Cymbal Setup - Am I Done?

Kuromaku

Well-known member
Famous last words. I'll refer back to this thread when I go full Terry Bozzio after cursing myself with this post.

My conversion from a four piece kit with hats/crash/ride to a seven piece kit and a new array of cymbals is almost complete. My second snare's delivery date has been pushed back for the fourth time now.

But I *think* I've got all the textures I want in my cymbals...

Any suggestions on a missing key piece to make me go all the way down the rabbit hole again?

cymbals.png
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
As a guy who plays a four-piece kit with hats, a ride, and only two crashes, I'd say that your setup has no holes at all. Some here might entreat you to add a China, but I'm not among them. I've never had nor wanted one. It's just not a sound I've ever been drawn to.

I like that all your crashes are 17". Mine are both 19". That seems redundant on the surface, but it isn't. There's a lot more to a cymbal than its diameter. Often, identical diameters even within the same series have notable differences. You don't always need to mix sizes to find variety.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
As a guy who plays a four-piece kit with hats, a ride, and only two crashes, I'd say that your setup has no holes at all. Some here might entreat you to add a China, but I'm not among them. I've never had nor wanted one. It's just not a sound I've ever been drawn to.

I like that all your crashes are 17". Mine are both 19". That seems redundant on the surface, but it isn't. There's a lot more to a cymbal than its diameter. Often, identical diameters even within the same series have notable differences. You don't always need to mix sizes to find variety.

I will keep that in mind, another new perspective for me.

thanks!
 

johnjssmith

Junior Member
Even without reading your post I can easily answer: NO!
You're never done, and you're here forever!

That said...
It depends on what you play.
The setup in your picture looks a bit off to me as you chose darker cymbals, which make me think of lighter and more sparse styles of music, where they don't have to fight to cut through, so to speak, though they're also on the smaller side, which means a bit more cutting, drier, quieter and more "immediate", while a lighter and more sparse style usually goes with bigger cymbals, 21" or 22" rides, 18" or 19" or 20" crashes...

So if you only/mainly play a style of music where you feel your cymbals work well I don't think much can be added to it, maybe a biiiig swish/pang/china with rivets, maybe a 10" or 12" splash, or maybe not, I think that mainly depends on whether you feel the need to get anything else or not :p

If, on the other hand, you play straight ahead jazz on monday, funk on wednesday and alt rock on friday, or you otherwise need more sound possibilities, I think you'd do well getting a few different cymbals of the same types you already have to substitute and switch depending on what you're playing.
If you want to stay faithful to the big Z I'd say a pair of K/Z or new beat hats, a standard 18" or 19" K crash or 19" A fast/thin crash and a 21" A sweet ride or 20" K custom ride for a more modern, bigger, cutting sound where you don't have to wonder whether the ping of your stick will be heard by everyone else, and a 21" or 22" K Constantinople of your choice, or maybe a 22" K dark medium ride for a more woody, washy, softer sound.

So in short, no, but it depends.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
I like it - the only thing I might do is move up one of those 17s to a 19' just for when you a really big crash with a little more sweep. 17s are great but they'll all hit and get out of the way pretty quick...might be nice to have one with a little more sustain - but you should be able to make it through anything headed your way!
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Only 17" crashes is an interesting choice. I agree that a 19" would give you more options for bigger or longer crashes.

I also like having a crash that's either quicker or more transparent. Your set up had deep and rich nailed, but you might find yourself needing a contrasting sound that isn't also dissonant.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
What? No China? You’re not done.
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Famous last words. I'll refer back to this thread when I go full Terry Bozzio after cursing myself with this post.

My conversion from a four piece kit with hats/crash/ride to a seven piece kit and a new array of cymbals is almost complete. My second snare's delivery date has been pushed back for the fourth time now.

But I *think* I've got all the textures I want in my cymbals...

Any suggestions on a missing key piece to make me go all the way down the rabbit hole again?

View attachment 103118
As others have mentioned a China, you’ve got the perfect spot between C & D for a splash. Or is stacked splash setup D your splash?
Kudos on the graphic
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
You have a great setup that will serve you well for many years to come. If you don't care for China cymbals you might consider getting an "Ozone" type special effects crash. I prefer the Bosphorus Turk and Traditional Special Effects models. The Bosphorus Turk 17" 6-Hole would be an ideal add on at some point for your current setup. For a brighter sound go with a Bosphorus Traditional 18-Hole model in whatever size appeals to you. Just a suggestion.

The only thing that none of us can factor in regarding our setups is our own personal evolution in style, taste and preference over time. If your tastes change in a few decades you can always go a totally new direction with your cymbals. I recently have gone through a big cymbal phase which I never would have predicted happening.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given is don't buy anything until you need it.
 

Kuromaku

Well-known member
OP here.

I can always count on the community here to be in my brain. I appreciate all your comments as they've made me think again about the issues I've wrestled with while building my new collection.

To address the most common topics:
  • Why not add a china?
    • I never liked the sound of them fundamentally. And when I've used them, I found myself hitting them once or twice during a whole session - and that was from forcing a case to hit them. I found something much more versatile and mixable in the trash crash I have in position "B" on the visual (a la Larnell Lewis).
  • Why not add a splash?
    • Because I love them too much and I overuse them. If I put one on the kit, I know it would be like cocaine. I love the quick flash of color. I love how they get in and get out. I love the crisp tone. But I have a track record of hitting them ALL THE TIME. And I know it takes away from the music and can be flat out annoying. All to say, yeah, I'll be adding a splash in the next few months, I'm sure. For now, my mini-stack serves the purpose of an ultra-staccato sound to be used in breaks/fills.
  • Why 17" crashes?
    • To my point above, I like cymbals that get in and get out. 18s seem to just get into the territory of washing on for a beat too long. 16s seem too small and lack the tone/complexity I want. 17 is the goldilocks for me. To be honest, it's probably just some weird idea I have in my head after getting the first 17, now my brain just says, "Well, get another 17."
  • All Ks - too dark/not cutting enough?
    • Outside of my own personal gear, I've probably played A Customs the most and I just don't like the brightness of them. They feel too direct to me. I love the complexity and the crispiness of Ks. I'm not too concerned about projection as I've been mic'd up in every gig I've played for the past forever. In the home environment, they're that much more enjoyable when you have the immediacy of all that tone and richness.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Famous last words ...... But I *think* I've got all the textures I want in my cymbals...
Maybe so .... but probably not. Only time will tell;)
 

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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
OP here.

I can always count on the community here to be in my brain. I appreciate all your comments as they've made me think again about the issues I've wrestled with while building my new collection.

To address the most common topics:
  • Why not add a china?
    • I never liked the sound of them fundamentally. And when I've used them, I found myself hitting them once or twice during a whole session - and that was from forcing a case to hit them. I found something much more versatile and mixable in the trash crash I have in position "B" on the visual (a la Larnell Lewis).
  • Why not add a splash?
    • Because I love them too much and I overuse them. If I put one on the kit, I know it would be like cocaine. I love the quick flash of color. I love how they get in and get out. I love the crisp tone. But I have a track record of hitting them ALL THE TIME. And I know it takes away from the music and can be flat out annoying. All to say, yeah, I'll be adding a splash in the next few months, I'm sure. For now, my mini-stack serves the purpose of an ultra-staccato sound to be used in breaks/fills.
  • Why 17" crashes?
    • To my point above, I like cymbals that get in and get out. 18s seem to just get into the territory of washing on for a beat too long. 16s seem too small and lack the tone/complexity I want. 17 is the goldilocks for me. To be honest, it's probably just some weird idea I have in my head after getting the first 17, now my brain just says, "Well, get another 17."
  • All Ks - too dark/not cutting enough?
    • Outside of my own personal gear, I've probably played A Customs the most and I just don't like the brightness of them. They feel too direct to me. I love the complexity and the crispiness of Ks. I'm not too concerned about projection as I've been mic'd up in every gig I've played for the past forever. In the home environment, they're that much more enjoyable when you have the immediacy of all that tone and richness.

You've outlined, in detail, the best means of knowing when your setup is complete: when you say it is. As I state in my initial post, I think your bases are very well covered. Nitpicking over sizes and so on is an academic discussion at best. For instance, you can do everything with a 17" crash that you can do with a 16" or an 18". It really comes down to what you're comfortable playing.
 
Why not add a splash?
  • Because I love them too much and I overuse them. If I put one on the kit, I know it would be like cocaine. I love the quick flash of color. I love how they get in and get out. I love the crisp tone. But I have a track record of hitting them ALL THE TIME. And I know it takes away from the music and can be flat out annoying.
Oh my god YES. This is exactly me! I admire your restraint.
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
I recently have gone through a big cymbal phase which I never would have predicted happening.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given is don't buy anything until you need it.
Not picking a fight here, but two sincere questions:
1. What do you define as a big cymbal phase?
(Did you buy ‘big’ cymbals or was it a phase where you purchased more cymbals than usual)
2. What do you mean by ‘need’?
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
OP here.

I can always count on the community here to be in my brain. I appreciate all your comments as they've made me think again about the issues I've wrestled with while building my new collection.

To address the most common topics:
  • Why not add a china?
    • I never liked the sound of them fundamentally. And when I've used them, I found myself hitting them once or twice during a whole session - and that was from forcing a case to hit them. I found something much more versatile and mixable in the trash crash I have in position "B" on the visual (a la Larnell Lewis).
  • Why not add a splash?
    • Because I love them too much and I overuse them. If I put one on the kit, I know it would be like cocaine. I love the quick flash of color. I love how they get in and get out. I love the crisp tone. But I have a track record of hitting them ALL THE TIME. And I know it takes away from the music and can be flat out annoying. All to say, yeah, I'll be adding a splash in the next few months, I'm sure. For now, my mini-stack serves the purpose of an ultra-staccato sound to be used in breaks/fills.
  • Why 17" crashes?
    • To my point above, I like cymbals that get in and get out. 18s seem to just get into the territory of washing on for a beat too long. 16s seem too small and lack the tone/complexity I want. 17 is the goldilocks for me. To be honest, it's probably just some weird idea I have in my head after getting the first 17, now my brain just says, "Well, get another 17."
  • All Ks - too dark/not cutting enough?
    • Outside of my own personal gear, I've probably played A Customs the most and I just don't like the brightness of them. They feel too direct to me. I love the complexity and the crispiness of Ks. I'm not too concerned about projection as I've been mic'd up in every gig I've played for the past forever. In the home environment, they're that much more enjoyable when you have the immediacy of all that tone and richness.
K’s are fabulous cymbals, no issues whatsoever. they sustain longer than I like, which is why I prefer the A fast crash. But going back to the splash... you could put it way out of the way, perhaps to the left of A , and use it sparingly. Stewart Copeland can’t be wrong can he?
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
OP here.

I can always count on the community here to be in my brain. I appreciate all your comments as they've made me think again about the issues I've wrestled with while building my new collection.

To address the most common topics:
  • Why not add a china?
    • I never liked the sound of them fundamentally. And when I've used them, I found myself hitting them once or twice during a whole session - and that was from forcing a case to hit them. I found something much more versatile and mixable in the trash crash I have in position "B" on the visual (a la Larnell Lewis).
  • Why not add a splash?
    • Because I love them too much and I overuse them. If I put one on the kit, I know it would be like cocaine. I love the quick flash of color. I love how they get in and get out. I love the crisp tone. But I have a track record of hitting them ALL THE TIME. And I know it takes away from the music and can be flat out annoying. All to say, yeah, I'll be adding a splash in the next few months, I'm sure. For now, my mini-stack serves the purpose of an ultra-staccato sound to be used in breaks/fills.
  • Why 17" crashes?
    • To my point above, I like cymbals that get in and get out. 18s seem to just get into the territory of washing on for a beat too long. 16s seem too small and lack the tone/complexity I want. 17 is the goldilocks for me. To be honest, it's probably just some weird idea I have in my head after getting the first 17, now my brain just says, "Well, get another 17."
  • All Ks - too dark/not cutting enough?
    • Outside of my own personal gear, I've probably played A Customs the most and I just don't like the brightness of them. They feel too direct to me. I love the complexity and the crispiness of Ks. I'm not too concerned about projection as I've been mic'd up in every gig I've played for the past forever. In the home environment, they're that much more enjoyable when you have the immediacy of all that tone and richness.
Famous last words.

Dude, you are so screwed. In a few years you’re gonna discover some cymbal from your brand that’s gonna cause you all sorts of hurt because you have these self-imposed “rules”. It’s gonna take a while, maybe a few months, maybe a day, but you’re gonna look outside your fishbowl one day and hear a sound that’s gonna crush those rules. When that time comes, please alert us here so we can make some popcorn. ??
 
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