Pearl Style Mount for Synesthesia Mandala Drum – Update

I’ve been getting my new Synthesia Mandala Drums ready for use with my Beware of Safety Keyboard/Electronic Drum Rig, and I came up with a quick, cheap way to mount the pads to a standard Pearl drum clamp (as opposed to using a snare drum or cymbal stand).

You will need:

  • Synthesia Mandala Drum
  • One M8-1.25 bolt (8 mm diameter with 1.25 pitch threads fits in a Mandala)
  • Two to four 3/8 inch washers (3/8 inch inner diameter, ~1 inch outer diameter)
  • One M8 washer (8 mm, comes with drum)
  • Small length of metal tube, diameter less than 1 inch
  • Wrench
  • Hack saw
  • Metal file

If you’ve got the tube and tools laying around, the bolts and washers will cost you less than $3.50 for two mount setups.

First, make sure the metal tube you’re using will fit in your drum clamp of choice (shown here is a Pearl AX-25L).  The tube I used was cut off of an old shower curtain rod and was 7/8 inch in diameter.  If you’re using the 3/8 inch washers I described above, you can have any tube with an outer diameter less than 1 inch.  Next you need to figure out the appropriate length for the tube and the bolt.

Tube mounted in AX-25L clamp.

Tube (post trimming) mounted in AX-25L clamp.

To calculate the tube length, mount the tube in the clamp with one end flush with the bottom and mark off how much is needed to clear the clamp.  For the AX-25L, I measured about 1 1/8 inch (28.575 mm).  I then added an extra 1/8 inch (3.175 mm) to clear the clamp wing nuts.  In hindsight I should have added a little more, so don’t go below 1 1/4 inch (31.75 mm) if you’re using this clamp.

The bolt length requires some minor math.  You already should have your tube size determined.  Now add to that the thread depth of the insert on the bottom of the Mandala.  If you’re using Version 2.9, it should be 1 cm (10 mm) deep.  Next, find the thickness of your 3/8 inch washers.  You’ll need at least two (one for each end), and the thickness of the washers I used was 1/16 inch.  2/16 inch = 1/8 inch (3.175 mm).  Finally get the thickness of your 8 mm washer: about 1 mm.  Add all of those up (31.75 + 10 + 3.175 + 1 mm) to get a length of 45.9 mm.  Select your bolt length as the longest bolt size that will fit under the calculated length (here, a 45 mm long bolt would work).  Anything longer will bottom out before you can tighten your mount.

So you go to Home Depot and all they have is a 50 mm bolt.  No problem: you can lengthen the tube to compensate.  Simply take the bolt length (50 mm) and subtract everything but the tube (50 – 10 – 3.175 – 1 mm) to get your new tube length (35.825 mm).  Round this up to prevent the bolt from bottoming out (36 mm).

Trim the tube to size using a hack saw (I used a mitre box to keep the cut straight).  Saw carefully: if your tube has a crooked edge, your drum won’t mount straight and/or you may damage your Mandala.  Also, try to cut a longer length than the one you marked.  Though the thread depth on the Mandala is 10 mm, you don’t want your bolt to use all of it.  In reality, you can get by with a few threads engaged, so aim to cut the tube within about 5 mm of your minimum length.  You can use a metal file to remove burrs, sharp edges, or straighten your cut afterwards.

Cutting the tube

Cut tube with hack saw. A mitre box was used to keep the cut straight.

Components prior to attachment

Components prior to attachment.

After you cut your tube, stack your components on the bolt: 8 mm washer, 3/8 inch washer, tube, and the other 3/8 inch washer.  Loosely tighten this to the Mandala drum.

Components on Mandala

Loosly tighten component stack on Mandala.

Align the stack so that the bolt runs through the center of the washers and the tube, then tighten everything down with a wrench.  If you find you can’t tighten the stack all the way down because the tube was too short (don’t force it!), you can add a few extra 3/8 inch washers to take up the extra space.

Tighten stack

After aligning, tighten stack down using wrench.

And that’s it!  Super stable, and it doesn’t hog up any of the rim like a snare stand does.

Final product

Mandala mounted in Pearl AX-25L.


UPDATE 01/28/12

After a few weeks of using this method, I noticed that the tube has started to deform.  There are two options here.  One is to use a thicker tube.  The other is to use a coupling nut.  I found that a 7/16″-14 by 1-3/4″ coupling nut fits perfectly over an 50 mm long M8 fastener and lines up exactly in the clamp.  No measuring, no cutting.  The only down side is that you can’t spin your Mandala after tightening things down.

7/16" Rod Coupler Mount.


Much cleaner.  Another option that might work is to use a metric male-female standoff like those found here:  This part (or one like it) might need to have its threads trimmed shorter and/or a few washers added, but it also looks like an excellent solution.



About morganhendry

I have been a musician and rocket scientist since 4th grade. I play drums/keyboards for the LA based instrumental rock band Beware of Safety (, write electronic music as The Laterite Road (, and just landed something on Mars ( More info can be found at my website ( Sign up here for updates on my many projects:
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6 Responses to Pearl Style Mount for Synesthesia Mandala Drum – Update

  1. kimono says:

    U R a Freaken Legend! this is a huge help.

  2. KonaNeil says:

    I’ve been contemplating buying several Mandalas to use with Battery and have thought of the cymbal stand thread connection as a minor negative in that over the decades I’ve played drums I’ve busted a few of the threaded sections even though I’m not a heavy hitter. Since you have the pad and have been thinking about the issue, do you think this connection method is stable?

    I can cannibalize enough old cymbal stands but I’d hate to have a pad drop and break on a gig.

    • morganhendry says:

      I too had reservations about the cymbal stand mounting – honestly I never actually tried it out. I feel a bit safer using the Pearl-style mount I put together as it offers a bit more support at the threaded insert. The nice thing about a “peg” you screw in is that you can tension it up really well before mounting, which eliminates the tendency for the drum to unscrew while you play it (and you can consistently mount it in the same orientation). I’ve also seen a lot of folks using snare stands to hold the drums. I’m a really heavy hitter, and I’ve had no problem with the Mandala falling off during rehearsals or shows.

  3. kimono says:

    Guys I’m currently using cymbal stands for 3x MK2.9’s and they’ve been stable.
    Although I have buffered them with a big washer on top of the M8 Nut that ships with the MK2.9’s, and then a nice firm cymbal felt that squashes down when the Mandala is spin onto it. Also I have chosen cymbal arms that were already very tight and firm, if they have any looseness or other issues probably not suited to the Mandalas…

    I am still planning on adopting the method given on this blog, and some of the new hardware in the update sounds promising. I did a sample mount yesterday using a AX Pearl clamp like here… unfortunately my hack sawing was crap so it didn’t work out well, I had to file the rod straight which took forever. Also I had to try about 12 different types of “M8’s” at the store because only 1 would fit… same thread and everything, just some screws aren’t right, even to the point where 2 out of 10 screws from the same manufactures wouldn’t screw in.

    So in the mean time I am for my right side, I am using 2x cymbal arms mounted into a Pearl AX-38 on over the floor toms, and on the left, an AX25-L with 1 cymbal arm.. On this one I cut the excess off the cymbal arm so it looks very neat, when I am comfortable with this setup I’ll do the same on the RHS.

    Personally I preferred the mounting method on the V1’s and V2’s.. would be good if they gave that as an option still. These were easy, just Google Images “DW Single Tom Clamp” or “DW Double Clamp”.. these are what I use and they are AWESOME.

    I guess the thing with the Mandala’s is they really do alter your playing so you will find that you will hit them quite delicately.. well this has happened for me at least. So the cymbal arms aren’t that bad.

  4. Craig says:

    I suggest buying a 5.8″ wrench socket, M8 25mm cap screw, and a washer. This is amazingly sturdy.

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