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Old 07-04-2013, 03:18 AM
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Default Vintage Cymbals..... why?

I'm about to (well in a few months) buy myself a whole 'new' set of cymbals (hats, 2x crash, ride) and I've been wondering if I should buy Vintage cymbals off eBay or get some brand new ones in the shop, I'm not too fussed about price, really.

Whats making me think, is why buy Vintage cymbals, I know for everybody they'll have there different reasons, hence why I'm asking, gather some opinions on the matter.

When I've sold cymbals in the past (especially on eBay) everybody always ask's me what year are the cymbals, I recently sold a pair of New Beats, which by there stamp,*said they were 2006, which I think somehow depreciated the value, because people where after older ones (70s,80s,90s).

I've thought..

- People sought the sounds of the certain era, which would claim that they make cymbals different now to how they did back then?

- People treat cymbals like ageing wine, the older, the better?

- People enjoy the history, that a cymbal been played for that long has some....thing about it.

For me, the only real appeal is that there are cymbals made back then, that aren't made now. What other positive outcomes are there for Vintage Cymbals?
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

A couple of factors:

1. Vintage cymbals from before the 60s were much thinner. They open up easier, decay faster, and generally have the ideal cymbal sound (when compared to the clangy sewer lids that sell as cymbals today...)

2. Vintage cymbals have been played, so they've had a chance to mellow out.

3. Avedis Zildjians from the late 50s and earlier were hand-hammered. Nowadays, there are a LOT more hand-hammered cymbal lines, but most of them are made to sound like "old K" cymbals--that smokey and complex sound. I really dig the old A Zildjian cymbals from this era because of the "A Zildjian" sound, but they're hand-hammered, so they sound more complex without being trashy. Best of both worlds, I suppose. They just do it for me.

4. Most of the really nice cymbals have been played until they break. When you find a "grail" cymbal that's still intact, it's a rare find. Some people, myself included, love the thrill of the hunt.

...those are just some of my reasons. You get the picture.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

Yes, I get the picture.

It's a hard predicament I've placed myself in, because to be able to play pre 60s Zildjian cymbals is not easy. I never place my judgement in the hands of others and wouldn't buy cymbals without hearing them, but then again, one mans elixir is anthers poison, I feel this way heavily with sound, the guy I bought my DW kit from said, this kit is simply better, and I bitterly laughed in his face and said, don't say that, that's not true.

Why is it that you feel, cymbals these days are "clangy sewer lids" which seems to be the sentiment to anything made... now days?

I wish I could have a fair fight and sit behind 'every' cymbal, ha.. yeah.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

Well, throughout the 80s, cymbals did start to get progressively thicker, in response to more durable, more brighter, more cutting, etc.,...so consequently, there are alot of thicker cymbals on the market, and this has spawned a whole generation of players who just got used to thicker cymbals. Myself, I know when I'm playing a 'clangy lid' so it's obvious. But not all cymbals were bad - just enough of them.

Only now in the new millenium did the manufacturers figure out to make their cymbals a little thinner to get more musicality out of them so the pendulum is swinging back, I think.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Why is it that you feel, cymbals these days are "clangy sewer lids" which seems to be the sentiment to anything made... now days?
I have played MANY cymbals, as I used to buy/sell drum gear all the time. What I've noticed is that modern cymbals (starting around the 70s) started getting noticeably thicker across the board. During the late 60s, you'll see the instance of heavier cymbals increase, with the ratio getting more and more heavy as the 70s go on. When the 80s era cymbals came about, they were considerably heavier. I had a 70s Med Thin Crash that was thinner and lighter than an 80s Thin Crash. Sometime around the late 90s, something else happened that I can't explain, but the Zildjian cymbals all took on some "brash" quality, where they ALL have a harsh quality to them. I can't pinpoint which factor contributes to it, but it's definitely there.

If you're looking for some good "rock" cymbals, the 70s and early 90s eras are great. If you want some "metal" cymbals, the 80s have a good selection (nice and clangy). If you want some good all-around pop/rock/world/jazz cymbals, look to the 60s and before. Of course, you'll find some cymbals that stand out in each era (in good and bad ways), but that's a general summation of what I have personally come to expect from Zildjian A cymbals throughout the eras...
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

As long as a cymbal sounds good to your ear, it's born on date doesn't matter, IMO. I admit when I walk into a cymbal room full of about 100 cymbals, there's only like 2 or 3 that appeal to me. A lot of them are clangy. I don't do clangy. But there are some that I like a lot. So just get what your ear likes. I am usually wary of used cymbals. You just don't know if there are any micro fissures lurking. Rides are usually fairly safe, but crashes...I just imagine how many times over it's life it was dropped, or hit badly.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
As long as a cymbal sounds good to your ear, it's born on date doesn't matter, IMO. I admit when I walk into a cymbal room full of about 100 cymbals, there's only like 2 or 3 that appeal to me. A lot of them are clangy. I don't do clangy. But there are some that I like a lot. So just get what your ear likes. I am usually wary of used cymbals. You just don't know if there are any micro fissures lurking. Rides are usually fairly safe, but crashes...I just imagine how many times over it's life it was dropped, or hit badly.
I'm with you, Billy. *maybe* 2 or 3 cymbals per 100. I have a much higher rate with cymbals the older they are. 1940s through 1950s A Zildjians are my cup of tea, with probably a 40 per 100 success rate.

Another way to look at the "micro fissures" issue...most cymbals that crack from factory causes probably crack within the first year of playing (something we don't typically have to worry about with modern production techniques). I figure I'll let somebody ELSE spend the "new" price, and take the risk for me. When a cymbal has been proven to be free from factory defects, and has also mellowed out from somebody else playing it, then I'll gladly pay the used price to purchase it in its prime condition. Even if one out of three of THOSE cymbals crack from the previous owners' abuses, I'll still have two usable cymbals for the price of one. (But, I've never cracked a B20 cymbal ever, so even better!!!)
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post

... I'm not too fussed about price, really....

I say, if you can afford to buy new, then buy new.

You can walk into any store that carries cymbals and try out a bunch of them, and pick and choose the ones you like best.
Unless you have a store that carries a lot of used cymbals, it's going to be a lot more leg work - but some people enjoy that.

If something happens to it, most manufacturers will take care of it, if it wasn't an obvious abuse issue.

You'll know the cymbals history, and how it was treated from the time it was bought.

And maybe most important - if no one buys new, there eventually won't be any used cymbals. And manufacturers will disappear along the way from lack of sales.

Buy new, enjoy, and rest assured, those cymbals will be considered 'vintage' someday.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

If you like Zildjian cymbals, you may want to give the newest A's a try. Zildjian finally decided that their cymbals were too heavy, and have started producing the "A" series in a lighter weight, and slightly different bow. The cymbals are more musical, and open up similar to the cymbals from several decades ago. I just acquired a set of the redesigned New Beat Hi-Hats - they are a huge improvement over the cymbals they had produced from the early 90's until now.
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

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Originally Posted by KirbyM View Post
If you like Zildjian cymbals, you may want to give the newest A's a try. Zildjian finally decided that their cymbals were too heavy, and have started producing the "A" series in a lighter weight, and slightly different bow. The cymbals are more musical, and open up similar to the cymbals from several decades ago. I just acquired a set of the redesigned New Beat Hi-Hats - they are a huge improvement over the cymbals they had produced from the early 90's until now.
I'll believe that when I see it. I tried and bought some of the Armand series cymbals, because they were supposed to be a throwback to the cymbals from the 50s and 60s. They were as harsh-sounding as any other cymbals in the display. When I tried them side-by-side with my 50s and 60s cymbals, there was NO way they sounded even close...
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2013, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
I say, if you can afford to buy new, then buy new.
I'd have to disagree and advise you to buy used. The search is part of the fun especially if you have a local music store that has a decent selection of used stuff. I drop in on my local Sam Ash every other week or so just to see if they have anything new in.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

My local drumshop has (near complete) line ups from Zildjian, Meinl and Paiste and they actually do have second hand stuff, but cymbals aren't something they have, Snares mostly.

I am very interested in Zildjian cymbals having owned some previously, especially the New Beats, but wasn't the whole thing about the new beats that they rose from making the bottom hat heavier?

I do have a lot of Pawn Shops around and they normally have a lot of cymbals in them, I'll have to print out a stamp/year sheet and find out some more info on them!
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

Another option would be to look at Bosphorus, Agop, or Cresent cymbals. Modern cymbals but made in much the same way as the old K's of yesteryear. I have a set of Bosphorus Master Vintage cymbals and they are the cat's meow. Mellow tones, dark wash, and really open up easily. They are so thin that they have a visible wobble when struck. Hammerax is another option but I don't like that "watery" sound they produce...but they are very thin cymbals.

What's nice is that these new Turkish imports are about the same price as a new K Zildjian. They are less expensive than K Constantinoples which are thicker cymbals anyhow. I went hunting for vintage cymbals and they are not going to be cheap if they are in good --> excellent condition.

The caveat with such thin cymbals of course is that you can't thrash them about like a thick cymbal. They won't handle the punishment of heavy rock or metal playing but someone buying these types of cymbals won't be playing that music anyway. Just be aware that they like a lighter touch.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

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Originally Posted by Cuttlefish View Post
The caveat with such thin cymbals of course is that you can't thrash them about like a thick cymbal. They won't handle the punishment of heavy rock or metal playing but someone buying these types of cymbals won't be playing that music anyway. Just be aware that they like a lighter touch.
Yeah, this is something I definitely have to keep in consideration, because I hit very, very hard, I can hit soft as well, but I sometimes get carried away. I will be playing ALL types of music but mostly Rock / Metal, I've become very interested in Paiste as well, especially the 2002 series.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
I will be playing ALL types of music but mostly Rock / Metal, I've become very interested in Paiste as well, especially the 2002 series.
There you go ....nailed it. i'd say they're great for that. Not quite a jazz cymbal though.
If you want soemthign a little more dark, mysterious, a little less cut, try GB's.

But the fun is in chasing, and trying to find "that' sound, whether new or vintage.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
There you go ....nailed it. i'd say they're great for that. Not quite a jazz cymbal though.
If you want soemthign a little more dark, mysterious, a little less cut, try GB's.

But the fun is in chasing, and trying to find "that' sound, whether new or vintage.
Obligatory plug for GB's.

But really: Vintage cymbals are a different game. Some are missing artifacts, waiting to be found on ebay, some are museum pieces in a drum shop with an insanely high price tag, some sound like crud, others sound nice, and the combination of these factors creates the market.

If you're looking for mellow sounds, plenty of modern cymbals have interesting textures on offer, and cymbals from the 70's and earlier have a mellow character that is unique to their era. It takes a lot of searching to find what you're looking for.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

I do own some very nice sounding Zildjian vintage cymbals, but to my ears it really doesn't matter if the cymbals are new or vintage because I'm buying them for their sound, not age. Most of my cymbals were bought new, but if an older cymbal sounds better to my ears than a new one, I'll buy it. Case in point, I was looking to buy a Zildjian K Custom 20" Dark ride a few years ago. In the Five Star shop where I was auditioning these, they had two new and one used. The used happened to sound much better than their new inventory, so that's what I brought home. It really doesn't make sense to me to argue the point whether a cymbal is new, used or vintage, it should be your ears making the final decision. If your sound pallet hasn't quite piqued yet, buy the least expensive because its sound will only be a difference without a distinction.

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Old 07-05-2013, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

I'm yet to come across a sound that I dislike, I have a place for everything, nothing displeases me, it makes me think. I have a $5 non branded crash cymbal that sounds like a china bin lid, and I love it.

The purpose of making this thread was to gather opinions on why other people may have chosen Vintage over Modern, etc.. and it's been answered, many times.

I honestly knew the resolve before I even asked any questions, for me at least, It'll boil down to gathering a plethora of cymbals from Vintage to Modern to complete my ideal spectrum of sounds.

But I've learnt that cymbals were thinner back pre 70s, which I didn't know before making this thread. Every opinion matters, its make me think more about my opinion.

Thank-you all for the replies, greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

I pick cymbals based on sound and feel alone. I don't care when it was made or by whom. I've got old K's, new K's, Custom K's, A's and A Customs (Yes, I prefer Zildjians and yes, I do pick cymbals on sound and not manufacturer). They all sound great in combination and apart.

I put zero time and energy into worrying about the exact weight, bow, year of manufacture, what Zildjian's board of directors and R&D dept. was thinking at whatever time.

I just tap and pick the ones I like.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Vintage Cymbals..... why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
A couple of factors:

1. Vintage cymbals from before the 60s were much thinner. They open up easier, decay faster, and generally have the ideal cymbal sound (when compared to the clangy sewer lids that sell as cymbals today...)

2. Vintage cymbals have been played, so they've had a chance to mellow out.

3. Avedis Zildjians from the late 50s and earlier were hand-hammered. Nowadays, there are a LOT more hand-hammered cymbal lines, but most of them are made to sound like "old K" cymbals--that smokey and complex sound. I really dig the old A Zildjian cymbals from this era because of the "A Zildjian" sound, but they're hand-hammered, so they sound more complex without being trashy. Best of both worlds, I suppose. They just do it for me.

4. Most of the really nice cymbals have been played until they break. When you find a "grail" cymbal that's still intact, it's a rare find. Some people, myself included, love the thrill of the hunt.

...those are just some of my reasons. You get the picture.

Played tons of "vintage cymbals" that were thick like sewer lids. It may be more popular now but it's definitely not a new thing.
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