K Question-18" Dark Thin

Mongrel

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Hey....

I am curious if there was a change in the bell from the IAK 18" Dark Thin and the newer (~2017) models?

I have a mid 90s 17" Dark Thin that has a small bell, and a 2017 model 18" Dark Thin with a *much* larger bell...

Ok,ok, I KNOW one is 17" and one is 18"! But the characteristics are so different I was wondering if an IAK model 18 would have a smaller bell, and therefore sound more like the 17", which I love.

I also have an older (has the "R" on the K but the old syle all caps labeling) Dark Thin 14" and the bell is the same size as the 17". The 14 and the 17 sound great together.

THANKS!
 

Mcjnic

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In my very limited experience ... the bells I've seen through the years have had some variance. I've owned and/or played 18 K Thins with smaller bells and larger bells. I have a feeling that these varied along the same lines as the bow and hammering and lathing. I will say that the bell punch "appears" standard in the manufacture of the 18 ... unfortunately that hasn't played out in my experience. So, I would guess that most of our experiences would be secondary to the gent that spent time at the Zildjian plant ... he might be the one I would listen to.
 

blueshadow

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I have several IAK 18's and they all have large bells. The 14 - 17's have pretty much the same size bell then the 18 jumps up to a much larger bell I'd assume for ride purposes....I believe most cymbals start out life as neither crash or ride so the bells are the same with the exception of some of the small bell rides.
 

Mongrel

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Thanks guys! Appreciated.

Debating whether to put the 18 up for sale and search out an older one, or maybe try to "break in" the 18 to calm it down a little bit.

The 14 and 17 just sound so lush. No harshness... Like a dark slice of butter. They 18? At low volume it sounds like a trash can kicked down the steps. You really need to whack it hard to get a good sound out of it.

Would an hour or two of mallets make any difference? Lol. I have been playing the other two for 25 years so...
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I am a big fan of the IAK K's. I don't like the 00's versions with the bigger ink stamps and through today. Never understood why big bells were needed on crash cymbals????
 

foxy_shazamtastic

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Zildjian usually uses smaller bells on cymbals up to 17”, then they jump up to a bigger bell on the 18” and larger. I’ve seen a few videos of Paul Francis and Russ Miller talking about this, specifically in relation to Russ Millers favorite 17” a custom. They speculated the smaller bell was the reason he loved that cymbal so much, and many of his other cymbals over the years have been small belled. Think the new Staccato Rude he designed with Zildjian.
 

zenstat

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Zildjian usually uses smaller bells on cymbals up to 17”, then they jump up to a bigger bell on the 18” and larger. I’ve seen a few videos of Paul Francis and Russ Miller talking about this, specifically in relation to Russ Millers favorite 17” a custom. They speculated the smaller bell was the reason he loved that cymbal so much, and many of his other cymbals over the years have been small belled. Think the new Staccato Rude he designed with Zildjian.
Except for the exceptions, yes. Once upon a time there were 5 main bell dies.

Mini Cup: 3.75" (or so) and lower profile then the Small cup
Small: 4" (used on cymbals up to 17")
Medium: 5" (used on 18" which is the change you experienced going from 17" to 18")
Special: 5.5" (used on Crash and Crash Ride models starting in the 60s)
Large: 6" (used on some 21" and larger diamter models, maybe on the occasional 20" model?)

These days there are quite a few more bells, and the K family bells are more differentiated from the A family bells. A change was brought in at the redesign of the A series in when the 17" changed from the Small bell to a bigger bell - based on the K Con High Bell Ride.


For those who want to see what Zildjian themselves have to say about the design parameters for crashes (and bells in general)

Soundlab White Paper Number 1: Crash Cymbals

and a discussion by Paul Francis. As the summary says: "With so many sound choices available, Paul will teach you how the Cup size and shape affect the overall pitch, volume, and sustain across Ride and Crash cymbals." And he does. Thank you for all your assistance Paul.


Interesting contrast between Paiste and Avedis Zildjian is that Paiste use their Small bell equivalent on the 18" diameter cymbals. So they decided to change the bell vs diameter progression in a different place. This is true for 602s and Sound Creations for sure because I've measured them myself. I'm not as sure about other lines, and the B15 lines seem a bit different so far. I'm still working on gathering and collating the information. This includes some info Paul Francis has supplied about the different bell dies (and other sonic factors like weight, curvature, etc) between the different EAK models. I'm not sure if those parameters still applied in the IAK era. That takes more research to determine.
 
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Mongrel

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Except for the exceptions, yes. Once upon a time there were 5 main bell dies.

Mini Cup: 3.75" (or so) and lower profile then the Small cup
Small: 4" (used on cymbals up to 17")
Medium: 5" (used on 18" which is the change you experienced going from 17" to 18")
Special: 5.5" (used on Crash and Crash Ride models starting in the 60s)
Large: 6" (used on some 21" and larger diamter models, maybe on the occasional 20" model?)

These days there are quite a few more bells, and the K family bells are more differentiated from the A family bells. A change was brought in at the redesign of the A series in when the 17" changed from the Small bell to a bigger bell - based on the K Con High Bell Ride.


For those who want to see what Zildjian themselves have to say about the design parameters for crashes (and bells in general)

Soundlab White Paper Number 1: Crash Cymbals

and a discussion by Paul Francis. As the summary says: "With so many sound choices available, Paul will teach you how the Cup size and shape affect the overall pitch, volume, and sustain across Ride and Crash cymbals." And he does. Thank you for all your assistance Paul.


Interesting contrast between Paiste and Avedis Zildjian is that Paiste use their Small bell equivalent on the 18" diameter cymbals. So they decided to change the bell vs diameter progression in a different place. This is true for 602s and Sound Creations for sure because I've measured them myself. I'm not as sure about other lines, and the B15 lines seem a bit different so far. I'm still working on gathering and collating the information. This includes some info Paul Francis has supplied about the different bell dies (and other sonic factors like weight, curvature, etc) between the different EAK models. I'm not sure if those parameters still applied in the IAK era. That takes more research to determine.
Once again blown away, not only by your knowledge, but your willingness to *patiently* share it-over and over again with newbs like me.

Thank you SO MUCH for the info and the link, Zenstat.

While I have you on the line... What are your thoughts on "breaking in" cymbals?
 
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zenstat

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I presume you mean breaking in via mallet rolling rather than this Bettis bell brake innovation:


of creating holes in the bell bow transition area. :glasses8:

Those who make cymbals for a living report that there is a rest period (a few months to a few years) during which the cymbal changes sonically after the radical upsets of hammering and lathing settle down. If you have a young cymbal that period may be shortened by mallet rolls. If you have a 10 year old cymbal, maybe not. :dontknow: There are some well known drummers who swear by mallet rolling. I tend to favor what cymbal makers have to say over the beliefs of drummers given that those who make cymbals for a living are more likely to have the chance to do properly controlled experiments. Drummers are less likely to get 6 identical cymbals and then spend the time to mallet roll some (for varying amounts of time) but not others, and then follow up with blind sound tests at various years into an experiment. Drummers tend to just want to enjoy their cymbals not do experiments, at least in my experience.


Thanks to cymbalmakers Craig Lauritsen, Mike Skiba, Johan VDS, Matt Bettis, Paul Francis and Matt Nolan with whom I have had discussions on these matters. Somewhere on my disk I've got two sound files from Craig of the same cymbal taken some months apart. It's now in my collection, but I don't remember being able to pick the difference. Cloth ears.
 
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Mongrel

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I presume you mean breaking in via mallet rolling rather than this Bettis bell brake innovation:


of creating holes in the bell bow transition area. :glasses8:

Those who make cymbals for a living report that there is a rest period (a few months to a few years) during which the cymbal changes sonically after the radical upsets of hammering and lathing settle down. If you have a young cymbal that period may be shortened by mallet rolls. If you have a 10 year old cymbal, maybe not. :dontknow: There are some well known drummers who swear by mallet rolling. I tend to favor what cymbal makers have to say over the beliefs of drummers given that those who make cymbals for a living are more likely to have the chance to do properly controlled experiments. Drummers are less likely to get 6 identical cymbals and then spend the time to mallet roll some (for varying amounts of time) but not others, and then follow up with blind sound tests at various years into an experiment. Drummers tend to just want to enjoy their cymbals not do experiments, at least in my experience.


Thanks to cymbalmakers Craig Lauritsen, Mike Skiba, Johan VDS, Matt Bettis, Paul Francis and Matt Nolan with whom I have had discussions on these matters. Somewhere on my disk I've got two sound files from Craig of the same cymbal taken some months apart. It's now in my collection, but I don't remember being able to pick the difference. Cloth ears.
You know...sometimes it's funny how close our gut reactions are to reality. Yep...figure after the first few months of usage, surely after a year...things have probably settled down and you have what you have. Now patina? lol......
 

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