Saving time and doing it in style was the theme at Ahead. The quick-release snare lugs introduced last year now come in a chic bullet shape.
With the introduction of the A21 Laser, Axis pedals get faster ... and faster ... and ...
At Axis, the extreme-metal set was drooling over the A21 Laser single and double pedals. Named for the 21 degree forward angle of the beater, the A21 transfers the downward force of your foot more directly into the bass drum instead of wasting it on excessive upward arc. The footboard’s reverse taper, getting wider toward the heel, offers increased surface area for migrating feet. The A21 also comes in a Derek Roddy signature edition featuring the EKIT, Axis’ 100 percent mechanical trigger system, eliminating false triggering and crosstalk. The baby’s-butt smoothness of both pedals lets you play comfortably barefooted, a habit of this speed-oriented group. A21 Laser double-pedal, $1,090.
Basix catered to contemporary tastes with the CNC-machined, brushed-metal look of its V4 and V6 hi-hat stands with grip-improving, mass-saving, look-enhancing holes in the pedal. The super-sturdy snare stand will anchor your buzz but good.
Ddrum gave its tom mount a makeover
Getting all stylized with suspension mounting systems is not typically something manufacturers do, but several Ddrum kits had sculpted off-shell tom brackets that evoke hot rod pinstriping.
A redesigned footboard for Dixon’s single and double pedals in the 700, 800, and 900 series looked awesome, as did the hi-hat pedal in the 900 series. These lines, including the entry-level 600 series, now get superior rubber feet, sturdier leg bracing, and more comfortable thumbscrew adjustors.
The 2000 series pedals are DW’s effort to get a piece of the entry-level market without skimping on the pro features. The 2000 single and 2002 double pedal get a single-chain accelerator cam, a 101 2-way beater, and stroke adjustment. The all-new 3000 series is a full-service line in standard medium weight with single and double pedals, straight, straight/boom, hi-hat and tom stands, and throne.
Shiny architecture stood tall at Gibraltar with the company’s Chrome Road series 4-Post curved rack featuring four 30"-high posts with “T-leg” feet, 46" front curved bar with two multiclamps and memory locks, and two right-angle clamps allowing the addition of two 36" wing racks at the same horizontal height as the front bar ($725). There was also a Chrome Road series 2-Post Power Rack with 24" curved wing extensions ($550). Gibraltar’s Ultra Adjust hi-hat stand — the one with that wicked double-ball-joint elbow mechanism for canting your hats at wild angles — now gets housing around the cable to prevent wear and tear. We also dug Gibraltar’s stool with tubular, bowed legs.
Gon Bops rethinks the conga stand, and wins
Call us old fogies, but one of the niftiest innovations at Gon Bops was the way its discreet wood feet for conga obviated the traditional basket. A lot of congueros play sitting down, you know. The non-slip rubber bases allow the drum to sing clearly and freely. Works with any Gon Bops conga.
The buzz in the pedal world was Mapex’s Falcon line. As soon as you step down on the footboard of either the single or double pedal versions, you notice a whole other degree of lightness. Although it’s a chain-driven pedal, the Falcon responds like a direct-drive — there is absolutely zero slop. The feathery feel is due largely to its hollow steel shaft, which reduces both mass and centrifugal force. Interchangeable cams (Glide; Power) let you customize feel. $329, single pedal; $649, double pedal. Mapex also added the lower-priced 500 hardware series, which includes single and double pedals, boom and straight stands, a hi-hat pedal, and snare stand. Also look for a new stand-mountable tom arm for Horizon and Voyager kits.
Meinl had a variety of welcome hardware solutions, including a reinforced samba strap, stands for everything from frame drum to hand cymbals, and coolest of all, the Low-Hat stand geared toward cajon players. Goes great with Meinl’s new 10" Candela hats. There were also stands for bongos, Hand-Bale, and chimes.
PDP’s 500 pedal is a wondrously striped thing
PDP’s new 500 pedal was a clean, elegant thing, with its horizontally grooved footplate inspired by auto racing pedals — but this isn’t about looks. The dual-chain drive, auxiliary side base plate, and offset cam are all about superior pedal-to-foot interface (available in the 502 double-pedal too).
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Roc-N-Soc reintroduced its original Charcoal Gray throne with blue logo in limited quantities, plus classy-looking new green and tan seat colors.
Shine’s shiny new Foundation series double pedal
Custom drum maker Shine rocked our world with its new Foundation series hardware. The centerpiece was the double pedal with tri-way beater, base-plate spurs, and gleaming white finish. (List price: $399).
Tama’s QC8 Quick-Set Cymbal Mate, introduced last summer, is now standard on all Road-Pro hardware. These easily graspable finger-and-thumb buttons actually make mid-gig cymbal swaps fun. Tama’s new MXA73 closed x-hat attachment is great for double-bass players with its quick-set tilter and precision tension-adjust knob.
It’s hard to get excited about stands in general, but Tycoon’s new and improved Memory Lock System looks plain fierce. Previously only available on double-conga and timbale stands, the system is being applied across all the company’s stands going forward at no additional cost.