Thanks largely to heavy metal and its sub-genres, the last couple of decades have shown incredible growth in the popularity of double kick pedals. With incredibly technical players such as Joey Jordison, Derek Roddy, Virgil Donati and Jason Bowld, to tantalise you, this is hardly surprising.
Of course, playing at the mind-blowing speeds these amazing drummers achieve would be impossible with a single pedal, and Gear4Music offers you the chance to get your hands - and feet - on a double pedal at a fraction of the cost of many single models. But while this double pedal set appears to represent incredible value for money, what sort of quality can we expect?
At first glance, these doubles seem to be robust and appear well-engineered. They have the same dimensions and are virtually identical, except that the pedal intended for the right foot has provision for two beaters and features dual springs. On the base plate of this model, Gear4Music has included a push-fit bracket for the supplied drum key and hex keys – all the tools necessary to adjust the pedals.
The key is chromed plated and quite chunky - not the usual cheap-looking, throwaway types we've seen with even some of the more expensive kits. Armed with these tools you can adjust the spring tension, spring position (relative to the bearing shaft), and the lateral beater position.
The base of each model is constructed from a single piece of 1mm pressed steel, shaped to provide optimum strength and rigidity, while helping to keep the overall weight down. This base gives it a solid attachment point for the cast steel bearing posts, side adjustment bass drum clamp and the heel plate of the die-cast pedalboard.
Additional strength and rigidity is given by an integral steel bar positioned between the two bearing posts – an unusual but worthy inclusion. The drive on both pedals is provided by double chains over a felt-lined cam; the felt helps keep the pedal action quiet.
To either side of each of the pedals are adjustable knurled spikes that go through an aperture in the base, protruding out and down to help hold the pedal in position on any carpet-type surface. On the underside there are further anti-creeping devices in the form of two strategically grooved, rubberised pads, which assist with any pedal wandering on most types of playing surface.
Interestingly, the double pedal can be split and used as two separate pedals by simply removing the left hand (remote) beater, putting this into the remote pedal and temporarily dispensing with the linkage arm. A downside with Gear4Music's double pedal is that it can't be used with the remote on the right-hand side - not so great for left-handed players.
The side clamps come in handy as the main pedal slides over the bass drum rim and is locked into place with ease. The link bar is extendable by up to 70cm (around 2.5ft) which gives plenty of scope for positioning, although most tub thumpers prefer the remote pedal to be positioned between the hi-hat and snare stand, so you can sit comfortably without performing the splits.
Immediately impressive is how quiet the pedals are – no squeaks or buzzes here. When the beaters are left to spring back on their own they have a pendulum-type effect and are smooth and well balanced. The pedals and their footplates faithfully interpret exactly what we try to play – when our technique is good, the pedals respond well. When it's bad, well, even this double set can't help with that!