My involvement with these exquisite cymbals dates back to 2009. I had been a long-term player of cymbals made by "The Big Three" and I found myself becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the ways my cymbals were a bit too dominant in the music, taking up too much space in the sonic spectrum. So I started looking for a new sound.
I began snooping around the online cymbal stores and clicked on a ton of audio demo's of cymbals. I clicked on the demo's of two 22" Bosphorus Master Turk ride cymbals and instantly decided that they were to be my new sound. The two that I ordered that day were very close in weight, so my intent with them was to drill some holes for rivets in one, and to keep the other dry because I'd always be putting rivets in, or taking rivets out of my previously favourite ride cymbals - sometimes using a chain from the hardware store, or a Pro Mark Rattler for greater ease. With these two new Master Turks, I'd have "one cymbal in two". When they arrived though, what I realised was that they each had their own character, and I could use them together in the one set - one sizzling, one dry: my favourite combination of ride cymbals.
The cymbals arrived and I fell so much in love with them that I took them to bed with me that night (my wife was in New Zealand at the time - not even she knows this!). Then I started taking them out on gigs and began to be overwhelmed by the super-enthusiastically positive feedback I received from the musicians I played with. Such feedback continues to this day. With my older cymbals, I don't remember ever receiving so many great compliments on the sound - all I remember was those same musicians saying things like, "can you maybe use a different ride cymbal next time?" Now they were saying, "man, I love playing with that cymbal - it doesn't get in my way!"
Being a "matching luggage" kind of guy, naturally, I had to flesh out my collection in order to cover the broad range of musical genre I encounter in my professional life. Once I started to search through the Bosphorus catalogue, I was tremendously impressed by the immensity offered in their spectrum of lines, sizes and models - it was much more than I expected.
I also started to investigate their history as a company. There are a few nice little clips online (or, at least, there were in 2009) showing footage of cymbals in various stages of manufacture in the factory. It was great to see these artisans at work. So serene. It was also interesting to note that the artisans working for Bosphorus are actually applying the know-how that they learned by direct relationship to the artisans from the lineage of great cymbal smiths that dates back to the original cymbal artisans of Turkey from the 1600s. Where some companies have gone on to produce massively large quantities of production line cymbals that are out of touch with the sounds that the music actually needs, Bosphorus have very modestly remained in Turkey, producing the finest pieces I've ever played.
In early 2013, I was very fortunate to sign a contract that allowed me to associate directly with the company in Turkey and with their distributor here in Australia as an official endorser artist. I feel particularly proud of this relationship and I look forward to it being a long and enduring one.
Most of the cymbals I play today are the cymbals that I bought myself prior to my official engagement with the company interspersed, by virtue of the warmth and generosity of the company, with some new ones I've acquired since then. Today I choose from the following collection of Bosphorus cymbals:
8" Turk splash (x2)
9" Turk splash
10" Turk Splash (x2)
12" Antique hi-hats
13" Master hi-hats
13" Master Vintage hi-hats
14" Turk hi-hats
14" Master hi-hats
15" Traditional medium-thin crash
16" Turk paper-thin crash
16" Traditional paper-thin crash
17" Turk paper-thin crash
17" Traditional paper-thin crash
17" Gold fast crash
18" Gold full crash
18" Master Vintage crash (x2)
18" Traditional paper-thin crash
19" Black Pearl crash
20" Hammer Series ride
20" Master Vintage ride (x2)
20" Turk china
20" Turk thin ride with a cluster of three rivets
20" Original Turk ride with a cluster of three rivets
22" Black Pearl ride
22" Master Turk ride
22" Master Turk ride with a cluster of three rivets
22" Turk thin ride (x2)
22" Master ride with two rivets
22" New Orleans thin ride
22" Turk medium ride