Tama have updated their Iron Cobra and Speed Cobra kick drum pedals for 2016. The line-up features the Iron Cobra 900 and Speed Cobra 910 pedals. Since the Iron Cobras debuted two decades ago, interest in fast double bass/double kick playing has risen. The number of competitors in the field has also risen, so it seems Tama is keen to stay ahead of the pack with their redesign. Notable users of Cobra pedals include Mike Portnoy (Ex-Dream Theater), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Charlie Benante (Anthrax) and John Tempesta (Ex-Testament).
Tama Iron Cobra updated for 2016
First we’ll look at the updates to the Iron Cobra pedal. Tama analysed performance of existing pedals to produce a smoother response. Towards this end they updated the hinge connections and spring treatment. The pedal now has a wider frame structure and wider under-plate than previous versions. Tama refers to the change as super stabilization. The result is a greater optimisation of the new Para-Clamp II Pro’s hoop gripping power, and an overall stronger, more stable feeling pedal. Tama states that the changes produce a stronger pedal base off which technique can be more finely honed to produce the best performance. Tama offers a new Power-Strike Cobra Beater, which offers:
“unmatched sonic power and projection throughout the entire dynamic spectrum.”
Experimentation with different felt surface areas, shapes, densities, the distance from the shaft to beater-face and weight and balance of the beater resulted in the new build. Other features include a spring design which enables the spring tension post to swivel, allowing freer movement and a smooth feel, and a durable three-piece hinge guard block.
Two cams available
Two versions of the Iron Cobra are available: Power Glide and Rolling Glide. The 900 version Power Glide has:
“Tama’s signature pedal action, which increases the beater’s power and speed as it reaches the end of the stroke.”
The cam has 40 per cent less weight than the previous design, which results in faster and smoother performance. The Rolling Glide cam is a true round sprocket that produces smooth, consistent action throughout the beater stroke. It is also 40 per cent lighter, which provides greater control of the motion.
The new Iron Cobra 900 pedals are: Power Glide Single Pedal (HP900PN), Rolling Glide Single Pedal (HP900RN), Power Glide Twin Pedal (HP900PWN), Power Glide Left-Footed Twin Pedal (HP900PWLN) and the Rolling Glide Twin Pedal (HP900RWN). The pedals come with a hard carrying case.
Tama Speed Cobra line-up updated
The Speed Cobra 910 pedals have a longboard design and are targeted at drummers who want to hit very high speeds. No doubt they were inspired by the popularity of the Axis Longboard pedals among high level double bass players. The Speed Cobras have a lighter and smoother feel than the Iron Cobras, which have a more traditional feel. Both the 900 and 910 lines are high quality pedals. The pricing is identical for both lines. It will ultimately be up to the individual player as to which line they prefer. Earlier versions of the Speed Cobra met mixed reviews but Tama have fine-tuned the 910 series pedals.
The Speed Cobra 910 series includes the Speed Cobra Single Pedal (HP910LS), Speed Cobra Twin Pedal (HP910LSW) and Speed Cobra Left-Footed Twin Pedal (HP910LSWL).
Tama redesigned the pedal-board hinge assembly and spring treatment for the 910 to maximise speed and response with minimal weight. As with the 900 series, the 910 series features a revamped Para-Clamp II Pro hoop clamp and a wider frame and underplate to add stability and playability. The Speed Cobra features the new Accu-Strike Cobra beater head, made from butadiene rubber. The head is “narrower, yet thicker and more projectile-shaped” than before. Tama states the new head provides superior articulation, attack, tone and durability. There is a recessed setting, which enables a move between a more traditional feel and a lighter action.
Other Tama developments for 2016
The Cobra updates are the most significant announcement Tama made for 2016 so far. There are a number of other recent releases the company has made, namely the Sound Lab Project snares, Soundworks snares, Starclassic Bubinga exotic finishes, Starclassic maple exotic finishes, Roadpro light boom cymbal stands, Roadpro light straight cymbal stands, Star Hardware single tom stands, Powerpad bags, a drum multitool and Jeremy Colson signature sticks.