Drummers in search of high volume, balance and face melting properties all in one crash cymbal; your prayers have been answered. Back by popular demand is the immense 20” A Custom Projection Crash. The A Custom line of cymbals were an instant hit years ago when Vinnie Colaiuta teamed up with Zildjian to explore the idea of the standard A series and moving them into a newer direction. As the story goes, when Vinnie contacted Zildjian with the idea, they actually had a similar idea, and so the A Custom line was born.
The idea was to have a more transparent, thinner and prettier sound with fast crashes and blended rides, but as it turned out we got a bit of everything from the A Custom line. They were all of the things they were designed to be but as they progressed, additional variants gave options for rock drummers and harder hitters who wanted the same brighter characteristics of A Custom as opposed to the darker Ks or traditional As. The Projection crash was one of these newer designed variants, and I got to check out the biggest sibling in the A Custom crash house. The Projection crashes are available from 16” but if you need big? Go 20”.
IF LOOKS COULD KILL
For those in the know, the A Custom look and design needs no explanation, but it’s worth going over because if looks could kill, a large A Custom Projection crash would be a murderer. Featuring a strikingly brilliant finish, the Projection Crash features the minimalistic and familiar rotary hammering of all A Customs. In a 20” size, it’s a large beautiful thing, shining away under lights – kid in a candy store stuff. The cymbal is cast from B20 bronze and is actually medium-thin in weight with an oversized bell.
I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE
The 20” Projection lives up to it’s name with ample amounts of volume and (wait for it) projection. If you need a crash to literally take off the top layer of skin of someone in your band, this one will do pretty well in achieving this for you. That massive bell is largely responsible for this throw in projection. If you look at the A Custom fast crashes for example, they speak quickly and decay away just as quick. They also have a very small bell. The bigger the bell, the more sustain and projection you get. The bell on this glorious crash is just as useable as your average ride cymbal.
DOES MY BUM LOOK BIG IN THIS?
Let’s get back to the weight. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big heavy cymbal but this is just because of the size. I don’t know how Zildjian have done it, but the Projection Crash has a broader range of abilities than you might think, and I can only put it down to the weight. If you hit the daylights out of it, it’ll scream, cut and be the loud crash you expect. Crucially for me as a drummer of a wider variety of styles, you don’t have to hit it that hard to get some response and a softer crash with real musicality – quite the contrary in fact. It really opens up easily with the lightest touch. The slightly lighter weight also means that there’s some wash if you use the tip of the stick on the bow of the cymbal enabling for a nice, general crash/ ride. Some player will buy this cymbal specifically for this reason and I would probably be one of them. Quite often I need a ride cymbal that I can dig into and crash. This Projection Crash would suit very well.
Overall, the sound is brighter and higher in pitch than the darker lines from Zildjian – to be expected. So, you get that cut required and a sound that will speak over the band, yet somehow, there’s still that transparency and shimmer that Vinnie Colaiuta was aiming for. As I said, I honestly thought this 20” Projection crash would be a one dimensional demolition cymbal, but I was pleased to find a much more versatile instrument. It’s a great blend of dangerous and pleasant. It’s a cracker.
For more details on the range of Zildjian products, head to austmusic.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Fantastic projection without the need to overplay
A usable sound with versatility
Could double as a ride
Might be too much for some players at full whack