Approximately 13 years ago I went to my local P.M.T (Professional Music Technology) store and bought an Iron Cobra Twin Pedal and the matching hi hat stand. All these years later and I’m still using the same pedals and hi hat stand on tour and they have stood the test of time and survived getting bashed around.
Tama recently upgraded me to the new Iron Cobra series, the Iron Cobra 900 Power Glide and so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the changes and improvements for anyone who’s a long term Iron Cobra user (like me) but is thinking about upgrading or for anyone that’s in the market for a new kick drum pedal.
Drummers reading this will know that the kick drum pedal is one of the most personal parts of a drum kit, so changing pedals is never an easy adjustment and sometimes takes months to really feel like the extension of your foot that it should be.
The most impressive thing for me about the Iron Cobra 900 was that the pedals felt familiar right out of the box and my feet felt at home right away. The biggest change I noticed was the increased smoothness and response.
The Iron Cobra’s have always been solid pedals and I was pleased to see that there were no major design changes, but simple and practical tweaks that have revolutionized the feel of the pedal.
There are lots of new features but I’ll mention the ones that stand out to me:
- Footboard/Heel Plate – The new bearing hinge in the heel plate coupled with the fact that the footboard and heel plate meet further down because of the extra length (see photos) make the pedal smoother and allow you to play lower down the footboard (perfect for blast beats) easier. I’ve owned other pedals where the heel plate has weakened over time and caused the footboard to sway from side to side and become less secure… That doesn’t happen with Iron Cobra pedals and the new improved design will make sure that doesn’t change.
- Swivel Spring Tight – It would be easy to miss this feature if you don’t pay attention. The Swivel Spring Tight now allows the spring to move in motion with the footboard, which makes the transfer of energy from the footboard to the spring and then the spring to the beater and kick drumhead seamless. On most pedals, the spring stays firm but this upgrade has improved the playability and response of the pedal subtly (to the eye) but majorly (in terms of feel).
- Cobra Coil – When I saw the Cobra Coil (spring) underneath the footboard, my first reaction was ‘Ahaa, I found the gimmick’. I couldn’t have been more wrong though. After adjusting the cam, footboard height and spring tension, I played the pedals and was happy. When I decided to experiment with moving the Cobra Coil up and down the footboard I was surprised with how much a difference it made (when I had it further up the footboard than when I had it further down the footboard). This has already revolutionized how I play the kick drum and the footboard’s response and sensitivity now allows me to play more intricate patterns a lot easier.
- Power Strike Cobra Beater – This beater is a GAME CHANGER! How much impact can a beater really have? In this case, a LOT!!! Again, it’s about the transfer of energy. The beater is more solid than the previous one and really creates a punchy, full tone from the kick drum, while the beater itself is longer and as a result is now positioned much better so the spring/footboard aren’t overextended to hit the kick drum head, flat and straight on.
If you’re a user of an older Iron Cobra model like me, these pedals with feel familiar but the new updates will make for a much smoother feel and operation while still maintaining the thing we love most about Iron Cobra pedals… How solid, robust and powerful they are. Tama hit the nail on the head by not going crazy and completely redesigning the best pedal on the market but simply tweaking it in the right areas to improve comfort and playability.
If you’ve never played a Tama Iron Cobra pedal and are in the market for a new pedal; they are worth considering. There’s enough ways to adjust them to really customise them to what your pedal needs to feel like to make you perform better without there being so much that it gets confusing or compromises the build of the pedal.
Regardless of your normal pedal of choice, if you buy a Tama Iron Cobra 900, you’ll be getting a solid and robust pedal that is now as equally sensitive and smooth as it is powerful with enough adjustment options to make it perfect for all kinds of drummers and all kinds of needs…
- Power-Strike Cobra Beater: Provides a fatter, punchier sound and optimised beater action without delaying impact.
- Swivel Spring Tight: Enables the spring tension post to swivel, allowing free spring movement and a much smoother feel.
- Hinge Guard Block: Enables separate parts construction of hinge connections which improves the part more durable.
- Super Stabiliser Design: Wider base-plate and frame design for increased stability.
- Para Clamp II Pro: Features rubber to firmly attach the pedal to the hoop and also prevent scratching.