There are quite a few excellent single bass drum pedals on the market for less than $200. This price range gets you out of the extreme budget types of pedals without getting overly expensive. There’s a nice mix of pedals with varying features and advantages to be found here. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites in this price range.
DW 3000 Series Single Pedal
The DW 3000 Series is a solid pick for it’s price. It has a dual chain drive cam, an adjustable spring rocker and a reversible beater. I like how the toe clamp tightener is below the foot board on the side for easier access. It feels quite heavy duty for a more affordable pedal. This pedal has a little heavier feel to the foot pedal and swinging beater action as well, so if you like a pedal with more weighty response this one is a good pick.
Pearl P930 Single Pedal
The Pearl P930 single pedal is an affordable, great feeling pedal with a longer foot board and a Demon Style Power Shifter cam. The cam is interchangeable, meaning you can remove the Demo Power Shifter from the cam and optionally use the rounded cam instead. This pedal also features a single chain drive, a fully adjustable beater angle, a dual sided beater, and it has a spring tension lock that keeps the springs from getting loose while you play. Personally I prefer long board pedals since I have bigger feet, I wear size 14 shoes, and this is one of the most affordable long board pedals I can find.
Tama Iron Cobra 600 Series Single Pedal
The Tama Iron Cobra 600 Series is an affordable way to get into Tama pedals without going too cheap. This pedal has a dual chain drive with a reversible cam. This means that you can flip a removable part of the cam easily to use either the rolling glide or the power glide option to create a different feel. The beater height and angle is easily adjustable. They also use what Tama calls a Speedo-Ring rocker cam with a ball bearing which contributes to the smooth action of the pedal. This pedal has a very smooth and somewhat light feel to it. The toe clamp tightener is a little awkwardly placed under the foot board but that’s about my only complaint about this one.
Pearl Eliminator Solo Single Bass Pedal
The Pearl Eliminator Solo pedal offers smooth speed and balanced, light feel. The Black cam version has a dual chain with a circular cam and is designed for speed and power. It has a little more adjustability than some other pedals in this price range with its sliding foot board. The foot board can be adjusted forward and backwards into three different positions to tweak the feel of the pedal. It also has a locking tension spring and comes with a double-sided beater. The toe-clamp can be tightened from the side of the pedal which makes it less awkward to attach and detach. There is also a Red cam version which is focused more on speed and attack for faster double bass players and it has four sided beater.
Gibraltar Stealth G Single Bass Pedal
The Gibraltar Stealth G is a pretty slick pedal with some good adjustable features. It has a dual chain with a circular cam. The pedal board height can be adjusted separately from the beater angle. The foot board has a nice, smooth surface. The beater feels solid and includes an adjustable beater weight. The action is smooth and the pedal can generate some good power. The spring tension has a lock. Oh, and there is also a drum key on board. Lots of good stuff here with this pedal for it’s price. I currently use this one at home on my electronic kits, and I like it since it’s easy to swap onto a kit with the toe clamp tightener located at the top of the pedal.
Ludwig Speed King Single Bass Pedal
The Ludwig Speed King is an interesting pedal design when compared to most others we look at here. It’s what Ludwig calls a remastered version of their original, popular Speed King pedal, which is legendary on it’s own. It has a curved cam shaft with a direct drive linkage which gives it the fast, direct feel that drummers like about it. You’ll notice there’s no visible spring. It’s because there’s two springs inside of the pedal frame, one on each side, which are adjustable from the bottom of the pedal. This pedal also disassembles very quickly and easily for compact storage and easy transport. It’s a little different, but there’s a lot to like about it.
Tama “The Classic” Single Bass Pedal
This pedal from Tama, called The Classic, is designed to allow for vertical height adjustment of the entire frame and cam shaft so that it can center up properly on smaller sized bass drums, such as 16 or 18 inch drums. Since the vertical post on the frame is adjustable, the spring assembly is located on the top. This makes the spring easy to reach for adjustments while it’s attached to the kit. The entire beater and spring portion can also fold downwards towards the pedal for compact storage and easy transport. It has a single chain with a circular cam, and the chain can be shortened when you lower the upper assembly. It has a heavier feel during play, which is a little different than some of the speed focused pedals out there.
Gibraltar 6700 Series Direct Drive Single Bass Pedal
The 6700 Series direct drive pedal from Gibraltar is a great option for a direct drive pedal in this price range. It has a very smooth and direct feel. It also has good speed and power. The pedal board height can be adjusted separately from the beater angle. The beater is double sided and includes a memory lock that can also double as a beater weight. The toe clamp adjustment requires a drum key, which is slightly less convenient to use, but it comes with a drum key that is stored on bored. There is also a locking mechanism for the spring tension adjustment to keep settings in place. This is a good pick for drummers that like to play fast and with power with the feel of a direct drive.
Tama 310 Speed Cobra Single Bass Pedal
The Tama HP310L Speed Cobra offers a no-frills design with just enough features to dial in your preferred feel. It has a longer foot board which can be preferable to some drummers. It has a double chain drive with a circular cam. The beater height and angle can be adjusted, but that’s about it. The pedal has a very light feel to it, which won’t be for everybody, but if you prefer a very light feeling and quick pedal, this is quite affordable for how it plays. Some drummers even add heavier beaters or use beater weights to give the beater a little more heft with this one, since they like the long foot board, the quick action and the cheap price.
What To Look For in a Single Bass Drum Pedal
Bass drum pedals from various manufacturers share a lot of similarities but there are some differences to pay attention to that can affect the feel of the pedal or the ability to adjust certain aspects of the pedal.
Chain Drive, Direct Drive and Belt Drive
One of the most visible and obvious features of a bass drum pedal is the type of drive that the pedal is using. Chain drive pedals have a visible chain between the cam and foot board, belt drives use a strap which can be various materials other than a chain, and direct drives use a solid linkage between the cam and foot board.
Chain drives are the most common and they provide a natural feel with good response without being overly rigid. Chains can give a little during the upstroke of a bass drum pedal, which can contribute to a less direct feel between your foot and the beater swing. Single chain pedals can feel a little loose from side to side. Double chain pedals are more stiff from side to side and can provide more stability.
Belt drives are similar in feel to chain drives but depending on the material used for the belt they might feel more or less direct than a chain.
Direct drives have a solid linkage that doesn’t give or slack at all in either direction, and both the downstroke and upstroke of the beater swing feels like it’s connected directly to the movement of your foot.
The type of drive that a drummer will prefer is very personal and subjective in most cases, and if you’re not sure which one you might prefer it’s usually best to start out with a chain drive pedal and then change from there if you feel like you need a more or less direct feel to fit your play style and foot movements.
The cams are located on the rocker shaft and they connect the chain, belt or direct linkage to the foot board to swing the beater when you move your foot. On a chain or belt drive pedal, the chain/belt usually wraps partially around a circular cam. On direct drive pedals the direct drive linkage is attached to a single point on the cam.
Both a circular chain drive cam and a direct drive cam will feel linear, meaning that the radius of the cam doesn’t change during the movement of the beater. This creates a smooth, consistent beater speed throughout the motion. Some chain and belt drive cams have an offset shape to provide more acceleration as the beater gets closer to the bass drum head.
Foot boards sizes and shape vary between pedals. Shorter foot boards that attach to a heel plate are common. Long foot boards without a heel plate are also popular but not as common. Longer foot boards can be useful for techniques that incorporate the heel and they can provide better full-foot control. Long boards can also provide better control for drummers with larger feet.
Smoothness of the foot board is also something to watch out for. Some drummers prefer a more tactile surface on the foot board, and some prefer a smooth surface. Drummers who play barefoot or who want to be able to slide their foot around the surface for various techniques will usually prefer a smooth surface on the foot board. Drummers who want to keep their shoes from slipping on a foot board might prefer a more tactile surface.
As far as other foot board features go, some pedals allow you to adjust the foot pedal position forward or backward, or raise and lower the foot pedal height separately from the beater angle.
Other Settings and Features
There are some other common features to look out for. Spring tension locking mechanisms are useful for keeping your spring tension from loosening up while you play. Spurs on the front of the pedal can help keep the pedal in place for aggressive drummers, but this isn’t usually as important if your bass drum stays solidly in place. Adjustable rockers are sometimes used for adjusting the beater angle if the beater doesn’t rotate on the rocker shaft. Beaters are sometimes double sided to provide both a felt surface and hard beater surface option.