As long-time readers of this blog know, it is not a commercial site, and I only write what I believe in, beholden to no one or any companies. That said, I wanted to share some thoughts about a decision I made that really has changed my cymbal thinking.
I have played Zildjian cymbals all my life, and I never really considered any other brand. When Vinnie Colaiuta switched to Ludwig and Paiste, I was already a die-hard Ludwig guy, with two sets (Centennial and a vintage Bonham kit). However, I became curious about Paiste based on some of what Vinnie said, but I didn’t want to just leap without really wanting to on my own accord.
Four years ago, I sat in on a jazz set that had Paiste Dark Energy cymbals, and I really did like them quite a bit. I liked the thickness of the attack and the mix of dry and ring after-tones. I thought about that when I went to check out Dark Energies the other night, and quite by accident, discovered the Paiste 2002 series.
I was in Sam Ash Music, on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, digging around through their large collection of cymbals. I wanted something more full-range for my musical tastes, and after trying a couple of Dark Energy rides, I found a 24” ride hidden away in the very back of the stack leaning against the wall…
I put the beast on the stand, and in a few seconds, I found my long sought after cymbal voice.
I had tried Zildjian’s 24” ride, and but it didn’t sustain the tones the way I wanted. The Pasite 2002 series did and blew me away in the process. Seriously, this was MY cymbal. It was quite a wonderful and unexpected surprise. This is not the Big Ride, by the way, just a 24″ ride.
And it got better.
There were a stack of crashes above the piles of rides leaning against the wall, and I hit a 16” and 18” inch medium 2002 series… wow! I heard the attack and ring of the sounds that blended Bonham and Cobham from the early 70’s, and I could not believe it.
Then the sales guy brought out a Paiste 2002 20” and 22” crash, and folks, that was all she wrote.
I had found my cymbal voice and cymbal set. They were BIG, badass, and pushing everything out of the way in their sonic path. It was damn near a religious experience to hear metal expressing my inner music. Sounds like an ad, doesn’t it? Well, maybe, but I’m just another drummer in the large musical universe expressing my take on a very unexpected and fulfilling surprise.
The cash layout was large, so I had to put some money down, just like I did with my vintage Bonham Ludwig’s. It will take some time, but the work to pay them off will be worth it. I have something new to focus on achieving, and very importantly, I feel the excitement of drumming that I knew as a kid… and THAT is what I wanted to really share with you.
I still have to check out the hi-hat end of things, and I want to get a set of cymbals for my smaller jazz drumming needs. I suspect it will revolve around the Dark Energy series, and I look forward to going back and checking things out.
Meanwhile, I feel the renewed passion for drumming that I have needed for quite some time. I hope each of you can find that for yourselves if it has been lacking, and may I suggest just taking a day to go play around in your favorite drum store. You never know what’s waiting for you in a corner, sitting quietly, about to change your musical world…