Embracing the past while also expanding the sonic palette.
Amedia is one of a handful of cymbal companies in Istanbul, Turkey, that employ centuries-old manufacturing methods done primarily by hand. Some of its lines hark back to the dark, complex cymbal tones of hard bop, while others are designed to inspire brand-new textures for modern-day applications. The Amedia models we have for review here are the classic- style Jazz Legends and the more contemporary Vision series.
Jazz Legend Series: A Reworked Classic
The Jazz Legend series comprises a full range of crashes (14″–19″), rides (19″–24″), hi-hats (13″ and 14″), and splashes (6″–12″). We were sent the 14″ hi-hats, 22″ ride, and 16″, 17″, and 18″ crashes. All the cymbals feature traditionally finished and finely lathed bottoms, while the tops are extensively hammered and sparsely lathed to leave visible thin bands of raw bronze across the entire surface. The hi-hats and crashes have small, deep, and clearly defined bells, and the ride has a contrasting wide, flat bell with a more integrated slope.
The hi-hats feature a medium-thin top and a medium-heavy bottom. The ride is thin and flexible, and the crashes are paper-thin and soft. The hi-hats have the firmest feel, which helps make foot chicks clean and crisp. The crashes and ride feel loose and buttery, exhibiting a ton of wobble and roar when hit aggressively at the edge, while also being dry enough to allow a sparkling stick click to carve through the simmering wash at lower dynamics. With rich, warm tones that are more complex, expressive, and nuanced than your everyday general-use B20-bronze cymbals—yet not as limited in application as the dark and dry sounds of more extreme, raw options—these Jazz Legend models offer all the unique vibe and character of broken-in vintage cymbals in much more consistent, durable designs.
Vision Series: A Bit of Grit
A new line for Amedia, the Vision series comprises thin, hand-hammered models featuring broad bells, wide vintage-style lathing, and an extra round of deep ball- peen hammer marks spaced about 1.5″ apart across the entire bow. The extra hammering adds more dissonance and explosiveness to the tone, making these models a bit more aggressive and trashy-sounding than the Jazz Legends.
We checked out a pair of 15″ Vision hi-hats, a 19″ crash, and a 22″ ride. The crash and ride are thin but firmer than the Jazz Legends, so they don’t feel as soft or have as much wobble. They’re more articulate and have a tighter decay, but they still open up nicely and produce smooth, lush overtones at all dynamics. The hi-hats sound chunky but not clunky, and they have plenty of articulation for executing clear double strokes. In the open position, they roar with a deep, guttural voice, and the foot chick is broad but crisp. The Vision series is a perfect match for contemporary jazz/fusion applications, as well as modern R&B, hip-hop, or other electronics-infused genres requiring a mix of old-school warmth and modern punch. For more about Amedia Cymbals, visit: www.amediacymbals-usa.com/