What are the differences in how the 60s A and K Zildjians rides were made?

Old Drummer

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The main difference I think I know is that the K's were hand hammered while the A's were machine hammered (often very lightly), but I'm wondering what other differences there might have been. I assume the alloy was the same or very similar. What about the bells, the taper, the lathing, and anything else?

To keep it simple and satisfy my curiosity, I'm only wondering about rides. To make it even simpler: How was the Tony Williams ride made differently than an A ride the same size and weight?
 

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well after the alloy is rolled (cross rolled) sheared and a hole stamped in the center
the similarities fade.

If you watch a Bosphorus factory /video
that is how Old K Zildjians were made.

You then go to Facebook Avedis Zildjian page and under videos you can see how A's AK's are made
 

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JDA

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some good stories


and a Turkish one->
 
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Old Drummer

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I stumbled upon this old thread discussing the same thing, albeit focused on the 50s:


I'm not seeing my questions answered thoroughly in this older thread either, but there are a lot of interesting comments. if you're as curious as I am, revisiting this older thread may be worthwhile.
 

JDA

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.... what difference can't you surmise. One has more handwork which led (Turkish Ks) to a style.
A style Later adopted by Avedis ( as the K in 78, American K) but never fully realized as a fully hand hammered fully bow and surface. Almost always some machine going on with Avedis to supply more ..
Avedis symmetrical hammered K's random hammered
pressure applied: hand v machine

nap time.
 
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Old Drummer

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This has some interesting historical information that may help your inquiry.
This was very interesting--long but interesting. It didn't have much information about A vs. K, but other things kept me listening. A couple stand out.

One is that Paul Francis is a heck of a loyal company man. Now, I like Paul, I do, but it was more apparent in this interview than others I've seen that he's foremost committed to upholding the Zildjian brand. He wouldn't even say the name Sabian. The interviewer had to say it. I have to wonder if Zildjian's corporate culture might explain this. Paul is clearly unwilling to say anything that remotely threatens Zildjian's dominance.

The other thing that stood out to me was that the US Avedis (III?) was a thoroughgoing businessman, and seemingly a ruthless one. No mention was even made of him playing drums, which he may not have. Reading between the lines, he didn't even know how to make cymbals when he inherited the Zildjian trademark. He was in the candy making business. Less a craftsman than a businessman, he proceeded to go toe to toe with Fred Gretsch, eliminate one of his own cymbals lines in order to force buyers to buy Avedis, and was anti-union to the point of preparing to go offshore if his workers unionized. He wasn't a forerunner to Ben & Jerry's in his business philosophy.

It's kind of no wonder that there was a falling out in the family to the point where Sabian spun off as a rival company, and no wonder that Paul Francis doesn't dare say anything remotely out of sync with the company myth.
 

Old Drummer

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.... what difference can't you surmise. One has more handwork which led (Turkish Ks) to a style.
A style Later adopted by Avedis ( as the K in 78, American K) but never fully realized as a fully hand hammered fully bow and surface. Almost always some machine going on with Avedis to supply more ..
Avedis symmetrical hammered K's random hammered
pressure applied: hand v machine

nap time.
I was apparently unclear in my question. I was asking about design differences between the Ks and the As, not how the manufacturing process proceeded on the shop floor. I'm aware that the Ks were hand hammered and the As were machine hammered. I was wondering if there were differences in the bells, profiles, lathing, and other matters of design.

I'm gathering now that that there were no design differences and the only difference was in the hand vs. machine hammering.
 

JDA

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Number Two you have generally three Era's of old K Istanbul ; so when "another Company" (cough, Avedis) Decides to "make a K".

Which era. Which era are they attempting the duplicate.

You see? There's no "reconstruction" unless pin-point to certain era age year of Old K Istanbul.
This is where Francis and crew just smooth it all over into " one K" when there were clearly Defined Eras.

So they end (up) with a hit (sometimes) or miss (sometimes) or don't even try at all to say they are replicating...and just say hmm "here's a K"..

(and why the original Old K Istanbul have still yet to go down in value. in the eyes and sometimes pocketbook of drummer)
But there's another storm cloud on the old K tradition horizon. And that is small Turkish makers that make in the same "hand" way..but yet do not have the exact result (for whatever reason) as an old K Istanbul had, yet possess another part (vibration mostly) of what a (mostly majorly) hand made cymbal possesses, It's a tricky business.

So that's two views- coming at the old K Istanbul-
1) analysis and machine recreation (avedis)
2) tradition and method (bosphorus one example)

the old K Zildjian Istanbul (1940-1978)
remains unique
but pursued or "kept" alive
somewhat by two companies . (sort of at least) (there's more and others)

Old K Istanbul remains unique.

the contest would be: Avedis deciding to hand hammer an entire cymbal (applying their knowledge and analysis of Old K Istanbuls)
or
"Bosphorus" one day deciding to entirely recreate an Old K Zildjian Istanbul by say um visual analysis alone..

Neither seem to be, moving to, caring to, or see any reason to; move in that direction
So Old K Zildjian Made in Istanbul remains unique afloat.

mehmet has a sub series of tony williams tribute cymbal line called jazz-rock
look like dead ringer of (and appear to have some of the sound flavor ) of new stamp old Ks. appears watch the "yellow" video.. the amount sold can be counted on two hands and two feet worldwide total
 
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JDA

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I think another element missing whether it be a great company like Bosphorus or a company like Avedis is.. that... the Time taken to make an old K istanbul- we don't know- might have been a longer time allowed/ or taken/ than any other cymbal made today.

when I look at the lathing on some old Ks (I own a random 17 of them)
It still marvels.. There's appears to been 5 lathe passes minimum.. maybe 10 or 11.
scratch of the surface..

There is lathing on top of lathing...and the passes all co-exist... on the surface.
It's fascinating-...just to gaze into..and think 'how was that done' so artistic or..
It rare to see that on anything like that built today.
It's like layered on layered on top of Lathe Passes. Multiple. Multiple tool tips or pressures..
On one cymbal.

Now I wonder how long that took for each cymbal and whereas today " ok that's done"
"that's good" on to next one.
Old K Istanbul had it appears a very primitive "business model" one that appeared to have more in common with Roman times than assembly lines.
if it wasn't for Gretsch and Phil Grant thank goodness for their sake, distributing advertising connecting them with Gretsch drum artists and also how they were spread across Europe in the 50s and 60s. It was primitive business. Never entering the modern age up to and including the year 1978 AD..
 
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multijd

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This was very interesting--long but interesting. It didn't have much information about A vs. K, but other things kept me listening. A couple stand out.

One is that Paul Francis is a heck of a loyal company man. Now, I like Paul, I do, but it was more apparent in this interview than others I've seen that he's foremost committed to upholding the Zildjian brand. He wouldn't even say the name Sabian. The interviewer had to say it. I have to wonder if Zildjian's corporate culture might explain this. Paul is clearly unwilling to say anything that remotely threatens Zildjian's dominance.

The other thing that stood out to me was that the US Avedis (III?) was a thoroughgoing businessman, and seemingly a ruthless one. No mention was even made of him playing drums, which he may not have. Reading between the lines, he didn't even know how to make cymbals when he inherited the Zildjian trademark. He was in the candy making business. Less a craftsman than a businessman, he proceeded to go toe to toe with Fred Gretsch, eliminate one of his own cymbals lines in order to force buyers to buy Avedis, and was anti-union to the point of preparing to go offshore if his workers unionized. He wasn't a forerunner to Ben & Jerry's in his business philosophy.

It's kind of no wonder that there was a falling out in the family to the point where Sabian spun off as a rival company, and no wonder that Paul Francis doesn't dare say anything remotely out of sync with the company myth.
I usually listen while driving so long is relative but another point that I remember that is exactly related to your inquiry is the beginning of the use of machine hammering and how that increased production numbers. Also the desire by the Avedis company to serve the needs of the drummers of the era As opposed to drummers searching for the sound that will work.
 

JDA

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pick up a 20"
old stamp (type I,II,III, IV) 1940-1959
(good luck with that
Intermediate stamp 1959-1966
(better chance
New Stamp 1967-1978
(doable
And put it up with a 50s 60s or 70s Avedis 20.
own them inspect them & play them
together
decide and decipher the
differences.
there's is a common Zildjian-ness
to both
some legend pro drummer said in a downbeat years ago
A's were sunny major key
the Turkish K dark moody and minor key.
best to experiment in person
it's a matter of depth
how far down you want to reach
whether it's necessary or not to you
All were successful. All have their moments
 
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VinSparkle

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I think another element missing whether it be a great company like Bosphorus or a company like Avedis is.. that... the Time taken to make an old K istanbul- we don't know- might have been a longer time allowed/ or taken/ than any other cymbal made today.

when I look at the lathing on some old Ks (I own a random 17 of them)
It still marvels.. There's appears to been 5 lathe passes minimum.. maybe 10 or 11.
scratch of the surface..

There is lathing on top of lathing...and the passes all co-exist... on the surface.
It's fascinating-...just to gaze into..and think 'how was that done' so artistic or..
It rare to see that on anything like that built today.
It's like layered on layered on top of Lathe Passes. Multiple. Multiple tool tips or pressures..
On one cymbal.

Now I wonder how long that took for each cymbal and whereas today " ok that's done"
"that's good" on to next one.
Old K Istanbul had it appears a very primitive "business model" one that appeared to have more in common with Roman times than assembly lines.
if it wasn't for Gretsch and Phil Grant thank goodness for their sake, distributing advertising connecting them with Gretsch drum artists and also how they were spread across Europe in the 50s and 60s. It was primitive business. Never entering the modern age up to and including the year 1978 AD..
Can you post pictures of this?
 

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of course. on this computer i have this. On the other computer- if I get to it today- I'll have more. hang on.
this a 20" New Stamp at 2009g. My 22 New Stamp amplifies this moreso. pic is on other computer.
The thing about old Ks is -within an era- they were "all the same" consistent - so any buyer- can buy the same thing. To the point I think eras were teams. That built in the same way. And when the "teams' (or foreman) changed so did the "stamp" and the "style". Much different than stamp gazing with old As. With old Ks a stamp change had major accompanying build ( and sound accompanying) differences it was like a total company change of style that stayed thru-out a (stamp) era. very distinct. Very consistent. For a handmade product remarkable in similarity of all the cymbals produced in any particular era. Makes me think it was the 'same' group of workers or same leader foreman. for a period ; at a time in a section of time. You can see from Bosphorus company there's about 12 guys involved (guessing 12) involved from start to finish. I think those guys (the teams back then) stayed mostly together thru-out a stamp period at old K works. Because I can duplicate that cymbal all day long (with a same era old K) visually and very much otherwise, on eBay used, same era, diameter ; it will be near identical. no matter where it is or no matter where it ended up in the world.

Twine.JPG


20" 67-72 New Stamp
2009g

Twine.JPG
that's a typical New Stamp. All day long. from anywhere on the planet from any seller
same small team, same guys built it as another team did all the rest with in another era.
for what little info (there's some) is known (there's some pictures outside and inside) about the old KZ works, I wouldn't be surprised if the old K works would disband during slow periods and then regroup (with a new insignia)
account for the changes
hard to over-emphasize but I think I did ; )
 
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JDA

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also the more weight the thicker the plate the more the multiple layers of lathe would be able to be put in (I think.)
going back to the time allowed (no rush) and also the resources (no scrimp on alloy) back then. Quite generous with both. : )

OldK 22 1321 001.JPG OldK 22 1321 002.JPG OldK 22 1321 003.JPG OldK 22 1321 004.JPG OldK 22 1321 005.JPG

OldK 22 1321 001.JPG
OldK 22 1321 002.JPG
OldK 22 1321 003.JPG
OldK 22 1321 004.JPG
OldK 22 1321 005.JPG


22" New Stamp 67-72
2877g

1/3/2021
 

JDA

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the three eras. Each had their own (run of..cup. Each had their own run..level of lathe.
possibly everything underneath that...was similar. The Rolling and the casting. No quibble there.
In other words Francis doesn't "see" the three epochs*..which is why his result doesn't zero in exactly. Maybe that's intentional on his part or maybe he is correct. I don't see it that way. I see three large distinct build (with the accompanying resulting sound) eras. And it's proven itself repeatedly sufficiently over and over and over to me for going on 25 years into and including tomorrow.

* he's hinted at it in some 'talk but doesn't ever come right out and say (that the research done thru cymbalholic etc) is substantial. He won't go there. Maybe someday when released some day (won't give ch research credit..;
maybe twice I've caught him acknowledge the eras. He has no problem no issue at all with the old K Constantinople era; even building a short-lived Hi Bell drum set cymbal series off that 00s 10s 20s and 30s era. But gets a little wicky most in the K Istanbul era
** he doesn't or won't use the terms invented/uncovered/ substantiated/ what ever you want to call it. (uses) Just a general "smoosh"-ing of "old K"..
of 'the 50s 60s or 70s'. Won't touch the terms with a 10 ft pole ladle stick..(nor will he with the A timeline terms)
 
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drumtimejohn

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Consider exploring Drum History Podcast episodes on Zildjian, Sabian, and Istanbul Agop.
 


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