The only brand I endorse is Saluda Cymbals. They make 100% custom cymbals in both look and sound.
I’ve used Saluda since 2010, and endorsed them exclusively since 2015. Over the years I tried many of the big brand cymbal companies and their different lines. What I found though was that finding that perfect cymbal with the right amount of wash, cut, and darkness was always a struggle. A cymbal would cut well but sound too gongy when crashed. Or a cymbal would have a beautiful wash but no definition on stage.
Saluda have developed a system that bypasses this problem completely. You describe the cymbal sound you want, and then they make it. If you know the cymbal sound you are after, it makes finding that perfect cymbal a lot easier. It saves a lot of time rather than hitting every cymbal in a different cymbal shop each weekend.
You can check out everything Saluda HERE
You can look at pricing and current models HERE
If you need more customisation, Jamie and his team at Saluda are always capable. In the past, I’ve really gone in depth with weights, sounds and descriptions to get exactly what I’m after.
I hate heavy, thick & bright cymbals (though for some styles they’re needed) but as I’m found with playing more and more gigs, really dark washy cymbals get lost on the stage. To have a beautiful cymbal have enough cut to be able to be heard is a delicate balance. This is always the sound that I strive for. I’m after musicality and complexity in a cymbal but I also need usability when you’re up against PAs and amps.
Current cymbal Setup
Here’s a look at my current setup. I often switch out my crashes and rides depending which sound I want for the performance.
14″ Symbolic Med-thin Hi Hats
These Hi Hats have the perfect combination of cut and darkness. These hats are almost darkly pronounced. You can lay into them without them sounding like hubcaps. They have a high profile from the bell to the edge which gives them a nice dryness. The cymbals have a really interesting range of sounds when opening up the hi hat pedal. I always tend to prefer slurps and half open hi hat sounds over the boisterous and callous sounds of wide open hats. This is where these hats shine. You ride them half open and run 8th/16th note patterns while still hearing each note. You can also lay full, heavy quarter notes which still sounds lush.
18″ Diamond Thin Crash
This crash I use for every gig. It opens nicely you can still ride it just under the bell at small acoustic gigs. It’s very thin at the edge so it opens up easily. The bell is chimey and cutting.
20″ Diamond Extra Thin Crash
This cymbal is the thinnest cymbal I have ever owned. It opens up with the last touch. You can’t ride this cymbal, or play the bell without the whole cymbal opening up. This is exactly what i wanted in a 20″ crash. As soon as you touch it, it opens up to a wall of darkness and wash, this is the sort of cymbal that you can’t throw at the guitarist due to the danger of beheading This is the sort of cymbal you can bend in half with your hands.
20″ Symbolic Thin Ride
The thin ride is almost a crash ride. I don’t think of it as a ride or a crash because it really fits both categories. It opens up as a complex and dark crash. This cymbal tapers off hard which is why it such a great multipurpose cymbal.
21″ Symbolic Med-Thin Ride
This is my main ride. It has a nicely pronounced bell, a great wash/crash sound and rides without losing definition. It has a nice amount of weight, not too heavy and it tapers off from the bell to the edge. This means the edges still open up when it’s crashed.
Saluda know their cymbals and they operate differently to most other companies. Check them out for a different experience!