Need a recommendation for a professional-level, all-around, versatile cymbal set

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I’m with Joe. But I’d say ideally a combination of nice old Ks and old As. You could in theory have one old K medium ride, another old A med-thin ride...say 22 and 20. An old 18 old A crash and hi hats of choice. That would work. Old Ks do get expensive.
 

lrod1707

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Reasonable pro cymbals: Sabian AA or Paiste 2002's.
If money is not an issue: UFIP's, Istanbul Agop's or Mehmet's and Paiste Signature.
Problem is that cymbals are very subjective!
And their are so many good choices that it's hard to choose.
 

Old Drummer

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If cost is a consideration, old A. Zildjians are your best bet. You can can get your entire cymbal set for about the price of one new ride and crash, and the set won't be half bad.

If your bank account is a little more flush (but you're still cost conscious) I'd go with Istanbul, either Agop or Mehmet (it doesn't matter which, although Agop may offer more choices). In my recent experimentation, I've been impressed with these cymbals, and equally impressed that their prices are usually lower than the prices of the cymbals from the biggies. A similar company to consider is Bosphorus, though I'm less familiar with its line. There are others, like Diril.

If you have money to throw away, buy cymbals from Zildjian, probably the K line. There are lots of choices and you'll probably find cymbals you like. However, I don't think you'll get better cymbals than Istanbuls by buying Zildjians, although you will pay more.

I'm sure Sabian and Paiste and others make good cymbals too, but I've never been a fan of these companies, despite owing a few. If you go mainline commercial, Zildjian is probably best.

You can also commission a maker to make the exact cymbals you want. That would be cool, though you better have a very clear idea of what you want first. The maker can only do as good as the instructions the buyer provides. From what I've seen, custom made cymbals may not cost you more than a set of K Zildjians.

Bang for your buck, old As or best, but if you don't like them and want more options, go with Istanbul. Zildjian has good options, but I think you have to pay for the name and can get as good for less by buying Istanbul or from another smaller Turkish company.
 

RIDDIM

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Lots of folks make great cymbals, but in the end, it's a function of what I hear in the calls I get and what I can afford.

What kind of calls do you get? That might affect what kinds of sounds you want to make. Then find cymbals that fit the desired sonic profile. I know what I like and what works for me, but they might not for you.

At the end of the day, it's about making the best of what we have. It's very nice to have great tools, but owning them doesn't make me a master craftsman.
 

michiganice91

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I'm sure Sabian and Paiste and others make good cymbals too, but I've never been a fan of these companies, despite owing a few. If you go mainline commercial, Zildjian is probably best.
Big can o' worms right there. I'd love to hear details on your dislike for Paiste just for my own personal reasons.

Honestly for the OP, you really can't go wrong with top end cymbals from Zildjian, Paiste, Sabian, Meinl, UFIP, Istanbul, or any brand names these days.

If you have the chance to go to a REAL drum shop, tap on everything they have in their cymbal department and see what suits you. Then you can shop online for the best deals. If you're seeking versatility stay away from stuff that is overly dark, dry, bright, or complex and look at cymbals that are more middle of the road in weight and tone.
 

Old Drummer

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I'd love to hear details on your dislike for Paiste just for my own personal reasons.
I played a late 1960's 18" Paiste 602 on the left side for some 20 years, though never really liked it. Hard to say why, I just thought it too shrill and without a good sound. It worked OK for a left side cymbal, though. When I sold it during the 1990's or thereabouts on eBay I was surprised by how many interested bidders it attracted and how high the bids went. In my opinion it was a so-so cymbal, and I had always just been too lazy and cheap to replace it with something better.

About the time I sold the 602, I bought and sold a couple dozen cymbals on eBay as a way of shopping around for cymbals. Go figure, a 20" Paiste Dimensions Light Ride appealed to me. It didn't appeal to me as much as a couple others I liked, chiefly a K Constantinople and an old Istanbul K, but the Paiste was way cheaper. Since I was essentially retired from drumming, I decided to keep the Paiste in case I got back into drumming and sell the others.

Fast forward to a year or two ago when I did get back into drumming a little, and the Paiste I'd kept for well over a decade disappointed. I remembered why I liked it. It's got a super shimmery wash. But that's all it's got. I concluded that it's a one-trick pony and sold it.

About this time I bought an 18" Paiste 2002 to try as a left side cymbal. (Hey, these are popular cymbals, right?) As soon as I set it up I had deja vu because the 2002 reminded me so much of my old 602. That is, I didn't really like the 2002 (and wondered why it's so popular) but it seemed acceptable. However, soon after I bought it a guy who had seen the sale contacted me and offered to pay me $20 more than I had paid. I said "sure," let the Paiste go with no remorse, and bought an old A 18" for around 40% less than the used Paiste was selling for. While I'm not in love with that old A either, in my opinion it does as well as the Paiste.

Sometimes when I'm in a store tapping on cymbals a Paiste or two will appeal to me. Likewise, when other drummers play them, I don't usually have any complaints (although the Paiste Traditionals a jazz drummer played the other night didn't strike me as his best choice). Probably if I tried everything in the Paiste line I'd find some I like. It is I think a good company that puts a lot into R & D and then uses an automated manufacturing process to ensure a consistent product. One good thing about Paiste is its consistency. You can buy Paistes online with confidence, assuming you already know which Paistes you want.

Overall Paiste strikes me as a good company putting out a decent product, and I'm well aware that some drummers swear by Paiste. Good for them. I've just never encountered a Paiste that has wowed me.
 

michiganice91

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but the Paiste was way cheaper.
Someone needs to put that on a t-shirt...

Anyways....one thing about paiste is that they have produced and made A TON of different cymbals in lines over the years. It sounds like you maybe haven't tried the lines that might be best suited to your playing. Also paiste makes a lot of B8 alloy professional cymbals and signature alloy cymbals which are often unfairly compared with B20 alloy cymbals from other companies due to being a different metal.

Anyhow, it sounds like you play jazz music mainly? I'd recommend checking out Paiste sound creation cymbals. They're quite pricey but very unique in their sound and production and legendary among Jazz players that use Paiste.

Alrighty.....back to the OP's topic!
 

Fat Drummer

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Like lrod1707 said, these types of questions are just to subjective and simply invite the typical "my favorite brand" response. There IS a "right" answer for each of us, but ultimately it would be based on your own personal preference, ears, touch taste and style. No two would be the same.
 

Markkuliini

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old Ks 20, 18, 14s- 1500$-1800$ within a month on ebay/reverb In your possession within a week. A Once one-shot. ...vs. 10-15 years of buying, flipping, trading, tripping, selling, buying back, returning and buying back again;....tens of 200$/400$- cymbals over a decade+ - figure over time, the math.
You are describing buying without testing. So you're saying that all old K's are great.
That's not my experience at all.
 

tripp2k

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Having never been truly satisfied with the 10 or so ride cymbals I've tried, the most important thing IMO is for you to hear the exact cymbals you are buying in person if you aren't interested in a trip down the rabbit hole. Listen to them from the player position and then listen to them out front while someone else is playing them. The set you like is the set you buy and you get to avoid the typical buy/try/sell circus and can just play/enjoy.
 

JDA

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You are describing buying without testing. So you're saying that all old K's are great.
That's not my experience at all.
Here;s my point when I mention Old ks here on other forums, or anywhere.
have you ever driven a say primitive (Car say a Volkswagen Beetle with a Stick Shift?
Here's my point. If you can or have driven or have spent Time with say a beetle with a stick shift (or any older) vehicle

if so, YOU CAN DRIVE operate/just about anything.

Those that Go thru their Drumming Life without experiencing- without spending some time- without having some relationship experience with old Ks- Are Missing a piece of the Cymbal experience- that can AID you in your approach to any and to other cymbals down the road.
One has an incomplete observation on cymbals without that old K experience.
It's ground level cymbal experience- that can give you a stronger foundation-moving forward.
That's all.
 
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Markkuliini

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Here;s my point when I mention Old ks here on other forums, or anywhere.


have you ever driven a say primitive (Car say a Volkswagen Beetle with a Stick Shift?

Here's my point. If you can or have driven or have spent Time with say a beetle with a stick shift (or any older) vehicle


YOU CAN DRIVE operate/ anything.


Those that Go thru their Drumming Life without experiencing- without spending some time- without having some relationship with old Ks- Are Missing a piece of the Cymbal experience- that can AID you as you approach any and other cymbals.

One has an incomplete observation on cymbals without some old K experience.
That's all.
But this is a whole another thing and I agree.
Earlier you said that buying a set of old K's from eBay of Reverb is" A Once one-shot. ...vs. 10-15 years of buying, flipping, trading, tripping, selling, buying back, returning and buying back again."

As if buying old K's without testing would be somesort of time saving trick. It's not, and I personally would not ever but an old K without testing, unless the price was really good.
Just wanted to set this straight, so no one gets the wrong idea. The variables are really big among those old K's
 

RIDDIM

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Someone needs to put that on a t-shirt...

Anyways....one thing about paiste is that they have produced and made A TON of different cymbals in lines over the years. It sounds like you maybe haven't tried the lines that might be best suited to your playing. Also paiste makes a lot of B8 alloy professional cymbals and signature alloy cymbals which are often unfairly compared with B20 alloy cymbals from other companies due to being a different metal.

Anyhow, it sounds like you play jazz music mainly? I'd recommend checking out Paiste sound creation cymbals. They're quite pricey but very unique in their sound and production and legendary among Jazz players that use Paiste.

Alrighty.....back to the OP's topic!
I have sets of Sound Creations and Masters. The SCs are lovely cymbals and Paiste's first attempt at making something to compete with the K. IMHO, Paiste was not in the ballpark until the Twenty/Masters series came out. I have used both SCs and Masters on low volume burn jazz and louder gigs; I think the SC are a better fit for the former (more ping) and the Masters for the latter. I've used Masters in R&B contexts as well, and they worked fine (they have a believable bell, unlike old Ks).
 

JDA

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Yes I've never paid more than 630$ for an old K. I've bought in total-all sizes-- about 20 of them and I still have 17 of them, 15 years ago. I never paid more that 630$
So you're saying that all old K's are great.
That's not my experience at all.
This is another thing that can be debunked pretty easily. You Can take any cymbal (from any brand) from 1940- to 197 8 And the same identical thing can be said.
I personally would not ever but an old K without testing, unless the price was really good.
As I did...sight-unseen- starting around nineteen-ninety-eight...

What I would strongly thru experience argue - is that as a handmade (for the most or some of the part) Old Ks were (and are) emphatically incredibly Consistent. And I emphasize incredibly . As if the same team composed the different Insignia era's..
You can pick an era- find (theoretically- thru owning, sound files, seeing in person..) Ten 20" Rides in the same weight range---say an Intermediate 20" under 2Kg's and not only are they visually identical but they are sonic ally identical too.

So the bluff about old Ks applies across the board with all and any cymbal (excluding the extreme Paiste for instance from whence duplication was/is paramount)
The variables are really big among those old K's
What is said about Old Ks can be said of any cymbal of that era ....Continuing On to cymbals today. Sorry..
You take a same era a same weight Old K and you can duplicate it- with others- across the globe .
That's a fact. 2800+/- gram 22" New Stamp- every one anywhere on this globe; near twins.

What confuses people is Insignia era's comport with Sound era's (unbeknownst at the time but in retrospect)
You can set your watch to what (for example) an 18" Type IV at 1500 g's sounds like- anywhere in the World. That's called. Incredible Consistency. That's what that's called.
There were from 1940-1978 6 Sound era's of "old K istanbul"
previous old K Constantinople era were a narrower (in ability) range )

you can set your watch to old K consistency as good certainly no worse than many cymbals that came after (and even into today..
 
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Markkuliini

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Yes I've never paid more than 630$ for an old K. I've bought in total-all sizes-- about 20 of them and I still have 17 of them, 15 years ago. I never paid more that 630$

This is another thing that can be debunked pretty easily. You Can take any cymbal (from any brand) from 1940- to 1978 And the same identical thing can be said.

What I would strongly thru experience argue - is that as a handmade (for the most or some of the part) Old Ks were (and are) emphatically incredibly Consistent. And I emphasize incredibly . As if the same team composed the different Insignia era's..
You can pick an era- find (theoretically- thru owning, sound files, seeing in person..) Ten 20" Rides in the same weight range---say an Intermediate 20" under 2Kg's and not only are they visually identical but they are sonic ally identical too.

So the bluff about old Ks applies across the board with all and any cymbal (excluding the extreme Paiste for instance where duplication is paramount)

What is said about Old Ks can be said of any cymbal of that era Continuing On to cymbals today. Sorry..
You take a same era a same weight Old K and you can duplicate it- with others- across the globe .
That's a fact. 2800+/- gram 22" New Stamp- every one anywhere on this globe; near twins.
Now I get a feeling that you're saying two different things that are in conflict. You are defending old K's by saying that all the cymbals from any era are just as inconsistent as Turkish K's. And that Old K's from the same weight range are sonically identical. So, which is it?

Besides that's not the point I'm making here: My experience with old K's is that they vary a lot.
I've played some awful ones, I have played amazing ones. And it's not been because the weights have been that different.
Your words conflict strongly with my experience, and of course I trust my experience, and I would NOT recommend buying them without testing.
 

JDA

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They vary a lot because there was 6 Era's. I debunking your bull and lack of experience. Do you think people walked into Avedis Zildjian during the years old K existed and loved every cymbal in Quincy? or in Norwell, or even in Nottwil ..Switzerland..)..?
You are hearing six different era if you don't know what you are looking at. So then correct assessment would fail the uninformed.
Anything one can say about old Ks can be said about any other cymbal. One, At least with old K , with experience, in the old K 6 era- way, one can know exactly (as near as Any) what to expect. It's no different - as definable- no weirder and no more vague - and with experience- no more risky - than the majority of any other make of cymbal ever.
 
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Markkuliini

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They vary a lot because there was 6 Era's. I debunking your bull and lack of experience.
You are hearing six different era if you don't know what you are looking at. So then correct assessment would fail the uninformed.
Anything one can say about old Ks can be said about any other cymbal. One, At least with old K , with experience, in the old K 6 era- way, can know exactly (as near as Any) what to expect. It's no different - no weirder- than the majority of any other make.

Still it doesn't add up.
You are claming that buying one set of old K's will substitute for "10-15 years of buying, flipping, trading, tripping, selling, buying back, returning and buying back again".
As if a person would automatically have the skill and experience to buy the correct K's and he/she will avoid any selling/flipping etc., but at the same time this same person would need 10-15 years of gathering experience to be able to buy the correct "200$/400$" cymbals.
You're being illogical.
 

JDA

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You are claming that buying one set of old K's will substitute for "10-15 years of buying, flipping, trading, tripping, selling, buying back, returning and buying back again".
Correct.
As if a person would automatically have the skill and experience to buy the correct K's and he/she will avoid any selling/flipping etc.,
He or she will after the fifteen years of ownership, have the skill, acquire the skill, "understand".. in addition with other research- as to what the cymbals they bought, are capable of = "experience"..
but at the same time this same person would need 10-15 years of gathering experience to be able to buy the correct "200$/400$" cymbals.
Yes. What I said about "200$-400$" cymbals is it may be "more expensive" buying/selling multiple "200$-400$" cymbals in the long run over a 10-15 year time period. Yes. I thought I made that CLEAR.

old ks give one a starting ground point to Judge any and All- From Paiste Sound Creation to K Constantinople medium thin lows- to Ufip Bravo's- from the perspective of the ground floor 1st handformed Zildjian. Or you can float in Space around and around

skipping a major step. For me, I would want and the hope to be - for every drummer- to have the experience of Turkish Zildjians.
And cut - they deserve and have earned the respect of any- the b_s_ of old wivestales.
 
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