My Totally Subjective Review of a 90s' Sabian HH 20" Ride 2350g (25 Years Tardy)

Old Drummer

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After several forum members recommended a plain K ride to me and I realized that the Sabian HH rides are about the same thing, I started shopping for one or the other at about the weight I thought I'd want. The above-mentioned ride fit my search criteria and pocketbook, so I bought it. It arrived today.

After putting it on the stand, I immediately had a familiar feeling, namely that it's a good ride, but so what? I'm becoming spoiled enough to run through multiple good rides, and finicky enough to look for one that wows me. This Sabian HH didn't wow me.

In fact, it right away reminded me of an Agop Traditional 20" ride 120 grams heavier that I already own. I therefore put the Agop on another stand and compared the two. Sure enough, they're about the same cymbal. However, the Sabian is a little lower pitched and has a better bell. To my ears and for my tastes, the Sabian is a little better than the Agop, though if I didn't play them side by side I might not have noticed.

Although it was unnecessary, I also played the Sabian next to a couple 60s' A's I own. No surprise, the Sabian is very different. I like the Sabian better than a 20" plain 60s' A. The Sabian seems more subdued, cleaner, while the A has overtones all over the place. But I admit to remaining smitten by a 22" old A I own that's been re-lathed and hammered. That 22" is a wild, in-your-face cymbal that captivates me, although the Sabian is more practical.

And while I had to compare these from memory because I sold them, the Sabian AA, K Custom Dark, and Sabian Raw Bell Dry rides were all less appealing to me than this Sabian HH. I hated the Sabian AA, but liked both the K Custom Dark and Raw Bell rides. I couldn't though get enough oomph out of the K Custom Dark while the Raw Bell was just too much of what it's designed to be. This Sabian HH falls somewhere between these two cymbals, a nice middle point.

Overall I'd say that the Sabian HH is the quintessential versatile ride. It doesn't strike me as a good ride for jazz, but it's close enough to get through a few jazz tunes. It would seem best for country or old rock, and maybe other more recent genres I'm less familiar with.

And as fate had it, this Sabian HH also works well with my current 18" left side cymbal and 15" crash. The fundamental pitches of the three cymbals almost seem to make a I, III, V chord, from lowest/biggest to highest/smallest. This is a workable array.

Those who recommended this cymbal (or its cousin, the plain K) gave good advice. I also believe that 2350 grams is a good weight. This Sabian HH is the most practical ride I've found. But I don't know what I'll do. My wild 22" old A continues to appeal to me and I'm not ready to commit.
 

AustinFitz

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I'm a big fan of Sabian's HH stuff. In fact I just picked up a 20" Hand Hammered Jazz Ride a week or so ago. Brilliant finish, weighs 1827g. I've been having a blast getting to know it!
 

jchertudi86

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Great description of this cymbal. This is exactly why I own a 20" HH Ride, too. It's just a basic, no frills ride sound. I know most people would say a 20" A (or AA in Sabian's case) is that sound, but the HH is just smoother, cleaner... prettier. It works for everything I do.
 

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