Agop Convert

sw532121

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I've been playing Zildjians for my entire drumming career. I started with A Customs, but quickly found myself moving to their darker, trashier offerings. I've been playing a mix of modern production Ks, K Customs, and K Constantinoples for years. Recently, I got turned onto their Kerope series, and picked up an 18 and a 22. Really lovely cymbals.

However, over the last couple of months, I acquired a few Istanbul Agop cymbals, and I am really blown away. I've got a set of 13" Signature hats, 18" OM crash, and a 21" Mel Lewis ride. Maybe I just got lucky, but these things are amazing. They are super responsive to dynamics, are not stiff under the stick at all, and have amazingly rich harmonics. I still love many of my Zildjians, but these Agops are more complex (in all the best ways). I've been an admirer of their work for a while, but have never actually played any of their cymbals until this year. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time looking at Agops now.

Any other Agop converts out there?

Evan
 

dustjacket

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I've been eyeing the 30th Anniversary cymbals for awhile now. Even used, the cost is just out of my comfort zone. Someday!
Really dig the Mel Lewis and Signature lines too.
 

Fat Drummer

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Cool, it's fun hearing of your journey. I respect that you still enjoy and appreciate the Zildjian's as well. Like you, I spent my career playing Zildjian (45 years) and only started exploring the rest of the cymbal world in the past 5 years or so. And like you, it's not that I stopped enjoying Zildjian, I simply found other brands and lines that spoke a little more to me at this point in my life. I like the fact that you can enjoy something new without throwing out the old!

Now, while I did not go exclusively with Agop ( I have several complete rigs from different manufacturs), I do dearly love my Agop set up! I started with a variety of Agop lines and slowly shifted to all Signatures. Then I went through a lot of those untill I found a set that balanced together perfectly. Any time I play them, I have a smile on my face the whole set!

20200216_132357 copy.jpg
 
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Seb77

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Agops used to be sometimes erratic, but the good ones are some of the best out there. Zildjian's Kerope, Special Drys etc. are great, no qustion, but they seem reverse-engineered compared to the "old-world" (there I said it) vibe of Agops. I hope they never lose this quality; they seem to have become more consistent, whcih is good.

I tend to like cymbals that aren't the extreme examples of what a company offers, but in a way could be found with others as well. In the case of Agops, not the thinnerst, not the trashiest, not the lowest-pitched, but a bit sweet, with some projection/definition. The Signature medium ride is a good example.
 

sw532121

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@Seb77 - That's a great sounding ride! I currently have four:

  • 22" K Light
  • 22" Kerope
  • 20" K Constantinople Light w/ 3 rivets
  • 21" Mel Lewis w/ 2 rivets
They all have their own flavor, but the Mel Lewis is that ride sound that I have heard in my head my entire life. Low-pitched, complex overtones, and woody. The perfect "tah" sound!
 

JDA

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I own 8 and 10 splashes. They didn't mess those up.
Prior I had many starting in 97 when presplits were still in the us distributor stock so I went thru many and after a year or so Agop and Mehmet both would come thru.
At first Istanbuls were a revelation. A handmade cymbal from Turkey. After a few years it dawned on me there were many limitations. Hi hats that didn't chick (Mels) Rides that sounded sour . Bells that were so hi pitched as to be unusable...
I figured there's one way out of this..
Caught the tail end of Old Ks still being reasonable money and bought into sets of them and concerning Turkish-made cymbals, never looked back.
Still like the 8" and 10" Istanbul Splash tho.
Discovered Bosphorus late and find them a happier overall cymbal than Istanbul.
Have their own limitations.
The Turkish cymbal with the least limitation remain Old K Zildjians from Turkey.
Closed the case
 

jaymandude

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Happy you like them. Thats a good feeling.

For me, it's like every other drum and cymbal brand. Does it sound good to me, does it feel good, is it usuable ? I went to an Agop endorsers house once, friend of mine. Out of the 10 that I played, I liked one of them. But that's not Agops fault. I also remember being in Maxwell's in NYC, and being ready to buy an OM22, and a friend said " I got something for you, call me tomorrow" And it was a Renaissance Prototype.

I wish I could get a set, go to the warehouse, win the lottery and a trip to Memphis Drum, for a full brand set. But it's hasn't happened yet
 

jtpaistegeist

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I like and own some Agop cymbals. I tend to learn more towards Bosphorus & Mehmet though.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Love Agops. I have a 19 Sig., 21 Mel, 21 Sig., and 22 SE Jazz. Been mostly just playing the SE right now on my bop kit....just one cymbal.....it's sweet!

I still love my Zildjians, though.....way too many to count!
 

dboomer

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The Turkish cymbal with the least limitation remain Old K Zildjians from Turkey.
Closed the case
Just my guess, but I would expect to find some Turkish cymbals made by any number of Turkish manufacturers to be every bit as good or even better than any random Turkish K. Just think about some guy with 10,20 or 40 years of experience hammering away in the way it has been done for a century. Handmade cymbals it seems to me are unique and each and every one is at least a bit different than every other one.

Not to blaspheme, but there must be a few guys in Turkey banging out with the same skill as Spizzichino or any other craftsman. You just gotta search.
 

Gunnellett

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I'd like to give the 30th Anniversary cymbals a try but I really don't need to start building another set. I've got too many random cymbals as it is.
 

JDA

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Just my guess, but I would expect to find some Turkish cymbals made by any number of Turkish manufacturers to be every bit as good or even better than any random Turkish K.
Ironically if we want to go there..It's Avedis Co. today (with all the computer and code) that get/ capture/ some very important points of the Old K.

What the Turkish makers "get" (or retain..) from the Old K is the harmony and soft feel.

So - Avedis today- or modern Turkish makers today - each grab a section of Old K.
Yet neither totally capture.

My bet would be on Avedis with their understanding of the old K - hand hammering a cymbal Today-Right- now

would be an old K.

The Turkish makers have had 40 years--and still don't understand. Their process gives them the warmth and feel---but the guys at Avedis have the ears
(but alas there's no handmade at Avedis..

You see the dichotomy here ? :

Avedis knows but they don't (chose not to..) make them that way..
Turkish makers make em that way..but they don't have the ear/understanding/ will or something..(they don't know what to listen for/have a reference)
 
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JDA

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I will say the Latest JAZZ ROCK from Mehmet show some very close promise to actual Old Ks. Seems to be intentional when they want to be intentional.
But just because they are made the same way (the previous 40 years) did not make them "the" old Turkish cymbal..(some I would place in the "costume jewelry" category....)
So 40 plus years later

The Heavier JAZZ ROCK sound and even look promising.

I don't think one has reached US yet..
 

JDA

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I (owned a nice 19" jazzmaster) used to call " Masterworks" teenage K's.
I think there's a lot of "costume jewelry" going on in Turkey regarding cymbals.
Or was Or is.. Just because the process was the same
~
The only difference I can surmise why Old K Zildjian had (have) such a wider bandwith (low pitched but strong cup etc) Is
because they were made for Symphony. Symphony Orchestra and had to include all- hi mid lo- partials. Otherwise it's a quirk of mystery.
But Zildjian carried it on in America- sound wise- but not manufacturing-wise..
 
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