I don’t know about you but I have never really put a lot of thought into hi-hat stands. To me they either worked or they didn’t. I only really noticed them if the rod’s movement was impaired (i.e., stuck) or the placement of the stand in relation to my left foot pedal (whether it was a double pedal or a single pedal for a second bass drum) was uncomfortable, a nuisance or, a distraction.
Well, in the words of the Monkees “That Was Then, This Is Now.” With my acquisition of the DW 9500TB hi-hat stand I have a new appreciation for this critical piece of my drum kit.
I won’t try to tell you about the mechanics of this piece of equipment and if you want to learn more you should visit the DW website for that information. You can also find some good reviews on You Tube and there is no need, in my opinion, to reinvent the wheel here in that respect. You see, I am not basing my opinion on my knowledge of mechanics but rather on my experience in playing the product itself. I do note that DW tells us that the “DW 9000 Series Hi-Hats utilize a patented Double Eccentric Cam that increases the sensitivity of the footboard in relation to cymbal movement, resulting in a unique, incredibly fast and responsive feel.”
My counter to that statement after playing the 9500TB? It rocks. The action on this stand is ridiculous. In my mind, I think DW and I are saying the same thing. We just express it differently.
Here’s the skinny on this stand based on my experience with it.
1) It is simple to set up.
2) I read some reviews online which criticized the 9500TB for “wobbling.” I did not encounter “wobbling” and I suspect if you did you need to adjust the stand. It’s a solid stand and for what it’s worth it’s a cool looking piece of equipment too.
3) I can’t explain why but my hats just sound better on this stand. (15″ Paiste 2002 Sound Edges of course!) I don’t know why they do but they do. Also consider this. I have always felt that a bass drum’s sound can be “personalized” to a large extent. The player can either have a tight or loose head; stuff it with muffling or leave it relatively empty; and, mic it about a thousand different ways. Of course, another major manipulator of bass drum sound is the pedal itself. Along those lines, I think the action on this stand brings a new “personalization” to hi-hat work. In other words, the action on the 9500TB’s pedal is so good that I feel that as a player I can really affect my hi-hat work much more than I ever could with any other stand I have ever played. I will say this. The action on this pedal is very similar to what you would feel on the accelerator to a sports car. With a touch you can go from zero to 60. It’s a whole new world.
4) Subtle point but if you are recording this pedal is really quiet.
5) I really have no comment on price. To me, I want the right piece of equipment and when I am on stage I want equipment that is reliable, trustworthy, and performance worthy. It’s a peace of mind thing and when I look down and see two chains I really don’t see how this stand can break. Furthermore, I will pay more for all the other factors that I mention in this blog. You get what you pay for. It’s not worth it to save a few bucks just to “get” a stand in my opinion. Either way, I don’t think the price for the stand is a problem at all.
6) I did not experience any airlock with this stand however, with another major manufacturer’s stand I did. Same cymbals but different stands so you can draw your own conclusion.
In the end, I think my conclusion is obvious on this product. I don’t know. There’s just something about DW products. I can see how that would be the case with drums because there is so much that goes into the sound of a drum like heads, edges, and woods. But a stand? It’s mechanical. How can that be the case? It just goes up and down, right? Well, I am here to tell there is a difference with DW stands and particularly the 9500TB. I know golfers have told me that they feel that their equipment can really make a difference in how they play. However, I never saw how that could be the case. There are no dials or buttons on a golf club. But, with the 9500TB I can now relate; your equipment can make a difference even without dials or buttons. Rock on DW.
Editor’s Note: I want to especially thank Beto Benitez at DW Drums (Media & Promotions Planner) for answering all my consumer related questions about this product. His insight and guidance was really helpful and the it’s always good in my eyes when a manufacturer shares their own experiences about playing their own products.