Centent is a Chinese company that produces high-quality yet competitively priced cymbals out of different bronze alloys, including B8 (8-percent tin/92-percent copper), B10 (10-percent tin/90-percent copper), and B20 (20-percent tin/80-percent copper). The cymbals are manufactured using a combination of modern and ancient technologies, including finishing hammering and lathing by expert craftsmen. We were sent identical sample sets from three of Centent’s B20 series: Ardor, Sparks, and Emperor. Sizes included 10" splashes, 14" hi-hats, 16" and 18" crashes, and 20" rides.
Ardor series cymbals feature a raw, unlathed band at the middle of the bow and a raw bell. The edge and inner portion of the bow are lathed to a traditional finish. The tone of this series is consistently clean and focused, with fairly bright but rich sustain. The crashes open up nicely and die down quickly when struck at the edge, and they provide an articulate stick attack when played as a small ride.
The bells on the ride and crashes are large and produce deep and musical notes that blend well with one another. The hi-hats sound tight and articulate and have a complex, saturated timbre with a touch of metallic bite. The splash is more gong-like than glassy, and the ride produces a balanced mix of warm sustain and woody attack that would make it useful for a wide range of musical styles and applications.