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The Drum Workshop 9000 series hardware is so great. Strong, solid, well-designed, easy to adjust… it rules. It’s absolutely my go-to for heavy duty hardware.

Pearl stands, on the other hand, are such a bummer. I’m using some on the backline kit at my gig today and it is seriously disappointing. I know I have my quirks and preferences as a player, and I’m also very accustomed to the DW stuff, but I don’t think the issues I’m having are simple lack of familiarity issues. I’ve never had as much trouble with hardware as I am with this (very expensive and “top of the line”) Pearl equipment today.

Specific disappointments:

– DW boom arms have separate wing nuts for rotation and extension, whereas Pearl’s only uses one wing nut for both. Is Pearl’s single joint approach more streamlined? Yes. Does this make it more convenient? Not at all. And as far as streamlining goes, the Pearl boom arms don’t retract into the lower tube level, so they’re cumbersome when positioned completely vertical. 

– Pearl hihat stands have an infinite spin on the top cymbal rod at the point where it attaches to the base of the stand, rather than threading into the socket and staying still once fully threaded.

– Pearl boom stands have the plastic sleeve attached to the top wing nut, so that if the wing nut is off then there’s no sleeve on the stand anymore. I like my cymbals to sway as much as possible when I’m playing, and I sometimes even take a cymbal off its stand entirely during a performance. So in order to play without the wing nuts tonight I had to wrap electrical tape around the top pin of the stand so my cymbals didn’t rub metal on metal.

To be fair though, I had a Pearl T-99 hihat stand back in high school that lasted me for a LONG time, and I’ve always loved it.

So much for my glowing review of the DW 7000 kick pedal. It cracked on me during a gig last weekend. To be fair, the pedal was 6 years old and I stomp the heck out of it, but still… I HATE IT when gear fails on me in the middle of a gig.

Just another reminder to always have back-ups… kick and snare mainly, because everything else either doesn’t REALLY matter or can be fixed with duck tape. For example, when this pedal broke, the top of the foot plate shot forward and punched a hole toward the bottom of the kick head… which I just patched with a bunch of duck tape and forgot about. I’m playing a different gig with it right now and it sounds great. But the pedal – I had to call a friend and get one in the middle of the gig or else we couldn’t have finished.

Moral of the story: Always bring a back-up kick pedal and snare to a gig.  Like I said, anything else that breaks can be fixed with duck tape or just avoided for the rest of the gig.  Kick and snare though… they gotta be there.

alloymountnuGary Gauger is the man responsible for the revolutionary drum mounting system known as RIMS.  Gary pioneered the first RIMS mounts right here in Minneapolis, back in the early 80’s.

Since then many other companies have offered variations on the RIMS system.  A couple years ago Keith Anderson (owner of Risen Drums) wrote an interesting article on Gauger’s website about potential problems with these imitation or “after market” RIMS-style mounts.  Check it out, it’s worth the read if you’re a drummer.

Here’s a random “head’s up.” The DW 7000 series kick pedals totally rule, but they have a significant design flaw that everyone should be aware of.

First of all, let me say that I own one of these pedals and I have used the model for years. I had a 7000 double pedal back in highschool, and I bought a single in college, and a couple years ago bought another single after a short stint experimenting with an Iron Cobra. Ultimately, I like the action and feel of the 7000 the most out of any other kick pedal (aside from an old Yamaha leather strap drive that I use for Jazz). The popular 5000 and 9000 series pedals cost way more, but those models offer very little improvement on the 7000, and are instead packed with frivolous and unnecessary add-ons. In fact, as the 5000 and 9000 models have undergone upgrades, the 7000 has typically replaced the old models (meaning, the 7000 that you buy today is the exact same pedal as the 5000 from a few years ago). So anyway, for those of you who wonder what kick pedal I use, I recommend the DW 7000, especially when you consider the price.

That being said, there has always been a huge design flaw in the model. It’s the placement of the bolt connecting the chain drive to the foot plate. The top of the bolt is recessed into the foot plate, and connects through to a bracket underneath that attaches with a nut on the other side. This bolt, for whatever reason, always breaks. I noticed this when I began to really kick hard (in college), and I found myself snapping the bolt about once every 3 months. I had to carry around extra bolts that I bought from the hardware store so I could fix my pedal whenever it broke (which sometimes happened during performances). It was so annoying that I switched to an Iron Cobra. When I had a litttle trouble with the Iron Cobra (several years later), I opted to sell it instead of fixing it and decided to buy another 7000, because I assumed DW would have fixed the problem. To my dismay, I opened the box and found the same design, and a packet of extra bolts! Obviously, DW was aware of the problem but chose to provide replacement parts instead of improving the design. Sure enough, the bolt broke in the middle of a gig two weeks later.

So, I fixed the design myself. I took the pedal to a sculptor friend of mine who drilled a bigger hole in the foot plate and the chain drive attachment. Then, he just put a thick, tempered bolt in place of the small stock bolt. It hasn’t broken since.

SUMMARY: For $100, the DW 7000 single is the best pedal out there, but if you get one make sure to do the tempered-bolt mod.

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