Cymbal making is a serious job; when made by master cymbal-smiths it is an involved process, with smelting, casting, tempering, hammering, lathing and more contributing to the design, finish, feel and sound of the cymbal. This company have been following 100% handmade Turkish traditions now for 20 years under the Bosphorus name, having worked and studied with masters working through the 60’s and 70’s.
Whilst not completely raw and distressed-looking like some of their other lines the 20th anniversary series definitely has an old school vibe to it. They work with an alloy formula from the 1900s to create that warm vintage sound with handmade processes covering both aesthetic and tonal properties.
Starting with the biggest cymbal of the range, the 22” ride has a rich tone that is warm-ish but also has some nice chime. Crashing the edge of the cymbal you can get a great wash and the bell is super versatile. Perfect for funk and rock, it cuts through but isn’t offensive or ‘pingy’. Jazz gigs would also be a goer thanks to its rich overtones that sit in the mix without overpowering other instruments.
The 20” features the same natural finish with minimal hammering. It’s brighter with a lovely wash when crashing/riding on the edge of the cymbal, it’s also a handy medium-level model for quieter gigs when you want to really work the nuances. Bosphorus also offer a 21” ride in this series if you want to check out something in between.
For hats the 14” offer a classic warm sound that are still crisp and focused. With the tip of the stick they are defined and clear, whilst the shoulder creates a clear and thick tone. It could sit in with a fat R&B kit or a washy rootsy soul and blues band, and can be dynamic and articulate if the studio situation calls for it too. Top and tailing the crash cymbal range, the 16” is thinner and has a pleasing crisp decay. It would be at home with an old school open tuned funk kit, but it’ll also suit precise chopping out. The 18” offers a little more meat, whilst still retaining the vintage tones that Bosphorus are wanting to recreate.
Versatile and dynamic, the 20th Anniversary line contains plenty of vintage tonal characteristics with some refined sounds that will suit plenty of musical settings. Funk, jazz, rock, fusion and whatever else you deem suitable. They look great, feature some warm yet crisp overtones and offer straight up usable sizes that are all gig worthy, rather than a truckload of options and sizes that don’t work.
Hits and Misses
Simple yet versatile enough to be useful in a variety of musical styles and kits
No complaints here