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Old 08-12-2013, 06:08 AM
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Default Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Time to share my thoughts on my new 2013 redesigned 24" Zildjian Medium Ride.

First off, This thing is huge! All my rides up till now have been of the 20" variety. I have been wanting a new, larger ride, and well, now I have one!

As most of you already know, Zildjian has put a lot of work into the redesign of their A's line of Zildjians in order to put the A's back where they belong being the backbone of their main product line. I, for one, think they have done a GREAT job. And I will point out that I did not always feel this way about the older Zildjian A's line.

I started out with many Zildjian A's cymbals. I had several Medium Crashes, Rock Crashes, New Beat Hi-Hats, a Medium Ride, as well as an A's splash and an A China Boy High. Admittedly I didn't have much to go on when I acquired these cymbals in my youth, but they sounded good to me. However, as time passed, I began to notice that I didn't enjoy the sound as much as some other cymbals at the time. This is no shocker, as people's tastes change often. I just felt that I was gravitating away from what I perceived to be a sort of "clangy" metal sound that some of the A's produced, in favor of the rich complexity of some of the Zildjian K cymbals.

I kept my New Beats, but replaced my ride with a 20" K Custom Dry Ride, and my crashes turned into a 19" Zildjian K Dark Medium Crash, a 20" Constantinople Medium-Thin Low, and a 18" K Custom Medium Dark Crash. This is the setup I had been using for years.

I had taken a break from being able to play drums due to being deployed and sorting out career and living situations upon my departure from my obligations. I found a great couple of guys that enjoy making heavy music and I quickly got back into the swing of things.

I began to realize that I wanted a bit of a different sound that I was hearing in my head that I didn't have available on my kit. I began to hit the music stores to see what was out there. I was looking for LARGE rides and crashes. I came across a new Zildjian 21" Sweet Ride. I really liked it. I couldn't believe that I was liking a new Zildjian A cymbal. The drum guy said that Zildjian revamped their entire A's line. I said that I was interested and wanted to hear some more.

I ended up buying the 21" Sweet Ride to use as a crash. I was not that keen on using it as a ride, but it really sings as a crash. This still left me with wanting a new ride. The drum guy told me that a 23" Sweet Ride was going to be released in a few months if I wanted to wait. Well, no I didn't want to wait, but I did.

I have tried several 23" Sweet Rides in various stores. I think it sounds great, but I felt that it might have just a bit more wash and less control than what I was looking for. So I patiently waited to see what else was coming out that might work.

I was able to try a new 2013 22" Zildjian Medium Ride. AHHHH...now, this thing, this ride talked to me. The 22" had a great sounding bow, nice stick definition with less wash than the Sweet Ride. The bell was nice and clear when shouldered. The cymbal would open up a bit when shouldering the edge of the cymbal or when crashed, but would regain stick definition very quickly as well. It, unlike many earlier Zildjian A's was not clangy or gongy. This was a welcome surprise.

But I figured that if something is worth doing, then it is worth overdoing. I wanted this cymbal's big brother.

Enter the 2013 Zildjian 24" Medium Ride

Impressions

Bell: The bell is loud and clear, not thin or strained or sounding like more stick than bell when shouldered. This was having to compete against an older 20" Zildjian Ping Ride. I loved the Ping on that ride, but I wanted more out of the body. Well, the Medium Ride has a great bell that rivals my Ping.

The Bow/Body: I used Vic Firth Rock sticks in both wood and nylon tips. Both predictably have their own sound shaping thing going on, and can be used to accentuate a more articulate ping when desired and a more mellow ride sound when desired. There is plenty of stick definition without being too "pingy" or "clangy". There is just the right amount of controlled wash that introduces the body of the cymbal without feeling compressed as some older A versions have sounded. In other words, not too heavy, not too lite, but just right. There is very little in the way of runaway overtones, even when played hard. Stick definition stays intact, but introduces enough of the cymbals tone and wash give plenty of character and personality.

The Edge: I like to be able to shoulder a ride near the edge, or outright crash, crash/ride my rides. Well, my old K Custom Dry was not having any of that. Some cymbals, no matter your desire are designed to never open up. The Medium Ride will open to a polite roar. Now I realize that not everyone likes or wants this much volume in their applications, but I am just letting you know what I have found. This is by no meas as open as the 23" Sweet Ride, but I would also say that it is not "gongy" and will open up with a healthy amount of cymbal wobble. I mean it IS 24 inches of metal after all! But, where I fell like you could get away with crashing the 23" Sweet Ride, the 24" Medium Ride is a bit more of a riding crash for the larger Broad Strokes.

In the Mix: The first time I really got to play this thing was on stage with my loud band. I was not sure if it would keep up as we are running a small wall of cabs and several heads pushing the guitarist and bassist. The cymbal sounded great from behind the kit. The stick definition stayed true and the bell was not going to be pushed aside by a few hundred watts. We are a three piece so I like for my ride to be able to fill in space where needed. This ride delivered and was not obnoxious in doing so. It has a "medium tone" surprise, surprise... And it sat in the mix quite nicely.

Assessment: The redesigned 2013 Zildjian A's are definitely worth checking out if you have not done so already. Don't associate the new sounds with the old too much. I am not saying that all the old ZIldjian A's are bad by any means. If a cymbal sounds good to you, it doesn't matter what it says on the label or when it was made.

This big cymbal strikes a nice balance between some of it's brother's and sister's more pronounced characteristics of wash and compression. It opens up nicely with nice stick definition and control. It has a nice wash theme without getting carried away. Has a nice and clear bell that is plenty loud. And when it is asked, can really roar and wobble like no tomorrow. I took a chance ordering this beauty mostly off of sound file comparison and gut feeling and I am very pleased with the results.



Thanks for reading.

-RB
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Last edited by Road Bull; 08-12-2013 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Nice review. I take it you think A Zildjians up to 2012 were different? I know you used words like 'clangy' - but are the 2013's that much different? I'm using a 24" K Light Ride now because I think I was looking for what you found - I wanted it to wash nicely and not be clangy, and I found that it my K. So the new A Zildjians you think are more musical?
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Definitely a well written and comprehensive review. I do like 24" rides. I will be checking this one out. Thanks Road Bull, good stuff!
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Thanks guys.

@ Bo: Well, I know that they made some significant design changes to weight, shape, and bells across the line. I have come across some other older 20" and 22" Medium Rides. Like anything else, it is a bit hit and miss. I don't want to make blanket statements, and I am not saying that pre-2013 is not so hot or anything like that. But I will say that my association with some of the older Zildjian A's being a bit on the clangy/gongy side have to be reexamined with newer offerings in the same line/model.

I am sure that there will be people that might prefer the older A's and that's cool too. I just think that the new 2013's that I have heard are a breath of fresh air and possess a lot of characteristics that I have been looking for. To me they are not as cutting and bright as A Customs, and not as dark as the K's and K Customs. I find that it sits nicely in the mix of what I am doing these days.

I am with you on the K Rides though. Before I took delivery of my new 24" Medium Ride, I bid on, and won a 22" Zildjian K Heavy Ride to try out. I got a good deal on it, so there will be no hurt feelings or loss if I decide to move it along. As far as the K's go, I think I would look for a 22" K Ride. I like the balance of that one as far as sound clips and youtube can provide. I wouldn't mind a little more trashy sound when opening the cymbal up with accents or riding the edge. But I don't want to trade off all my stick definition getting there. The other think I would really want to have in a K Ride is clear, loud bell. My Ping Ride has spoiled me. I know it is an unfair expectation for another ride to multitask in an area that the Ping Ride was designed for, but, I can dream.

Anyway, my A's ride search has concluded, for now...

And my K's search is getting rolling.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Thanks for the review!

The dream ride cymbal sound I still have in my mind is from a late 70s hollow logo 22" medium ride I played back in college. It also had that perfect blend of musical ping, strong bell, but could open up enough to get a nice shoulder crash out of. Sadly, Zildjian spent 25 years moving away from that kind of sound.

I'm really pleased to hear that Zildjian has turned back and has begun making sweet, musical cymbals again.

Looking more closely at your pic, even the hammering and lathing looks more like a vintage A...

Last edited by Winston_Wolf; 08-12-2013 at 07:26 AM. Reason: added one more thought
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Bull View Post

I ended up buying the 21" Sweet Ride to use as a crash.
It's funny, I did the same exact thing, and I've read more than a few accounts of people liking this cymbal more as a crash than a ride. I get a kick out of the commonalities drummers share.

You could be a professional gear reviewer Mr. Road Bull. I really liked how you stated your background, and your stance as it related to your past cymbal experiences, so the reader can get a more complete picture of where you are coming from. Plus the review itself was very comprehensive.

Wouldn't THAT be a nice gig, right? Reviewing gear for dollars?
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
It's funny, I did the same exact thing, and I've read more than a few accounts of people liking this cymbal more as a crash than a ride. I get a kick out of the commonalities drummers share.

You could be a professional gear reviewer Mr. Road Bull. I really liked how you stated your background, and your stance as it related to your past cymbal experiences, so the reader can get a more complete picture of where you are coming from. Plus the review itself was very comprehensive.

Wouldn't THAT be a nice gig, right? Reviewing gear for dollars?
Sign me up brother!

And thank you for the kind words. I just try to include the kind of information that I would like to find if I was considering a new piece of gear. It's crazy to think just how much the internet and topic forums have changed our access to information and research in general.

I feel that by providing some insight and contributing to this drumming community is a just a small way to pay back, and pay forward access to sharing of good information and perspective. I have read many great reviews here, and watched many great links and youtube clips. There just is so much great gear out there today. It's a great time to be a drummer.

-Ryder
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

I can see why you like your 24" ride. I love my reissue Paiste 602 Medium ride.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Great review, thanks!

I'm still really digging the Paiste cymbals I got last year, but I'm interested in this 24" ride big time.
24's are my favorite size ride when using the 26" bass drum, which is basically the only size I've used in the last 12 years (other than a back line kit).

I use the 21" Sweet Ride as a crash also.

All my (kept) Zildjian's are pre-2000, and I'll say it, after they started changing things the A's sucked. Drummers that have been coming up in the last 10 years or so, that have not heard the A line cymbals sound like this from Zildjian are in for a treat (IMHO).

I'll be looking to get the 24", and maybe even a new 21" SR, just to keep things consistent.

I have one really great SR, and one that's just real nice, so that one will probably get shipped off now.
I'd like to get a nice 20" crash also--which is what I could NOT get 10-12 years ago. A GOOD sounding 20" cymbal. I tried 4 times, shipped to the shop directly from Zildjian!!

Last week I played a new 20" Medium ride that was also great as a crash. Stick sound was there, real nice bell, and you could crash it and get a "just right" sound--from a Medium Ride.
Wow, what a nice change.

From this review, and a couple of other accounts, and the online video, I think I could use this 24 in a 2 cymbal set up, and be good with the amount of "crash" this one will get.

I'm using a 20 and 24 now, but I'd rather use a 21 (which would be the 21SR), and a 24" cymbal.
In a 3 cymbal set, I have a couple really great early 80's 22" Zildjian A-MAC cymbals that are Medium Thins (!) to pick from.

And I said I'd probably never buy a new Zildjian cymbal again.

Now they can bring back the 20" Swish, and 15" Quick Beat hats!
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Nice review. I take it you think A Zildjians up to 2012 were different? I know you used words like 'clangy' - but are the 2013's that much different? I'm using a 24" K Light Ride now because I think I was looking for what you found - I wanted it to wash nicely and not be clangy, and I found that it my K. So the new A Zildjians you think are more musical?
Bo -

I recently acquired a pair of the newly re-designed New Beat hi-hats. Very different compared to those of the last 12 years or so. The new ones are lighter in weight, and the sound is more pleasing than their predecessors. They are my new "all-purpose" hats.

Now I have a big problem. My crystal ball tells me that I will spend more money in the near future for various sizes of the new A. Zildjians !!!
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

I think Zildjian may have been experimenting with lighter cymbals since before officially rolling them out this year. Last year, after going through a a half dozen ride cymbals (with varying degrees of success) to replace an older mid-'90s 22" A Medium Ride, I happened upon a new (2012) 22" A Medium Ride while checking out a couple Ks and a SR. This cymbal was incredible - lighter than my old one by a mile but more ride-like than any SR I tried, which were no ride-like enough for what I was looking for. I bought it right then and there, taking it over any of the Ks I was looking at, including a 21" K Custom Hybrid that was on sale for less!

I posted on this board about what an anomalous cymbal I scored, but I think I might have just caught the first wave of where Zildjian was going ... too bad my new 15" New Beats weren't part of that wave :(

Love my new ride!
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by KirbyM View Post
Bo -

I recently acquired a pair of the newly re-designed New Beat hi-hats. Very different compared to those of the last 12 years or so. The new ones are lighter in weight, and the sound is more pleasing than their predecessors. They are my new "all-purpose" hats.

Now I have a big problem. My crystal ball tells me that I will spend more money in the near future for various sizes of the new A. Zildjians !!!
Wow... Now I feel old. I had to think about how old my New Beats are. I think I bought them either in 1988 or 1989. Holy cow! My hats are around twenty five years old! That made me feel old fast.

I could definitely see picking up more new offerings as I find other gems.

KarlCrafton just about made me want to go pick up some sweet sounding Paiste 2002's that he turned me on to. I will have to revisit that one when my bank account stop screaming.

Last edited by Road Bull; 08-13-2013 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

I think I will avoid checking them out at the shops. I don't need another $2000 bill to be paid ;)
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

Great review, Bull.

24" is too big for me - takes up too much real estate. I have a 20" A medium ride. I like the tone of its ride and crash, though I use a small bit of gaffa underneath to tame it a little. The bell isn't great - it's unforgiving if you don't use exactly the right touch with the stick shoulder. I imagine the larger bell on the 24" would be better.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Zildjian 24" Medium Ride Review: 2013 Edition

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
Great review, Bull.

24" is too big for me - takes up too much real estate. I have a 20" A medium ride. I like the tone of its ride and crash, though I use a small bit of gaffa underneath to tame it a little. The bell isn't great - it's unforgiving if you don't use exactly the right touch with the stick shoulder. I imagine the larger bell on the 24" would be better.
Thanks Anon,

I hear you about the bell. I was kinda stressing about how the bell was going to sound when I got it. I had been using a 20" Ping Ride that I picked up off my guitarist. When I started to play with the guys that I play with now, they had a kit and a few cymbals at the house. I had to commute from Seattle to Tacoma, so I just brought what I needed and things that they didn't have for the first few practices.

The 24" Medium Ride's bell is not that picky. It is pretty forgiving when shouldering the bell. I hate setting up a strike on a bell to be nice in clear at the desired time only to get a weak clicky bell sound.

The Ping Ride actually worked great for what we do. The bell is a brutal stick breaker when it wants to be. I love that bell. However, when I would transition to the bow and play more on the body, I felt that 20" Ping had a harder time opening up and producing volume without straining. I realized that I needed to find a larger, more open ride.

There were several great rides in the running. I was looking at several Zildjians. I like many of the Zildjian K rides. I tend to favor the traditional K's over the K Customs for rides, at least for now. I was wanting something between a larger 22" K Heavy Ride, and/or a 22" K Ride. I have heard great ones in stores and otherwise, but I have also heard two 22" K Rides side by side with one being GREAT with a clear bell and beautiful controlled wash and trashy accents. And the other identical cymbal was a lot more washy with a weaker bell. So for these cymbals, I would have to try before I buy. I was also looking at the new 23" Zildjian Sweet Ride. I for one, think it is a GREAT sounding ride. It is a good bit more washy than the Medium Ride and can have a slightly less loud bell. Although I have heard new Sweet Rides with GREAT bells! Ultimately for me, I felt that I might be in a situation where I would be overplaying it's intended volume. I don't intentionally like abusing my gear or pushing it beyond what it was designed for. So I felt that the Medium weight would help with volume projection and hold down over-wash.

But like everything else your mileage may vary. The guy at the drum shop preferred the washyer K a lot more.

I also looked at several Sabian cymbals, some RBDR's some Groove Rides, and some Bash Rides. I have to say that Sabian has some GREAT sounding bells on their cymbals. They very consistently impressed my in that department.

I even got turned on to Paiste pretty late in the game. If I was starting all over again. I might give a lot more consideration to their 2002's (and I might still down the road). I have heard some great sounding 24" 2002 Rides. Super loud bell with an intoxicatingly perfect amount of stick to musical wash and tone, all while being crashable! I had always discounted Paiste prior to doing some serious listening as being too mixed or perfect. They also seem to be pretty consistent in their personalities within identical cymbals as well.

Let it be known that I was also looking for a ride that would fit within the context of my band. I mean who isn't right? But our band plays pretty loud heavy music (think Black Sabbathy sounding stuff). But I still like and prefer musical sounding cymbals. There are plenty of cymbals out there that could deliver ATTACK if that is what I was searching for. I was looking to balance many key areas to buy a very versatile and musical cymbal.

If I wanted to, I am sure I could find a cymbal that would be better in at least one or two of my listed categories in my review. But I felt that this one struck a nice balance between all of the things I was looking for my ride to do.

Last edited by Road Bull; 08-13-2013 at 07:26 AM. Reason: added a few details.
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