Saturday, January 23, 2021

Impressions of the L80 Low Volume Cymbals from Zildjian

 Those of you outside central Canada may not be aware of this, but Ontario is now in total lockdown until at least mid-February. For me, this means the only place I can practice drums is in a small 2-bedroom apartment I share with my wife, who works from home. There are also 2 other units in the building, and the walls are rather thin. So, as well as ordering some mesh drumheads from Attack, that are still on their way, I bought a pack of 3 of Zildjian's low volume cymbals. and I thought I would tell you what I think….

First of all, Zildjian claims they feel very much like regular cymbals, and I think this is totally accurate. The rebound, etc. is exactly the same and therefore they are very comfortable to play. The pack I bought included a sat of "14 hi-hats, an 18" crash/ride, and a 14" crash. 

The pros

-All the cymbals simply couldn't go beyond a very low volume, no matter how hard I struck them.

-Although there were certain sounds that normal cymbals had that weren't available (more on that in the cons section), I found some sounds were easier to get. Harmonics (scraping the drumstick tip across the diameter of the cymbal.), for example. 

- All the cymbals had lots of stick definition, because there was very little ring. 

-I found the 18" particularly charming. It almost behaved like a flat ride, including it's fast crash and prominent attack. 

-The hats also were quite interesting. There was a bright but sort of airy sound when played with the foot  that would be fun to play in conjunction with a more conventional hi-hat sound.

-It was reasonably priced. 3 cymbals for just a little over $300.

The cons

-I mentioned that the 18" behaved like a flat ride. This includes it not having any discernible bell sound, even though it has a standard cymbal profile. (This is true of all the cymbals)

-I don't know about you, but I have rarely ever used any 14" as a crash, let alone a low volume one. The cymbal pack really includes 3 hi-hat cymbals, one of which you can use as a crash. I get it. A small cymbal keeps costs down (and the package was was inexpensive, see above), it's easier to package etc. The "14" just didn't have much going on by itself.

Overall, I'm very pleased. Watch out for my review of Attack's mesh low volume drumheads when I receive them. :) 

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