The Perfect A. Zildjian...

D. B. Cooper

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
997
Reaction score
59
Hey dudes!
I was really admiring my 18" 50's A Crash last night and thought having a ride would be great. But ai don't know what to look for.
What would you guys say is your favorite A Zildjian ride they ever made and why? Can be any era, diameter, weight or model.
I'm excited for your answers!
 

Tama CW

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
410
Location
SE Connecticut
I have my 3 favorites I'd rank in order. But I prefer the darkness and complexity of the 50's over the 60's, 70's, and 80's.

1. 21" Trans stamp (early 50's) 2375 gms
2. 20" Trans stamp (early 50's) 2270 gms
3. 20" Large stamp (mid 50's) 2133 gms
All with 5" bells.

My best "A" crash is also in this era (18" 1950's small stamp - 1280 gm).
 
Last edited:

Seb77

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,409
Reaction score
141
Location
Germany
Find thee right 60s 20", and you're set.

Around 2000-2200g for a meatier, yet still washy sound, or la ighter one for a jazzy/washy type. I like both a 2000g one and an 1870g (with rivets). Higher stick-to.wash ratio and slightly higher pitch with the heavier one, but they're both really nice. No Trans stamp etc. needed, if you find the right one. I based my decision on soundfiles of a certain boutique NY store ;) , payed a bit more, but both cymbals were worth it.
 

zenstat

Senior Cymbal Nerd
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
3,971
Reaction score
710
Location
Auckland New Zealand
Find thee right 60s 20", and you're set.

Around 2000-2200g for a meatier, yet still washy sound, or la ighter one for a jazzy/washy type. I like both a 2000g one and an 1870g (with rivets). Higher stick-to.wash ratio and slightly higher pitch with the heavier one, but they're both really nice. No Trans stamp etc. needed, if you find the right one. I based my decision on soundfiles of a certain boutique NY store ;) , payed a bit more, but both cymbals were worth it.
Has your 1870g got the most common 5" bell (Medium die) Seb? Or either the 4" (Small die) or the 5.5" bell (Special cup)? It's a little beyond the current weight range I've got for Crashes (they go up to about 1765g in my data so far). I'm still collecting up info on bells and other info on specific models and how to tell the model when the model ink has been removed. But 1870g could be a Thin model (yes they were around right back to the 1930s). Especially if it has the Medium bell. If it has the little larger Special bell we're into maybe Crash or Crash Ride territory.

My 3 favorite A Zildjian ride cymbals today are (in deceasing order)

  1. 20" mid 50s 2318g
  2. 20" late 50s 1990g
  3. 20" 2010 A Zildjian & Cie Vintage 1790g (nice, but seems more like a crash to me although mine is at the low end of the weight range for these)
Ask me on another day and the order might swap between 1 and 2. :glasses8:

I'm with Tama CW. I prefer the darkness and complexity of the 50's over the 60's, 70's, and 80's. That being said I've got a 60s (2275g) which is actually a bit darker than my mid 50s. But it lacks the complexity. I suspect the 60s comes from the time (very late 1960s or very early 1970s) when Zildjian started pressing into shape. The production changes and trademark changes don't happen right on the decade boundaries, but I'm using the usual shorthand in talking about 50s vs 60s vs 70s. There are some similarities in sound between my 80s Medium Ride and the 60s (plus my other A Zildjians which post date pressing into shape) which leave me thinking my 60s is pressed. But it could be other factors I can't yet control for. :dontknow:

The 1990g late 50s is a little higher perceived pitch than the mid 50s, which I think reflects the weight distribution. The old "plays lighter" applies because much of the weight is in towards the bell of the mid 50s (lots of taper in the lathing). The mid 50s has a strong ping and low wash, versus the late 50s where the percussive stick sound is more woody. Then there is the A Zildjian & Cie Vintage which weighs hundreds of grams less than the mid 50s yet has just a little lower perceived pitch. The A Zildjian & Cie Vintage has a higher profile which helps control wash and improves the stick sound, although it still has a lot more wash. These three act as a cautionary tale about just predicting what a cymbal might sound like from weight alone.

As far as what to look for, I like 50s ride cymbals. I like ride cymbals with the 4" bell (improves stick and help control overtones). People pay a bit of a price premium for Trans Stamps (late 40s early 50s) so if you allow price as a proxy for desirability, 2644 people vote Trans Stamp. However they may not be just influenced by sound alone. The Trans Stamp trademarks are more identifiable (people are more confused about the other trademarks) and there is more effusive prose written about them, so that may explain part of the price lift.



M is Modern (post 90s) and by then you are starting to see prices be higher because some are quite recent cymbals (better condition which also effects price), although there is still lots of variability. The A Zildjian & Cie Vintage cymbals (Cievint) are a bit of an exception because they are popular, discontinued, and were emulating the Transitional Stamp cymbal production era. I'm not surprised by where they sit in price. This graph was done on data before the A Avedis series came on the scene as used cymbals. I've got an 18" A Avedis in my study collection to try and pin down where it sits sonically and morphologically relative to other production eras.

Use your ears not your eyes, listen to lots of examples, and enjoy the process. That's all I've got. Oh, and I'm still on the hunt for as many examples of 60s and earlier cymbals with the model ink still on so let me know if you spot any along the way.
 
Last edited:

Seb77

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,409
Reaction score
141
Location
Germany
Has your 1870g got the most common 5" bell (Medium die) Seb? Or either the 4" (Small die) or the 5.5" bell (Special cup)? It's a little beyond the current weight range I've got for Crashes (they go up to about 1765g in my data so far). I'm still collecting up info on bells and other info on specific models and how to tell the model when the model ink has been removed. But 1870g could be a Thin model (yes they were around right back to the 1930s). Especially if it has the Medium bell. If it has the little larger Special bell we're into maybe Crash or Crash Ride territory.

...
I'm with Tama CW. I prefer the darkness and complexity of the 50's over the 60's, 70's, and 80's.
...
I suspect the 60s comes from the time (very late 1960s or very early 1970s) when Zildjian started pressing into shape.
...
Use your ears
How do you measure a cup? (measuring using a cup I know ;))
I'd say large bell, crash ride would fit. It's larger than the current meidum ride bell.
Agree 60s As, even the good ones, sound brighter, but I like that sound. Maybe the slight low-mid sound underneath comes from the higher bow (which might be pressed).

I learned a few things from that recent Z video: the rotary hammer being an actual wheel, and the pressing taking place after hammering and back-bending.
 

jptrickster

DFO Master
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
8,899
Reaction score
1,682
Location
Fairfield County
Every era has its gems. I prefer the older stuff, hand hammered 30's 40's 50's, on the darker , smoother ,lighter. softer feeling side......I've had a ton of them over the years never been disappointed. You'll often find a 20 Large Stamp on my set up, 1850 g. does it all, rides, washes, crashes, bells, looks beautiful
IMG_6609.jpg
 

funkypoodle

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
2,134
Reaction score
352
Location
Québec, Canada
A zildjian
Med ride

Covers everything

Great bow and bell separation

Really cant go wrong

70 and 60 model best as later makes a bit heavier
I think I've finally found "the one" for me. Yup, 20" 60's medium A ride. I'll weigh it when I get a chance. It's got that Goldilocks "just right" thing going on.
 

JDA

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
11,980
Reaction score
1,608
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
Hey dudes!
I was really admiring my 18" 50's A Crash last night and thought having a ride would be great. But ai don't know what to look for.

I'm excited for your answers!
May be Of interest
Bill H. is releasing 3 of his culled flock into the wild




 

Tama CW

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
410
Location
SE Connecticut
Zenstat with a good point on bells size and weights. All my favorite 20/21" rides have 5" bells. I've yet to find an A ride I liked in the 5.5-6.0 bell size regardless of era - unless it was a 22/24. I've had a 60's 20" at 1905 gms (6" bell) and recently a 20" 60's 1809 gm (5.5-6.0) and I didn't like them much other than as crashes....too much wash. The 60's 1809 gm was most surprising as it gave me nothing over the other cymbals in the 2000-2300 gm range. If I hadn't weighed it, I'd have guessed it sounded like a 2000 gm cymbal. In fact, it crashed no better than the much heavier ones....a good reminder that weight only doesn't ensure success.

One thing I have found so far is that any 50's large stamp/trans stamp 20" in that 2000-2300 range has worked out great for me. I've yet to find a clunker.
 

Johnny K

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
294
Reaction score
217
Location
Mid Atlantic, USA
I am kinda new to searching out A Zildjians, but I do think the 60's stamp hats and 60's stamp 22" ride I have sound great. The ride has a shimmer to the wash that almost sounds like the cymbal has rivets. Our band does a couple Miles Davis tunes and it's a perfect ride cymbal for those songs. I defintalty got my 165 dollars worth with that blind purchase. The hats are 879/1077g and the ride is 2665g. For comparison my 20" K Custom Dry Ride is 2859g. The bell on the K Custom is 2nd to none, but the bell on the old Avedis is pretty decent too.
 
Last edited:

D. B. Cooper

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
997
Reaction score
59
May be Of interest
Bill H. is releasing 3 of his culled flock into the wild




That & Cie looks awesome. Kind wish it was a 21".
 

CC Cirillo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
27
Before I talk cymbals, I'd like to refer back to to funkypoodle's post if I may, and with me being new here I am ignorant as to ettiquete when someone posts a video of one playing, but: Great sounding ride, great sounding drums, great playing. I love it when there is such joy in that holiest of groove configurations-- the organ/guitar/drum trio. Really enjoyed that and wished I'd been there.

I have several A Rides, all 20", and my favorite at the moment is a newly aquired 60's that weights 1884 grams. First time buying a cymbal without hearing it beforehand and took a leap of faith based on the weight. I've only played it a few times but so far I think it will fufill it's purpose. I needed something that would work as a ride in low to medium reheasal situations/gigs and also work as a combination big crash and crash-ride at mic'd up gigs.

I think this cymbal will fit that Clark Kent/superman requirement....
For rehearsals: I play in a variety of band practice settings and prefer to only bring ride and hats. These reheasals take place in small spaces where the band is on top of each other...in a law office, in a small studio rental, or in a small garage built for a Model T.... I really needed something low pitched, not too much in-your-face, and crashable. This 1848 gram "ride" has enough definition, and it's far less washy than I assumed it would be. I can also gain a lot of stick clarity by simply switching to nylon tips if the song requires more definition. (I do this at gigs too, switch from wood to nylon depending on the song.)
For a gig that's mic'd in a club: This crashes in a way that reminds me of a K, which I love--an initial compressed sort of metallic crunch followed by a very short "whoosh" followed by a tonal ringing that ends politely. I'm thinking that this will go on my left as a crash and also used to crash-ride certain passages. I'll try it that way soon.

I have no idea if this now unmarked and oddly patinaed 20" A Ride was originally a ride or a crash or just a cymbal at that weighed 1884 grams.
 

Ludwigboy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
40
Location
Canada
I think I've finally found "the one" for me. Yup, 20" 60's medium A ride. I'll weigh it when I get a chance. It's got that Goldilocks "just right" thing going on.
I like your two other cymbals...are they both 60's Zildjian A medium thin crashes or? Also, what are each of their weights?
Chris
 

funkypoodle

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
2,134
Reaction score
352
Location
Québec, Canada
I like your two other cymbals...are they both 60's Zildjian A medium thin crashes or? Also, what are each of their weights?
Chris
There are 3 others! From left to right: 14" 60's Paper Thin A, 16" Sabian HHX Evolution crash & 17" Sabian HHX Legacy crash. I don't have weights, but they are all ultra thin and you could probably easily fold any of them in half with little effort. oh, and the hats are 14" 60's New Beats.
 

MasterBlaster

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
936
Reaction score
478
Location
Bayou Country
I wish I could get a nutshell answer as to the diff (besides price) between the A's and the K's. I've asked once already...
 

JDA

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
11,980
Reaction score
1,608
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
You have to read the Zildjian history. From 1623 forward. 1929. 1978..

there's "K's" made in Canada prior to Sabian, and there's K's made in Norwell Mass.
Generally these are called "AK's" or "HH"

Avedis Co. was established in 1929.
There was a Zildjian operating in Turkey since 1623.
There was a " K" made in Turkey from at least the 1900s up until 1978.

So there is overlap among "AK's" and Turkish K's.

What Avedis made in 1929 in America was called Avedis Zildjian.
Around 1957-58 they- Avedis Co. took Gretsch- who imported from Turkey- the Turkish K- to court and lost. Gretsch proving the K Zildjian from Turkey differed from the Avedis Zildjian cymbal made by Avedis Co.

But it wasn't over. Avedis Co. went back to court and in 1968 was granted the K. Zildjian trademark.
This was the beginning of the end to the K. Zildjian in Istanbul,Turkey.
Over a 10 year period K. Zildjian in Turkey was closed in 1978.

American Avedis Zildjian Co. a couple years prior had already begun work on their version of -now legal owners of the trademark- a North American K "AK" in Canada ("Can-K" and later was transferred to Massachusetts.


The Difference between "A" and "K" (either "AK" , the Turkish Istanbul(city) "oldK" K, the"Canadian K" or even the Sabian HH) is another subject for another day.

But it's generally thought more "random" (and or manual) handwork /was/is/ involved in the latter and current "K" 's- resulting in a 'different' type of tone. Some ( Avedis Zildjian themselves) will say drier darker while others will argue or add, more brilliant. So it's a taste preference choice thing ........once built concurrent on two continents, but since 1978........on one.

Feet Notes:




 
Last edited:

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
4,010
Reaction score
282
Location
Atlanta, GA
Like others have stated, you just need to go through some to find the right one(s) for you. Sound files and videos might be the easiest way to make the journey shorter. Otherwise, you just take a chance and do some buying and selling. I think some nice ones exist from 50s to the 70s. There can be some real variances among rides from these periods...no big surprise there.

I’ve held onto two 22s from the 50s and a 20 that I believe is from the 60s. It’s like the baseline for the cymbalholic. Any dedicated lover of cymbals should have some As. Part of our history.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts



Top