BECKEN DEUTSCHLAND 2023 – a mini-tour

I’m heading to Germany today, with a case of wonderful Cymbal & Gong cymbals for your approval and enjoyment, and hopefully future music making.

I will show cymbals in Frankfurt on Wednesday, Berlin on Friday, Munich* on Sunday. You’ll need to contact me for exactly where and when.

* – See details below!

The best ways to reach me, Todd Bishop, in Germany are:
SMS: +1 503 380 9259
Email: todd6ishop[at]

Cymbals I will bring:

• 20 and 22″ Extra Special Janavars
• 17 and 22″ Special Janavars
• 16, 19, 20, and 22″ Holy Grails
• 14 and 16″ Wide Chinas

Listen to them on the get cymbals page— and see the ones that say GET IT IN GERMANY. All cymbals are the same price in $/€, no extra fees.

For the Berlin meet you can also reach Michael Griener:
Phone: 0163/5913357

Wednesday, Oct. 11th – 5-9pm
Wirtshaus zum Schützenhof – Kelsterbach

Appointment only! A few people are coming to play cymbals at my hotel, and anyone who wants can join me at the wirsthaus for food and drinks. Text me at +1 503 380 9259 to let me know you’re coming.

=== BERLIN ===
Friday, Oct. 13th – noon-4pm
At Michael Griener’s studio space, right next to the southern subway exit Bernauer Str. (U8). Contact me or Michael for the location.

I will be in Berlin, staying in Moabit, from the 12th-14th, if you want to play the cymbals another time.

Text me @ +1 503 380 9259 or Michael at 0163/5913357 to meet.

=== MUNICH ===
Sunday, Oct. 15th – afternoon-evening

IMPORTANT: If you’re in Munich and want a cymbal, you need to pre-purchase it, and I will meet you to give it to you. Go to Cymbalistic and see what cymbals I will bring to Germany, reserve the one you want, and contact me for payment info. Otherwise, all cymbals will remain in Berlin, or in the hands of other drummers!

1. HAUPTBAHNHOF – I can meet you at the train station in the afternoon to hand you your pre-purchased cymbal.

2. UNTERFAHRT – Einsteinstraße 42, 81675 / – I’m going to the jam session– No guarantee, but I might have a couple of cymbals. Either way, come hang out! Session begins at 20:30.

Visit me on Facebook for photos from the road. Hope to see you there!

Michael Griener’s cymbals

Here’s a video Michael Griener, our man in Berlin, made for me back in May, demonstrating his two sets of Cymbal & Gong* cymbals. Michael has been a loyal (and increasingly exclusive) Cymbal & Gong user since about 2017, when I got him his first used 20″ Mersey Beat.

Michael is one of the most active players around, constantly touring and recording all over Europe, and it’s a very big deal to have a player like that be so enthusiastic about Cymbal & Gong’s cymbals. Serious players love them.

* And Leon Collection, which were sort of under C&G’s umbrella when he got them.

First part:
Cymbal & Gong Holy Grail 14” hihats “Richie”
Cymbal & Gong Holy Grail 18” crash “Lyle”
Cymbal & Gong Extra Special Janavar 20” crash-ride “Kirk”
Cymbal & Gong Second Line Swish Knocker 20″ “Melba”

Second part : 3:39
Leon Collection Light Hihats 14″ “Florent”
Leon Collection 18″ Thin Crash “Zénon”
Cymbal & Gong Mersey Beat Ride 20″ “Alvin”
Cymbal & Gong Project cymbal: Swish with cutout, drilled for 17 rivets 22″ “Dizzy”

Sticks used: LA Backbeat JB505X

Seattle event next week / Germany in October

There are two more big events coming up:

SEATTLE: Monday, August 28th, 7:30pm – Seattle Drum School – Georgetown
1010 S. Bailey Street, Seattle, WA. 98108 – (206) 763-9700

Drummer hang with myself, Tim Ennis of Cymbal & Gong, John Bishop of Origin Records, Steve Smith of Seattle Drum School, and a lot of other great Seattle drummers who have been asking about these cymbals. I’ll bring all the unsold/unreserved cymbals I have, and Tim will bring a few more things, so there will be a lot of cymbals to play!

Visit the Facebook event page to RSVP, or just show up!

Frankfurt  |  Berlin  |  Munich

I will only be able to bring ONE case of cymbals— about eleven 18-22″ cymbals, several of which are already sold. Order in advance to be sure of getting the one you want, especially if you’re in Munich!

FRANKFURT – Wednesday, Oct. 11th – 5-9pm
Kelsterbach – Showing cymbals, and delivering pre-ordered cymbals by appointment at my hotel, which is attached to Wirtshaus zum Schützenhof.
If you pre-order a cymbal, but cannot come to Kelsterbach on the 11th, it may be possible for me to leave your cymbal at the hotel for you to pick up between Oct. 12th-19th.

BERLIN – Friday, Oct. 13th – noon-4pm
Brunnenviertel – The main event of this visit. Meeting at friend and loyal Cymbal & Gong user Michael Griener’s rehearsal studio, close to the Bernauer Straße U-Bahn stop.

MUNICH – Sunday, Oct. 15th – late afternoon
Hauptbahnhof or nearby – Appointment only! Meet me to receive pre-ordered cymbals only— it is very unlikely there will be any unsold cymbals after the Berlin meet.

Contact us for details, and to reserve a cymbal!

Upcoming events!

We have several in-person events coming up, where you can hang out, play, and buy cymbals. Sign up for our mailing list to get updates!

Chehalis, WA – Sunday, July 30th
Alexander Park, 1101 Riverside Road West, Chehalis, WA 98532
Drum gear swap meet organized by members Last year about 15 drummers showed up with gear to sell and exchange, in all price ranges. I’ll be bringing new Cymbal & Gong cymbals, and a few personal used items. The meet runs from 11am-5pm, I will arrive in the early afternoon.

[See newer posts for updated info on Seattle and Germany events.]

Cymbal day!

I visited Cymbal & Gong HQ yesterday and played a lot of great cymbals— they just received a big shipment. This outing I was attracted to the thinner, more characterful cymbals. There were many good options for beautiful, clean toned jazz cymbals, with slightly more straightforward character, which would have been easy choices.

I selected:

2x – 18″ Holy Grail crashes
1x – 18″ Turk crash
1x – 20″ Turk jazz ride
2x – 20″ Extra Special Janavar – jazz ride
1x – 20″ Special Janavar crash-ride
1x – 22″ Holy Grail (K-style) jazz ride
2x – 22″ Extra Special Janavar crash-ride
1x – 22″ Special Janavar crash-ride

Note: the jazz rides and crash-rides are very similar in weight and handling. It’s a kind of a C&G convention that all the Janavars are labeled crash-rides. Virtually all C&G cymbals ride and crash very well.

I’ll have the cymbals in hand at the end of the week, and will have videos and descriptions of individual cymbals posted here next week.

About the cymbals:

Extra Special Janavar: Tim Ennis of C&G and I both are very excited about this series— Janavars with irregular K-type hammering and lathing. I’m happy that this custom design was my idea. He received several each of 20s and 22s. All of the ones I sell will get a heavy patina, and the 22s will get a row of three rivets.

The regular Janavar series are excellent light weight, brighter timbred cymbals for rock/pop— with a very pure, musical, bright cymbal tone. I have Tim give them a heavy patina to make them Special Janavars. The patina seems to give them a funkier character, and makes them more appealing to me as a jazz drummer. They were a big hit in Germany last year, and continue to be very popular. They’re really cool, a brighter jazz sound with character.

I chose the lightest and most unusual ones for how they would handle the patina, there were also some great options available for anyone who wants a bright, clean, musical light-medium crash-ride— contact us to get one.

Holy Grail (K-style): I’ve had fewer of these in stock lately— they seem to be selling slowly. Possibly the “regular” Holy Grail seems mundane now, just from the familiarity of the name? If so, that’s a bad perception! People are missing out on some great cymbals for no good reason. They’re such great instruments, and would serve well as the core cymbal in any jazz drummer’s main axe. I played several really nice 22s today, and was sorry I could only get one.

For awhile the foundry was making the Holy Grail crashes a little on the stout side— a lot of them were functioning better as rides than as very responsive crashes. The current round are generally responding better in a crash role, while still riding well. I selected the ones that functioned best both ways. There are a few available that were better as pure crashes, with a more straightforward crash sound, if anyone is looking for that.

Turks: He received several each of 18, 20, and 22″, all it jazz weight. Usually they make them with no lathing, and with a hammered bell. This time they made them their usual way, which is similar to Bosphorus Turks, with a few mm wide band of lathing at the edge, and no hammering on the bell. That gives the tone a little more shimmer, where the non-lathed versions I prefer are a little darker and drier. Still, the ones I chose are excellent.

These will be listed on the site with videos and descriptions of individual cymbals next week. In the mean time, you can listen to examples of all these types of cymbals on the Get Cymbals page and the Cymbals Sold page.

Mersey Beat set

Here is the third complete set of Cymbal & Gong’s Mersey Beat series cymbals I’ve sold in about the last year. I assembled this set for Ira in Florida, who wanted them to be as Ringo-like as possible, with a definitely rideable 18. There were several MBs in the current batch that were darker or more exotic than usual; I chose the brightest cleanest ones, that also had nice pitch intervals between them.

From left to right these cymbals are:
14″ Hihats – 744/892 grams
18″ Crash-Ride – 1411 grams
20″ Crash-Ride with four rivets – 2209 grams (rivets not installed in the video)

The sticks here are Regal Tip 7As with a nylon tip— I wanted to avoid marking the cymbals. The slight orange hue is just the lighting; they’re regular B20 cymbals, that are pale bronze in color.

COMING, END OF JUNE: Becken Deutschland

Dresden meeting, 2018

AT LAST: Our new Germany visit is NEXT WEEK, from June 27 to July 11!

We will meet a lot of drummers to hang out, deliver pre-purchased cymbals, and show as many extra cymbals as we can carry, for you to play and purchase.

We will also travel to Istanbul on this trip, to visit Cymbal & Gong’s manufacturers.

Here are the meets we have planned:

Berlin – Wednesday, June 29 – THOMAS RÖNNEFARTH PERCUSSION
Quitzowstraße 52, 10559 – 1-5pm

Dresden – Thursday, June 30 – Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber
Wettiner Pl. 13, 01067 – percussion department – 11am-1pm

We can also meet in the Frankfurt airport on June 27 (3-5:30pm, @ Paulaner on the Squiare) or July 11 (evening, @ airport Sheraton), to deliver pre-ordered cymbals.

Get on our mailing list to get updates, and to let us know what you’re looking for.

To get the cymbal you want: A lot of cymbals will be pre-bought, or reserved before the trip, so contact us soon and let us know which cymbal you want. If you don’t see what you want in our current stock, I can go to C&G HQ and try to find it for you.

A quick visit to Cymbal & Gong – four 22s

I made a quick visit to Cymbal & Gong HQ today, briefly getting sounds from four excellent 22″ rides for one of my friends in Berlin.
1. Kervan (R) ~2250 grams / Janavar (L) ~2550 grams
2. American Artist (R) ~2350 grams / (L) ~2450 grams
He was seeking a 22″ Special Janavar similar to “Vivian”, which has been reserved by another drummer in Germany– but this one is about 300 grams heavier, and performs more like a light-medium ride. It’s a very cool cymbal, but probably wouldn’t respond well to the heavy patina. With rivets it might sound more like a Billy Higgins-type cymbal.

The 22″ American Artist cymbals are assertive jazz rides, very much like my own main 22″ cymbal. My cymbal seems rather aggressive in the practice room, but played live it’s just a nice, present sound.

Janavar, Cymbal Foundry, Midnight Lamp

A quick rundown of some cymbal lines, by Cymbal & Gong, that we’ll be seeing more of in 2022: Janavar, Cymbal Foundry, Midnight Lamp, and Second Line.

Janavar series are B20 cymbals inspired by a famous European B8 line of the 1960s. Originally meant to be light-weight cymbals for pop music, we find them to be great in a range of applications. Generally they have a full, non-clangy bright sound.

We’re making some Special Janavars in 20″ and 22″, with a heavy patina with green highlights, that makes them excellent contrasting cymbals in a set with Holy Grails. They remind me of brighter jazz sounds of the 50s/60s, perhaps on Milestones, or Bill Evans’s Vanguard recordings, or on some CTI recordings of the early 70s.


Cymbal Foundry series is a bit harder to nail down, but they’re really good cymbals. The line was originally created in partnership with a drum shop, and may be getting a name change, after that relationship expired. They’re generally clean and straightforward, in moderate conventional weights, but not without complexity— it could be described as a more complex 602-like sound.

We’ll be doing a Billy Higgins tribute ride cymbal (think Pat Metheny’s Rejoicing), that is moderate-medium 22″ ride with six rivets, and a light patina.


Midnight Lamp is Cymbal & Gong’s name for a Turk-style cymbal. We special order a design that is slightly different— we get them thin, with the bells unhammered, and with no lathing at all. The regular Midnight Lamp has a slim lathed band at the edge, which adds some highs to the cymbals’ sound. I think our version has a more dusky, chocolaty sound.

The 18″ Jazz Ride is a popular item of this line— it’s a tight little cymbal excellent for rehearsals, recording, and other intimate playing. Or for drummers who just want a tight, dry sound.


Second Line series consists of two cymbals:  14″ and 16″ Swish or Chinese cymbals. Very thin, with a traditional bell. Cymbal & Gong has been prototyping Swish-style cymbals for several years, but largely hasn’t gone into regular production of them, until now. They are essentially effects cymbals, but are very expressive, with surprising sound possibilities, with echoes of Ed Blackwell.

The ones we’ve played have been outstanding examples of this type— they have that wild energy we want from them, while blending well with a regular Cymbal & Gong set up. Instantly responsive in a range of dynamics, and blessedly non-obnoxious. The larger prototype Swish cymbals have the same excellent qualities, and we hope to see more of them as well.

Janavar feedback

We just heard back from the buyer of an an 18″ Janavar crash cymbal— which was never listed on the site, and so there is no video, unfortunately! Cymbal & Gong’s Janavar series is a Turkish-made B20 cymbal inspired by a 1960s European B8 line, that was revived by its manufacturer in recent years. They are lush, moderate-weight rock cymbals, that are good for all kinds of music. We have a patinated 20″ Janavar crash-ride “Grayson” for sale on the site now, which would make a great left side cymbal for jazz drummers.

Here is what our buyer says about the 18″ Janavar crash:

The Janavar is… quite simply the best crash cymbal I’ve ever owned. Modern crash cymbals, no matter the weight, have a “clang” when hit softly. Heavier weights never lose it and lighter weights won’t let go of it until struck with enough force, at which point the room is filled with chaotic high-frequency radiation and the floor manager is giving you the stink-eye. That’s not an issue playing an outdoor rock gig but won’t do during dinner service or to the discerning ear of a studio microphone.

In contrast, the Janovar blooms and shimmers and all the player has to do is manage the amount of energy input via the stick. I would find myself moved to get in the practice room just to hear it again. It’s truly exceptional.