Sabian cymbals have always been near and dear to our hearts at Drum Center of Portsmouth. They are among the big 3 brands when most people think of cymbal manufacturers, along with Zildjian and Paiste. For decades, Sabian has produced quality cymbals for every level of drummer at every price point. From their value packed SR2 and AA lines, to the top-shelf Artisan and HHX lines, the Canadian craftsmen have carved a niche for themselves with unique sounds.
Over the past decade, Sabian has created many unique series that drummers from around the world have gravitated towards. While we have come to appreciate the myriad of options they have given customers, new entrants to the brand could find the lines difficult to navigate.
After the somewhat controversial rebranding of Sabian, we were very excited to learn that they were cleaning up their HHX line with some new offerings that were straight forward enough for anyone unfamiliar with the brand to understand. We reviewed these 3 new HHX lines: Thin, Medium and Complex in our latest video feature.
SABIAN HHX THIN AND MEDIUM CYMBALS
HHX Thin Crashes introduce a whole new design to the HHX line. Starting with a round of sparse hammering, followed by lathing, then denser HHX hammering over top, the result is a crash cymbal that is thinner, darker and faster than the HHX Studio Crashes it replaces. A smaller bell also ensures a faster attack and a crash cymbal that trends lighter in weight than most thin crashes. The versatility to easily cross musical styles has always been a hallmark of the HHX line, and the HHX Thin Crash is no exception. If you're looking for a thin Crash with shimmering dark tone - this is it!
The Sabian HHX Thin Ride Cymbal we tested was a 21” beauty! Plenty of dark ping with a smaller bell that allows for controllable wash. Where the Thin Ride really shines is it’s crashability. Huge and complex, it’s a versatile ride that we think you’ll love!
HHX Medium Crash cymbals share the same hammering profile as their Thin counterparts. HHX Medium crashes offer a quicker, darker shimmer than the HHX Stage Crashes it replaces. A slightly larger bell boosts volume and power - but this is a crash cymbal that trends lighter in weight than most Medium Crashes.
Also new to this HHX line are the Medium Hi-hats, which offer dark articulation along with decent slice that would work well across many musical genres.
SABIAN HHX COMPLEX CYMBALS
We were VERY excited to get our sticks on the new HHX Complex cymbals. Using trickle down technology gleaned from years of developing some of the world's top selling cymbals lines like Evolution, Legacy, and even Artisan, SABIAN introduces HHX Complex, a new line of exquisitely dark crash cymbals. The Crash cymbals employ a combination of HH and HHX hammering, a raw hammered bell, and a number of proprietary techniques - resulting in one of the richest, sweetest Crash cymbals SABIAN has ever produced.
The Complex Medium Thin Hi-hats we played were a pair of buttery, dark 15-inchers that provided plenty of smooth projection. They do an excellent job of bridging the gap between the AAX and Artisan series cymbals.
Perhaps the star of our comparison video was the 22” HHX Complex Medium Ride Cymbal. This big, thin and dark beauty has a cutting, a medium-size hand-hammered raw bell - a combination that brings out the lows and complexities of this cymbal's tone. This is a ride cymbal that would be right at home in ANY musical situation, and should absolutely be at the top of your list if you’re in the market for an ultra-high end ride cymbal.
After the re-branding of Sabian, some of us had reservations about the direction of this storied company. After hearing the new approach to the HHX line and actually hearing these cymbals, there is genuine buzz and excitement here at the shop. Whether you are a loyalist to the brand, or brand new to Sabian, we can confidently recommend the new HHX line without hesitation.
At DCP, we are Sabian experts. We carry everything from Artisans to exclusive Prototypes you won’t find anywhere else. Give us a call today and we’ll help you find the Sabian that’s right for you!