Zildjian Mixed Bag New Cymbals
Zildjian Mixed Bag
We''ve recently been very lucky to have been given some nice new and shiny Zildjian cymbals to review, but because we''ve been so lucky, we had so many we are going to split things into two. This month, we''ll be looking at a few of the miscellaneous ones and then next time if Mike actually gives me the remainder of the K Constantinoples, then I''ll give those the once over too.
Anyway, for this review, we will be looking at some new 13" Pocket Hats, a 21" A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride and a 22" K Custom Dark Complex Ride.
Pocket Hi Hats
The Pocket Hi Hats were originally introduced by Zildjian as part of its Inspiration Pack for Gospel and Praise and Worship. They''re 13” A Zildjian hats which feature a thin top cymbal and heavy bottom.
The first thing that springs to mind about these new hats is that they look like they should come from the Z line. The reason for this, as you may notice from the photo is that they aren''t lathed and are heavily hammered. However, having said that, that''s probably where the similarities end.
As you will discover from the audio clip, the top cymbal of the pair is very very dry - it''s almost all stick sound with very little sustain or undertone, whereas the bottom cymbal is bright, lively and ringy. Together, the pair make an distinct and focussed combination when played with both pedal and sticks. The sound these hats produce is quite specific and whilst I wouldn''t say ''niche'', I think they are very much aimed for the most part at a clear target area.
To be honest, I found the Pocket HiHats aren''t really my thing and I found it hard to get on with them either with a band or by myself. Notwithstanding this though, I think these hats would be - for me certainly - much better as an x-hat option as their brightness together with their tight tone would probably cut through most types of music. They were very interesting to play, however, I think that the type of music I used them for wasn''t what they were aimed at. Clearly, Zildjian has a market for these cymbals and they probably have a better grasp on this than I do.
The A Custom Anniversary Ride
The A Custom line of cymbals is 20 years old; I remember when they first came out and it doesn''t really seem that long ago. Must mean I''ve been doing this a long time I guess.
This special ride is only available in 2012 and features a big commemorative logo in white which, against the brilliant finish, looks very nice. The cymbal itself is 21" and a medium thin weight - in other words, not too heavy - and has all the usual A Custom hammering and lathing.
This ride plays very well. It''s well suited for many different types of musical application and is quite versatile in that regard, something I always like. As you''ll hopefully be able to hear, the cymbal has a bit of everything - a clear bell, a prominent stick sound, volume, subtlety, undertones and is crashable too. It''s definitely a ''can do'' cymbal and you could probably easily gig with just it and a set of hi hats.
K Custom Dark Complex Ride
The 22" K Custom Dark Complex Ride is the odd one out of this bunch in a kind of distinguished way. If I were to describe it''s sound - ok, I don''t actually have to because that''s what the audio is for - but if I had to describe it''s sound I would say…dark and complex. Not original, I know, but that really is where it''s at.
This medium thin cymbal features several different hammering patterns and types over its surface and bell areas, but no lathing, and has a special satin finish, all of which give it that ''complex'' sound. It also seems to have something of a majesty to it too.
With a name like Dark Complex, you shouldn''t be surprised to hear it''s more geared towards lower volume environments where these tones will shine through. Having said that though, I used it on a louder rock gig and it performed wonderfully. When played with some force on the edge, it is full and fat sounding, yet when played more on top, you get the the type of sounds you''ll hear on the audio clip.
These really are a mixed bag because sonically they all cover very different bases. I don''t think you''d really call them ''''specialist'''' cymbals, but maybe ''''niche'''' is more appropriate. My favourite was the K Custom because it covered all the bases for me - it played beautifully and really gives you the vibe of it being a real instrument and I love that. Very inspiring.
More next time.
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