Armand Zildjian Anniversay 20" A ride cymbal - 100 made - which die stamps used?

Tama CW

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I was checking out one of these expensive anniversary/ limited edition cymbals to figure out which stamp(s) were used on them. Considering they are lathed
like mid-50's and earlier I'd have expected one of those stamps. Seller sent me a close up photo and it's a "60's 3 dot stamp."
That wasn't what I expected. Then again, could this be the infamous "1954" stamp that was used for only a very limited amount of time?
Or did Zildjian remove these 100 cymbals from the vault as unstamped.......and just stamped them with a 60's stamp?....similar to the Joe Morello Ride cymbal.

The pricing of these anniversary cymbals is not of interest or concern to me and I would prefer the discussion not even go there.
What is of interest is their pedigree and history....including their die stamps and method of mfg.


Best 1.jpg
Stamp photo.jpg
 
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squidart

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Interesting! Curious about the mounting hole size now. Didn't that change to 1/2" around '58?
 

zenstat

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Cymbals which were placed in the vault back when these were made did not have the stamp. They were only stamped when they were picked by a tester to fill an order. This is well documented by three independent insider sources now. That's why cymbals from the 1950s and earlier have the stamp which was in use on the day they were selected to fill an other, not the stamp in use when they were manufactured. That delayed stamping might last until the mid 1970s (fixed typo) but I haven't been able to pin a specific year down yet.

The 60s short stamp is also used on their other recreations like the A Avedis series. The exception for the A Avedis series is the 22" Dark project with Memphis Drum Shop which uses the laser stamp

22-2832-stamp.jpg


Another special usage was the Morello Take 5 cymbal. The original has the SSA stamp to my eyes

take-five-5.png


although you will find the YouTube info says SSB. The cloned ones have (you guessed it)

20-2166-stamp.png


I suspect that they chose that 60 short for special projects because the die is in the best condition, but I can't be sure.

Interesting! Curious about the mounting hole size now. Didn't that change to 1/2" around '58?
That's what current evidence suggests but it isn't an exact timing. What has been observed based on preliminary analysis by @Cliff DeArment is that the hole size was changing as the stamp du jour was shifting from SSA to SSB. If you think through the consequences of storage in the vault without a stamp then any specific change of stamp will be slightly fuzzy. That goes for the change from SSA to SSB, as well as the 50s stamps to the 60s stamps.
 
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squidart

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Cymbals which were placed in the vault back when these were made did not have the stamp. They were only stamped when they were picked by a tester to fill an order. This is well documented by three independent insider sources now. That's why cymbals from the 1950s and earlier have the stamp which was in use on the day they were selected to fill an other, not the stamp in use when they were manufactured. That delayed stamping might last until the mid 1960s but I haven't been able to pin in down yet.

The 60s short stamp is also used on their other recreations like the A Avedis series. The exception for the A Avedis series is the 22" Dark project with Memphis Drum Shop which uses the laser stamp

View attachment 523085

Another special usage was the Morello Take 5 cymbal. The original has the SSA stamp to my eyes

View attachment 523086

although you will find the YouTube info says SSB. The cloned ones have (you guessed it)

View attachment 523087

I suspect that they chose that 60 short for special projects because the die is in the best condition, but I can't be sure.



That's what current evidence suggests but it isn't an exact timing. What has been observed based on preliminary analysis by @Cliff DeArment is that the hole size was changing as the stamp du jour was shifting from SSA to SSB. If you think through the consequences of storage in the vault without a stamp then any specific change of stamp will be slightly fuzzy. That goes for the change from SSA to SSB, as well as the 50s stamps to the 60s stamps.
I mentioned the hole size as at least a general marker for "manufactured no later than 19xx". Has it been established that they were all stamped just before release or could they have been stamped in say the 1960s and put back in vault?
Sorry if this is a stupid question. It won't be my first! :)
 

Tama CW

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This one also has the smaller hole (1958 or earlier). My thought is that this group were not slated to fill an order in the 60's. That 60's stamp probably got put into use when they decided to
bring these 100 "Armand" cymbals out of the vault. Apparently, the 60's stamp was "close enough" for a vintage cymbal.

My first thought was that the Joe Morello and Armand rides got that same 60's stamp. But the Armand has much more of that "drooping" top on the letter "E".

The overall looking of the Armand ride is something from the trans stamp to SSA small stamp era.....rings of saturn lathing on the bow, and multiple tiers on the bell with that "fence-like" pattern around mid-bell.
 
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zenstat

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This one also has the smaller hole (1958 or earlier). My thought is that this group were not slated to fill an order in the 60's. That 60's stamp probably got put into use when they decided to
bring these 100 "Armand" cymbals out of the vault. Apparently, the 60's stamp was "close enough" for a vintage cymbal.
Zildjian don't make the micro distinctions we do like 50s vs 60s stamps. That is clear if you read the trademark documents. All the stories about having to reuse older stamps to keep a trademark alive were just that -- stories. The only thing that mattered was the portion in English. Yes there were separate trademarks for A Zildjian & Cie Constantinople (and the vintage variant) but that's about it.

My first thought was that the Joe Morello and Armand rides got that same 60's stamp. But the Armand has much of that "drooping" top on the letter "E".
You are getting a glimpse of the next level of study of microwear on the die. This wear also interacts with variation in individual pressings. It is quite probable that there are multiple 60s short dies. This has been known for some time, but there are far too many other topics which need work before we get on to that. There are also most likely multiple 70s dies. I'll probably leave it for the next generation.

The overall look of the Armand ride is something from the trans stamp to SSA small stamp era.....rings of saturn lathing on the bow, and multiple tiers on the bell with that "fence-like" pattern around mid-bell.
Yup looks 50s to me.

I mentioned the hole size as at least a general marker for "manufactured no later than 19xx". Has it been established that they were all stamped just before release or could they have been stamped in say the 1960s and put back in vault?
All stamped just before release as a general rule. Don't know when it started (we presume at the beginning), don't know when that finished (we presume it must have finished by the time of laser stamps). The existence of these special issue cymbals should put the unique "1954 stamp" fallacy to bed once again, but you seem to want to wake it up with unnecessary complications. ;-) The production clues tell you when the cymbal was made and the stamp tells you which stamp was used when it was stamped. Usually those events are at most a few years apart, but not always. I'm still gathering evidence about the shape of the wait time distribution. Hole size is one of the production clues, although it is subject to uncertainty, especially given later enlargement.
 
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John DeChristopher

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When these cymbals were discovered in a metal cabinet in the factory in 1995, they had no stamps.

Armand Zildjian personally gave me this 20" in 1995, not long after we found them, and if you look closely, you'll see there is no stamp.

I hope this clarifies it, unless I'm misunderstanding the question?

FA495A6D-5304-4109-BDCD-6B675829A418_1_105_c.jpeg


I gave Ringo a set in July 1995, right after we discovered them, and again, no stamp. Ringo's tech, Jeff Chonis, had to drill out the center hole so it fit his cymbal stand. He used the 16" that night.

Ringo JD 95.JPG
 

squidart

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When these cymbals were discovered in a metal cabinet in the factory in 1995, they had no stamps.

Armand Zildjian personally gave me this 20" in 1995, not long after we found them, and if you look closely, you'll see there is no stamp.

I hope this clarifies it, unless I'm misunderstanding the question?

View attachment 523109

I gave Ringo a set in July 1995, right after we discovered them, and again, no stamp. Ringo's tech, Jeff Chonis, had to drill out the center hole so it fit his cymbal stand. He used the 16" that night.

View attachment 523110
Yep! That totally answers my question. Thanks!
 

Tama CW

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When these cymbals were discovered in a metal cabinet in the factory in 1995, they had no stamps.

Armand Zildjian personally gave me this 20" in 1995, not long after we found them, and if you look closely, you'll see there is no stamp.

I hope this clarifies it, unless I'm misunderstanding the question?
Quite clear except for one other question. The 10,000-15,000 cymbals that Paul Francis has previously stated are stored in Zildjian vaults....and presumably "older" cymbals (ie Zildjian's historical legacy).
Would those be mostly unstamped or stamped?
 
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John DeChristopher

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Quite clear except for one other question. The 10,000-15,000 cymbals that Paul Francis has previously stated are stored in Zildjian vaults....and presumably "older" cymbals (ie Zildjian's historic legacy).
Would those be mostly unstamped or stamped?
I’m not sure what Paul was referring to regarding 10,000-15,000 cymbals. I don’t think there were that many old cymbals discovered. He could’ve been referring to the Artist Vault in Norwell we built in 2006 to warehouse cymbals for artists. And the central warehouse that handles order fulfillment. All of those cymbals would of course be stamped. They’re stock models.

But when I left Zildjian in early 2013, the 1940s vintage cymbals were locked away and unstamped.
 

zenstat

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About 10,000 from this video:

and here is a still of that sign next to the door:

Quincy-era-cymbals-sign.png


I presume none are stamped. Some were brought out and auctioned off as part of Memphis Drum Shop Cymbal Summit (2010).


Paul Francis mentioned dusting off the 60s stamp to complete those. The money from the auction was going to support one of several Zildjian scholarship programs. I can't remember which one. @John DeChristopher might remember. There are a few programs


 

Tama CW

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But when I left Zildjian in early 2013, the 1940s vintage cymbals were locked away and unstamped.
OK. So maybe these are linked (or the same cymbals) as the 10,000 'Family Owned' 30's to 50's cymbals in the Zildjian vault.

All those previously known "1954" cymbals took a slight hit when the "Armand 100" came to market.

Many thanks to John and Steve for sharing those details.
 

Cliff DeArment

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I prefer to use the name 54 vs. "1954". That way it's more like a name, vs. a certain year. There are definitely cymbals made well before it was finally stamped in the 60's. I have a 54 that's clearly early 50's or even earlier. Have eight 54's at the moment, after working on the project for many years. There is still a very very small possibility that the stamp was used, retired early and later returned to production. There are 3 possibilities of the 54:

1. Quick stamp retirement, wanting a larger stamp such as the Hollow Block. However, there are so few 54's out there. It also shows many 54's are not falling into the same bell lathing timeline from one to another. One might be from the 40's, another from mid 50's, etc.

2. The Ringo effect, having to crank out cymbals from whatever they had in the vault. However, that story from Armand Zildjian, "We were a small business at the time the Beatles came in, and then we found ourselves with a 93,000 cymbal back order, just because or Ringo Starr." Really? 93,000??? We now have proof from the Armand's Anniversary that they had plenty of great 50's cymbals hidden in the vault. How many more are still in there? Suddenly 93,000 back orders? Yet again, another tall tale. Seems to be there are almost as many Anniversary cymbals as 54's to find!

3. Highest probability (maybe 99% at this point?): A customer saying, "I don't really like the new ones. Do you still have any of the older ones I like?" Seems pretty simple.

So, a 54 is really just an older cymbal which was stamped later. :)
 
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