Sonor hihat Perfect Balance (standard) mod

Hi,

I've recently been playing the standard version of the Sonor Perfect Balance pedal. I'm really loving the possibilities this pedal offers. I wrote on another post about how I wasn't getting along with other modern pedals.

I decided to pick up Jojo Mayer's DVD to help me work on foot technique. Loved some of the insights. Reminds me of when I seen him in a clinic around 2013. But on the DVD he just goes into way more detail. I watched in one sitting. It's about 6 hours long.

What was interesting is the hihat he uses. Clearly he took a Sonor 600 series hihat and replaced the footboard and swapped out the chain for a strap. I assume he did this himself. Or perhaps Sonor did it for him?

Has he ever spoken about this mod? He doesn't address it on the DVD. I assume Sonor ins't going to bring this out as a product. He even spoke of a double perfect balance pedal that was being worked on. Clearly, that never made it to market and Sonor even says on their website the double version won't be happening.

Given the fact there's never been talk of a matching hihat stand...it's fair to assume it won't be on the market.

Has anyone out there tried this mod?

I'm going to be picking up a new sonor kit in the new year. I had a sonor 600 series hihat before, but don't currently have one. I was thinking of picking up a second hand one for the new kit and trying this mod with the standard version PB footboard. The main reason is because the PB is easy to slide on. I know from owning the 600 series in the past that there's a lot of grip that would work against the slide technique I want to start developing on the hihat. (I even spoke with a drum shoe manufacture about creating a new version of their product with leather soles that will help. So anyone interested will have an actual product they can pick up rather than having a shoe repair guy mod a pair of trainers. Luckily, they've been very receptive to the idea.)

I can't remember what kind of screws might have been under the plate on the 600 series hihat. There's two screws under the standard PB to secure the heel of the board in place. If you look closely at the image you can actually see one of the screws in Jojo's mod.

Does anyone currently own the 600 series hihat stand? Can you confirm what type of screws are under the plate holding in the heel?

I'm just trying to figure out how doable this mod will be.

Has anyone ever replaced the chain with a strap?
 

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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I do not have either the pedal or the hi hat stand, so keep that in mind. However, pedals and hi hats are very simple, and I have experience disassembling/moding both.

The strap is easy. A chain/rod driven hi hat has a pin at the top and bottom. The top you just run a screw through the holes that the chain attaches to. As long as it fits tightly is the size you need.

As for the footboard, look under the floor plate and see how the heel plate/footboard attaches to it. If the screw pattern/spacing is the same as the Jojo pedal, you can easily swap them. If not, you will have to modify the floor plate to accept the screw pattern of the Jojo pedal.

As for connecting the two, use the mounting point on the Jojo pedal, run the strap over the screw and back to the mounting point on the Jojo pedal. It looks like a fairly simple swap.
 
Yeah, i was just looking at the PB pedal. Certainly, changing the chain to strap looks like it will be pretty simple.

The only question is the spacing of the screws under the hihat plate. Do they match the spacing of the PB pedal?

If anyone has a 600 series hihat and can check this that would be cool. Won't know myself until I pick one up.

When I had one years ago I never paid any attention to the screws in the plate. It's hard to track down any images online.
 
Should be easy enough.

Looking closer at the part that Jojo has the belt hooked to...that part isn't on the sonor hihats. From what I can tell it isn't a sonor part. My guess is he might have used a part from another company.

Any idea where he might have got it?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Just curious, but instead of buying a bunch of stuff to mod something because of the footboard, why nut just get a 2000 or 4000 series stand. It has an almost smooth footboard, minus the circle. I doubt the lettering will make that much difference.

As for the strap, there will be some delay with it regardless. As the strap goes up and down, nothing is going to keep it from opening and closing, or going up past the screw momentarily. It honestly seems like a bad idea to me. It's only a hi hat stand. It goes up and down. Why mess with that?

The 2000 and 4000 stand footboard:

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Oh, it's just something I'm thinking about right now. I did consider the 4000 series stand, but my local dealer won't stock it. They have the 2000 series and I thought that felt a little flimsy compared to the 600 series I had used in the past. It does seem like they could be using the same or a very similar footboard as on the standard PB pedal, except for the writing. But that writing is carved into the footboard, which would cause grip. And its right in the area where I'd like it to be as smooth as possible.

That is a good point about the strap. I wonder did Jojo do something to the strap that I can't see in the images to prevent it from going up past the screw and causing delay. Because on the DVD there doesn't seem to be any problems with that. He was going up beyond 200bpm no problem. I know on other hihats like the Tama they stitch the kevlar so that can't happen. Another possibility is to just leave the chain in tact. It's more a smooth board I'm interested in.

It would be an expensive mod for sure even with secondhand gear. It's strange that Sonor never updated the 600 series line to have a matching PB hihat with a kevlar belt drive. It would have made sense to do so. I'm sure Jojo would like it because it means he'd have it no matter where he goes in the world. Also, it would just be good marketing too.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
But that writing is carved into the footboard, which would cause grip. And its right in the area where I'd like it to be as smooth as possible.
Well, as another option, you could always fill in the lettering with some sort of resin or metal based filler. Once it hardens, sand it flat to match the rest of the surface.
 
I've never done that kind of work before. I did wonder about filling it in. But if it turns out wrong or not quite as I like...I changed the pedalboard. I also wouldn't be able to resell it. At least by changing the footplate to the PB Standard (assuming the screw holes line up and i don't have to drill) it would be easy to return everything to normal.

It'd be more ideal if Sonor just came out with this product. The 600 series hasn't been updated in some time. Having a hihat with a different footplate would be a nice update. While also making it look a little more modern.

Still just toying with the idea in my head. Still wondering if anyone out there who owns a 600 series hihat can take a look at the spacing of the screws under the plate that hold the heel in place. That's going to determine just how straight forward the mod would be.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I've never done that kind of work before. I did wonder about filling it in. But if it turns out wrong or not quite as I like...I changed the pedalboard. I also wouldn't be able to resell it. At least by changing the footplate to the PB Standard (assuming the screw holes line up and i don't have to drill) it would be easy to return everything to normal.

It'd be more ideal if Sonor just came out with this product. The 600 series hasn't been updated in some time. Having a hihat with a different footplate would be a nice update. While also making it look a little more modern.

Still just toying with the idea in my head. Still wondering if anyone out there who owns a 600 series hihat can take a look at the spacing of the screws under the plate that hold the heel in place. That's going to determine just how straight forward the mod would be.
One last option to explore then. Take the footboard off the stand. Take it to a machine shop and have them build you the exact same thing, only with a smooth surface. It wont be cheap, but a proper machine shop can do exactly what you want.

I doubt Sonor will build you a one-off pedal. I say this coming from working in manufacturing. Unless Sonor has their own machine shop, they only build the drum shells like everyone else. The hardware is farmed out to other companies. They might do it all themselves, I have no idea. But typically that's not how it works. You could always contact them and ask. It never hurts to ask.
 
Never thought of a machine shop doing it.

I did ask Sonor if they sell the footplate as a spare part. Because most of the other footboard are sold as spare parts. But, no, they won't sell that one as a spare part. Which means...if you have trouble with just the footboard of any version of the PB pedal...you have to buy a whole new pedal.
 
Yeah, get it machined is more expensive than buying a PB standard pedal.

Since Sonor offers the footboard of the 4000 series as a spare part, might be worth getting one of those and putting it on the 600 series hihat. Then use aluminium filler. At least if it doesn't work I can just put the 600 series footboard back on. Did watch a video on aluminium filler and it seems like it could work.
 

anzi

Member
4000 footboard is 14,5mm shorter than PB footboard. The heel plate is the same size on both. Info is from Sonor customer support email.
 
Thanks for that. Didn't spot that. But now that you point it out...it makes sense. The PB being a hybrid length. Certainly from my memory of playing the 2000 series hihat it doesn't seem as long.

Wish sonor would just update their hardware lines and come out with a new hihat stand with the PB footboard. It could be part of the 6000 series. Right now that series is made up of only two thrones and nothing else. Doesn't make much sense.
 
Just so its out there. I spoke with Sonor about the idea of a hihat stand with a PB footboard for those who would like the smoother surface to use some of Jojo's techniques. They were cool about the input (considering I'm not one of their artists, cool that they listened). They said it's not something they currently have in development. But it did spark discussion with the team about it being a future product. These things can take a long time, but maybe in a few years we could see something like that in the line up. Hopefully.
 
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