Gear Review – Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive
First things first. This review would not have been possible without the guys at Fork’s Drum Closet allowing me to occupy their practice room, tool around with a VERY expensive piece of equipment, and have access their wi-fi so I could do some background research on this pedal. They are supporting drummer-talk and the review monkey by allowing me review their gear so do me a favor and if my review is what convinces you to buy this pedal then give these guys your business. Tell em JABB from drummer-talk sent you, that way they know that they are benefiting from our relationship.
And now the review!
The bass-drum pedal market is a fairly slow one. Even with companies like Trick, Sleishman, Gibraltar, Vruk, Big-Dog, and Off-Set throwing their hats in the ring it still takes forever for produce new and innovative pedals. So when one of the big guys like Pearl put out a new pedal… it’s bound to make some waves in the drumming community. Pearl’s Demon Drive is one sexy piece of equipment, I mean, everything abut it screams fast. It is hands down the most aesthetically pleasing pedal on the market IMO. Then again it will spend most of it’s time under your foot so it’s not exactly going to be a crowd pleaser unless you can do something cool with it. Also if making it ugly would significantly drop the crazy high price then i’ll take the ugly pedal. Pearl seems to have decided that the interchangeable cam system that the previous Eliminator pedal was rocking has no place in the new design. The old chains and straps have given way to a direct drive system, which along with the bearings are what Pearl is touting as the reason for the new pedal smoothness and responsiveness. Trick has compression springs, DW 9000 has the free floating rotor, Giant Step has the rotating pendulum, and Demon Drive has Ninja bearings.
I must say that I’m very impressed with this pedal as a piece of equipment. One of the reasons is that it can go from a long board to a heel plate variety with a little work with the special drum key that comes with the pedal. I tested out a long board variety for this review. I messed around with the pedal enough to know that given the design I could change out footboard in ten minutes tops, even though I actually didn’t bother to do so. I can see from the design that this pedal can be converted from a single to a double if you have the extra piece so big points for that. The footboard itself has no rubber on it which is huge points in my book because I like to be able to slide my foot around when I play.
It does have something similar to what the previous Eliminator had which are the adjustable grip dots within the footboard itself. This time they are metal but they arn’t nearly as adjustable as the other eliminator. On the old Eliminator you could raise and lower the grips from max to min and everywhere in between. This one is a bit different. The dots are metal and they can either be in or out, nothing in between. When you remove the little Pearl logo plate from the footboard you see that there are about twice as many places for the dots then the amount of dots you have. If you can imagine a clock face then the dots normally go from about 4:00 to 8:00. You can move them from those positions to any of the other vacant holes for dots BUT they must all be together in a row or they won’t protrude from the Pearl logo plate.
The bottom of the baseplate is has lots of rubber on it but no spikes or velcro from what I could see. Tons and tons of places for screws on the bottom which is what holds everything together, nothing is welded down so everything can be removed which is great if you’re really anal about getting your gear clean. It’s also what makes it so easy to change the foot board out and convert it from a single to a double. The clamp mechanism is pretty standard, it has a coarse and a fine adjustment, nothing fancy but then again it’s just a hoop clamp.
The cam has two adjustments, one is for a longer stroke and one is for a shorter stroke. I didn’t have enough time to really figure out which of the two I preferred but no doubt that you will given enough time. The same thing goes for the beater holder, or cam shell as they call it. It has two positions, one for a longer stroke and one for a shorter stroke. In addition you can do the same thing you can do with every cam shell and rotate it so the beater is further or closer to the head. The cam shell has a nice additional feature in that it opens up like a mouth so the whole thing can be taken off and put back on in no time. The beater itself is a fancier version of the old white felt hockey puck on a stick design. As far as I can tell it’s just a pretty standard beater, maybe a little top heavy but that’s all I noticed. It does come with a counterweight incase you wanna adjust the weight behind your stroke.
I was tooling around with the double pedal and I can tell you that it feels the most like a double kick of any pedal i’ve ever put my foot on, and I’ve messed with almost every one of them. It’s smooth, fast, and expensive as the day is long. This thing is 650+ for a double and 320+ for a single so if you’re considering buying this thing then you’re pretty much game for any pedal on the market. It’s another addition to the Ã¼ber high-end market sector of bass-drum pedals. You might wanna wait till prices come down a tad before you go and buy this thing but there is no denying that this is one mean machine. In terms of quality it’s in the range where there will be serious debate about it’s merits vs (insert high-end pedal here) When I start rebuilding my kit this very well may be the pedal I buy, but if I already had an Axis or a DW 9000 I don’t think the quality alone would justify running out and buying it unless I was already looking a something new anyway.
Bottom line this is an excellent addition to the the market and hopefully it will force some of the guys like Tama & Yamaha to get moving on some new pedals for us. Nice job Pearl, now how bout a matching hi-hat stand to go with?
Jul 14, 2009 @ 17:25:21
Yamaha has already released new pedals at NAMM this year. I don’t think they are quite as nifty as the Demon Drive but they are very sleek and expensive. I don’t think they are for sale yet. Great review by the way JABB.
Jul 14, 2009 @ 17:32:34
Oooh, good catch there Nick. I’ll have to check that out.
Jul 15, 2009 @ 10:46:15
Nice work JABB. Have you seen the recent David Garibaldi DVD. “Breaking the Code”. I have just been through it and have found it to be pretty good. I would be interested in your thoughts. Hope you’re having a good summer….b-giest
Jul 15, 2009 @ 13:43:42
Breaking the code will be soon Geist.
I’ve got a Paul Wertico DVD and a Neil Peart DVD to do before that