Noa Cymbal Pack
A beginner’s pre-pack with potential for professionals.
When putting together its first pre-pack, the Noa, Soultone wanted to keep the price down without sacrificing quality. To do that, the company decided to use the same B20 bronze alloy from its high-end series, but with the options limited to a simple, compact three-piece package comprising 13″ hi-hats, a 16″ crash, and a 19″ ride. The pack also comes with a Soultone-branded gig bag.
These medium-weight cymbals are all finished the same way, with a large, raw, hammered bell and a subtle two-tone bow that’s brilliantly finished on the outer two inches and traditionally finished and sparsely hammered on the inner section. They’re meant for beginners as well as gigging pros who need something they can grab quickly, cram into a jammed van, and set up on a tight stage. The pack is also designed to be airline compliant so that it fits in an overhead compartment.
Designed as all-purpose cymbals, the Noa pack provides all-around sounds that lean toward contemporary rock, pop, and R&B applications. The 13″ hi-hats were fairly bright and crisp, and there was a bit of high, bell-like din whether they were played closed, partially open, or completely open, or splashed with the foot. They were a bit too chunky sounding for super-light playing, like acoustic jazz, but they were quick and expressive at moderate to loud volumes, and they blended well when tested in the studio on a driving country-pop track.
The 16″ Noa crash was quick, explosive, and bright without being harsh. For general applications, it had a nice all-around crash sound, and the raw bell had a clean, clear tone that could be used effectively for quick accents or quiet riding.
My favorite of the Noa series was the 19″ ride, which was heavy enough to produce clean, pingy patterns but light enough to prevent gonginess and to provide some warm, washy sustain that built up evenly as the dynamics increased. The bell had a strong, clear tone as well. Its relatively small size also allowed for it to be positioned in tighter quarters in the kit.
Regardless of how it’s being marketed, the Noa pack is a solid collection of cymbals that should satisfy the most basic needs of any beginner or everyday working drummer. The list price is $1,333.