Mapex is one of the best companies today producing drums and accessories. The company has been making great products in the market over the past few years.
Apart from affordable drum kits, they also make incredible drum hardware. I have been using the Mapex double bass pedals with my Pearl Roadshow kit for the past few months. This puts me in a better position when to say they check outright in most boxes, including appearance and functionality. One particular product is Mapex 500.
Mapex is more focused on offering affordable products, aimed at the lower end market. This is why every product they make comes at the best price, compared to other products. And for this reason, the Mapex 500 could be the cheapest and most useful double bass pedal on the market today.
I was not sure about its quality at first because of the price. I was a little skeptical, thinking that perhaps it did not have what I needed in a double bass pedal. But the pedal proved me wrong, as a good value for money.
It does not come with advanced configurations, like cam replacement or altering the pedal height. But such features are not very important if you are only looking for a basic bass pedal.
If you just want to sit down and start playing, the Mapex is a good choice. It comes with everything you need to make good music. Just because it is simple, it does not mean there is anything wrong with the pedal.
Besides, it allows you to adjust some basic parameters, like tensioning the spring or changing the beater height. Also, you can work around the beaters to alter felt and plastic surfaces. The former influences a well-rounded sound while the later ensures louder and more pronounced kicks.
Single chain and double chain pedals
There are a lot of words used in describing drum pedals that many people don’t know about. But they are crucial in understanding how to choose the pedals.
So, what do we mean when we say that the Mapex 500 is a single chain double bass pedal? For starters, this is where the price difference comes from. More expensive pedals come with double chains.
This simply means the board is to the beater using one chain. Such attachments can also be done with two chains side-by-side, which we call a ‘chain drive.’ It also is connected with a strap, as in ‘belt drive’ pedals, or using a piece of metal, as ‘direct drive’ pedals.
A single chain is common in cheaper pedals, like in the Mapex 500 here. Some people may assume they are bad because of this, which is not entirely true.
A single chain is less durable than the double chain, and it’s easy to see why. Also, sometimes the pedal feels responsive.
However, single-chain pedals offer more control. They don’t have a lot of rebounds, which makes it easy for the user to take them in any direction.
Note also that these features may not be much of a bother. It all comes down to the little difference as experience from player to player.
You will need a lot of practice and training to become a fast-double bass drummer. Of course, you can start with a single chain double bass pedal. But obviously, the best option would be a double chain or direct drive pedals. More control is more preferred for rock, or punk, or jazz.
I have come across many beginner drummers struggling with bass pedals, and I always encourage them to begin with chain pedal. You need to be more intentional in your hits, and this can be a good thing for building your muscle memory as needed.
We all want our investments to go in the right place. Hence, durability becomes crucial.
It was not until recently that I read about one individual who had complains about the durability of the Mapex 500. I have used mine for ye past two years without any problems.
It could be because I have other pedals that I alternate according to the event. Even so, the pedal has stood firm in different situations, giving me a good service all through.
Features of the Mapex 500
The Mapex 500 is not only build to last for long, but it also comes with some of the best features. Better than most at this price range if you ask me. It has a fully adjustable spring tension. This means you can choose how much tension you need for a better response.
Duo-tone felt/ABS plastic beaters give you a wide option ground. You can choose whatever beater you want for maximum usability. It also features footboards with a compact stabilizing radius rod. Using this pedal is straightforward.
The independent universal linkage adjustment gives it a great design apart from creating a functional link. The pedal is useful in a wide range of music styles.
It comes with a retractable floor and spike and solid steel components. These make it a durable, affordable, and useful bass pedal.
If you are really into Mapex and only want their products, you will be surprised by just how many options you have. Mapex builds top products too, and here are some of their more expensive double bass pedals.
The Falcon design comes as a result of an influenced and road-tested product by a team of highly experienced experts. They created it with an attractive smooth feel and simple adjustability.
It features and interchangeable drives (sold separately), allowing users to buy only one pedal, yet able to connect chain, strap, and drive feels for different experiences. Double bass pedal players can also use different drives for each pedal to get the right balance between the left and right feet feels.
Armory line is a full combination of gig-quality hardware in featuring heavy-duty tubes, double-braced legs, memory locks, and proper adjustability needed for a serious player. The hardware comes in chrome, black-plated, or a unique hybrid finish with chrome tubes and black plated fittings.
The double chain makes it a more solid feel and durability. This is one of the main advantages of the Mapex 500 above.
If you are looking for higher-end hardware for your drums, the Mapex Mars is a good place to find such. The hardware is lightweight, yet highly functional. The pedals are simple, yet sturdy, and they will serve the needs of any gigging drummer looking for something light. It is also a good option for a younger player looking to upgrade their gear.
Single chain drives, adjustable spurs, and reversible beaters are some of the standard features you will find on the Storm P400 pedals. Most importantly, you get solid performance and durability and the most affordable price.
This pedal is designed for beginner drummers. It is much cheaper than the Mapex 500.
The single-chain drive mechanism ensures durability and better functionality compared to other beginner pedals. At its price point, you might not get any better product.
Double bass pedal guide
Understanding the double bass pedal is key to playing them right, and especially picking the right item. In my experience, I have come across many beginners who find it hard to balance their kit because they don’t know how each component works.
But most importantly, I have come across a number of questions concerning setting bass pedals up and how it works. They have made me realize just how much we have ignored such simple yet crucial details others may need. Let’s see some of these issues and attempt to handle them?
How to Set Up Double Bass Pedal
I have owned a few double bass pedals in my life as a drummer, which means I have learned a few tricks on the proper setup. There is the traditional approach, and there are other unique and innovative ways drummers come up with as the play.
The traditional approach involves attaching the primary pedal to the drum as you would for a single pedal. and the place the second slave pedal to the right of the hi-hat’s stand.
Before looking at the details on this setup, it would be better to learn a few things.
First, double bass pedals mean the pedals have tow separate pedals, where only of them has the bass drum beaters and spring attachment.
One pedal is called the ‘master,’ and the other one is the ‘slave,’ more like master and slave cylinders in your car’s brake system. As you may have guessed, the master pedal is the main one, containing all spring assemblies as well as both beaters. The slave pedal is only a pedalboard.
The driveshaft is the adjustable metal rod connecting the two pedals. They are interchangeable between brands, which makes them easy to replace.
1. Attaching the Master pedal
Start by attaching the master pedal to the bass drum as usual. Many pedals are easy to clamp on the bass drum hoop using a ton clamped and then operated a wing nut.
2. Adjusting the master pedal
Attaching the pedal along is not enough. The next step is to test its functionality and adjusting as needed. If there is any adjustment required for the spring assembly, this should be a good time for this.
3. Set up your snare and hi-hat
Remember that setting up the double bass pedal involves all components of your setup. Hence, you don’t want anything to be left behind.
Before going any further, make sure the hi-hat stand and snare drum are positioned in the way you like. Doing this means you don’t have to sacrifice hi-hat placement and the snare for the pedal to work. Place these parts where you feel most comfortable.
4. Connect you slave pedal
Now that your pedal and the other components are in place go ahead and place your slave pedal to your hi-hat pedal right. This allows for easy switching of your left foot between the two pedals. There will be no tension on the slave pedal if the two pedals are not connected, and the footplate will still be on the floor.
5. Connect in the slave and the master pedals
Now that your slave pedals in the correct place, connect the two pedals with the drive shaft. There are screws for this, and an easy connection procedure.
6. Test and adjust the slave
The same way you adjusted the master pedal, test, and adjust the slave as well. Also, remember to make all the other adjustments you may need, including the cam position.
Now you are good to go.
How Does A Double Bass Pedal Work?
Using a double bass drum pedal adds more power to the sound. It is what you hear in styles like hard rock, punk, heavy metal, and other music genres. It is more common with a professional drummer. The double bass pedal works just like a single pedal. The only difference is where a second plate is connected by a rod to another beater mechanism as it still works with the primary beaters. Also, you will need to work with both feet.
When Was the Double Bass Pedal Invented?
The bass drum pedal a term of the 1990s, but its roots can be traced to the 1890s. Drummers had started entering orchestra pits, and the cost of hiring different drummers was too much.
Drummers began coming up with different kinds of inventions for the bass drums. The first use started with a pendulum-type beater hanging from the top of the brass hoop.
The Ludwig corporation later came up with the Ludwig Speed Pedal in 1934. Since then, the pedal has developed into what we have today.
How to Double Kick with One Pedal?
You need a double kick pedal to get fast kicks on the bass drum. However, you can still do it with a single pedal. Start by hovering your dominant foot over the pedal and push down with the ball. You will feet will be lifted slightly in motion but not very far from the pedal.
The heel hits one strike while the rest of the feet gets the other. Then push downward with your heel when you feel the beater spring back.