New A Zildjians; A 390 Box set review

kb

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I picked up the Zildjian A 390 cymbal pack recently: 14 New Beat hats, 16 and 18 Medium Thin crashes, and 20 Medium Ride.

These can be found all over the web for $680; but I got mine at a local Guitar Center for substantially less, and I got to hear them first.

I've been playing K's for 30 years; a real Istanbul K; then Canadian K's; then EAK's; then IAK's; now the modern K's that were redesigned about year 2000. I've been very happy with my two current sets: two 20 rides, one with sizzles; two different 18 Medium thins; and two 14 K Light hats. Very versatile, not too dark or mellow, but not too bright or clangy.

But I've been hankering for the classic A sound; all the great '50's thru '70's jazz and R&B sounds. I tried a set of Armands a few years ago, but didn't care for them.

I've played my new A's on some low volume jazz gigs, a very loud blues/rock gig, and a couple of small big-band hits. I'm very pleased, they've got the right vibe, a kind of Grady Tate/Micky Roker/Bernard Purdie/big band/'70's rock sound. Pretty much just what I was looking for.

Like all Zildjians, some are better than others, and I can see that I might go through more of these to pick out the keepers, as I did with my current sets of K's. But this box set is a great way to get into a classic Zildjian sound for not much more than you'd spend on used cymbals. Very good bang for the buck, in my opinion.
 

theneonguy

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Great advice KB! I'm an A Zildjian man myself. And very happy with my sound. I ear-matched all my cymbals, and added some fantastic-sounding Sabians and Paiste Signatures to the collection over the years, for some extra variety, but all I feel is true luv for my good old As. Rock ON, bro!
 

kip

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ive had As since i started playing
tried Ks Sabians, Paiste 2002 and Signature

still prefer the classic A sound
 

gezz

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I own a few A's and A Customs that I love.. no you cannot beat a great sounding A.. Zildjian to me diluted their brand, I don not like the K, K Custom nor any other line except in my opinion the A lines.. its what they do best!!!

gerry
 

Doosh

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That's a good deal for those cymbals, too! There's a pack out there some are offering for around $900 that includes 17 and 19 Dark Thin crashes, 15 light hi hats and a 22 k light right. I'm not usually a box pack kind of guy, but I'm sure thinking about getting that and selling the hats...
 

singleordoubleheads

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kip said:
ive had As since i started playing
tried Ks Sabians, Paiste 2002 and Signature

still prefer the classic A sound
Man, I can't agree more. I started w/regular A's about 28 years ago, and while I do enjoy and appreciate some occasional variety (A Custom/K Custom/the odd Sabian or Paiste) NOTHING sounds better to these ears than classic A. It's funny--a guy on my local CL was selling a bunch of newish A crashes recently, and I was reminded pretty quickly how different they all were, even tho I went thru about 4 18 inch med thin crashes and 4 17's. I found one of each that I loved, the rest?....meh.
 

slinginit

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kb said:
But I've been hankering for the classic A sound; all the great '50's thru '70's jazz and R&B sounds. I tried a set of Armands a few years ago, but didn't care for them.

I've played my new A's on some low volume jazz gigs, a very loud blues/rock gig, and a couple of small big-band hits. I'm very pleased, they've got the right vibe, a kind of Grady Tate/Micky Roker/Bernard Purdie/big band/'70's rock sound. Pretty much just what I was looking for.
Glad to hear the cymbals have a broad dynamic range. Also, nice shout out to Micky Roker. Great drummer!! I really enjoy his work with Lee Morgan on the "Live at the Lighthouse" set. His ride sits on top and I always suspected (just from the recording) it was a Zildjian A (medium ride maybe?) but never looked it up.
 

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