Gain Control with Cympads

Cympads claim that they are “advanced cymbal washers that provide greater consistency, a more comfortable feel and a better sound from all cymbal types, sizes and brands!” I had the pleasure of trying out the whole Cympad line and I can say without a doubt that this declaration is true. In fact after using several different sizes of Cympads on several different size cymbals I was more than impressed. Cympads are not a gimmick.

Founded in Switzerland by drummer and instructor Reto Hirschi, Cympads were designed to counter the sound level of cymbals that were found to be too loud in a variety of situations including performance, recording, rehearsals and even teaching. In order to counter this recurring problem Hirschi came up with a unique and yet simple solution, replace the bottom felt on the cymbal stand with a larger one. This enabled him to control the volume without losing the natural sound of the cymbal. He later swapped the traditional felt washers for ones that were made of foam. The result was an invention that spawned a company and in 2005 Hirschi produced what he called his “Moderator” models numbered 50-100mm. Eventually Hirschi produced a whole line of foam washers designed to replace felt washers entirely. He called this group of cymbal sound enhancers “Optimizers.”

My evaluation of Cympad’s line was executed using a set of Meinl MCS baseline cymbals. First, I used a set of Moderators on a 20” Ride. I wanted to see if they would have a noticable affect on a heavy cymbal. I was surprised that they seemed to reduce the overtones and tame down the volume as projected. My second test used an 18“ Crash and Optimizers on the top and bottom. This also had a positive affect. I went back and forth between the felt and foam washers and there is a distinct difference. Both products delieved on their claims. I was so impressed that I am replacing the felt washers on the two cymbal stands that I use with Cympads. Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to my friend and co-author Rich Redmond’s testimony in this video available on the Cympad website:

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