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Istanbul Nostalga Cymbal Review

Istanbul Nostalga Cymbals

Mark Polis

A friend of mine who is also an Istanbul® Mehmet cymbal endorser (the real kind of endorser) just sold me a set of Nostalgia series cymbals he'd hand selected from Istanbul.

These are from when the Nostagia's first came out, when Istanbul® was really trying to market a super quality "Istanbul K clone", hence the Nostalgia name. (The Nostalgias currently on the market are no big deal now, but are still the most expensive stuff from Istanbul®.

Istanbul NostalgaCymbals - Mark Polis - December 2001

A friend of mine who is also an Istanbul® Mehmet cymbal endorser (the real kind of endorser) just sold me a set of Nostalgia series cymbals he'd hand selected from Istanbul.

These are from when the Nostagia's first came out, when Istanbul® was really trying to market a super quality "Istanbul K clone", hence the Nostalgia name. (The Nostalgias currently on the market are no big deal now, but are still the most expensive stuff from Istanbul®.

Very loose, crash rides in the very sense of the word. Great stick articulation, but very thin, very washish if desired, and very jazzish) He'd owned these for a few years: 14" hats, 19" crash/ride and 22" ride, all for the incredible price of $500 (he needed the money for a gong stand!!). I usually play Spizz's and/or Bosphorus, but these are truly fabulous.

Here's my take on them, for what it's worth, jazzers:

First the hats - FANTASTIC!!!! These are every bit as good (and in some respects better) than a set of Mel Lewis's which I'd hand picked at Drummer's World in NYC a ways back, but these are a touch darker, subtler and with a lower profile. The lush warm wash (when the cymbals are partially touching) is absolutely the BEST I've ever heard on jazz hats. And that closure sound AND pedal feel is to die for - a true "CHUP" sound, not at all as quiet as I feared they'd be from the seller's description. They truly fit my definition of perfect jazz hats. They are similar in many respects to exceptional sets of Bosphorus "Hammer" series hats I tried out at PASIC. I really love the closure feel on the hihat pedal with this pair - no airlock, no "flapping" or "slapping", etc.

The 22" Ride - a WOODY stick sound which touches off a silvery and relatively high pitched voice (compared to, for instance, the darker voice of Bosphorus Master series and the even darker, trashier Spizz rides) but which stays controlled and has no ugly overtones, yet remains complex, and with some breathy cushion underneath. And the bell is actually usable!!! I do notice Istanbul® doesn't hammer their bells - this has been criticized, but yet these bells are not too harsh nor biting. I really like this cymbal - I don't have any quite like it.

Lastly, the 19" Crash/Ride complements everything beautifully. A wee bit drier than the 22", and, an interval apart in pitch from the 22", with a fabulous crash sound - rich, and controlled. Also a good bell and great definition to the stick.

My usual jazz setup includes 14" hats, a 22" ride on the right, a 20" crash/ride on the left and an 18" paper thin crash to the right of the main ride. This Istanbul® Nostalgia set will pare me down to one cymbal on each side, and will become my working tools for the quiet acoustic trio type of stuff. They'll see first public action Friday, and I can't wait! It'll be these Nostalgia pies, bass drum and snare drum ONLY. Minimalist.

Istanbul Nostalga Cymbal Review

o-----« Mark Polis  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it »-----o





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