Written By Gene Okamoto, Pearl Drums & Percussion Product Manager
I’m probably the luckiest person at Pearl—the one who gets to test the new “toys,” like Pearl’s Eliminator Demon Drive pedal. When the first Demon Drive arrived I was anxious to check it out. Would it meet the smoothness/speed specifications and were the adjustments effective and easy to understand without being a “rocket scientist”? The results were a resounding YES!
Speed and smoothness were at the top of our wish list and Pearl engineers nailed them by employing super-smooth, long-spinning NiNjA skateboard bearings on the main axles. A set of NiNjA bearings for a skateboard costs about $130 in Japan and the Demon Drive uses six of them on the double pedal and two on the single. They make the Demon Drive wickedly fast and amazingly smooth and you can tell the difference compared to normal bearings the moment you begin playing.
Links your mind to your foot
The Demon Drive features our Direct Link, a solid linkage that connects the footboard to the beater in a one-to-one relationship with absolutely no play. It links your mind to your foot so what you think, it plays. In fact, it’s so sensitive that you can wiggle your toes and the pedal will respond. And speaking of response, the Demon Drive Double Pedal features our Z-Link drive shaft with zero-latency universal joints. They too are wickedly fast and they make your secondary pedal respond as quickly and smoothly as the primary pedal. Again, what you think, it plays … instantly.
Everyone wants a pedal that adjusts to his/her style but no one should have to own an engineering degree to figure it out. The Demon Drive is designed to be versatile and adjustable with three simple yet significant adjustments, each with two easy-to-understand settings to get you playing right away.
Short or long board—it’s your choice
The Demon Drive is the only pedal in the world that features a convertible short/long footboard, the Duo Deck. Out of the box, it is configured as a short board. But by removing six screws and rearranging the heel and hinge, it converts to a long board. It’s like getting two pedals for the price of one. If you currently play a short board but are curious if a long board might be more your style, now you can find out. You can always go back to a short board anytime you want.
The Direct Link can be set in one of two positions: a forward position for a lighter feel and a rear position for a heavier feel. For those familiar with the Pearl Eliminator pedal, the forward position is similar to the White cam and the rear position is similar to the Black cam. A spherical bearing at the top self-aligns and keeps the Direct Link pulling straight as an arrow regardless of the side-to-side movement of the footboard during playing. Speaking of bearings, including the NiNjA bearings mentioned above, the double Demon Drive features 16 bearings and the single has seven.
The footboard features our traction plate with a smooth side and a gripper side. By loosening a screw on the underside of the footboard, the traction plate can be rotated 360° so you can select where you want your foot to slide and where you want it to grip. If you want more grip, the rubber traction dots (NP-283N/7) from our Eliminator pedal fit the Demon Drive perfectly and can be purchased separately. In addition, the traction plate has a raised convex profile that provides an “uphill” surface for your foot to dig into for more power.
Adjust from power to finesse
The Demon Drive is also the only pedal in the world that features a beater stroke adjustment allowing the entire beater holder to be moved closer to the head for a shorter stroke or away from the head for a longer stroke. Using a golfing analogy, the shorter stroke is akin to making a putt where a delicate touch and finesse is needed. We therefore call the closer-to-the-head position the FINESSE setting. When the beater holder is further from the head and the stroke is longer, this is akin to a power stroke in golf. We call this the POWER position. The angle of the beater holder is also infinitely adjustable and independent of the footboard angle regardless of the beater holder position.
The Demon Drive has five patent-pending features including the Click Lock, our click-to-set spring tension keeper and our Control Core beaters with an elastomer insert that absorbs shock—especially beneficial when hitting harder surfaces such as electronic pads.
The hoop clamp features spherical rubber grippers that hold securely without marring the finish of your hoops. But more important, they allow the front of the bass drum to be tilted up while still keeping the pedal flat on the floor with no stress to the hoop.
For those who play a variety of gigs that require different pedal settings, the Demon Drive features index marks for the spring tension, the infinitely adjustable footboard angle and beater angles, and beater length so you can restore your favorite settings without guesswork.
Finally, the Demon Drive comes with a padded carrying bag with distinctive orange piping, a tube of NiNjA bearing lube to keep your pedal performing like new, and hook-and-loop strips that stick to the bottom of the pedal to keep it from slipping on carpeted surfaces.
So there you have it. The Demon Drive is the fastest, smoothest, and most versatile pedal in Pearl’s history. The NiNjA bearings, Direct Link direct drive, and Z-Link zero latency universal joints make the Demon Drive wickedly fast. The Duo Deck, the light/heavy Direct Link adjustment, and the FINESSE/POWER beater stroke adjustments assure that you’ll find the “heavenly feel” that’s right for your playing style. The Demon Drive—get yours now!