WHD Pro Complete Cymbal Pack

Smashing sounds, entry-level price

Launched in 2011, WHD is Gear4Music's high-end percussion range. It includes drum kits, electronic set-ups, snare drums, heads and cymbals. On test here is the WHD Pro Complete Cymbal Pack, but just how 'complete' and 'pro' can this set of metals be given its wallet-friendly street price of £249.99. There's only one way to find out...

The pack includes a set of 14" hi-hats, a 16" crash and a 20" ride, all of which pack neatly away into their own carry case.

Build

The Pro range is a handmade line of cymbals made from 80 per cent copper and 20 per cent tin-bronze alloy. Each cymbal features a high-polish brilliant finish and small hammer marks peppered across their profile.

The supplied carry bag creates a good first impression and seems surprisingly robust and roomy for a product coming in at this price. It features an outside zip compartment for your sticks, and there's plenty of room inside for extra cymbals up to 22", winning it some early Brownie points.

Hands on

First to undergo the wood on metal treatment are the 14" hi hats. The solid and consistent 'chk' they produce on each hit is immediately encouraging. The hats sit well within the test kit and provide a surprisingly well-rounded sound considering the set's reasonable price tag.

Ease your foot off the hi-hat pedal and give it some wellie and only then do these hi-hats begin to reflect their entry-level price point with a slight lack of sustain.

You certainly get plenty of bang for your buck from the 20" ride. As the cymbal's opening notes dissipate it's clear that this cymbal doesn't suffer the same fate as the hats: sustain is no problem as a loud, cutting 'ping' carries through as we ride its bow.

The bell is every bit as musical, letting out an ear-piercing 'ching' with each hit, and unlike the hats, the ride confidently produces a sound that belies its price tag throughout.

This cymbal isn't the greatest for crashing and is in fact a little too rigid for players who love to punctuate beats with crash rides, so if that's what you're looking for you may need to look elsewhere or consider adding to this set. However, the cymbal's solid performance as a straight-up ride makes this pill far easier to swallow.

The 16" crash certainly has its merits, but it doesn't quite live up to the high standards set by the hats and ride. Let's start with the good: the metal handles high-end frequencies with aplomb and delivers a satisfying 'swoosh' upon playing.

It also has impressive articulation - again, more than you'd expect for a cymbal coming in at this price point. Its dark, crisp sound cuts through excellently when played as a standalone instrument.

That said, the sustain issue that is a slight blot on the hi-hat's copybook is back, and this time it's more evident. When you play this cymbal as part of a full kit, you have to wonder how an 18" version of the same cymbal might fare.

If this cymbal had a little more sustain and depth in addition to its solid sonic grounding, it would slot comfortably into a mid-range setup. Unfortunately, as is, the quick evaporation of sound could be a deal breaker for some.

Last but not least is the WHD cymbal bag. While the black and yellow design may not be to everyone's taste, you can't fault the bag's performance. Zips and stitching are sturdy throughout, ensuring that your cymbals will be locked in safe and sound during transit.

Inside the bag you'll find there's plenty of padding supplied. The bag's handles do look a little course, but an extended test proved them to be perfectly comfortable.

MusicRadar Rating

3 / 5 stars
Pros

Entry-level price tag. Impressive sounds for the money.

Cons

The crash, and to a lesser degree the hi-hat, suffers from lack of sustain.

Verdict

Despite its 'Pro' tag, this WHD cymbal pack would be an excellent set for beginners or those on a budget. More advanced players may want more from their cymbal set, but if price is a concern these are worth checking out.

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.