Cymbals will be reviwed in this category.
Paiste has several Signature lines, including the Dark Energy. The cymbal reviewed here is the 22" Dark Energy Mark II Ride. Sometimes consumers may think that the word "Dark" means that not only the wash will have intense low frequencies, but also that the ping does not have intense high frequencies. That is not always true. Although the low frequencies are always there in a dark cymbal, the ping can be bright, which is the case with this cymbal.
The Paiste Twenty line has been around for some time, and about a year ago, they introduced the Masters Series in the Twenty line. They are B20 alloy, and are some of the most musical cymbals I have ever tested.
Paiste's Giant Beat series consists of a 24", 18", and 20" "Multi-functional", and 14" and 15" Hi-Hats. They have a very distinctive sound that one might call "Retro Rock", as the ping is crisp. The 18", 20", and 24" are labeled as "Multi-functional" because they can be used as rides or crashes. Here, we review the 24" version, which is essentially a ride cymbal.
Zildjian has re-introduced the K. Zildjian Constantinople series of rides and crashes, described as being mellow, dry, dark, and warm. The 22" ride comes in two versions, the medium thin high and the medium thin low. We have already reviewed the high version, and now we cover the low version. The words high and low refer to the tonal balance, not the shape of the bell or curvature. They both have a nostalgia "K" sound that so many drummers, particularly jazz drummers, are looking for.
Dream Cymbals are manufactured in China, being totally hammered and lathed by hand, directly from the cast bronze disc, rather than put through rollers to flatten them before hammering. The results are cymbals that have a very strong wash that sustains. The current review covers their 24" Bliss Half Cup Ride Cymbal. This basically means the bell is about half the size it normally would be. This gives the cymbal a strong ping, and just enough wash to make it interesting.
I have been a big fan of the Paiste 2002 series for a long time. I only had 2002 crash cymbals though. When I read about a drummer's experience with the 2002 ride cymbal on a drum forum, I decided to obtain one and see (hear) if I liked it as well as he did.
Sabian's HHX series is specified as "Modern Dark . . . drier, dirtier, funkier". The word "Dark" translates to lots of low frequency undertones, and I think, after having analyzed quite a few cymbals, "dirtier" means more midrange wash . . . more "SHHHHH" to the sound. We recently reviewed the 18" Manhattan Jazz Crash, and now turn our attention to the 20", which, although classified as a ride cymbal, I consider it to work well as a crash/ride.
In the late 1950's, Paiste introduced their 602 series of cymbals. Everyone loved them. The big names played them. So, one might wonder, why did Paiste stop offering them, and instead, moved on to new models? Well, the answer is right there in the question: new. It's in our nature to always be looking for something different, even when what we have is just about perfect. New model is something the marketing guys love, and we, as consumers, have learned to love it too. But there is another word: Retro, and it means we like going back in time to rediscover the pleasures of things we loved in the past. And, that is the 602. The irony is that the 602 has been out of the inventory for so long, today's drummers probably never heard of it, let alone play one. Well, here's your chance, and the 602 is, . . . now what is that word I am looking for?
The Zildjian A Medium Thin Crash Cymbal (part of their Avedis Zildjian line) might be called a "bread and butter cymbal". If you are going to have just two crashes in your kit, and you play either jazz or big band, this cymbal would be there. Buddy Rich used one of these in his set of three (one ride, two crashes). That says just about everything that could be said. It's bright, fast, and neutral.
Sabian's HHX series is specified as "Modern Dark . . . drier, dirtier, funkier". The word "Dark" translates to lots of low frequency undertones, and I think, after having analyzed quite a few cymbals, "dirtier" means more midrange wash . . . more "SHHHHH" to the sound. The current review is of their 18" HHX Manhattan Jazz, which is classified as crash cymbal. Its medium thin weight delivers a bright, but not too bright, sound. It is suited for riding the body as well as the bell.
Dream Cymbals is one of the new companies whose products are manufactured in China. From what we are told, the cymbals are totally hammered and lathed by hand, directly from the cast bronze disc, rather than put through rollers to flatten them before hammering. If that is accurate, I don't think I would want to get into a fight with any of the cymbal smiths, because it must take enormous strength and endurance to perform this task from the raw cast ingot. However, the sound is very revealing, and suggests that it is so. The cymbals have a very strong wash that sustains. The Dream 20" Contact Crash/Ride Cymbal is the subject of the current review. Compared to the 20" Dream Bliss Crash/Ride Cymbal that we reviewed recently, the Contact has a higher pitch, and is, therefore, more penetrating.
Supernatural Cymbals is one of several small companies that have emerged during the past few years, who are based in Turkey, and who still make cymbals the way they have been made for centuries (except for the electric motor that turns the lathing machine). The cymbals start out as cast bronze discs, which are heated, rolled, cut into the desired diameter for the cymbal, hand hammered, and hand lathed. There is no machining at all. The results are quite distinguishable from machine hammered and lathed cymbals. It is not that one way is better than the other, but rather, you now have several additional choices in sound, and some of them are due to the old world ways of producing them. This review covers the Supernatural 18" Divine Crash. It has a very fast response, and somewhat higher pitch than the Supernatural Universal Crash Cymbal we reviewed a few weeks ago.
Cymbal makers are always looking for new ways to give their customers more sound options. The "Hybrid" refers to the body of the cymbal being treated differently at the inner region vs. the outer region. In this case, the Zildjian 19" K Custom Hybrid Crash Cymbal is hammered near the bell, and hammered as well as lathed at the perimeter. Besides producing a crash sound that is unique, riding the two regions gives two very different sounds, one that has plenty of wash (the outer region), and one that has a dry sound with a strong ping (near the bell).