So yeah, I think I have refined my cymbal set up once again. Now I am pretty happy with how they sound.
So what was wrong with the previous set up? Actually nothing, they sound wonderful! However, as I continued to use them, I realised that the sound of the dreams I own were too dull. It became way too clear after my recording of “I will survive” back in school. Only my splash sounded modern and nice, the rest were so dull and washy.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love washy cymbals. If you ask me bright and clear vs dark and washy, I would choose dark and washy any day! However, it cannot be so dark that in the higher dynamics it still doesn’t cut and give the sound I want with the song!
So I started my journey of refining my set up!
I think before I go into more details with the cymbals, let’s talk about the snare!
The snare is one 13×5.75 Pantheon Custom Birch snare. It is finished in red, with a mag throw off and 3 position butt plate. Beautiful snare! I actually spent quite a bit on this snare! Totally worth it though! The sound is fantastic! It isn’t way too fat like a 14×6.5, yet it still has a lot of body. It has such a focused tone and yet it cuts very well! Such a fantastic snare! I named it May after the main lead in That Girl In Pinafore! Crazy nice!
Now to the cymbals! Left to right!
Hihats: 14 inch Dream Bliss HiHats!
Beautiful hats! If you read the previous gear post, you would know that this hats was a special one. I went through 6-8 different hats. Tried 3 of the same line of hats and finally picked this one. It was the highest pitched one, because I wanted something with more cut and yet because it is bliss, it has that fatness I want from hats. 14 not 15 because I still want my hats to cut and not be dull! I named it Lin Truly from the Taiwan movie Our Times.
Splash: 10 inch Zildjian K Brilliant Splash
I love it that they stopped producing this splash already. This splash is amazing! It cuts so well and yet it isn’t harsh! It is a perfect blend of clarity and tone. This splash inspired me to refine my cymbal sound! You should know how beautiful it sounds! I named it Mary from the movie About Time.
Crash: 17 inch Dream Contact Crash
Meet the latest addition to the family. The main crash has always been my greatest headache. I want it to sound full and pleasing and yet when I reach the higher dynamics I still want it to cut. Previously with my 18 or 20 Dream Vintage Bliss crashes, they don’t achieve that at all! That led me to try quite a few different options. I eve. Thought about getting my old Zildjian 18 thin crash sandblasted to get a more pleasant tone. I know that the industry is going bigger and bigger with cymbals, but I think there is a reason why 16 has been an industry size for so long. However, I don’t really like a 16 crash. Doesn’t feel as good. So I just went back to Musicgear to find another cymbal again. I went through quite a few other crash options and when I struck this crash with my hand, oh my, I was blown away! CRAZY NICE! Not only was it full, it was bright! It was very reactive too! So I may have to restraint myself a little when hitting this, because it cuts so well! Even though it is bright and it cuts, it is still washy enough to sound pleasant! It checked so many boxes, I must have it! Once again, I tried 3 of the same line, only this crash sounded good to me. The rest had really funny frequencies. This particular crash is the most pleasant sounding one! Not only that, this cymbal is a B23 cymbal! WHOOHOO! More Tin in my cymbals please! As a reactive and lively cymbal, I named it Liv after the TV series, IZombie.
Ride Cymbal: 20 inch Pantheon Percussion Apex Prototype ride cymbal
I am not too sure if I ever talked about this ride on this platform before. I was visiting Pantheon Percussion’s workshop over at Aljunied there and I was just trying out some cymbals. When I hit this cymbal, I was interested! I was expecting something totally bright and jarring, but oh no, it was SOOO warm! It was bright, washy and warm! How could it be? Such a perfect ride sound! It is the kind of sound that makes you feel that it is such a heartfelt sound! Extremely beautiful. I think I must have gotten so in love with it that I purchased it on the spot! CRAZY nice! I named it Yafang after the Singapore TV series Crescendo.
Crash cymbal: 18 inch Pantheon Percussion Argent Jazz Trash Crash
This cymbal was actually paired with the prototype when I was there. I wasn’t particularly impressed with it when I first played it, but I really enjoy the tone. During the whole period of finding new crashes, I went through a lot of crash cymbals before finally settling on this crash. When I hit it after playing so many other crashes, I knew that it was what I was looking for. Something trashy and yet light. It slowly became a regular cymbal that I would put on my set, favouring it over the vintage bliss crashes. When I lend it to my friends in church, many told me that they really like this trash crash. I named this Pia, after the female lead in The Three Idiots.
Right now, you are looking at the most refined set of cymbals that I have. Every cymbal fulfils the role that they are supposed to and yet they are specially handpicked to sound great alone as well! I quite like that I don’t have a cymbal from the same line. All cymbals are from different line of cymbals. I guess that is what happens when you use your ears to refine it! You end up with cymbals that are very different and yet works beautifully together!
May these cymbals define the sound of my playing! Thank you Lord for blessing me with beautiful sounding instruments to play!
May I use them for you!