Sabian Cymbal Selection
It’s always nice to get a box of cymbals from Sabian and this time was no different. The cymbals in this selection were three Complex Aero crashes, a Rocktagon, the 15” Complex Medium Big Cup Hats and the Todd Sucherman signature ride.
18” AAX Rocktagon
I don’t think I’m being unfair by saying that Sabian has never been shy in creating weird and wonderful cymbals. Ok, they’re not the only ones now, and may not even have been the first to go a little more out there with cymbal concepts, but they were certainly the first company I saw thinking outside of the realms of ‘normal’.
When I was younger, I had a Sabian advert on my wall. It had loads of endorser’s photos on it and included in that list was Canadian drummer Gil Moore from Triumph.
Now, it was only decades later that I ever heard any of Triumph’s music, but what I remembered from day one of seeing that picture was the Rocktagons he was playing. He was using a good few of them. I was fascinated. It was a good long while later that I actually got to play a Rocktagon myself after I managed to get one from eBay.
Back in the 1980s – that’s waaay before YouTube for you younger people – it wasn’t as easy to watch bands on video and so I never got to see and hear what Mr Moore’s cymbals actually sounded like. I had it in my head that these weird looking eight-sided cymbals sounded like regular crashes and the shape was just an aesthetic thing. I was wrong.
I would describe the sound of the 18” Rocktagon crash as somewhere between a crash and an O-zone. It has the attack of a crash with a tinge of trashy spread like an O-zone. It’s not so much of an everyday sound for me, but it is something I really like and have used on a recording.
As a bit of fun for the video, I put my own older AA Rocktagon up with the new one to see if there were any obvious differences in sound. Full credit to Fabian here, they wasn’t. Aside from a small pitch difference, in the room they sounded pretty much the same.
They’re not for everyone, but I think they’re cool looking and provide a unique sound addition to a kit.
The Rocktagon is only available in an 18” size.
Complex Aero crashes
Years ago, I reviewed some of Sabian’s Aero splashes and I loved them. They were light, fast and very splashy and some of my favourite splashes that I’ve reviewed. Whilst the holes may seem a little gimmicky, they really serve to dry out the sound and make them a little trashy too.
With that thought in mind, I was expecting these Aero crashes to be fairly dry and trashy, and indeed they were. I used them on a gig where I was trying to not be overly loud and it seemed to have worked. The sound of the 16 & 18” were full but not overbearing, with a nice wide, dark spread. They definitely do have a complex sound to them and I found the three of them together to be very musical.
Todd Sucherman 22″ Signature Sessions ride
I have to admit, the Todd Sucherman ride surprised me. I remember playing the ride on the aforementioned gig and thinking it sounded a bit more dull that I was expecting and almost a little quiet. However, it was after hearing a phone recording from out the front that I realised that the cymbal was, in fact, very clear and easy to hear over the band. It’s a heavy cymbal, with a glassy, refined bow sound, solid bell and it’s crashable without sounding clunky like some bigger, heavier rides can be. Whilst it does have a complex sound to it, it’s still controlled and knows where it’s going and what it wants to be.
15” Complex Medium Big Cup Hats
I really enjoyed playing these. The more I play 15” hihats, the more I like them. For me, these are dark, fluffy sounding cymbals but with a rough edge when opened up. They occupy a frequency that isn’t too high and so sonically will fit it nicely. Despite the size, they’re not overbearingly loud in the mix and play very easily.
Over the 20 years I’ve been doing this now, I’ve always noted that Sabian keep producing interesting and musical cymbals, and this little selection carry that on. If I had the money, I’d have bought all of them.