In the closing weeks of July Wuhan has released it's latest line of Cymbals , called the "New Traditionals". This series of cymbals has replaced Wuhan's three previously available lines. The Rock, S series and Traditionals all have been discontinued as Wuhan decided to concentrate ( for the moment) on just one line of cymbals. Wuhan has bucked several of the ongoing trends of cymbal companies. Offering more and more supposedly specialized lines of cymbals, and within those lines are a plethora of sizes and weights to choose from. One of the larger cymbal companies in a particular series has 4 or 5 different versions of just the 16" crash to choose from Heavy, medium, med-hvy, you get the point. Here again Wuhan diverges from the masses and offers consumers just one line a very straight forward but complete selections.
There's 3 splashes available an 8, 10 & 12" . In crashes there's a 14, 16 & 18" the 18" is a crash/ride ( In retrospect a very wise move it gives the line a little more flexibility) there's one ride it's a 20" medium and one 14" set of Hi-hats also a medium version. At first I thought this was a risky move for Wuhan. Their line of China's which are unaffected by this move are wildly popular, Their western style cymbals you either loved them or hated them, still in this competitive market a single pared down line of cymbals didn't sit well with me. Was I in for the surprise of my life.
If I were an executive at one of the BIG3 cymbal companies I'd be worried , very worried. The rising tide of excellent quality inexpensive cymbals coming from the east is soon going to be a flood. Companies like Silken, Dream and Wuhan ( they started it all way back) from China and Diril and several others from Turkey will soon begin to eat away at market share of the BIG3. But for now let's concentrate and Review Wuhan's outstanding New line of cymbals.Which of course are available at our retail site www.cymbalsandsnares.com as are all of Wuhan's products including their wildly popular China cymbals
In my opinion Wuhan has single handedly made entry level sheet bronze B8 cymbals from the BIG3 completely obsolete. For essentially the same price ( If not Cheaper) you can get handmade Wuhan's from B20 bronze. Why would anyone want sheet stamped massed produced B8 cymbals ? Wuhan's new product entry is not just good they are excellent. It's the kind of product Wuhan needed to come up with to keep competitive if they wanted to be considered a serious cymbal manufacturer. It's equivalent to hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth. They did just that. Wuhan has done more than just release their best line of cymbals ever, the company itself underwent some consolidation on the corporate level. Moving all manufacturing to one facility instead of two. The factory that produced their excellent China's now makes all Wuhan's. That facility also produces Dream cymbals. So Wuhan's and Dreams are made by the same factory. Just to different specs. It begins to get a little clearer why Wuhan's new line sounds so great and why their china's are the leading brand of that style cymbal. This is a line we use at C & S to describe our products including Wuhan's. It's especially true with These New Wuhan's. They are inexpensive not cheap. Cheap is a poorly made low cost item. These are totally the opposite. There's a big difference between cheap and Inexspensive, get one of these new traditional cymbals and you'll understand what I mean instantly.
The New Traditional are brighter and warmer overall than anything Wuhan has previously produced. The splashes as previously stated are the standard 8-10-12 sizes each one has it's place the 8 and 10 are explosive and bright with a nice sonic signature and presence, followed by a quick decay the perfect crash and accent cymbal. The 12" splash is almost a mini crash it's bright and loud but with a longer sustain and decay. Still perfectly able to fill the roll of splash but with a nice glancing blow with your stick or a good head on hit it will mimic a mini crash. a very versatile splash indeed.
The crashes are also available initially in 3 sizes 14", 16" and a 18" crash ride. If your line is only gonna have 3 crashes in it those are the sizes to pick. As each crash is two inches larger (or smaller) than the next that leaves just enough sonic spacing to justify buying all three ( plus the pricing is right). Each crash covers it's "zone" in the line up perfectly hitting the three sequentially one quickly realizes how well balanced and evenly distributed their sound signature is. The crashes are extremely direct, bright well balanced with a nice cutting attack. However there is a subtle warmth and complexity that eliminates and high end harshness common in cheaper cymbals. Wuhan's NT crashes attain a high end devoid of that ear splitting shrill. These are nicely done. One of the nicest features of the crashes goes to the 18" crash ride. To help fill the gap a bit in it's NT line up the 18" C/R does both better than average. Sometime the C/R loose a little on both sides, Wuhan does a better than average job on the C/R. When crashed the 18" fills the room with an explosion with a little longer decay than the other crashes which are fairly short. When riding the wash and overtone can get ahead of you a bit if your riding fast and hard. I find a small piece of moongel cures that for any C/R or ride and this is no exception. the 18" ride capabilities really shine on a ballad or slower piece.
There's only one true ride to this line in it's initial release and it's a 20" medium. Of all the cymbals in this series the ride is Wuhan's most improved cymbal by far. It plays surprisingly smooth and buttery not stiff at all, yet offers enough resistance to your sticking that it produces a woody sounding stick definition that should please most drummers. It's bell is bright and fairly large having a definite visual presence on the cymbal while producing a classic "rock" sounding bell sound. Oh that B20 sings nice and loud and crystal clear when she's struck.
The Hi-hats are available in the most popular size for hat's 14" and like the ride it's a medium weight. a good choice when it's the only one available for the series. These also show definite improvement over previous Wuhan hat's. Although in all fairness the S series hats were decent hat's in their own right. these just go further. They are very versatile producing a nice well define brite "chick" when played with your foot for time keeping and can vary from sloppy messy loud at half open for some classic rock or produce excellent clarity for intricate stick work on a more complex musical score.
Overall Wuhan's New Traditional series is a home run. All handmade from B20 bronze from start to finish. These not only are Wuhan's best sounding effort so far they are also they're best looking. Hand buffed to a brilliant finish the cymbals have a mirror like quality to the finish. They look as good as they sound. This should give a reason for many drummers to take a look at Wuhan's in a whole new light. It's like a whole new company. Consolidating to the one factory was the way to go. It's results can be instantly seen and heard.
Priced like entry level cymbals but believe me they are anything but. There look and sound quality suggest a cymbal that should be more expensive. If they had another label on them they would sell for more. Speaking of the label although unchanged it's much more subdued and smaller than previous lines giving the cymbals a touch of classiness to them. Like I alluded to before there's no longer is any good reason to play entry level B8 cymbals any longer. Not having the cash for pro level cymbals is gone. At MINIMUM these are as good as any mid line priced cymbal from the BIG3 easily. These easily outclass in sound , looks, quality and performance any entry level cymbal from any company. These are in the same price range as B8 but put them to shame. I urge any newbie looking for his first set of cymbals get these you can cut out an entire category in your cymbal evolution. Experienced players like myself , hobbyist and guys on a budget will love how little it costs to add some excellent new pies to your set up. It's nice to see the brand that started bringing western style cymbals from china literally re-invent itself and release such a great line of cymbals. My hat's off to Wuhan and Universal percussion. I know these are going to be a succesful line for Wuhan, I'd love to see it get expanded. some 13" hats 15 & 17" crashes. Oh I know Wuhan's first Flat ride how cool would that be? Again Congrats to Wuhan and Universal percussion for producing one great sounding and looking but most importantly affordable line of cymbals yet.