Splash cymbals...how critical are they?

DrummerJustLikeDad

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When I was first assembling pieces for my high school kit, I had my own language for a certain effects crash I was on the hunt for. Before the 80s were over, I had already termed this sweet, trashy, alternate grail-crash a "CIRCUS CYMBAL", whether the shopkeepers knew what I meant or not.

I get the guys who think of this as a joke sound, but it's all rich heritage to me. And while I lacked the articulation and experience to find and integrate it, I sure knew I wanted one.

It's jaunty, dixieland ballroom. It's sexy, glittery, New Orleans grime. It's that very last, solo-on-the-upbeat note played at the end of the Looney Tunes theme. (The whacky, rubber-room Bob Clampett version that started it all. First example in the clip.)


It's what 15 year-old gearheads born in 1905 with posters of Baby Dodds in their bedrooms lusted for in a nasty, party animal, full-in-your-face, crash cymbal.

I've settled on a 14" Bosphorus thin crash for nearly 25 years, thinking this was close enough for what I could justify having; but it's too pretty, too much like the full-sized crash it wants to be but fails at, to be anything else.

These days, I think Istanbul's Agop Turk Splash, the 12" in particular, just might be the 23-skidoo sound effect I'm looking for.

Back to the circus for me.

 

Esotericdrums

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I’ve got a 10” a custom splash I’ve had for 17 years. Last year I grabbed an 11” oriental trash splash that is awesome. I enjoy it. I don’t usually take them on gigs tho
 

flatwins

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For me splashes are not critical and I haven’t owned one in several years. I’m in the process of standardizing/refining my cymbal setup and other than high hats I don’t plan to have anything smaller than 18”.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Do you spend a lot of time trying different brands, sizes, weights, etc? I mean, what do they do, and what difference does it make as long as they..well..just splash?
I can see where one might come in handy now and then, but as far as you're concerned..how critical are they?
I’m not a fan, so I don’t see them as critical. I only see a ride and hi hats as critical, and all else optional, but nice to have. Personally, I can’t stand splashes. Smallest I’d go is a 16” crash and that is splashy enough for me. I can still enjoy a 16, but anything smaller doesn’t sound good to my ears. Normally I go bigger. I think a crash or two and a China or swish or EFX crash adds enough spice.
 

healthie1

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I keep trying to enmesh them into my set - I love stewart copeland and his use of splashes as accents, but I don't own one I like. I have played a 6" A zildjian that was great, but expensive, like $130ca.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I used a 10” Paiste 602 Modern Essentials splash with my former Slingerland 80N kit for Big Band gigs . It was a really great splash . Nice Tish sound without any of the annoying qualities a lot of modern splashes have .
CDE8333C-ED9C-4C58-850B-53AB224991FF.jpeg
 

Frank Godiva

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Is that the splash in this song?

brushes on sizzle

 

RyanLovesDrums

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brushes on sizzle

Thanks for that thread. FYI he hits a splash cymbal about 10 times during that song (mostly at the end). And yes he also hits a sizzle cymbal a few times, and is playing everything with brushes.
 

drummerjohn333

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Weight is extremely significant in how they sound. Research it.....use what you already have/like as reference. Many times "cheap" entry level Asian made ones can sound great.

To answer your question......very important - if you know how to use them. I have and enjoy many in my arsenal.
 

coyote

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Weight is extremely significant in how they sound. Research it.....use what you already have/like as reference. Many times "cheap" entry level Asian made ones can sound great.

To answer your question......very important - if you know how to use them. I have and enjoy many in my arsenal.
I know this wholeheartedly. I remember the UFIP cymbals of the 70s and 80s. The manufacturing concept is brilliant: spin the mold and cast something in the shape of an actual cymbal! But the issue was that, until the late 1980s, they never lathed away enough material after hammering. So these beautiful cymbals never sounded that good; they always sustained waaay beyond what was musically useful. It was only around 1988 that they finally became willing to cut away enough brass to make them thin enough, and with a correctly proportioned profile. My 16” Atlas (UFIP) crash from that era is a fantastic cymbal.
 

hsosdrum

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I started using a splash when I was 14 and my setup during the subsequent 55 years has always included either one or two splashes. I currently own four Zildjians: Two 8" (146g — sounds "kah" and is currently up on my kit, and 136g — sounds "tsh"), a 6" (66g — sounds "chng") and a 12" that's on semi-permanent loan to my sister so I haven't been able to weigh it and haven't heard it in decades so I can't characterize its sound.
 

Mcjnic

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Ringo lived for the well placed splash.


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Ray Dee Oh King

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I have 3, and they all sit in storage most of the time. I bring them out if a song im recording calls for that sound. I used to play em much more in the 90s, and have got away from them. I wouldnt say they're critical, unless of course the music youre playing calls for them.
 

Jhouse86

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I used to have a 10 and a 12 aax splash but I eventually dropped them from the set up and sold them. With today's options of effects cymbals ( I really like some of the paiste pstx stuff) I would lean more towards a bigger effects cymbals for accents, maybe a trashy 14 or 16.
 

Pat A Flafla

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If you play charlestons for a living or are in a Dream Theater tribute band, really important.
If you play doom metal, not so much.
 


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