Sabian Cymbals Discussion

Jazzhead

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What models of Sabian have you played and liked a lot?
I honestly like B8 sometimes, they sound great. I have played a 20” HH Jazz ride I really liked. But how has your experience been with Sabian? Which models do you think are Sabian’s greats? Let’s stick to below $400 cymbals (new and used) without any bias towards high end cymbals. If you pay $400+, it better sound good.
let’s cover all grounds: hats, ride, crash, etc.
 

Downbeat

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I've been playing my Larrie Londin Signature 21" ride for many years. A lot of other ride cymbals have come and gone but I'll never part with my Larrie.
 

Mcjnic

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I’ve owned more Sabians than I can honestly recall. I spent time as an endorser and Charlie selected some amazing cymbals … but I’ve had so many used and off the shelf ones that blew me away, I became a believer many times over. A few I remember that sparked me … several I still own and play.
NONE were even remotely near 400.

18 HH Suspended - fantastic cymbal.
20 Roktagon - ridiculously dynamic cymbal
14 HH Prototype hats - the best hats I’ve EVER played. EVER.
19 HHX-Treme Crash - one of the coolest and most expressive crashes
20 HHX Weckl Ride - an older one from 20 years or so ago that was made much lighter. GREAT crash
22 HHX Prototype Ride - brilliant ride with a stunning bell and phenomenal crash


The Hats

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healthie1

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AAX raw-bell dry ride 21"

There was a period I LOVED 15" AAX-celerator hats; but I think they were on the thin side. I've played some thick ones I did not like.
 

Wxmaggot

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I am still a fan of the good ol AA series. My 14" regular hats have been with me since the early 90s. Amazing hats in my opinion. 21" AA Dry Ride (Morgenstein inspired purchase) bought at the same time is still great. Have a couple prototypes I bought at their meet the masters tour that I love. Biggest regret sell off: 18" HH Thin Chinese That thing was beautiful...
 

Jazzhead

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I am still a fan of the good ol AA series. My 14" regular hats have been with me since the early 90s. Amazing hats in my opinion. 21" AA Dry Ride (Morgenstein inspired purchase) bought at the same time is still great. Have a couple prototypes I bought at their meet the masters tour that I love. Biggest regret sell off: 18" HH Thin Chinese That thing was beautiful...
Which type of AA hats? The ones with block type small AA lettering?
 

daveplaydrum

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I had a 20” Sabian AAX stage ride that I sold a few years ago that I miss. It didn’t have the greatest articulation but it crashed great and the bell was great too. I didn’t appreciate it while I had it and now that it’s gone I judge all ride cymbals I get as to how similar it is to that stage ride. I’ve played others and none have the same mellow sound mine did…presumably from the cigarette smoke and sweat all over it.

I also had the HH Raw Bell Dry Ride and didn’t like it. It had great articulation but it had no power behind it and the sound seemed thin to me. I ended up trading it a few years ago to a local music shop and it’s funny because they still have it and it’s priced around $300 so no wonder it hasn’t sold.

I bought a 19” Omni AAX crash from someone off the forum not too long ago and couldn’t believe how it sounded. The crash was very nice when you would play the edge but it didn’t have that crash/ride capability that I hoped for. And for a 19” it sounded closer to a larger splash cymbal which really caught me off guard. Very high pitched and bright.

I got a pair of 20” Artisan symphonic cymbals from Amazon really cheap. I didn’t know what kind of weight to expect but I like surprises so I went for it. They were very heavy. They worked nicely as heavy rides and had a dark sound to them you wouldn’t expect from such a heavy cymbal. They were also the “extra dark” model which meant that the cymbal was a bit flatter than a usual cymbal and it made the pitch very low…again, not what you’d expect from a 20” heavy cymbal. I sold both…heavy rides just aren’t my thing. Maybe medium-heavy but I need to be able to crash it in a pinch.

I also bought a 18” Vault crash about 15 years ago and it’s a really nice crash but it cracked in the bow and I very messily drilled it out. Not the cleanest sounding crash but it’s good for shows when I know I’m gonna be beating up my main crash a little and I don’t want to put my black label Paiste through the abuse.
 

jmele2

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I'm a Sabian endorser , so take that into account

-- my current favorites are

22" Vault light ride (#132!)
21" Vault 3-Point ride
20" Artisan Elite (#320)
20" Vanguard ride (with non-factory installed rivets--recently purchased on this site, thanks Gcort49)
20" Prototype small bell ride with poorly installed rivets (thanks, me!)
20" HH Manhattan ride (older model)
14" Pair of Vault Custom Shop HiHats

These get moved around depending on the gig.
 

Latdrummer

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What models of Sabian have you played and liked a lot?
I honestly like B8 sometimes, they sound great. I have played a 20” HH Jazz ride I really liked. But how has your experience been with Sabian? Which models do you think are Sabian’s greats?
When I was younger I was impressed by Sabian B8 (this was before even putting my hands on a B20 cymbal, all I knew was brass), and to this day I believe they could be used in a professional setting if a thin bright sound is what’s called for.

But the one line from Sabian I have such respect for is HHX (had a 16” Stage Crash, 18” Evolution Crash and 18” Chinese), all beautiful cymbals but the Evo took the cake, just 1213 g and felt like butter under the stick, it had the widest dynamic range I’ve even heard on a cymbal, you could play it with your fingers or with heavy sticks and it would deliver a full and clear sound everytime, it was as if the cymbal had a built-in volume knob :-D

I think Sabian did a pretty extensive original research with the HHX line, it’s the only series you can’t find an equivalent in other manufacturers.
 

lossforgain

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Some of my favorite Sabians from years gone by:

1st gen HH 20" crash ride that I bought from a DFO member and stupidly sold later...
90s AA 10" Splash, the best splash I ever had with a perfect "SPLISH" sound
90s AA 15" Thin Crash, may have been the first brand new cymbal I ever bought myself
2000s HH 21" Vintage Ride, didn't appreciate what I had at the time
2010s Vault 18" and 19" crashes
2010s Vault Crossover Ride
 

JDA

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Had a 22" AA Raw Ride new
only sabian I ever bought

couple that caught my ear and eye I sampled over the years in a store
20" Dave Weckl (had the unlathed band underneath) . A memorable 1st run Chester Thompson 22 I don't think it was called Liquid ride yet; remember it responding similar to my old K 22 NS 2877g
Also an 22 Artisan something medium? in a store. Not enough to go all in as I was knee deep in other things.
there's a 22" Big & Ugly can't recall model, in a piano store locally that's been there for at least 6 years looks interesting but it's retail price
" can't own em all"
 
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Franklin Nigel Stein

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B8 Pro 14 HiHats, 18 Crash and 20 Ride (baby’s first set of cymbals)

AA 16 Crash, 18 Crash.

AAX Studio 17 Crash.

Sabian is the cymbal brand I like, but can never seem to love. Sold or gave away all of them.
 

Tommy D

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Most of my cymbals are Sabian and I've got a lot of them. I'm a big fan of the HHX series (all ranges within that umbrella), second is HH, third is Artisan, 4th is AAX, then finally AA. Yep, Artisan is 3rd. The Artisan cymbals I have are all very explosive and loud. I dont find them to be very universal. The crashes and hi-hats are good for rock, and the 22" Medium ride is kind of an oddball that I havent found much use for. Too washy for rock, too loud for jazz, not trashy or eclectic enough for singer/songwriter... Kind of a no-mans-land type of cymbal.

Anyway, I really like HHX. Very musical and expressive. Can play quietly and have the cymbal open up, or hit it hard for a fast slap in your face. Not too bright, not too dark. Great bell sounds, crashable rides with a controlled wash. Just a really nice line from Sabian.
 


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