Matt Nolan Tony Williams ride cymbal

curly

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We rightly rave about Craig Lauritsen, Lasse Funch, and others who are making incredible cymbals. Having been a cymbalholic for some two decades now, in some ways we are living in a rich era of very talented cymbalsmiths. Matt Nolan kinda flies under the radar a bit because he doesn't do much with social media and, I think, does much of his work in the orchestral space.

But he can make some righteous cymbals. Check this out

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22 and ~2450 on my kitchen scale. Simply a joy to play. Please forgive the relatively sloppy playing, I'm just learning this cymbal and have gotten used to playing 24's recently, which respond quite differently than this beast. Beautiful woody stick with a higher fundamental, swirling wash, activate-able trash with shanks, and a roaring crash. Can't wait to spend some time learning this one. I don't know for sure it's a Tony Williams inspired ride but it's characteristics lead me there. This was not a custom order, but a cymbal Matt made for PASIC that didn't sell (which is crazy to me).

 

Ptrick

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One of my favorite times hanging out after NAMM was with the two Matt’s (Nolan and Bettis). Had a blast and learned a lot (and ate some good food). I’ve always respected his work, yet somehow never owned one? Nice pick up.
 

Pedal_Pusher

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Matt's makes very nice cymbals and metal percussion. I have a pair of high hats and a flat ride that I bought at his PASIC booth. I also found a 20" Pinstripe B15 (?) for sale locally and snagged that. If you get a chance to visit a PASIC in Indianapolis you can hear the quality and I recommend that you visit his booth very early to purchase. I have to confess that I also bought a wonderful small triangle from Matt even though I am retired from the steady tuxedo gigs. Check out his sculptural gongs by the way.
 

owr

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Curly is definitely winning the forum these days. Well, him and that guy with the Lambo... :)
 

ThomasL

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That's a great one! Perfect weight, I prefer the lower pitch compared to most TW clones.
 

paulwells73

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Great sounding cymbal, but I’m also drooling over your drum kit! Phonics, and what is that snare - 8 lug brass Supra? (Sorry if it’s been discussed before.)
 

curly

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Great sounding cymbal, but I’m also drooling over your drum kit! Phonics, and what is that snare - 8 lug brass Supra? (Sorry if it’s been discussed before.)

Thanks! That is a 1930s Ludwig most likely that was originally an all gold finish. I sent it to Mike Currotto for restoration which I detailed in a prior thread. Fantastic snare.

Before:
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After
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JDA

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if you like want to go maple
Vater (Manhattan) but not named Manhattan) 7A
Vic Firth MJC4 (Jeff Ballard design
Promuco 2B maple (a simple traditional design
and oldstandby of course
Vic Firth SD4

Hickory
VF HD4
Vater 8A
Vater Fusion ( hickory or maple)

I have sticks coming out of my ears
 

TPC

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Funny you ask this.

Leading up to my last recording session, I had the Nolan’s up, fully expecting to use them for the session. So I’ve used VF PE Rides, only PE Rides, for quite some time. I adore them. But, the tone from the Nolan flat ride was almost nonexistent. It’s almost like the stick and the cymbal phased each other out. Weird. So I go down to GC with the flat and try out a bunch of sticks. I end up with VF Jojo Mayer’s. Very nice, light sticks with barrel-tips.

Back home I give the sticks a workout with the Nolan’s. The cymbals are brighter than usual, but sounding great, including the “old K style” 22” ride. But after a while, I start to realize the I miss the heavy, stiff feel of the PE’s. Dilemma. The PE’s sound great on all the Nolan’s, just not the flat. So …

I end up using the PE’s and switch out the Nolan’s for my Paiste set up, which seems made for those sticks. I was surprised that sticks were the determining factor, and not the cymbals. That was a first.

So, back on topic, you may want to try the VF Jojo’s. Nice sticks.

Or, if you’re like me, just use PE’s and be done with it. Your Nolan TW will thank you. Best. Sticks. Ever!
 
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Seb77

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I've been playing this one a bit today and I'm rethinking stick choice.

What are you using at the moment, and how does it sound to you? Are you missing something, or is there too much of something?
 

ThomasL

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I've been playing this one a bit today and I'm rethinking stick choice.

Curious what @Ptrick @ThomasL @paulwells73 @TPC prefer for cymbals of this ilk and why, specifically about the tip shape.

Thanks!

Maple, left to right:

Ayotte Jazz Maple NOS (my last pair, saved for reference)
Ayotte Jazz Maple worn
Ayotte Jazz Maple really worn
Vater Cymbal Stick ball with modified tips
Vater Maple Phat Ride (although I find the tips a bit too small
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The quieter you have to play, the smaller the tip. A gradual taper also helps with volume and to keep the pitch down, but it is more difficult to play shanks if it is too gradual. If I ever need more highs, I also have a pair of nylon-tipped Peter Erskine Ride Sticks in my bag.
 

paulwells73

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I've been playing this one a bit today and I'm rethinking stick choice.

Curious what @Ptrick @ThomasL @paulwells73 @TPC prefer for cymbals of this ilk and why, specifically about the tip shape.

Thanks!
I think it depends on what qualities you may want to tame or control. (I’ve been a Vic Firth artist for 6 or 7 years now, so most of experience is with their models.)

If you want to get a bit less wash, you could try something with a long taper - Erskine Big Band, any of the Firth American Jazz series (I like the AJ3 and AJ4), or even a Regal Tip Jazz nylon. I also use the Firth MJC5 to tame a bit of wash and add some bite to the stick attack.

However, if the goal is to mellow out an overly metallic stick sound (which is what I might be hearing a bit of in the sound file) a maple stick and/or arrowhead or small ball tip can help. Try the Firth SD11 Slammer (perhaps the most misleading name for a stick!), SD4, or the first Peter Erskine stick (PE1). The Firth MJC2 has a combination of a long taper and an arrowhead tip, and will simultaneously control wash and give you a darker stick attack. The aforementioned SD11 Slammer is very similar in design, but larger.

Hope this helps!
 

curly

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Thanks for all the input all.

I tried some old worn down John Riley model sticks and realized I actually had both PE ride and big band sticks. I liked the worn down Riley's and PE big band which is an tear drop tip a bit more than the PE signature though it certainly limited the overtones comparatively. Part of the issue with the PE ride stick is the smaller diameter. The sticks in the video's above are Los Cabos Jazz Maple which have more of a barrel tip. I like the feel/balance of the Los Cabos which are longer and have a larger diameter (16.3" and 0.575) but the barrel tip just brings out more overtones.

The other stick I tried that I kinda liked is the Carter Mclean Signature stick which is similar in length and diamter to the Los Cabos but have quite a different tip profile.

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