Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Ride

The design of these 30th Anniversary cymbals was clearly inspired by the original K Zildjians and these Istanbul Agops can truly claim to be handmade, with a single cymbalsmith being responsible for each instrument, making each cymbal truly unique.

We were sent a 20” ride (there is also a 22”). Apart from being beautifully covered in the craftsman’s hammer marks, each bell is hand shaped and signed, bringing a true ring of authenticity. Our 20” offered up a classic vintage jazz sound, with a defined stick definition sitting right over a lovely dark wash. This never built too far, so not diverting attention away from the stick pattern. But there is an ocean of colour sitting just below there, which is a major factor in the overall sound.

We tested the ride in small and big band settings and it didn’t disappoint in either scenario. It took a while to get used to the wash, but in a live situation this only added to the colours, sitting well behind the soloist or with a driving brass section. The handcrafted bell of the cymbal delivered some subtle dark latin effects, and if you’re short of space, the 30th Anniversary makes for a surprisingly good crash.

There’s no doubt that this is a true jazzers’ cymbal with a very special pedigree. But you’re going to have to go check them soon, as they were only in production for a year… and stocks are getting low.

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