In essence, the fundamental concept of options and adjustability remains. Pearl have created a classic looking pedal that’s more understated in many ways than it’s bigger brother the DemonDrive, but still has some of it’s charm and features. Actually, there are quite a lot of features.
The new Redline features the very same NiNja Bearings from the DemonDrive that provide super fast performance with no noise and a buttery feel. You also get the nifty rotor tension cradle that locks the spring tensioner in place, so there’s no slippage when you’re playing hard. Other cool standard features include a reversible grip plate on the pedal board to cater for players who like to slide, and for those who don’t there’s a full base plate, a uni-lock beater angle cam that allows for exact and precise adjustments to the starting position of the beater by gripping the axle at 360 degrees, zero play hinges and a roller hoop clamp with a handy side adjustment for easy attachment and detachment on and off the bass drum. It gets better.
The Redline has a Powershifter function where you can actually adjust the footboard by moving it forwards or backward to match your style. You can choose from three positions: light, regular or strong. The beater is worth mentioning too. It’s called a control core beater and it takes the four-sided beater from the original Eliminator and continues the trend of two plastic and two felt playing surfaces depending on your taste. Pearl has however, worked on the centre of the beater to minimise vibration on impact making for a nicer feeling stroke. Finally, for the grand finale are the interchangeable cams. Again, as a progression from the original Eliminator, you can swap the cams out but there are now four distinct options available for your choice as standard with two as optional extras. Each cam offers a different feel in the stroke – some offer more power with more throw or perhaps you prefer a more linear stroke being the same on the way down as the way up. It’ll depend on your style, genre and approach. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to experiment with when changing a cam is as easy as the push of a button.
The Redline feels fantastic. It’s ultra quick and so, so smooth. I felt instantly comfortable with the standard linear cam and tried both chain and belt drives. The belt drive felt really direct and responded as quickly as I could. The chain drive had slightly more give in the stroke and felt relaxed. Seriously though, where does Pearl go from here? How much faster or smoother can pedals get?
Some players are going to freak out with how much you can play with here and for that reason some may not buy a pedal like this. Don’t forget though, that the people at Pearl are pretty cluey and the pedal will feel awesome straight out of the box. A mess around with a couple of cams might be an easy way to suss out different feels. As your tastes change, so can the pedal. For me, the new Redline is a cracker. Great feel, an awesome sense of durability, quality mixed with a tonne of options and the ability to tailor it to my every need. You can get a left-footed set too, and if you buy the single and decide later you want a double, you can buy a conversion kit. Total winner, nice work Pearl.