What's with Zildjian hate??

opentune

Platinum Member
I've had my Zildjians for almost 30 years now, making an acquisition every now and then. They work for me. I'd like to try some Paiste Traditionals but the prices are too high to get another brand that sounds just slightly different from what I already have.
Bo I find this interesting with you and your cymbals, because your drum tastes cycle more frequently than that no? Mind you many cymbals sound the same, not all drums do.
 

JosephDAqui

Silver Member
I have all Zildjians, always did, but 4 years ago I came upon the Zildjian 19" K Custom Hybrid Trash Smash and I can't play without it - it defines my sound. Also, I absolutely must have my 14.5" K Custom Hybrid hats and 21" K Custom Hybrid ride with me.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I've had my Zildjians for almost 30 years now, making an acquisition every now and then. They work for me. I'd like to try some Paiste Traditionals but the prices are too high to get another brand that sounds just slightly different from what I already have.
Exactly! Why pay an extra hundred extra dollars for something that's only slightly different?
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
Zildjian is like Harley-Davidson. They were there first, got most of the market, and stay 15-40 years behind the innovation so they can sell their laziness to you at a premium calling it "vintage" or "timeless"
Fixed. :)

Zildjians were my first cymbals. I moved on from them in the mid 90s when (to a drummer who only had access to non chain stores) it seemed like they were forcing the A Customs down our throats. They make a few models every so often that my ears love, but overall I tend to find the lines very uninspiring.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I've owned a fair amount of Zildjians over the last fourteen years, and I've played a bunch of As from the 60s and 70s that were wonderful - I've got a 70s New Beat Top as my main pair of 14" hats. I picked up a prototype Renaissance Ride a few years ago, and at one point I had a 22" ride from the 40s. I should have kept that one.

New Zildjians just leave me cold. I don't really know that I could tell you why, either - they're just missing a soul to my ears. I've visited the factory and the people that work there are great, and they're passionate about making as good a product as possible, but it's just... missing something to my ears.

Ten years ago A Zildjians were missing tone overall. They were too heavy (and had been since the 80s, as I learned) and produced a clang unlike anything I've heard that didn't have a big Z or the word "power" on it. The current-model As are an immense improvement over those As of decades past, and I think they sound great.

To me, Zildjian's characteristic sound comes from a large bell - most of their cymbals use the same bell stamp for whatever size they are, regardless of range. You can take an 18" A Medium-Thin and you'll see that it has the same size bell as a K Constantinople Crash - it's about two inches tall and four-ish inches around. It's a bigger bell than most of my ride cymbals have, and it's a bell shape that isn't even used on KCons outside of the Big Band Ride - why would you put a bigger bell on a crash cymbal? 17" and smaller crashes also use the same bell stamp, but it's a smaller bell. To me, that makes it sound like there are two ranges of cymbals within the same model, with the smaller cymbals often sounding splashy and the bigger cymbals being drastically louder, oftentimes louder than a comparable ride.

A Zildjians from days past didn't always have such a huge bell and I wish they'd make some crashes that had a bell that didn't overwhelm the sound of the cymbal so much. Well, the Avedis and Kerope lines don't suffer from big-bell syndrome.

But all of my gripes are solved in Paiste's Masters and 602 Modern lines, so that's what I've been buying.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Zildjian is like Ford, or Harley-Davidson. They were there first, got most of the market, and keep up with innovation. They're not going away, so people rail against them because that's what people like to do to the mainstream. But even like Craftsman tools, they're stuff works, and defined what works for centuries, so I doubt Zildjian even balks at any unfounded claims against it.

I've had my Zildjians for almost 30 years now, making an acquisition every now and then. They work for me. I'd like to try some Paiste Traditionals but the prices are too high to get another brand that sounds just slightly different from what I already have.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
I have a Zildjian rock 21" ride from 1973. Bought it new. Probably has a thousand gigs on it. I doubt I'll ever buy another ride cymbal the rest of my life. I have 16,17,18 Zildjian crashes ranging from thin to medium. Some newer, some older. They sound marvelous.

Hi-hats are 14" Paiste 2002 sound edge and are 40+ years old. Won't be replacing these ever either.

Bottom line: Find what works for YOU! Don't be suckered in with marketing fads or other peeps opinions.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
There's just something about those New Beats. I'm loving my new El Sonido crash ride because most crash rides don't do either well. Not true in this case. It's a Sound Effects cymbal.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I like zildjian. I think there are a few faddy trends in cymbals right now but if I could only choose one brand it might be zildjian or sabian. I just got new beats, a sweet ride, and 2 medium thin crashes, 16 and 18 the other week, a matching set.

I have typically bought cymbals on their individual merit, my setups are usually a very mixed bag of brands and series, e.g bright crashes, jazzy rides and lighter hats, but I wanted some newbeats and it turned out the best way to do it was to buy a used cymbal set and sell what I don't need (I sold the effect cymbals immediately).

These A's seemed a bit dull in comparison, actually the 18 is a dud in my opinion but after a few days I can see they have merit... and playing in band situations over the last week I have really grown to dig zildjian A's. They aren't trying to be super loud or bright or cutting or exaggerated in any way, they're nice, mellow cymbals.

They're probably the most popular series in the world if I'm not mistaken?

I am selling the 18 but I think I'll keep the rest. Average is not a bad thing.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I know for a fact that Agop has their own factory, someone on an old drum forum took a tour to their factory about 8-10 years ago and took many excellent pictures. But yeah, everyone else mostly uses the same factory.

I will say that Zildjians make the best ride cymbals. They also make the best hi-hats, but that's specific to New Beats (my favorite cymbal). Crashes, splashes, chinas, etc. anyone can be good at, but I've always loved Zildjian rides consistently across their lines, whether its an A, K, vintage, modern.
 

Super Phil

Senior Member
<shrug> I've been using the same Zildjian A's for probably about 15 years. I've certainly heard other cymbals in that time, but nothing that made me want to switch. Every now and again I end up playing a friend's kit who is a Sabian endorser, and it just reaffirms (in my ears anyway) how much I like the Zildjians better.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
But I go to Bosphorus, and they sound like SoulTones, and those sound like Diril, and those sound like.....hence why I believe they're all coming from the same Turkish factory ;)
True to an extent. A lot of the smaller manufacturers buy their blanks from one or two foundries (Masterworks being a big one). Others (Agop) make their own cymbals from the ground up, then the lathing, hammering and finishing is done by the company that put the stamp on the cymbal.

A lot of the companies in the Turkish market were started by ex-employees of Zildjian after Zildjian moved all of their operations to the US in the late 70s/early 80s. Even though a lot of them are now owned by a 'second generation' that didn't directly work at Zildjian, the traditional manufacturing is still taught, so what's ended up happening is that we have a cluster of companies making what are effectively Zildjian K cymbals. The same holds true now as it was when Ks were being made - quality is inconsistent and they are hand made. So you need to try before you buy.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
I haven't chimed in on this yet, but I don't really see any "hate" regarding Zildjian.
Haven't seen anything here (or another site I'm on sometimes), is this a YouTube kind of thing?

I played Zildjian for a good 25+ years. I only started being rather disappointed with the company back in 2000-'01, when they made drastic changes to the A line (and said they hadn't), and they sounded like crap compared to their usual sound. Their other lines sounded good, but I wasn't into them.

I went with Sabian, and they sounded like what I wanted. They also would make any size I wanted in any model, and would change little things per request.

Zildjian would never do that, it wasn't even an option.
When discussing the A line changes, the reps would say "we have the A Custom...." (well, if I WANTED an A Custom, I would buy one...).
They'd get kinda sheepish with a, "yeah, we know, we've heard..." kind of look, so I didn't blame them-- just the person who decide to "ruin" my great sounding cymbals :)

Sabian's AA cymbal is THE cymbal shape, weight, everything that Zildjian produced in the 70's. It's THE classic "A" cymbal (that's direct from Sabian BTW).

NOW, THIS YEAR, Zildjian goes back to a "thinner", slightly different profile (AKA: basically, back to what it was) cymbal design.
It may have been the market demand for heavier cymbals, but it just made them dead sounding to my ears.
I hope they sound great now, because it's a shame that the sound went so far down hill. Others may not have the same opinion for whatever reason, but my OLD Zildjian's sound WAY better than what they put out even a couple years ago under the A model line.

But, I'm playing Paiste cymbals now anyway, and I'm VERY happy with them :)
The A custom was an Edsel.

I have heard exactly one that was OK (anniversary 21 inch ride).

They were overpriced and just not up to the sound standards I remember from the 70's and 80's.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Pretty much. And it seems every year these small brands multiple like rabbits.

They all sound good, but they also all sound the same. I can't figure out how anyone can really distinguish between the 10,000 various "turkish" cymbal brands.
Agreed. In a way, when there was just Zildjian and Paiste (and maybe a little company called Tosco), it was much easier to see where the differences were. A. Zildjians are bright, but Paiste 2002s were brighter, and claimed that each one was exactly the same - so if you broke your 2002 crash, you could get another one and carry on. K Zildjians back then were all over the place quality-wise so it was hard to find a nice one sometimes.

But I go to Bosphorus, and they sound like SoulTones, and those sound like Diril, and those sound like.....hence why I believe they're all coming from the same Turkish factory ;)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
When you go to the NAMM show, you see so many different cymbal makers now it makes your head spin. Somebody said all the "turkish" cymbal brands are actually coming out of one factory over there, and then those individual companies brand them all and send them to market. .
Pretty much. And it seems every year these small brands multiple like rabbits.

They all sound good, but they also all sound the same. I can't figure out how anyone can really distinguish between the 10,000 various "turkish" cymbal brands.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Me too. When I started playing, your only choice was either Zildjian A's or Paistes (the 2002 line was coming on about then). So my choice was made for me because Zildjians were plentiful used and most of my favorite players were using them anyway.

When you go to the NAMM show, you see so many different cymbal makers now it makes your head spin. Somebody said all the "turkish" cymbal brands are actually coming out of one factory over there, and then those individual companies brand them all and send them to market. And for me, after a day of pinging on cymbals at NAMM, I could no longer tell a difference if I was listening to a top flight Zildjian, or some new upstart cymbal company being run by one guy in Wisconsin.

But at this point the in game, I've had a majority of my Zildjians for over 20 years now (I just added my 22" K Light Ride about a year ago now), and I don't play out as much as I used to, so I may be on my absolute last set of cymbals (and drums) from here on out. I'm happy to play the Zildjians I have.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think there is some voodoo in the zildjian line where if you mix other cymbals in the line up, they never quite fit in. Some of the wuhans and gongs From China seem to work, but definitely not sabian or paste.
 
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