Cymbal weights

mlucas123

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Does anyone else not give a sh#t?

Completely worthless information IMO. The model description is sufficient.

Why haven't we started to weigh drumshells, too?
 

mlucas123

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I am talking about more modern cymbals with descriptive labels. Not old unmarked mystery cymbals.
 

Rock Salad

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Ha ha
Old unmarked mystery cymbals
I love it, thanks
I love my mystery cymbals too, wouldn't trade them for any others, but I don't know what they weigh either. Ought to find out!
 

makinao

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In many cases, characteristics may vary widely even within product lines. So weights can give further clues as to the potential sounds of the cymbal.
 

mlucas123

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Who has the encyclopedic knowledge of all of these various cymbal weights?

I know what a Medium-Thin crash will sound like. I have no idea how much it weighs.
I know what a Rock ride will sound like. But, I have no idea how much it weighs.

Did the cymbal weight thing arise after cymbal names that are not actually descriptive came into use?

Explosion Crash.
Projection Crash.
Manhattan Ride.
 
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MrYikes

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That's a good idea to weigh drum shells. Would have made it easier on me when I was putting together a light weight drum kit.
On cymbals I like that I have a method of explaining the sound of my "old mystery cymbals" and it gives me something to do besides yelling at kids to stay off my lawn.
 
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Fat Drummer

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Yep, I too will disagree with you vehemently... weights are extremely important in the absence of a sound clip. As I often say, there are no bad cymbal brands, but every brand can make bad cymbals. And as ThomFloor pointed out, weights help point you in the direction of a preference when looking across a model.

For me, a video or audio clip trumps weight, but I still enjoy knowing what it is. In the absence of a clip, knowing the weight helps finding another example of the same or close weight, and make a comparison without hearing the actual cymbal for sale.

So nope... weights ARE importiant. And it seems that drum weight is already a thing as makers are always talking about the benefits of a super light or heavy shell, depending of the style they manufacture.
 

Johnny D

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Yep, I too will disagree with you vehemently... weights are extremely important in the absence of a sound clip. As I often say, there are no bad cymbal brands, but every brand can make bad cymbals. And as ThomFloor pointed out, weights help point you in the direction of a preference when looking across a model.

For me, a video or audio clip trumps weight, but I still enjoy knowing what it is. In the absence of a clip, knowing the weight helps finding another example of the same or close weight, and make a comparison without hearing the actual cymbal for sale.

So nope... weights ARE importiant. And it seems that drum weight is already a thing as makers are always talking about the benefits of a super light or heavy shell, depending of the style they manufacture.
Exactly. You can print anything you want on a cymbal; Thin, Med Thin, Medium, etc, but those designations mean nothing if they're not accurate, which can be the case.

Would you buy a 16" Medium Thin Crash that weighs 1,800 grams, because it's stamped "Medium Thin"? I don't think so. Cymbal weights became a thing because weight designations on cymbals weren't always 100% accurate. For a long time, a Zildjian Thin Crash weighed what a Medium Thin used to weigh. Medium Thins were the weight of Mediums, etc.

I'm referring to A. Zildjians prior to the 2013 redesign. I know, because I was there. It's better now, but weights do matter.
 

mlucas123

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What manufacturer provides weights in grams instead of descriptive names?

Zildjian doesn't. Sabian doesn't. Paiste doesn't.

I have no idea what a medium thin crash weighs.
 

Tama CW

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Even through the 80's and 90's with ink lettering you have wide variations in cymbal weights. 18's could go from 1200 gms to 2300 gms. And they surely will not sound the same or even be very useful at some weights. If labeled thin they could be from 1200-1450 gms. And labeled heavy could be from 1775-2300 gms. Those ranges will vary the sound by a lot. The label is hardly the be all - end all.

Even with cymbals made in the past 10 yrs, the weights can vary by 150-200 gms for the same "model." And they may not ride or crash they way you want. Best to know the exact weight. Zildjian hi hats are rarely labeled as to weighting. What do you do with those? And it does so happen that you can nail the sound of Zildjian A or K hats just by knowing the weights.

Give me the weight. You can keep the "model name" as it only gets you in the ball park.

----------------

Medium thin A crash to me is in the 1350-1525 gm range. 1400's is typically the sweet spot. But they can "range." I once tried a "thin" 70's that an Ebay seller had at 1350 gms. I was expecting a cool "thin" sound. What I got was a heavier sounding crash than my own 1425 gm 1960's Zildjian.
 
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mlucas123

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Okay...

How much should a 18" medium thin A crash weigh?
 

Johnny D

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It depends on the decade. I haven't yet got to 18" analysis in my stats but I have started on the 22" diameter cymbals.

From the early days at Avedis Zildjian they were producing cymbals in different diameters and weight classes. The weight classes were named

Paper Thin
Thin
Medium Thin
Medium
Medium Heavy
Heavy

and these names were put on the cymbals using ink stamps. The differentiation began with different weight ranges for the castings depending on what diameter and weight class cymbal was to be produced. Orders were taken by weight class, and the ink stamps on the cymbals provided stock keeping and order information. The ink stamps survived when cymbals were shipped to retailers, but seldom survived the following years after the cymbals were in use. However, enough have survived to allow us to reconstruct the specific weight ranges associated with the weight class names.

These names are still in use today although you will find that Paper Thin replaces Ex. Thin in some eras. Also the word Fast appears in ink alongside Paper Thin. In 1958 the range is extended

Ex. Thin (seen in mid 50s)
Paper Thin
Thin
Medium Thin
Medium
Medium Heavy
Heavy
Ex. Heavy

and they give an explicit ordering of Ex. Thin vs Paper Thin. There is also an Ex. Heavy category added at the top of the weight range. There is also the complication of category (band and symphony) vs dance:



Although the early days were mostly about weight classes, there were a few specific models. By 1949 there were Flange models (aka Bop Flange) and the Swish. The Swish patent was applied on Feb 7, 1938 and granted as US 2189095 on Feb 6, 1940). There was also a Ping model which was around from the mid 1950s. The 1958 list includes Crash (usually 14-18 and thin, med thin, paper thin), Splash (usually 7-11 and thin)

Weight doesn't capture everything about how a cymbal of a specific diameter will sound. The other factors include

bell shape
bow curvature
edge taper
edge shape (eg flange)
lathing style

The Ping model is an example of an early model where weight wasn't seen as the only distinguishing feature. The Ping was described retrospectively in 2016 as



Although the Ping tended to be heavier than a Medium, they weren't specifically all Medium Heavy weight class in the 1950s. The difference was the higher bow. The descriptions actually changed over the years with the Ping moving up a class.

from 1958

Ping Cymbals: Usually eighteen through twenty-four inches in diameter and medium to medium-heavy in thickness. A Ping cymbal is designed to control the cymbal over-tones so that they do not overpower the stick sound.

from 1969

Ping Cymbals: Usually eighteen to twenty-four inches in diameter and medium-heavy to heavy in weight. Ping cymbals are specially designed to control cymbal over-tones so that they do not over-power the stick sound. They produce the graduated range of pingy cymbal sounds associated with modern drumming.

This raises an interesting question which we will return to: how did the weight categories change over the decades?

By circa 1970 there are models like the Mini Cup and Pang which are available in more than one weight class as in this table which also shows the named of models starting to appear. Note that Ping is in two weight classes. So is Mini Cup Ride, and I've documented two different weight classes in the actual cymbals from the 70s and 80s.

View attachment 428002

In the 1960s the crash cymbal started to be differentiated as a separate model. Up until that time drummers used an Ex. Thin or a Thin if they wanted a cymbal which opened up more as a crash. Drummers used a Medium Thin if they wanted a Crash Ride balance between riding and crashing in a single cymbal. A variety of models appeared starting in the 1970s. Some of these had different shapes so they are recognizable whether the ink on them has survived or not.

What weights are associated with the Weight Categories?

There is a commonly used set of weight ranges for 22" cymbals credited to LuvMyLeedy of Cymbalholic. The names have changed a little, but for discussion of Avedis Zildjian cymbals I prefer to stick to the Zildjian names which match the ink from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Ex. Thin (Extra Light) 1900 - 2100
Thin (Light) 2100 - 2300
Medium Thin (Medium Light) 2300 - 2500
Medium 2500 - 2800
Medium Heavy 2800 - 3100
Heavy 3100 - 3500
(Very Heavy) 3500+

Do the LuvMyLeedy categories work for Zildjian? Do the cymbals change categories over time? Yes the categories work, and yes the 22" cymbals get heavier over the decades:

View attachment 428000

And yes this goes back to those unmarked mystery cymbals. Most Zildjian cymbals are unmarked mystery cymbals, because there are more 70s and early cymbals which have lost their Weight Class ink than there are 80s and more recent cymbals which still have their model ink.

We can try and line up the Weight Classes with Weight Class Ink and Model Ink (when that kicks in) and that works pretty well in showing how models got heavier -- which is why knowing the weight of a particular cymbal helps. There is lots of variation:

View attachment 428001

Can we use these weight classes with K Ziljdian? Both before and after the move to the New World:

View attachment 428003

Yes the work there as well. And once again you can track the weight changes over the decades, including the recent moves back to Thin and Medium Thin cymbals in the K Constantinople series.



I personally disappointed at your attitude towards the use of weights. Just because you don't know how to interpret them this doesn't mean they have no value. To me it just means we need better documentation. I'm going on a posting holiday again and will concentrate on doing more research to achieve that. Others may find what I've placed in this thread interesting but I don't expect you to care at all. For those who are interested the work will appear on Cymbal Wiki rather than DFO. I've been working for a few years now to get the same level of Avedis Zildjian detail that Paiste enjoys where you can just go to a particular model and diameter and get a simple answer




You are also uniformed about the situation with the Avedis Zildjian Company. They write the weights under the bells of the A Avedis series cymbals and have published the target weight ranges. Thank you Paul Francis.

View attachment 428006


So Zildjian think weights are useful. Weights are catching on. You will also find weights written on some of their SoundLab work, as well as the Kerope series. I've seen some weights written under the Kerope bells. I haven't done a full check to make sure they always have them done at the factory. But it wold be consistent with Paul Francis and his assistant hammering each Kerope bell personally.

If you managed to take in some of the decades of history I summarized before, you will see that in some ways the A Family Avedis series and the K Family Kerope Series are paying homage to those earlier decades when weight classes mattered and weights mattered. The weight classes are still there all over the Zildjian web site. But I think there is a bit more to be gained by understanding more about them.
The Kerope and Avedis lines have the gram weights written under the bell.
 

Seb77

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What manufacturer provides weights in grams instead of descriptive names?

Zildjian doesn't.
They do exactly that with the Avedis line(Keropes, too). No model names, you decide if it‘s acrash or a ride or both for your playing style.
I think the weight thing started with online buying and trading. In store, I don‘t need to know the weight, but it helps to get an idea when shopping online.
 

JDA

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weight = volume (pitch and throw..)
(probably in drum shells too)
weight was probably likely at first a Classical (music) concern
transferred over into swing in the thin/medium thin/ etc designations
as drum set musicians got "cooler" Bounce , Ping, and couple other names filtered in
when full-on Rock " Now I'm really cool" came in names like " Power Ride" "Power Crash" and "Uncle Al's Saturday Night Extremely Vicious Club Ride" became the understandable ink nomenclature with the attitude mentality of that crowd
Weight being the root, hammering, shape and lathing being (the) finishing concerns.
"Raw Dry Ride" weight-wise could go either way..Rock version heavier Jazz version lighter..
You'd hope. But weight's good to know for volume tailoring.
In regard to volume remember this. The Operator plays a role.
Heavier cymbals need to be hit harder. Or can be played lightly. Lighter cymbals if played hard can be loud too.
It's a concern to consider for one's folk indie polka jazz accordion trio daytime restaurant jobs.
not that I'd know anything about that coming up in March..
 
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Neal Pert

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It's another very useful data point for those of us who are picky about cymbal sounds. Obviously if you hit something and you like it, you're all set, but if you hit a cymbal and think, "I wish I had one just like this but a little washier," the weight is going to be one of the best ways to get what you want.
 

kookel

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As mentioned, in the absence of a sound file, the weight can be helpful. I've noticed it DOES give a hint of what a pie will sound like. I'm speaking about vintage A's in particular.

When I'm on the hunt for a 20" or 22", the weight number is what I'll notice first. Because - many do not have sound files and I can get lazy, not wishing to be clicking on every single ad!!

Interestingly, my favorite large/block stamps that are in my possession, weigh in excess of what I would consider my "ideal weight range." Obviously, they had sound files...hearing is believing.
 

ThomFloor

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I am talking about more modern cymbals with descriptive labels. Not old unmarked mystery cymbals.
Case in point. Does an "Explosion" crash have more sustain and volume than 'projection' crash? Does the latter truly 'project' lmore sound?
Does the Meinl 'Sand' ride sound like ....sand? What does 'Manhattan' sound like?
Just words. Actually very misleading descriptive labels. The diameter combined with weight combined and whether its hand hammered are more quantifiable useful terms IMO.
 
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egw

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Or to put it another way, imagine you're shopping for clothes. One company's LARGE is not necessarily the same as another company's. If you don't have the opportunity to try it on before you buy it (for example, online), it's useful to get the length, etc. in inches or centimeters instead of just trying to guess. Like they do with jeans or shoes. You wouldn't go into a shop and say you're looking for a pair of MEDIUM pants. Objective versus subjective. Quantitative versus qualitative.

And the cymbal companies and retailers DO know the weights of the cymbals, even if they don't mark them on each one.

When is cymbalholic coming back?
 
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