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Low Volume Cymbals

Hypercaffium

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Not that sound really is something you are looking for here, but anyway.
Actually, we have plenty of choices now, and some of these low volume cymbals sound quite good imho.
L80s are the most silent (in my experience) but the most "dull" sounding, Agean are known for being a lot louder than L80s but they sound more like real cymbals, Arborea (which I currently use) are some kind of in-between, they're just a touch louder (and way brighter) than L80s but they sound pretty decent.
What I'm trying to say is that we can now play and even gig with low volume cymbals, not just practice, but we must choose the right models depending on the situation.
My goal is to find the best combo between mesh heads and low volume cymbals. The Arborea+drum-tec Design (2ply) combo works quite well both acoustically and with triggers. With Agean I'd use drum-tec Pro heads, but I never tested any of them so I don't know for sure.
 

Squirrel Man

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Why consider what they sound like? They all sound like crap, the idea is practicing on hitting something that feels like a real cymbal, not what it sounds like.

Like mesh heads, sound (and feel) like crap but it's a popular option.
 

Dzdrum

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I purchased for a grand total of $150 the Musico (hihats, ride , 16 &18 crashes and 18 china cymbal) on Amazon. I tried the Zildjian low volume cymbals at Guitar Center, while they sound fine, there is no way I am going to pay over $500 for the same setup. These cymbals are not for sound quality, they are for low volume! The Musico’s do the job fine - save your money and buy these on Amazon. With the money you save - go buy a nice Zildjian K.
 

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Hypercaffium

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Why consider what they sound like? They all sound like crap, the idea is practicing on hitting something that feels like a real cymbal, not what it sounds like.

Like mesh heads, sound (and feel) like crap but it's a popular option.
Not true at all.
 

StewartCropeland

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I got the Zildjian L80s for a good deal on Craigslist -- they pop up pretty regularly -- and have been really happy with them. The first time you crash the crashes and find you can't get the volume above a certain level is pretty startling.
 

Hypercaffium

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L80s are the most popular because 1) they were the only option available at the time and 2) they're made by Zildjian, which is super popular. For strict practice they work very well, they're the most silent and the construction quality is good. I played exclusively with them for a while, but things changed when I bought my EAD10 and started my research for the perfect acoustic balance between low volume cymbals and drums with mesh heads. That's when I started to try other low volume cymbals, which I guess most of the people don't do for a number of reasons.
The problem with L80s is that they're too dark and too thick, imho. They lack both tone and dynamics, you just hear the stick hitting the cymbal, sustain is extremely limited, in other words they don't sound like real cymbals at all.
 

Michael C

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L80s are the most popular because 1) they were the only option available at the time and 2) they're made by Zildjian, which is super popular. For strict practice they work very well, they're the most silent and the construction quality is good. I played exclusively with them for a while, but things changed when I bought my EAD10 and started my research for the perfect acoustic balance between low volume cymbals and drums with mesh heads. That's when I started to try other low volume cymbals, which I guess most of the people don't do for a number of reasons.
The problem with L80s is that they're too dark and too thick, imho. They lack both tone and dynamics, you just hear the stick hitting the cymbal, sustain is extremely limited, in other words they don't sound like real cymbals at all.
I have been using L80 and Remo silentstroke on my kit at home (in the garage). I dont need to be silent as we dont have neighbors close by at all and an empty lot on the side of our place. But, my wife works from home and I also dont want to drive her nuts (garage is attached to house).
I wanted to get some more sound out of my drums to have a better experience practicing and learning and have been using gaff tape on the mesh heads (on top). I can get some decent tone. But the feel is not realistic.
I have tried tea towels on regular batter heads and this works ok too, but it’s a bit of a pain. However, reading what Hypercaffium wrote about these 2 and 3 ply heads got me thinking that just for a snare drum it may have a value.
I ordered one of the “real feel“ 3 ply heads form Drum Tec for my snare drum to try out. I am also considering the Aegean cymbals, as the tone and feel of the L80s is not as good as I think it could be.
 

Hypercaffium

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drum-tec Pro series (thick 1ply) are the loudest, while both Design (2ply) and Real Feel (3ply) retain the low volume characteristichs but feel a lot better. I think you made a good choice.
If you don't use external triggers I'd use Real Feel on everything plus Arborea cymbals.
 

Michael C

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How loud are they compared to L80s? And which model do you have? They make many different models and series, it's a little bit confusing for me to be honest. Some are quieter, I guess?
I just got a set of the Agean R (not the natural or the flat), and compared to L80s they are probably 30-40% louder. They actually have sustain. The down side is no returns on these. I wish I could have played the natural before I bought. However, these are more like a real cymbal and I think in small venues you could totally play live with them. I’d say they are only 30-50% quitter than normal cymbals.
 

Hypercaffium

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A couple of weeks ago I've put some Moongel on my Arborea 20'' ride to tame it just a little bit, because it's right over my EAD10 and always sounded slighlty louder compared to the other cymbals. It worked perfectly, I must say.
Recently I've started to play my low volume kit 100% acoustically (no headphones, no EAD10, no triggers) and, as much as I loved it, I immediately remembered how bright those Arborea cymbals are, so playing them without any hear protecion was a little bit annoying for my ears. I ended up putting some Moongel on ALL my cymbals (inlcuding hi-hat) and, after some tests, I must say everything sounded just perfect.
Even when I played my kit with EAD10 and headphones everyting sounded more clear and balanced. Moongel reduced sustain and darkened the cymbals just a little bit. Now I can play my kit in both ways perfectly, which is great. Of course you must experiment with each cymbal and find the "sweet spot" for the Moongel. I suggest you guys to try that, if you have bright and/or loud low volume cymbals.
 


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