Signature Agop Rides

richiegarcia4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
102
Reaction score
81
Location
Oakland, CA
Like all jazz drummers, I'm constantly tinkering with my cymbal set up. I'm really happy with my left side ride (Kerope 19) and my hats (super thin 60's Zildjian A's). I've been going back and forth between two 20's for my main: Constantinople MLT and a 30th anniversary. The Con is too bright and little harsh, but works well enough. The Agop has a great, dark stick sound, but the bell is way too quiet and the overtones are difficult to control some times. I've been interested in the Sig Agop 22's, especially the medium. I already have a 20 flat ride which sounds amazing for quiet practice and accompanying bass players. The regular Agop sounds a bit too dark and washy for my tastes. The medium sounds like it's a little brighter with a stronger bell (like an old 50's Zildjian). This is just my impression from the videos.
Unfortunately, none of the shops near me carry these cymbals, so I'm curious about your impressions of the Sig line, both standard and medium.
 

hardbat

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
721
Location
Sacramento CA, USA
I have 19 and 21 Sigs (normal, i.e., thin), and I love them. Out of curiosity I bought one of the newer 22 mediums and didn't care for it at all. It was so dark and dry that it just sounded dead. I'm wondering if more care was put into the older sigs.
 

TPC

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
706
Reaction score
911
Location
San Pablo, CA
I had some. A thin 20”, which I believe I won in a raffle from our own Neal Pert WAY back when in Cymbalholic. It was great. Dry, trashy, good stick. Then I got a “heavy” 22” at 2670 grams. I also liked that one. Projected pretty well, had a nice “uneasy” ping. I sold them both to buy other stuff years ago, but I did enjoy them.
 

deepsoulradio

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
394
Reaction score
84
Location
Denver, CO
Gimme the ones from the good ol' days. Not necessarily with serials, but maybe a decade ago. Current ones are good, but they're different somehow, you can see it in the finish...not the same cymbals

More variety back then - more dogs, more gems. These days, kinda same same.
 
Last edited:

f.stahlenius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
202
Reaction score
188
Location
Sweden
Today's Sigs. are different. Not necessarily "worse". I prefer the earlier ones though. As pointed out: more variety back then.

I've had maybe six or seven different 22" Sigs. (and a 4 year old kid's weight of other Sig. sizes...). Two of them were newer production Medium's. Too "normal" for me. Too boring, actually.

I'd look around for an older 22" Sig. or perhaps even a newer, bit heavier 20" or 22" 30th (2020 production, as some of these have less hammering than earlier generations). Go to youtube and search for "Istanbul Agop 20" 30th Anniversary Medium Ride" and you'll find two very different looking rides (one less hammering) available at Memphis Drum Shop. Both closer to 2200g. Earliest/first 30th were something different. Loved those whispery/thin hats!

As for bells, Sigs. can be a bit too flat so I'd consider the 22" Mantra or OM (if you find the right one's). Put some tape on it if it gets too washy.

Or, wait a few months and see what Agop has cooking - I've been trying to convince them to put out a 40th Anniversary ride, and I know something "Traditional Jazz" is on the way, but not sure about weights and such, but with a name like that my guess is it's something like the Traditional Jazz Ride that later turned into the Dark Ride and now, well, maybe (and hopefully) has a different bell and hammering?

Hope it helps!

Cymbal shopping online can be hard, but keep checking Reverb, buy/sell here (there were a heavier Sig. up for trade last week). It takes time to find stuff. Have patience (well, I know I don't, that's why that 4 year old kid quickly turns into a teenager worth of B20 alloy).
 

nchia

Active Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
38
Reaction score
12
Location
Canada
I recall seeing that Tony at CymbalsOnly offered the 22" Sigs in a custom weight -- around 2250g, so right in between the more common thin ones and the mediums. I don't see any on his website currently, but might be worth inquiring about.

I have a thin (~1980g) 22" and for whatever reason it's never worked for me in a more straight-ahead jazz setting. I always found it to interfere too much with the other instruments. As for the bell, I think you'll find it to be even quieter than your 30th, but I cant speak to the bells on the mediums.
 

f.stahlenius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
202
Reaction score
188
Location
Sweden
I recall seeing that Tony at CymbalsOnly offered the 22" Sigs in a custom weight -- around 2250g, so right in between the more common thin ones and the mediums. I don't see any on his website currently, but might be worth inquiring about.

I have a thin (~1980g) 22" and for whatever reason it's never worked for me in a more straight-ahead jazz setting. I always found it to interfere too much with the other instruments. As for the bell, I think you'll find it to be even quieter than your 30th, but I cant speak to the bells on the mediums.
That's right. I actually bought one Sig. 22" custom from him (was around 23xxg), as well as a crazily thin Sig. 22" at 1735g... Currently have an early Sig. 22" at 2317g (with those elusive serial numbers) and used to own a 22" at 1950g that was dry, dark but couldn't hear it when things got loud.
 

Acidwash

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
119
Reaction score
154
I have been doing a study of sorts on early Signature rides, mostly serial number era. The sweet spot for me is the 20” and 21” rides. I have two of each, and as stated earlier, there is a lot of variation in the early cymbals. One of the 21” and 20” look similar and have a similar sound, the 21” being higher pitched. They sound awesome together. The other 21” is a pretty homely fella, but sounds incredible. I almost sold it once during an irrational snare binge, and every time I play it now I think I must have been crazy to consider selling it. Just a great sounding ride. The last 20” is quite heavy for its size. Has a cool look, with the veins of hammering undoing the lathing in spots. That one is my favorite. It’s crash sounds like King Ghidorah screaming. Basically the usual signature dirty vibe on steroids. All of them crash as well as they ride so I usually just run two of them, one on each side.
 

Seb77

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3,019
Reaction score
1,668
Location
Germany
I Think I wouldgo for a Sig medium if I were shopping for Agops right now. I think theysound great, much more crashable than the early, heavier ones. I have one of those, a gem on its own terms, but crashable it ain't. In the early days of Sigs and online shopping, you had to listen to many to find a more normal one; maybe these days you have to look harder to find a funkier one among the cleaner majority.
 

marc3k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
292
Reaction score
229
How do you determine the age of an Agop ride?

I have a 21" Signature at 1952g, which I really like. However, compared to other Agop rides (30th Anniversary, Mel Lewis, Trad. Dark Ride), it is pretty dry and quiet (although not compared to a Turk Jazz Ride). I bought it used, I think the previous owner had it for a couple of years already.
 

f.stahlenius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
202
Reaction score
188
Location
Sweden
How do you determine the age of an Agop ride?

I have a 21" Signature at 1952g, which I really like. However, compared to other Agop rides (30th Anniversary, Mel Lewis, Trad. Dark Ride), it is pretty dry and quiet (although not compared to a Turk Jazz Ride). I bought it used, I think the previous owner had it for a couple of years already.
Ageing Agop's can be a bit tricky. Some series change logo (the OM, for example) and that makes it a bit easier to at least narrow it down. Some you have to go by design (profile, lathing, hammering, weight...), as with the 30th's. But can't say exact year, more like "generation" or "iteration".
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
22,229
Reaction score
11,154
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Used ...in all 5 of the modern jazz collection series demos. 4of5 here :


Is that what those are? even a china in there
 

f.stahlenius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
202
Reaction score
188
Location
Sweden
So did somebody compile a list or a guide about the different "iterations"? That would be helpful (for geeks) :)
 

deepsoulradio

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
394
Reaction score
84
Location
Denver, CO
So did somebody compile a list or a guide about the different "iterations"? That would be helpful (for geeks) :)
Most of the current ones have the same golden-brown, sandblasted hue and have a strict (too thin) weight range. They make 'em "that way" now; "industrialized". Previously, you could find much more weight and finish varieties including:

- straight up black cymbals
- raw, dry, turk style finishes
- shiny, almost brilliant finishes
- kinda yellow-greenish ones

And I'm sure the hammering was different too. Whoever was making those probably went off and started their own companies :)
 

f.stahlenius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
202
Reaction score
188
Location
Sweden
Most of the current ones have the same golden-brown, sandblasted hue and have a strict (too thin) weight range. They make 'em "that way" now; "industrialized". Previously, you could find much more weight and finish varieties including:

- straight up black cymbals
- raw, dry, turk style finishes
- shiny, almost brilliant finishes
- kinda yellow-greenish ones

And I'm sure the hammering was different too. Whoever was making those probably went off and started their own companies :)
Yes, definitely more variety before. Was cool to even find lightly hammered bells on some Sigs. :)

And I kind of miss it (especially patinas/laquered finishes that could go really crazy sometimes - the blueish-black or super dark OM's...). My way "around it" have been to custom order in desired weight range (though bells and profile have been "standard"). Still, I have been happy with even the newer stuff, but there definitely have been a change in production. Perhaps we might see even less variety in cymbals produced during the pandemic, due to work restrictions (less people "one the floor" = less variety)?
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
641
Reaction score
917
Location
Montréal
I've been lusting over those ever since I've tried them at the drum shop where I bought my broadkasters earlier last fall. I've tried some thin-ish sigs 23 and 24 that were very sweet sounding. Carter Maclean pretty much always uses two awesome sounding sigs. That is where I recognised the green writing from and what prompted me to try em. Although I didn't have the funds at the moment to buy cymbals AND a drumset. Agops in general (sigs in particular) ain't cheap!!

My main ride is a rather dark 22" OM that doesn't quite always sound the way I'd like at quieter volumes, wich nowadays I'm getting into more and more. So I'm hesitating between sell/exchange or just keep and expand the collection.
 

Topsy Turvy

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
982
Reaction score
406
Location
United States
Not to steal this thread away from the OP, but I have a 22” Signature ride and a Mel Lewis 22”. Both of these rides are much too washy for my tastes. Does Agop even make a ride with a good stick sound? I played the Signature Medium and it lost the great warm wash that the regular Signature has.
 

taulbee

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United States
Not to steal this thread away from the OP, but I have a 22” Signature ride and a Mel Lewis 22”. Both of these rides are much too washy for my tastes. Does Agop even make a ride with a good stick sound? I played the Signature Medium and it lost the great warm wash that the regular Signature has.
I have a 21" Agop Turk @ 2615g that has a great stick sound (I use a few different models of sticks and they all sound good) . . . I was looking for something similar to an early 90's 20" K Custom that I have, but with more wash and wobble, and a little more restraint in the bell, and that is exactly what I got in that cymbal. You might try one of those, or something unlathed on the lighter side of "medium" weight to retain the stick sound and still get that controllable wash it sounds like you are looking for.
 


Top