TRX: CRX Cymbals Reviewed!
20" Rock Crash
This cymbal has conventional hammering and lathing and has a deep and rich sound when struck. It gets loud but is always musical. Even medium and lighter hits get this cymbal to respond. I loved this crash for its dark, deep sound. You’ll be tempted to ride it for its gorgeous deep and washy sound, but this one gets very loud and the wash will overpower the stick sound when played that way. Its bell offers a slightly trashy Oriental overtone sound.
18" Classic Stacker
This cymbal is vented with six large holes evenly spaced on its bow and has an unlathed dark-colored top and bronze-colored bottom. This one has a loud, trashy, dark, and slightly abrasive quality that’s actually a desirable trait in vented cymbals. In spite of its name, I didn’t stack it but preferred to play it alone. Riding it jazz style with light sticks creates a trashy and slightly harsh sound that works better nearer the cup, since the vents soften the stick response in the material between them. The bell is loud and clear with darker overtones.
18" Classic China
I expected this China to be a winner since several of these CRX cymbals possess a dark and Oriental flavor. This cymbal is certainly dark and trashy, but it’s also pretty dry, so you get that deep and harsh explosion followed by a quick volume drop into a smooth decay. When mounted traditionally (upside-down), playing the inside of the bell created another exotic and interesting tone.
20" Classic Crash-Ride
I usually hate crash-ride cymbals. Most crash-ride cymbals sound as if a company made a cymbal, hit it, and then determined it didn’t sound like either a crash or a ride, but on the deceptive advice of their marketing department, labeled it as useful for both. Most exist in some purgatory zone between functions, working well at neither.
This crash-ride defies that argument. It’s very useful at both functions, though offers slightly more when riding. As a ride, it works beautifully for low-volume jazz, emitting a deep, dark, and dry ride quality with lighter sticks. The wash never gets out of hand and it even has a useful bell. If you ride it hard, its wash gets loud but disappears relatively quickly when you pause. As a crash, it has a short explosion and rapid decay but still emits a nice dark sound. I think of this as more of a jazz-style cymbal than rock, due to its darker and drier characteristics.
This cymbal has an unlathed dark-colored top and is polished bronze-colored underneath. It has a thin weight and though TRX’s website describes it as having deep hammering, it’s fairly smooth without any dimples on its surface. It has been designed to complement jazz, Latin, and world music styles, which I think it does well.
21" Extreme Ride
This cymbal has an unlathed dark-colored top and lightly lathed bronze-colored underside. This is another great cymbal for riding. It reminds me of the Zildjian K Custom ride that became hugely popular when Dave Weckl first began playing them. It has a deep tone and dark wash sound that never overwhelms the stick sound. It definitely strikes me as more of a jazz ride than a rock cymbal, partly because it’s dark and doesn’t get terribly loud, though it could be used for world music styles, too. It’s a heavier cymbal so crashing it doesn’t work that well and gets a little gong-y, but its weight creates a livelier stick response than the Classic Crash-Ride cymbal. It also has a loud bell that’s perfect for Latin music.
As mentioned, these are very affordable cymbals, though none of these cymbals sound “cheap.” Also, if you care about it, most of the CRX cymbals have a finish that seems to be generally resistant to fingerprints, though they aren’t as brilliant as some other cymbals on the market and have an earthy vibe that I liked. There were a few cymbals with small surface defects in them – pits the size of a grain of salt and one had a larger pockmark. If I were paying top dollar I’d expect more, but for the price and sound qualities these cymbals offer, I wouldn’t let that hold me back one second.
What’s not to like? The CRX line has a tremendous amount to offer drummers in sound and value. Their price is comparable to many other companies’ student lines yet many of these cymbals will easily outperform models costing hundreds more. Play them and I think you’ll agree.
List Price (based on diameter, not type)
8" Splash $60
14" Hi-hats $325 (pair)
16" Crash $175
18" China and Vented Stacker $225
20" Crash and Crash-Ride $300
21" Ride $350
Features Wide array of choices in easy-to-understand sound-profile and pricing structure, affordable cost, high-quality bronze alloy, attractive looks.