Carmine Appice Realistic Rock Cymbals Tested!

istanbul mehmet cymbals

14" Hi-Hats

These hi-hats are heavy but are very musical and versatile enough to work across many styles of louder music. The chick is very loud and cuts well without any clangy-ness. Stick definition is good and my hi-hat barks were also very cutting. If you want a sloshy hi-hat sound that doesn’t need a microphone to be heard these cymbals have it. Using lighter sticks and playing with the tip could also work well in a big band context.

8" Splash

The splash had some minor hammering dimples and thin lathing patterns. It isn’t overly bright or clangy like some rock splashes and was always musical sounding, giving a very brief accent and fast decay. I think it would be perfect for jazz or Dixieland. I usually use a 10" splash since 8" splashes never seem loud enough. So perhaps it’s my built-in bias, but I think a 10" model would’ve been a better idea for this line.

18" And 19" Chinas

I was surprised to discover the Chinas were not just two different-sized versions of the same cymbal. Both had a cup bell, but the 18" cymbal was lathed top and bottom and the 19" was lathed on the top surface while the underside was not lathed in the area from the cup to the flange. The 18" had a narrower 3" wide flange and the 19" had a wider 4" flange. Both were excellent China cymbals since neither was gong-like, and both offered lots of white noise trash. I preferred playing faster accent patterns on the 18" since it had more initial bite but I liked crashing the larger cymbal more since it was a bit trashier.

Recording Session

I had a recording session and decided to take advantage of the ride, crashes, and hi-hats while they were in my possession. I didn’t require the splash or Chinas for this session. The cymbals all sounded great through the two overheads and hi-hat mike. The ride wasn’t close-miked and actually sounded less pingy and more washy than I expected yet still was very musical in the recording. If I wanted more definition I’d probably have it close-miked. I usually use lighter and smaller crash cymbals than these when recording but these worked fabulously and didn’t seem to sustain excessively. I may have to rethink my default cymbal choices.

On The Gig

I took this same selection of cymbals to a five-hour long live cover band gig where we play a very wide range of material ranging from country to metal in a small club. (Please don’t ask how little we were paid.) At this venue we only mike the bass drum so the cymbals have to project to be heard and I usually use a selection of heavier cymbals on this gig.

The guys in this band always like checking out the review gear I bring along and were very impressed by these cymbals. They were a pleasure to hear and the more I played them the more we appreciated them. I hope they aren’t disappointed when I bring my regular cymbals out again!


These cymbals do not come across like one-trick ponies that are just designed to cut through a wall of sound. These cymbals remain musical while still projecting well (excepting the splash) and are more versatile than you might expect. They seem perfect for alternative, punk, classic rock, old-school metal, etc. The crashes and Chinas could also work well for extreme metal if you’re tired of playing brake drums for cymbals. If you’re considering them for that purpose note they come with a two-year warranty. The ride is a bit too versatile for the genre’s requirements since your blastbeats might lack definition.

I’d gladly use these cymbals on almost any of my gigs but since DRUM! pays me to be picky, the only minor thing I didn’t like about the cymbals was the little comic-strip caricature of Carmine Appice that’s on all the cymbals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Appice’s drumming and nothing against him, but I wouldn’t want anyone’s picture on my cymbals – even my own!


Features Unique lathing and hammering patterns for distinct musical enhancement of each cymbal; versatile crashes and rides suitable for many styles.
Model & List Prices
8" Splash $239
14" Hi-hat $699
18" Crash $509
20" Crash $769
22" Ride $899
18" China $565
19" China $675

Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals USA

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