Zildjian 60s 15" Hi Hats


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Mar 19, 2010
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I think you've got something special here. All hand hammered. As I understand it, from other people I've heard, in the mid to late 60's some well know players would ask for hand hammered (not cheap, I'd bet. During the Ringo era). It's possible they kept some HH's in the back not yet lathed. Anyone agree?
Fascinating. So, can you explain a little about the hand hammering as it relates to an A? I assume you mean HH in reference to trans stamp era of the late 40s/50s. It certainly does not have the same hammering as a contemporary K would have. The bell looks more like 60s than 50s in my opinion so something started in the early 50s and finished in the 60s would make sense.

Cliff DeArment

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Mar 2, 2015
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Los Angeles
Think the bell has to be 60's. I haven't seen that type of lathing until then. One of the things that show eras (meaning making years, rather than stamps) are different hammers and how many types are used when making.

Looks like yours has a somewhat large round ball peen right at the edge, which is a clear "trans" style. Also shows small narrow hammers, then larger and wider, and maybe small ball peen in there too. (can only see so much from a picture.) It also shows deeper and lighter here and there. People like Matt Bettis would know better.

Mid/late 50's (before QDH or MQDH) usually shows hand hammering farther in from the edge, sometimes starting at two(ish) inches.

Robert patented the QDH in 1956. Avedis said 2 years of seasoning, so that would sit at about the SSB era and later.

I've often wondered, which came first - seasoning before or after lathing. We will never know for sure from that era (or at least I won't), as all the makers had passed away, even before people taught makers like Paul Francis. Even if they were, why should they tell us? Always had their special secrets back then. Once they heard "Please Please Me," all bets were off. Armand had been asked for interviews many times and would come out with things like, Oh, well... I don't know... that was a long time ago. Robert seemed to say more than Armand, but nothing about seasoning I know of.

Bottom line... In my view: Bell lathed SSB or later. Hammered trans before any QDH type. So... Maybe they made one special and sent it out fast to the buyer un-seasoned? Doubtful. Most likely seasoning before lathing. Let that sit in the vault for 5 to 10 years then lathe it? Makes sense to me.