Agop, Artisan, Traditional, Dream Bliss

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
Hey everyone.

I have decided to make an investment into my cymbal set. Ive been knocking around with various Istanbul agop sigs, bosphorus master vintage, zildjian etc for years. Now I want to create the perfect set for what I play with no compromise . The Istanbul sigs were a bit too dark to project and same with the Bos masters vintage ( Although I did love the washy trashniess of them.. I play blues, rock, funk, jazz, reggae and anything that will pay me .. )

So as an all round set I cant decide on the following:

Istanbul Agop Traditional ( 22" ride, 19" crash, 17" crash and 15" hats )

Paiste Traditional

Dream Bliss ( 22", 19", 17", 15" )

Sabian Artisan ( 22" 19" 17" 15" )

Price isn't an issue since this will be a lifelong investment so Im trying to not let the fact that the Bliss are half the price of the Artisans alter my decision ...

Has anyone any experience with these sets or as individual cymbals ? Im looking for smokey wash but with enough ping to cut through and not sound out of place if I am to play some heavish rock. I will probably keep my 19" Istanbul sig and Bos master vintage 21" for the jazz gigs I play

Appreciate your feedback :)
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Maybe there isn't "one" set of cymbals that will work well for so many different genres and gigs. As you mentioned, dark, thin, trashy cymbals sound great on a jazz gig, but lack sufficient "cut" for rock/blues/funk/etc. Rather than ask "what cymbals would be best?" instead ask why cymbals "work".

Of course the answer is the context of the other instruments. An acoustic piano or clean electric guitar won't obscure a ride cymbal that much. However, a keyboard using a saw wave patch, or a heavily distorted electric guitar, or a gritty electric bass, will hide pretty much everything except the sound of the stick hitting the bow of the cymbal, and this usually isn't the desired effect (for example, imagine Zeppelin with Agop Signatures instead of 2002s).

The Agop Original and Medium Rides would probably work for everything that isn't jazz, but also isn't classic rock or metal. The original ride has a bit of "trash", but not too much. The Sabian Artisan 22 Medium ride is also a good all-rounder, but the 22 Light has a great crash sound, and is a bit trashier.

The Paiste Traditionals are great, too. The ride is going to be similar to the Agops in that the wash won't be very "trashy". Maybe you'd call it "smoky". The crashes, however, do get trashy when you lay into them. A more typical crash sound can be found in the Twenty series crashes. Love those, when you want a prettier, brighter crash sound, but not as bright as an A Custom.

So it really comes down to how much "trash" you want.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I have a bunch of Artisans and I can tell you that they project like a muther-fu@ker. Sound just blasts off of them as you lay in to them. They can be controlled with softer playing, but really build some power when you get them going.

Regarding the sizes you are looking at, I have a 22" Medium ride, the 19" and 17" crashes, but not the 15" hats. I have the 14's. The 22" ride likely is not heavy enough for a rock gig. It can get a bit washy playing straight quarters for a chorus section. Great bell on it, and it crashes really well, but the bow is a bit more jazz oriented. The crashes are great. The 19" can play soft and easy, but build to a nice big wash when riding it. The 17" is the loudest 17" cymbal I have ever heard. Opens instantaneously. Even when played light it wants to speak up. They can be bright sounding cymbals with a dark undertone. I don't find them to be trashy sounding. They aren't "turkish" sounding cymbals, so they aren't really dry and ultra shimmery like a lot of turkish cymbals are.
 

jodgey4

Silver Member
The Agop Original and Medium Rides would probably work for everything that isn't jazz, but also isn't classic rock or metal. The original ride has a bit of "trash", but not too much.

The Paiste Traditionals are great, too. The ride is going to be similar to the Agops in that the wash won't be very "trashy". Maybe you'd call it "smoky". The crashes, however, do get trashy when you lay into them. A more typical crash sound can be found in the Twenty series crashes. Love those, when you want a prettier, brighter crash sound, but not as bright as an A Custom.

So it really comes down to how much "trash" you want.
I can vouch for all of this :).
 

drumsforlife

Junior Member
I have a pair of Dream Bliss 15" hats that I absolutely love! They're not super loud and shrill, like a lot of hats I've tried. Mellow is the word I'd use. They seem to me to take up exactly the space I want my hats to take up in a mix.

I have a few Bliss crash/rides too, but not the sizes you listed. I have an 18" and a 20" and I like the 18" most. Pairs well with the hats, has a pretty low pitch with a bit of trash on it.

Good call keeping your Bosphorus. I got a 22" Master in a trade about a year ago. Love it!
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
I have a Paiste Twenty line up that are controlled when played lighter, but really open up when laid into. Probably not quite as dark as you have in mind, but definitely a good all-round set of cymbals that work for everything. Consider a set up with 2 rides, a light ride or a large crash, and a heavier ride of at least medium weight so you have both dynamics covered. For what you want, it seems like the ride sound would end up being the deciding factor as to whether your over all sound leans more towards dark and washy or more cutting.
 

Skrivarna

Senior Member
If you say "no compromise", the only way is to keep playing what you have until you find (and play in person) a cymbal you really like. Then add it to your arsenal and start looking for the next, regardless of make/model.

No reason to look for a "set" in a particular series -- that is in itself a compromise.
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
I have a bunch of Artisans and I can tell you that they project like a muther-fu@ker. Sound just blasts off of them as you lay in to them. They can be controlled with softer playing, but really build some power when you get them going.

Regarding the sizes you are looking at, I have a 22" Medium ride, the 19" and 17" crashes, but not the 15" hats. I have the 14's. The 22" ride likely is not heavy enough for a rock gig. It can get a bit washy playing straight quarters for a chorus section. Great bell on it, and it crashes really well, but the bow is a bit more jazz oriented. The crashes are great. The 19" can play soft and easy, but build to a nice big wash when riding it. The 17" is the loudest 17" cymbal I have ever heard. Opens instantaneously. Even when played light it wants to speak up. They can be bright sounding cymbals with a dark undertone. I don't find them to be trashy sounding. They aren't "turkish" sounding cymbals, so they aren't really dry and ultra shimmery like a lot of turkish cymbals are.
I can vouch for the sound character of Artisans that Tommy has described here. They are my favorite line of Sabians that I own, and I use them every week at gigs.

The Sabian HH Remastered series is supposed to be nice too, that line is going to be more "woody" and dark sounding..
 

Gooosseeeyy

Junior Member
Artisans !!!!!!!!

Can't say for the crash but I have the 22" Light ride and I love it. Its my favorite ride out of the 7 I have. I also have the 15" hats and every drummer who's heard them has all gone crazy about them. I cannot say enough good things about these cymbals.
 

STXBob

Gold Member
If you say "no compromise", the only way is to keep playing what you have until you find (and play in person) a cymbal you really like. Then add it to your arsenal and start looking for the next, regardless of make/model.

No reason to look for a "set" in a particular series -- that is in itself a compromise.
THIS.

2020202020202020
 

steverok

Silver Member
I'm more of a mix and match person, but I do own the Sabian Artisan 22" Light Ride, which is an excellent, and I mean "excellent" ride cymbal. It has the beautiful, smoky wash that you seek, tons of character, and the bell on mine is warmly unique. Not sure it would have the ping you want, though, as it is light. I imagine they vary a bit, too, since they are largely hand-crafted.
 
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