I’m pretty sure that many many years ago I reviewed the original Perfect Balance pedal. While I can’t really remember that much about doing that review, I obviously liked the pedal itself as I bought one years later and it’s become one of my favourites. That may mean this review is a little less unbiased than usual, so sorry about that.
This pedal has been out for a little while now.
If you know the original pedal, the best thing I can say about this one is that it’s like the ‘lite’ version of that; the same basics but with less frills. Ok, so using the term ‘frills’ in this instance might be a bit of a misnomer. The original Perfect Balance pedal was itself designed to reflect simplicity and ease of use. It had some cool features to it, was quite smooth but still remained basic by intention.
I own a number of bass drum pedals. These range from one around 100 years old (OK, I don’t actually use it, but I do have it), to examples from the 1980s/90s, 2000s on up. Some of these have a multitude of features and adjustable parts and some, namely this one and the aforementioned very vintage one, have virtually no frills at all.
As you’ll see from the video, the Perfect Balance pedal is a single post, round cam, strap-driven single spring design with a smooth foot plate. The smooth foot plate was designed by Jojo Mayer to be able to facilitate easy movement over its surface.
Ok, so what’s different between the Standard and Signature versions?
I think there are two obvious differences between the two pedals which you’ll see straight away.
First off, the Standard version isn’t collapsable like the original model. The centre post is rigid and like virtually every other pedal around, does nothing more than hold the cam and spring assemblies.
Secondly, the hoop clamping system is of a more common/generic design in that it clamps onto the hoop and you tighten it via a wingnut (the original pedal has a self mounting clamp system).
I don’t think either of these aspects themselves – being the main practical differences between the two pedals – are deal killers as they make no material difference to the playability or feel of the pedal. Other cutbacks include no laser engraved heel plate, no high gloss polished footboard and no leather carrying bag (you get a nylon bag instead). Again, not deal killers when it comes to why you might be interested in the pedal to begin with.
Anyway, just to sum up, the Perfect Balance Standard model is everything its older sibling is in the only way that really matters – feel. To me, it has the same feel and movement of the Signature version. It’s still lightweight and buttery smooth too, so if you don’t feel you either need or want the additional features of the Signature model, this could be for you.
I think it’s pretty cool to first design a minimalist pedal which is still highly functional and comfortable but then still find a way to strip it back even more, yet Sonor have done just that. Does that make this the pedal with even less frills than the original pedal with no frills…? I don’t know.
The only ‘downside’ to this pedal is that it’s available solely as a strap drive, there are no direct or chain drive models.
Personally though, that’s not an issue as I don’t find a massive difference in the respective feels anyway and in all honestly, had I not already had the original version I probably would have bought this one.
More details over at https://www.sonor.com/instruments/drums/hardware/bass-drum-pedals/perfect-balance/?L=0