Sabian AAX Chinese 18"
Sabian AAX Chinese 18"

AAX Chinese 18", China Cymbal from Sabian in the AAX series.

MatrixClaw 03/21/2011

Sabian AAX Chinese 18" : MatrixClaw's user review

« Ridiculously Cutting Sound! »

  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
  • Email
The Good:

- Brilliant finish allows it to cut through every kind of cymbal and drum I've ever heard.
- Can be crashed for a LOUD sound, or tapped lightly for a nice washy jazz china/ride.
- Very piercing - Good for a live setting when you need to be heard.

The Bad:

- Very piercing - Sounds like you're being stabbed in the ear with an ice pick when playing by yourself.
- Gongy - Sounds like you're hitting a metal pole.
- Not very trashy - While there's some trash there, it gets covered up in the piercing, gonginess of the cymbal
- Too much sustain - This cymbal takes FOREVER to decay. Not very good for crashing it over and over, because a loud wash will start to build up.
You'd really think that the 18" size on this cymbal would even out the sound and make it a bit more full and trashy, while not being as piercing as a smaller China, well - you'd be wrong. I own a 12" AAX Mini Chinese and it only sounds slightly higher pitched than this one, has a much quicker decay, and is overall, just more pleasing to the ear for heavier music.

While I could see the 18" AAX sounding great live, because it will slice through the other instruments like no other, when I'm practicing alone by myself, I just CANNOT stand the sound of this cymbal. I did find that it sounds much better if I put headphones on, almost exactly how I wanted the cymbal to sound, but that's due to the fact that my headphones cut a lot of high end and add in some lowend. On a recording, this cymbal sounds even worse.

It's too bad, I wanted to love this cymbal, but for the price, I'd rather spend $40 on a Wuhan - They sound similar, and are a lot cheaper! I've since replaced this with a Sabian HHX 18" China, which has similar characteristics to this one, but is more trashy and subtle (well... subtle in the fact that it's not stabbing me in the ears... because the HHX overpowers every single other cymbal on my set in volume with ease!), pretty much exactly what I was looking for.