Old Stamp K Zildjian HH Question - Was I Duped?

shackman

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Hi Folks,

First, I'd like to give a thank you to this community - I have learned quite a bit here, so thank you!

Anyway, I recently purchased a pair of Old Stamp 3B K Zildjian Istanbul hi-hats online that were advertised as 14" HHs. Turns out, one is 13.5 inches and the other is 13 and 5/8 inches (I'm not really into 13" HHs). I know that the Old Ks tend to not be perfect for whatever reason, but shouldn't of these have been advertised as 13" HHs? Or, should I consider this as typical Old K measuring and therefore acceptable that they were advertised as 14"?
 
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bongomania

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On the one hand it’s super unlikely that anyone at the old Zildjian forge was too concerned about a half inch difference one way or the other. So as to whether they “are” 14 inch cymbals, ehh, I’d chalk that up to hand crafting.

On the other hand it would have been preferable for the seller to mention that much of an anomaly. I wouldn’t say you were “duped”, but the seller is probably not the most careful or detail oriented, and conceivably not the most ethical—if they knew and didn’t say.
 

shackman

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I appreciate your responses gentlemen! I agree - the measurements should have been emphasized (and not just advertised as a 14" pair).

Are Old K HHs typically mismatched like this? I mean, I have another pair of 14" Old K HHs that are perfectly matched in size. My intuition tells me that these are two bottom cymbals that were put together and sold as a matched pair. Am I thinking about this too much? Is it typical for the Old Ks to be mismatched?
 

JDA

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Yes, They can be under or over or exact on the inch.
You should look at the mismatch as- is the bottom the larger?- as a chick benefit.
weigh them.
Yes saying "14" was sloppy/lazy (or uneducated) on seller's part; usually a tape measure picture accompanies auction or the exact size is mentioned in Text. You on the other hand (with prior knowledge/experience) could should have asked for a size clarification.

I have a Type III and it's a full 14". I have seen 14" Intermediate era they were less than 14" (so much so it was a tough call to call them 14s and not 13's plus) . I have New Stamps some are 14 some are 13 11/16th etc.

Luck is when the bottom is 2 or 3/32nd larger etc. Sweet as f_____
The mistake is ever applying (or assuming) Sabian/ American Zildjian size standards (even today check a random Bosphorus) to Turkish born cymbals.
Some believe it adds to their character; a 22" being slightly under a 19" being slightly over ETC.
Frankly you don't need exact inches.
Unless you're laying carpet..
 
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rstange1

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Here's a tangentially related story about mismatched hi-hats. When I bought my vintage Rogers kit it came with period-correct hardware and cymbals. The hi-hats were 60's 3-dot Avedis - one 15" and one 14". Being a bit OCD, I thought this was stupid and tried to sell them individually or as a weird pair. Had a buyer come to play them and they weren't quite his thing. But you know, I kind of liked what I heard when he was trying them out, so put them back on the kit at home full time. After a bunch of experimenting I decided I liked the 15" on top and the 14" on the bottom. And that they were no longer for sale! They are now my go-to hats for big band. And the quirky mismatch makes me like them even more.

So, my wish for you is that you fall in love with the sound of your newly acquired old Ks. If you have a chance to post photos or sound file, we'd love to see/hear them. :)
 

shackman

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Wow, thank you so much fellows! I greatly appreciate all of the input. One minute I'm super excited, and then the next I'm all bummed out (and am wondering if I'm just being naive). All-in-all they look and sound great, but I spent a lot of money on what I thought were at least 14". Not used to 13"(+). Perhaps this will ultimately be a great thing for me that has yet to be realized?

JDA - the heavier is the higher pitched and the smaller of the two. I would generally put the lighter cymbal on top, so in that case I'd have the larger (and lighter) cymbal as the top hat.

rstange1 - Thank you for your story because that'll fit my case (having a larger hat on top). Maybe I'll keep these after all and feel fortunate just to even be in this position.

What to do...
 
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jptrickster

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Wow, thank you so much fellows! I greatly appreciate all of the input. One minute I'm super excited, and then the next I'm all bummed out (and am wondering if I'm just being naive). All-in-all they look and sound great, but I spent a lot of money on what I thought were at least 14". Not used to 13"(+). Perhaps this will ultimately be a great thing for me that has yet to be realized?

JDA - the heavier is the higher pitched and the smaller of the two. I would generally put the lighter cymbal on top, so in that case I'd have the larger (and lighter) cymbal as the top hat.

restang1 - Thank you for your story because that'll fit my case (having a larger hat on top). Maybe I'll keep these after all and feel fortunate just to even be in this position.

What to do...
If you like the sound and it’s worth the time and effort you can always have it trimmed to match
 

multijd

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This makes me think about the interview with Paul Francis, from Zildjian, that I posted a few weeks (month?) ago. Paul describes about how, back in Turkey, “they made what they made” and then would send crates of cymbals to Europe for the orchestral musicians. When the crate arrived at the music shop the percussionists would converge to try out the shipment and see if there was anything they could use. I imagine guys going through the crate and finding the perfect (or maybe close enough?) sound for the opening of the finale to Mahler 1. Or a pr. of (approx.) 17” that could work for just about everything. Fast forward a few years and Avedis realizes music is changing and if he wants to serve the swing drummers of the time he is going to need to find out what kind of cymbals they prefer and then make more of them consistently. He purchases machine shop equipment and adapts it for cymbal making. Then he’s able to progress from making half a dozen cymbals a day to making 20 or so a day. Modern cymbal making is born. Of course we all know that there was still quite a bit of variation in what Zildjian produced in Massachusetts. But they were much more consistent than Turkey. I like the image of a bunch of guys standing around in a musty music shop in Berlin going through a batch of cymbals to see what was in that shipment. Or the thought of Avedis consulting Chick Webb to see what kind of sounds he could use. Or maybe a session with Papa Jo brainstorming hihats. It’s also intriguing to me to imagine Elvin or Jimmy Cobb trying out ride cymbals at Manny’s (or wherever) to find the perfect ride before recording “A Love Supreme” or “Kind of Blue”. I think we are a bit spoiled with the consistency of modern cymbal production. I‘ve bought cymbals from Amazon and got pretty much what I was expecting. Or at least something that is very usable (Hmm...back to the days of a crate of cymbals in Berlin?). Anyway, I hope you enjoy those one-of-a-kind gems from a day gone by. I bet they sound wonderful. Now to find out where you can use them!
 

shackman

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multijd - Wonderful story about Paul Francis from Zildjian. I like the thought of myself standing around a musty music shop in Berlin going through a batch of cymbals to see what was in that shipment. Or being consulted by Avedis for that right jazz cymbal sound. Maybe we are spoiled by the consistency of modern day cymbal making, and I find myself searching for something else. Perhaps I should embrace and enjoy these one-of-a-kind gems from a day gone by. I like that thought. But, I could have spent half the amount for undersized, mismatched hi-hats.

DonS - They do sound great. And, is 13.5 and 13 &5/8 close enough? Well, maybe not because I'd have to put the heavier, higher pitched one on top. Chicking away over time might not be the best for the structural integrity of the lower, lighter weight cymbal. But, does it really make a difference if one or the other is on the top or bottom? Also, the weights as advertised would have made for really thin 14" cymbals. For 13"+ not so much.

Thank you for the input!
 

Tama CW

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By the early 50's, the 3A's, and 3B's should be pretty close in size to the nearest inch. In the 30's and earlier they weren't nearly as precise. I typically think 1/4" is about all the leeway I'd ever give off a 14.0" cymbal w/o adjusting for it. And if it's more than 1/8th inch I would mention it in a listing. Less of an issue a larger ride cymbal than a hi hat. Your hats imo are reasonably well matched in size with only 1/16th inch variation on each side. I don't see that as much an issue.

The real issue is the pair of 13.5 inch hats. To me, they should be worth about what a 13" pair brings, maybe a tad more. Buyers ask for 13 or 14 inch hats....not 13.5 or 14.5. If they sound and look heavenly, have wonderfully clean edges, retain most of their original sheen, have signatures and stickers, have perfect bell holes......well then I might accept that slight variation in size for a primo pair of 13.5's.
 
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Tanabata

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Hi Folks,

First, I'd like to give a thank you to this community - I have learned quite a bit here, so thank you!

Anyway, I recently purchased a pair of Old Stamp 3B K Zildjian Istanbul hi-hats online that were advertised as 14" HHs. Turns out, one is 13.5 inches and the other is 13 and 5/8 inches (I'm not really into 13" HHs). I know that the Old Ks tend to not be perfect for whatever reason, but shouldn't of these have been advertised as 13" HHs? Or, should I consider this as typical Old K measuring and therefore acceptable that they were advertised as 14"?
If you're unhappy, return them. If you could take the time to measure them, the seller could have taken the time to measure them.

If you like the cymbals and aren't going to regret the transaction, keep 'em and have fun.
 

Tama CW

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Weights are around 660 gm....within 5 gm of each other....so essentially identical in weight and thin to medium thin. Still comes down to the fact that you wanted 14's and got 13's. Fwiw I looked at a pair of 15 3B's earlier this year.....sizes were 14-7/8 and 14-3/4. I was ok with the 1/4" variation from 15" for the price range being discussed. And the 1/16th inch diff between cymbals seemed reasonable. They were a wonderful sounding pair too. I also sold a single 14" type 3 this year - and it too was only 13-3/4". That might suggest that 1/4" short is normal. 1/2" short is out of the norm imo.
 

JDA

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he said one is demonstrably heavier- that doesn't sound like it- 2) That's too light w/o a heavier bottom (should have known) 3) First time I ever heard of someone being "duped" besides outright forgery; . With Old Ks One usually knows ahead of Time what they are getting into. And "how" to get into them.
(I own a few.)
 

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shackman

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Well, I only said that the heavier one is the smaller of the two. My original question was is it commonplace to get sizes not as advertised with old Ks? Was I deceived into getting mismatched undersized HHs, or should have I expected to not get what was advertised with old Ks? That's all. I do know that old K larger cymbals can be a hair under or over. Anyway, I've learned quite a bit from this post (and from private messages), and I'm glad that I asked. JDA - I don't know what you mean by outright forgery or knowing ahead of time or "how" to get into them. But, you did provide me with great info and I thank you for that.
 
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JDA

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don't know what you mean by outright forgery
there were a few forgeries going around a couple few years back; giveaway was the spelling of Zildjian. It was K. Zilojian...plus lathing looked like a Paiste signature

was is it commonplace to get sizes not as advertised with old Ks?
have to remember the Old K Zildjian works in Turkey never really got to 'modern' advertising; what 'modern' advertisements were done was done by the US distributor " Gretsch". Fred Gretsch Co. And they had no to little control of the old factory works. K Zildjian (Istanbul) never made it into the modern ( ie Avedis age) of "rides, Crashes, Hi hats..) Basically just Symphony cymbals that had a tone that some jazz drummers really really dug....plus When those endorsers went to visit Gretsch; Phil Grant was right there " Can I show you the shipment of KZildjians that just came in from Turkey" So it was a symbiotic relationship (Gretsch and Old K) But as far as the old works in Turkey I'm not sure they had phone lines (exaggerating) But were on the Cusp of the Modern Era -----when Avedis Co. USA pulled all their plugs..) - In 1968 (in USA Court -Avedis Co. argued - and won the trademark K.Zildjian barring K Zildjian Turkey from doing anything much) and it took ten years to 1978 (dribbling cymbal production in Turkey along) to finally the closing and evacuation..of premises (sad day in that town the story is told)
It wasn't until 1980 when some ex-workers started making cymbals again..

these "standards" of sizes and application (crashes etc) were modern standards--they (K Istanbul) were never a Part of. If anything they were Metric and if anything beyond that if a 13.5 cymbal was cut that day then a 13.5 cymbal was made that day. American business Practices was an American thing. K Istanbul were just unaware of such a thing.

 
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