B20 or bust

harryconway

Platinum Member
Do people still believe in b20 or bust?
Probably many do, some do not.
And if so why/why not? just intrigued to see people’s take on how important or not cymbal alloy is.
As a Paiste guy, you KNOW Paiste gets it right. Look no further than the 2002 line, to find great sounding B8 cymbals. But, they do come at a (usually) premium price. So ..... while Paiste hits it out of the park, most all B8 discussion comes in the form of beginner cymbal "what should I get?" And you simply can't equate a $1100 Paiste 2002 cymbal pack to someone else's $200 B8 cymbal pack.

Sound is important. Not the alloy it's made with. And too be fair ..... there's a boat load of B20 cymbals out there, that I don't like, either. Volumes more B20 series out there, that I won't buy/play either. Simply 'cause they don't make the noise I like. We like what we like. We play what we play.
 
I wouldn't say it's my favorite ride ever. It sustains a bit too long for my taste.
Have you tried a small piece of transparent tape on the underside of the cymbal to reduce the sustain a bit? Transparent because your set looks very clean and I guess that you might not like a visible tape. ;)
Sound is important. Not the alloy it's made with. And too be fair ..... there's a boat load of B20 cymbals out there, that I don't like, either. Volumes more B20 series out there, that I won't buy/play either. Simply 'cause they don't make the noise I like. We like what we like. We play what we play.
Time to close the thread! :) I also don't care for 2002s but if that's what works for a drummer in a certain situation, it's the right choice.

One quick addendum to the trash cymbals I posted earlier: I still think they are terrible but they do a better job at emulating a drum machine than the Meinl Generation X. They could also work as a cheap alternative to those Low Volume cymbals because they are so dull. Zildjian's Remix/Uptown cymbals are excellent based on what I've been able to play and much better of course.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Have you tried a small piece of transparent tape on the underside of the cymbal to reduce the sustain a bit? Transparent because your set looks very clean and I guess that you might not like a visible tape. ;)

Time to close the thread! :) I also don't care for 2002s but if that's what works for a drummer in a certain situation, it's the right choice.

One quick addendum to the trash cymbals I posted earlier: I still think they are terrible but they do a better job at emulating a drum machine than the Meinl Generation X. They could also work as a cheap alternative to those Low Volume cymbals because they are so dull. Zildjian's Remix/Uptown cymbals are excellent based on what I've been able to play and much better of course.
Ha! You're right about the cleanliness of my gear. Visible tape on a cymbal would irk me, though I do, on rare occasion, apply blue painter's tape to my snare's batter head.

With regard to my ride, the sustain isn't really a nuisance. It just wouldn't be a feature of my ideal ride cymbal. If I wanted to abbreviate its voice, though, invisible tape would be an apt approach.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
As a side note on pricing: tin trades at about 2.5x the price of copper. Merely adding a higher costing metal in larger ratios will inevitably increase investment cost into the product. The more something costs to make, the higher its retail price will be. There are people who believe the more something costs, the better/higher quality it must be. -which as we all know isn't necessarily true.
 

roncadillac

Member
Ha! You're right about the cleanliness of my gear. Visible tape on a cymbal would irk me, though I do, on rare occasion, apply blue painter's tape to my snare's batter head.

With regard to my ride, the sustain isn't really a nuisance. It just wouldn't be a feature of my ideal ride cymbal. If I wanted to abbreviate its voice, though, invisible tape would be an apt approach.
Go to a craft store and get the fancy colored duct tape, they've got metallic colors like gold and bronze that I bet you couldn't see from a few feet away.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
Is there a complete spread sheet including all the lines of cymbal with their alloys ? That would be a very useful tool to help people constructing their opinions based on the technical. A method for comparing things according to the marketing.

A complete spread sheet including:
Brand, Line, year, type, size, cast or sheet metal, alloy, price, etc. And perhaps a chart to match the similar alloys from one company to another if they use different names for that.

After that, it would be easier to do associations.

Perhaps not useful for some people, but for me it would be an awesome tool to compare everything at once.

On the Astronomy forum I visit, CloudyNights.com, they have a popular eyepiece spread sheet for telescopes, it's a very popular tool there.

Just asking, since the passion for cymbal is obviously very high :)
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Is there a complete spread sheet including all the lines of cymbal with their alloys ? That would be a very useful tool to help people constructing their opinions based on the technical. A method for comparing things according to the marketing.

A complete spread sheet including:
Brand, Line, year, type, size, cast or sheet metal, alloy, price, etc. And perhaps a chart to match the similar alloys from one company to another if they use different names for that.

After that, it would be easier to do associations.

Perhaps not useful for some people, but for me it would be an awesome tool to compare everything at once.

On the Astronomy forum I visit, CloudyNights.com, they have a popular eyepiece spread sheet for telescopes, it's a very popular tool there.

Just asking, since the passion for cymbal is obviously very high :)
Sabian and Zildjian's websites are well laid out with alloy descriptors for each series of cymbals. Paiste uses metallurgical synonyms (CuSn8 for B8, CuSn20 for B20, "Proprietary Signature Bronze" for B15) but otherwise is very clear about each series' alloy. Meinl is the only major manufacturer that isn't very clear about alloy. In general their website isn't great, but I think it would be in their best interest to be as clear and explanatory as possible since they're not as well known as the big three.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
Sabian and Zildjian's websites are well laid out with alloy descriptors for each series of cymbals. Paiste uses metallurgical synonyms (CuSn8 for B8, CuSn20 for B20, "Proprietary Signature Bronze" for B15) but otherwise is very clear about each series' alloy. Meinl is the only major manufacturer that isn't very clear about alloy. In general their website isn't great, but I think it would be in their best interest to be as clear and explanatory as possible since they're not as well known as the big three.
I looked up all the brands of cymbal makers and there are far more then expected. Building a sheet might take a lifetime lol

 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Sabian and Zildjian's websites are well laid out with alloy descriptors for each series of cymbals. Paiste uses metallurgical synonyms (CuSn8 for B8, CuSn20 for B20, "Proprietary Signature Bronze" for B15) but otherwise is very clear about each series' alloy. Meinl is the only major manufacturer that isn't very clear about alloy. In general their website isn't great, but I think it would be in their best interest to be as clear and explanatory as possible since they're not as well known as the big three.
Interestingly, on its A Custom page, Zildjian somewhat takes a cue from Paiste:

"Material: Zildjian Secret Family Alloy."

Ah, the never-ending mysteries.

You know, it wouldn't surprise me if a cymbal as glassy as the A Custom were something other than B20. Probably B4. That would turn everyone's world upside down. :)
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
What's funny is, as I understand it, the Zildjian "secret" was the process they used to make B20 bronze less brittle, so it was easier to work into cymbals. I wonder if the story has changed over time to keep an air of mystery in there, since there isn't much else to truly differentiate Zildjian and Sabian from an alloy perspective...
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
What's funny is, as I understand it, the Zildjian "secret" was the process they used to make B20 bronze less brittle, so it was easier to work into cymbals. I wonder if the story has changed over time to keep an air of mystery in there, since there isn't much else to truly differentiate Zildjian and Sabian from an alloy perspective...
Yeah, it could very well just be codified language to add intrigue to the brand's image. I guess we'll never really know. I'd call and ask (I've talked to Zildjian reps on occasion), but they're unlikely to disclose a family secret.

The gist: Who the hell knows the exact composition of cymbals, especially after they're cooked at 10,000 degrees, creating uneven formulas regardless? The ear is what matters in the end.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I hear you, man I've had entire sets of Paiste 2002s and Signatures. I actually like Zildjian S's more than Paiste 2002s, but Paiste Signatures are VERY hard to beat. Zildjian either hasn't cracked that code yet or doesn't want to fully invest itself in the pursuit of doing so. We'll see what Zildjian's future efforts produce.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying S's quite a bit. Every now and then, I try to find something I dislike about them, but I never really uncover anything that inspires me to kick them to the curb.. My Mastersound hi-hats are excellent, and my Thin Crashes are bright without being obtrusive. There's an underlying mellowness about them that's been quite surprising. The bell of my Medium Ride is nice, and the bow is acceptable, though I wouldn't say it's my favorite ride ever. It sustains a bit too long for my taste.

I usually play a set of cymbals for three to five years, sell them, and replace them with a brand-new set. I'm in my second year with S's. Should I desire a change, A Customs are the most probable destination for me. I'd like to stick with Zildjian, and A Customs have that glassy sound I like so much. Their hammering, lathing, and finish also make them similar to S's.
I played A Customs a lot in the 90's. Only Z's being made at that time that I enjoyed using, to be honest. Back then I previously built up a pile of original A's and K's in my stash.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I played A Customs a lot in the 90's. Only Z's being made at that time that I enjoyed using, to be honest. Back then I previously built up a pile of original A's and K's in my stash.
I can relate in every way. I bought a whole set of brand-new Ks a while back and was disappointed from the outset. They were just too dark and subdued for me. Excellent cymbals, just not my sound. I played them for three years and eventually sold them to a very happy recipient, a jazz drummer to whom Ks were the ultimate series. It all comes down to perspective.

I can state the following with complete honesty: I wouldn't trade my S's for Ks under any circumstances. I'm sure that sounds crazy to some here. It's true regardless.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I made a related post yesterday on this... but for real... This thread got me thinking last night about all of the cymbals I've played over the years and I couldn't tell you the alloy...

Zildjian: A's, A Customs, K's (vintage and newer), K Customs
Bosphorus: Traditionals, Masters, Master Vintage, Grooves, New Orleans
Agop: 30th Anniversary, Signatures, SE Jazz
Paiste: Masters, Signatures, Signature Trad's, Dark Energy, Sound Creations, 2002, Rudes
Crap: Camber, Avanti, Krut and other assorted no-name stuff..

Only things that mattered to me during the phases of which they were purchased was sound and feel.

I suppose if it matters to the end user enough to dig in that far - then have at it.

Truthfully, drums are no different to me. It's all about sound and feel. I could care a less about wood species.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Only things that mattered to me during the phases of which they were purchased was sound and feel.

I suppose if it matters to the end user enough to dig in that far - then have at it.

Truthfully, drums are no different to me. It's all about sound and feel. I could care a less about wood species.
I can't fault a "sound first" mentality, but I will say when you dig into specifics it can help find patterns that lead you to a better understanding of why something sounds good or doesn't.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I can't fault a "sound first" mentality, but I will say when you dig into specifics it can help find patterns that lead you to a better understanding of why something sounds good or doesn't.
You're absolutely correct. I just never gained an interest in any gear enough to dig deep enough into those types of specifics.

I know people take heads, sticks and other elements that deep as well. I know what heads I like and I know what sticks I like. Those haven't changed in over 30 years... I'll bet there are people who take interest in knowing what alloy is in their pedals as well to determine what feels best to them.
 

The Baron

New member
The Signature Dark Energy Line is one of their most expensive lines. They are not B20 and they are made from sheets...
They believe they are cast like most others. Paiste just doesn't have an "in house" foundry so when they get to the Paiste factory they are discs of a very specific weight and thickness. Then the hammering, shaping and lathing start. All part of the quality control.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Is there a complete spread sheet including all the lines of cymbal with their alloys ? That would be a very useful tool to help people constructing their opinions based on the technical. A method for comparing things according to the marketing.

A complete spread sheet including:
Brand, Line, year, type, size, cast or sheet metal, alloy, price, etc. And perhaps a chart to match the similar alloys from one company to another if they use different names for that.
....
Sounds like a good project. Post it up when you're done. ;)

About the topic - I've run across more good B20 cymbals than good B8 cymbals. But there are some B8's that I really like.
 
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