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View Poll Results: What is the best bass drum pedal?
DW 48 46.60%
Tama Iron Cobra 27 26.21%
Pearl Eliminator 20 19.42%
Axis 8 7.77%
Voters: 103. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-11-2005, 02:20 AM
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Best Bass drum pedal Poll

So what do you think the best bass drum pedal is out there? People say they love the floating feel of the Axis which is gaining a lot of ground.. and then there are your 3 big name competitors.. Pearl Eliminator, Tama Iron Cobra, and DW... vote!
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:25 PM
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full metal full metal is offline
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thats a hard one to vote on for me.
I have been with pearl for a long time and I mean a really long time.
I used to have one of the old double pedals that had the big slave unit on the side and was really heavy.

But I have played on the DW and I love them they feel great but I have yet to play on the axis.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:09 PM
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Axis pedals are extremely expenisve. They go up to about 700 dollars and I'm not sure that there is a huge payoff for this price compared to other high ends like DW and Tama that go for about half that price. So I vote for DW. They are sturdy, smooth, and well made. I've had no problems using it and I love it.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:13 PM
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I think that they're all pretty much equals in terms of functionality - it boils down to looks and just personal preference. Also, endorsements can play a big role. I'm a big fan of John Otto from Limp Bizkit and he happens to play an Iron Cobra. This made me wanna try it out and I love the thing. Especially the beater which is unique to the other ones IMHO.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:20 PM
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While a pedals feel is very personal whether it works for your style of playing, some things are the same regardless.

If you want to compare the IC, Eliminator and DW 9002 based on feel, don't let anyone tell you which one feels best. Try it yourself. What feels great for some people may feel terrible to you.

Double pedals list for in the US:

Iron Cobra: $269.99
Eliminator: $279.99
9002: $449.00
5002 $329.99

Single Pedals in the US:

Iron Cobra: $119.99
Eliminator: $139.99
9000: $219.99
5000: $149.99

Value wise, Iron Cobra wins, but most shops will drop the Eliminator price to match the IC so its usually even.

After value, if you stack features, adjustability and durability, then its definatley the IC, followed closely by the Eliminator, then 5000 and lastly the 9000. This is not an "Opinion" i am making, these are facts if you compare the four side by side. Read what i wrote carefully and you will notice nowhere did i mention smoothness or feel since once again, thats something that varies by the user.

The reason i rank 9000's last out of the four is for a number of reasons. (And before anyone says "Have you even tried one?" ill answer that right now and tell you not only have i tried one, i own one along with Eliminators and IC's).

DW STILL has the weak chain attachment point issues they have had for years. These DO break and frequently on heavy hitters who play with their feet far up on the pedal boards. I have replaced many of them along with entire foot boards where they have pulled out of the casting. The footboards themselves also have a bad habit of snapping in half. I know more then 11 DW pedal players (including many pro's) who have snapped more then one board at the tie point or clean in half. Barker snapped 3 last year and an artist playing in a major band right now (Who asked not to be identified) snapped 6 in seven months. I will post pics in this thread showing the major weaknesses DW pedals have over Tama and Pearl.

The second issue on the 9000's and 5000's is the Hinges. They STILL use a design that wears much quicker then Iron Cobra's. Pearl had issues with the pedal board hinges wearing rapidly as well but the new Eliminators for this year have adressed this issue. DW did upgade hinges to the "Delta II" but while it lasts longer, its still a poor design.

The local GC has a 9002 as a floor model on a kit and it already has play in the hinges. These hinges need to be improved along with the boards themselves.

Next is adjustablity. DW moved the angle adjustment inboard of the pedal towers on the 9002 and beacuse of this, it makes setup more difficult since you have to pull the beater down to make the allen screw adjustable to tighten or loosen it unless you have the key it comes with handy. But since your moving the beater to do it, you don't know exactly where the pedal board will be angled right away. Not a very smart design. Also, the beater screw is positioned so it cannot be tightened with a normal drum key which makes emergency quick fixes a possible disaster if the DW key is not handy. Obviously a pedal desinged by an engineer, not a gigging drummer.

Lastly, the price. $449.00 is (in my opinion) way too much for a double pedal and $219.00 for a single is insane. While ill admit the pedal is very smooth, the fact its nowhere near as rugged as pedals costing almost half as much makes it a poor value since if you gig alot and your rough on your gear, its going to need alot of maintence. I would much rather buy an Eliminator or IC double and you would still have enough money for a matching Hi-Hat and you would STILL have alot of $$ left.

If DW priced them more realistically then i would look past some of its shortfalls, but otherwise, you won't catch me paying that much a pedal.

Tama Iron Cobra's are without question the most rugged pedal out today. I have seen them come back after three years of HEAVY gigging and they still have the original parts (minus the springs). No pedal side play, no board failures. In fact, i am still trying to find someone who has cracked an IC footboard in half and has a picture to prove it.

I was on a tour where an artist snapped a DW 5000 clean in half on stage. I have seen one Pearl pedal snapped.

Pearl makes a great pedal as well. Thats what i am currently using but i am keeping my IC's since they are so great. My 9000's are awaiting there fate of being sold.

Pictures to follow shortly.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:23 PM
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Now comes the issue with DW durability.

DW has had pedal board breakage issues for a long time. Why they do't adress the problem, i don't understand. The picture i will post will show you exactly where the issues are.

I made it a point to talk to as many DW artsits as possible at the NAMM show to ask if they have had issues and i was amazed at how many did. But they all said "Well i just get a new pedal from DW if something goes wrong". I cannot say names but in total, i heard of DOZENS of pedal board failures from DW artists combined with many people i know who have done it.

Below are two pics of broken 5000's showing the most common failure. The other issue is the where the chain attaches to the board. They often break there as well.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC00639.JPG (59.9 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00639.JPG (59.9 KB, 36 views)
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:27 PM
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Next is the other DW weak point. The chain attatchment point.

Below is pics of all three. First Tama, then Pearl, then DW 5000, then 9000.

These are known to snap off or the bolt pulls out on the DW models. If you look at the three you can see why. Once again, notice how heavy duty the IC is.

As i stated above, the 5000 and 9000 pedal boards are identical but i included pics of both chain tie points since they do use different chains on the cam side of the pedal. However, they both share the same weak board tie point. Why they did'nt upgrade it is beyond me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 9000tie.JPG (62.8 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg 5000tie.JPG (79.0 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg elimtie.JPG (68.7 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg ictie.JPG (82.6 KB, 32 views)
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:28 PM
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So there you have some hopefully helpful information on the 4 most popular pedals out today.

I cannot stress enough my opionions are 100% unbiased. And i am NOT a Pearl employee. I am not, nor have i ever been paid to moderate on this site. It is entireley voluntary.

I think the photo's make it obvious what makes the IC so tough and the DW's so weak in comparison.

I have owned two DW kits and both were excellent kits. DW is a great company who makes some of the best drums and hardware on the market today. There stands are extremely well designed and very heavy duty. They would be my choice if Pearl's new line never came out.

The only weakness (no pun intended) i can find in DW's entire product line if their pedals. And from the pics above its obvious why. It seems to me that all it would take is to re engineer the pedal boards to have more ribbing and be built a bit thicker the problem would go away.

While i know many people who have broken DW pedals, i know many who have not. Please don't look at this thread and assume that DW pedals are crap, they most certainly are not. Also keep in mind if your DW pedal should ever fail, they will stand behind it.

I am only bringing this thread up because as a tech for pro drummers, failure is simply not an option. People should be aware the potential exists for failure with DW pedals FAR more then Pearl or Tama.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:29 PM
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I've read this in an interview with Barker (he said "They're kind of too smooth.") and seen it for myself. I let a friend who uses an old Yamaha mid-grade pedal use my 9000 pedal, and he was crazy-nuts for it. I was using a middle of the road Pearl pedal when I got it, and the difference was so shocking. Even the guitar players in my band were impressed- they kept just tapping the footboard and watching it move.

The "Too smooth" issue comes from the fact that with some resistance you can feel the pedal under your foot. You know where it is and wokring against the resistance gives you feedback on your foot. The 9000 is so smooth that is for the most part gone. A player who is already extremely fast and well coordinated with his or her foot will more then likley not need, nor like the benifits of the 9000.

Remember, the ONLY difference on the 9000 vs the 5000 is whats mounted on the pedal towers. The pedal board and pedal board hinge are the same.

So, seriously... Can the IC be tweaked enough to achieve this kind of smoothness? I've not had much experience with them. The only one I did play felt essentially like my old pedals.

Not likley. The 9000 gets its super smooth feel because they doubled the number or bearings. On the IC, Eliminator and other pedals the chain cam and beater holder are fixed tight to the horizontal shaft which is supported by bearing at the top of each pedal tower. So you have all the motion riding on those two bearings.

On the 9000 the horizontal shaft is supported in those bearings and then the cam/beater holder assembly as well is being supported by its own set of bearings. So its essentially "Floating" on bearings. Ball bearings are smooth because there is very little surface area contacting each part. If you sit small ball like a marble on a table, you will notice since its round only a very small part is touching the table. That small surface area equals very little resistance.

Ball bearings work the same way. The weight is evenly supported by these very small balls and all the balls together still are making very little surface contact with the components. That equals less drag and less drag = more speed. So thats how the 9000 does it. Twice the number of bearings on all its supported points.

Making an Iron Cobra or any other pedal for that matter as smooth as a 9000 would be a difficult task and as its already been posted, sometimes a pedal can be too smooth.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:29 PM
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Why is it that the DW900 is like 400$? What makes it so awesomely great?

The price is that high for three reasons.

One is materials. You have twice the number of bearings and bearings are not cheap. Also, unlike the 5000's which use an inexpensive cast aluminum cam/beater holder, the 9000's use a billet aluminum component that is expensive to manufacture and the material itself is costly. Billet Aluinum components start as a block of material that is usually square. It is put in a device known as a "CNC Mill". CNC stands for Computer Numeric Code. These machines are completley automated and can produce perfectly consitent components. Unlike castings, they are totally consistent and require no further machining to complete. The components are ready to use as soon as they come off the machine. This prescion comes at a price. CNC machines cost MILLIONS of dollars for most. Anybody who watchhes any of the Discovery Channels "Jesse James" programs i am sure has seen the one he has that cuts wheels. He designs a wheel design on the computer and uploads it to the mill. Then he puts a block of aluminum in the machine and walks away. Two days later the wheel is done. The machine he uses cost upwards of 3 million dollars. How does he afford it?. By charging a hefty price for the wheels. I priced out wheels for my Harley, guess how much? $20,000 a WHEEL!. That is not a joke. And there is a wating list for wheels.

Whether DW bought a CNC machine just for this pedals cam is unlikley. My guess is they are already using an exsisting CNC machine they already own or ther are outsourcing it. Either way, CNC machines are costly to maintain and the actual design of the component to format to a file the CNC mill can read is expensive. This i am sure impacted the price.

The second half of the price increase falls to recovering the costs to design, develop and market the pedal. Why do you think new technology in any field is always expensive in the begginning and then gets cheaper?. Because the costs are re couped and the profits increase.

Lastly, because they can. You can charge whatever you want for an item and as long as people keep buying it, why lower the price?. DW is selling a good number of 9000's based on the advertising and the hype surrounding it. They are known for the high prices already so nobody really complains. As soon as the sales die, the price will drop. I don't think DW is overpriced. I think there prices are high, but its because they choose to operate in the US, not because they want to rip people off.
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