Dream have been making a stir over recent years, coming out with rather serious cymbals at a very competitive price. One of the most popular choices was the Bliss line and due to the success and response from drummers, Dream thought they’d focus some energy into a distinct sound that came from the interest sparked from the first and early prototypes. They’re now part of regular production and they’re called Vintage Bliss.
I was fortunate to get to try a couple of the choices from the new Vintage Bliss line. The whole range features cymbals sized from 17 – 22” and they’re all classified as Crash/Rides. Regardless of the size you get, this is the description. I got to check out 18” and 20” Crash/ Rides.
They look good with a very clean but detailed appearance. Dream call the process micro- lathing – still essentially the same as normal lathing is but done with very, very fine scoring on both the top and underside. They hammer the cymbals before and after lathing and the edge is thin and fine. These are not heavy cymbals – quite delicate in some ways. The bell is quite low and integrated and there’s only minimal curve in the body. They look really nice with loads of character and their appearance entices you to predict their sound qualities. You look at them and get a vibe of what they’d be like. I dig that.
When I first tried the 20” I was stunned at how washy and shimmery the sound was that was coming back at me. Not in any way offensive, and with no unwanted notes or overtones – just a beautiful, low-pitched dark wash with nice stick dfi nition underneath. Good for Jazz? Yep. The 18” sounded slightly more controlled with a little less wash and a higher pitch. It almost felt a little heavier if only by a touch. Both cymbals crash beautifully. The larger of the two just spills its sound onto everything. It’s warm and broad and achieved with the littlest of efforts. As a large crash it’s a real winner. The 18” needs just a smidge more effort to extract the crash. It’s not unresponsive by any means but you just need to encourage it a little more and then the sound is slightly more aggressive and a little more piercing. I was digging them for sure.
The only consideration that could be a little downer for some drummers is the size of the bells. They’re very low and not very pronounced. This is very deliberate so that the sound of the bell in integrated with the rest of the cymbal and not a stand out thing. Use the tip of the stick for a really light, Latin/ Jazz vibe or the shank of the stick for a washy ping. It’s never overbearing or harsh though. It must be said, however, that if you are after a piercing bell, these aren’t for you.
I tried these cymbals in a band setting and I really loved the way they integrated with the sound and the blend overall. They’re great under vocals because they seem to stay out of the way and lower in pitch. They’re not crazy loud either so you can handle them a bit more and they don’t get too in your face or the musicians around you. They are washy though, so when you do get a little heavier with them, the crash sound does take over. You can ride them but when you do want a crash, it’s there and you don’t have to really work that hard to get it. So as the name suggests, they really do cut the best of both worlds of a nice crash and a light, washy ride. The name Vintage Bliss would make you think light and washy verses heavy, dry etc. Good for studio use? For sure. In some certain louder live settings, they may get lost a little under screaming guitars.
The new Vintage Bliss have a lot to offer drummers of all levels really. There’s a sophistication and musicality that is very, very hard to beat at this price point. They may not have the final polish like some of the ultra flagship brands but the difference isn’t that wide. These cymbals will be an instant success for drummers looking for value for money and for the professionals looking for something different, they’ll offer something for them too. My pick of these two? I’d probably take the 20” home for studio stuff. I dig large cymbals, and the crash this one gave was great. The 18” would cut a little more on stage so still worth looking at. Check out the Vintage Bliss. They’re cool.
For more info on Dream products, visit www.dynamicmusic.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Work well in a live setting
Bell not very pronounced, won’t suit everyone.