B20 or bust

Griffin

Well-known member
I’ve always been a Paiste guy so the idea a cymbal has to be b20 allot to me has always seemed silly. But I notice whenever someone asks for cymbal advice a bunch of people will respond and use b20 as a way to justify their suggestions. Do people still believe in b20 or bust? And if so why/why not? just intrigued to see people’s take on how important or not cymbal alloy is.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
You should take a spin through this thread:

 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Every cymbal company other than Paiste (that I'm aware of) uses B8 only for their low level, student-quality cymbals. That has created a very strong impression that B8 equals bad sounding junk.

That impression is hard to shake because, unless you play Paiste, all professional lines are made of B20.

But it is the amount of hand work and care that goes into the cymbal, and not exclusively the alloy it is made out of, that really defines a cymbal's potential. Obviously Paiste is a big leader in this area, since they make a lot of very fine-sounding professional level cymbals out of B8.

I think the root of the "alloy snobbery" that exists today is because unless you play Paiste you don't really have very many options for good-sounding cymbals that aren't B20. Sabian tried to introduce a semi-pro B8 series (APX) but while they were a big improvement over their student-level cymbals they never caught on and the line had a pretty short lifespan. Zildjian's S series (and ZHT that begat them) is another example of a good-sounding semi-pro line of cymbals that aren't B20 but both companies position their non B20 cymbals more as a stepping stone up to their professional lines and not as a true alternative to them.

Company mindset and pricing structure reinforces that divide by only having B20 cymbals at the apex of the product line. Paiste is different because they have more non-B20 professional lines, but their most expensive cymbals are all B20 too.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've elaborated on this topic in other threads to the point of exhaustion, so I'll confine myself to brevity to conserve my energy. A cymbal is no better than it sounds, and all sounds are subjective. In blind tests, I guarantee that some drummers would choose a B8, B12, or B15 cymbal over a B20. Upon learning that their pick is less than B20, however, they'd also be likely to exclaim, "Oh, I don't want that one, then!" Bias makes people draw preposterous conclusions. And in most cases, drummers who claim that B20 is always better have no comprehension of the subtle influences that determine the outcome of a cymbal's character. It's not about the alloy; it's about what's done with the alloy. Silly subscription to one alloy or another has no logical basis whatsoever. But in the realm of consumerism, logic and decision-making are often at odds.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Ahhh! But have you tried B25?
I've read that what starts as B25 is unavoidably reduced to B22 or B23, owing to various chemical reactions that occur during the manufacturing process. I don't know whether that's true or not. Zultan, I believe, makes a B25 cymbal. I haven't heard it though.
 
On a side note: As a non-native speaker of Modern English I'd like to applaud Mr. Jones for his tireless endeavors to enrichen our collective vocabulary via the dissemination of scantly utilized expressions and word thingies which I can now harness erroneously in quotidian conversations. The content is also always good. :)
I think there is also an independent cymbal manufacturer who uses B8 to make some very fine cymbals but I can't recall the name.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
No, but I have tried pure tin cymbals and like aluminum foil they tend to bend rather easily. Some will even tear rather than crack, so I'd recommend not using anything above B20.
So you’d make a recommendation based on never having any actual experience with it? 😁

There are not a lot of manufacturers using it as it is much more difficult to manufacture. But the ones I have are a bit lower in pitch than what you would expect had they been B20. As far as actual content percentages from what I have read all cast cymbals vary a bit overall especially if you measure inch by inch.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
On a side note: As a non-native speaker of Modern English I'd like to applaud Mr. Jones for his tireless endeavors to enrichen our collective vocabulary via the dissemination of scantly utilized expressions and word thingies which I can now harness erroneously in quotidian conversations. The content is also always good. :)
As a native American-English speaker, the above sentence is probably too complex for the average native American-English speaker. We are used to grammaticide. Things like "aint got no", "more better", "you want I should", and "used to could've" reign supreme. Thank you for taking the time to try to get right what most native American-English speakers cant.

Does the rest of the English speaking world have this problem?
 
As a native American-English speaker, the above sentence is probably too complex for the average native American-English speaker. We are used to grammaticide. Things like "aint got no", "more better", "you want I should", and "used to could've" reign supreme. Thank you for taking the time to try to get right what most native American-English speakers cant.
Haha, thanks - To clarify that I'm not mocking anybody: I actually enjoy that I learn some new words every now and then but his posts seem natural to me and not stilted. If anything, I'm mocking foreigners who use overly complex sentences to try to sound like they are an Oxford professor. :)
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
To me B20 is just what cymbals sound like. With all the B8 cymbals I've played there's something missing in the high end-- they're a little mellower, or duller. It's a very particular sound that is kind of like playing a Remo Pinstripe-- even if it's basically OK, it's got that Pinstripey/B8y thing about it.

The Paiste Signature alloy does the same thing in the opposite direction-- the highs are kind of amped up. Good for cutting through electric instruments, but not a real pretty sound. Kind of alien.

There are plenty of weird B20 cymbals of course. Increasingly so. I visited Istanbul last year and almost everything I played was slightly wrong. The very few Italian cymbals I've ever played had that same dull quality I associate with bad B8s.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
On a side note: As a non-native speaker of Modern English I'd like to applaud Mr. Jones for his tireless endeavors to enrichen our collective vocabulary via the dissemination of scantly utilized expressions and word thingies which I can now harness erroneously in quotidian conversations. The content is also always good. :)
I do appreciate your tribute, Swissward, as well as your heroic use of "quotidian." Keep up the erudite work.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
The Signature Dark Energy Line is one of their most expensive lines. They are not B20 and they are made from sheets...
It’s only the 602s and Masters that are made from B20. So all of the signatures (incl. dark energy) are Paiste signature alloy (B15ish I think). And the rest are B8.
 
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