John Bonham and Zildjian

Johnny D

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
1,101
Location
Scituate, Mass. USA
Seems that A-Customs (B20 alloy) are notorious for cracking. Yet, Paiste, (IMHO - which is the sound that Zildjain is going for with the A-Custom) don't seem to suffer the same fate. It is my understanding that cymbalsmiths (including modders) would all agree that B8 alloy is more malleable.

So this all makes sense to me.
drummerjohn, A Customs are not notorious for cracking. Do they crack? Sure, under certain circumstances, but they'e no more prone to cracking than any other cymbal.

A Custom was not an attempt to sound like Paiste. In fact, it was the opposite. In 1990, when Vinnie got the gig with Sting, he thought A. Zildjians would be the right sound and was frustrated that the A's of 1990 were too heavy and clangy, so he came to the factory and we started developing cymbals based on the original A Zildjian design, but with modifications and hence the A Custom line was born.

When we introduced A Customs, the way we described them was a cross between an A and a K. Warmer and darker than a traditional A Zildjian and brighter and more shimmer than a K. I think that description is still accurate, but Zildjian has filled in the gaps with lots more sound options in the last 30 years.

What would actually be interesting - would be to have some actual hard numbers over crack(age) - perhaps via warranty claims. This might give us some solid footing to make some conclusions (at least about the under-current reasons of popularity). Johnny D? Steve (Zenstat)

I will also say this. Hasn't LedZepI been considered a classic - long enough for the topic to be fully mined of information? Could it be that this mystery was solved long ago - yet here we are in the Spring of 2020 and some-teen thousand drummer forumites don't know/have forgotten this history lesson? Quite a strong source if a Zilly guy affirms that it was Paiste on LedZepI.
drummerjohn, I have no idea about consumer warranty claims, but as far as artist warranties, it was typical wear and tear. Even Kenny Aronoff didn't break an excessive number of cymbals and if he did break a cymbal, it was after an acceptable period of time and normal wear and tear.

I'd venture a guess that if you asked several top dealers and drum shop owners (they're the ones who can give you some solid data) they'd say Zildjian had fewer warranty claims relative to the number of cymbals they sell, vs other cymbal companies. This isn't me "rooting for the home team" because as you know, I've voiced my opinions pro and con about Zildjian in the past. But cymbal breakage was never a serious problem for Zildjian during my 24 years there.

As far as Led Zeppelin I, I have no reason to doubt they're Paiste Giant Beat and 602s. They've never sounded like Zildjians to me... others say they sound like A. Zildjian, but not to me. Especially A. Zildjians of 1968, which were thinner, warmer and darker sounding than what you hear on LZI. If you listen to other British drummers who were using Paiste Giant Beats and 602s during that time, Nick Mason, Charlie Watts, Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell, Kenney Jones, Ian Paice, you'll hear a lot of similarities. At least that's my take...
 
Last edited:

Johnny D

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
865
Reaction score
1,101
Location
Scituate, Mass. USA
I contacted Dave Mattacks on FaceBook. Let’s see if he responds with a definitive answer.
I can text DM right now :) Is the question whether Bonzo used Zildjians on the first LZ record? I’m betting he won’t know for sure, or will say no.
 

stuart s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
111
Reaction score
92
To me LZ1 does not sound like Paistes, definitely not Giant Beats, maybe 602's. but sounds more like Zildjian A's .

The whole drum sound is different, still good though! Love the 22/13/16 setup, I made a hodgepodge set like that but used PST7s and it sounds much like the LZ1 sound.
 

CSR

Member since May 2000
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
1,293
Location
- Snow Belt, New York State, USA, Earth
From Dave Mattacks this afternoon. (FaceBook):
"The times i saw John , he had Paiste cyms'. i cannot recall which models , but most great drummers who have a really good touch { whether that touch is heavy , light or in between } , they make whatever instrument they play ' theirs '."

Thanks, Dave
 

TPC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
177
Reaction score
217
Location
San Pablo, CA
... but most great drummers who have a really good touch { whether that touch is heavy , light or in between } , they make whatever instrument they play ' theirs '."
Bingo. The fact that we've all listened to Zep I a zillion times, and even we, the few, the proud, the completely obsessed with cymbal choices, can't tell if they're GB's or 602's, or AZ's must certainly render the question irrelevant, no?

(No offense intended to those who are just interested in the historical/cultural/market aspect of this question.)
 


Top