Moving on From Zildjian? Thoughts!


DFO Veteran
Feb 3, 2012
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DFO Master
Aug 5, 2005
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I'm with the others that would question leaving Zildjian... I'm sure you could find some other brand substitutes for what you're doing... but I don't see any big advantage to do so...

As for the breakage - I've been there - not from playing as hard as you are - but the cymbals broke for much the same reasons. And that's from playing a cymbal that's not thick enough to stand up to the force being used. And I don't consider glancing blows as any panacea for this - it is basically what it is.

The rock in the hard place comes with the fact that thinner cymbals just most often sound better. So breakage along the lathe grooves is the very predictable result.

So while overall the cymbals often sound best - I think it would behoove you to experiment with a bit thicker cymbals - which obviously could aid your breakage problem.

But more importantly - I think it might improve your overall sound. Which granted is really good already - but I'm a firm believe that getting that good is exactly the trigger for pushing for it to be better.

And I know I'm listening through nature of a modern mix - that tend to downplay cymbals as much as possible - but your cymbals are getting lost. Which again, may be just the mix - but I kinda of doubt it - simply from knowing and watching too many guys play in this kind of a setting and in my experience, they've always played far thicker cymbals than you are playing.

So I'm just suggesting, that you entertain the notion that in your embrace of the full rich sounds that thinnish cymbals bring, you may have lost sight of just how much of that warmth and fullness just gets chewed up and swallowed by the surrounding music - and that you might need something with a little more explosive, initial bite that makes a statement that can't ignored before backing off into the mix.

I fight myself with this all of the time - always leaning to the warmer cymbals, always leaning towards the lower, fuller tuning - only to then find myself not cutting though the mix like I imagined I was going to.

Anyway - that's my suggestion... but in any case, you sound great and best of luck with the band...

Matched Gripper

Very well Known Member
May 28, 2019
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Greetings y'all. Kind of a long read ahead, but I'm looking for some opinions here. Thinking about exploring new options.

So I've played Zildjian my entire 20 year drumming career. I always felt that all the sounds I wanted in my head were covered by either the A series or the Ks depending on my mood. For my main, very loud and very heavy, band, I'm all about huge A cymbals. 24", 20", 21", rides and 16" hats. For a lot of other stuff, I love my Ks... again, 24" ride and 16" hats, etc. I especially loved a pair of 70's 15" hats I let go and miss all the time. I also buy almost exclusively used cymbals and I love that pretty much any A I get is going to have the sound I want even if they differ a little bit individually within the same model.

So why even think about switching? Well for starters, I do NOT like the 24" Medium ride from the A redesign back in 2013. It's just not the same cymbal. It's thinner and doesn't have as pronounced of a ping anymore. I bought one new and it broke within a few months. I unfortunately do break cymbals. My technique is as good as the next guy's, but the music I play calls for some incredibly hard hitting so they do break from overuse. Hence why I buy used cymbals.

I did try a brief affair with Paiste 2002s and I just didn't get along with them. I think I'm a sucker for Turkish style cymbals. Which leads me to new options!

Looked into Soultone as I think I could get an artist deal and they wouldn't be all that expensive to get my ideal live setup. But I have to be honest, in the demos I've seen on Youtube, I'm not in love with anything I've heard. They seem very tinny and small sounding. Are the demos I've seen just bad? Anyone here play them and love them? There's no where that I know of, especially not in West Virginia, to go try some out for myself.

Looked at the Bosphorus traditional line. Seems somewhat in line with Zildjian A, but the sizes seem somewhat limited. And again, no where close to go try any.

Instanbul Agop. Dave Turncrantz of Russian Circles plays the Xist line and I love how they sound. Some of the cymbals seem very affordable, $200 big crashes, but the 24" ride is over $500 while the Zildjian Medium is $385ish. Xist isn't even totally hand hammered, they're more similar to Zildjian A, so why is this one cymbal so expensive? Once again, no where to be found near me.

Meinl Byzance. Specifically the traditional line. I know I like how these sound, but they seem wildly more expensive than a Zildjian A counterpart. Does anyone know why some of the Turkish cymbals are so expensive and others simply aren't?

So that's where I sit. I'd love to start a conversation about the various Turkish makers and people's real world experience hearing or playing them. Why do the prices seem to vary so much? Thanks!