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Old 07-22-2003, 09:59 PM   #1
peter
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The Axis-A Longboard Pedal

Guys,

I have bought myself an Axis-A Longboard pedal. It is really something. I have let my other buddies at Billy's know about it. I'm going to copy some of it here for you so you can get an idea about this pedal:

One Thread:

My wife and boy are up north for the week
and I am left here to slave. So, I best
start slaving at what I like best.
Here's another few photos of the Axis A-
Longboard and what I'm now doing to it.

After being reminded by Racman, I decided to
duplicate what Vuk was doing in the afore-
mentioned videos:

http://www.thediametrixletter.com/1.mov
http://www.thediametrixletter.com/2.mov
http://www.thediametrixletter.com/3.mov

1. In the first picture, I show the pedal, with
my replacement spring and VRUK attachment. The
VRUK just sits on the lower part of your foot-
board, as you can see.

http://www.thediametrixletter.com/axis6.jpg

2. In the next picture, I insert the Allen wrench
into the special screw holding the spring, about
to remove it - wanting to replace again, the
original spring.

http://www.thediametrixletter.com/axis7.jpg

3. In the next picture, you can see that I have
replaced the original spring and now have my
hand on the Sonic Hammer beater, which I am about
to replace with a regular beater. You also see
that I have a little help from my friend, Margarita.

http://www.thediametrixletter.com/axis8.jpg

4. In the last picture, you can see the older beater
in the place of the Sonic Hammers.

You may ask why the change. Again, I want to
duplicate what Vuk did in his video. The older
beater sits way back and so I need that original
spring, which hase more slack, in order to allow
it to strike the head, without excess effort.

As you can see, I'm sipping that glass very slowly.

Now, after playing "Stratus" a couple of times,
with the Axis A, with the original spring and the
conventional beater, I'm finding it a hard choice,
deciding which is actually better.

I was just playing barefoot and let me tell you,
that is heaven on earth. I can't decide. I'm to
try a few more things.

This VDL is really a neat feature on this pedal.
You can fine-tune the rebound you want from the
head. It's REALLY something! You can get this
thing just right. That's why people buy this, I
think. Otherwise, you have to find EXACTLY the
right spring for you, though that is not im-
possible. I have been working on some bop, which
requires real control down there and the adjust-
ment really came in handy.

Another Thread:

The VDL (Variable Drive Lever) on the Axis-A pedal has turned out to be the most significant development by Axis, I believe. Try and picture this in your mind. The lever that pulls down on the beater has long been in the same position on the various pedals that we have used. With this innovation, you are now able to move that towards the kick or away from it. It seems like nothing but I'm telling you, it's everything. I'm so glad Vuk talked me into getting this particular pedal because the old ones did not have it and it makes the total difference for me. Towards the kick drum, it's maximum leverage and power, WITHOUT rebound. Away from the kick and towards the pedal is maximum rebound and control, with a loss of power. Look at the pictures and see if they help you understand this idea. If not, I'll take more of them but it's the crux of the new Axis.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:47 PM   #2
Adam
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Hey it's Pete. I remember you from Billy Cobham's web page. I still visit frequently but I haven't posted in a while. How's it going? I think I'm Addam there or die_lezte_something...hehe
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:13 PM   #3
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Hey, Adam!

I'm fine, thanks. Work is busy but that will never change. As long as there is a world, there will be markets.

Glad you contribute to Virgil - one of the greatest drummers of all time. While there aren't many players herer into Jazz, that doesn't mean I can't listen to Virgil's music and jazz at the same time!

You're always welcome... here or at Billy's. By the way, he's doing well too.
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Old 07-23-2003, 02:14 PM   #4
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Man you know a good bit about pedal mechanics, that's really handy info to know. Still haven't gotten that damn spring!!
Btw how much did you pay for the pedal, i only got an iron cobra a couple of months back so i couldn't fork out another 500 for another double pedal, esp. ordered in from America
I like the Vruk but i want to get good using the normal heel-up technique way first.
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Old 07-23-2003, 03:25 PM   #5
peter
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Jimi,

Hi. I encourage everyone to get to know their pedals. It's some of the most important equipment that we have. For me, nothing is right if my kick isn't right.

The Axis-A cost around $190 for the single-pedal. It's a superior pedal, I believe.

I play the Iron Cobra too and that's a fine pedal, as well but it's not like the Asix-A at all.

I would experiment with the beater distance from the head. The closer the beater to the head, the more control you'll have. If you want to try a heavier gauge spring on it, they're available at your neighborhood hardware store. I'd also change the beater, trying a conventional one, just to see. Remember that the more tension you have, the closer the beater needs to be to the head.

The VRUK is cool but I have not really enjoyed using it with the Axis-A, though I will keep trying. The longboard almost does what the VRUK does to a pedal.

The VDL (Variable Drive Lever) is a fantastic feature.

These pedals aren't cheap but I'm hooked.

By the way, there is a sweet spot on this pedal, low in the longboard. It's so smooth and quiet. What a joy it is.
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:50 PM   #6
Christopher
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Very cool post Peter, thanks!
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Old 07-24-2003, 02:11 PM   #7
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As always peter thanks for the advice You definitely sound like you're having lots of fun!
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:00 PM   #8
peter
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I am just trying to help out. I'm on the
same journey with you guys. I know you'd
do the same for me. These pedals are very
expensive and you could use a little info on
them, I'm sure, especially if you're thinking
of buying one or a pair.

Here's another note from Billy's:

Another note on the Sonic Hammers (SH)
from me and this is very important:

They are HEAVIER than conventional beaters
and this makes a big difference in response.
Be ready for that if you go for them. They're
just TOO heavy for me. I much prefer my
conventional beater on the Axis.

With the VDL, you don't need the SH.

Play on, guys!
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Old 07-25-2003, 01:24 PM   #9
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I like the weight, i don't like a pedal to feel too light. I found that i did have to up the tension on the springs when i moved the beater closer to the BD skin. I actually have the spring tension all the way up with those little weights you get on the cobras right up on the top. So i really really do have to try and get a new higher gauge spring like you suggested peter.
This is all speaking in terms of playing heel-up of course. i find my calfs aren't 90 degrees vertical to the floor at all but slightly back, there's more weight under the knee for me and my ankles are more responsive because i moved from heel down technique and that was the angle they were at when my heel was on the floor.
off the point a bit but i've just noticed the balance for double-bass heel-up is aided by more strength in my stomach. i'm able to keep my legs up easier, so i'm doing sit-ups now (bruce lee style left elbow to right knee and vice versa).
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Old 07-25-2003, 02:01 PM   #10
peter
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Let me know how it goes with
the new spring.

As for the sit-ups:

Ah so!
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Old 07-28-2003, 12:45 PM   #11
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Here's another post frm Billy's on the
Axis-A in comparison, talking about
the angle the lever, chain or strap is
at, while resting and then depressed:

I also use the Iron Cobra. It's true
that it is square, coming down but the
typical 90d plus, angle is still there.
Don't get me wrong. This is one of the
best conventional pedals out there but
pardon the pun, Axis is coming at it
from another angle.

Check out this photo* of the Axis-A, next
to a conventional (in this case, an old,
Tama, belt drive unit):

www.thediametrixletter.com/axisversus.jpg

*I put cardboard behind it because I needed
some contrast, with the computer screens

It's not a perfectly square picture but you
will see the essentials.

Look at the lever and belt, which are
pulling down these beaters. While resting,
the angles differ markedly. If fully depressed,
the Axis-A would still be at an angle less
than 90d. The belt-driven pedal will max at
90d. This is the big difference.

Herein is the feature that gives a "natural
bounce" to the Axis-A. This is besides the
spring/bounce that is, of course, associated
with the spring itself.
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Old 07-29-2003, 07:42 AM   #12
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Virgil,

If you get a chance to read this, next
time you're at the show, have Axis let
you try these somewhere. Make sure
it's the one with the VDL (Variable
Drive Lever). The adjustments that
you can make with this mechanism
are crucial, I think.

http://ar.f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/bc...rc=ph%26.view=t

It was great seeing on that bitter cold
night, north of Chicago. I'm sure I'll see
you again and my best wishes to the
finest drummer I have ever seen.
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:22 PM   #13
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Here's the drawing, showing the area, where
the difference between the Axis VDL and the
conventional lie:

www.thediametrixletter.com/axisdrawing.gif
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:58 AM   #14
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Hey guys,

I have been doing more work on other
pedals and I just wanted to let you know
that I got back a DW5000 that I had loaned
out to a great female percussionist, while
I was working on her (down guys!) pedal
and I remembered how good the action
was on it.

With that in mind, I took a close look at the
mechanism, pressing down the footboard,
drawing the beater and I found that the
angle produced approximated that of the
Axis-A, with the VDL I talked about.

Remember that the VDL (Variable Drive Lever)
is what I believe the crucial element on the
Axis pedal, which changes the angle of the
lever to the beater in depression.

I believe this is why the DW5000 has such
good action, though the Axis-A is smoother.

I am purchasing another Axis-A and going
to double-kick, after almost 30 years.

I just wanted to encourage those thinking
of saving some money, with some used DW
equipment. There's a lot of value there.

One more thing, the DW9000 is out and
while it looks nice, it's actually even more
expensive than the Axis! Boy! That thing
BETTER BE smooth or people are going to
get angry!
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Old 09-01-2003, 03:05 PM   #15
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Hi Everyone!
I'm new to this message board via a referral from the tigerbill.com website - check it out. I'm glad someone is trying the Axis Longboards. In my situation I play on a Drumframe and I thought I would share a few of my discoveries in my "lab" on doubles. My pedals are Pearl Eliminator using the blue cam and belt drive. I play 2 bass drums - a definite plus over the double pedal which I used to play modified with the Axis drive shaft. My top speed is 16ths at 220 bpm with this setup. I believe the reclined angles of the drumframe help a lot with the action because the angle of the footboard is much steeper without actually moving the beater back any further. I learned my doubles technique from the "ballistic" video. I've heard speeds of 270 are possible but I am wondering how? I tried the Axis X pedals and didn't like them - the footboard is too short. I am a size 9 and wear watersocks while playing. My foot fits the Pearl pedalboard exactly. That VRUK atachment looks interesting (what does it stand for?) but with the drumframe the wings are not long enough to add an attachment like that. My pedals are about an inch and a half away from the edge already. The A longboards would probably just make it by themselves. I am definitely going to try them out. I have also tried these beaters - sonic hammers (too heavy), dw, Tama wood, and Slug but I always come back to the Pearls with the hard surface - not felt. I also angle my bass drums up a little more than the 90 degree position. Ideally I would think that the closer the head is to the beater so that the beater hits at exactly the top of it's stroke - not beyond it- would be optimal. What do you guys think?
Thanks.

Tommy G.
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