New Gear 2009: Cymbals Part I
By DRUM! Staff Originally published in DRUM! Magazine's 2009 Trade Show New Products Report
The DRUM! crew hit the 2009 NAMM trade show with a full complement of photographers, video gear and extra freelance writers designed to help us cover every single new product our readers might see in the coming year. At the end of it all, we had amassed specs and info on more than 450 products. Here's part I of our Cymbals report. Look for related stories on drum sets, hand drums, sticks, hardware, accessories, electronics...well, you get the idea.
This new China-based company busted onto the scene this year with a Pro series line of cymbals: 8", 10", and 12" splashes; 15" and 17" crashes; as well as 16" medium and thin crashes. There is also a 14" hi-hat, 18" crash/ride, and a 20" medium ride.Diril
Diril may be a new kid on the block but the company isn’t holding back on cymbal offerings, with a full range of bronze stacked chest-high in its smallish booth — from hand-hammered and brilliant to unlathed and multi-textured. The variety of thickness levels was impressive, especially in the hi-hats with 13"–15" light, 12"–15" medium, 14"–15" heavy, 13"–15" D, and 13"–15" Row hi-hats, which featured a raw bell. The rides come in seven different styles (light, jazz, medium, heavy, ping, D, and row).
Canadian cymbal maker Dream initially caught us off guard with its ultra-flexible paper thins that practically bend like saws — the very thing that gives them attack and projection. Dream has padded the Bliss line with an 18" ride ($169), 20" paper-thin crash ($183), 20" ride ($203), 22" paper-thin ride ($249), 22" crash/ride ($249), and 22" regular ride ($269).
Searching for a sound that splits the difference between a bell and cymbal? Look no further than Dream’s new diminutive Jing cymbals, which cut through amplified music like a laser. Jings feature a flat edge and rounded bell and come in 7" ($75), 8" ($80), and 9" ($85) sizes.
The big brother of the Jing series, Dream's Han cymbals have huge bells that take up more than 50 percent of the diameter of each disc. They work equally well mounted upright or inverted, and deliver a deep, resonant bell sound with lots of complex overtones. Available in 10" ($99), 11" ($105), and 12" ($110) sizes.
A brighter cymbal with wider lathing, Dream’s Contact series has added an 18" ride ($199), 20" ride ($305), and 22" ride ($320).
Factory Metal’s signature iron-cross-shaped effects percussion has gone future-primitive with the Quadrant 4. The Q4 is a 0.125"-thick, 22" x 22" square aluminum sheet that conjures everything from thunderous volume to eerie reverberations ($139). Factory Metal also added red to the colors of its SFX 7" Firebells ($42), with tentative plans for a 9" aluminum version.
We weren’t the only drumming wonks who did a double take when Cindy Blackman unexpectedly jumped endorsements by signing on with Istanbul Agop. The result was her new signature OM line, which proved to be all about that ’70s jazz vibe. The series features a 22" ride with densely spaced divots and crusty blue-black finish, 15" hats, and a thin 20" crash that performs like a crash/ride.
Istanbul's Matt Chamberlain 23" ride boasts a concave profile, large ball-peen divots, and clean finish.
Joey Waronker, the ad-hoc drummer to the stars, has a new 24" signature ride of medium weight with well-spaced divots and thin lathing. To complement fusion superstar Lenny White’s 22" Epoch ride that came out in 2008, Agop has introduced 14" hi-hats and 17"–20" Epoch crashes.
The austere Ottomans seemed like young Turks after unveiling Xist, a brand-new line of B20 bronze cymbals available in both traditional and brilliant finish at a modest price point. Xist and Xist Brilliant are available in 20" and 22" rides, 16"–20" crashes, and 14" hats. Both styles are also available as four-piece sets (14" hats, 16" crash, 20" ride, and free cymbal bag).