Another visit to Cymbal & Gong

A few videos from today’s visit with Tim Ennis at Cymbal & Gong headquarters.

Labeling and cold-stamping the Krut 22″ Ride “Clevon”:

As we discuss in the video, we should see more of this “Krut/Turk” style cymbal in 2019, under the series name “Midnight Lamp”— there was another new series that was going to have that name, that will now be called “Oaktown.”

Briefly demonstrating four new Holy Grail Jazz Rides— a 19″ selected for Michael in Berlin, a 22″, a 20″ and another 22″. These 22s especially are rather deep, mysterious, funky cymbals. The 20″ will be getting a special heavy patina. The stick I’m using in all of these videos is a hickory Vic Firth American Classic 5A— a much heavier stick than I normally use.

Playing a lot of 16″ Holy Grail Crashes, 20″ Jazz and Medium Rides, and a few other items. Most are Holy Grail, or Kervan— which is HG without a patina. Also some Leon Collection, which is a custom line of generally light, bright, airy modern cymbals. The last cymbal played is a prototype of a new series of rock cymbals. If you hear any cymbal you like, email us with the exact time it appears in the video. Many of these will be shipped to other dealers soon.

Playing some Mersey Beat 18″ Crash-Rides. These cymbals will be on hold for a short time.

Choosing cymbals

UPDATE: Videos of individual cymbals are now on YouTube, with more coming tomorrow (10/30). All will be listed on this site this week.

While we are getting the recordings and descriptions of the new cymbals together, here is a rudely-edited video from the cymbal selection process on Friday. If you want to purchase anything you hear, send us a note, including the exact time that the cymbal is being played, and we’ll do our best to locate it.

Recorded on an iPhone with a Rode VideoMicro microphone.

 

Order of cymbals played:

0:00 – 22″ Holy Grail rides Richard and Louis, with patinas. I believe Richard is on the right.

0:41 – 19″ Holy Grail rides and crash/rides. None of these were purchased, but we can likely get them if you contact us before 11/5. Same with other cymbals in the video.

1:35 – 20″ Holy Grail jazz rides. We took several of these.

3:28 – 20″ Holy Grail rides – adding some slightly heavier cymbals. Cymbal & Gong 20″ medium rides are typically in the 2050 gram range— very light for a medium, and very versatile.

6:00 – Two 20″ Mersey Beat crash/rides. We took the one on the left.

6:45 – Two 20″ American Artist rides. This series has more medium-weight cymbals, with a bright finish.

7:25 – 20″ Kervan jazz ride or crash/ride. Kervan is the same as the Holy Grail jazz weight, but with a natural finish. Patinas can be applied to all cymbals if you wish.

7:50 – 22″ very light Holy Grail jazz rides— under 2100 grams— and the unlathed “Krut” ride. The Krut is a little thinner than the jazz rides, with a deep but well-defined sound. Normal HG jazz rides are ~2300 grams.

12:00 – Playing more 22″ Holy Grail rides. At 14:30 we discuss doing a special, extra heavy patina on that cymbal, which has a distinct muting effect. That cymbal is on hold at C&G if anyone wants it— we won’t be listing it on this site this week.

15:00 – Adding some slightly heavier 22″ Holy Grails.

17:48 – New custom series “Midnight Lamp.” I believe sizes are 14, 16, 18, 21, and 22. Let us know if you’re interested in this series— it may be possible to get these cymbals if the dealer who ordered them passes; certainly more can be ordered. It’s undecided whether this will be a regular series.

22:25 – 18″ Holy Grail crashes; I believe some rides and crash/rides are mixed in. I had a hard time deciding— there were a lot of nice 18s that sounded similar (I continue to be impressed by C&G’s consistency), and I only took three.

29:39 – Chinese/swish cymbals. Sizes are 18-24″. Fairly unique design with a wide flange and large bell. Weight is approximately medium-thin. This was not a great room for listening to swish cymbals; at the time they seemed very explosive and somewhat uncontrollable for riding. But the one 20″ I brought back to my studio is actually a great performing swish; should be great for light riding (typically you only ride lightly or extremely loudly on a swish anyway), very responsive for light accents, and of course the powerful crash is always available. Cymbal & Gong smiths have controlled the more obnoxious/abrasive overtones that are often a problem with Chinese-type cymbals.

34:30 – 15″ Holy Grail light hihats. Again, there were several excellent sets of these, and I had a hard time choosing.

Holy Grail

Originally posted on the CRUISE SHIP DRUMMER! blog in February 2017.

I’ve been paying some visits to the Portland company Cymbal & Gong recently, and needing to write a full-fledged profile of the company. Until I get that done, here are brief reviews of a couple of cymbals I bought— it’s very hard to be around C&G’s products without buying them. The company is run by Portland drummer Tim Ennis; working with a Turkish cymbalsmith, he has K-type and A-type cymbals manufactured to his specifications, and he applies a variety of patinas to them. Full details on his products coming soon.

17″ Holy Grail Crash – 1067 grams
Holy Grail is the name of this line, and aptly so. I never thought I could get so excited by a 17″ crash. 1067 grams puts this in the thin category, with traditional, uneven lathing as you might see on an old A or K Zildjian. Patina is a very rich antique bronze— again, like an old K— with some green accents. And the cymbal plays like an old K. Have you ever played a 50-60 year old cymbal that has seen thousands of gigs? That’s the way this cymbal feels; by itself it seems slightly dead, with a slight funny twang. Played on the drumset with a band it sounds incredible; it’s a very responsive, fast crash, but it’s also a shockingly good ride cymbal, with great definition and no riding up. And it has a great bell sound.

Jazz drummers today seem to feel anything smaller than 22″ is a joke, but this is a true bebop cymbal— the sound from all those 50s albums. Best cymbal I’ve ever owned.

Cymbal & Gong seems to really excel at these crash cymbals, because we played a number of them at their headquarters (Tim’s house), and a number of them sounded great.

20″ Custom Ride – 2023 grams
Custom is not a line of product, it’s a catch-all name for short runs or one-offs to a variety of specifications. I would categorize mine as a light medium ride, which is lathed like an Istanbul Sultan or Bosphorus Antique— unlathed bell, unlathed band in the playing area, fully-lathed bottom. And it has a similar sound to those cymbals, which is difficult for me to define. The upshot is that it is a great-sounding K-type cymbal, which plenty of definition, that crashes beautifully, and has a really nice bell sound. This one has a beautiful hand-oiled finish that gives it a very deep bronze color; he had another similar 20″ with a matte green patina, which was rougher, more aggressive-sounding, and a beautiful honey-colored 19″ that was a little higher-sounding, very tight, and slightly more refined.

Here’s my friend Stephen Pancerev playing those cymbals. The 19″ is on the left, and my cymbal is on the right:

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