Switching from Chain Drive pedals...

D. B. Cooper

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I'll begin my 20th year of drumming this year in November and I've only ever owned chain driven bass drum pedals... And all singles, too, come to think of it.

I'm wondering if any of you have ever made the switch from playing only chain to something else? If you have, what did you notice about your playing afterward? Did anything change? Like feel or speed?
What made you switch?

I'm puting together a practice set at my place and want to try something new when I buy the pedal.

Thanks.
 

Corsair

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I've tried direct drive pedals (Pearl Demon and Tama Dyna Sync) but ended up back to my old Iron Cobra chain drive.

The DD pedals were really well built and I did enjoy playing them but not as much as the chain drive.
 

DanRH

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With me, the Dyna-sync cured me of chain pedals. Not that I don’t love my Speed Cobras.
 

Seb77

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I don't think of chain vs. strap as the main difference between pedals. I changed from chain (Pearl 80s) to strap (Pearl Eliminator) to chain (Tama Camco) to strap (Sonor Perfect Balance). What made a real difference was the overall mass, and the resultant inertia/weight.
The Eliminator has a strap, but at the same time, it's the heaviest overall, which makes it difficult to play soft and fast. Both the Camco and the PB are what they are, maybe for their drives, but also for how all the parts work together. Would be interesting to try a Camco with a (circular) strap cam and a PB with a chain. I doubt it would make a big difference.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I don’t use chain drive pedals anymore . I use strep drive and direct drive pedals only . I like the smooth fluid feel of a strap drive for my Jazz gigs and the immediacy and quickness of the direct drive for Rock gigs .
 

equipmentdork

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I began with a strap-driven Pearl in the late 70s, then went from a Speed King to a DW5000 in the 80s. Now I'm onto a Yamaha 7210, but I have the old Pearl on my basement practice kit and it is just a joy to play, responsive and quick. I might have to take the Pepsi Challenge with my other pedals.


Dan
 

stevil

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I never cared for direct drive pedals until I tried the Tama Dyna Sync, which I LOVE. I'd previously owned a Trick and tried a friend's Axis. Neither of those felt powerful and I didn't care for the rebound. The Dyna just has guts and smoothness for days.

I'd love to hear feedback on the Dyna Sync from someone who's already a direct drive enthusiast to hear how it stacks up in the mind of someone more well informed. I wonder if I like the Dyna because it feels so much like a chain, but very smooth.
 

Joe A

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I'd played chain drives for years, beginning with an old CB one, then replacing that one with a second generation Iron Cobra that I figured would be my last pedal.

Then, I'd sit in on kits at friend's houses and stores with strap pedals on them. At first blush, I thought they were outmoded, even cheap, and then I realized I could instantly play figures that I couldn't with the chain...not so easily, anyway.

I sold the Iron Cobra and picked up a couple of simple Gibraltar strap drives. These were fine, but a bit light maybe, and the Kevlar strap on the round cam still left a bit to be desired. I then found an old Yamaha strap drive, much more weight to this one, a more flexible strap, and a slightly offset cam. I used this one for a while.

Then, earlier this year, I finally started getting a hold of old 5000-type strap drive pedals, DW and otherwise, with that nice "perfect square" shaped cam, like a nautilus. To me, the combination of this cam with a leather strap is sublime. Lost energy, yes, but I like the bounce that the pedal has when combined with a radius rod, the abrupt cam, and the slight flex of the leather. Nylon straps are fine in my book too, though.

I still keep a couple of chain pedals, though.
 

Old PIT Guy

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I thankfully never went down this rabbit hole. Chain, direct, whatever. I can't think of a better example for Indian and not arrow than what connects a pedal to the rod spinning the bearings. Has to be more beneficial to start with the toes and go up rather than down.
 

D. B. Cooper

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I thankfully never went down this rabbit hole. Chain, direct, whatever. I can't think of a better example for Indian and not arrow than what connects a pedal to the rod spinning the bearings. Has to be more beneficial to start with the toes and go up rather than down.
Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I have no idea what this paragraph means.
Could you rephrase?
 

D. B. Cooper

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I'd played chain drives for years, beginning with an old CB one, then replacing that one with a second generation Iron Cobra that I figured would be my last pedal.

Then, I'd sit in on kits at friend's houses and stores with strap pedals on them. At first blush, I thought they were outmoded, even cheap, and then I realized I could instantly play figures that I couldn't with the chain...not so easily, anyway.

I sold the Iron Cobra and picked up a couple of simple Gibraltar strap drives. These were fine, but a bit light maybe, and the Kevlar strap on the round cam still left a bit to be desired. I then found an old Yamaha strap drive, much more weight to this one, a more flexible strap, and a slightly offset cam. I used this one for a while.

Then, earlier this year, I finally started getting a hold of old 5000-type strap drive pedals, DW and otherwise, with that nice "perfect square" shaped cam, like a nautilus. To me, the combination of this cam with a leather strap is sublime. Lost energy, yes, but I like the bounce that the pedal has when combined with a radius rod, the abrupt cam, and the slight flex of the leather. Nylon straps are fine in my book too, though.

I still keep a couple of chain pedals, though.
Hmmm. I almost bought an older Yamaha strap drive, but hesitated.
I've liked the feel of DW's pedals all along. I should just get another one. Maybe a 5000 w/ a strap? So, at some point DW switched the cam on 5000's? What should I be looking for if I wanted to get one of those with that cam you mention?
 

cplueard

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Hmmm. I almost bought an older Yamaha strap drive, but hesitated.
I've liked the feel of DW's pedals all along. I should just get another one. Maybe a 5000 w/ a strap? So, at some point DW switched the cam on 5000's? What should I be looking for if I wanted to get one of those with that cam you mention?
I personally really like strap and adjust my DW 9000's to strap as well. Just feels like the throw gets a little nicer to me over chain.
 

Old PIT Guy

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I thankfully never went down this rabbit hole. Chain, direct, whatever. I can't think of a better example for Indian and not arrow than what connects a pedal to the rod spinning the bearings. Has to be more beneficial to start with the toes and go up rather than down.
Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I have no idea what this paragraph means.
Could you rephrase?
Sure. I never gave much thought to chasing pedals to improve my playing. Whatever the linkage is, chain, direct, whatever. I can't think of a better example of it's the player and not the gear than whatever it is that sits between the pedalboard and the rod between the bearings that holds the cam that holds the beater. If you want better feet, work with your feet, not your wallet.
 

D. B. Cooper

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Sure. I never gave much thought to chasing pedals to improve my playing. Whatever the linkage is, chain, direct, whatever. I can't think of a better example of it's the player and not the gear than whatever it is that sits between the pedalboard and the rod between the bearings that holds the cam that holds the beater. If you want better feet, work with your feet, not your wallet.
Ok sweet. Yeah. I get it.
 

hsosdrum

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Sure. I never gave much thought to chasing pedals to improve my playing. Whatever the linkage is, chain, direct, whatever. I can't think of a better example of it's the player and not the gear than whatever it is that sits between the pedalboard and the rod between the bearings that holds the cam that holds the beater. If you want better feet, work with your feet, not your wallet.
While it is true that "If you want better feet, work with your feet", the pedal is an extension of your foot, and different pedal designs will absolutely make it easier or harder for you to get your foot to successfully do what you want it to. Choosing the right pedal can make the work you put into improving your foot technique pay-off much more quickly.

I've used at least a dozen different pedals since I got my first drumset in 1965, and each time I switched to pedals that better fit how I use my feet I quickly experienced an improvement in how successfully I was able to execute with my feet. The biggest difference came in 2013 when I switched from DW5000s to DW9000s — I was instantly able to execute things that had been impossible for me a day earlier on the 5000s.

I used strap-drive pedals until 1990, but I never found a strap material that didn't eventually stretch to the point where the footboard began contacting the pedal frame at the same time (or even before) the beater contacted the head, requiring replacement. I've also had straps break on me while performing live on stage, which stops the show if you're a single-bass drum player (I use two, so I was able to adjust until the next set break). Although I like the smooth feel of strap drive, my past experience with stretching and breaking makes it a deal-breaker, and since I don't at all like the feel of direct-drive, I'm firmly in the chain-drive camp.
 

lamartee

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I went through 2 Speed Kings over the last 40+ years. Picked up a Yamaha FP9410 direct drive several years ago years ago and love it! When you put your foot down, you put your foot down! (For whatever its worth, good or bad, I'm a big fan of burying the beater. (Hey watch your comments:icon_e_wink:)
 

5 Style

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Right now, I have a Iron Cobra (chain drive) and a Axis direct drive pedal (as well as an old Tama/Camco for backup). Both pedals are fine, but I like the feel of the iron Cobra more and I think that it has everything to do with the fact that it's heavier and has more omph rather than the fact that it's chain drive. I like the Axis when I'm playing stuff like jazz, where here and there I have to play a bossa nova, nova boom--boom, boom repetitive type pattern that needs to be very light and laid back and I find that the this lighter pedal allows me to do that with less fatigue. It isn't as good though for pounding out fast doubles. I used to have a strap drive (don't even remember the brand, but it was a decent one) and I didn't like that the strap would wear out and I'd have to replace the thing. I didn't find the feel so much differnt than a chain... The chain is more reliable and some of them, at least my Iron Cobra are really quiet too...
 
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