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Sabian AAX vs HHX

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#1
dnburgess

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When I asked here about starter drum sets - everyone stressed the importance of getting better quality cymbals.

I have taken on board the advice and looked around and have been offered what looks like a great deal on Sabian AAX or HHX packs.

I will be mainly playing nuegrass, alt-country, classic pop/rock.

I am leaning towards the darker set - but does anyone have recommendations of those or other Sabian ranges?

Thanks for your advice and patience.
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#2
drumhead

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Both are pro lines so you won't really go wrong with either.

It really comes down to which sound (and sizes) you prefer, and it seems you already know the general difference between the two series.
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#3
dharma bum

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I would go darker, with the HHX pack. I think it's worse - more annoying, maybe - if cymbals are too bright for a tune than too dark. The range of music you play seems better-suited to the HHXs, or HHs.
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#4
BoxMonster13

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I play mostly Sabians currently. In my arsenal I have:

14" HHX Evolution Hats
16" AAX Dark Crash
17" AAX Studio Crash
18" HHXplosion Crash
21" HHX Groove Ride

Also from other Sabian lines I have:

10" Xs20 Splash
14" Paragon Hats
19" Paragon China

If you are leaning towards "darker" cymbals HHXs are going to work well for you, but don't forget the AAXplosion line. AAXplosion crashes have a darker feel than some other AAXs and they are much cheaper than their counterparts in the HHXplosion line. I haven't heard an AAXplosion that I didn't like, despite the fact that I don't own any. I would also recommend the Studio types from either line if you are playing a lot of indoor/quieter gigs. I used my AAX Studio last night at a Hard Rock Cafe gig and it was perfect for the room, not too loud, not too soft. I prefer HHXs hihat offerings, especially the HHX Evos, but they are expensive typically. I got really lucky and found mine on eBay brand new for 50% off! The AAX Dark Crash line is good, but I don't like them as much as the AAXplosions. When it comes to HHX crashes, they are dark and typically pretty loud. When it comes to rides there is such a variety with Sabian that you really have to audition some. The HHX Groove Ride is crashable, and is very versalite, I love mine.

Also don't discount the Xs20 series! They are great cymbals that "sound professional" without the professional price tag. They are B20 alloy, which is what the AAX/HHX lines are, but due to the manufacturing procedure are much cheaper. They tend to be brighter, but they are very versatile. I would also avoid the prepacks, unless you are able to listen to the cymbals out of the box. Sabian is now offering mixed packs that include Xs20/AAX, AAX/HHX, so if you can listen to them and like them, go for it! Remember also that line doesn't necessarily dictate sound, my AAX Dark Crash is WAY darker than some HHXs I've heard. Listen to a bunch and pick what you think sounds best, you may be surprised by what you find, as I have been plenty of times! Do you have any preference for sizes and configuration you are going for currently?
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#5
Sub_Meter

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I love the AAXsplosions and the AAX hats. Honestly, just trust your ears. :)
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#6
Rodney Bell

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I play all AAX cymbals And love em they sound bright and crisp and I had a X-plosion crash last almost 2 years before cracking and thats about 150ish shows and I play hard lol
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#7
sonicD

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That whole "HHX=dark/AAX=bright" thing is a general rule of thumb and not much more. Both product lines have expanded over the years to the point where there's so many exceptions to the rule that outside the parameters of the "base" product lines (ie: "Studio" and "Stage") it's almost meaningless. For example, I've got some AAX Dark crashes that are wwwaaaaayyyy darker than anything I own in the HHX line.

Think of it in terms of "blending" and/or "contrasting". I'd think that for alt.country and nuegrass, you'd be headed towards a more "blending" HHX type of sound, but let your ears lead the way.

btw, the sound files on CymbalsOnly.com are much better then ones on Sabian's own site. I don't want to turn this into a plug for them, but Tony's a reliable dealer and overall good guy. I think he's a member here. It's not a complete listing - he doesn't have files for everything, but where he does, they're very good.


http://www.cymbalson...bian/sabian.htm
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#8
Sagemind

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Just like everyone else has said, it comes down to the bright/dark thing. I kind of liken the AAX series to Zildjian's A Customs and HHX to the K Customs, if I remember correctly.
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#9
TDM

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sonicD:
btw, the sound files on CymbalsOnly.com are much better then ones on Sabian's own site.


+1 and I'll add a big thumbs up for MyCymbal.com too.

The sound samples on Sabian's web site, in my experience, are so limited they're essentially worthless. Contrast this with CymbalsOnly and especailly with MyCymbal. Each gives a reasonably lengthy performance in the context of a kit, demonstrates multiple styles and dynamics, and plays the cymbals with a professional touch so as to demonstrate attributes like stick sound, wash, build-up, decay, shank accents, bell definition, slow and fast playing response, soft and loud playing response, crash riding, "chick" sound (for hats), and many other attributes. When it comes to inadequate sound samples, Sabian isn't the only culprit. Zildjian, Paiste, and the remaining, large manufacturers are equally poor in this regard. Whenever I find a cymbal that appears interesting, I immediately look for playing examples on CymbalsOnly and MyCymbal.
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#10
TDM

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I keep watching for the day Tom Lenardo craps the throne and a pint of Jack falls out of his pants waist.


Hey Rufus, don't you be pickin' on Mr. Lenardo. :-) I have my favourite demonstrators at MyCymbal, but, in general, I enjoy the entire team because each drummer brings something interesting, unique, and helpful in their differing approaches.
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#11
BennyK

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Both the HHX and AAX explosion series are outstanding crashes. They have a fast decay, but the HHX hangs on a tiny bit longer and deeper.The 19" is a beauty.
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#12
Tony Ward

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AAX is the best. Brighter tones to the cymbals..
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#13
auto.pilot

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I use both AAX and HHX - love them all. Earlier this year, Sabian had a Buy a ride- get a crash free deal going. Not sure if this will be repeated, but some of the freebie cymbals were top notch.

I agree that the videos found on mycymbal.com are very good.

jim
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#14
longfellow3469

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I play HHX Evolution 14 hats and don't believe a finer set exists. But I feel the same about my 15" AAX Studio crash.
I'm about to experiment with this setup. http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1439.l2649
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#15
gezz

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I play 16" and 17" HHX Evolution crashes... they are the best period!!!!!
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#16
Startrukk

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I play 16" and 17" HHX Evolution crashes... they are the best period!!!!!


I agree!
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