How Much Faster/Easier Is a Speed Cobra Bass Drum Pedal Really?

Old Drummer

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My Speed Cobra sits on a shelf while my $35
Strap drive Yamaha feels better .
Why are your preferring your cheap Yamaha to your Speed Cobra? This is a huge departure from the norm and I'd like to hear more of your reasoning. Thanks!
 

Ian S

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I'd hazard that no pedal will make you faster, but there are pedals (especially pedal setups) which will make you slower. I've been amazed at the difference just from subtle adjustments; rotating, raising or lowering the beater a tiny bit.

Here's a page with some info on setting up a pedal: https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/dialing-in-your-bass-drum-pedal/

When I was a "new kiddo", I had access to play for several hours on a friend of a friend's huge rock kit, and I remember being furious that I couldn't do a clean double stroke on the bass, in fact I had to use all my strength to make contact at all, so I sounded terrible and I thought I just had a really weak foot, but really it was just set up for that guy, who was close on 300 lbs.

Thank the goodness I played another kit shortly after and all was fine.

I haven't played a lot of pedals, but most have been fine, I've never had a big problem other than that one big dude's pedal. My current one is a Ddrum Quicksilver direct drive and it feels great.
 

Houndog

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Why are your preferring your cheap Yamaha to your Speed Cobra? This is a huge departure from the norm and I'd like to hear more of your reasoning. Thanks!
Well besides my SC , having a screw come loose twice that renders it unplayable mid song when it comes out to a certain point and another adjustment causing severe slop until I figured out where it had come loose .

I just find the cheapo to play better .

I also use a cheap Pearl double pedal on my open handed “ lefty “ kit .
 

drums1225

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I've owned many different pedals; Ludwig Speed King and Speed Master, old-school Tamas, DW, Yamaha, Pearl Eliminators... About 8 years ago, a teen-aged student brought his new Speed Cobra double pedal in to his lesson, to show me. At the time, I used Pearl Eliminators, and was perfectly content with them, and not looking to spend money on bass drum pedals. Upon playing the Speed Cobra, I was immediately super-impressed and had to have one. I began stalking eBay and Craigslist, because I'm allergic to paying retail, and initially picked up a double, and then over the years (as I gradually phased double bass completely out of my playing), 3 singles, to cover my 2 studio kits and my live kit.

Effortlessness is a main focus of mine, so I like my bass drum pedals to be quick and responsive with near-zero resistance on the way toward the head; my springs are one turn above wobbling. I absolutely love the feel and response of the Speed Cobra and I dig the extra length on the foot-board. The Cobra Coil (which I've seen people falsely call "marketing hype") is extremely useful to me, and is quite helpful in throwing the pedal back toward me without creating resistance on the way in.

I just could never get along with the Iron Cobras, which always felt too heavy under my foot, and more "power" oriented, but the Speed Cobras deliver on the speed/finesse/low dynamic side of things and, in the rare instance where I need extra power, I can just move back a little bit on the long-board. It's the perfect pedal for me. I've never had a single problem with anything loosening, breaking, or otherwise.
 
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Old Drummer

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The mix of comments incline me to revert to my original opinion, which is to pass on fancy pedals and stick with my low-end Yamaha. As long as my cheap pedal works for me, there doesn't appear to be much justification for spending (wasting?) money on another pedal. I'm not getting the sense that a more expensive pedal will compensate much for my tired foot. However, there are enough positive opinions about the Speed Cobra (and other fancy pedals) to incline me to keep by eye out for a used one. I won't search for one, but if I run across one for a good price, I'll buy it just to find out for myself if it helps or I like it better.

On a not altogether unrelated note, I'm honestly not sure what is meant by playing doubles on a bass drum. Am I right in thinking it basically means playing a couple quick 16th notes with your foot, almost like a bounce in a double-stroke roll with your hands? If so, out of curiosity, I tried it, and yes I can play bass drum doubles. I don't recall ever having a need to play them and suspect I'd have difficulties coordinating them with whatever my hands are doing, but simply playing a couple fast beats on the bass drum from time to time comes easily for me (with my cheap pedal).
 

Tornado

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On a not altogether unrelated note, I'm honestly not sure what is meant by playing doubles on a bass drum. Am I right in thinking it basically means playing a couple quick 16th notes with your foot, almost like a bounce in a double-stroke roll with your hands? If so, out of curiosity, I tried it, and yes I can play bass drum doubles. I don't recall ever having a need to play them and suspect I'd have difficulties coordinating them with whatever my hands are doing, but simply playing a couple fast beats on the bass drum from time to time comes easily for me (with my cheap pedal).
Yeah, that's the idea. The first thing most people think of is John Bonham's bass drum triplets in "Good Times Bad Times". There's several approaches to it, I've tried them all. Just have to find what works best for you.

All Yamaha pedals I've played are good enough, you're not missing out on much by not upgrading. I do think it's easier to get doubles happening on some pedals, but all pedals can do it with practice.
 

Ian S

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I don't recall ever having a need to play them and suspect I'd have difficulties coordinating them with whatever my hands are doing, but simply playing a couple fast beats on the bass drum from time to time comes easily for me (with my cheap pedal).
I'd agree that particularly if you don't need to play doubles or fast rebound strokes, then a fancy pedal is unnecessary. But, the feel of one can be a real treat and even if I didn't need to play the rebound much, I'd still really appreciate the feel of my newer pedal. Nothing wrong with my old one, but no going back after the upgrade.
 

michaelg

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I drop my heel when playing loud strokes and I've noticed that this movement feels better on some pedals to me.
Something to do with the footboard length and thickness of the heel plate.
 

clowndog

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The Speed Cobra 910 makes it easier to play faster for me. After years of several different DW models, I gambled with the Speed Cobra. It was an adjustment initially, as I didn’t need to play with as much tension in my leg and foot compared to the DW stuff. The volume of each note of my doubles is more consistent over extended playing because I’m more relaxed now.
 

Matched Gripper

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I've owned many different pedals; Ludwig Speed King and Speed Master, old-school Tamas, DW, Yamaha, Pearl Eliminators... About 8 years ago, a teen-aged student brought his new Speed Cobra double pedal in to his lesson, to show me. At the time, I used Pearl Eliminators, and was perfectly content with them, and not looking to spend money on bass drum pedals. Upon playing the Speed Cobra, I was immediately super-impressed and had to have one. I began stalking eBay and Craigslist, because I'm allergic to paying retail, and initially picked up a double, and then over the years (as I gradually phased double bass completely out of my playing), 3 singles, to cover my 2 studio kits and my live kit.

Effortlessness is a main focus of mine, so I like my bass drum pedals to be quick and responsive with near-zero resistance on the way toward the head; my springs are one turn above wobbling. I absolutely love the feel and response of the Speed Cobra and I dig the extra length on the foot-board. The Cobra Coil (which I've seen people falsely call "marketing hype") is extremely useful to me, and is quite helpful in throwing the pedal back toward me without creating resistance on the way in.

I just could never get along with the Iron Cobras, which always felt too heavy under my foot, and more "power" oriented, but the Speed Cobras deliver on the speed/finesse/low dynamic side of things and, in the rare instance where I need extra power, I can just move back a little bit on the long-board. It's the perfect pedal for me. I've never had a single problem with anything loosening, breaking, or otherwise.
I will say SC’s and even the Dyna-Sync direct drive feel great and is why I use them. Could I get by on another pedal? Sure.
I would think that the “Cobra Coil” would interfere with light feathering. No?
 

drums1225

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I would think that the “Cobra Coil” would interfere with light feathering. No?
Actually, the spring on the Cobra Coil is very light. It doesn't interfere with feathering at all, and really doesn't offer noticeable resistance on the way in; at least not the way I have it adjusted (it slides forward and backward on the baseplate). That said, there are lighter feeling pedals that a jazz player might prefer. I used to play a Ludwig Speed Master on my bop kit. The lightest/quickest pedal I've ever played, and I've owned it since I was 10 years old.
 

Matched Gripper

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Actually, the spring on the Cobra Coil is very light. It doesn't interfere with feathering at all, and really doesn't offer noticeable resistance on the way in; at least not the way I have it adjusted (it slides forward and backward on the baseplate). That said, there are lighter feeling pedals that a jazz player might prefer. I used to play a Ludwig Speed Master on my bop kit. The lightest/quickest pedal I've ever played, and I've owned it since I was 10 years old.
Actually, the spring on the Cobra Coil is very light. It doesn't interfere with feathering at all, and really doesn't offer noticeable resistance on the way in; at least not the way I have it adjusted (it slides forward and backward on the baseplate). That said, there are lighter feeling pedals that a jazz player might prefer. I used to play a Ludwig Speed Master on my bop kit. The lightest/quickest pedal I've ever played, and I've owned it since I was 10 years old.
Do you have any experience with the Axis pedal?
 

drums1225

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Do you have any experience with the Axis pedal?
Back in the mid-90's, the store where I was teaching had an Axis double pedal and I checked it out. I messed with it for about a half hour, but wasn't able to dial it in to my liking. It was clearly an exceptionally well designed and built pedal, and the price reflected it. Regardless of price, I just couldn't get comfortable with it, and when taking the prohibitive price into account, anything short of absolutely falling in love with it was a deal breaker.
 
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Matched Gripper

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Back in the mid-90's, the store where I was teaching had an Axis double pedal and I checked it out. I messed with it for about a half hour, but wasn't able to dial it in to my liking. It was clearly an exceptionally well built and designed pedal, and the price reflected it. Regardless of price, I just couldn't get comfortable with it, and when taking the prohibitive price into account, anything short of absolutely falling in love with it was a deal breaker.
It looks very well desgined and manufactured, as you say. But, it also looks like it wouldn't have much momentum in the beater motion, as if it were designed for big stompers, which I am not. But, just guessing really.
 

harry

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I play a SK as well (50 yrs) , the only pedal that doesn't kill my knee. I'm not exactly sure why buy It has to do with quick and smooth action while using very little spring tension (Thats the beauty of these). I've done the Iron Cobra. very smooth and well built machine, its super fast but it doesn't do the work for ya! Killed my knee. Too much spring tension needed for me.
Well said, JP...I have the the Tama IC pedal and it does take more effort than my SK’s. A pedal I really like is the Yamaha Flying Dragon pedal. It plays like the SK...it’s really smooth.
 


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