2nd Ride or Crash/Ride with K Custom Dark Ride?

Last week I picked up a used 20" K Zildjian Custom Dark Ride that I'm considering using as my primary ride.

The K Dark doesn't strike me as a perfect ride, but it passes my first test of cymbal selection by not being annoying! (I almost always find some aspect of a ride cymbal annoying.) It also seems well suited to the kind of quieter, small-venue acoustic playing I prefer (country, a bit of jazz, more CCR style than Zeppelin rock, a touch of latin, and belly-rubbers). Meanwhile, I'm discovering that it may be the most "professional" ride I've ever owned, by which I mean that it's surprisingly responsive to different sticking techniques. It's not widely versatile, but I'm impressed by the range of sounds I can get by playing it differently.

However, there's no way to get it to brighten up or get loud enough when I want those sounds. Do I want a brighter/louder sound sometimes? Yeah, I do. Maybe I'm just an old dog who can't learn new tricks, but for 20 years I played two rides and just got into the habit of being able to switch to a brighter/louder one when it seemed the song called for it. Generally, but not always, the switch would be prompted by a change from verse to chorus, or maybe a modulation, or perhaps when the clarinet took the lead. Interestingly, I don't believe I ever used my brighter/louder ride as a main ride cymbal, but I frequently used it within songs to reflect changes.

Anyway, I'm looking for recommendations for a second ride cymbal to supplement the K Custom Dark, but let me complicate the challenge by adding that I'm committed to a minimalist kit with the fewest possible cymbals (ideally only two). I don't want to haul around too much stuff and at my level gigs realistically often require the entire band to squeeze into a space no bigger than a walk-in closet.

As it happens, though, my crash is slated for replacement. It's just a 16" Sabian B8 I picked up used for cheap that mostly serves as a placeholder waiting for me to buy another one. Now I'm wondering if I might be a good customer for a crash/ride. Yeah, these things are neither fish nor fowl. I'm afraid that a crash/ride small and light enough to work as crash in low volume settings (and remember, the K Dark is a quiet cymbal) will be a lousy ride, while any crash/ride that works decently as a ride will have an overly loud crash.

Meanwhile, as a practical matter, I'm too poor to buy new cymbals and live in a country where no stores sell used cymbals and import taxes with shipping costs make buying off eBay or Reverb too expensive. I'm therefore limited to local online classified ads, although there are a few of them.

One guy now has a 20" A Custom ride for sale for a decent price. When I listen to sound files of that cymbal, I don't particularly like it. However, it does seem to provide a sound at the other end of the spectrum from my K Dark and crashes well. Maybe it would be a reasonable practical choice for a second ride, even if using it probably puts me in the position of still wanting a smaller dedicated crash.

Or, heck, maybe I should just pass on using the K Custom Dark as my primary ride and buy something more middle-of-the-road, perhaps a K Custom (non-dark).

Any thoughts (especially from K Dark players)? Not sure, but it seems like many drummers prefer cymbals within the same tonal family, while I'm looking for a contrast.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
No idea of what's available where you're at, but two cymbals came to mind right away.
If you can find them used in your area, they might be worth a try.
They're both 18" crash/rides - an A and a K.

The A came as part of a Zildjian pack - the Pocket Pack, but I'm sure it's available separately.
I liked it a lot when I tried it.

There's a thread about the K here that's worth a read:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112075

I have a 20" K Custom Dark that I really like a lot, but I have it paired with a 22" K Custom Dark
that makes the 20 sound bright in comparison.
The 22 is way dark and low pitched.
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I have the 20" K Custom Dark too, it is a beautiful-sounding ride cymbal when things around it are not too loud.

I've used it in a quiet-ish blues trio setting as a left-side ride, with my 22" K Dark Medium on the right, and I was pleased enough with the combination. I used the K Custom Dark as a crash when needed.

In an even quieter setting, I've used the KCD as the main ride, and a 20" K Dark Thin crash on the left, which is also good for using as a light ride.

You want a brighter/louder cymbal to go with your main ride, but that generally means a bigger/heavier ride cymbal. Maybe you'd be happier with two rides on the right side.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I missed the 'louder' part and focused on the 'brighter' part I guess.

I have an older, regular 20" K ride that would be both.
It doesn't really crash too easy, or too well though.

Have you considered an A Sweet Ride?
I think they're fairly plentiful and would work for what you want.
 
I have the 20" K Custom Dark too, it is a beautiful-sounding ride cymbal when things around it are not too loud.

You want a brighter/louder cymbal to go with your main ride, but that generally means a bigger/heavier ride cymbal. Maybe you'd be happier with two rides on the right side.

Yeah, this is what logic decrees. Plus, since the K Custom Dark crashes well, it can do double duty as an occasional ride-side crash. Still, I'd want a lighter crash on the left, so I'd be looking at three cymbals. To keep it to two cymbals probably requires either swapping out the K Custom Dark for a more middle-of-the-road ride or getting used to it. Some drummers play with only the K Custom Dark as a ride, so maybe I could too. However, there's nothing really wrong with three cymbals. The third doesn't take up much if any more space and it's only one more stand . . .

This cymbal selection stuff sure is a vexation. Thanks.
 
I missed the 'louder' part and focused on the 'brighter' part I guess.

I have an older, regular 20" K ride that would be both.
It doesn't really crash too easy, or too well though.

Have you considered an A Sweet Ride?
I think they're fairly plentiful and would work for what you want.

Thanks. I was thinking that maybe the regular K ride (or frankly a number of other rides) might give me the other sound I'm looking for, but then I'm either up to three cymbals or saying bye-bye to the K Dark.

I actually think your idea of an 18" crash/ride is a good one. I would think that the lighter/brighter wash of a crash/ride would come across as louder, or at least more filling, to my ears, and give me the alternative ride sound I'm looking for. But an 18" heavy enough to ride might be too loud crash in low volume settings. Also, just nosing around the online classifieds for a few days, I've yet to see a single ad for a crash/ride. It seems that people either have crashes or rides (but almost never rides at 18"). An 18" crash/ride seems a rare bird, and then if I stumble upon one I have to test it to see if it works.
 
A or K 20" ride on the right side and the K Custom Dark is on the left.

Thanks, but I fear that the K Custom Dark is too loud/heavy to crash in low volume situations. I've probably been oppressed as a drummer by too many gigs in darn near brushes-only supper clubs, but I'm still afraid of anything except the quietest crash. Whether oppressed or not, I had to chuckle when someone posted elsewhere to the effect that he'd never heard anyone complain that the drummer needed to be louder.

Also, there's my totally illogical sentiment that the darker, jazzier ride ought to be on the right. I can't defend this sentiment by reason, only by tradition, but it feels wrong to me to put the dark on the left.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
Actually, the A Custom ride you mentioned would be a nice contrast to your K and pretty much capable of everything you want.
OTOH, I am not an fan of that cymbal (or A Customs in general) either. I second the crash/ride suggestion - my 20" A is one of my favourite cymbals. Had a 18'" K once - excellent as well.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I have an original 20" K Custom (They were originally a crash ride). If you can get one it's basically a dark ride with a great bell. They're different to the K Custom Ride now, much thinner.

Alternatively an A Medium is a good cheap alternative, that's my go to ride cymbal for everything.

I also have the K 21 Crash Ride Brilliant. Very expensive and is the odd one out in the K line, that would tick every box barring cost.
 
What do you all think of an 18" medium Paiste 2002 as a left side cymbal with the K Custom Dark ride on the right (in a two-cymbal setup)?

The reviews and soundfiles of the Paiste 2002 make it seem like an excellent crash/ride, even though it's not marketed as such. It also seems quite bright, capable of being played loudly, but OK at lower volumes.

My reservation is that the Paiste 2002 may be so different from the K Dark that the two cymbals will conflict with rather than complement one other. This in turn raises the more general question of the extent to which drummers want similar- or different-sounding pieces. I lean in favor of different sounding pieces (never understanding the purpose, for instance, of a half dozen toms tuned a hair different from one another but preferring a two- or three-tom set up with toms of very different pitches). However, there is a point where different-sounding pieces clash instead of complement, and this may be true for cymbals.

It just so happened that I ran across a fair deal on this Paiste 2002 used but haven't seen another suitable used cymbal for sale. Again, I live in a small market (Costa Rica). I was assuming that something in the Zildjian line would be best, but as said haven't seen any suitable Zildjians for sale. There's no reason why I need to rush into buying, but I'm thinking that this Paiste 2002 may be right.

I've got a couple days to think about this so wanted to hear others' opinions about the Paiste 2002 and the K Dark together. Yeah, I know, my ears have to judge, but I also know that my ears are slow judges. It takes my ears days if not weeks or months to form a firm opinion.
 
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