I think I have said many times now, in articles and on the Podcast that it's the little things in our studios that make little differences and that lots of little differences add up to a big difference in our sound. The little gizmos and gadgets that fix a specific problem or issue. CRS from Norway have designed the Cymbal Resonance System that can be quickly fitted to all professional cymbal and percussion stands and just makes your instruments sound better. By decoupling the cymbal from the stand or mounting hardware you get to hear how good the cymbal or instrument can sound when isolated from other hittable elements in your setup. Lets dive in and see and how just how good these things are.
CRS - Cymbal Resonance System
The CRS Cymbal Resonance System is a cast metal housing which contains a heavy duty rubber isolation mount to which is attached the threaded metal rod much like that found on conventional cymbals stands. The heavy duty rubber decouples the vibration from the rod and stops this vibration being transmitted to the cymbal stand and eventually the floor. As studio drummers we have enough issues with things vibrating and rattling on our kits that anything we can do to stop this has to be a good thing.
Setting Up the CRS
You can see (below left) one of my DW (Drum Workshop) cymbal stands with the cymbal removed. We first remove all the existing cymbal mounting hardware. We take off the Tama quick release and lift off the felts. Then we undo the chrome drumkey screw and detach the back support from the stand leaving the bare stand (below right).
Now all we do is slid the CRS over the stand an tighten the two chrome drumkey screws, undo the wing-nut and sit the cymbal onto the threaded rod, replacing the wing-nut and tightening to the desired tension. I like my cymbals to be able to move freely on the stand and thus not choking the sound.
It is worth mentioning that due to its size and off axis design, you will need to adjust the hight and position of your stands to get the cymbals in the same place as before you fitted the CRS mounts. However, I had no issues what so ever getting the stands back into my desired playing position.
CRS can also be used for mounting percussion like cowbell, woodblock or other mountable percussion instruments in exactly the same way.
It's All In The Sound
Below I have recorded three different crash cymbals (20" Dream Energy, 16" Sabian HHX and 18" Sabian AAX) struck four times each. The first file was recorded with the CRS mounts in place and the second without CRS. Take a listen. I think you will be surprised just how noticeable the difference is.
For me there are three main differences:
- The cymbals sustain longer with the CRS mounts.
- The cymbal decay is much smoother with the CRS mounts
- Finally, and more noticeable when I was playing the cymbals in the room. There was a low rumble coming from the hardware when played without the CRS mounts in place. This this lost energy being transmitted to the hardware and dissipated as sound.
When recording these files, I used a pair of small diaphragm pencil condenser mics, however when recording a full kit with my normal 12 mic setup I am quite sure getting rid of this low pitch noise will help clean up my drum sound and help the kit sound as good as it can.
Price And Availability
CRS is currently only available from the CRS online store. A single CRS will cost you around £46 + taxes and shipping or you can buy packs of 3 or 4 for £127 and £149 + taxes and shipping respectively.
A big thanks to Dan Cooper for switching me on to CRS and also thanks to CRS themselves for getting me three units to try so quickly. These will not be going back and I have ordered another two so my studio kit with a total of five cymbals can all enjoy the CRS treatment. I said at the top of this review that it's the little things that make little differences and these all add up. Well I think adding the CRS cymbal system to my kit has not made a small improvement, it has mad a massive one. Cymbals are such a big part of pop music and CRS makes cymbals sound better. I think there will be another benefit to CRS. I think in the long run that CRS will help stop me cracking cymbals as the cymbals are allowed to resonate with themselves not being impeded by the stand or mounting hardware, but only time will tell on this one.
I say so often that I really LOVE a product but in this case it's true. Smart thinking and smart design has produced a product that really works, looks cool and is built like a tank. Well done CRS, you deserve to do very well with the Cymbal Resonance System
You can find out more about the CRS Cymbal Resonance System at their website.