DW 5000 Single Chain - Is it just me? (Long)

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
I started on a Ludwig Speed King in the mid 70s, and it took some getting used to the action of the DW5000 when I got one 13 years later in the early 80s. It was a single pedal, and had a single chain because that's all there was.

That pedal never needed any maintenance even after gigging all over Hawaii, including salty, open-air sea cruises, all the way to New York, and back to California. I can't believe I played the same pedal for 30 years without one problem. Maybe it's because I play mostly heel-down, I don't know. But, I also played more gigs than I can count, from club to concert venues, across a variety of styles from jazz to pop to rock to country to punk (when it was the real punk), so it's not like I babied the pedal, or anything. I even remember once flying to a gig with no cases for my drums, and my hardware in a duffle bag!

Over the years, I saw new pedals with new technology hit the market, and although there was nothing wrong with my pedal, I finally thought I might be happy with a new one, and recently decided it was time for a change. I had always wanted to try my hand at a double pedal, so it seemed like the perfect excuse to get a new pedal. Due to the zero maintenance of that original DW pedal, I decided to stay with DW, and bought the newer double-chain 5002 Accelerator model.

Excited to finally play something new, without a second thought, I brought my new pedals to a rehearsal. Imagine my disappointment to barely be able to get any bouncing eighths on the primary pedal, let alone 16ths. Throughout that rehearsal I kept holding things up by tweaking all the settings, to no avail. I got through the rehearsal by using the slave to help provide pseudo doubles and triplets.

Knowing that the action of the new model might take some time getting used to, over the next month I tried to get used to it, as well as continued trying all kinds of adjustments. In the end I gave up trying to get that new pedal to feel good.

The double pedal aspect was still intriguing, so I went on eBay to see if there might be an older single-chain double around. Lo and behold, someone was selling a REALLY old unit they found on a shelf in their store that had been used as a floor demo decades earlier. It appeared to be from exactly the same line as my original, except in a double pedal version. To give you an idea how old this model is, like my original pedal, these pedals have a significantly smaller footprint than the new one I previously bought, the slave has two posts, and the heel plates are small and rounded, and have a very low-profile. No one seemed to be bidding on the dinosaur, so I ended up the high bidder at $50!

When the pedals arrived, they really were like new. I promptly put them on my kit, and they played perfectly without any adjustments on my part, at all! I immediately sold the new double-chain model on eBay for nearly what I paid for it.

I can't believe the single-chain model feels so good compared to that double-chain model. And, I never noticed until after I had tried the new model, but I love how small and low the heel plate is; I can actually slide my foot back and play it with my heel literally on the ground, which I do for some techniques. I don't have a particular large foot, either, at size 10.5. I also like how the smaller footboard seems feather-light.

I'm curious to know if anyone else prefers the single-chain over the double-chain model.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm curious to know if anyone else prefers the single-chain over the double-chain model.

My limited understanding is that the 5000's come in semi-linear and non-linear (accelerator) cam varieties. The linear variety will feel closer to a speed-king. The 'accelerator' that I tried gave me a lot of velocity and a really fast heel-up double, though I had difficulty performing straight 16th on it because the recoil was so radically different than the 5000 (double chain) non-accelerator that I use at home.

Perhaps that is what you were noticing?
 
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TColumbia37

Silver Member
I'm curious to know if anyone else prefers the single-chain over the double-chain model.

I have played just about every type of pedal out there. I started with a cheap Dixon pedal, moved to an equivalent "Blackhawk" (Gretsch cheap-o), got a dual chain DW5000, then to a DW9000, and until recently I was playing an Iron Cobra PowerGlide. In addition, I've tried out and played on various pedals at shops and at friends' places, etc.

I recently tried out a Pearl Demonator (simplified, single chain version of Demon Drive), and fell in love with it. I bought it that day at GC and I haven't used any other pedal since. It's really smooth and responsive (more so than any other pedal I've played, including Demon Drives), AND the long footboard feels great for heel-toe playing.

One lesson I've learned is that it's not always about what's the newest, most expensive, 'nicest' thing out there. When I look for gear now, I look for simplicity and function.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
I have both single and double chain DW5000 pedals; the single chain feels "lighter" in a strange way. I do believe though that your dilemma is probably caused by the different cam design that Kamak spoke of. Also the newer pedals have better bearings and parts, and trying to dial in a new pedal to match your old will take some doin'.

I've been playing the DW5000 since 1985, they're just amazing.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
The problems you experienced, as already noted, were from two sources:

1. The Accelerator cam profile. It does indeed accelerate the speed of the pedal - but at a cost: effort/energy.

2. As Bill Ray said, I can't put it into words, but the double chain pedals do feel different from single chains. They feel heavier and less sensitive.

With fifty years of drumming under my belt, I've reached the same conclusion as you. I currently play a single chain DW5000 or a new single chain Pearl of some model or the other. Before that I had settled on a single chain Iron Cobra, and before that a simple little Camco - which remains my favorite of them all. I, too, started drumming on a squeaky Speed King some time in the mid-sixties.

GeeDeeEmm
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
I am aware of the differences between a Turbo, which is what I had, and now also have again in a double, and the new Accelerator I bought. So, that should have just been a matter of adjusting to the different cam action. What I was referring to in my post was that no matter how much time I gave it, and all the adjustments I made, it just didn't feel like I had all that much control of the pedal. I don't know how to explain it, but it almost felt as if I HAD to play heel-up, which in itself does not afford as much dynamic control as heel-down. The older single-chain model seems to be more suited to a variety of playing techniques, and before I tried the new model I never paid much attention to what technique(s) I use. That experience taught me that without consciously thinking about it I regularly use a combination of techniques, including heel-down, heel-up and rolling heel-toe, with heel-down being the most used.

As one person said above, I guess sometimes it doesn't matter how new, feature-rich, or expensive something is. It doesn't necessarily mean it is better. That said, it's not like I can't sit behind any kit and pedal and play well. I can indeed sit behind anything and play, as over the years I've sat-in with many, many bands in a wide variety of venues, and can pretty much adjust to whatever setup is there. I hear people complain about the problems they encountered when they sat behind someone else's kit that prevented them from playing well, but to me that just means they're just not quite yet ready for prime-time. For example, I've found that the best thing to do when initially starting to play on strange equipment is to start with the basics (get back to your roots), then progress from there. Not only does that enable you to adjust somewhat to the equipment, that progression creates the perfect opportunity to demonstrate dynamics, which makes you sound even better as a tune goes on. But, when it comes to my own equipment, I guess I just prefer a certain quality and feel, and perhaps this is one of those cases in which simple is better. And, I was simply wondering if anyone else out there discovered the same thing.

Good thoughts on this thread, thus far. ;-)
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Man, I hate how these different cams throw monkey wrenches in things. I first learned on and old 5000, round cam. Then without even knowing there was a difference, bought a iron cobra that had a longer cam design, I think they call it "power glide" in the tama world.

I'm "used" to both of them, I guess. The weird part is that for me, some things are easier/sound better with one cam, and other things are easier with the other. I can never make up my mind. Lately, though, I've been of the mind that perhaps the normal old round 1-to-1 ratio cam is probably the more "flexible" of the two for all around use, and responsiveness.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I don't know how to explain it, but it almost felt as if I HAD to play heel-up, which in itself does not afford as much dynamic control as heel-down.

Indeed it is hard to describe. For me, it felt as if the rebound (the return velocity) was disproportionately slower than the velocity of the beater going into the drum. This meant that I had to heel-up as all doubles were short stroked because the beater hadn't returned back at the rate I expected. Like dribbling a flat basket ball.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Man, I hate how these different cams throw monkey wrenches in things. I first learned on and old 5000, round cam. Then without even knowing there was a difference, bought a iron cobra that had a longer cam design, I think they call it "power glide" in the tama world.

I'm "used" to both of them, I guess. The weird part is that for me, some things are easier/sound better with one cam, and other things are easier with the other. I can never make up my mind. Lately, though, I've been of the mind that perhaps the normal old round 1-to-1 ratio cam is probably the more "flexible" of the two for all around use, and responsiveness.
Yes, I agree, the round, linear, Turbo cam seems to be more... well... more well-rounded. :)
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Indeed it is hard to describe. For me, it felt as if the rebound (the return velocity) was disproportionately slower than the velocity of the beater going into the drum. This meant that I had to heel-up as all doubles were short stroked because the beater hadn't returned back at the rate I expected. Like dribbling a flat basket ball.
Doesn't seem like it was very difficult for you to describe, 'cause your description was perfect! In fact, that's exactly what it felt like when I first tried to do a double-stroke. My foot was doing the second stroke, but the pedal was still not back up yet. When attempting a fast triplet, the pedal still in the down position. I actually thought there was something wrong with the pedal.

One of the things I love about this old single-chain Turbo is being able to use the rebound action to assist with strokes. To continue the analogy sticking with your metaphor, it's like bouncing a properly inflated basketball and using the inertia of the bounce to quickly deliver a pass to another player with more velocity. This is something that was sorely lacking with the double-chain Accelerator.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I've owned and played the original DW5000 (got mine back in 1983), and for some reason, I had no problem getting into the newer heavier 5000 Accelerator. Yes, it's heavier, but it's not like I couldn't play it.

Perhaps it's because I spent some time with it first and didn't just show up with it at a rehearsal? Every pedal I've tried, I spent at least a day with it alone to see how I'd like it and get some adjustments in. But I've also showed up on gigs where stuff was provided and sounded like me as well. Maybe it's just me?
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Like I said in an above post, like you, when push comes to shove I can make do on just about anything, but I guess my expectations of newer technology might have been a bit high, in that I fully expected that pedal to perform like it was light years ahead of what I had been playing for 30 years, Accelerator cam, or not.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
but I guess my expectations of newer technology might have been a bit high, in that I fully expected that pedal to perform like it was light years ahead of what I had been playing for 30 years

It may be a genre thing. While I struggled with 16th notes, 32nd note doubles and triples became much easier as I simply had to feather lightly. The pedal did all the work. I wis ripping 'em with more accuracy and conviction than I do the day after I eat at Chipotle.
 

Mendozart

Platinum Member
I've played single chain accelerator 5000's and 5002's for years. When I picked up a 9002, I just set it up like an accelerator, and no problems at all.

But, since picking up a Perfect a Balance pedal, my DW pedals have been relocated to back up duties. ;-)
 

markiet1966

Senior Member
Interestingly I read an article recently (might have been in Modern Drummer) on bass drum pedals, one of the DW artist relation guys was saying that they custom produce single chain versions of the 5000 for several of their endorsees as they prefer them to the double chain version.

Mark
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Interestingly I read an article recently (might have been in Modern Drummer) on bass drum pedals, one of the DW artist relation guys was saying that they custom produce single chain versions of the 5000 for several of their endorsees as they prefer them to the double chain version.

Mark


DW should make single chains an option for all. Double chains are simply a play on peoples minds, nothing to do with reality other than increasing weight and adding friction which affect 'feel' albeit subjectively.

Nobodies ever broken a single chain that Im aware of.


Same retail price, less production costs= more profit.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Not to muddy the water here, but I switched from double chain DW pedals to a strap driven DW 5000 pedal (purchased a 2000 strap model in like new condition with virtually no use) and I don't think I'll ever go back to a chain bass drum pedal again.

The feel of the strap pedal I have falls somewhere between a chain and a direct drive. Super smooth.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Strap drive might be something I would like. Looks like there is only one model of strap cam; not like with chain sprocket cams that come in Turbo and Accelerator. Is the action linear like the Turbo cam, or non-linear like the Accelerator? The strap cams are quite reasonably priced and I already have straps from a 9002. I wonder if the strap cam can be used to retrofit my 5002. Is the strap as durable as a single chain? Is the attachment point where the chain is screwed onto the footboard the same for the strap? I wonder how difficult it might be to swap cams. Anyone who's disassembled their pedal have any comments on this? Does anyone know if this will even work?

Looks like I just stepped into the "muddy water." Thanks a lot for complicating my life even more, Vintage Old School! :)
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Looks like I just stepped into the "muddy water." Thanks a lot for complicating my life even more, Vintage Old School! :)

Hey, I'm just here to serve.
 

FreDrummer

Silver Member
Strap drive might be something I would like. Looks like there is only one model of strap cam; not like with chain sprocket cams that come in Turbo and Accelerator. Is the action linear like the Turbo cam, or non-linear like the Accelerator? The strap cams are quite reasonably priced and I already have straps from a 9002. I wonder if the strap cam can be used to retrofit my 5002. Is the strap as durable as a single chain? Is the attachment point where the chain is screwed onto the footboard the same for the strap? I wonder how difficult it might be to swap cams. Anyone who's disassembled their pedal have any comments on this? Does anyone know if this will even work?

Looks like I just stepped into the "muddy water." Thanks a lot for complicating my life even more, Vintage Old School! :)

Despite already owning an Iron Cobra, Speed Cobra, and a Gibraltar G-Class, with all the talk of about the older, single-chain DW5000's, I really wanted to check one out. I picked up an 80's version for $50. I can see what everyone likes about them.

In the one month I've owned it, I've probably had it apart 10-15 times. First, to clean and lube the bearings, then to experiment with beater angles. Mine has the linear chain cam, but I wanted to experiment with the strap drive, which has an accelerator-type cam. In my experimentation, I can now swap out between the strap system or chain system in about 10 minutes -- it's really easy.

As for the "nuts and bolts" of it:
-- As you pointed out, the strap cams are only about $12. It comes with the drum-key set-screw to fasten the strap (I added a washer to give it a little more surface area). The strap cam fastens to the hexagonal shaft with an allen set screw.
-- I bought the Gibraltar Kevlar strap (about $10). I don't think this thing will give out anytime soon. The Gibraltar strap is slightly too wide to fit the DW channels on both the cam and footboard -- but it was relatively easy to trim down with a sharp pair of scissors.
-- Screw and nut that attaches the chain or strap to the footboard: works for both. You can add an extra washer if you like (because the chain is much thicker than the strap), or buy a shorter screw at the hardware store. Mine required a screwdriver and a 3/8 wrench.
-- So, to remove the cam:
1. Unfasten pedal spring from hub.
2. Remove the chain from the footboard.
3. Loosen the beater hub set screw (mine is a 7/16 wrench, but I'm not sure if that is original).
4. Loosen chain cam set screw (allen wrench).
5. Holding onto the beater hub for grip, loosen and remove the nut on the left side of the shaft (the side opposite the spring). Mine uses the same 7-16 wrench as the beater hub.
6. Slowly remove the shaft from the spring side. Slide off the chain cam and install the strap cam.
7. Put everything back together and tighten it up in reverse order.

To facilitate quick cam changes, I leave the chain attached to the chain cam and the strap attached to the strap cam. BTW, this is also an excellent time to remove the bearings and clean/lube them, if you feel it's necessary.

As you can see, I have found that it is QUITE doable, and allows one to experiment with little effort (OK, the Pearl Eliminator cam-change has to be the easiest, but this one isn't too bad!).
 
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