Affordable Jazz Cymbals? Zildjian K Alternatives?

RustyNails

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Hi there,


I'm new to jazz drumming and I'm looking to get some cymbals, mainly hi-hats and a ride to practice some bebop and swing grooves at home. I love the sound of Zildjian K cymbals, but they're super expensive, even used. I'm not gigging, just playing alone in my room, so I don't need anything fancy, but I would like some cymbals that don't sound like crap for jazz either.
 

Mongrel

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Used Zildjian As.

Pre 1975 (or there abouts) certain models made after the 2013 update.

May not be good enough for a purist but the right weights and a piece of gaffer’s tape or two you’ll be fine “in your room”.

Thinking most anything else will either cost your more or not be up to the task (i.e. mid and lower level cymbals).
 

Old Dog

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Rusty, these are a very "not well-known" brand. But, Trinity cymbals might be an option for you. There are audio clips attached to nearly every cymbal.


IGNORE the Black Friday sale. :scratch: They don't update their website nearly enough. But the prices are normal.

Not sure about your budget.

I bought one of their "dark" crashes. Very light, great sounds, I did get it cheap while it was on sale. . .but these may work for you. Doesn't hurt to give a listen.
 

egw

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Mongrel

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PERFECT

Good eye....
 

Griener

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Don't look any further.
These are amazing cymbals for a very affordable price.
Not too many people know about them.
For an old K. Zildjian sound, check their Holy Grail series.
if you're more into old Avedis, Mersey Beat is what you need to get.
And if you happen to like old Paiste 602's, you need to check their Leon Collection.

I'm no endorser, but I started to play them exclusively and sold my Spizzichino and several EAK's and old K's.
I did get them from Todd Bishop who will pre-select cymbals for you with great taste.
You can check in with Todd on his website: http://www.cymbalistic.com
Highly recommended!
 

Nubs

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Rusty, these are a very "not well-known" brand. But, Trinity cymbals might be an option for you. There are audio clips attached to nearly every cymbal.


IGNORE the Black Friday sale. :scratch: They don't update their website nearly enough. But the prices are normal.

Not sure about your budget.

I bought one of their "dark" crashes. Very light, great sounds, I did get it cheap while it was on sale. . .but these may work for you. Doesn't hurt to give a listen.
I will agree with Old Dog. I bought a set of Trinity Darks when they were on sale. Very well crafted and sound great! I would recommend them!
 

Tama CW

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The heavier 20" 1980's Zildjian K's (EAK's from 2500-2800 gm) can be picked up used for $165-$185. I sold both of mine in that range this past year. Very nice, crisp jazzy ping. And the newer K custom darks are buyable used for $135-$175 depending on source. Best bang for the buck imo are the 1950's small stamp 20" A's in the 1800-2250 gm range. I keep finding those for $100 or less. If you want to splurge on a jazzier sound from your A's go for the early 50's Zildjian transition stamps in the 1750-2350 gm range....buyable for $165-$200. 50's to 70's A Hi hats in medium new beat weights abound in the $100-$135 range....and those work well for jazz (750-975 / 975-1300 gm). And should you get tired of them....you can usually get what you paid for them if you bought them reasonably from private parties.
 

jtpaistegeist

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Don't look any further.
These are amazing cymbals for a very affordable price.
Not too many people know about them.
For an old K. Zildjian sound, check their Holy Grail series.
if you're more into old Avedis, Mersey Beat is what you need to get.
And if you happen to like old Paiste 602's, you need to check their Leon Collection.

I'm no endorser, but I started to play them exclusively and sold my Spizzichino and several EAK's and old K's.
I did get them from Todd Bishop who will pre-select cymbals for you with great taste.
You can check in with Todd on his website: http://www.cymbalistic.com
Highly recommended!
Cymbal & Gong, has no gongs available? That's like Crate & Barrel having no crates, or Cork & Barrel having no wine!

I would look at Amazon. There are plenty of Turkish cymbals to be had. You can easily build a hat, ride, crash setup for around $400.
 

deegeebee

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Regardless of what you get go used. Jazz rides are a very personal taste thing and you may fins you want to try several out. Buying used lets tou do that without losing a ton of money.

As for specific models, older As and dream bliss already mentioned are great suggestions and there are tons on the market.

A bit less common, but cheap and awesome is the Sabian AA Raw ride (completely unhammered and unlathed). Very easy to control for tight jazz ride patterns.

Final suggestion is not to be shy to use some elecrical tape on the underside of whatever you have already or get if youbfind it is a bit too heavy or bright or ringy. Always a great option.
 

Jazz Turkey

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Maybe consider using your current hats and buy the K you want. A quality cymbal is always a good purchase. And the ride is the big voice in jazz.
I second looking a Tom's used cymbals in the marketplace.
 

JFBL

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Hey buddy, I was where you are now a few years ago and this is what I did based on what was recommended to me.

Find ONE easily accessible cheapo cymbal to practice with. Mine was a 60s Formula 602 with a big crack I smoothed out with a dremel. Then I put a rivet in it. Got it for $50. Then practice, practice, practice with that one cymbal and try to make it sound like the best cymbal in the universe. And just work like a mofo on that ride cymbal beat.

At the same time, listen to as many soundfiles as you can. And I mean every soundfile of every cymbal that might be good for Jazz that you can. 40's, 50s, 60s, A Zildjians, Ks, EAKS, K Istanbuls - New Stamps, Intermediate Stamps, Old Stamps, Paiste Pre Serial 602s, Sound Creation Dark Rides, Istanbul Mehmets and Agops and Pre-Splits and Matt Bettis Cymbals and everything else mentioned on this thread by everyone and more.

I was told to play that cracked 602 for a year but I couldn't wait. After about six months, I just started buying what I thought I wanted based on soundfiles and experimenting and selling, based on my ear developing and getting closer to what I thought I wanted to hear. Have fun and enjoy your journey :)
 

markkarj

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You might also search for Istanbul brand XIST cymbals they tend to be dark and slightly trashy sounding... They should be very reasonable priced on the used market
Excellent point... I bought two 15" crashes to use as a pair of dark, light-weight hats. Not super precise, but warm and washy.
 
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Find ONE easily accessible cheapo cymbal to practice with. Mine was a 60s Formula 602 with a big crack I smoothed out with a dremel. Then I put a rivet in it. Got it for $50. Then practice, practice, practice with that one cymbal and try to make it sound like the best cymbal in the universe. And just work like a mofo on that ride cymbal beat.
Been through it, too. And dug through your old posts to see if there might be some hints towards what might drive your quest. I would suggest one question: what is the real job you want the cymbals to do for you? Do you want to practice? Is it just a question of technique? Or do you want something more out of an instrument? Do you want something that maybe challenges you? Pushes you further? If the latter is the job, think of buying as if you would hire someone. And I would suppose you would want to hire the best with regards to your budget. My recommendation then would be to put some money into a Matt Bettis ride and see what it does to you. For the hats, vintage thin 50's or 60's Zildjian As.

When I started playing drums again and going for Jazz, I wasted a lot of money on newish Zildjians, then tried Bosphorus and vintage Zildjians until I ended up with (and will forever stick to) Matt Bettis 14" hi-hats, Matt Bettis 20" LSR and a 22" Spizzichino ride. Should have hired something right for the job from the start. Good gear will make you better as it makes practicing way more enjoyable, fun and rewarding.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Find a decent ride and a set of hats. Vintage A hats should be under $150. Really, hats don't matter unless they are heavy and clunky. The key is the ride. An A ride (vintage A) could be less than $100 but would be likely pingy and one-dimensional w/little wash.

I bought a Soultone (off brand) vintage old school patina 19" flat ride off Amazon for well under $150 a few mos. back - hand made Turkish, killer woody stick sound, but no bell and the crash is in essence a large splash. The full price was double that.

For $150 - $200 you should be able to find a decent jazz ride here, eBay or Reverb, or even CList....good luck!
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I just saw this one here (not mine). I had an Impression once - not this one - mine was more brilliant, but a great price for a Turkish cymbal. This one sounds nice and jazzy and has the option of rivets:

 

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