- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 24 February 2011
Well, sooner or later, I figured I would get around to purchasing one of the cymbals forged by specialty cymbal smiths who make them by hand, one at a time.
Matt Nolan, of the UK, is a very well known and respected cymbal smith, and I have been browsing various websites to find one of his cymbals that I would like to have. Of course, sound files are critical in purchasing custom cymbals, because otherwise, you would not have any idea of what it would sound like, compared to the mainstream companies whose cymbal models are expected to sound very similar from one cymbal to the next. Drummers count on this, in fact, when replacing a cymbal, or buying one that they heard another drummer playing.
So, I chanced upon this beauty, which is a 22" bronze ride cymbal, weighing 3583 grams (7.9 pounds). It is heavily hammered on both sides, and lathed on the outer half of the cymbal. It is not polished, so it has a natural finish, but Matt has used some sanding in certain areas to give it a sunburst appearance, which is gorgeous. I purchased it for $500 through Matt Bettis' website, but Matt Nolan also has his own website.
This review is the first Matt Nolan cymbal to have spectral analysis.
- Manufacturer Line: Matt Nolan Custom
- Type: Ride
- Style: Heavy
- Alloy: B7 - CuSn7 - 93% Copper, 7% Tin
- Diameter: 22"
- Metal Work: Hand Hammered, Hand Lathed, Natural Finish
- Weight: 7.9 Pounds
- MSRP: $500 USA
- Matt Nolan Custom Cymbals
It has a beautiful ping to it that captures one's attention immediately. There is a strong musical wash, so it is most suited to jazz rather than heavy rock. The crash sound is somewhat heavy, so I would not use it that way. The bell ride has a beautiful tone.
The spectrum has its main peaks at 330 Hz, groups of peaks at 900 Hz and 1.6 kHz, and then steady energy between 3 kHz and 9 kHz. It then drops and stays level between 10 kHz and 30 kHz before trailing off at 45 kHz.
The decay is rapid, and mostly from 6 kHz and higher.
The ping has a very sharp attack, then rapidly decays, with the wash slowly declining.
Click HERE to listen to an audio sample, which will include crash (when appropriate), ride, and bell sounds (these are 24 bit, 176.4 kHz wav files, so be sure your sound card is capable of handling these high resolution sound files).