Endorsed by one of the jazz world’s finest, you’d expect these black coated heads from Aquarian to stand out both in style and sound – and you won’t be disappointed. We fitted our sample set to a Pearl kit with a brass, nickel plated Sensitone snare – black on black really does look the business with the coating running right over the rim, rather than just across the top. The single ply snare head has a very rough texture and works particularly well with brushes, giving greater volume than a standard head, and offering a lovely relaxed, clear, well defined sound. By contrast, the heavily textured head dulls the stick sound – there’s no need for any extra external dampening here. We found that the best results were achieved by tuning the heads of both the snare and toms to a higher tension, which gave greater clarity and more projection to their inherent dry and funky character. Given the extra volume of the brush wires on the snare, we reckon that these DeJohnette heads would be perfect for acoustic sessions. And they’ll also make a great teaching tool, as the brush wires and sticks clearly stand out against the black skins.

For more go to www.musicshipping.co.uk var _JOOMLACOMMENT_MSG_DELETE = "Are you sure you want to delete this comment?"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_MSG_DELETEALL = "Are you sure you want to delete all comments?"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_WRITECOMMENT = "Write comment"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_SENDFORM = "Send"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_EDITCOMMENT = "Edit comment"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_EDIT = "Edit"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_FORMVALIDATE = "Please insert at least a comment."; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_FORMVALIDATE_CAPTCHA = "Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image."; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_FORMVALIDATE_CAPTCHA_FAILED = "Anti-spam code is not correct. Please input the code that you can read in the image."; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_FORMVALIDATE_EMAIL = "To be notified, please enter your email"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_ANONYMOUS = "Anonymous"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_BEFORE_APPROVAL = "Your comment has been queued for moderation by site administrators and will be published after approval."; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_REQUEST_ERROR = "Request failed"; var _JOOMLACOMMENT_MSG_NEEDREFRESH = "";

This signature Lenny White is large and light and is beautifully hand-hammered. It has a very small bell, so has a very controllable wash and when hit hard it doesn’t build up too much and get overpowering, which is really something for a 22”. It’s great for riding on and retains excellent stick definition. The overall sound is very much that of a 60s K, but although the tones are dark, it wasn’t as dark as I expected. I reckon that it would record really well, as it’s not only got those dark undertones, but it is also nice and bright. Overall, it’s a very versatile cymbal that will fit easily and effectively into many different setups. It would seem to be ideal for recreating those 60s R&B/jazz sounds – particularly if you didn’t want to gig those old original Ks! Would I change anything? No. Except that I wouldn’t mind having a slightly larger bell for when I’m in a Latin mood.For more go to www.brdistribution.co.uk

Four new 20 and 22 inch ride cymbals have been added to the already popular premium K Constantinople range. The new K Constantinople Hi Bell Rides use a bell shape that was modeled after a 100 year-old pair of Zildjian Orchestral cymbals, where the larger surface area of the bell provides a wider range of frequencies. They are produced using a combination of traditional K Constantinople lathing and innovative “Spiral” lathing techniques. This new technique of Spiral lathing allows the cymbal to remain controlled while still making the Ride “crashable” and delivering an articulate stick sound. The Spiral lathing is employed from the bell to the middle of the cymbal only, with traditional lathing on the remainder of the cymbal. Particularly interesting is the 22 inch Hi Bell Dry Ride, that is the only one of the four to feature full spiral lathing, which prevents the cymbal from opening up as much as the half spiral models, while still keeping it crashable. A delight.

Drummers all have their own opinions as to their sonic preferences, but snarewires rarely come up as a topic of conversation. Talk more in depth, and it’s clear how crucial these underslung pieces of hardware are. American company Puresound has recently been taken over by the string giant D’Addario as a way of expanding their percussion brands along with Evans heads and the HQ brand. As they are not only a string manufacturer, but also a wire producer, D’Addario’s experience is arguably second to none. And Puresound does exactly what it says on the tin – this is a quality product. I looked at the Custom 12 strand, the 221 8 strand and the Equalizer. All wires were strung onto a 1960 single shell Radio Artist. Working upwards, the two thick/one thin 8’s gave a very metallic, gravelly dark sound to the drum.

You don’t get a nice snare ripple and they really don’t work that well on intricate patterns. For all that, I reckon they might sound better on a deeper drum playing a dampened down funk sound, or something with a heavy back beat. The 12s are for my money the nearest to “normal” snares, giving a natural tone to the drum, while not buzzing too much. The real revelation is the Equalizer. It gives a natural sound right across the drum, is very lively and because both sets of wires are offset, it doesn’t react to the overtones of other instruments. If you’re lucky enough to own one of those old Ludwig snares, Puresound’s Vintage range does a WFL Ludwig set. Now you’re talking. For more go to www.puresoundpercussion.com

Vermont-based Trueline make a great play of the fact that their sticks are handcrafted and not mass produced. They don’t churn out sticks by the thousand, but instead make a high quality product in smaller numbers where each stick is individually crafted to exacting standards. Turned on back knife lathes from premium grade select Hickory and Rock Maple, which has been kiln dried to strict moisture levels to achieve an optimum balance between durability and flexibility, each stick is carefully matched for colour, weight and pitch. My interest was alerted, having noted that the company has just launched a new triplet of 7A Hickory Jazz sticks with the Diamond Grip model being perhaps the most interesting of the three – the others being the Standard Grip and the Power Grip (on which the jury is still out). The Diamond Grip features a patent pending diamond surface pattern that is etched into the wood giving, so the marketing blurb tells us, better grip as sweat is channelled away from the surface of the hand. These sticks are certainly light weight and well balanced and sceptical as I might have been, what at first seemed like a gimmick does actually work!   For more go to www.ev-ms.co.uk

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