Your first "pro" cymbal as a kid

Moonman

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Hi all. I'm helping advise a friend re: beginning the official upgrading process for his son's drum kit and would welcome your input.

Background: This young man is 11 years old and participates in his city's "School of Rock" program. He's played many public gigs in legit clubs and festivals.
He went to perform on two cross-country tours this summer with his School of Rock all-star band and is clearly talented and driven. He recorded a demo with his band and wasn't happy with the sound of his crash cymbal. He's been using beginner level cymbals at home and now his Dad wants to reward him for his hard work with a gradual upgrade.

For me, I remember my Dad taking me to buy 3 cymbals (Zildjian New Beats, 16" Med-Thin Crash, and 20" Ping Ride) around 1985 or 6. I still have the hats and ride. It was one of the best days of my life, at least the memory of this experience with my father. Priceless.

He's always idolized John Bonham and now is finally discovering new drummers on his own. Stewart Copeland, Nate Smith, etc. A few songs/bands I've heard his band play before are Cheap Trick - Surrender, Beatles - Maxwell's Silver Hammer, and a bunch of others. Yesterday he was playing a Woodstock tribute festival, if that gives you an idea of the type of music he currently plays.

So, what was yours and what would you suggest for this young man? I'm planning on asking him a number of questions to help find out if he's brand conscious or is "set on Paiste" or anything else. For now, all brands and suggestions welcome.

I appreciate it and hope to hear about your first "high quality" cymbal purchase.
Thanks folks. I'll let you know how things turn out.
Chris
 

Mongrel

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I am so far emoved from questions like this...not only in personal experience but fnancially....lol. My first "pro" crash was a used 18" Zildjian A with hairline cracks at the hole. Still have it. Don't even remember what I paid for it.

Typical answer: Buy used, buy quality, buy once.

18" med. crash A Zildjian, AA Sabian, 2002 Paiste should work fine with any of that type of music.

Not discounting Meinl, Istanbul, etc. I am just not familiar with their lines and models.
 

Bonzoholic

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You really can't go wrong with a set of Zildjian A's. 14" New beats, 16" & 18" medium or rock crashes, and a 20"Rock or Ping ride. This set up would be a great workhorse for all kinds of genres. He will eventually, over time, try different brands, sizes, weights like the rest of us.
 

JDA

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Avedis. Started on Avedis. That's what came in the trap case with the used set of drums (Ludwig Classics) 2-14s an 18 and a 20. 1968. (Still have the 14s (High mileage.)

Didn't buy another cymbal for 8 years.

Then..1976
Paiste 2oo2s SE hats and a 16"..
then another pause..

then (the SE hi hats Air-locked. they died..) came the 1990s..

Avedis K's hi hats (bottom cymbal warped from factory) - returned within a month
swapped for
Paiste Signature Dark Crisp
Off to the races more Paiste Signature..
Paiste Sound Creation (local store NOS rides hats )
Paiste 2oo2s . Brass-tones..302s (BrassTone w/Sound Creation?- end of P's was near)
Then
Istanbul
Ufip
Japanes
Old Ks..
Bosphorus
Old Ks

end of road.
never owned a Spizzichino but I been around them..

Currently: vintage: 602s, A's, old Ks, couple new: AK and Bosferrous'
 
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Tama CW

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Sounds like it's time to get him a decent "set" of pro cymbals....hats, 16, 18, 20/22 ride. Or at a minimum hi hats, 18 med thin/thin and 20/22 ride. You can get some pretty decent deals buying these used, demo'd, or almost brand new.

Hard to go wrong with Zildjian A's. It's not like they aren't easily resold. Buy a vintage set or a barely used demo set....in the $250-$450 range. Since this kid idolizes Bonham, a set of Paiste PST7's is a pretty good value. They are 85% of a 2oo2. And you can find decent used sets of those for sale in the $175-$250 range. Sabian AA's can be found dirt cheap too. I sold a 3 pc set here on the forum last year for $200 (hats, crash, ride).

I bought my first pro "cymbal" around 1973 - some new beat hi hats, brand new at the music store. Added a 16" A med-thin crash a couple years later. Then in 1983 I bought a Slingerland kit that came with a set of 18,20,22 A's from the 60's....sold the drums....kept the nice cymbals. My cymbal set remained unchanged for another 35 years except for a single EAK ride I bought new in the early 90's....because Steve Gadd "said" everyone had to own one....lol. I owned that K for over 20 yrs, and probably played it for less than 2-3 hrs.
 
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JDA

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Used Avedis is the no-brainer if he has any aspiration in becoming a 'professional' which we all hopefully do.. did.
Do Not Waste Money on budget line new Cymbals. versus Used professional Avedis...

It's child-abuse ; ) and will only delay his or her musical development

signed,
Buddy Rich
 

REF

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My first "pro" cymbal was the 18" Zildjian A crash-ride that came with a real drum set - a Ludwig Pink Champagne Jazz kit when I was 12. Dad took me to a guy's house, up in his attic. That was the beginning of real drums. The hi-hats were junk but, I had that crash-ride for more than a decade.

Depending on the emotional situation, i.e. gifted new cymbals versus the economical situation of getting used instruments, I'd always go used. If the father has a strong drill and a buffing wheel adapter he can mount cymbals and clean the grimiest of them to brand new shine right quick. Otherwise other cleaning fluids work well on normal fingerprints and stuff.

Because I stopped being a fan of Zildjian years ago because of quality control issues and getting too many duds I'd shy away from Zildjian unless he hears them first. If this is going to be a drum shop visit, he can go with whatever he likes. If he is doing internet sales I have found Sabian a more consistent product. As well as other companies.

I will say the Zildjian S series are really nice cymbals for the money. B12. Not B20 but, much nicer sounding than B8 alloy. But, even that depends. I have owned Sabian B8 Pro crashes that had nicer overall tone than B20 crashes that had weird overtones or sounded muted for some reason. Again, comparing unfortunate Zildjians to other manufacturers.

If you want B20 it is hard to beat Stagg cymbal lines. I've gotten several in the last couple years and have been really impressed. The prices are really impressive, which is what drew me to trying one to begin with. Lots of models to choose from.

Wuhan B20 lines are cool, too, for the money. Otherwise everybody else and their B20 are pretty much the same ballpark. Some of the manufacturers from Turkey sell for less than others.

If money is not an object - UFIP Class or Paiste Signatures are wonderful instruments. If Paiste were still making Sound Formulas I'd vote those. They were great cymbals, and if you went used, they would make a great set-up.

Depending on his style of playing, which I don't know, it's hard to suggest models. Does he play hard with larger sticks? Less velocity, thinner sticks? Makes a difference if he doesn't want to crack something getting thinner models.

20" ride, 18, 16 crashes, 14" hats. Typical set up. Throw in a 18" china, if warranted but, that need not be from an expensive line of cymbals. Some would rather have a B8 china, or nickel silver than a B20. More bite to it. It's all a matter of taste, and playing styles, though.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Many of the current A Z’s are pretty consistent. At least I think it’s worth taking the chance. Older vintage ones vary more greatly (they can range from dud to pretty awesome).

My theory is, for the money, standard As would be fitting to the most styles of music. I don’t think it’s worth going down K land ($$$) until one gets more serious a little later on. Some of those can be versatile as well, but can get costly.
 

jtpaistegeist

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My first pro cymbals were all bought from my local shop, back when there was still an electric atmosphere in those places (circa '93). I vividly remember upgrading from B8 Sabians, to a used 20" A Custom Ping Ride, new 13" A New Beats, and new 18" A Custom Crash. I spent the following summer working to buy additional 16" A Custom, a couple of A Custom Splashes, a Newly released 18" AAX Dark Crash, and a used 18" A China Low. I used those cymbals for years and loved them. Once I developed my technique and sound, I started delving into the K's and HH's.

I think the ping ride, new beats, and a custom crash came out to around $350 at that time lol!
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I would suggest used Paiste 2002s. Reasonable prices, consistent quality, not that hard to find, Bonzo connection, about as classic rock as it gets! :thumbup:
I like 2002s...but I feel like As are more comfy in non-rock styles, as well as being good for rock. Which is the reason I recommended those...
 

Drewman

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It's funny how I too have attached my first real cymbal purchase to a fond memory, in this case, with my grandmother. In 1984 she helped me buy a pair of 14" Zildjian New Beats (still have them), a 20" Avedis ride, and (I think) a 16" Avedis thin crash. I've been a Zildjian guy ever since, but there are so many awesome brands out there. I'm more into the dark and dry thing now (all K's: Constantinoples, Special Dry, etc). It's a pricey route for sure!

I was also a Bonham disciple, and I just recently heard some sound clips of the new Paiste signature series crashes on the MD podcast. They sound flippin' perfect, and certainly will kill in many genres, especially rock.

Check out the hazelshould site for great deals on quality used stuff with accurate sound samples (a must when buying online).

Let us know what he ends up with!
 

blueshadow

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I didn't get my first "Pro" set of cymbals until I was 21 and started gigging out. 14" New Beats, 16" medium Thin Crash and 20" Ping Ride. Added some more A's during the next 12 years or so...then joined the forum and have been in a downward spiral to find the perfect cymbals ever since lol

Like others have said used is the best but if new is the only option then I'd go with one of the box sets as you get a pretty good deal. Most here wouldn't buy a box set because they'd want to test out each cymbal etc etc but at 11 just being new and shinny is all that really matters....but I'd stay far away from the entry level cymbals going with lesser known brands like Soultone, Dream, Stagg etc if budget is concern and don't want to do used.
 

Barden

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It would be very interesting to get him to a store with a reasonable selection and find what his ear gravitates to.

That's what I did. I had some sabian b8 pro's or something rather and didn't like the crash. So I went to my local store and set up the three or four 18" crashes that they had on hand. I know that I at least had Zildjian A, Zildjian A custom, and Zildjian K dark. I thought that I would like the A custom best, but my ears couldn't let me buy anything but the K dark. I think it was ~$190 and I still have it today.

If I were to do it again today, I would loop the used market in as much as possible to reduce cost, but it is essential to hear the cymbal.
 

dtk

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My first pro cymbal I'm pretty sure was either 14" Zildjian hats (before they had names) or a 16" crash...but I know this...they would have been Zildjian Seconds.

I think it would help to know what this kids fave musics are and what he wants to do with his drumming. I have Sabian these days but everyone makes good product. If it was going to be his 1st crash...not knowing what else he has I might go with a 17 over a 16...and then acquire a 15 (I started with 16/18...but I've never loved 18" crashes).

Anyway.....good on you helping the family
 

jmato

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Used Sabian AAs and HHs (80s-90s), Paiste 2002s, and especially Paiste Sound Formulas, can be found at great prices and they are certainly pro-line cymbals. I love projects like this and applaud you for undertaking it!
 

Gunnellett

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My first nice cymbals were a set of 14" Zildjian New Beats my mom bought for my birthday in high school in the mid 80's. I had some cheap Cambers cymbals from a used drum set I had bought and they sounded like crap and the crashes had cracked. I was in a band and had been borrowing Zildjian cymbals from my high school so my mom saved up some money and surprised me with the New Beats. They were my pride and joy and I still have them.

A year or 2 later my mom surprised me with Zildjian 20" Scimitar ride. Cash was tight but she wanted to get me a ride so she stuck with the Zildjian name but got the affordable one. That cymbal was not good but I never had the heart to tell her. I still have that one also.

Like others have said, do not go with the beginner/budget cymbals. if they can only get one cymbal at a time (let's face it, nice cymbals are expensive) go with a nice set of versitile hats first and then build from there as able.
 

ppfd

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Zildjian A medium ride 22-24" can't remember hated that thing. Rung for days.
Parents got it for me one christmas.

Bought myself a 21" zildjian rock ride, my first real purchase.

Most memorable - bought a set of Paiste color sound 5 hats Rod Morgenstien used in a clinic way back when he was with Paiste.
 


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