Monday, March 13, 2023

CYMBALISTIC: New cymbals are in!

I just picked up a small order of cymbals from Cymbal & Gong, videos for which will be coming at the end of the week. There's some very interesting stuff— here are my first impressions of the two major items I got:

22" Extra Special Janavar
This is a custom project of mine— what if we did the very cool Janavar series cymbals with hammering and lathing similar to an old K.? Last summer I had them do some 20s that were very cool, now I have the light 22s— with heavy patina and three rivets. The 20s were a nice variation on the usual Holy Grail jazz ride— stronger bell, fuller sound generally.  

The 22s are lighter in proportion to their size, are generally low pitched, each with a unique funky edge. To me it's a very “vintage” sound— I don't know how else to put it. Lovely response to the stick— years ago I played several Turkish Ks with a similar quality, a soft feel under the stick, which these cymbals have, too. I would still call it basically a bright sound— not unlike a 40s/50s A— but the most mellow bright sound I've ever heard. Crash sound is beautiful; big but not obnoxious. Easy to play, very forgiving, to me this is basically a perfect jazz cymbal.    

I got two of them today, and there are two more at Cymbal & Gong. 

20" Holy Grail with hammered bell
There are a lot of options for 20" Cymbal & Gong jazz cymbals right now. As an experiment I suggested making some Holy Grails with hammered bells— I saw some old Ks with that. These aren't exactly the same thing, but the result is very cool. It seems to make the cymbals play a little lighter than their weight. They're about 1800 grams, same as the regular HG jazz rides, but the hammered bell cymbals open up faster. The bell sound is also mellower, and stick definition is perhaps a little softer. 

So the hammered-bell Holy Grails would be possibly the mellowest, most open 20s. The regular Holy Grails are perhaps a little stiffer, more tolerant of “digging in” (which is generally what I like most), and the Extra Special Janavar 20 is a little fuller and little louder, a little more cutting— and of course the thin 22s Extra Specials above have a different, mellower character. 

And we're talking degrees here. If I found one of any of these cymbals in a shop 20 years ago, I would have flipped and bought it and used it forever. There are so many great cymbals from this company, it's easy to lose sight of that. 

Video coming at the end of the week! See what else I currently have in stock at my site 

Also: there is a lot in stock at Cymbal & Gong right now— an excellent time for me to pick something out for you, if you need something not in stock on Cymbalistic. 

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