Favorite China Cymbals

trashman

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I like China cymbals, a lot. I tend to prefer ones that are less clangy, but otherwise I like a wide variety of China sounds. From the short bursts of white noise, like good Wuhans, to the longer sustaining trashy sounds of Zildjian's (no-longer-made) Classic China model, various Ufip mdels, and even the weirdness of Paiste Sound Creations.

I think that because I grew-up listening to, and being heavily influenced by, players like Bozzio, Mark Brzezicki, and Steve Jansen, I rarely go without having at least one China in my set-up at any given time.

Even Charlie Watts' use of of China as his main 'crash' cymbal is another big influence on me, and it doesn't hurt that his sounds so damned good. Smaller than I usually gravitate toward, but it sounds perfect with him playing it.

What are your favorite models, sizes, etc.? Any favorite examples on records? Feel free to share whatever.

Here's one of my 22" Zildjian Oriental Classic Chinas. It's the heaviest of three of them that I have (2230 grams). I love that it's dark and trashy, but also not so quick to decay:

 

JDA

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only one very similar to (own) an avedis older swish except handmade in Turkey ala Old K who never made a -->
So this solved that


005.JPG


002.JPG


20" 1610g bought near new from reverb.
haven't seen another like it since

005.JPG 002.JPG 001.JPG 003.JPG 004.JPG
 

toddbishop

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My 1466 gram 20" Cymbal & Gong prototype is my favorite China I've ever owned. It has the full high-energy swish sound without being obnoxious, and it responds at all dynamic levels. Those are my major problems with most chinas-- they gong out at moderate volume, and only sound good when played really loud. Or they just hurt your ears. I think the smiths call this design a "wide china"

They also make 14 and 16" models that are great-- sporadically; it's not a regular production item yet.

I don't think this video shows the 20" off real well, but here we go:


Here's a 14" I sold to a drummer in New York. Again, the wild sound I want from a little swish, without being obnoxious:

 

trashman

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only one very similar to (own) an avedis older swish except handmade in Turkey ala Old K who never made a -->
So this solved that


View attachment 561736

View attachment 561737

20" 1610g bought near new from reverb.
haven't seen another like it since

View attachment 561736 View attachment 561737 View attachment 561739 View attachment 561740 View attachment 561741

Nice, Joe.
I've definitely wondered what could've been if K. Zildjian would've made some nice, thin China cymbals back then. We'll never know.
 
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trashman

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My 1466 gram 20" Cymbal & Gong prototype is my favorite China I've ever owned. It has the full high-energy swish sound without being obnoxious, and it responds at all dynamic levels. Those are my major problems with most chinas-- they gong out at moderate volume, and only sound good when played really loud. Or they just hurt your ears. I think the smiths call this design a "wide china"

They also make 14 and 16" models that are great-- sporadically; it's not a regular production item yet.

I don't think this video shows the 20" off real well, but here we go:


Here's a 14" I sold to a drummer in New York. Again, the wild sound I want from a little swish, without being obnoxious:

Both of those sound great! I like that they open up so easily, even the 14", which so often isn't the case with smaller diameter Chinas. I imagine the 14" was super-thin, too?
Your 20" sure is light, too. I've got a 20" Zildjian Classic China that weighs 1476g, so a little heavier than yours, and it opens up so easily. I usually use it as part of a stack (along with a cheap-ass generic 16" cymbal, which is super trashy on its own).
I play it in the following clip. I like that the stack gives it a short, rattlly/sizzly character. Just a burst of rattly white-noise trash that's gone almost as quickly as it's hit:

 

flatwins

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Other than the fact that they look really cool I’ve never been a huge fan of Chinas. Despite that, I’ve owned a few and currently have a couple in the inventory. Most every China (to me, at least) is more annoying than useful. But there was one that I liked and was even surprised that I did. It was a 16” Paiste 2002.
 

charlesm

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I've got a 19" K Custom Dark China that sounds almost identical to the Cymbal & Gong china posted above. I don't use it that much but it's a nice one and works well for those situations when I need that sound. It has a good balance of trashiness and attack.

Your 22" Oriental is among the better Z chinas I've heard.
 

trashman

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Other than the fact that they look really cool I’ve never been a huge fan of Chinas. Despite that, I’ve owned a few and currently have a couple in the inventory. Most every China (to me, at least) is more annoying than useful. But there was one that I liked and was even surprised that I did. It was a 16” Paiste 2002.
Yeah, I guess if you don't dig the way they sound on recordings, then they're likely going to be pretty annoying in person due to being abruptly explosive and non-'pretty'.
 

trashman

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I've got a 19" K Custom Dark China that sounds almost identical to the Cymbal & Gong china posted above. I don't use it that much but it's a nice one and works well for those situations when I need that sound. It has a good balance of trashiness and attack.

Your 22" Oriental is among the better Z chinas I've heard.
I remember seeing George Hurley (Minutemen/fIREHOSE) play his 19" K China a bunch of times, and that thing sounded so damned good with the band!
It's kind've interesting that Zildjian stuck to the 19" size being the largest China they offered in their K lines, from the EAK period on up to the current K Customs etc. (or, at least, I think that's still the case. Maybe I'm wrong).
 

ChicagoDave

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I've got a pair of 22" A Zildjian swishes from the 50s. Both are amazing, and they sound nothing alike.

Trans stamp is brighter, long sustain, opens super easy. More shimmery, like it has rivets installed.
Small stamp is much dark and dryer. Very short crash and very pronounced stick. Super easy to control.


22" trans stamp T4 1753 grams
22 trans4 swish 1753 t.jpg



22" small stamp 1816 grams
22 small 1816 t.jpg
 

trashman

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I've got a pair of 22" A Zildjian swishes from the 50s. Both are amazing, and they sound nothing alike.

Trans stamp is brighter, long sustain, opens super easy. More shimmery, like it has rivets installed.
Small stamp is much dark and dryer. Very short crash and very pronounced stick. Super easy to control.


22" trans stamp T4 1753 grams
View attachment 561758


22" small stamp 1816 grams
View attachment 561759
Beautiful. ...and thin!
I bet they sound incredible.
 

Ptrick

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I too have a China fascination. I’ll get some pics up soon. Fortunately I have gigs and don’t have time today ;)
 

trashman

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I too have a China fascination. I’ll get some pics up soon. Fortunately I have gigs and don’t have time today ;)
Way to rub-in the fact that you're busy with gigs today, unlike me, Patrick. :p

I look forward to your contributions. I happen to know that you've got good taste in Chinas. Ha!
 

hsosdrum

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Beginning in 1970 my setup has always included a 20" Zildjian Swish with 8 rivets. In 1986 I added a 17" K China Boy with 6 rivets (thin — 979g) and in 1995 I exchanged the 20" for a 22" Swish Knocker (20 rivets — OK, I like rivets!). I just don't sound like me without 'em.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I have moved on from Chinas to Paiste PST-X thin and Sabian HHX Complex O-zones . I find these more pleasing to the ear and I like the short sustain .

I do like the Paiste Masters Swish a lot .
 


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