fredag 9 september 2011

Cleaning cymbals; ain't it a bitch?

I just ran across this DIY-video on YouTube when I was watching random videos. It was really interesting and so I decided to try it myself afterwards.

I was amazed over the final result.
Previously I used the Paiste solution which would cost me about $10 from the closest music store. Now I used this method and got practically the same result! And what's even better: it doesn't remove the logo from the cymbal!
Another thing with brand solutions that I've tried is that they can leave ugly washing marks after drying, which are pretty hard to remove as well. Lemonjuice can be washed away with ease.

Plus I found it inviting with a cup of tea afterwards. This man is a bliss!

EDIT: Found out it works just as well with vinegar. Just use a regular kitchen sponge with a scrubbing side for stubborn stains. I prefer lemon juice though, since it doesn't smell bad and it doesn't leave marks, should it manage to dry before rinse.

lördag 23 juli 2011

Paiste Alpha Brilliant Metal Ride 20"

About two weeks ago I received this shiny golden ride, replacing the Zildjan ZBT 20" ride I previously used and had played on for about 4 years. This proved to be a major step up in sound performance! For current Paiste users, the Alpha series has become a pretty standard choice even for professionals with a high demand on sound quality. I will now give you my personal review of this masterpiece of brass.

First impressions of the Alpha Metal ride is that it is very good-looking with its brilliant finish and cavities covering the surface. The bell is slightly bigger than the ZBT and also it feels more solid when hit. Like it is for every brand new cymbal, you don't want to get the surface covered in fingerprints, which it eventually will unless you clean it every once in a while.

Now for some playing tests.
I try both with wooden 7A sticks and the JJ1 sticks I reviewed last time, starting with a simple hit in the middle between the edge and the bell. It sounds very metallic, and rings out for quite a while. In comparison to the ZBT (again) it doesn't sound "pling", more like "ding". For me personally, it sounds more fitting for rock and metal.
I hit the bell section and immidiately realize it sounds just like the ride in "I Wanna Be Somebody" by W.A.S.P, which is one of my favorite songs of all time.

I figure some moongel will solve the resonance issue when coming to studio recording where long ringing time will be a b*tch at some times. For live performance I wouldn't give a doubt that it will perform beyond expectations though, but the best is yet to come.

For sound sample, visit this Thomann site. It's the real sound.

In conclusion, I would rate this cymbal 5 out of 5. For around $250 (or €199) you'll definetily not be disappointed by the performance this baby has to offer. It's cheap, it's aggressive, it's goodlooking and man, is it truly a pleasure to hit on! It's pretty thick as well, so you can really pack a punch for whatever genre you play, however it may fit the most for rock and metal as I mentioned.

I hope you enjoyed this review. If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

torsdag 23 juni 2011

Ahead JJ1 Speed Metal alu-plastic sticks

Just received my latest order of drum gear from Slagverkskompaniet consisting of these sticks, a snare case and a stickbag. Today I'm going to cover the drumsticks.

Formerly they were known as Joey Jordison's (Slipknot) signature model JJ1, but they were discontinued for a while since he dropped Ahead and went over to Pro Mark. However, the production started again quite recently, and Ahead has presented to us the JJ1 Speed Metal sticks, which are exactly the same as before, except with a big "Speed Metal" logo instead of Jordison's signature.

First impressions from unboxing, they're amazingly light and falls into full control of my hands immidiately. Half an hour of drumming on a practice pad never felt so good before, and up until now I've been switching between Lars Ulrich sticks form Ahead and X5A from Vic Firth.
The sticks are about a tip shorter than the Ulrich sticks, and just a little bit thicker than 7A from Vic Firth, which gives a pretty good balance since I'm a hard hitter that wants full control over what I'm playing with. The core and the grip of the stick is aluminium, and the cover and tip are plastic. Since aluminium have a tendency of becoming slippery when wet (giggity) I'd recommend some grip tape, which is also stated by Ahead on the case of the sticks.
They come with manuals on handling, care and warranty information as well, which is good to follow to increase the longevity of the sticks.

Price range differs from about $50-60 I'd say. Comparing to wooden sticks which break after a while it's a pretty big saving right there because aluminium sticks lasts for years during regular use and care. The warranty is eligible should the core break within 60 days after purchase, despite care and replacement of covers and tips. This is nothing short of awesome and very generous of Ahead.

I'll give these sticks 5 out of 5 because they're light, easy to control, worth the money and finally because of the 60 days warrant period. An excellent choice for metal drummers.