> > > BeatIt Test: Sabian XSR Fast Stax

Cymbals, cymbals, cymbals… Brilliant finish, traditional finish, modern, vintage, dry-sounding, dark, bright, holey, hammered, lathed…  Crash, ride, hi hat, splash, china… Objects of desire for all of us, drummers. There isn’t a single drum maniac from before Internet days who wouldn’t spend hours and days on end staring into cymbal catalogues, contemplating marvelous photos of those beauties, thinking: “Some day at least a few of them will belong to me”. By the same token, there isn’t a single young drummer who doesn’t do the same today, only browsing through cymbal maker websites and auction services.

When charming cymbal catalogues in the past, there was one thing nobody could even dream of, i. e. checking out the way the sounded. Today, drum stores all over Central Europe are expanding their product ranges from all kinds of companies, which makes the choice options broader and broader every day. Also, there’s those who make it their goal to help fellow drummers get acquainted with the options available in the market today. People just like us at www.beatit.tv. Producers and distributors have been sending in more and more gear that they think is worth drummers’ attention. We must admit none of those products so far have been straight up bad or low quality. Let’s see if that’s the case this time round.

The official Polish Sabian distributor, the Music Info company, have sent us a handsome package containing a set of XSR series cymbals, which was introduced last year (our test can be found HERE), as well as a cymbal stack belonging to the same family.

Sabian XSR Fast Stax Test

Sabian XSR Fast stax cymbal

Sabian XSR has replaced the highly popular Xs20 family of cymbals. The Canadian manufacturer introduced the series at NAMM Show last year, also adding a cymbal stack called Sabian XSR Fast Stax to the fairly extensive XSR product range. It is time we took a closer look at this baby.

1. The test

The drum kit we used was a MES Midas Studio (birch/maple shells) with a Natal Arcadia Steel 14″x8″ snare. On those, we put Aquarian Performance II Clear and Texture Coated heads as batter and Aquarian Classic Clears as resonance skins. You will also notice a Sabian XSR cymbal set comprised of 14″ XSR Hats, a 20″ XSR Ride, a 16″ XSR Fast Crash and an 18″ XSR Fast Crash.

The microphones used to perform the test:

Fast Stax

  • Overheads: Proel DMH3 (2 pcs)
  • ROLAND R-26 recording device mics (4 pcs)

2. Basic specification of the Sabian cymbals tested:

  • Series: XSR
  • Type: Fast Stax
  • Stack components: 13″ XSR X-Celerator (top), 16″ XSR China 16″
  • Finish: Brilliant
  • Alloy: B20 bronze
  • Style: Vintage
  • Sound: Bright
  • Weight: Medium Thin (both cymbals are of thin weight).

3. The sound

The Sabian XSR Fast Stax is comprised of a 16-inch XSR China, which in itself is very aggressive, tight, fast-responding (which is suggested by the name of the cymbal stack) and raw-sounding. On top of it, we put a 13-inch Sabian XSR X-Celerator. Its wavy edge helps to eliminate airlock, i. e. the bottom cymbal does not get choked. Additionally, there is a 3-inch lip on the Chinese, which also allows the bottom cymbal to breathe. This combination produces a stack that is bright, with a lot of sizzle and volume. The last two parameters can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the cymbal felt. Bear in mind, though, that even the tightest felt will not fully eliminate the sizzle or reduce the volume like a volume knob would do on a guitar amp. This cymbal has been made for clarity and attack and that is what it gives.

Sabian Stax

4. Summary

Needless to say, the Sabian XSR Fast Stax effect cymbal is very well crafted, which goes both for the lathing as well as the hammering. Its quality certainly does not discredit the brand whose logo it bears. Every metal head (especially all the djent players) should be happy with this instrument. As far as the price is concerned (the equivalent of about 300 US dollars), it proves we are not dealing with just a budget-range product. We can also say it is comparable with the competitors. On the other hand, given the fact that signature cymbal stacks from a renowned German maker cost at least twice as much, the price on the Sabian XSR Fast Stax isn’t so bad at all.

Producer: http://www.sabian.com/en/home

Distributor in Poland: http://www.musicinfo.pl/

SCORE: 5/5


  • Very well crafted
  • Possibility to adjust sizzle and volume
  • Fast response

In between

  • Price


  • None

Drummers and Drummerettes! Although we always urge everyone to check instruments in stores, we understand it isn’t always possible. That is why we have made this Sabian XSR Fast Stax presentation. We hope it is useful to you. Enjoy!