JCR Cowbells: What else, now?

Neal Pert

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
359
Location
Among the Coastal Elites
So, I've got a JCR half moon that has essentially replaced all my old bells for basically everything. But I'm looking for other sounds, too. I'm assuming those of you who also use JCR bells have other bells you like as much? If so, what are they?
 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
746
Location
Portland, OR
Their cha-cha and bongo bells are my go to. The mambo bell, though it sounded cool with its deep resonant tone, was not a sound I found useful very often.

I usually dampen my bells with either gaff tape or silicon self-sealing tape.

In terms of other brands, I look for thicker metal; the thinner sheet steel just doesn’t have the authoritative sound I like. A guy was selling “Striker” brand bells on here a few years ago, and actually the one I got sounds excellent. My favorite is an LP bongo bell from the 70s.
 

"poppies"

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
1,718
Reaction score
179
Location
Los Angeles
Has anyone checked out Pete Lugo and Benchmark ? He used to work for Cali at JCR
Seems tough to contact that guy!

Ulipercussion seems to be well respected for cowbells, though I've not tried one due to how expensive they are.

As I've mentioned in other threads, my Ritmo cowbell compares very favorably to JCRs, and is my current go-to.
 

jaymandude

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
500
Location
outer limits
Seems tough to contact that guy!

Ulipercussion seems to be well respected for cowbells, though I've not tried one due to how expensive they are.

As I've mentioned in other threads, my Ritmo cowbell compares very favorably to JCRs, and is my current go-to.
I think Facebook is the only way. I'm not sure what the deal with him is. I've seen two bells in person which were good, not amazing. But I don't think he has any brick and mortar presence. I've communicated with him thru Facebook, you might try that.

And yes, I've heard great things about Ritmo
 

m_anderson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
236
Reaction score
162
Location
Maryland
Never have seen a chromed one, though...
That's what I was thinking. Same seller has another one listed that looks the same. Definitely some folks here more knowledgeable, but they appear to be refinished to me.

Here's mine. Half moon on left.

 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
746
Location
Portland, OR
JCR bells started their life off bright and shiny, not chromed but polished and lacquered. Only after they take wear from use and the lacquer wears away do they start to look more like raw aged steel.
 

multijd

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
967
Reaction score
310
Location
Buffalo, NY
JCR bells started their life off bright and shiny, not chromed but polished and lacquered. Only after they take wear from use and the lacquer wears away do they start to look more like raw aged steel.
Mine were never bright and shiny. I have three that I purchased at the shop in the bronx and i dont remember seeing any chromed bells. Guys in the latin dance bands in buffalo would have their bells chromed. Maybe thats what happened here.
 

drumgadget

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
713
Reaction score
105
Location
Healdsburg, Corte Madera CA
That bell on eBay is definitely chromed, not simply polished raw steel. As I said, I've never seen any authentic JCR bells that weren't raw steel ..... most a little rusty and funky. I've teched for a lot of old New York players who have impressive collections of JCR stuff. Also the mount is quite different from any other JCR half moon I've seen.

How hard would it be to copy (counterfeit?) an authentic JCR bell? There really isn't a whole lot going on there ...... except the irreplaceable, essential mojo ....... and the sound, of course. I'd hate to think that someone was trying to cash in by stamping initials and making paper labels.

M.
 

James Walker

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
99
Also the mount is quite different from any other JCR half moon I've seen.
I saw a number of JCR bells with that kind of mount in some of the last batches to show up at the local Sam Ash. I like the earlier squared-off version better - there was enough metal on those to let me drill out the hole to fit a 10.5mm post.
 

drumgadget

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
713
Reaction score
105
Location
Healdsburg, Corte Madera CA
I saw a number of JCR bells with that kind of mount in some of the last batches to show up at the local Sam Ash. I like the earlier squared-off version better - there was enough metal on those to let me drill out the hole to fit a 10.5mm post.
I sent the eBay seller a message, asking frankly if the bell was authentic (to the best of his knowledge). I tried to avoid any suggestion that I suspected him or his store of misrepresentation. Don't know if I succeeded on that, but ......... his answer was "absolutely original and authentic", with pix from Cali's "assembly line" to prove it.

I agree that the older (?) classic strap metal mounting detail is better, in my view. I guess this is what a genuine JCR bell is worth these days ........ guess we'll see, eh?

M.
 

Latest posts



Top