Affordable Jazz Cymbals? Zildjian K Alternatives?

RustyNails

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
142
Reaction score
6
Location
Las Vegas
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?
I sold my old kit a couple years ago to my replacement in the rock band I left and thought I would be done with drums forever. However, I am now gearing up to going back to music school at a university in the fall studying percussion (mainly marimba, timpani, and snare) and thought I should learn jazz on the drumset just to give myself a more rounded toolset. I have no plans to play in one of the big bands my university has, but they have jazz combos that might be cool to play in one day.

Q: What is the real job you want the cymbals to do for you?
A: I want affordable cymbals that I can practice with at home that also sound nice enough to be able to take to small local gigs if needed.
 

tkillian

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
2,327
Reaction score
819

For example
The 22 manhattan and Manhattan hats 545/575 total

Ive got some nice jazz cymbals in there...low priced imo
 

mebeatee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
396
Reaction score
129
Location
Sechelt, B.C. Canada
Dream Bliss (Crash-Ride)

Chinese cymbals that replicate the old K sound for a lot less.
+1
I have 20 and 22 crash/rides and a 20 ride....all Dream Bliss and have a/b'd them with K's etc. They do just fine.....HOWEVER...you have to get lucky as there are a few duds out there...lol...
And then again there is the power of will where instruments find you.....ya never know.
bt
 

Bash Brand

New Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
5
Location
London, England
If you ever come across 'Super-Zyn', or '5-Star Super-Zyn' (not just 'Zyn', which are rubbish) they're old British cymbals from the '50s—'70s which are pretty good. Once hailed as "British Zildjians" and still affordable, although folk are catching on to them these days. (Not sure how available they'd be in the States though.)
 

doubleroll

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
1,649
Reaction score
249
Location
NY
Dan Brubeck uses Paiste Rude & 2002 with his Jazz Quartet.
 

DrumminginParadise

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
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.
Check out Dream Cymbals - Bliss and Vintage Bliss series. They are perfect for Jazz. Sound a lot like the old A’s and K’s and are very affordable.
Lots of example on YouTube.
 

bfulton

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
507
Reaction score
67
Consider finding a good vintage cymbal that has some kind of damage. I’ve seen and played great 1950’s Zildjians with keyhole damage, or a crack on the edge. The keyhole tells you that the cymbal has spent many nights on stage in the era when the stand’s “post” was unprotected by plastic. Because there was no plastic!
And many drummers stashed their cymbals in their trap cases, and dropped the cymbals in on edge ... or the stands were knocked over on stage.
The ones I’ve played have been completely stable. I’ve played them a lot and the crack has never moved. And the cymbals sound great!
Your cymbal taste will evolve - since jazz is a new genre for you, you’ll learn all along.
For whatever reason, small damage may cause a substantial drop in price ... but not in value!
 

John Rudolph

New Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
The used market is the way to go. Other than Reverb, eBay and CL, I like to look at Guitar Center's website for used cymbals. You can ship them to any store (if not in the local shop), demo them, and decide to buy it or walk away with no problems. You can find great deals on these cymbals too.

Practical Method: If you find a used cymbal you are interested in but can't play it, go to www.budstein.com/cymbalweight and input the details of the cymbal. I would not go any higher than the "Medium-Thin" category. Lighter cymbals tend to do better for jazz as the thicker ones project too much and will overpower acoustic instruments.
 

John Rudolph

New Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Consider finding a good vintage cymbal that has some kind of damage. I’ve seen and played great 1950’s Zildjians with keyhole damage, or a crack on the edge. The keyhole tells you that the cymbal has spent many nights on stage in the era when the stand’s “post” was unprotected by plastic. Because there was no plastic!
And many drummers stashed their cymbals in their trap cases, and dropped the cymbals in on edge ... or the stands were knocked over on stage.
The ones I’ve played have been completely stable. I’ve played them a lot and the crack has never moved. And the cymbals sound great!
Your cymbal taste will evolve - since jazz is a new genre for you, you’ll learn all along.
For whatever reason, small damage may cause a substantial drop in price ... but not in value!
Agree 100% with this. I once purchased a cracked cymbal and had enough left in my budget to get the equipment needed to repair it.
 

drummerbill

DFO Master
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
5,353
Reaction score
251
Location
NY-NJ Tri-state Area
Thumbs up on thin Dream 20s and 22s !!
Only reason I sold a few is that I discovered that a good thin K-Con and or Isty Agop offer "stick" or woody tip click, the only weakness to my ears with the Dreams. IMHO But be prepared to pay for the difference.
 

Drumbumcrumb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
81
Reaction score
82
Location
Rhode Island
I’d shoot for a good thin mellow ride that is very crashable. A set of subtle hats work for me, but some go in for brighter, chickier sounds. For me, the ‘jazz’ sound is a dark, understated, velvety flavor (not the brassier big band sound).

Now, to get there on a budget -

Vintage A’s: can be had ridiculously cheap, but you gotta try before you buy. There are some out there that’ll work, but you have to find them. Some of the rides are just way to overtone-y and clangy. A lightweight ride with a rivet or two may be just the thing. A pair of thin hats work great. One of my favorite jazz hats are 60’s A’s that I snagged on Reverb for $50.

Used K’s: not all are crazy expensive. A 20” K Custom Dark can be had for $150ish and is a very versatile cymbal. If you can find one that crashes, all the more so. Lots of K and K Custom out there for fairly cheap. Local prices will be better, online sellers suffer from K pipe dreams sometimes.

Sabian SR2 Thin: Best value in town. They come from all over the Sabian range, so find what you like. I hunted down and put together a beautiful sounding set that works for jazz and more, for less than the cost of one pricey ride cymbal. 15” Thin hats and 20” ride with 2 rivets are all I really need. The hats are smooth, dark, and buttery. The ride is washy, dark, and very crashable. Spang-a-lang-a-dang-BWOOOSH. Love it. Wipe off the big ugly SR2 logo and you’ve got a very nice looking cymbal.

Where you are is a fun place to be... You will likely get hooked on jazz, and there will be many more jazzy cymbals in your future. Good luck with your search, keep us posted!
 

RustyNails

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
142
Reaction score
6
Location
Las Vegas
Hey everybody, thanks for all your suggestions. I have actually decided to save my money for a vibraphone instead of getting a drumset right now. I'll still be playing jazz, just more lead sheets and solos instead of keeping time. I may revisit this later on down the road, so I'll keep your suggestions in mind!

--OP
 

Latest posts



Top