Help Me Find My Next Ride

davidanthony

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Hey cymbal experts!

I'm a self-taught player who has only ever played the 20" Zildjian K ride (weight of 2420g) that came in a cymbal pack that came with my drums. I like it for many genres, but lately I've been trying to learn uptempo jazz and I think there might be something better out there for this application.

I've uploaded two short excerpts of me practicing today to Dropbox so you can hear what I'm hearing:


Sonically I prefer the thick stick click sound that I hear when playing with the heavier stick, but the ringing/roaring is too overwhelming. It's tolerable with the lighter stick, but the click is a little too bright for me. Feel-wise I prefer the heavier stick, so it'd be great to find a cymbal that allows me to use it while resonating a little less. (I tried gaff-tapeing this cymbal and it was helpful for controlling the roar, but it introduced a really aggressive "clang" to the sound that I didn't particularly care for).

I think this means I want a lighter, "dry" cymbal? But I don't really know much about cymbal brands/manufacturers, or if I'm using the proper terminology to articulate what I tried to describe above, so I'd love any corrections on that or recommendations for different search terms or cymbals I should check out if you've got them. I'm also in the Los Angeles area if there are any recommendations for local shops, would be great to support a small business.

Thanks!
 

afwdrums

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I was gonna say, Porsche's are a pretty sweet ride, but then I remembered I'm on a drum forum, oh well, I stand by my statement nonetheless

if you're in LA you should go to Professional Drum Shop, it's in Hollywood, on Vine St...very great shop to support
 

davidanthony

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if you're in LA you should go to Professional Drum Shop, it's in Hollywood, on Vine St...very great shop to support
The name gives me a little pause, I think I belong more in the "Amateur Drum Shop" ! Seriously though, thank you for the recommendation.

All the drum equipment I've bought to date has been online, so I don't know what the etiquette is for these types of shops. Is it cool to bring your own sticks, walk in, and ask to try out a few cymbals?
 

afwdrums

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The name gives me a little pause, I think I belong more in the "Amateur Drum Shop" ! Seriously though, thank you for the recommendation.

All the drum equipment I've bought to date has been online, so I don't know what the etiquette is for these types of shops. Is it cool to bring your own sticks, walk in, and ask to try out a few cymbals?
don't sweat it man, they're just as happy to take an amateur's money as they are a professional's! maybe even more so, most of the pro drummers I know are kinda broke unfortunately

seriously though, they're super friendly people at that shop, don't let the name scare you...and yes, it's totally cool to just walk in with your own sticks and try stuff out, and they have demo sticks too if you forget yours...most people don't even ask to demo stuff, but courtesy never hurts...last I was in there they had plenty of nice rides on the display rack along the lines of what you're after, as well as some more out on kits on the floor...they'd be more than happy to help you find something you'd like...and if you're worried about your playing potentially embarrassing you (you shouldn't, we all started somewhere), I'm sure they'd play them for you so you can just sit back and listen...plus, even if you don't find what you're looking for, its just a cool shop, there's a lot of history there...enjoy!
 

JimmySticks

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You can go to Memphis Drum Shop web site to listen to almost any cymbal made. It'll give you an idea of what you're looking for and break down your choices a bit. Then, if you can, go try them out for yourself at Hollywood.

Good advice from @afwdrums above.
 

stevesmithfan

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You can go to Memphis Drum Shop web site to listen to almost any cymbal made. It'll give you an idea of what you're looking for and break down your choices a bit. Then, if you can, go try them out for yourself at Hollywood.

Good advice from @afwdrums above.
I’ve had great results buying from Memphis Drum Shop.
Zildjian 24” A Medium Ride is versatile, I have no interest in playing another ride cymbal.
 

davidanthony

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seriously though, they're super friendly people at that shop, don't let the name scare you...and yes, it's totally cool to just walk in with your own sticks and try stuff out, and they have demo sticks too if you forget yours...most people don't even ask to demo stuff, but courtesy never hurts...last I was in there they had plenty of nice rides on the display rack along the lines of what you're after, as well as some more out on kits on the floor...they'd be more than happy to help you find something you'd like...and if you're worried about your playing potentially embarrassing you (you shouldn't, we all started somewhere), I'm sure they'd play them for you so you can just sit back and listen...plus, even if you don't find what you're looking for, its just a cool shop, there's a lot of history there...enjoy!
Really appreciate this! Not too worried about embarrassing myself, my practice studio is on top of a garage where my neighbor works on his own art so I've already had to get over this!

You can go to Memphis Drum Shop web site to listen to almost any cymbal made. It'll give you an idea of what you're looking for and break down your choices a bit. Then, if you can, go try them out for yourself at Hollywood.
Spent a lot of time on Memphis Drum Shop but I think the big variable for me is the stick weight -- they don't usually list the sticks the drummers are using and the camera is a bit too far for me to figure it out most of the time. Maybe it's just me but I think the the sound is super different when I vary the two, so I think in person is going to have to be the way.

I'm not sure I know how to properly describe what I'm after but it sounds like the Pro Drum shop guys will at least tolerate me fumbling around so I'll try to check them out this weekend.

Zildjian 24” A Medium Ride is versatile, I have no interest in playing another ride cymbal.
Glad you've found your holy grail! I listened to a demo, sounds great.
 

JimmySticks

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Sticks will make a difference, but IMHO, the cymbal is still the cymbal and if it's jazzy, it's jazzy no matter the stick.

I would look for a lighter cymbal, with fairly heavy hammering for jazz, something from 1900-2200g, a bit on the dark or smokey side. Personally, I wouldn't go to dry, as they have little to no sustain. I really don't like those super raw, un-lathed cymbals. Once you leave the ride to do a fill it instantly stops resonating, thereby leaving a hole in your sound. Some guys would tell you differently, but that's been my experience.

Paiste Masters or Zildjian Keropes are nice and on my jazz radar, but they are pricey!!!
 

BennyK

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If you're going in the jazz direction,consider a 22 . It'll help you learn bounce control without flapping around . Not you,the cymbal . Something that'll just sit there and give it right back .
 
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cdrummer

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If you prefer heavier/bigger sticks, the Vic Firth SD2 Bolero are amazing for jazz, and have a very articulate stick sound at the same time. Pretty sure Brian Blade is using them.

For the cymbal, I would second the suggestion of something in the 1900g-2200g weight. If you're open to vintage, you can fairly easily find a 1950s A in that weight. If new, there are many options (Istanbul, Bosphorus, Paiste Masters, Sabian HHX complex, Zildjian Kerope), and heading over to Pro Drum to check them out yourself as others suggested is a good call.
 

sternerp

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I had a similar experience with my Zildjian 20” K Custom Dark Ride: it was too washy, even with a little gaffer tape on the underside. I recently bought a used 20” K Custom Dry, and love it! I play lots of swing, and like to hear the pings of the swing ride pattern without the wash. See if you can find one to try out to hear if that’s what you’re looking for.
 

Seb77

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A thicker, heavier stick will always bring out more of the wash.
If you want less wash than with a 2450g K ride, you might want to look into a heavier one, or one with a smaller bell. Larger cymbals also don't get out of control as much, maybe it has to do with the relatively smaller bell, or just the higher mass.
For example, an Agop Signature medium ride, or a TW model, has both a lower, smaller bell and a larger
diameter, yet it's still a jazz-type cymbal, a bit dirty and low-pitched.
There are so many models out there, only you can decide what your preferences are.
 

davidanthony

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Thanks so much for all the advice, everyone! Just reading the way people are using terms is helping me a lot with my searching, and the information about sizing is helpful.

It seems like I prefer "ping" (which I was calling "stick" before, basically the attack sound when the stick hits the cymbal) over "wash" (ringing/roaring), but I think most of the issue I'm having with my current cymbal is the buildup of overtones, so something on the dryer front may appeal.

A lot of the Istanbul Agop (Turk, Flat, TW) seem to be catching my ear and it looks like Pro Drum carries the line so I should have some good options.
 

Old Drummer

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Sticks will make a difference, but IMHO, the cymbal is still the cymbal and if it's jazzy, it's jazzy no matter the stick.

I would look for a lighter cymbal, with fairly heavy hammering for jazz, something from 1900-2200g, a bit on the dark or smokey side. Personally, I wouldn't go to dry, as they have little to no sustain. I really don't like those super raw, un-lathed cymbals. Once you leave the ride to do a fill it instantly stops resonating, thereby leaving a hole in your sound. Some guys would tell you differently, but that's been my experience.

Paiste Masters or Zildjian Keropes are nice and on my jazz radar, but they are pricey!!!
This is almost exactly what I was thinking, though the OP's preference for dry throws me. He's best off going into a shop and tapping on a few.
 

JDA

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or recommendations
here's an idea: add a 20" K flat Ride to what you have. pre owned used; you can find if your timing is right
on ebay (reverb, local etc)
thick stick click sound
it'll have it
but the ringing/roaring is too overwhelming.
that won't happen
there's a K Custom 20 a little softer than the regular K Flat Ride
gotta keep looking

there's also regular A series 20" flat rides
been around for years if you want to get the fast sticking started
A Flat Ride are less money than the K flat rides
@davidanthony
Someone may have an A or K 20" flat ride they'd like to part with ask in Wanted section
 
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Seb77

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Thanks so much for all the advice, everyone! Just reading the way people are using terms is helping me a lot with my searching, and the information about sizing is helpful.

It seems like I prefer "ping" (which I was calling "stick" before, basically the attack sound when the stick hits the cymbal) over "wash" (ringing/roaring), but I think most of the issue I'm having with my current cymbal is the buildup of overtones, so something on the dryer front may appeal.

A lot of the Istanbul Agop (Turk, Flat, TW) seem to be catching my ear and it looks like Pro Drum carries the line so I should have some good options.
Sounds good. A lot of stroes only have a few Agops. WHat I would do is play as many as you can, then compare to the same model in several online sound/vidoe demos (keep track of the weights you might prefer). Are you familiar with some of the great jazz drummers' recorded sounds? Maybe you can name some references, so people around here get a feeling for what you'd like.
My hunch is you would like Tony Williams, maybe check out 70s/80s Jack Dejohnette for dry, pingy sounds that are on the dark, jazzy side (Paiste Sound Creation Dark ride, Istanbul Turk, Sabian Signature).
A flat ride is always a good bet to keep overtones in check.
 

JimmySticks

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A lot of the Istanbul Agop (Turk, Flat, TW) seem to be catching my ear and it looks like Pro Drum carries the line so I should have some good options.
If you're going with Agop's, I would recommend you stay away from the dark/dry Xist series. They can be alluring, but...

I listened to Carter McLean play them and thought they sounded great...until I bought a set. I mean everything that guy touches sounds great. But for me, I quickly knew they were a mistake. Way, way to dry. No resonance or sustain whatsoever. Moral of the story, don't listen to the pros like Carter and expect the same results. Stay away from the dry stuff, which might be good in special situations, but not for normal use.
 

davidanthony

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This is almost exactly what I was thinking, though the OP's preference for dry throws me. He's best off going into a shop and tapping on a few.
This may just be a case of me using the wrong terminology to describe what I'm looking for. I've tried to upload an audio example here:


The audio file has 4 sections:

1. Playing with no EQ applied
2. Same as #1 but with 12 db / oct notch EQ centered around 1.2k
3. Single crash, no EQ
4. Same as 3, same EQ as #2

To me, the clips with the EQ sound "dryer" but that might be the wrong word for it. Basically, that's more of the sound I'm going for. If "dry" speaks only to the amount of decay, and not the quality/tone of the resonance/sustain, then I think I'm just using the word incorrectly.

Unfortunately the EQ also takes away some of the woodiness of the click, which is why I think things have to change at the cymbal level instead of looking for an engineering solution).

My hunch is you would like Tony Williams, maybe check out 70s/80s Jack Dejohnette for dry, pingy sounds that are on the dark, jazzy side (Paiste Sound Creation Dark ride, Istanbul Turk, Sabian Signature).
Great hunch! Hearing Four and More for the first time is what sent me down this uptempo jazz rabbit hole in the first place and the authoritative stick click he has there is a big part of the sound that I'm hearing in my head. That said, I recognize a lot of that has to do with Tony Williams' technique, and the room/mic, and then the cymbal is third on that list. So it's not a case of "that sound or bust" for me (because I know I'll never replicate it), just hoping to get closer into the ballpark.

While searching I did see the Istanbul Mehmet Tony Williams tribute was recently re-released. Part of me likes the idea of contributing some cash to his estate, but spending ~$800 on a cymbal when I think I could probably find something I like for around half that seems excessive. I haven't found any demos of the re-release that sound particularly good, either.

I'll add the models you listed to my search list and check out some Dejohnette recordings (I've heard him referenced a lot by one of the online teachers I like, Rick Dior, so it sounds like it may be in the "family" of tones I'm gravitating towards), thank you!

Moral of the story, don't listen to the pros like Carter and expect the same results.
Yeah, the amount of variables that go into a recording make it very hard to objectively tell what something is going to sound like in a personal playing environment! What I do appreciate about Carter's videos is that he often compares multiple cymbals without changing any other recording variables -- so I can at least figure out the cymbals sound relative to each other. But no illusions that they'll sound exactly like that when I get my hands on them.

Unfortunately I can't make it over to Pro Drum shop this weekend, and next is likely out too, so more online searching and comparing in the meantime. Thanks again for all the suggestions so far!
 

DWSlingerland45

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Listen to sound files from Mycymbal.com( Memphis drum shop) then write down the models you like. Take your K ride ANS your sticks to Professional Drum Shop and tell them what you're after.... Ask them to explain the terms used to describe cymbals ... ...they're a Pro Drum Shop they will definitely help you out.... Look at Istanbul Agop models as well as Sabian HHX Complex see if any of those Ride cymbals give you the sound you're after
 


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