Charlie watts Paiste set up 1981

maco07

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Hello guys, great thread! Long time since last post.
I'm an amateur drummer looking for Charlie's sound. I have a cheap Gretsch Catalina Maple with Remo Black dots on toms an Hydraulic Evans on the kick. Now, I'm looking forward to buy some cymbals.
I'm not looking to get the exact same cymbal that Charlie has, but something affordable with a similar sound (closest to Charlie's sound as possible).
I already have an UFIP China Supernova (I was not able to get a Natural series, but can tell I'm happy with the Supernova sound).
For the hi-hats I believe I will purchase a brand new Zildjian New Beats, which I believe is what Charlie is currently using.
My main concern is regarding the 18 flat ride. Some believe it is an old Italian UFIP, some said it is another brand... I believe I read somewhere on the net that Zildjian re-created Charlie's flat ride in 2002 when it cracked...

My question is: What current ride brand and model do you think could sound similar to charlie's actual?

Thank you!!
 

maco07

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Hello guys, great thread! Long time since last post.
I'm an amateur drummer looking for Charlie's sound. I have a cheap Gretsch Catalina Maple with Remo Black dots on toms an Hydraulic Evans on the kick. Now, I'm looking forward to buy some cymbals.
I'm not looking to get the exact same cymbal that Charlie has, but something affordable with a similar sound (closest to Charlie's sound as possible).
I already have an UFIP China Supernova (I was not able to get a Natural series, but can tell I'm happy with the Supernova sound).
For the hi-hats I believe I will purchase a brand new Zildjian New Beats, which I believe is what Charlie is currently using.
My main concern is regarding the 18 flat ride. Some believe it is an old Italian UFIP, some said it is another brand... I believe I read somewhere on the net that Zildjian re-created Charlie's flat ride in 2002 when it cracked...

My question is: What current ride brand and model do you think could sound similar to charlie's actual?

Thank you!!
There are not a lot of choices in my city... I could get a Paiste Formula 602 Blue Label Flat Ride 18 for U$S 200. Do you think it could be a good option based on what I'm looking for?
 

Johnny D

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Hello guys, great thread! Long time since last post.
I'm an amateur drummer looking for Charlie's sound. I have a cheap Gretsch Catalina Maple with Remo Black dots on toms an Hydraulic Evans on the kick. Now, I'm looking forward to buy some cymbals.
I'm not looking to get the exact same cymbal that Charlie has, but something affordable with a similar sound (closest to Charlie's sound as possible).
I already have an UFIP China Supernova (I was not able to get a Natural series, but can tell I'm happy with the Supernova sound).
For the hi-hats I believe I will purchase a brand new Zildjian New Beats, which I believe is what Charlie is currently using.
My main concern is regarding the 18 flat ride. Some believe it is an old Italian UFIP, some said it is another brand... I believe I read somewhere on the net that Zildjian re-created Charlie's flat ride in 2002 when it cracked...

My question is: What current ride brand and model do you think could sound similar to charlie's actual?

Thank you!!
Hello maco!

A couple of things...
Charlie is back to using Coated Ambassador heads on top, and Clear Ambassadors on the bottom of his toms. (he's been using Clear Ambassadors on the reso side for 10-15 years). He started using CS Black Dots in '75, so prior to that, his sound was Coated Ambassadors on top and bottom.

As for cymbals, I suggest you get some used 60s or 70s 14" New Beats. There are plenty out there at great prices. 70s NBs will do the job fine. He doesn't like the new ones.

Regarding the flat ride: Charlie's is made of B8 alloy and honestly, you'll never find one that sounds like his, so if you can find an 18" flat ride that has a "brightish" sound, you'll be in the ballpark. His is Italian, but whether UFIP made it is unknown. And as Charlie has said, “It’s a one off." I worked for Zildjian and gave him an 18" ZHT flat ride (made of B12 alloy) in 2006, which was pretty close, but not close enough to his beloved 18" flat. In 2012, we attempted to clone his flat because it had developed some hairline cracks around the center hole, with reasonable success, but again not close enough for him to actually use it. So he's still using his Italian-made 18" flat ride. I managed to find him another 18" flat made by the same company, which he has for a backup. Kind of ironic to say the least, that I'd procure a competitor cymbal for him, but I'd do anything for Charlie! :)

One last point... he barely uses his flat ride these days, compared to the 60s, 70s and 80s, when he spent a lot of time playing his ride (no pun intended!) and in those days, he played a 20" ride, which would vary. He didn't start using his 18" flat ride "live" until 1989 (Steel Wheels). Now it's mostly hi hats and he "rides" on his 18" UFIP china.

There are not a lot of choices in my city... I could get a Paiste Formula 602 Blue Label Flat Ride 18 for U$S 200. Do you think it could be a good option based on what I'm looking for?
Well, it will sound like a flat ride, and a nice one at that, so sure. But if you can find a B8 flat, you'll be more in the ballpark.

Good luck!
 
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His hi-hats back then (early 70s) were either 14" 602s or 14" A. New Beats. Most likely 602s until the 80s.
I never read this entire thread. Damn Johnny, you're a Charlie encyclopedia!!!! HA! There's a few guys that I'm pretty obsessive about too.

It looks like Charlie and I have the same taste in hi hats. All of my favorite rock hats are old 14" Zildjian A's (pre new beat,) or 14" pre serial 602's. For jazz 13" old thin A's, until Paiste makes me some thin 13" Masters. But I do have some Giant Beats that I dig too.

And in that picture with the Sound Creation China, I'll be damned if that riveted cymbal on the right isn't an old (probably German) Super (by the profile.)

When's the next drum room-cast John?
Hope all is well up there,
Mark
 

maco07

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Hello maco!

A couple of things...
Charlie is back to using Coated Ambassador heads on top, and Clear Ambassadors on the bottom of his toms. (he's been using Clear Ambassadors on the reso side for 10-15 years). He started using CS Black Dots in '75, so prior to that, his sound was Coated Ambassadors on top and bottom.

As for cymbals, I suggest you get some used 60s or 70s 14" New Beats. There are plenty out there at great prices. 70s NBs will do the job fine. He doesn't like the new ones.

Regarding the flat ride: Charlie's is made of B8 alloy and honestly, you'll never find one that sounds like his, so if you can find an 18" flat ride that has a "brightish" sound, you'll be in the ballpark. His is Italian, but whether UFIP made it is unknown. And as Charlie has said, “It’s a one off." I worked for Zildjian and gave him an 18" ZHT flat ride (made of B12 alloy) in 2006, which was pretty close, but not close enough to his beloved 18" flat. In 2012, we attempted to clone his flat because it had developed some hairline cracks around the center hole, with reasonable success, but again not close enough for him to actually use it. So he's still using his Italian-made 18" flat ride. I managed to find him another 18" flat made by the same company, which he has for a backup. Kind of ironic to say the least, that I'd procure a competitor cymbal for him, but I'd do anything for Charlie! :)

One last point... he barely uses his flat ride these days, compared to the 60s, 70s and 80s, when he spent a lot of time playing his ride (no pun intended!) and in those days, he played a 20" ride, which would vary. He didn't start using his 18" flat ride "live" until 1989 (Steel Wheels). Now it's mostly hi hats and he "rides" on his 18" UFIP china.



Well, it will sound like a flat ride, and a nice one at that, so sure. But if you can find a B8 flat, you'll be more in the ballpark.

Good luck!
Thank you so much Johnny. I was not aware that Charlie changed his heads again. I really liked the CS Black Dots.
Regarding the flat ride, I now we will never have the same as Charlie, and thank you so much for the alloys explanation, very interesting!
I'm in Argentina, and here it's really difficult to get cymbals from 60s. Yesterday I bought a 80s Paiste 602 medium flat ride in very good shape (and at very good price: $150 U$S), and I can tell I really like it.
Now I'm pursuing a pair of New Beats. I read a lot and according to this website (https://black.net.nz/avedis/new-beats.html) it seems like the best ones are 60s, then 70s, worst are 80s and 90s and the current ones are more like the 60s again... I can find from 80s 90s and the current ones for sale and I'm not sure which one of those should be best. - I currently have 80s Paiste 3000 heavy hit hats that I friend gave me.
 

maco07

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Update: Looks like I found a New Beat from 70s, but it has a little keyholing. I'm not sure if this could be an issue on a hi hat. Any recommendation on 70s vs 80s/90s and a brand new one?
 
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