I’ve always been a fan of Sabian cymbals. My first ever set of cymbals was a set of Sabian B8, and I’d place a pretty hefty bet that most of you were the same. They weren’t high-end, nor did they have a particularly “complex” sound…but I loved them. They were as versatile as I needed them to be. Jazz, Rock, Bebop (does anyone actually PLAY Bebop anymore?), Funk…you name it! From there I moved up to a set of AAX and my love for Sabian started all over again, pretending to be one of those pop-punk drummers who swing their octopus arms in the air like they just don’t care touting about their prior lover being deemed obtainable or “wanted” by all the “bad guys”.
Quite a bit has changed since those days; I’ve grown a little taller, my bum-fluff facial hair has evolved into a passable but not close to impressive “beard” and I switched cymbal brand to explore different sounds as my playing matured. Honestly though? I wish I’d held out for a little longer, because the new Sabian HHX Complex would have been the PERFECT upgrade. So, without further a do, here’s why you should consider the new Sabian HHX Complex range of cymbals!
Sabian HHX Complex cymbals utilise “trickle-down” technology, a process Sabian have developed from years of manufacturing top of the line cymbals with their Evolution, Legacy, and Artisan range. The idea being that features exclusive to their high-end cymbals 10 years ago is now standard throughout their entire range, like the new AAX for example.
HHX Complex sit bang in the middle of HH & HHX. They’re dark cymbals that combine the hammering techniques used for both ranges and new, as Sabian say, “proprietary technology“. The end result is a set of cymbals unlike ANY on the market today. They’re dark & rich like Dark Chocolate, yet silky sweet like Caramel. I’m on a diet and not eating sweet things is influencing my descriptions of non confectionary goods. Sorry not sorry!
Sabian aren’t ones for producing “small” lines of cymbals. They’re very much in the “go hard or go home” business and HHX Complex is no exception to that. The range consists of 14in and 15in Medium Hi Hats, 16in, 17in, 18in, 19in, 20in and 22in Thin Crashes, 20in, 21in, 22in and 23in Medium Rides, 21in and 22in Thin Rides and some effect cymbals such as a 10in Complex Splash and 17in Complex O-Zone Crash. Pretty expansive! Fortunately Sabian take a lot of guess work out with two cymbal sets available that you can further expand upon; Promotional Set & Performance Set
The Performance Set includes 15in Complex Medium Hi-Hats, a 19in Complex Thin Crash and a 22in Complex Medium Ride while the Promotional Set consists of 14in Medium Hi-Hats, 16in Complex Thin Crash, 18in Complex Thin Crash and a 20in Complex Medium Ride
What I personally love about the HHX Complex range is just how buttery they are (sorry, diet talk again). The ride cymbals have such a luxurious tone and definition that you barely have to work to get a desirable sound. They’re defined but not dry which allows them to open up in the heat of battle but can just as quickly drop down to a whisper making them extremely versatile. The crash cymbals are some of the nicest cymbals I’ve ever hit in my life with incredible amounts of body and projection.
The 18in crash in particular gives such a satisfying burst of energy that it’s really hard not to grab the nearest Drummers Only employee and scream SHUP UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! The Hi-Hats have such familiar complexity “so it’s not just a clever name” making them a great match for studio and live situations but the variations of size make them the ideal candidate for someone wanting to try something different.
Overall, HHX Complex is a welcome addition to the Sabian family and the cymbal wall here at Drummers Only. They offer extremely unique sounds while at the same time maintaining the same great sound that makes Sabian the go-to for a lot of drummers new and weathered. They’re the logical upgrade if you’re AAX are a little tired or you’re in the market for high-end cymbals with a difference. You can shop HHX Complex right here, or drop us a line if you’re interested. I honestly can’t say I blame you!