I finally got a good enough deal on a trade for my Paragons to get the two things I’ve been wanting; an AAX Omni and the new AAX Xplosion hats. Having less cymbals also allowed me to go back to using just two cymbal stands for the entire kit and get rid of the rack.
I figured I’d give a little review of the new cymbals.
22” AAX Omni, co-designed by Jojo Mayer. This is a 3 zone cymbal with a lot of versatility. The bell is completely raw with a very dry, articulate sound. The bow is raw with extensive hammering and is a dry, articulate ride. The edge is lathed and very thin, making it essentially a huge crash cymbal. It is not a very loud cymbal, but since I have 2 Xplosions I’ve got volume covered elsewhere. It is a very useful cymbal with 3 very different sounding zones. I love that I can ride the bow and add some well blended crash pops right on the same cymbal! I would say this is a great cymbal for many musical styles, especially artistic playing.
14” AAX Xplosion hats. These wont be for everyone. For instance, if you like subtle, quiet hats these are not for you. These are bright and very crisp with loads if definition. Volume is well controlled when closed but quite cutting when open, which is great for hi-hat accents, which I do a lot. The bell is also very high profile and makes for a crisp ping when fully open, much like it’s crash siblings.
Overall, two very well thought out and executed products from Sabian, which is no surprise to me. I actually voted for the Xplosion hats when Sabian had users voting for which test products would go into production. I’m glad they made it so I could get my hands on some.