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The Birth of New Cymbals
Sabian HHX Evolution Series

In 2001, Dave was invited to create a collection of cymbals with Sabian, a company he describes as "one of the most innovative and caring family companies that I am happy to be associated with." This experience lead to the creation of one of the industry's most popular cymbal lines - the HHX Evolution Series.

Creating the HHX Evolution line was a team effort, and the team impressed Dave throughout the process. Dave worked for many months with Mark Love, Sabian's head cymbal maker, and an extremely talented group of individuals dedicated to the craft.

Dave learned a lot about the cymbal making process during the design and development of the HHX Evolution Series.

"We went through rounds and rounds of prototypes," he said, "and there was no stopping them (the team). With each round, we came closer to what I was looking for." He was constantly impressed by the skills of Mark and the Sabian craftsmen.

But what truly impressed Dave was the team's ability to understand what he wanted and methodically worktoward a sound and feel that he had been dreaming about for so many years.

"It all came full-circle for me," Dave said. "After years of playing cymbals and learning to get what I wanted from them, the cymbals themselves were giving me the sounds, textures and feel I wanted...naturally."

So, where is the big Dave Weckl signature on the cymbals? You better look closely.

"My idea was to help create a cymbal that would speak for itself," Dave explains, "with beautiful sonic qualities, for lots of different music styles, and for many years of usage." It is for this reason that Dave felt it better to understate his involvement on the cymbals themselves, having only a small signature on the underside of the bell. He even asked Sabian to minimize all logos; to give the collection a classy look and feel.

As for the way they play, Dave says, "I wanted a cymbal that invited you to play it with no resistance, speaking with incredible clarity and brilliance, air, and atmosphere. I insisted they be the most consistent cymbal made, which I firmly believe we have achieved due to strict weight constraints in the manufacturing process (there are no thins, medium thins, heavies, etc.)."

"Just like the music making experience, this was a true team effort, " Dave adds. "I want to personally thank the founder of Sabian, Robert Zildjian, for inviting me to the team.

Sabian HHX Legacy Cymbals

In Janurary of 2006, Sabian introduced another line of cymbals produced in collaboration with Dave, called HHX Legacy.

Comprising 14" Hi-Hats, 10" and 12" Splashes, 17" and 18" Crashes, 20" and 21" Legacy Rides, a 22" Heavy Ride, and a 20" Ozone Ride, Legacy is a deeper, darker contrast to the brighter sound of Evolution.

Once again, Dave worked with Sabian master product specialist Mark Love, who said: "Legacy is one of the most in-depth cymbal projects Sabian has undertaken, with Dave Weckl testing various prototypes in performance and recording situations over several years. The 'Tone Texture' feature of Legacy stems from Dave's desire to have deeper, darker sounds combining with rich musical tonalities, creating an extended tonal palette."

Added Dave, who plays Legacy on their own or mixes them with Evolution models: "Legacy is the darker side of my sound. These cymbals are vibrant, trashy and beautiful...all at once. 'Tone Texture' gives these cymbals a great deal of dark, musical color that encompasses the full tonal spectrum but digs way down deep, for a broader, more complex tonal personality. The hats 'speak' crisply and cleanly, but always with that simmering HHX tone. The Legacy Ride has great articulation over a dark cushion of sound, while the Heavy Ride is big, clean and crisp yet warm. The crashes are punchy, dark and complex. They're designed to punctuate without overpowering. For something different there's the O-Zone Ride which has five 2" holes in its upper half and is great for riding or crashing; I can sit back on it or dig in and stir up a turbulence of dark, angry tone. 'The 'Tone Texture' of these cymbals makes Legacy a compelling consideration for any drummer looking for sounds that offer a new richness to their playing."

According to Love, the Legacy sound has been created using a wide variety of unique designs and a wide mix of creative methods. He added "Dave is extremely particular about sound, so each model in the Legacy line was created on the basis of the sound he was seeking, so various hammering and lathing techniques have been employed by our artisans."

Dave concluded: "From my experience, Sabian is the most open-minded cymbal company ever. I've never met cymbal makers who care so much about every aspect of the cymbal making process. From developing the concept, to designing the cymbal, to shaping the metal, to creating the sound... nobody does it better than Sabian."

Legacy cymbals are individually handcrafted from Sabian B20 'cast' bronze. They are available exclusively in Natural Finish, and are quality-protected by a special Sabian 2-Year Warranty. 

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Basic Setup 
Dave uses a variety of cymbals setup depending on the gig or session. Evolution cymbals are brighter and more rock/fusion oriented. Legacy cymbals are darker and more straightahead jazz oriented. The chart, below, shows which cymbals Dave uses from each lines depending on the situation.
   Evolution Legacy
A.  14" hi hats  14" hi hats
B.  17" Effekts (3 rivets)  
C. 18" Crash 20" Ride (big bell)
D.  10" splash  
E.  7" splash  
F. 21 or 22" ride (big bell) 22" Heavy Ride (1 rivet) 
G.  17" crash  
H.  14" China  
I.  18" O Zone  

Dave's longtime friend, Michael Israel, played an important role in the development of Sabian's HHX Evolution line. Click here to read Dave's comments about the collaboration.

Click here to read a 2006 Jazz Times article about the HHX Legacy cymbals.

Click here to open the Sabian site.