The new Superior Velvet cymbals are stunning looking instruments. You instantly start looking for a stick to try them because they’re inviting in a rustic and interesting way. The bottoms of the cymbals are a fairly standard matte lathed affair – clean and clear. The tops of the cymbals however, are a different story. Each feature a traditional lathed finish but also feature some unique and dramatic hammerings and scorings. It’s almost as if the cymbals have been worked on in a raw state before lathing so that all markings look burnt and raw. They have an incredible amount of presence and look fantastic – let’s face it, we drummers all hear things with our eyes at first right? Otherwise the cymbals are fairly standard in shape and profile but have pronounced bells, more so on the ride, which is always nice when you’re looking for an all-rounder cymbal that can cut a few different roles as I do.
What a wonderful instrument. The Ride features a moderate sustain with a little vintage dryness – not too much to be singled out as a dry ride but there’s an element of control that comes with a dry cymbal and this ride has a great blend of control and spread. It’s light enough to crash beautifully but heavy enough to be loud enough in the mix. The lower pitch just blended fantastically with the rest of the drums and instantly worked. There’s also a really nice bell that cuts when you get into it, which is rarer to see on a lighter cymbal these days. It felt nice to play and is a truly awesome cymbal that’s very musical with a great deal of character.
Perhaps the driest of all the cymbals I tried, the crash speaks quickly and has a reasonably fast decay. The bell is smaller which contributed to the way it responds. This particular crash was a little heavier than I expected too, which meant that it didn’t respond quite as quickly to lower volumes but had a loud enough crash when you got into it. It was a good match for the ride but didn’t have quite the same light qualities that the ride manages to possess. However, it is a good crash with a heap of character and presence. Bigger is definitely better for this type of crash though and you wouldn’t want to be too tentative with it.
Controlled with a good blend, the hi-hats are somehow pronounced and crisp but light at the same time, particularly when opened slightly. With either foot or hand, there’s a good ‘chick’ but the slushy sound when opened sits well in the mix. There’s also that element of dryness that the other cymbals have too that adds to the control. They’re not overly loud and have a wonderful ‘shurp’ sound when doing quick open/close accents.
I’m not going to lie; I desperately wanted to take home these cymbals, in particular the ride, which had the perfect blend of everything for me. I could just hear fitting into my set up. Besides the incredible tone and breadth of ability, they just felt nice to hit. Boutique cymbals that are awesome tend come with a price though, and these cymbals can tend to make your eyes water a little when you go to pay for them, but it’s hard to go wrong with cymbal choices this right. Murat Diril are right up there with the best at the moment.