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Bosphorus Stanton Moore Signature Cymbals

Stanton Moore is a young, versatile drummer known for his skill at covering a wide range of styles while giving them all a dash of his N’awlins Creole seasoning. His work ranges from funky drumming with Galactic, gigs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the New Orleans Klezmer All Stars and, most surprising, his recent work with the hard-rock band Corrosion of Conformity.

Bosphorus kindly sent me some of the cymbals it created with this musical chameleon, and as I found, they can work well in a variety of genres, too. I was sent a 20-inch Wide Ride, 20-inch Pang Thang, 14-inch Fat Hats, 20-inch Trash Crash and 14-inch Versa Hats. Since the drum store I teach at is also a Bosphorus dealer, I was also able to check out the 20-inch Wide Ride, and duplicates of the other cymbals, which gave me a chance to assess the line’s consistency from cymbal to cymbal, and a better indication of what you’ll likely experience in a drum shop.

The 20- and 22-inch Wide Ride cymbals ($495 and $545 list, respectively) are situated more toward the wet, brasher end of the spectrum. The 20-inch model could even double as a really big rock crash, though I wouldn’t recommend it. When played loudly they projected a deep roaring wash. If you’ve seen Moore play, you know that he doesn’t read the labels on his cymbals. Everything can be a crash. Crashing these cymbals, or playing mallet rolls on them, produces a deep and satisfying “goosh” or “whoosh.” They offer just enough brightness over the spread to clearly identify your ride pattern. These cymbals are versatile enough to work as your primary ride depending on how much wash you like. If you prefer drier rides, these would work wonderfully as a secondary ride. The 22-inch was my favorite of the two. It was deeper and didn’t build as much with a fast swing pattern. The bells on these cymbals offer some complex overtones but aren’t very loud. If you play a lot of loud Latin bell patterns in a big ensemble, you may find them a tad subdued though pleasant-sounding.

Let me confess upfront that I generally prefer China cymbals to pang cymbals. Pang cymbals are often used interchangeably with China cymbals, delivering a bit more “pang” than the white noise characteristic of Chinas. As is often the case with these cymbals, Bosphorus’ 20-inch Pang Thang ($495) has less of an upturned edge than a China and is a bit thicker than the Chinas I generally prefer. Because of this it could work as a specialty ride as well as for accent duties. When I used it as a ride, it had a predominant midrange tone. It was a bit clangy for my taste, but like I said, I’m more of a China guy. Mallet rolls worked fine on this cymbal, but that midrange tone was still upfront. However, if you’re a more boisterous player, this cymbal could work well for you.

The 20-inch Trash Crash ($495) looks deceptively normal. It has a small bell, with a somewhat flat taper. But it also has nine deep hammer-marked areas around its edge to let you know it has a surprise in store. If you were to mix the sound of a big crash and a China cymbal together, you’ll get an idea of this cymbal’s character. The diameter keeps the pitch low, and the deep hammering adds “oriental” flavor. I had a lot of fun with this cymbal. It crashed well, but due to its size it took a moment or two to crescendo. I tried riding on it, and thought it might work well in a loud shout chorus.

I like the 14-inch Fat Hats ($495) a lot. They’re bright, clear-sounding hi-hats and are versatile enough for any but the loudest setting. Their closing “chick” sound was cutting enough for a medium-sized band, and they had a nice, smooth decay when splashed. The top cymbal was thin enough to respond to very light playing with clean, musical overtones.

The 14-inch Versa Hats ($488) aren’t actually from the Stanton Moore line. They were designed by Bosphorus and famed Latin drummer Ignacio Berroa. They are a bit thicker than the other hats sent, and are lathed only for the outer three or four inches of each cymbal. Sonically, they have a darker, more complex sound than the Fat Hats, which are a little thinner sounding. The Versa hats are louder too, with a very cutting “chick” sound. Heel/toe splashing sounded good and loud and can propel a Latin groove nicely.

I had a couple of pop/rock demo recording sessions scheduled during the time I had these cymbals, and decided to test their versatility. I used the 22-inch Wide Ride, the Fat Hats and the Trash Crash instead of the Pang Thang, since I already had a small China cymbal on the kit. Normally, I’d choose a thicker ride cymbal for ease in obtaining a clear bell sound, and less spread, but the 22-inch Wide Ride worked well, adding a nice wash under the bigger sticks I use for that kind of playing. The Fat Hats worked well, too. Though thinner than what I normally use, worked beautifully when splashed lightly behind a snare march I played with brushes during a ballad. The Trash Crash provided a unique sound that added something a bit unconventional to the tracks. It’s similar to Zildjian’s Oriental Crash of Doom but thicker and higher pitched, needing a bit more power to get moving. It provided a great big “whoosh” when I crashed it a 16th note ahead of another cymbal, adding substance and length to my primary crash. It was an interesting texture, and I’m sure I could find lots of other places to use it.

The rides, hats and Trash crash are great. The Pang Thang is perfectly good if you’re a fan of pang cymbals. I was also somewhat surprised to find that the cymbals sent to me were very consistent and interchangeable with the ones I heard in the store. These are very musical cymbals, and they work well across a variety of genres.

Originally Published