Sabian - Where's the HH series going?

JCRW

Junior Member
I have supported Sabian for over 20 years, growing up relatively close to their main factory in Meductic New Brunswick. I am a bit baffled by some of their decisions and changes over the last couple of years (won't even go into the logo change haha). I have always enjoyed and gravitated towards their AA and HH line, and over the last few years these have become heavily neglected to the point where you can barely purchase anything from the line up that would have been standard. The HH line doesn't even have any crash cymbals over 18" anymore.

For the longest time, if you did not see an item in Sabian's catalog you could still go to a merchant and request for a cymbal and Sabian would deliver. They have now taken the approach of many other cymbal manufacturers... what you see is what you get. I certainly understand that the pandemic has affected their operation but some of these decisions began to appear well before that started.

I also checked in to see if the cymbal refresh program and the custom shop would make a return, and the response was "never say never". Seems like they are more content with the vault drop program. I just find it a shame because I could always rely on Sabian stepping up to the plate to deliver the goods, whether it was a standard catalog item or something long out of production. I hope they at least give the AA and HH series a revival soon. Anyone else feel the same way?
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I don’t worry about it since I don’t run the joint and they have done well without my input for 40 years. Couldn’t care less about the new logo either…not what I would have done but it doesn’t offend me.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I can't help but feel like Sabian is trying to be seen as edgy to attract a younger segment that isn't currently buying Sabian cymbals, because so much of the product is focused on AAX/HHX and almost all of the promotion is pointing there too. I guess they think the "old school" AA and HH lines are only for the folks that already play Sabian that they think will always play Sabian so they don't need to really do anything for those lines or the drummers that use them anymore.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Two reasons why I bought Sabian…well, maybe three. First, I loved the tone of the Evolution series. Second, since no one around me carries much of anything, I could listen to them online and get super close in that series vs others in their offering and with the exception of Paiste, any other brands. Finally, there was there service. Knowing full well I could go back to them at some point and have a cymbal sound reshaped, refinished or even order something custom was everything.

Then came their loud as hell Sabiano logo change and idiotic marketing and away went everything that made them special.

If I were shopping for new cymbals today, I’d still consider them if I found something older I liked, but their business moves have leveled the field between them and everyone else. So, while I’d have a much harder time finding something I could buy remotely, if it wasn’t specifically Paiste, I’d just have to wait for something to show up locally, (would be closer to a cold day in hell) and or travel to Memphis Drum Shop or someplace to buy.

For the most part, Sabian doesn’t have the little guy appeal it once had, and neither do my loyalties.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Its true younger folk may have migrated to Meinl, because their fave (young) drummers did.
The cymbal refresh - maybe a pain to run and at the end of the day prevented somebody from buying a new Sabian.
I thought HH went to the small logo and a bit of a re-start but I guess that's been awhile now, so too was the raw 'big and ugly' lines.

But would anybody criticize Zildjian in the same way, who mostly just offer and sell A and K lines that haven't truly changed in decades?
Sabian has done their share of 'new' things over the last 20 years. I suspect they have had to pare down how they do things to keep costs low.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Its true younger folk may have migrated to Meinl, because their fave (young) drummers did.
The cymbal refresh - maybe a pain to run and at the end of the day prevented somebody from buying a new Sabian.
I thought HH went to the small logo and a bit of a re-start but I guess that's been awhile now, so too was the raw 'big and ugly' lines.

But would anybody criticize Zildjian in the same way, who mostly just offer and sell A and K lines that haven't truly changed in decades?
Sabian has done their share of 'new' things over the last 20 years. I suspect they have had to pare down how they do things to keep costs low.
Sure they would. I see them get criticized for lots of stuff.
 

somesuch

Member
The HH line is fantastic and its a shame its been over-shadowed by HHX and neglected for a while now. My 20" Thin Crash and 21" Vintage Ride are some of my most favourite cymbals.

The number of available models and sizes has been pretty thin for years and it looks like they have just done a further cull.
I had high hopes the Remastered concept would revive things, but that appears to have been short-lived.
Perhaps too much overlap between HHX and Artisan, or perhaps the rise of Meinl and the increased prominence of the Turkish makers (big and small) have just sucked the market dry?
 

jda

Well-known Member
there is a deal on ebay you wouldn't believe
2. 22s. 100$
I wasn't going to say anything but I just did

somebody caught on; there's one bid.
 
The market is simply oversaturated. How many different lines of cymbals and drums do we need? Most Classics of the modern music era were created with far fewer choices in tools to select from. I wish the manufacturers would go back to basics, and build quality bread and butter products (at reasonable prices). Today I got an email showcasing jewelry from Zildjian. Get real.
 

JCRW

Junior Member
The HH line is fantastic and its a shame its been over-shadowed by HHX and neglected for a while now. My 20" Thin Crash and 21" Vintage Ride are some of my most favourite cymbals.

The number of available models and sizes has been pretty thin for years and it looks like they have just done a further cull.
I had high hopes the Remastered concept would revive things, but that appears to have been short-lived.
Perhaps too much overlap between HHX and Artisan, or perhaps the rise of Meinl and the increased prominence of the Turkish makers (big and small) have just sucked the market dry?

I just find it bizarre how Sabian quickly neglected the HH remastered line, they were promoting it heavily with the re-introduction 7 years ago and now you can barely buy anything from the lineup. I am personally not a fan of Sabian's "Modern" offerings (AAX/HHX) and the Complex line which has been their main focus is the complete opposite of what I am looking for in sound characteristics. The Artisan cymbals are a bit better but I have had no luck finding one at a shop to stop me in my tracks and justify the price they are asking for them. Every Artisan I have tried is just a touch too dark and bordering into that trashy garbage can sound.

I understand the need to trim the fat and simplify the product lines, but removing crash cymbals over 18" in size is just plain weird. Reducing the number of weight options (paper thin, thin, med-thin, medium, rock) seems more realistic, but they could at least keep a 20" thin crash in their HH product line similar to how they treat the Artisan line.

I guess we will have to wait and see what is introduced next year if there is even anything at all.
 

somesuch

Member
I just find it bizarre how Sabian quickly neglected the HH remastered line, they were promoting it heavily with the re-introduction 7 years ago and now you can barely buy anything from the lineup. I am personally not a fan of Sabian's "Modern" offerings (AAX/HHX) and the Complex line which has been their main focus is the complete opposite of what I am looking for in sound characteristics. The Artisan cymbals are a bit better but I have had no luck finding one at a shop to stop me in my tracks and justify the price they are asking for them. Every Artisan I have tried is just a touch too dark and bordering into that trashy garbage can sound.

I understand the need to trim the fat and simplify the product lines, but removing crash cymbals over 18" in size is just plain weird. Reducing the number of weight options (paper thin, thin, med-thin, medium, rock) seems more realistic, but they could at least keep a 20" thin crash in their HH product line similar to how they treat the Artisan line.

I guess we will have to wait and see what is introduced next year if there is even anything at all.
Spot on. Even in trimming the fat, I find it strange the models they elected to keep/cut.
I wouldve thought that most people considering the HH line are most likely to be looking for large, thinner models, but then those are the models they've chosen to remove!
Looking at their website, the current model lineup for HH is both confusing and disappointing.

I feel the HH series as a whole offers a particular vibe that just isnt there in HHX or Artisan (each great in their own way) and it would be a real shame to see HH phased out.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Surprised after checking the current HH line they have seemed to have discontinued the HH Vanguard range, which is a real shame as they are fantastic cymbals (I own two of them, a 21" and 22")

Maybe they weren't big sellers.

I love the HH range but it's clear from a quick glance they have indeed heavily streamlined their offerings.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
But would anybody criticize Zildjian in the same way, who mostly just offer and sell A and K lines that haven't truly changed in decades?
Sure, I'll criticise. From late 1999, to at least late 2013 the A Line sound REALLY SUCKED.

They also discontinued a few cymbals that were available for decades because they started offering "similar" cymbals in the A Custom line. If I WANTED A Custom cymbals, I would have bought them.
The main disaster (IMO) was the brilliant idea to change the design of the A model profile, adding a slight downturn at the edge. Plus they got thicker.... They just sounded clunky and dead. Very lifeless sounds from a previously great line of cymbals.

I went to Sabian in '00 because every A Zildjian I tried to buy sounded like crap, and every Sabian I tried sounded like Zildjian always sounded. Robert was the original designer of the A model line anyway, so it makes sense the AA's are basically A's. They made several custom sizes and types of cymbals for me and always nailed it. I've never sold one of them.
I wasn't a fan of the new logo, but, meh, whatever. I'm not of the mind to care that much anymore, like I once would have.

A few years ago, Zildjian re-re designed the A's and they are more back to what they were, and I bought a few really nice cymbals.

These days I go between sets of Zildjian, Sabian and Paiste. I like the Meinl cymbals too, but it's all just too much to get into another line.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I feel like AA & HH lines should always be a Sabian main stay. All the others can come and go but a huge selection of these two lines should always be available.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I personally also like the **X lines for a bit more modern twist. Seems the three covered about everything you could want to play with Vault for that extra special one. Same with Zildjian. The A and K were staples, then came all the other "creative" lines. Some of course have been stellar, like the Constantinople but most have faded off in favor of other "new and creative" lines.

Seems each cymbal maker has two, maybe three exceptional and versatile staples with the others coming an going....We'll probably start seen big conglomerates buying up everyone else pretty soon. There just isn't the kind of money and prestige left with all the players. As the economy continues to take a dump and brands struggle, we'll be talking Paiste 2002 Vault or K602Custom or something....
 

jda

Well-known Member
Sabian HH similar to Zildjian K as in- Split sliced and diced to multiple sub divisions (Zildjian K - the K Custom, K Hybrid, K Constantnople, K Kerope...K Session and probably 1 or 2 more can't think of atm...

in other words in either's catalog- to strip out all the "variants" and have only "HH" and "K" - absorbing all variants- while a nice thought - with all possible variants within--- is probably "too" late,.
 

iCe

Silver Member
I really have no idea, but i also have seen the HH line-up shrink over the years. Always dreamt of having the setup Mike Portnoy used during the recording and Dream Theater tour of Falling Into Infinity. Had a few very nice sounding HH cymbals like the 19" Thin Crash and 20" Thin China. Those have been on my wishlist for years, but haven't spotted them in a long time.

I do see the HHX line being expanded, so maybe the HH line is being phased out. Would be sad though. the AA and HH lines are (if i recall correctly) were Sabian started with.
 
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