BIG Giveaway Part 1 of 4: Diril Cymbals HammerXL 10″ Splash


We’re only a few days away from Thanksgiving here at Drum Gear Review HQ, and this year, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for. Aided by a series of very, very successful giveaways, the site has seen a tremendous spike in traffic over the past six or so months, which has given me the opportunity to start making some really exciting changes (stay tuned!).

That was a long way to go to get to the reason that I’m exceptionally thankful this month: the good folks at Arsenal Musical have offered up four hand-hammered 10″ splashes from Diril Cymbals for a review and giveaway!

So, for the next four weeks, we’re going to give away a brand new, hand-crafted Turkish splash every week to one randomly selected winner (contest only open to US and Canadian residents).

For your chance to win this week’s splash, simply email with the subject line “Diril HammerXL Splash.” Now, that will enter you into the running for this week’s drawing only. The first winner will be selected on Tuesday November 27 at 9AM EST, and the next splash review and giveaway will be posted at the same time. Check back each week for the new review and another opportunity to win one of these beautiful instruments!

Diril HammerXL Splash

After spending some quality time with a full set of Diril Raw Bell Series Cymbals only a few months back, I was very intrigued by the chance to get a look at some of the company’s other product lines. When the excellent people at Arsenal Musical contacted me about setting up another review, I knew it was a no brainer.

They were nice enough to send over four splashes from different lines within the Diril brand. We’ll get to each individually over the next four weeks, but I wanted to start with the HammerXL series first as I found to be one of the more unique cymbals I’d played in a long time.

Now, I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m not really a splash guy. I’ve never owned a splash before, and I think part of the reason is that most of the models I’ve played in the past were very one dimensional (and often tinny). Knowing that, I went into this review with an open mind, and even borrowed a very run-of-the-mill splash from a friend to allow for some comparison.

The results? Pretty fascinating. In this case, the Diril HammerXL splash had a tremendous amount of character that I hadn’t seen in other cymbals of the same size. With the highest pitch and brightest attack of the four models I received, the HammerXL had a sharp, sparkling note with a wild finish (more on that momentarily). The slightly exaggerated profile and heavy hammer marks really set this one apart from the rest of the pack (not to say one was better than any of the others, but only that this one was by far the most unique).

The initial attack under both sticks and mallets was very clear with enough trash around the note to make it feel like a very exotic instrument. Touching the bow with a stick tip produced a rich, yet trembling note that was very musical. It was a little difficult to control under mallets, but with a little practice, I was able to elicit an even swell that capitalized on the cymbal’s high, washy spread. Very nice.

While, I really enjoyed the HammerXL splash as a whole, I do have to take a moment here to address its “finish”. Struck once, the splash produces the quick bite I described above, but then washes out with a very strange, almost springy spread. The note seems to go sharply up, then very sharply down, almost as though it’s being torqued after the initial hit. This effect was present at all dynamic levels, and was truly one of the strangest qualities I’ve seen in a cymbal.

Here’s the thing though: I loved it! Full disclosure, I’m a big fan of weird sounds, so this one immediately became my favorite splash of the bunch. That said, I could see some players finding the sound a tad distracting. You’ll have to make your own decision, but for me, it was a wonderfully exiting character that inspired hours of super angular and melodic rhythms. Great fun.

Wrap Up

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this first entry in the series of Diril Splashes we received for review. Its extremely unique sound proved very inspiring, and it would make a happy addition to just about any thin or trashy cymbal set (maybe a little out of place among brighter, pingy-er pies). Light-weight and a little wild, the HammerXL splash is a fascinating instrument that piqued my interest right off the bat.

8 thoughts on “BIG Giveaway Part 1 of 4: Diril Cymbals HammerXL 10″ Splash

  1. I reallyt love the sound of a splash cymbal accent… been looking for some good ones… this looks like it might be my last stop…

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