Get Wittet! Review: Rogers Dyno-matic Bass Drum Pedal

A Good Thing Made Better Rating: 5/5, Street Price: approx. $2oo USD

Wittet drum review: Dyno-matic pedal Dyno-matic pedal: It looks like the original, as described in review

 

The Rogers Dyno-matic is the 2018 reincarnation of the revered Rogers Swiv-O-Matic pedal, which debuted around 1959 . Back then, drummers perceived it as “space age”, compared to other pedals on the market, such as the WFL Speed King and the Camco/Gretsch floating action. The latter were distinguished by a design featuring “goal posts”, complete with the horizontal beam that united them. The Swiv-O-Matic, however, was defined by the single-goal post & a bar extending skyward. No question, strange then and not right as rain now. In 1960 when it started to generate a buzz, it looked space age—the one to thrust drummers towards other worlds, or at least into orbit. Speaking of which, the Russians may have beaten the USA by rocketing the Sputnik way out there, and into orbit around the earth, which was an unprecedented move that caught the folks at Cape Canaveral with their pants down (aye, just imagine it), but drummers could lay claim to having been there & done it,  thanks to Rogers designer Joe Thompson. His design seemed not-of-this-world, which my mother used a variant of when admonishing me for this or that,  pretty much every day, no stat holidays, between ages 13 and 20, when I finally left her house for that other place.  Joe Thompson’s mom may well have spurred him to great achievements, or, perhaps, he took counsel from a far-distant boss. Fully sixty-years later, his pedal still works a charm—that is, for drummers who stay with a 20” diameter bass drum, which was my first pro-bass drum size (Rogers, to boot). The job for the the reborn Rogers USA was not simply to build a pedal that nodded to a noble tradition. It was to build a pedal that didn’t mess with the essential Swivo design and yet updated it for a new generation or two of drummers.

This was a case of mission-accomplished. If you’re in a rush, read only the next 14-lines. They’re objective; and they come from the heart and the pocket book. I suppose I could have reached-out for  a “sample of free merchandise”, the usual practice, especially when the shipment crosses an international border. I didn’t because I suspected that this pedal was going to remain at TB Wittet HQ. When I laid eyes on it in Dave’s drum shop, I felt a kindred spirit. I felt blood existed between player & pedal. The other thing is that Steve Maxwell’s name is associated with the Dyno-matic. Given his success re-creating the wood shell Dyn-o-sonic, which is to say I like this better than the original. He wisely chose retooled “bread & butter” design lugs, not the more familiar beavertails. At the end of the day, and one that lasted three years, his Rogers wood shell Dyn-o-sonic sounds better than the original. It really does. Everything seems to work in tandem, plus, as is seen in the Dyno-matic pedal, he evinced real affection for the wood shell Dyn-o-sonic. It was a labor of love. Maxwell’s name attached to the project, even as a sometime consultant called-in during the final stages of development, conferred credibility. Here’s the scoop on the Dyno-matic pedal. Let’s hope the revived company walks on this same path, the righteous path, when it comes up with new V2.0 products.

Get Wittet: Review Rogers Dyno-matic Get Wittet: Review Rogers Dyno-matic bass drum pedal. Rogers diagram

 

Executive Summary: Rogers Drums USA is back in the running.  Please give applause and sincere thanks to Reliance, the Asian musical instrument company based in Taiwan, which we know primarily but not exclusively, for the quality of their metal lugs, rims, tom holders, stands, etc.  The Taiwanese company purchased the Rogers brand from Yamaha. Recently, under the Rogers, USA banner, Reliance has released the Rogers Dyno-matic bass drum pedal. It captures the feel of the original (although I found it a little odd that the new owner’s manual referred to the original only in passing, on page-4). At any rate, it must have been a monumental task for the current designer to capture the feel of the original while retaining the decades-old profile, and, in fact, to extend its reach to 22″ through 30″ bass drums. No question about it, the Dyno-matic is a success and breathes new life into Joe Thompson’s Swiv-O-Matic. That’s a feat and a hell of a compliment to the Taiwanese design team and the pedal they’ve come up with.

The Rogers Dyno-matic pedal is easily as good as the original and, in fact, I find it, after a couple of months use, better in many ways.

You can trust me in this. I’ve owned the various Swiv-O-Matic pedals, with or without the nipples on the pedal side, which sink into corresponding indentations on the sturdy chromed plate that you affixed to your bass drum and left there. If you didn’t, you had a hell of a time getting the Swivo to stay on your bass drum. I never lost that plate. In fact, I always kept an extra or two in the Wittet HQ Parts Dept (read the furnace room) but I’ve played other drummers’ Swiv-o-matics, no plate and it meant no peace of mind or stability of pedal. Reliance sidestepped that useful, rock solid,  plate that tended to wander far from home. Reliance uses a particularly effective lever lock. The  wee plate is history.  Look in my furnace room, sorry Part Dept, and you’ll see Rogers parts aplenty: that funky, conical-ended spring, the very masculine, long threaded clamping wing bolt; the beaters that came pre-Black Jack, and other Swiv-O-Matic parts from those cool detachable ball & socket cymbal tilters to stick trays. More for safety’s sake than actual need, I cut my own straps, though no original strap ever actually failed, not on me. Yes, yes, I know straps stretch but that’s the price you pay for the strap-driven feel. My on-again, off-again relationship with the old Swiv-O-Matic brought out the Freudian/anal side, you know, like the carpenter on Saturday Night Live.  I committed modifications and other acts I’d rather not discuss in this forum. I knew the way I liked my Swiv-O-Matics, loose and fluid, compared to the tightly-strung way Larrie Londin kept his (often substituting heavy duty springs from hardware stores for the stock Swivo one, which itself was a piece of work). I am as familiar with the Swivo as anybody you’ve met and I ask for your trust as I render my verdict.

Although the Dyno-matic owner’s manual refers to the Swiv-O-Matic but once, on page-4, make no mistake, we are looking at an update of the benchmark Rogers bass drum pedal. The Dyno-matic is no frivolous imposter, cloaked like an old Swivo but otherwise unrelated. The Taiwanese company Reliance would not have perpetuated such a ruse involving arguably the most significant bass drum pedal in drumming history.

Thus, with the Rogers Dyno-matic, we are indeed looking at an historic initiative: the Swivo V.2. It is a total retooling and a good deal of reconceiving. But veterans and others who currently use the old Swivo will experience minimal culture shock when switching to the Dyno-matic pedal. The action is utterly light, positive, and smooth, the thing anchors into a carpet with spurs, holds its ground and never slips. Any changes in the Swivo are fully justifiable according to these criteria. The first thing I did was, of course, try the pedal at home in my music room (on the World Max brass shell bass drum, next on the 9/11-made Yamaha birch). Second thing I did was throw away the adustable toe stop. The rest of the pedal stays as-is. If the lack of a swivel footboard function is a deal-breaker for you, I suggest you are missing something special, specifically 90% of the new pedal. The way this pedal is driven, ie with a chain, the inclusion of a footboard L to R swivel would have been more trouble than it’s worth. Use your imagination, turn your drum a degree or two, and forget about the swivel business.

There’s always the possibility of failure with anything mechanical. I have no covert reason for adding the disclaimer. Maybe cause it’s that I’m waxing superlative and seek protection. Drum companies like Reliance, which make products this  sophisticated and rugged, ought to consider  keeping consumers aware of any events that happen relative to their products. Phrased in simple words under five-letters given the audience will be drummers. Consider adding cartoons. Just kidding!  With this pedal, I don’t think anything will be amiss or will go wrong. I have faith in the Rogers Dyno-matic pedal, enough to have tried it out in Dave’s Drum Shop in his soundproof room for a half-hour, and enough to have surrendered a good chunk of change. The retail sticker you’ll see, say on Amazon, of $199 refers to US currency. Purchased in Canadian dollars you’re looking at $280 for the pedal, a single-pedal. It’s not cheap. I know of no Dyno-max double-pedal in the offing and I shudder to imagine such a thing. Besides do you need a double-pedal?  Maybe you could get off by taking a course in speed-typing.There’s a slew of young drummers out there claiming they can do just about anything on a single-pedal that others can with double-pedals. I’m working on one of Dana’s licks between floor vs kick and haven’t gotten it. Conan Doyle, who studied spiritualism, claimed if you placed a contentious item   beside your bed in the evening, the truth would appear in your sleep (Round the Fire Stories, circa 1901). Wonder if I do this I’ll be able to nail the Dana-figure….hmmmmm.     Point is, don’t be a puss. Learn it on single pedal first. Besides most double-pedal drummers are arbitrary and sound like they’ve come out of praise-and-worship and had a seizure.   Larnell Lewis is a prime exponent of this single-pedal vibe. As they say in the realm of gospel, bless him.

Back to the Dyno-matic pedal, it tracked perfectly every move of my foot. When I got it home, as mentioned before going off on a tangent, it fit any hoop I tried, including the Coronet metal hoops they used to supply for bass drums during, and after, the first-wave Asian drum invasion. Many pedals, when fastened down, tend to skew to one side or fail to sit flat. The Rogers sat flat on the floor.

Get Wittet: Rogers Dyno-matic review T Bruce Wittet depicts the new Rogers Dyno-matic as better than the original

 

Eight weeks later I’m having a ball with the Dyno-matic. It’s pleasantly flexible in its sturdiness, what did that country music producer call my way of playing?  Loose-y goose-y? Spell check isn’t fond of it but it stays. I’m actually proud of a lilt here and there if, in general, the music flows. The album I was cutting, well they spelled my name wrong (“it’s not unusual”) and it got a good ol’ buzz in Nashville happening. Call it what you want. I’m tickled pink.

I’m looking for the best way to state that you can play around with the adjustments, and revisit them without the feeling that you’re going to snap-off some essential part. Some of us are born inquisitive and inclined to be finicky. I’ve owned a Pearl that snapped at the “spring hub”, presumably because I messed with it one too many times. During the first 12-weeks since I bought it brand-new! It’s a dark cloud on your picnic when that happens, especially when you’re not over-tightening. I mean, with the old Ludwig T mount for double-toms, you expected the height adjustment screw to strip-out. To me, that sort of thing, and ply separations, was part of the Ludwig vibe and the reason I abandoned anything from that company since buying new kits in the 1970s and having each of them come apart before my eyes. I’m sure you’ve had great experiences with Ludwig. But the stripping out of those bolts at the base of the T-mount: it’s a terminal error Ludwig failed to address until late in the game, when Asian contractors showed them how to place decent hardware on their drums. Enough already!

User-Adjustable Means that the User Must Pay Attention

Ah, but last night, when I was despairing of actually posting this lengthy treatise, I retreated to the drums for inspiration. And whilst working on doubles, a wee something transpired that got me thinking I’d discovered the Achilles Heel of the Dyno-matic pedal (bad pun alert). I was experiencing a recurring stiffness in a muscle or two situated  in the shin area. I took a step back, which is hard to do when you’re on the drum throne. Okay, I took a deep breath. And I realized that the fault lay in my inattentiveness to important details. I’d neglected that central cam/beater hub adjustment. Looking back to the day when I got the pedal home and put into shape, fresh out of the box (they collapse the pedal to fit in the cardboard container), I’d set the pedal board height vs the beater angle. And forgotten about it. Time to wake up. After all, it was only 2:30am. I grabbed the drumkey, loosened what the manual calls the “axle release screw” (no mention of “single goal post”, pity) and dropped the height of the pedal board, independent of the beater angle, about a half-inch. Presto, the stiffness was gone.  If you keep your wits about you (‘get Wittet’ originated in high school, replacing a far filthier play on words), your body will tell you exactly what needs to be done. My body was telling me I was ‘reaching too high’ to depress the pedal board. Well, given the range of adjustments provided on the Rogers Dyno-matic, I was able to kiss that stiff shin goodbye in no time. Would that someone had taken a photo….

The original Rogers Swiv-O-Matic allowed for changes in footboard height but employed a different adjustment, that of the spring lever (the one reaching to the sky). It wasn’t so clumsy an effort, or labor intensive. But the new way of isolating spring function, is better. It facilitates discrete control of the pedal footboard height vs the angle of the beater.

A Drumkey is Always at Arm’s Reach

As I’ve mentioned, the drumkey is the one tool you need to adjust the Dyno-matic. Use the one in your pocket, whether it’s an old Rogers or Gretsch or Ludwig. There are differences between them but don’t expect an article on this anytime in this century from me!

If an adjustment is not done via drumkey, it’s controlled by a lever or wing screw that’s attached to the pedal chassis. You’ll never experience the incomparable joy of finding your missing tool, which comes clamped to the pedal and combines a allen key with a drum key.  You hasten over to your pedal to tilt or tweak, but, alas, you’ve found your Yamaha tool and essential Allen key won’t cross platforms to DW, the pedal you seek to adjust. The Dyno-matic pedal, again, requires but one tool: a standard drumkey.

To summarize, there are only two adjustments you can’t make with a standard drumkey on the Dyno-matic: One is a lever (an essential part of the chassis), which you slide forward to lock the pedal to the bass drum hoop. No longer are the old Rogers plates necessary. The other is that single goalpost height adjuster: again, permanently attached to the pedal. It is a generous-size wing screw and once you’ve cranked it, the pedal post cannot collapse. Rogers used to rely on two drumkey-friendly set screws, one placed immediately above the other, to do the job that one large wing screw does on the Dyno-matic.

And for tension adjustment, the spring, again, being located on the erect spring arm, is always staring at you. You reach down with your thumb and forefinger. It is, without question, the smoothest such adjustment I’ve ever experienced and I still can’t believe it. One or two turns makes a world of difference, especially since they’re as easy & smooth as a knife vs butter.

Stow Your Pedal

You get a nice, black bag emblazoned Rogers. And a manual within and also, unless I dreamed it, a Rogers decal. Meanwhile, the true purpose of the bag is to instill pride of ownership. I may be wrong but if you fork over $200 top $300 to one-hundred-and-sixty quid for a bass drum pedal, odds are you like that pedal enough to store it, gleaming chrome and all, to maintain its appearance. This pedal will outlive the bag many times.It’s built to a high standard and it’s stronger than you think. If the bag goes missing go directly to GO. Collapse the pedal and throw it in with your stands.

Now the collapsing pedal trick is one that’s not publicized. You can, however, collapse the Dyno-matic by pressing down on a rectangular switch, sort of like a household light switch but made of metal, thereby releasing a metal sleeve connecting the front of the pedal to the rear. With that done, you can collapse the pedal enough to fit in a tight space. .The manual doesn’t preclude this possibility nor does it recommend it. It will be our little secret.

The idea, I believe, is that this toggle switch ought to be used when you reposition your heel plate vs the front of the pedal. You loosen the set screw that sits recessed in the heel plate, then pull it away from the pedal chassis. When the spring starts to move backwards, you lock the set screw. There is an ommission in the manual, specifically the mention of the toggle switch. You need this to release the metal leaf holding the front of the pedal to the back. When you’re done, you toggle the switch, thus locking the leaf.

Pedals will bend and break. But I’ve never seen it happen. In fifty-five years playing. Those bags are more cosmetic than anything, and, hey, why not? It’s not a great pedal. It’s a great pedal that’s chromed from snout to tail. Protect it from scratching until the novelty wears off or the passenger seat lands on it in a high speed accident. In my case (horrible pun) it was the cymbal bag that suffered the return blow from the passenger seat seeking reinstatement on the track.

The Beater is Such an Improvement

It’d not be an enviable task, copying the Black Jack beater they began selling with the old Swiv-O-Matic pedals at some point. It was flawed. And Rogers could have gotten away with the same beater, reversible by loosening the shaft, turning it and tightening.

You didn’t have to use a drumkey with the Rogers Black Jack beater. You pressed on the beater until you triggered the springs to release it, then you swiveled it. The problem is that the spring and beater combination was flawed and after a while the trauma of thousands of blows had its way with the assembly. I tried glues. I ended up with duct tape around the shaft to hold the beater in place, so much duct tape the beater became top-heavy. I grew to like that.

The Rogers Dyno-matic, however, has renewed work on a spring-loaded beater-head that swivels. They’re not calling it a Black Jack anymore. They simply refer to the configuration & function.  It consists of a standard shaft, atop which sits a translucent beater with a hard side and a soft, again spring-loaded. The difference is that this one appears to be built to more exacting tolerances than the old Black Jack. I have the feeling it will endure trauma from work boots erratically stomping but we’ll have to see, obviously.

I laughed when I bought the Speed Cobra, not at the look or action of the pedal. It remains a great pedal: light, powerful, simple yet adjustable. It’s just that the beater was described as if it was a Big Deal. It was, in fact, a beater holding a strip of felt, which could be positioned up or down like a Ferris Wheel and which allowed for varying degrees/angles of contact, and, thus, variations in tone. I tried it once. I found it too slight to move the sort of air I had in mind. I have never bought a pedal on account of the included beater. The new pedal, the way I see it, ought to hold any beater ever made, or just about. The work I do is mostly recording, and pickins is slim at the moment, and I do not want to have to coax my default tone out of a Tama or Slug or whatever beater.  I lean to a hard, flat-sided beater because I enjoy hearing the point, through phones, or through wedges. Thus, the Tama custom beater got a lick and a promise. And a place in my collection, while I switched to the Pearl or DW beater, usually the DW. Although they’re the same weight, the DW is more like the old Rogers in terms of mass mashing the head and it’s sleeker. The Dyno-matic beater is for all intents the DW with a swivel-top, spring-loaded. Conversely, the DW is,  for all intents, a cop of the old Black Jack. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

The Dyno-matic beater is the first ever I haven’t removed in lieu of a DW, Pearl, or vintage fluffy job. It’s positive, it’s exactly the right weight, and the flat side puts out the degree of attack I generally require, at least as a starting point in the studio. Once set, it will not rattle. The old Swivo Black Jack did rattle, in fact, once the spring got worn. It looked to me that the recesses in the old beater, which accommodated a metal cross affixed to the top of the beater shaft, weren’t formed as well as the ones on the new pedal. Be that as it may, I’ll choose whatever beater I want, not yield to somebody’s idea of a “punchy yet full-bodied” bass drum sound.

There’s Gold in Them Hills

Today, there are good pedals everywhere you look, especially if you’re doing your looking in a drum shop. I should emphasize this out of respect for the great drum builders of our era, some of whom have meticulously crafted pedals to exacting specifications. DW pedals are great, Tama pedals—fine, robust, smooth but not my cup of tea…until the Speed Cobra came along. It’s a good pedal. A little cheaper, too, than the new Rogers. Speaking of which, even the cheaper pedals today approach the pro standards of yesteryear.

And we have our renegades, such as the BOA, which ended up in the Pacific catalog for some reason (I could speculate but it wouldn’t serve any purpose). I reviewed the BOA for Modern Drummer and judged it as a tribute to the human spirit, not exactly in those words. Here we have diving board technology (read flex) employed in lieu of a spring. Nobody dies. The BOA also included enough adjustments to confound you if your knowledge of mechanical engineering was a little sketchy. There was even an adjustment that took the form of a little nub that you could recess into the beater hub and it made an enormous difference to the action. It took me about three years to make the discovery. And when I went to Youtube for an instructional video, there was inventor Mr Bob Gatzen no less. When he came to the subject at hand, it was as if there was a bad punch on tape in the studio. Right when the video cycled around to my area of focus, it cut out momentarily, then returned to another topic.

There are pedals I haven’t tried: Axis, for example. Asba, another example: the Caroline. Trick: good reputation there; haven’t tried it. Ray Ayotte’s pedal, which harkened to the Dynasonic pedal but never made it, as planned, to the Taye (a brand Ray set in motion for a large Asian parent company) catalog, one of which I wrote. I tried his prototype, which also featured a single goal post, as I recall. It never came to life in the form Ray intended and there was funny business afoot, too. As for my texts, provided to flesh out the catalog, they’re still using my stuff if they’re yet in business. I haven’t tried the Tama Camco, good enough for Simon Phillips, nor the Premier predecessor to the 252, which is now my backup.

I did buy a new Tama Classic model pedal, thinking that, with its arm standing proud it was, in essence, an upgraded Swiv-O-Matic. It’s not. The footboard is way too small and it feels merely smooth. It’s nowhere near the Dyno-matic or Swiv-O-matic. I took it back.

Do Bass Drum Pedal Plates Help or Hinder?

Speaking of of the pedals I’ve owned, the Rogers Dyno-matic pedal is arguably a little looser than the majority, a little more flexible, and definitely more positive in a tactile sense. Looseness is something some may depict this as being less-stiff. Certainly the lack of a pedal plate, to which everything is bolted, has something to do with it. The original Rogers design, and it’s newly renovated V2.0, is more than a matter of pedal plate efficacy. Take some really well-conceived modifications and create a high standard in terms of build quality and raw materials and you’re getting close to enlightenment on why this pedal is so good. Granted, I’ll bet if you bolted the Dyno-matic to a metal plate, it’d feel more firm, but not necessarily in a good way. I’m not about to mess around with this pedal because it’s rock solid, certainly plenty solid for my uses. It’s no leaf in the wind. If I wake up tomorrow and somebody’s affixed a floor plate to my pedal, I’ll get mad, then I’ll get even. Nobody’s going to bugger around with the pedal of my dreams. End of story.

The new Rogers c/o Reliance, renowned hardware/lugs/holders supplier to great American and overseas drum companies, thankfully didn’t do the usual “beef-up the past”, as in This ride cymbal is made just like the old Turkish handcrafted ones but will project on modern stages. Right away, you know that it’s nothing like the older cymbals. To prevent breakage, cymbal companies perforce must add girth, or add metal to the taper, of cymbals that in a previous era cracked. And those needy parts of cymbals are the ones that supplied the vintage cymbals with special attributes. More on that in another article.

The new Rogers USA did not fire out press releases, far and wide, babbling that the Dyno-matic is a Swiv-O-Matic for 2018. The Dyno-matic is another version, modified in certain respects, driven not by a strap but by a single-chain. Frank Ippolito in NYC, decades ago, used to convert strap drive Camco and Gretsch pedals to chain-drive in order to make them smoother and more direct. I think the implementation of a single-chain was spot-on. If you’re an old guy and insist on a strap-drive pedal, then use an old Swiv-O-Matic

The Old Swiv-O-Matic Fell from Grace

The following is of value to people who study the history & mechanics of pedals.

It is a well-known, and glossed-over fact that the Rogers Swiv-O-Matic didn’t remain a benchmark of greatness until the end. It was a Grapes of Wrath journey, fraught, as the late Louie Bellson told me, with cost cutting moves. I’d told him that one night at winter NAMM, instead of drinking whisky, I entertained a more noble mission. I took the rental car to East Valencia, the street in Fullerton where the Rogers factory was situated following the move from Ohio. Louie looked at me a little funny. He was uncharacteristically bitter when he told me that the move to Fullerton resulted in cost-cutting measures, such as cheaper bearings on the Swivo, that buried the pedal and, ultimately, the company. Louie was not alone in his depiction.

Perhaps it’s best that the current Rogers USA, in marketing the Dyno-matic gave short shrift to the demise of the products and the company that made them. Nowadays the pedal is made by Reliance in Taiwan (not mainland China, as I erroneously reported to you and ask that you , and Reliance, accept my sincere apologies. I’ve got distant relatives in Taiwan, and I deal with another native company, World Max. I ought to have known) and it bears repeating (stop yawning!) that the Dyno-Matic is the only pedal I choose to play. I’ve seen on forums: “the Dyno-matic doesn’t include the swiveling feature for people who angle their foot. It’s a deal breaker, the absence of this feature”. I could tell that people who wrote such nonsence, (1) have never played an original Swiv-O-matic pedal enough to know Shite from Shinola (can I say that?), and (2) simply and dogmatically dismiss the current Reliance Dyno-matic to their detriment. I love the old Swivo but, hey, the Dyno is a freaking better pedal. End of story.

Dave Dudley sold me on the Rogers without doing any selling. The thing sells itself. Dave told me what he knew about Steve Maxwell having something to do with it. As mentioned, I think, Maxwell had everything to do with the new Rogers Dyn-o-sonic wood-shell snare but had very little to do with the pedal. That was the Reliance designer’s baby.

My ship has landed. It’s not a matter of allowing the beater to strike dead-center of a larger diameter drum, although the new pedal will facilitate this. And remember, if you were seeking this dubious feature, the Swivo beater landed significantly to the right of center! At the end of the day, the strike zone is important. You ever watch the footage of Apaches and Warthogs dropping payloads on target and doing collateral damage? I thought so. You need to get at least within the strike zone, as opposed to miles off it. If you’re wondering if the significant increase in height has affected detrimentally the stability inherent in the architecture, not to worry. This sucker will withstand any kick you want to plant on it: your size-13 bare feet or your Doc Martins.

The Company Rose from the Ashes

As we end this conversational review, let us note that the shells on the last Rogers series out of Fullerton, the Rogers “R” series, were made by Yamaha and were decent. I guess it was a good thing to see Yamaha purchasing the Rogers company. With Hagi cracking the whip, they were making decent drums. I don’t think, stress think, they did any assembling of drums for Rogers. Rather, they sent shells. I could be wrong but nothing hinges on it.

Years later, it’s fair to say, Yamaha dropped the ball on the notion of reviving Rogers drums and hardware after they’d purchased it with the best of intentions. They’d left the matter way too late. The nail on the coffin was the feeble Rogers booth at winter NAMM a decade ago. I broke wind when I snuck over and spied generic junk passing for Rogers. It was a patent insult (!) to Joe Thompson and to all those distinguished drummers who’d considered Rogers the pinnacle of American drum making and who’d labored long hours to keep Rogers far ahead of the other companies. I think it was a good day when Yamaha sold Rogers to Reliance, which has a great reputation, thus the company name.

The Dyno-matic is a single-chain drive model that looks good, chrome and all, but also in its retaining of the essential architectural profile of the original Swivo.

Feel good? Nope. Feel better.

If you’re having trouble navigating those Bonham triplets or certain bass drum phrases that emulate a sequence programmed by a psychotic keyboard player, you are still going to have to practice. This pedal invites practice. It’s just that smooth and there is no delay, no separation between thinking and acting. The nature of the cam is that it doesn’t have this little gasp just before striking the head. It follows through magnificently. And returns. In this respect, it reminds me of the Sonor Perfect Balance pedal (which I also reviewed for MD magazine). Know that if you’re in the drum store and you hold the thing down on the counter, hold down and then release the beater, you’re going to get at least twenty-wobbles, unlike the feeble six, if you were lucky, on the old Swivo. I guess that contributes to the smooth action I’ve been describing.

Again, trust me. I swear to God I never fibbed, or told a single white lie, in any Modern Drummer gear review; I stand by every word. And the same applies to the current review.

If you have questions, email me at: tbrucewittet@gmail.com

Sparse on the Ground

The Rogers Dyno-matic pedal from the Rogers Drum Company c/o Reliance is not hitting the market in the thousands. It’s still more of a boutique pedal. It’s special. It’s made from premium materials machined to perfection. It is my first-call pedal. It comes in a black case with a manual. It’s available in big box stores and specialized outlets.

Try it out in a drum department or drum shop. Buy it there, too. And if you have history with the old Dyn-o-sonic pedal, I suggest you buy the Dyno-matic pedal. You’ll relive the thrill and find that it fits the largest bass drum in your collection. Again: I’ve seen new Dyno-matics out there costing roughly $190USD through $280 Canadian. Your pocket book takes a hit. But your back and thighs will applaud the purchase.  Tbw 23 Sept, 2018.