This year Paiste introduced a slew of new cymbals, including an entire line of heavily hammered 2002 Big Beats, signature rides for top artists like Carl Palmer and Danny Carey, and some massive hi-hats and rides in the 2002 and Giant Beat series. We were sent a pair of huge 17″ 2002 Sound Edge hi-hats and a mammoth 26″ Giant Beat crash/ride. Both are made by hand in Switzerland from B8 alloy. Let’s check them out!
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The Recording Custom series has a long history in the world of drumming. The kit originally launched in the mid-’70s as the YD-9000, taking on the Recording Custom name in the mid-’80s. Over the years, the Recording Custom has changed in a few ways, but its all-birch shell has remained the unwavering trademark of the series since its inception. Yamaha recently collaborated with drumming icon Steve Gadd to revamp the Recording Custom for 2016. According to Yamaha, the result is a “refined, focused sound with…deeper tones.??? Let’s dig in!The Review Kit
Sheffield, England–based VK Drums has quickly risen to the top of the high-end custom-shop heap with its elegant and highly musical range of snare drums. We tested a trio of titanium, stainless-steel, and aluminum models in the March 2016 issue, which came equipped with stainless-steel hardware and straight hoops. Now the company is offering a snare that is fabricated entirely from titanium (except the heads and wires, obviously) and a 4mm cast-bronze drum with matching bronze hoops. We were sent one of each to review.
CRX is the China-made sub-brand of TRX cymbals designed to offer professional-quality sounds at competitive prices. The latest offerings from CRX include a collection of ten Stack Packs designed to create white-noise special effects. The collection comprises various combinations of splashes, Chinas, and perforated Stackers from the Classic, Xtreme, and Rock series. We were sent eight of the ten pairs to review. We’ve divided those eight into two groups: those incorporating 8″ to 12″ cymbals and those incorporating 10″ to 14″ models.
Evans is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary with a tribute to the calfskin heads drummers used prior to the implementation of Mylar plastics. These new old-school heads, called Calftone, feature a layer of beige, subtly textured synthetic material over a clear single-ply base (7mil for tom/snare models and 12mil for bass drum sizes). Like all Evans drumheads, the Calftone utilizes the Level 360 collar that’s designed so that the head sits freely on the bearing edge for optimal tuning and tone.
Roland recently made some changes to its V-Drums lineup, including discontinuing the TD-15 series and adding two mid-level kits with the TD-25 module. This new series capitalizes on a lot of the technology found in Roland’s flagship TD-30 line, but delivers kits at a lower price point.
Bosphorus, one of the leading cymbal manufacturers in Turkey, is commemorating two decades of operation with the new 20th Anniversary series, which comprises a limited range of thin, vintage-style pies….
The Soundscape series is a collaborative collection designed by U.S.-born/Europe-based drummer/percussionist Jarrod Cagwin and the Turkish cymbal company out of Istanbul. Check out our video demo here.
We were sent a seven-piece Superstar Classic shell pack to review (list price: $1,499.98) that included an 18×22 bass drum; 7×8, 8×10, and 9×12 rack toms; 12×14 and 14×16 floor toms; and a 6.5×14 matching snare….
We were sent a sampling of Zildjian’s top sellers in this new S series, which included a 10″ splash, 14″ regular and Mastersound hi-hats, 16″, 18″, and 20″ Thin crashes, 18″ and 20″ Medium-Thin crashes, an 18″ Rock crash, 18″ and 20″ Trash crashes, an 18″ China, 20″ Medium and Rock rides, and 22″ and 24″ Medium rides. All of the cymbals are fully lathed top and bottom, heavily hammered, and polished to a brilliant finish….
One of the sister companies to Tampa-based ddrum is Dean guitars, and one of the woods that Dean uses for electric guitar bodies is alder. Alder is considered a semi-hard wood and ranks just above pine and poplar. It’s known for having a warm, focused tone with prominent midrange and low-range frequencies and attenuated attack. When used to build drums, alder provides a very satisfying sound that’s big and punchy with a short, focused sustain. Reflex is ddrum’s series that features all-alder shells. The kit we have for review here is a new addition to that series, called Reflex Rally Sport (aka 2RS). It’s designed to be the “ultimate gig kit??? for drummers playing in smaller venues and on tight stages. Let’s see how it fares.
Sabian recently introduced the first expansion of the HH series, the Vanguard, which is based on a design from the acquired Crescent brand. The HH Vanguard lineup comprises 14″ hi-hats, 16″ and 18″ crashes, and 20″, 21″, and 22″ crash/rides. (None of the cymbals are labeled as a crash or ride, so it’s up to the player to determine the application.) The cymbals have smaller bells than the regular HH models, and they feature pinpoint lathing. Both features help provide a more controlled attack. Let’s check them out!
The Love Custom snare we have for review is one of McRoy’s personal favorites: a 7×14 stave-shell made out of .625″-thick Indian rosewood. The top bearing edge is cut to forty-five degrees and then rounded, and the bottom edge is what Buddy calls a “dull forty-five??? and has slightly deeper than normal snare beds. All of the hardware is aged brass, including the ten tube lugs, single-flanged hoops, and family crest badge….
The 2002 series has since become a top choice for drummers playing all types of rock, punk, blues, modern country, metal, and more….