Paul Francis left Zildjian?

MaskingApathy

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Could that be the reason why PF is no longer with them? He was a major driver; sounds like he was not promoting innovation. It's a guess and not an aspersion against him. But, one has to wonder if a majot competitor who also has Zildjian bloodlines was innovating and Zildjian (perhaps because of PF) was going variations on the same, tired products became less competitive in the market. Remember, that market now has a lot of players in both the East and West. I was a Zildjian fanatic since 1964 and was lured away by Dream. I recently discovered the beauty of Sabian HH and HHX and, while Dream is my go to brand, I am using Sabian for some gigs. And, to add insult to injury, I am also loving what I hear coming out of some Paiste lines. Zildjian only elicits a "meh" from me. If PF was the driving force, perhaps he is part of the problem (from my perspective.) Still, one has to respect his contributions to the art and science of cymbal making, and be inspired by his passion and commitment. My foregoing diatribe is not to disrespect his incredible contributions, but to call into question possible marketing decisions and directions he may have espoused. Personally, I think he was too in tuned to some forums what were dominated by jazz folks (myself included) and lost sight of the tiny - minuscule - influence jazz has on the market in general. That's my $0.02.
Maybe, but I feel like the higher ups could tell him to develop other products too right? Like he's probably not the only one with a say in what is worked on (and definitely not on what is brought to market). I agree though, Zildjian has become pretty meh for me also. Maybe if they freshened up the A Custom or A lines and made them more up to date to be competitive with other brands I might be interested again. But yeah, I got sick of the new stuff which mainly catered to jazzers (and more recently church drummers) and nothing new in A and A Custom.
 

David M Scott

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Maybe, but I feel like the higher ups could tell him to develop other products too right? Like he's probably not the only one with a say in what is worked on (and definitely not on what is brought to market). I agree though, Zildjian has become pretty meh for me also. Maybe if they freshened up the A Custom or A lines and made them more up to date to be competitive with other brands I might be interested again. But yeah, I got sick of the new stuff which mainly catered to jazzers (and more recently church drummers) and nothing new in A and A Custom.
Yet he developed that great Take Five reissue that's for sale on this forum. He did it using Joe Morellos original A light ride. So, unless Paul committed some "Sin" that had nothing to do with his work, i'm thinking Zil upper mgt team including Craigie may have to reset. In a couple of interviews with Andy Zildjian, one on YouTube it's quite apparent that there was bad blood between Armand's and Robert's family but actually in the later years they reconnected but not so the
cousins. Andy glosses over that but he's driven when it comes to innovation, marketing it and developing new process's on a regular basis. He mentions that they thought they hit a milestone selling 80,000 cymbals per year but now that number is 800,000. I'm sure Sabian will soon be the biggest player bar non. While you my dear American friends are very loyal to and extol
Zildjian a great many other countries are embracing
Sabian. Andy talked about the fact that his dad Robert had wonderful connections outside of N.A. and when the split happened and Canada no longer supplied the U.S. with A's, K's and specialty models, export sales got them through. So if Sabian has a good presence in Europe along with the great products produced by Paiste and Meinl then Zils world might be shrinking faster than thought. I know here in Canada that at least 50% of the cymbals on racks in retail shops are now Sabian.
And Sabian now has a drop ship program for and through their dealers. I just purchased a Legacy Dave Weckl signature 19in HXX Crash. A dealer at the opposite end of the country sold it to me at a nice discount and Sabian shipped it to my door via courier.
These guys mean business but value their customers and fully support dealers as far as I can determine.
just sayin '
 

JDA

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maybe he got tired - end of (his) road
with (A) A Avedis and (K) Keropes
 
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bassanddrum84

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Zildjian has def dropped the ball being innovative. I wish they would expand lines with different sizes, weights etc. as wel as new products. Sabian takes the cake in that department. There’s a lot zildjian could do. But will they? It’s hard to say. They seem to stay in that classic lane they’ve always been in. Take the Sabian graphic cymbals. Those are ugly, the sound sounds like a beginner ride dull with tone and very tacky to the eye. Where as zildjian stays classic which could hurt them in the long run. I would love to see the room of prototypes no one has ever even heard of.
 

bassanddrum84

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They should explore putting b8 alloy through some of the processes they do with ks and such. Make a decent b8 cymbal
 

RIDDIM

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Zildjian has def dropped the ball being innovative. I wish they would expand lines with different sizes, weights etc. as wel as new products. Sabian takes the cake in that department. There’s a lot zildjian could do. But will they? It’s hard to say. They seem to stay in that classic lane they’ve always been in. Take the Sabian graphic cymbals. Those are ugly, the sound sounds like a beginner ride dull with tone and very tacky to the eye. Where as zildjian stays classic which could hurt them in the long run. I would love to see the room of prototypes no one has ever even heard of.
They had a fair amount of prototypes at the last PASIC.
 

MaskingApathy

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Zildjian has def dropped the ball being innovative. I wish they would expand lines with different sizes, weights etc. as wel as new products. Sabian takes the cake in that department. There’s a lot zildjian could do. But will they? It’s hard to say. They seem to stay in that classic lane they’ve always been in. Take the Sabian graphic cymbals. Those are ugly, the sound sounds like a beginner ride dull with tone and very tacky to the eye. Where as zildjian stays classic which could hurt them in the long run. I would love to see the room of prototypes no one has ever even heard of.
100% agree, there's a lot of cool stuff with the A's and A Customs they could do to begin with, then move on from there. The A Custom Rezo line was my favorite cymbal line until I started using Sabian, so it would be cool if they brought those back.
 

Tama CW

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They should explore putting b8 alloy through some of the processes they do with ks and such. Make a decent b8 cymbal
Zildjian once make an excellent B8 cymbal. Early 1980's AMIR 1 - block letter - first generation. They are superior to A's in some ways. And pretty close in others. Very smooth sounding. Crash/ride weights. Tiny and short bells. Almost like semi-flat ride/crashes.
For some reason Zildjian dropped that line. Maybe they took grief from Paiste as the AMIR 1's were as good as the Paiste 404/505 lines. It wouldn't be hard at all for Zildjian to resurrect the AMIR 1 line.
But that could likely impact the very lucrative entry level "Z" line cymbals not to mention some B8 lines. Since the AMIR 1's came out.... Zildjian has only gone downhill in B8 quality. They got B8 "dead right" the first time. Then made it worse.
 
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bassanddrum84

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Zildjian once make an excellent B8 cymbal. Early 1980's AMIR 1 - block letter - first generation. They are superior to A's in some ways. And pretty close in others. Very smooth sounding. Crash/ride weights. Tiny and short bells. Almost like semi-flat ride/crashes.
For some reason Zildjian dropped that line. Maybe they took grief from Paiste as the AMIR 1's were as good as the Paiste 404/505 lines. It wouldn't be hard at all for Zildjian to resurrect the AMIR 1 line. But
that would likely kill the very lucrative entry level "Z" line cymbals. Since the AMIR 1's Zildjian only went downhill in B8. They got B8 "dead right" the first time. Quite the coincidence. Then ended the line pretty abruptly.
I would love to see a b8 go through what the kcon goes through!!!!
 

bassanddrum84

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100% agree, there's a lot of cool stuff with the A's and A Customs they could do to begin with, then move on from there. The A Custom Rezo line was my favorite cymbal line until I started using Sabian, so it would be cool if they brought those back.
The redo line was killer. I’m surprised they didn’t do that kind of line with the ks as a add on to the k line.
 

michaeldangelo

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I know from a very good source that Paul was asked to leave the company. I probably shouldn't get into the details to be safe from a legal standpoint.

In short, it seems that Zildjian/Vic Firth is more concerned with being a business focused on monetary gain than the historical significance of the company and product innovation. It's a sad trend, but a new reality we're seeing more and more of today.
 

2000dan2000

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I would've opened up a boutique handmade custom shop in Turkey and go old skool with that Zildjian name
That would be a killer idea... bring back a high-end ‘K Istanbul’ line, all hand made in Turkey. Replicate the old K stamping... THAT would be a great idea. Hey, I hear Zildjian has an opening, you should drop them your resume! lol
 


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