New Gear 2009: Hardware Part II

By DRUM! Staff Originally published in DRUM! Magazine's 2009 Trade Show New Products Report

The DRUM! crew hit the 2009 NAMM trade show with a full complement of photographers, video gear and extra freelance writers designed to help us cover every single new product our readers might see in the coming year. At the end of it all, we had amassed specs and info on more than 450 products. Here's part II of our hardware report. Look for related stories on drum sets, hand drums, sticks, cymbals, accessories, electronics...well, you get the idea.

Peace

Peace’s 500 series hardware has graduated to the slightly heavier-duty 600 series.

Percussion Kinetics

The footboard on conventional bass drum pedals is typically set at a 90-degree angle from the bass batter head, forcing the drummer to sit at a slight angle toward the hi-hat pedal and away from the floor tom. But Percussion Kinetics has found a unique solution with its new Vector pedal. Slots on its base plate and driveshaft allow the user to angle the pedalboard to the right and shift the hoop clamp to the left. This moves the entire pedal chassis and footboard into a more comfortable playing position, while making it easier to reach the floor tom. In addition, the beater hub can slide to the far left side of the driveshaft, allowing the beater ball to strike the center of the head. And it’s all done with mere drum key adjustments. Looks like the Vector’s only for righties so far, but its engineering shows promise.

Stagg

Stagg’s cymbal stands now feature rubber gaskets instead of felts. Comfortable big-grip thumbscrews make quick work of cymbal changes.

Tama

All of Tama’s Iron Cobra pedals are now outfitted with a Cobra Coil — a tensile spring between the footplate and base that aims to improve consistency and feel ($254.99 single pedal; $579.99 double pedal). As for thrones, Tama’s 1st Chair Hydraulix has improved height adjustment and comfort (Ergo-Rider Hydraulix, $265.99; Round-Rider Hydraulix, $249.99).

Taye

Considering the XP-1 pedal took home the Best In Show award at the 2007 NAMM show, Taye had some big shoes to fill coming up with any new pedal designs — its own. But this year the company unveiled a new PSK701C bass drum pedal that features an upgraded spring assembly, easier beater adjustability, and added texture coating to the frames to make them more durable.

The BS5200 upgraded hideaway boom cymbal stand allows you to set it up as either a straight or boom cymbal stand while keeping the look of your hardware as streamlined as possible.

Trick

The Dominator pedal was last year’s follow-up to 2007’s Pro-1V pedal, and it was intended for a mid-price consumer field. It has been updated for 2009 with a few new bells and whistles: Instead of a slide-adjustment, the Dominator now features a fixed static clamp. Other features are a two-piece post-holding beater assembly that helps reduce cost without sacrificing quality, a wheel-shaped beater machined out of solid aluminum, and a new slave assembly that makes it easy to combine two single pedals, including a Pro-1V and a Dominator. Available in one-piece longboard design only.

WackMaster

WackMaster tackles the age-old problem of double-bass players having to take their feet off the pedals in order to get a variety of closed hi-hat sounds. By replacing the upper tube of your hi-hat stand with the WM-3, you can adjust the degree of contact between your hi-hat cymbals with the flick of a wrist, allowing you to continue playing unhindered double-bass patterns. (The WM-3 fits to both 0.875" and 1" stands.) Or go entirely hands-free with the PL-1, a foot-operated mechanism that lets you move freely back and forth between open and closed hi-hat sounds with variable tension.

Yamaha

Redesigned aspects of Yamaha’s 800, 900, and 1200 series hardware surfaced at this year’s NAMM, with one of them being the Step-Free Infinite Tilter for the 800 and 900 series.

Yamaha’s boom tilter mechanism now features an updated open clipping method for securing the boom arm quickly and securely.

The 900 snare drum stand lost an arm — dropping from four arms to three in the basket. It also now features stiletto-action spikes that protrude and retract from the feet with push-button ease, and an Infinite Tilter, which you can purchase separately to make the new series compatible with a range of older bases and other hardware additions. A redesigned Ball Clamp on the SS950 snare stand allows for quick, infinite angle adjustment and lower bottom height setting, lowering your snare 2" closer to the floor.

Yamaha proudly claimed its new toggle-drive hi-hat pedals result in smoother action. The stands are available in both a three-legged design with toggle and a two-legged design with no toggle. A new wider footboard design also updates the look and feel of the pedals, while new clutches that tighten on both the top and the bottom allow for more precise adjustability of the cymbals. Spring tension adjustment on the 1200 series is made easier with a new extra-large dial with tension indicator located at the base. Each hi-hat pedal assembly comes with two interchangeable upper pull rods depending on if you prefer a hi-hat or a low-hat.

Reversible cymbal holders — felt on one side, rubber on the other, and auto-locking angle-adjustment screw prevents loosening during play.

Continuing its aggressive hardware revamping efforts, Yamaha turned its attention to bass drum pedals, where both the 8500 and 9500 series got the redesign treatment, with both getting wider footboards. The 8500 now comes with a rubber nylon sleeve on the radius rods, while 9500 series double pedals can be ordered with either a double-chain, direct drive, or belt options, as well as two new footboard lengths and linkage types. The beaters in the 9500 series are also now double-sided, with felt on one side and plastic on the other. Each pedal comes with its own transport bag.

If you liked the Absolute line’s Nouveau lug — or even if you didn’t — you’ll love the new Hook Lug, which, because of it’s angular, interlocking parts, ensures the tension rod sits exactly perpendicular to the hoop, while still facilitating the popular quick head replacement feature. It’s the definition of foolproof.

The Y.E.S.S. II-m mount, adapted from the Phoenix line, is an upgrade of the traditional Y.E.S.S. mount. Yamaha claims it minimizes interference with shell response and eliminates unwanted rumble with a variable number of rubber spacer support points that change depending on tom size.

The new steel Hexrack System is hit with a textured finish Yamaha calls “blast-processing” to resist scratches and fingerprints.