Vintage Old School 1964 Series Cymbals
by Michael Dawson
Soultone Cymbals was founded in 2003 by the Los Angeles–based drummer Iki Levy, in an effort to provide high-quality models with what Levy describes as “a balance of proper weight and tone properties.” Current lines include the all-purpose Custom and Custom Brilliant, the thin and jazzy Vintage, the darker Extreme, the special-effects FXO, and the fast/bright Gospel.
Within the Vintage series are two subseries, Vintage Old School, which is designed to replicate the sweet sounds of cymbals made in the 1950s and ’60s, and Vintage Old School 1964, which is specifically tailored to sound like legendary jazz drummer Tony Williams’ coveted cymbals on the classic recordings he made with Miles Davis around 1964. We reviewed the Vintage Old Schools in the March 2011 issue, and this month we’re taking a look at the 1964s. We were sent 20″ and 22″ crash/rides and 14″ hi-hats.
All Soultone cymbals are made from B20 bronze (80 percent copper and 20 percent tin) at a foundry in Turkey. Vintage Old School 1964 cymbals are tightly and shallowly lathed from edge to bell and are hammered extensively throughout the entire surface, except for the bell. The bells on the crash/rides are small, which helps increase stick articulation, and shallow, which gives them a more balanced, richer tone. The crash/rides also have a fairly flat profile, for additional control. These cymbals are in the medium-thin range, so they have some flex, while the hi-hats are firmer and heavier by comparison. The top hi-hat is medium in weight, and the bottom is medium-heavy. The hi-hats have much steeper bells and bows than the crash/rides, so they sounded brighter and clearer.
Click below to listen or download here.
Check out the complete review in the February 2013 issue of Modern Drummer.