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Sabian Launches Neil Peart Signature Paragon Cymbals

Jan 15, 2004

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At the Winter NAMM show, Sabian announced Paragon, a new range of signature cymbals created in collaboration with Neil Peart, drummer with legendary rockers Rush.

Handcrafted from pure Sabian B20 bronze, Paragon cymbals are created using automatic AA-style hammering and a mix of sound-defining features from three Sabian series, AA, AAX, and Hand Hammered. The Natural Finish look of these cymbals is enhanced with logo stamping in a subtle 'Rich Gold' ink that is unique to cymbalmaking.

Said Peart, who made his way to the SABIAN 'Vault' from his home in Canada via an 11-hour motorcycle journey: "The first thing I noticed at Sabian was the people -- how nice they were -- and the second thing was how much of the cymbal-making process was still done by hand; the craftsmen at the lathes cutting the grooves into one cymbal at a time, Charlie Brown with his shy smile and leather apron sitting behind a wooden block with a hammer, and cymbal master Mark Love sonically matching sets of cymbals in the famous Sabian "Vault."

Commented Love: "Neil was very definite about what he was seeking. He wanted subtle looking cymbals with explosive sounds that would be focused, cutting, and musical."

Added Peart: "We started with the all-important ride cymbal. At first Mark had its bow lathed, and left the bell raw. Interesting, but a bit "clangy," so he had Charlie Brown give it the hand-hammering treatment. Better, but still lacking in "nuance." Next we tried a combination of lathing and hand hammering on the bell, and presto! That was what I wanted, a sharp, musical sound with a range of complex overtones.

"I'm not sure if Mark naturally shared my taste in cymbal sounds, or just intuitively responded to what he saw I liked, but he was soon bringing me a selection of crash cymbals and hi-hats that really "worked" for me and the way I played. "A few weeks later, he sent me some prototype crash cymbals with AAX "pinpoint" lathing on the top, and the classic Turkish-style AA lathing on the bottom, combined with the hand-hammered bell. The narrower grooves on top made for a fast, lively response, while the traditional wider (AA-style) ones on the bottom gave a full, rich tone. This combina-tion proved to be exactly what I had been looking for in a crash cymbal: a unity of rapid attack and swell around a solid, musical sound with a smooth decay."

At over 8lbs in weight, the ride (22") is an extra-heavy model, with strong, clear-cutting stick definition. The hi-hats (13", 14") are medium weight, for fast, crisp responses and clean sticking. The crashes (16", 18", 20") are of medium weight, with large bells boosting their volume and power for fast, explosive responses. The splashes (8", 10") are very fast, sharp and biting. And there are two very different Chinese models. The 19" Chinese has a small bell, a high bow, and an extremely wide-lipped edge that is HHX-hammered, for a more traditional oriental look and sound. The heavier 20" Chinese is a totally different model, with a drier, more direct response.

Although his move to SABIAN is new, Peart was familiar with the quality of work emanating from the New Brunswick-based facility. "Back in 1974, when I first joined Rush, I bought a 22" ride cymbal that was made in that (Meductic) factory, and I'm still using it today, almost thirty years later.

Paragon cymbals are quality protected by Sabian's One-Year Warranty.

In addition to individual models, Paragon is also available in a 'Sonically Matched' Performance Set (14" Hats, 16" Crash, 22" Ride), an Effects Pack (8" & 10" Splash, 19" Chinese), and a Flight Case containing the complete Neil Peart set-up consisting of 12 Paragon models.

Model Availability:
  • Splash: 8", 10"
  • Hats: 13", 14"
  • Crash: 16", 18", 20"
  • Chinese: 19", 20"
  • Ride: 22"
  • Performance Set: 14" Hats, 16" Crash, 22" Ride
  • Effects Pack: 8" and 10" Splashes, 19" Chinese
  • Flight Case: Complete Neil Peart Paragon setup in ATA-style Flight Case

For more information, visit their web site at www.sabian.com.
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