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Go Back   Drum Forum at Drum Set Connect > Drum Forums - All About Drums > Drums and Drum Sets


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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  #11  
Old 07-13-2005, 07:30 PM
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DRUMMER111 DRUMMER111 is offline
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For anyone who is interested in the Yamaha Flying Dragon review i did, this was it:

Yamaha is always striving to be innovative. However, time and time again the innovations they come out with always seem really cool at first, but once you actually use them, it seems many of them are actually more trouble then they are worth. The Nouueau lugs were a prime example of this. They look great, the idea is great. But once I tried them on a bunch of kits, they made head changes a NIGHTMARE. Thatís another story though; we are talking about the Flying Dragons.

Ok, all the Dragons are built off the same structure, the only difference is the Drive system. Drive choice is all about feel so I cannot say which drive is "Better" then another. Its personal preference. I will say I thought their direct drive system did offer a little more power then Axis, but like the Axis, I hate the feel of direct drives in general. Then Double Chain version was very smooth and quiet.

Now here are the problems. Problem number one is another issue caused by Yamaha's excessive attempts at being overly innovative. They designed the pedal to able to store TOTALLY FLAT. They accomplish this by having two hex bolts on the bottom that you loosen with a supplied hex key and they you can slide the two bolts off the base and lay the pedal towers down allowing completely flat storage. The double pedal comes with a carry bag that is so small; customers don't believe it at first that the pedal will fit in it. But it does, and it does so well. While compact storage of anything is always a good thing, it shouldnít come at a cost for stability and reliability. But thatís what it does.

Those two hex bolts on the bottom of the pedal work their way loose pretty often. We had a total of about 5 Flying Dragons on the sales floor either on kits or on the pedal demo display boards and in the 7 months I was there I retightened ALL of them numerous times. When these bolts start to loosen, the entire upper portion of the pedal rocks back and forth. I don't think itís hard to imagine what a problem that can cause. When it first starts to loosen it not as noticeable when plying but when you watch someone using it you can see it rocking. Of course, the obvious response I got form people was "Well just tighten it more". Yes, tightening it more will keep it tighter longer, but you have steel screws screwing into aluminum castings. Itís not hard to strip those screws out. Aluminum stretches very easily. Even if you don't strip them, what happens over time is each time you tighten them you stretch the metal more and more so that each time you have to make it tighter to compensate for the threads stretching.

Normally in applications where you have steel bolts going into aluminum casting you would use lock washers to prevent loosening. Either "split" washers or "star" washers will do wonders to keep screws tight. But they add about 0.18 thickness to the bolt and need to be pressing against a flat surface. Longer protruding bolts is not acceptable since it would raise the pedal and you don't have a flat surface either since the bolts it uses are known as "Flathead" and actually recess into the pedals base to make it flat.

So, there really is no practical solution to the tightening issue. You have only two options. Frequent re-tightening at lower levels to prevent stretching but this will still allow you to collapse them for gigging. OR, using a product like Threadlocker Blue which will keep them tight and will eliminate the need to ever tighten them again. But, flattening the pedal for storage will not be possible anymore.

The next issue I have is the hoop attachment clamp. This is yet another example of Yamaha over innovating. Once again, something they tout as a unique feature only causes more problems. The clamp can be set to your bass drum hoop thickness using the supplied hex wrench and then had a lever you would lift to unlock. The idea was it would make removing and installing your pedal from the bass hoop fast-er then before. Ok then, here is my first issue. Anyone who has even used any DW, Iron Cobra or Eliminator knows how they use an offset wing nut type screw to tighten and loosen them right? You can tighten or loosen the pedal enough to remove or install it in 2 turns or less. Why Yamaha felt that it wasnít quick enough I don't know.

The problems begin with the tightness setting bolt. It can only be done with a special supplied hex key. This is the same key used to loosen the tower bolts. If you lose this key, it will be nearly impossible to adjust this clamp without using pliers since itís underneath the pedal board. I have never seen a store that stocks this wrench. We all know how it easy it is to lose small tools. Having a small tool required for critical adjustments that is unique is a BAD idea for a gigging drummer. Their is a clamp that holds the key on the pedal but we all know that only works if we as drummers in our haste remember to out it back. DW's 9000 series pedal also require a unique tool that is easily lost but unlike the Yamaha, you can use a normal Hex key in an emergency.

Back to the clamp. Once you tighten it to your bass drum hoops thickness, you lift the locking lever, slide the pedal onto the hoop and then press the lever down. This then clamps to your hoop and holds it in place. Here is where the NEXT set of problems begins. Anybody who has owned a wooden bass drum hooped kit knows that over time bass drum pedals crush the hoop and leave in indentation. You never realize that over time you have to tighten the clamp slightly more since you tighten with a wing nut. With a wing nut, you have total control over the tightness. With this clamp, the lever makes the clamp have only two settings, Clamped or Released. Similar to a pair of Vice Grip pliers. This ends up damaging the hoop faster then a normal bass drum pedal clamp and requires frequent adjustments to compensate for the crushed wood fibers.

Yet another problem with this clamp lies with this annoying tool operated adjustment for the drummer who gigs on different kits. Bass drum hoop thickness varies by brand, series, and how beaten up the hoop is. That means spending 5 minutes on every kit you get behind loosening or tightening the clamp ad test fitting it to get it just right. You HAVE to get it perfect or the pedal will come off while you are playing. In a gig, that means stopping and getting down on all fours and using the tool if you can find it to try and get it where you want it. I also find the pedal will release from the hoop on its own as the latch lifts up. It needs to be very tight.

The clamp issues are so bad that alone it would keep me from recommending this pedal to anyone except a drummer who wants this pedal for one kit only and will not be gigging it.

My last issue with them I have been told by Yamaha has been fixed so ill give them credit for that but ill mention the issue here so anyone who is looking at buying one used will know. The screw that holds the beater shaft in place will not tighten properly against the shaft due to manufacturing defect in the beater shaft memory lock. This hole was drilled slightly off axis and prohibits the beater shaft from locking in securely. We had beaters flying off all the pedals in the store. Guitar Center stopped buying them for about 4 months while Yamaha addressed the problem. It has since been fixed though.


Conclusions and Findings:

The "Unique" adjustment tool is a TERRIBLE invention for anything drum related due to the very nature of us drummers. The gigging drummer travels, sets up and tears down often and in almost all cases, this is happening at night in dark parking lots or on dark and/or poorly lit stages. Making specialized, difficult to access adjustment locations requiring any tool other then a standard drum key is poor planning. DW should note that as well for its 9000 series or pedals.

The "Fully Collapsible pedal" idea is nice, but not entirely necessary. Its problems FAR outweigh its advantages. Drums are big. No gigging drummer is so tight on space that a standard pedal case would be "Too much" to handle. While the design is very innovative, I feel it needs to be re-evaluated so that some type of locking system can be used to prevent loosening.

The Bass drum quick release clamp is this pedals biggest weakness. An entirely UNNESSECARY feature that makes setup more difficult, requires frequent re-adjustment, makes multi kit gigging time consuming and has the potential to release on its own unless made VERY tight, so tight it will cause hoop damage. If Yamaha would put a normal pedal clamp on its pedals or make this clamp an option instead of standard, I would re-consider recommending them. Otherwise, this pedal is just too trouble prone.


So, there are my personal opinions of the Flying Dragon series of pedals from Yamaha. I was able to work with many of them on many kits over a 7 month span. I didnít reach these conclusions based off what people told me or from one pedal. This was a fair and realistic evaluation.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2005, 02:14 AM
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Oneofakind
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Thats some good stuff drummer111... how the heck do you break a pedal's foot board???? That just seems incomprehesible to me. Wouldn't you mess up the chain or screw or something before? I would think that the footboard itself would be the hardest to break. DW should really consider using better and stronger quality materials.. but then to add to that.. how hard do you have to pound on the pedal to snap it in half?
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2005, 02:29 AM
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Hello,
I think those are some great pedals and all of them deserve merit. They're all very high end and I think you really can't go wrong if you're a user who takes drumming seriously.

Drummer111, I thought your reviews were good but most of it was just bashing on DW.. sure it has its faults but the other ones do as well and I don't think you covered the others one in detail enough to really come to a solid conclusion.

Also, I don't think the Yamaha deserves to be mentioned with the other more established pedals... but other than that I enjoyed your reviews... I've never seen a DW split in half before.. thanks for sharing
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2005, 01:39 PM
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full metal full metal is offline
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I have never seen the DW broken in half before but I have seen a pearl.

but I am disapointed to not see the ludwig speed king AKA squeek king

hahahaha just kiding

but that was my first pedal that I owned and it cam with my set and it was about 20 years older than me at the time.
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  #15  
Old 07-16-2005, 02:02 PM
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haha we've all had that first drum pedal that we've come to love... mine was the cb bass pedal that squeeked like crazy.. I have a premier right now but I'd love to have one of the high end ones as they do make a big difference in technique.. after playing on rigid pedals for a while, i'd FLY on a smooth one.. haha
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  #16  
Old 07-16-2005, 07:57 PM
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yea that really is how it is too. I played on that old a** pearl forever I mean like 14 years and then I got a new one not one of the great ones but better than what I had and it was moving faster than my feet could keep up with for a while and it was so cool to be able to play faster and i had been trying and working hard on speed for years.
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  #17  
Old 07-20-2005, 01:10 PM
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don't you think that's cheating though in a way.. cuz if you think about it.. the drumming greats of the past didn't have the technologies that we have today.. and look at the way they played.. they were as fast as anyone.. today everything is so much easier and you could probaly achieve the same speed with less practice and less chops because of the fast moving pedals and stuff.. so do we really deserve the credit.. maybe technology can be a bad thing as well.. bring back the crap pedals!! haha
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  #18  
Old 01-06-2006, 02:25 PM
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good discussion


Nice to hear all these different opinions.

I'm in the market for a new pedal (use an older DW now), and I hear all this and wonder if I need a pedal made out of aircraft alluminium?

And guys busting pedal boards - what's up with that?
Turn up the mike!
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  #19  
Old 01-06-2006, 02:29 PM
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Best Pedal Ever


the best footpedal ever . . . bar none . . is the ASBA Caroline. If you have never tried one, you are missing the most inspirational bass drum pedal ever made. From France, no longer made. They are super, super fast. Best of all you can mount them on the BD even in the dark if you have to as the mounting apparatus is controlled on the top of the pedal not under the footboard like the Slop King or any other company pedal. this pedal came to the U.S. around 1972 and since then many have copied it's best features except for the mounting methodology.
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2006, 02:58 PM
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Best Pedal Ever


the best footpedal ever . . . bar none . . is the ASBA Caroline. If you have never tried one, you are missing the most inspirational bass drum pedal ever made. From France, no longer made. They are super, super fast. Best of all you can mount them on the BD even in the dark if you have to as the mounting apparatus is controlled on the top of the pedal not under the footboard like the Slop King or any other company pedal. this pedal came to the U.S. around 1972 and since then many have copied it's best features except for the mounting methodology.
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