Will cymbal trends ever lean towards the 40's/50's Zildjian A sound?

jb78

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I love old A's, and when I shop for modern cymbals, I still try to find cymbals that have that Old A sound. Having played, bought and sold old A's for the past 30 years, I've seen a lot of variation in A Zildjians (even within the same stamp period) so the Old A sound you are looking for maybe different than the sound I am looking for.

That being said, I've found some newer cymbals that really do emulate the Old A sound I like. The trick is to listen with your ears and not your eyes (that's the hardest part for me).

These are the ones I've owned:
22" K Custom Dark Ride. The one I owned sounded almost identical to my 24" 1950's block stamp ride, just higher in pitch due to the smaller diameter. These cymbals sound like the perfect Old A.

Istanbul Xist crash and hi hats. These things are REALLY close to first stamp A Zildjians. I compared them to a couple of first stamp A Zildjians I had (16" and 13") and the lathing and hammering were nearly identical. The profile of the Xist was a bit higher, but they all had very similar sound characteristics. I've only owned one Xist ride, but they have a much larger bell than Zildjian, so they may not be a good match for Old A's.

Bosphorus Traditional rides. I've had a few medium and medium thin rides in various sizes, and they sounded like some of the washier Old A's I've owned. Bosphorus are pretty clean sounding compared to the other Turkish brands, so you get a bit of clean and a bit of grit.

22 K Ride (the regular modern K ride). They are dark, but not trashy. To my ear they capture that darker old A sound, with just enough of that Zildjian zing underneath.

I agree with all of this (other than Istabul Xist, which I haven't tried). I'll add that there are certain heavier Constantinoples that oddly can achieve the old A vibe. I think pound for pound, 50s As are my desert island cymbals.
 

charlesm

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I love old A's, and when I shop for modern cymbals, I still try to find cymbals that have that Old A sound. Having played, bought and sold old A's for the past 30 years, I've seen a lot of variation in A Zildjians (even within the same stamp period) so the Old A sound you are looking for maybe different than the sound I am looking for.

That being said, I've found some newer cymbals that really do emulate the Old A sound I like. The trick is to listen with your ears and not your eyes (that's the hardest part for me).

These are the ones I've owned:
22" K Custom Dark Ride. The one I owned sounded almost identical to my 24" 1950's block stamp ride, just higher in pitch due to the smaller diameter. These cymbals sound like the perfect Old A.

Istanbul Xist crash and hi hats. These things are REALLY close to first stamp A Zildjians. I compared them to a couple of first stamp A Zildjians I had (16" and 13") and the lathing and hammering were nearly identical. The profile of the Xist was a bit higher, but they all had very similar sound characteristics. I've only owned one Xist ride, but they have a much larger bell than Zildjian, so they may not be a good match for Old A's.

Bosphorus Traditional rides. I've had a few medium and medium thin rides in various sizes, and they sounded like some of the washier Old A's I've owned. Bosphorus are pretty clean sounding compared to the other Turkish brands, so you get a bit of clean and a bit of grit.

22 K Ride (the regular modern K ride). They are dark, but not trashy. To my ear they capture that darker old A sound, with just enough of that Zildjian zing underneath.

Man, you beat me to it about K Custom Darks!

And I'm surprised that no one else has brought this up before. But, to my ears as well, K Custom Darks sound an awful lot like really nice old As...the ones that are a little darker, drier, thinner, more complex, but still having that "tang" on top.

I think that KCDs are still a little more firmly in the K camp in terms of color and complexity, but they do definitely have a lot of "old-A" in the mix, too.

I'll also go out on a limb and say that I've heard quite a few KCDs that I thought sounded more authentically "Turkish/old-K" than other Zildjians that are more directly meant to capture that vibe.

K Custom Dark is a great line and in many ways under-appreciated.
 

D. B. Cooper

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You might wanna check out this guy. Take a number though, get in line.
My favorite apparel!


Oh man. Any idea on pricing?
That dude is going to absolutely kill it.
I should buy one of his cymbals.
 

jptrickster

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From Maxwells

All hand hammered: 14" high hats, 4 pairs $618/pr, 15" hi hats, 4 pairs $651/pr; 18" crash/rides, 6 at $423 ea; 19" crash/rides, 5 at $518 ea; 20" rides, 17 at $559 ea; 21" rides, 5 at $621 ea; 22" rides 20 at $621 ea; 26" ride, 1 at $1100.​

 

jb78

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Here’s another pro-50s A post: A few nights ago I had a recording session that I anticipated would involve mellow music. The hats I brought were my 15” 50s As. The music turned out to be pretty loud/rockin’ and they performed beautifully!
 


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