I was first introduced to the Sabian AA raw ride when I was looking through lots of Zildjian k and Sabian hh jazz rides. I always thought that the best jazz sounds come from these higher end lines. I was amazed at how stunning the sound of the raw ride was and was instantly hooked. What is interesting is that I have only ever seen a few of these, either for sale or in action. I own one and it is pretty much my secret weapon. Almost everyone who hears it buys it.
This cymbal is dark, dry, and everything that a good jazzy cymbal should be. It has a great washy crash sound, and I crash it or play with the stick shoulder a lot. Sometimes, I even used it in the more progressive rock band I play with as a huge trashy crash. The ride bell is nice and smoky and it can produce great sounds at a low volume. It even looks really good, totally embodying the “what you see is what you get” principle.
The biggest fault of this cymbal is probably its clean stick strokes. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain an even level of noise when moving the stick around on different areas. It also has almost no ping (not that it is necessary for that music), so if ping is desirable this is not the right cymbal. These gripes are seriously minor, it was difficult to even come up with any.
This AA raw ride is fantastic in sound, appearance, and especially value. More than any cymbal I have ever played, these are an extremely affordable jazz cymbal that beats out others almost double its list price. If anything in this review sounds interesting, I strongly suggest giving this a shot right away.