Cymbal weights

foxy_shazamtastic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
154
Reaction score
91
Location
Seattle
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.
Neither does Zildjian, they have medium-thins heavier than cymbals labeled medium, and vice versa.
 
  • Like
Reactions: egw

foxy_shazamtastic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
154
Reaction score
91
Location
Seattle
that's a bit disingen.....there's an allowable weight-range for each and every model is how I understand it..and they know. in pounds and oz. seems over the years- more comfortable with (rather than 'in' grams-
Sure of course I was exaggerating, my point was there are exceptions.
 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
4,202
Reaction score
1,185
Location
Portland, OR
Weights are useful information for people who understand what they're looking at, what the weight probably means in context. For example if I have tried a certain model at various weights, I might have a pretty good idea whether I want one lighter or heavier than the ones I tried.

You want to rely on the labels? They really don't mean anything. They are cartoon words slapped on by a marketing team. What's "traditional" about Paiste Traditionals? Are they they same as Agop Traditionals? What does "Masters" sound like? What about "Medium Light"? If the labels tell you everything you need to know, then surely one brand's Dark 22" weighing 2000 gr will sound a lot like another brand's Dark 22" weighing 3200 gr, right?
 

Mongrel

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,407
Reaction score
1,391
Location
South Jersey, USA
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 they 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 would 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.
Game...
Set...
MATCH...

Your Honor, the defense rests.

May as well all go home after this....

lol
 

mbettis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Messages
445
Reaction score
276
Location
Elk Creek, Idaho
I also think that weight is a useful piece of information. That's why it is part of the serial numbers I put on my cymbals. I also include the year I make a cymbal. That helps me duplicate them upon request. Original purchasers of my cymbals will also know if it's a crash, ride, or crash-ride. Although, one can use a ride as a crash, etc., I produce different profiles and tapering depending upon the class of cymbal that I'm making.

Serial example... made in 2020 and weighing 1948 grams.


Matt
 


Top