20" Zildjian K custom??

veggo32

Silver Member
Hey everyone just purchased this cymbal used and was wondering if anyone knows anything about it. I'm sure its not "vintage old" or anything like that, at the same time I'm sure its not from the newer lines that zildjian has put out. Furthermore I can't locate any stamps on it which is puzzling. I would appreciate any help. thanks.
 

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alparrott

Platinum Member
Your images didn't work, but if it looks like this, then it is the "original" K Custom, which was at one time the only K Custom cymbal in the line. It's a heavy, unlathed ride with both regular circumferencial hammering and random hand hammering. It's good for nearly any application They came out originally in the mid-80's and are still popular today. I bought mine new in 1991 and still use it exclusively 20 years later for any and all applications from light coffeehouse gigs with brushes, to full-on metal in clubs, and all points in between. A great cymbal, valued new currently at $USD 300-330.
 

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veggo32

Silver Member
sorry had some resizing issues but there up and running now. How about the stamp? does yours have a stamp? You mentioned 80's, when did Z stop these runs around 90?.
What are these going for on the used market? I haven't cleaned it yet there are some stains which will come off easily with soap and water.
 
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double_G

Silver Member
i have one too...bought in 1990 i think. something about the machine hammering on that one makes me think it is an early one. i believe by the 90s, they had moved to a rounder machine hammer head (what i have), like a ball-peen hammer instead of a square one (in your shot).
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
sorry had some resizing issues but there up and running now. How about the stamp? does yours have a stamp? You mentioned 80's, when did Z stop these runs around 90?.
What are these going for on the used market? I haven't cleaned it yet there are some stains which will come off easily with soap and water.

They still make them, except now with 200 other cymbals in the K Custom line, they call it the K Custom Ride. Still the same cymbal, though.

A somewhat overzealous cleaning removed the K and the model info from my cymbal, but it's still got the K Zildjian stamp on it up top.

Figure if yours still has the ink on it, it's in pretty decent shape. You should be able to get over $200 for it, and I've seen very good specimens going as high as $300, which is almost street price for a new one. If you *are* going to sell it, clean it gently and start high. But I recommend not selling it. Play it once and you might just fall in love like I did.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
I bought one when they first came out (because Weckl was playing one LOL). I love it and still use it today. I've always called it my darker Ping ride. Great cymbal. It's odd that you say the stamp is missing. Mine was one of the first ones and it has a K. Zildjian stamp on it.
 

veggo32

Silver Member
Ya I'm puzzled about the stamp too, I've looked diligently but can not locate it. Where is it on yours? All the ink is in tact I think? The big K is on top and it just says CUSTOM 20"/51cm and on teh bottom it say Zildjian is there anything I'm missing?

I'm not going to be selling this cymbal ever I love the way it plays, looks and sounds. I was playing an A custom ride 20" for a couple of years which was included in a bulk a custom used purchase but never was truly happy with it. The only thing i liked about it was that it's crashable. The k custom is hands down imo a way better cymbal more versatile and has a nice cutting bell and way less wash.. It's not as crashable as the a custom but if your using 2b's it will open up and provide a dark crash sound, but crashing it is not a main concern for me.

So, regarding the hammering being square like, you say this method was used in the
80"s? interesting!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Ya I'm puzzled about the stamp too, I've looked diligently but can not locate it. Where is it on yours? All the ink is in tact I think? The big K is on top and it just says CUSTOM 20"/51cm and on teh bottom it say Zildjian is there anything I'm missing?

I'm not going to be selling this cymbal ever I love the way it plays, looks and sounds. I was playing an A custom ride 20" for a couple of years which was included in a bulk a custom used purchase but never was truly happy with it. The only thing i liked about it was that it's crashable. The k custom is hands down imo a way better cymbal more versatile and has a nice cutting bell and way less wash.. It's not as crashable as the a custom but if your using 2b's it will open up and provide a dark crash sound, but crashing it is not a main concern for me.

So, regarding the hammering being square like, you say this method was used in the
80"s? interesting!

Yeah, I haven't looked at a modern K Custom "ride" (probably because I'm so monumentally uninterested in replacing the one I have... I even insured the bloody thing). But it stands to reason that with the modern K Custom line, they might have revisited the hammering. A shame, too, because as you say, they are almost perfect cymbals. Glad to hear you are keeping yours.

If you trace around the outside four lines of square hammering, you should find an actual stamp that was pressed into the metal that looks similar to a modern Zildjian stamp, but with a crescent and star over it, denoting that it's a K. See below. (Mine hasn't been cleaned in about four years... it's getting a very interesting patina on it and is sounding pretty sweet.)
 

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Muckster

Platinum Member
I'll look at mine tonight when i get home an snap a pic of the stamp and it's location.
 

veggo32

Silver Member
Thanks found the stamp, its not that prominent so you really have to look. But its there!
thanks for the tip alparrott. I'ld like to see more pics of this cymbal from anyone that owns one and their thoughts about it
I find the different hammering techniques fascinating because they really tell a story about the era and the thought process behind the technique.
 

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alparrott

Platinum Member
Interesting how yours is facing "in" and mine is facing "out - obviously not a machine applied stamp eh?
 

veggo32

Silver Member
Yes its interesting but i don't know enough to determine whether its machine stamp or not. But the stamps are exactly the same otherwise. I was browsing some vintage and nonvintage k's and noticed the same stamp on the vintage cymbals, the only difference being that the star was not fully inside the crescent, about 1/3 of it was outside.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Got my K Custom Ride late 80's ..one of the original first production cymbals.Brilliant finish and no lathing.Loud cymbal and even a louder bell.

Steve B
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
I have one of these too. My favourite ride!

Without wanting to disagree with Al, I don't think they make this exact cymbal anymore. Either that, or the ones they make are very different now (uh-oh, here comes another 'they don't make 'em like they used to' thread...)

I have both models, and they're both great, but different. My 'K Custom Ride' (the one they still make, and a very nice cymbal) is noticeably heavier and has different hammering than my 'K Custom' (this one, the original one, which was made in the 80's). Plus the (original) 'K Custom' has a tiny bit less 'ping' and and much more spread as you move to the edge. And a sweeter bell sound. I haven't checked the stamps to compare them though (LOL)

I bought my 'K Custom' on eBay (because I came to the conclusion that they didn't make the 'original' one any more, so I couldn't get it in the shops). It hasn't come off my kit since. I paid $175 for it, which I considered a bargain at the time. I wouldn't sell it for anything, it's perfect! Enjoy it.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I have one of these too. My favourite ride!

Without wanting to disagree with Al, I don't think they make this exact cymbal anymore. Either that, or the ones they make are very different now (uh-oh, here comes another 'they don't make 'em like they used to' thread...)

I have both models, and they're both great, but different. My 'K Custom Ride' (the one they still make, and a very nice cymbal) is noticeably heavier and has different hammering than my 'K Custom' (this one, the original one, which was made in the 80's). Plus the (original) 'K Custom' has a tiny bit less 'ping' and and much more spread as you move to the edge. And a sweeter bell sound. I haven't checked the stamps to compare them though (LOL)

I bought my 'K Custom' on eBay (because I came to the conclusion that they didn't make the 'original' one any more, so I couldn't get it in the shops). It hasn't come off my kit since. I paid $175 for it, which I considered a bargain at the time. I wouldn't sell it for anything, it's perfect! Enjoy it.

Bonz, after looking at an extreme closeup of the "modern" K Custom Ride on Amazon (extreme closeup! Whooooooaaaaaa!!!!), I think *I* disagree with myself. It's obviously not the same hammering pattern that they used up until the rebranding of the K Custom line. I don't see the circumferenced rectangular hammering anywhere. And it's a pity that Zildjian can't keep a good thing on the shelf. (I bet they'll re-release it in ten years as "The K Custom Classic Ride" or something.)

I bet if you compare stamps, you will see the modern Ride has a laser-etched stamp as opposed to the actually-stamped K Custom. I don't know offhand whether the modern Ks and K Customs still have the star, crescent, and K Zildjian type instead of Zildjian and Co.

For $175 you got a great deal. I bought mine from a music store in downtown Monterey, CA back in February, 1991 for about $390 new - which was somewhere close to 75% of my pay for a month back then. I rationalized this by saying that February was a short month. (Hey.... my K Custom's twenty years old this week!)
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Well, I couldn't help myself. I checked the stamps on both cymbals. Al, you're right. The newer one ('K Custom Ride') has a nice clear 'stamp' (laser etched, eh? Who knew?), whereas the original 'K Custom' has a slightly one-sided stamp that has obviously been, er, stamped. It's the same stamp (Star and Crescent, 'K Zildjian & Co') but just done differently.

So they are different then. And yes, maybe one day they'll re-issue it...ha!
Well well, another mystery solved! Either way, a great cymbal.
 

Willyvee

Junior Member
Hello All- realize this is an old thread, but wanted to note that I have one the first K Custom rides also- it was actually the first really nice ride a bought back in the mid/late 80's. I had actually held off on pulling the trigger on a ride because, at the time, I couldn't decide between a "rock" or "jazz" ride (I was just a teen at that time). When the Custom K came out I was like "this is perfect"- unlike many of the choices I made as a youth, I was dead on right about that one! Actually, I still have that ride and use it extensively (actually used it exclusively up till a few years ago).
I wanted to ask what kind of results you guys with these original K Customs get in terms of the cymbal opening up when shanked- mike opens with a massive crash but definitely needs some pretty serious motivation to do so (as compared to my super thin 20" bliss- of course, it opens up when I think about shouldering it LOL. Wouldn't give up the K Custom for any other cymbal. There are a lot of cool cymbals out there, but this guy is an awesome work horse- If someone could only buy one ride and had to cover a wide variety of styles I would definitely say check out the K Custom. IMHO the only "weakness" on mine is that it doesn't open up and crash so easily- however, if I need a simply MASSIVE crash it can deliver- what's your experience?
It's funny, I was playing in a little church/jazz outfit (the minister was a great trumpet player who was a retired music/jazz prof.) My bassist (and close friend) asked me if that wasn't the ride I used on rock gigs and if it was a rock ride (basically saying it sounded great in a jazz context and that he had thought it was a rock cymbal). I told it him that that was what I loved about it, it really was both. My core cymbal setup that I still use to this day consists of early 80's 14" New Beats, the 20" K Custom and a 18" A Med Thin (I have tons of other pies now, but those are the first "real" or "pro" cymbals I ever owned. I don't know about the current versions of these cymbals, but the ones I have are simply great at everything! The ideal "workhorse" set.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
No problem reopening this thread from me... I'll talk about my K Custom all day.

Shanking mine gets a really dark, gongy "bonnnnng" crash. Not my first choice for a crash sound, I play medium-thins and thins for crashes. However, I do crash my K Custom for that effect on certain songs, it just sounds low and ominous compared to my higher pitched As and A Customs.

We ought to make a club for original K Custom owners. I agree, it's the go everywhere, do anything ride.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Well as long as this old thread is back from the dead.

I like my K Customs too. I had a 20 KC that I bought used in '93 or '94. I should have never sold it.

I have a couple of 18" crashes. The KC Fast crash and the Session crash. Both have great sounds.

I have been using regularly a 22" KC High Definition ride that I got back in '04. I went up to the Zildjian factory, did a little tour, and they let me try a bunch of these rides that they had recently made. This was Terri Lyne Carrington's signature ride when it first came out and I was intriqued.

Wide spiral lathing, raw bell, big and round hammering. Very different from anything I was used to. At first, I was smitten with the darker smoky tone, the dryness, the controlled spread and that the stick feel is a lot like the Ping ride I was so used to playing. So I picked one and they sent it to my local GC and I bought it. Then I started playing it in a band context and I was baffled. It didn't work so well. The darker stick tone got lost in the mix a bit. What it had in definition didn't sound overall as good without more wash behind it. Not a very useful crash sound for most of the Blues, Funk and R&B we were doing. I rotated it out for a while and went back to the A sounds that seemed more familiar to me. The Ping, the Medium, the Sweet.

A few years after TLC redesigned the ride in 2008 to be thinner and more crashable, I got curious. Eventually a Guitar Center near me had one in stock and I brought my KCHD and tried it side by side to the new one. I wasn't thrilled. That trend for more crashable rides turned the new incarnation of this ride into a dud.

Then I was listening to one of my favorite albums by Hadden Sayers. His live album, Swingin' from the Fabulous Satellite had this great ride cymbal sound that just spoke to me as being the almost quintessential ride sound for Blues and Rock. I was convinced it was an old A or maybe even a K Heavy. I emailed the drummer, Eric "Magic Baby" Hansen and a week or so later he emailed me back and said that it was in fact a 20" Sabian Leopard Ride. He also said that he had had a really fantastic sound engineer on that album.

This link is to a fairly decent file to hear this ride sound.
http://haddensayers.com/en/music/23619/12115/

Anybody's who has ever played that ride will tell you that it's heavy, dark, dry and a bit of a beast. The 22" version even more so. I started listening to some videos by Billy Ward, Tommy Igoe, Al Evans from SoulLive and mycymbal.com to hear the K Custom HD since they all have played this ride.

On mycymbal.com, the ride sound was like I hear it underneath me on my kit. A little too dark, too dry, a bit gongy when shanking the bow. All the players' recording sounded great. A bit brighter, defined stick prominent in the mix and a cushiony wash instead of gong tone.

Then my friend Clay played my kit with a set of 2Bs and I sat about 30 feet in front in our rehearsal room and he beat the snot out of that ride for about 30 minutes. I had a pencil condenser mic under it and recorded it to a Zoom R16. Unbelievable the difference in sound.

So I really learned something when it comes to the difference in recorded sounds and FOH sounds in relation to my sound perception of the kit underneath me.

Now I always take the extra time and trouble to mic up my ride so that it's right up there in the PA. I also always bring my own mic clamp so that I can use the high hat mic for the ride if I have to fore go one for the other.

Now I love my K Custom High Definition ride. It's a 6 lb. slab of heaven that is everything my Ping ride can never be. As long as I use at least a wood tip 5B it sounds fantastic. Nylon tips brighten it up nicely for Rock. It doesn't want to be played like a 4 or 5 lb. ride.

There are some really great rides in the K Custom line. I've played them all and I like the 20 K Custom ride, the 21 K Hybrid Ride and the 22" K Custom ride the best after my HD ride.

I also really like that Sabian HH RBDR. I played one of those last summer on another drummer's kit and it had the same qualities that I look for in a ride.

I think one of other members, Wy Yung, has this ride. I haven't met or dialogued with any other players that have this ride. Wy, if you're out there, how about a cymbal review on the 22KCHD ride.
 

SpareRib

Senior Member
My Mom bought me a 20" K Custom Heavy ride when I was 12 or 13 years old from a used music store for $75!!! I asked her earlier this year if she remembered having bought that for me because it was one of the best gifts I have ever received, aside from the Pearl Masters Studio kit she bought me! Gotta love Mom! I don't have the drums any more but I'll NEVER, EVER get rid of that ride. It's heavy and thick and likes to play rough. It's bell could slice through Hendrix-esque feedback from a stack of Marshalls. It fully awakens when played with 2Bs or heavier. I really like the Vic Firth SD1 and the Buddy Rich models on this ride. It has ruined other ride cymbals for me. I always compare them to it and they never really measure up. I went through years of not understanding how to play this ride or feeling bashful for having such a fire breathing demon under my stick but then i turned a corner and learned how to sooth the demon with just the right flick of the wrist or unleash unholy hell with shank of my stick.

Sorry to wax poetic but that's just how special that cymbal is to me along with my 14" New Beat Hi-hats. I'll never get rid of those either!
 
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