Sonor JoJo Mayer Perfect Balance Pedal Tested!
The pedal attaches to the bass drum in a similar fashion but in reverse, and it uses a novel self-clamping mechanism. Pushing the column forward when positioned on the hoop causes the pedal to self-mount and automatically grab your hoop. You’ll need to take a minute or two to set up the spacing for your particular hoop but once you do you’re good to go.
The pedal has a fairly large linear cam. Linear cams mirror your actions – what you give is what you get. This is different from many modern pedals that feature oblong cams that deliver a quick and powerful wallop followed by a somewhat lackadaisical return – exactly what Jojo was trying to avoid.
This pedal uses a strap similar to vintage pedals, but unlike the leather straps on vintage pedals this unit employs a ballistic fiber strap that should endure long after you pass the pedal onto your grandkids. If you desire a heavier feel it can be retrofitted with a chain.
The pedal has an elongated footboard so it should work well for drummers who employ heel-toe technique. I have a size 10 or 11 foot (it can’t make up its mind) and I was able to fit my foot on the footboard without rubbing against the strap. It has a normal-sized heel plate if you are a heels-down player.
The pedal felt very smooth but initially it seemed to have a very light action. I increased the spring tension and tried it out several times until it was maxed out and it still felt a bit light to me. I then adjusted the position of the bearing roller in the spring rocker, pulling it toward me until I found an action I’m more comfortable with. Then I was able to execute quick doubles and triple strokes.
I think jazz drummers will love the lighter action of this pedal while speed metal drummers used to heavy “maxed-out” springs may not be drawn to it as much.
This is certainly a high-quality, beautiful pedal with some well-thought-out features. However, I didn’t find the way it attaches to the hoop to offer an advantage over conventional pedals. The self-clamping mechanism works well, but if you play several different brands of drums, as I do, you’ll have to set up the clamp spacing for each hoop’s thickness, requiring another minute or two. Wing screw mechanisms are simpler since they automatically adjust to whatever hoop they’re on. You simply turn them until they’re tight.
Also, while the folding aspect of the pedal is ingenious, depressing the button isn’t easy if you don’t have very strong hands and fingers. I do, or thought I did until I repeatedly struggled to get my hand around the footboard and depress the button. I don’t require my pedal to fold up so that feature isn’t something I need or value. If it worked effortlessly then it might be a bonus, but since it takes a bit of effort I found it was ultimately not a major enhancement.
But nits aside, The Sonor Jojo Mayer Perfect Balance player is ideal for drummers looking for a beautiful, modern pedal with a vintage feel. The pedal offers some clever new features, is smooth to play, and it’s adjustable enough for most playing styles. Plus, with Sonor’s superb workmanship it should last several lifetimes.
Features Ballistic-fiber strap; large, linear cam; magnetic spring mount; mirror-finish footboard; includes single pedal, pedal bag, drum key, and Allen wrench.
List Price $410
Learn six ways to fine-tune the adjustments on your bass drum pedal here!