A full range of half-lathed B20 models designed for maximum versatility.
After considerable success with the original 21″ Dark Matter Eclipse ride, Dream decided to flesh out a full setup of partially lathed cymbals. These new Eclipse series models include 15″ hi-hats, 17″ and 19″ crashes, and 21″ and 23″ rides. They’re all handcrafted from B20 bronze in Asia under the guidance of the Canadian company’s expert R&D team of professional drummers and percussionists. We received an entire set, plus a high-quality 22″ Deluxe cymbal bag with dividers, so let’s give them a closer look and listen.
All Eclipse models are fired in an oven and hand-hammered before being immersed in a saltwater bath. After another bake in the oven, the cymbals are lathed with a thin knife from about the center of the bow to the edge. The 15″ hi-hats have a greater portion lathed (outer 5″), which helps open up the tone while retaining some dryness and tonal variety.
The top cymbal is medium weight, and the bottom is heavy. They have a fairly bright, cutting tone, with a clean open bark and shimmery slosh, and a touch of vintage-style breathiness. They respond nicely to varying degrees of foot pressure and stroke location, from a tight, pinpoint “tick” when held together tightly and played lightly on top, to a wider and denser chop when you ease up on the pedal and strike with a firmer stroke on the edge. These hi-hats favor more contemporary musical situations, especially ones requiring a focused but cutting sound, while introducing some of the more nuanced complexity of thinner, jazzier models.
17″ and 19″ Crashes
Like the hi-hats, the 17″ Eclipse crash is lathed on more than 50 percent of its surface. As a result, it has less ride capability. It’s basically a bright, full-sounding crash with a strong, clear bell tone. I can imagine some percussionists, especially timbaleros, putting this crash to good use for accents and bell patterns. But in most drumset applications, it’s most appropriate as a general-use medium-thin crash.
The 19″ Eclipse, however, doubles very nicely as a light ride and a big, wide crash. I was also able to utilize the raw section of the bow more effectively for drier/earthier ride tones, while striking the lathed portion with the stick tip elicited more high-end sparkle and spread. It’s thin enough to open up easily when playing lighter crashes, but it has enough control to not get overrun with overtones when articulating fast patterns. And it’s heavy enough to project through dense/loud mixes when crashed more aggressively. For minimalist setups with a single do-all crash-ride cymbal, the 19″ Eclipse would be perfect.
21″ and 23″ Rides
The transition between the deep, dry articulation achieved by riding on the raw section of the 21″ Eclipse to the washier, wider tones living near the edge is seamless. In fact, if I had listened to this cymbal blindfolded, I wouldn’t have known that it sported a dual finish. The feel, however, is quite different between the two surfaces, with the raw area having a more rigid and responsive rebound while the outer section being softer with more give. These two different feels made my hands automatically shift to different touches, which made for an almost subconscious shift from playing with slower, looser strokes at the edge and a sharper and more front-heavy posture when playing near the bell. I like cymbals that make my hands respond in different ways, and the 21″ Eclipse did just that—while providing warm, all-purpose tones.
Conversely, the 23″ Eclipse ride has the most drastic tonal variety between the raw and lathed portions. The bell is very strong and direct, and the unlathed center portion produces extremely dark, dry tones. The lathed section has a much looser feel and a wide, trashy tone. The transition between these two sounds is immediate, almost as if you’re playing on separate 23″ cymbals, one raw and one lathed. Paired with the 21″ ride, you’d have a wide array of tones at your disposal that would sound great in a variety of situations, from super light and delicate to loud and aggressive. Throw in the 15″ hi-hats, one or both crashes, and a set of lighter 14″ Bliss or Contact hi-hats, and you’d have pretty much all your bases covered—and then some.