Alright, for the first time since starting this website, I’m going to try and keep this review nice and tight. TRX was kind enough to send over a pair of their Cymbal Mallets, and I don’t want to bury the benefits in a sea of text.
Also, these Cymbal Mallets will be given away in a Facebook exclusive contest, so head over to the DGR page and hit that like button (if you haven’t already) to find out how to win.
It stands to reason that a cymbal company would be interested in designing a product that helps maximize the impact of their cymbals, right? Sure. With that, TRX Cymbals (who sent us an absolutely beautiful set of Dark Icons for review earlier this year – I still miss them), partnered up with master mallet-ier, Adam Argullin to create a handmade pair of mallets capable of drawing the most complete tones from their handmade cymbals. Makes sense.
The result is the new TRX Cymbal Mallet, a hickory-handled, yarn-headed striker that feels a little bit like a pair of block or xylophone mallets. The hand-wound, two color yarn heads initially struck me as a little dense for use on high-end cymbals, but my opinion quickly changed.
When I first used the Cymbal Mallets on an ultra-light, wobbly ride I use for low-volume situations, I was a little put off by the amount of attack I was hearing from even soft strokes. However, after bringing them to a rehearsal where I was using pies that were just a bit heavier, they immediately made sense.
Where the paper thin ride produce a muffled knock with each note, even slightly heavier cymbals really came to life under the yarn heads. With a rich blend of highs and lows, the Cymbal Mallets definitely brought out some of the best qualities of my go to bronze. I could easily create a wave of warm wash, and then polish it off with a long, thundering crash (the kind of crash that just doesn’t show up under a stick).
Now, in the context of the music, that light knock that troubled me with lighter cymbals was totally inaudible. All of the same qualities I found with the heavier cymbals were readily available, and the attack disappeared in the room. I will say that I don’t know how true this would be under a microphone, though. That said, the issue in question could easily be attributed to my miserable technique.
The only thing that bothered me about the Cymbal Mallets is the appearance. The blue yarn heads are nice, but the mallets ship with a TRX logo print that covers most of the handle. This certainly wouldn’t prevent me from keeping a pair in my stick bag, but I’d still prefer something a little more traditional. That’s a nice looking hickory handle, and it deserves to be seen.
It’s nice to see a cymbal company so interested in their product that they invest time into releasing a tool that makes them sound even better. The TRX Cymbal Mallets helped elicit a wide spectrum of sound from my cymbals, so I was very happy to have them handy for a couple of very dynamic playing situations. These are made by hand, so they aren’t cheap, but if you’re on the hunt for a mallet that will help you get the most out of your cymbals, these are definitely worth considering.
This review was not short at all.