Ohhhh man! I don’t think I ever considered just how crucial the beater is to the overall sound of a kick drum. It makes sense, of course – just as mallets and HotRods and brushes all have different tone and attack on a head, how even nylon tips make a difference in cymbal sound – that a beater would have such an impact (pun intended).
I’ve always been pretty heavy footed. For a long time (and still, kinda), much of my playing revolved around syncopated kicks over straight hat/snare backbeats… I’m a beater burier… I like a lot of thud and not a lot of sustain…
All of that adds up to not paying much attention to the beater – as long as it pounds, it works.
I’ve only ever really played Pearl pedals, first the old strap drive/hard felt beater affair, then an Eliminator/Powershifter with the 4-way beater (after quickly flattening the rounded felt side, I stuck with the plastic), and finally my current pedal of choice, a direct drive Demon-Drive. For basically no reason, I swapped out the “flying saucer” beater for the one from the old Eliminator… and didn’t think about it after.
Enter into my awareness: Low Boy Beaters, a custom beater maker from Colorado, with snazzy all-maple, two-sided beaters that, well, look kind of weird…
They snagged my attention immediately – I think by way of their Instagram account – the conical, wooden, stripe-laden things on display in an array of color combinations, with custom, laser etched logos and an approach that just screamed “unique.”
I followed them on social media for a little while, and finally decided to pull the trigger – a modest $30 for the base model, woodgrain with black stripes. After a totally painless ordering process and a brief, pleasant exchange with one of the owners, Jeremy, via Twitter, my beater was on its way.
After a short wait, my Low Boy Beater arrived in a stylish little box – simple and to the point – with a sticker to boot. As soon as I swapped it out with the stock beater on my spare pedal (half of a cheap PDP double kick), I could tell there was something magical about these things. The weight, while not overbearing, was more than the stock beater – and it felt GOOD.
On the Demon Drive, it felt even better, and because of the standard sizing of the shaft, I easily pulled the little collar from my old beater to make achieving the right beater height even easier.
Now, I’ve described my heavy footed approach a little, and let me just say – this Low Boy POUNDS. I’m using the flat side, and I could instantly feel and hear the power that it delivers.
I’ve played this beater on a 22×18, a 22×20, a 20×18, and an 18×16, and had fantastic results across the board. It looks cool, it feels cool, and above all, it sounds better than I could have even imagined.
For someone who plays as kick-heavy as I do, this thing is my (not so) secret weapon. I’m totally sold – hook, line, and sinker. I don’t plan on using any other standard beater from here on out (if I can help it), and next time around, I’ll get a snazzy custom one too (maybe even one of the limited tie-dye ones). It’s worth every penny!
I really can’t speak highly enough of all things Low Boy. They’ve been garnering a lot of attention and support lately, and it’s all VERY well deserved. I definitely recommend you check ’em out.