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EP 82 - The History of the 5000 Pedal with Vincent Ward


The iconic 5000 pedal dates back to the early 1940's where it was created by the Martin Fleetfoot company, and it has been a staple of the drum world ever since. The 80 year history has many twists and turns until it reaches the modern DW 5000 pedal that we all know and love. Vincent tells us all about each and every era of the pedal including Gretsch, George Way, Camco, Rogers, John Gray, Tama, and DW and many more. The impact that this one pedal design has had on the drum world is unbelievable - learn the full story in this episode!


Vincent is the owner and operator of Vitalizer Drums and is a master restorer of vintage pedals including Ludwig Speed King's, a variety of 5000 pedals, and other vintage hardware. Check out his website here: www.vitalizerdrums.com


***If you like this episode and want to hear a 45 minute bonus episode where Vincent and I talk even more about 5000 pedals and the many pedals that have been based on its design, DW history, and other great drum info - Join Patreon to get access to this special episode!*** Join here - https://www.patreon.com/drumhistorypodcast


Here is Vincents outline for the episode:


TIMELINE

Fleetfoot era (1940–1955)

Martin Fleetfoot

- 5000 hinged footboard

- 5001 one-piece footboard

what we know about the Martin Fleetfoot company:

- based in Minneapolis, MN

- not a lot of definitive information known about the company or its early pedals

- no known literature

- the 5000 and 5001 pedal were their only product

- likely developed and patented pre-WW2

- design and all manufacturing done by MFF

- stencil versions licensed to: Gretsch, Camco, Powersonic & Elite Toronto

- relatively rare to find them being offered for sale

- very few remain in their original state

- MFF-branded pedals are relatively rare implying that most of their business was

making imprint pedals for other brands

features:

- cast aluminum components

- hex rocker rod

- rocker rod bearings

- eccentric cam

- stroke regulator (2 point)

- spring adjustment

- leather strap

- leather heel plate hinge

Gretsch

1946–1985

- 4955 “Floating Action”


- 4956 “Professional”

first appearance: 1946 price list

details:

- Gretsch never owned any patent or tooling for the 4955

- all manufacturing done by MFF, then Camco, then DW

- design remains largely unchanged from 1946–1965

- primarily leather strap

- nylon strap examples appear starting in the mid 60’s

- single chain (Turbo) version appears in the early 80’s

- as far as i can tell there is no Gretsch-branded one-piece footboard version

- there are early leather hinged Gretsch-branded 4955 pedals

- the majority of 5000 pedals you see are Gretsch-branded because they were

produced for Gretsch from 1946 into the mid 80’s

Camco / Geo. Way

1946–1955

- “Camco” Professional

first appearance: 1950 Geo. Way catalog

details:

- identical to the 4955 Gretsch Floating Action


Camco era (1955–1977)

at some point between 1950 and 1960 (estimated), Martin Fleetfoot sells patent,

manufacturing, dies & tooling to Camco. Camco fairly seamlessly continues production

for themselves as well as other 5000 stencil brands

there is no definitive information on when and how this transition took place but it makes

sense as Camco was an ambitious and expanding company. they would have already

been setup as a machine shop and could transition into production of the 5000 fairly

easily

Camco:

1955–77

- 5000 “Deluxe”

- 6000 “Standard”

details:

- mid 60’s changes/improvements: nylon strap drive, pressed steel rocker cam (4

position)


- new model: 5000-S one piece footboard

- still manufacturing 4955 “Floating Action” pedals for Gretsch

Rogers

1960–63?

- 4462 “De Luxe”

- 4461 “Standard”

first appearance: late 50’s/early 60’s

details:

- filled the gap between1960–63 when Swiv-o-matic” was introduced

- Camco pedals phased out by mid 60’s

John Grey

1947–1967

- 5189 the “AUTOCRAT”

- 5210 the “BROADWAY”

details:

- information primarily from 1957 catalog

- likely reverse engineered from a Martin Fleetfoot shortly after WW2

- one-piece footboard/footplate

- nearly direct copy of a Martin Fleetfoot 5000-S

- 5210: similar design with slight changes, no self-aligning footplate

Modification era (1973–1979):

details:

- amateur repairs, modifications likely date back to the pedal’s inception

- readily available parts encourage DIY fixes

- nylon or leather strap drive options available

- other common repairs: spring & rocker hook replacement

Frank Ippolito’s Pro Percussion

1973–78

details:

- Al Duffy invents the sprocket & chain modification

- ultimately to address the issue of durability: strap would stretch and/or break

- Elvin Jones one of the first proponents

- patent submitted: September 25 th 1972

- patent approved: March 19 th 1974

- patent expired: March 19 th 1991


- floorplate modification also available

- in 1978: Duffy moves to Nashville, Camco folds & DW picks up the torch

the rise of DW:

1978–1999

early model lineup:

- 5000-C: chain and sprocket

- 5000-CX: chain and sprocket (cut)

- 5001-CX: chain and sprocket (cut), one piece footboard

- 5000: nylon strap

- 5001: nylon strap, one piece footboard

- 5002: chain and sprocket, double pedal

details:

- early DW pedals feature Danmar felt beaters

- early 80’s diversification and refinement of pedal models

- in 1983, Duane Livingston invents, patents and licenses the 5002 design to DW

- early 80’s, DW provides 4960 (chain drive) for Gretsch

- in the mid–late 90’s production of parts moves to Taiwan or China

- pedals are still assembled and QC’d in Oxnard, CA

- later all production of parts and assembly moved to Taiwan or China

Tama Camco:

1978–1999, 2015–2018

- 6735: Chain-drive pedal

details:

- when DW split Tama acquired the name and rights to produce a pedal of their

own design

- made with their own tooling & die casting

- very similar to earlier 5000 pedals but with a chain guard & toe stop

- went out of production in the late 90’s/early 00’s due to higher popularity of the

Iron Cobra

90’s pedal lineup:

- HP35: Camco

- HP38: Camco Extra Light

- HP30: Flexi-Flyer (strap)

- HP45: Pro Beat (updated cam instead of sprocket)

-

- HP35TW: Camco Twin (double)

- HP45TW: Pro Beat Twin

modern DW era:


2000–present

- DWCP5000TD4 (double chain, Turbo)

- DWCP5000AD4 (double chain, Accelerator)

- DWCP5000ADS (solid footboard, Accelerator)

- DWCP5000ADH (heel-less, Accelerator)

- DWCP5000AD4XF (XF, Accelerator)

- DWCP6000CX (single chain, Turbo)

- DWCP6000AX (single chain, Accelerator)

- DWCP6000NX (nylon strap)

details:

- in the mid–late 90’s production of parts moves to Asia

- pedals are still assembled and QC’d in Oxnard, CA

- later all production of parts and assembly moved to Asia

- overall quality and reputation maintained

- 5000 pedal remains most popular and widely used pedal in the world

the DW 9000:

2002–present

details:

- invented by: Lucas Jacobson

- exhibits at the Chicago Drum Show

- unique and new design

- raises the bar for pedals

- super smooth action due in part to bearings

the derivative era:

1960–present

details:

- the 5000 influenced many derivative models from major and minor brands alike

- will cover specific brands and models in more detail in the Patreon episode


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