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My friend Matt Patrick has a very cool studio in South Minneapolis called Two Pillars, and I’m there today doing a session for the new Elizabeth Hunnicutt record. Tyler Burkum on guitar and Aaron Fabrinni on bass are also playing, which is cool because most of the sessions I do are drums only (recording by myself along with scratch tracks). There’s obviously more fertile ground for creativity when musicians are playing live along with each other. I think the stuff we’ve come up with so far is pretty cool.

For those of you paying attention, that snare in the pic is the same WFL snare from the Pachyderm pics a few months ago. Man, these days I am really liking that thing. In other gear geekness, I’ve been using this 20″ K Custom Dry Light ride as a crash. It has a really fat but short sound, and the compressed room mics make it sound very cool.

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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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