It seems that you can’t play rock music today without a double pedal (or two kick drums), and there are certainly many different pedals to choose from. We’re always intrigued when a builder presents us with a new twist on something that seems so familiar, and such was the case when Drum Workshop sent us the new PDP Pacific BOA.
|Documentation & Support||10%|
|OVERALL RATING = 3.1
3.6 stars or better: Outstanding, WIHO Award
3 stars or better: Worth considering
2 stars or better: Suited to specific needs
1 star or less: Not recommended
An acronym standing for Bow Oriented Action, this attractive and intriguing new pedal breaks new ground with its unique new design. Containing no springs, no hinges, and limited extraneous parts, this pedal should certainly pique the interest of double bass players… how does it respond compared to old faithful?
The pedal arrived very well packed, and upon unboxing for assembly, we noticed that there were limited parts and loose pieces to contend with, making the assembly very easy. The package contained two separate pedals (a main single pedal and the secondary pedal for the opposite side), two beaters, a connecting drive shaft post, a small bag of Allen wrenches, and a BOA Pedal System instructional manual (if only every drum company included manuals…).
Each pedal was finished in a dark black, flat paint with a very strong and hefty design and mounted to durable pedal plates. The pedal boards themselves are made from a new, thin material known as “Flex-Tech” which substitutes for both the hinges and the springs included on most pedals. On standard pedals, the varied tensioning of the spring (on the side of a pedal) controls how responsive the pedal is to a drummer’s foot/leg movement. In this case, the new “Flex Tech” connection to the heel plate of the pedal replaces all tensioning controls that we’re accustomed to.
The beaters (known as “Hardcore Beaters”) are two square, block-like, weighted beaters made from a foam-like material. The center of each beater, however, contains a circular hard plastic center for defined contact. Each beater shaft includes a small memory lock for adjustment as well. The drive-shaft connector to the secondary pedal is extremely well built with black, oversized, strong, bearing connections allowing for frictionless movement. Each pedal plate incorporates moveable and adjustable toe clamps with wing nuts, and three-way adjustment drum keys are included on each plate.
Overall, the pedal was easy to assemble (for the average to expert drummer) and the performance of the product was very satisfying. To begin, the BOA is a heavy-duty pedal, but is very smooth and extremely quiet. It was quite functional at different dynamic levels and tempos, and even felt comfortable in use as a single pedal.
Perhaps the most unique and pleasing characteristic are the various (and interesting) adjustments a drummer can make to this pedal. As mentioned previously, the spring-less, hinge-less design relies upon a flexible pedal board, which can be adjusted forward or backward into the heel plate via two large Allen screws. The adjustment process was easy to manage and was notably sensitive depending on which direction we pulled or pushed the pedal board to arrive at our desired tensioning.
In addition, there are many adjustment choices throughout the pedal regarding positioning. Alterations such as a better throw at the drum head from the beater, more (or less) responsive rebound, or various toe clamp modifications for a range of drum hoop depths are included.
We did encounter a few minor concerns regarding some of the pedal’s usability. Due to the “newness” of the beaters, very obvious black marks were left behind on a white-coated drumhead, even after only a limited amount of playing. Given the intensity of the center plastic design of the beater, along with the black residue left behind, we suggest using a bass drum patch on the head when playing with this pedal. And, as unique as the “Flex-Tech” design is, we wonder how different it will feel to the average player used to standard chains (or straps) as well as spring adjustments. The BOA is certainly a responsive and smooth pedal, but there is definitely a subtle difference in the overall feel compared to more typical designs on the market today. Obviously, this is one neat pedal that you’ll have to play for yourself to see if its feel suits you.
Documentation and Product Support
So close, and yet, so far… We were thrilled to see that Drum Workshop included product documentation, especially for a pedal that defies traditional adjustments. However, the pedal came equipped with a manual for this new “Flex-Tone” system and assembly that lacked any information about a double-kick version of the pedal! As a result, assembly took a little more investigative work.
The Pacific BOA Double Pedal (MSRP $799.99) can be found at prices ranging from $450 to $500 in most retail stores. It’s a fair price for a pedal offering a new design and a new feel.