Imperial Cymbals Faith 3 Pre-Pack Review
Note: Contest ended on Tuesday 2/28/12
I could not be more thrilled to announce our very first contest over here at Drum Gear Review! To help send a little extra attention to two very exciting young companies, we’ll be giving one reader a prize package that includes:
1 17” Faith series crash from Imperial Cymbals
3 pairs of Sweet Pea hickory sticks from SilverFox Percussion
1 pair of bangin’ logoed sunglasses from Imperial
More stickers than you can count (you’ll probably be able to count them)
If you’d like to be entered to win this incredible prize pack, all you need to do is watch the video below, and follow the instructions at the end! Then, in two weeks (Tuesday, February 28th), I’ll enter all of the contestants into a randomizer and select a winner.
Thanks so much for reading and good luck!
Note: Unfortunately, this contest is only open to US residents. In the future we hope to be able to offer contests available for international entry. Our sincerest apologies.
Imperial Faith 3 Pre-Pack
It was only a few months ago that Imperial Cymbals first began shipping product. Completing their first product launch at the very end of 2011, Imperial made a serious splash with a press campaign that seemed to target young players looking for a new voice behind the drums. Hitting the market with a slogan like, “Play the Best” felt a little ambitious coming from such an unknown manufacturer, but I (like many others) found it hard to ignore such extreme confidence.
While the company’s initial print and online marketing blitz was very effective and engaging, I have to admit I was still very skeptical about what I’d be receiving in the mail – not that I’d seen any evidence of poor quality, but it just seemed hard to trust such a young company.
Thankfully, my skepticism was completely unwarranted. Imperial was nice enough to send me one of their Faith 3 Pre-Packs for review, and after spending a lot of time with these cymbals, I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen.
The Faith 3 package includes 14” hats, a 16” crash and a 20” inch ride, each selected and matched from their Faith series. The cymbals have a beautiful brilliant finish over a heavily hammered façade that blends the visual styles of contemporary rock models with the handcrafted aesthetics of more traditional Turkish bronze – which should come as no surprise as Imperial prides themselves on offering truly hand-hammered Turkish cymbals. If I were grading the Faith 3 package on looks alone, they would do very well (with one minor exception that I’ll get to a little later).
As impressed as I was with the look of the Faith series, I was even more surprised by the sound. Pairing the bright, modern sounds common to modern rock and pop with the dark, smoky undertones of vintage pies, the Faith 3 cymbals are perfectly suited to everything from fusion to hip hop to metal. Capable of cutting without overbearing other instruments, they are professional instruments of very high quality (again, I can’t believe they are among the first offerings from this new company).
The hats were bright, clean and crisp with a warm, bell-like tone when played open. Closed, they offered a mellow, woody click that was present without being intrusive. I will say that they can choke up a bit when played too tightly, but this is a problem common to all hats without a means of releasing air (rippled bottom edge or holes in the cymbal). Barring that very minor issue, the Faith hats were a lot of fun to play with a feel that had me trying to cop David Garibaldi licks every time I sat down.
I’m not often a fan of 20” rides as I usually like a little more spread from the main position, but the cymbal I received from Imperial had me reconsidering my point of view. Clear and full with an excellent, very playable bell, the Faith 3 ride was probably my favorite cymbal of bunch. It was thin enough to be crashable, but had plenty of warm ping to cut through a wall of effects-laden guitars. Very easy to control and beautiful at any volume, this cymbal is a real winner. I’d be thrilled to own any of the cymbals in this package, but if I had to pick only one, it would almost certainly be the 20” ride.
Alright, last but not least is the included 16” crash. I’ll allow my credibility to take a little hit here, and admit that I don’t really care for crash cymbals (I don’t even own any), but I feel like I have a pretty good idea about what makes a good one. The Faith 3 crash certainly made the grade with a soft playability, short, punchy attack and slow, smoky finish. I did notice a few weird undertones when I played the cymbal on its own, but they were almost totally inaudible within a musical context. I wouldn’t call this a perfect crash, but it makes an excellent punctuation mark amid fast figures or fills.
To Sum Up
The letter included with the package from Imperial calls the Faith 3 set “the first combo-pack that doesn’t suck.” After a pretty lengthy review, I’d have to say I agree. These are excellent, professional instruments that would serve any drummer well. To my ears, they exceed the quality of other pre-packaged cymbal sets, and offer a very unique blend of modern and vintage sound. If I were forced to mention one problem with these cymbals, it would have to be the logos which are pretty large, and take away from the otherwise beautiful appearance of these fine instruments.
On the whole, the Faith 3 package from Imperial proved very, very impressive and I can’t wait to see what else this budding company has to offer.