Istanbul Agop Sig China- worth the $?

ggmerino

Senior Member
Been trying to complete my dream cymbal setup for the last several years. The final pieces of my modest setup are a splash which I will get (hopefully) tomorrow and a china.

Having heard countless chinas, I think the best one for me is the Istanbul Agop Signature 22" China. All my other cymbals I got used at a steep discount. I have never seen one of these Chinas on sale used.

Also, I found one I particualry love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXJKYq-_g3k. Is it worth the ridiculous price ($484)?
 

slowrocker

Silver Member
In my opinion it is totally dependent on you. Will you get $484 use out of it? I would never pay that for a china or any cymbal for that matter. To me cymbals are replaceable and if I look hard I can find what I want or close to it for a good price. It really depends on how important that china is to you. Will it be one if your major cymbals or one of 15? Of course if money is no object go ahead, but for me, I would look for something similar for cheaper. You may not get that sound but if you get a sound you love for half the price you will be happier in the end.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I think that's a LOT of money for any new cymbal!

The beauty of Chinas is, the worse they sound, the better they are! Well, not always of course, and they do possess different vibes, but what I mean is even a cheap China sounds good for what it is. I wouldn't spend much money on Chinas... save that for cymbals where you really want sweetness, like rides and especially crashes.

I would look at used Chinas from the likes of Sabian and Zildjian, and if you want a really inexpensive new cymbal that sounds very decent, the Wuhan brand found in Guitar Center (and I think Sam Ash) is worth looking into.

You're right, $484 is a ridiculous price. I guarantee you can find something else great for under $200, probably closer to $100, and with Wuhan, even less.

Bermuda
 

Mr. Compactness

Senior Member
It entirely depends on what you're looking for soundwise. An Istanbul Sig china has more tonal complexity to it than a Wuhan or a cheaper china, so if that's what you want, it's worth it. If you want more of a trashy, explosive tone that a Wuhan can offer, then it's not worth it. I play Istanbul and Bosphorus and I know that for the tones I want and get out of these cymbals, I can't find them cheaply, especially because each cymbal is unique.
 

ggmerino

Senior Member
Thanks for the comments, but I did it- I plopped down the cash and bought it. Call me a fool but I generally hold on to my cymbals dearly so I might as well get the one I want.

Also, I like my china versatile (rather than just an accent cymbal) and this one has several nice ride tones as well as a nice crash. I've been looking for years and was about to settle for a Paiste Twenty 20" or Bosphorus Trad 22" but neither was really what I wanted. This one seems perfect- so screw it- I'll take lunch to work instead of buying out for the next 7 months or so.

Funny thing is that it is a bit heavier cymbal than I normally would have bought. The other 22" Agops I saw ranged from 1649- 2199 grams (quite a range!), this one being the heaviest.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
Necrothread revival !

I love the way Carter Mclean uses this 22 sig china.

A china used in a traditional way (accenting snare and metal bashing) would not require this level of complexity, but the way he uses it as a regular crash with a distinct sound entirely justifies the price, not unlike Vinnie with his pretty expensive large Paiste 602 22" china.
 

Mr. Compactness

Senior Member
Necrothread revival !

I love the way Carter Mclean uses this 22 sig china.

A china used in a traditional way (accenting snare and metal bashing) would not require this level of complexity, but the way he uses it as a regular crash with a distinct sound entirely justifies the price, not unlike Vinnie with his pretty expensive large Paiste 602 22" china.
Exactly. I have a 22" Paiste Masters Swish that I got a good deal on. I paid about $419 I think, but it goes for over $500. There's no other company that offers the sound that it provides which is why I bought it. I wanted something that works in the way Carter uses his, as a ride, as a crash. Something darker that blends with the rest of the cymbals.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
Exactly. I have a 22" Paiste Masters Swish that I got a good deal on. I paid about $419 I think, but it goes for over $500. There's no other company that offers the sound that it provides which is why I bought it. I wanted something that works in the way Carter uses his, as a ride, as a crash. Something darker that blends with the rest of the cymbals.
I can relate- I paid about $450 or so for that same cymbal a few ysars ago. After seeing a few clips of them I just had to have one, it sounded THAT good. I got it and when it arrived it sounded every bit as good in person as it did on the clips I had seen. Unfortunately, it was just a little too pretty and subdued to work with any of the other cymbals I had at the time, so as much as it pained me, I unloaded it. Looking back, I should have held on to it, as I now have a 24" Agop Sig ride, a 26" Agop SE Jazz ride, a 20" Agop Om crash, and 16" Agop Sig hats that it would have worked perfectly with. Oh well...
 

219Dave

Junior Member
Hope you don’t mind a second revival of this old thread. I’m in the market for a china. I just bought my dream “forever” set, and am upgrading cymbals. Any else own this china? OP- do you still have yours?
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
Hope you don’t mind a second revival of this old thread. I’m in the market for a china. I just bought my dream “forever” set, and am upgrading cymbals. Any else own this china? OP- do you still have yours?
I don't own it, but I have played it. It sounds great, but it is relatively quiet, especially for a China. It will get lost in a medium to loud situation.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I own several Agop and two vintage Wuhan China cymbals. My super-thin Agop Signature 22" is my favorite China. Amazing dark textures.
As with all Agops, no two really sound the same. If you find the exact sound you want you should snag it, because it may be a long while and a lot of searching to find another one in that weight range that sounds nearly "identical" or on the rare occasion, even better.

22%22SignatureChina2LoRes.jpg
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If I was to buy a china, I'd just go with a Wuhan and be done with it.

With that said, I spotted this one yesterday. I own a set of Heartbeat cymbals, and I love them! I think they are made in the same factory Istambul cymbals.

 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
If I was to buy a china, I'd just go with a Wuhan and be done with it.
I think I picked up a couple of the first Wuhans in the States. The drum manager at the local pro drum shop had just toured China and visited the Wuhan factory. He called me to the back of his shop and asked if I would be interested in a Wuhan China. He had a 19.5" and a 21.5" and he made me an amazing deal for the two of them. Three months later I'm in his shop and he pulled me aside and fumbled around asking me to keep the Wuhans on the low down. Apparently he brought five Wuhan China cymbals from the factory into the States before there was a distribution agreement. I asked about the sizes of the other three Wuhans and inquired if they were up for sale. He fumbled around some more saying a client got first pick of what he wanted and by the end of the conversation Neil Peart's name came up. I have no way to validate if the story is authentic or not, but I have no reason to doubt the story either.

219Dave, the Wuhans are great if you want that authentic trashy China sound. A number of drummers have complained of them breaking, but I've had mine inverted mounted on Aquarian Cymbal Springs from day one with no issues of cracking or breaking. But the Wuhans sound thinner next to my Agop Signature China. The Agop is more robust, luscious, fuller body, more musical, with greater textures and overtones than the Wuhans. If you want the original trashy China sound the Wuhans won't disappoint and have a much better price point. If you want a China that is more musical and complex the Agop Signature is the way to go if the price isn't an obstacle. I also seriously doubt there will be an issue of breakage with the Agop.
 
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