In Christian’s own words,
The one-for-all 2-in-1 Tipper/Hotrod. All you need for a start. All you need for traveling. All you need for understatement.
3 mm beech rods individually selected, oiled and waxed, in a parallel dowel positioning. Length: 24.5 cm, weight approx. 31 grams.
What’s different about HEDRods?
The Hot Rod type of beater is made of a number of rods bundled together and produces a powerful sound. Used for decades by kit drummers, it was natural for bodhrán players, including Christian Hedwitschak, to start experimenting with hot rods. And natural too, that Christian should collaborate with Stevie Moises to develop his own line of Hot Rod style beaters, the HEDrods!
All the HEDrods share a consistent structure and length (approx 24.5 cm), so changing from one model to another is easy and comfortable for the player, whilst creating a totally different sound from one HEDrod to the next. Most importantly, they have been designed to be suitable for all common playing styles and grips without limitations.
A note on model names: HR refers to HedRod, the subsequent digit refers to the diameter of the rods in millimetres and and the final designation refers to the shape of the head, a critical detail to the desired sound. The “Crisp” heads are only slightly rounded around the perimeter of the rod bundle, which creates a focus on brighter, higher frequency sound, whereas the “Bold” has a decidedly more rounded, bullet-shaped end which creates more bassy tones, and lower frequency sounds.
The basic materials used for all models are top quality, hand selected beech or walnut rods in specific diameters or bamboo sticks. Each beech rod is individually oiled and waxed. The bamboo sticks are left natural. The arrangement of the rods depends on the model and is either parallel to the axis of the tipper or slightly twisted in order to achieve a click-ier behaviour and sound.
The HEDrod handle is a new development
In order to facilitate every playing or grip style, Christian and Stevie created a grip which offers controlled handling, no matter if it is held in the middle, at 2/3 of its length or close to the end. They achieved this with the Precision Control Grip which consists of a thin net under a special shrink tube which provides comfortable support, is unobtrusive and nonrestrictive. Two adjustable rubber rings on the handle can be positioned individually to serve either as a quick positioning of the handle point, or as a grip area boundary.
The position and length of the grip area was determined based on playability, sound and comfort, so it feels “just right” in a variety of grip styles. The grip zone is glued so that the rods can never slip or change position. Because only the attack sound, rather than the typical hotrod sound is heard from the upper end of the beater when playing double ended triplets, we decided that the HedRod should be uni-directional. Therefore the upper end of the tipper is solidly constructed to emphasise the attack sound.
3 O-Ring Setting
Compared to other hotrods, the HedRods have an additional rubber ring. This provides much more flexibility in the adjustment of the handling and has direct influence on the sound.
The front ring is used to set the “click behaviour” of the rods. The farther forward it sits, the less the rods move during impact so the typical clicking noise decreases. Naturally the click sound increases the further you move the ring towards the handle, because the rods have more freedom to move. Depending on the design of the rods, a sound similar to that produced by jazz brushes can be achieved.
The two rear rings determine how solid the Hedrod feels. A Hotrod always feels a little “softer” than a tipper made of solid wood. This property can be adjusted within in a surprisingly large range using the ring positions. For example, if the front ring is at the very end of the HedRod and the two rear rings close to the handle, a very clear attack close to that of a solid tipper will be the result, however, it will still have the softer feel of a hodrod. The reason for this is that the rods can move considerably between the foremost O-ring and the top of the handle – this causes energy to be dampened and you will feel a less attacking response. At the same time, less ‘unsprung mass’ hits the drum head and a lower bass volume is the result. In short, you can now adjust the movement by moving the rings. Compared to other hotrod models on the market this additional rubber ring provides the ability to achieve a feeling that almost equals that of a solid wood tipper, because it is possible to make the full length of the HedRod almost completely immobile.
The above stated tipper lenghts may vary within a tolerance of several millimeters. Wood is a natural product that responds to atmospheric conditions which may affect length or playability. Also the depicted and actual woodgrain may vary.