu

Member
I want to add something that I've found that helps immensely when setting up the pedal.

Definitely follow the instructions that Jojo lays out when it comes to setting up the pedal, but the best way to have the best action is to set up the spurs so that the mallet hits the drum perfectly parallel. This will, for sure, ensure that the action of the pedal is fully felt, and to help stabilize the pedal column.

The other thing I would do is, even if after the initial set up, and setting the kick angle parallel, the column still moves, don't tighten the hoop clamp much further. Instead, take that dollar you used to tighten the clamp to the right setting and fold it up to a smaller square, and then place that under the left part of the hoop clamp. That will further stabilize the column without risking damage to the clamping mechanism.

I tried that today in a rehearsal, and it worked wonders for stabilization. These two steps will pretty much be what I do to make the pedal much easier to set up and use in a pinch.

It is a lot to do, but having become accustomed to the set up process, this becomes a breeze, and makes the pedal even more awesome than it already is.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
The other thing I would do is, even if after the initial set up, and setting the kick angle parallel, the column still moves, don't tighten the hoop clamp much further. Instead, take that dollar you used to tighten the clamp to the right setting and fold it up to a smaller square, and then place that under the left part of the hoop clamp. That will further stabilize the column without risking damage to the clamping mechanism.
Any pics of this dollar origami and placement, so we might have a look?
 

Eyamsiyu

Member
Any pics of this dollar origami and placement, so we might have a look?
Sure thing! When I arrive home later today I'll take some pictures to show.

By the way, if it's of any value, in the new foot DVD Jojo released, he mentioned that Sonor is, indeed, working on a double pedal version of the PB pedal.
 

ricohorton

Member
could be two years away before we see a double pedal version. I would be interested in trying a double pedal version.
 

Mendozart

Platinum Member
By the way, if it's of any value, in the new foot DVD Jojo released, he mentioned that Sonor is, indeed, working on a double pedal version of the PB pedal.
After 30 years of various DW pedals, I have really fallen in love with the Perfect Balance pedal. The only modification I did though, was swap out the tension spring with a DW spring. I wanted a little more tension than the stock one provided.

Btw, while at the Chicago Show this year, some guy was telling me about a possible double version......can't wait for it.;-p
 

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