Difference between Zildjian A Medium ride and A sweet ride

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Both are of medium weight. The Sweet Ride is promoted on the basis of its comparative tonal color and richness. I'd go with the 20" A Medium Ride instead, but that's just my preference. Both are very good cymbals.

I like A Customs more than As, by the way.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I think the Sweet Ride is thinner near the edges. It certainly crashes more smoothly and at lower volumes.
I play both regularly on other people's kits and the Medium feels heavier and more pingy than the Sweet.
 
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iCe

Senior Member
Just gave a quick look on zildjian.com
Both are listed as medium in weight, but the thing that pops out the most is that the Sweet Ride is a different bell. It's bigger and alters the sound, producing a higher pitch and one of the reasons it's more pleasant to crashing.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I find the Sweet ride a bit crashier if you're going for a 2 cymbal setup but I have the 21 K brilliant crash/ride for that. Bit of a no mans lands cymbal for me.

With A Mediums it depends what era you're talking about, they've made A mediums for a loooooong time, not sure how long without looking. Get a good one and it'll be one of the most versatile cymbals you'll ever own. Jim Gordon, Joe Morello, Ginger Baker (same ride for 54 years), Buddy Rich etc.

I'm biased my go to ride is a 40+ year old 22" A Medium
 

Pootle

Well-known member
I've owned 4 x A 20" Medium rides (80s, 90s and 2020 models) and 2 x Sweet rides (2017 and 2020 models) over the years. The Medium ride is heavier and has a nice ping but the bell is pretty weak in my opinion. Watch out for the new models as they are suprisingly lighter, my 2020 was more like a crash/ride and it went back to the shop. Despite my obvious efforts, I never found a Medium I was satified with, they just sound average to me, nothing necessarily wrong with them but little personalilty. Crash sound just doesn't do anything remarkable, goingy to my ear - except the newer models possibly. I've heard the new 22" models are good but I haven't tried one.

The 21" Sweet ride has a tapered thinner edge and yes is more crashable but it also has a fanastic loud bell (far larger bell than the Medium). The crash sound is beautiful but can quickly get back to being a ride when required. The 2017 model was 60/40 crash/ride which I loved but I traded it for my new 2020 model which is 60/40 ride/crash and exactly how I want it. Stronger ping, a touch darker but again a beautiful crash/ride sound when you lay into it and give it a good wallop. I absolutely love this cymbal, its a keeper and will never sell it.

Try and get a stick on them first-hand if at all possible as cast cymbals do vary but personally, I would take a Sweet over a Medium any day of the week, all year long.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
The Medium ride I owned was much pingier/brighter than my Sweet Rides and it was not crashable at all, I prefer the Sweet Ride so I sold mine on Craig's List, mine was a late 90s/early 2000s model based on logo.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I've owned 4 x A 20" Medium rides (80s, 90s and 2020 models) and 2 x Sweet rides (2017 and 2020 models) over the years. The Medium ride is heavier and has a nice ping but the bell is pretty weak in my opinion. Watch out for the new models as they are suprisingly lighter, my 2020 was more like a crash/ride and it went back to the shop. Despite my obvious efforts, I never found a Medium I was satified with, they just sound average to me, nothing necessarily wrong with them but little personalilty. Crash sound just doesn't do anything remarkable, goingy to my ear - except the newer models possibly. I've heard the new 22" models are good but I haven't tried one.

This has always been my issue with Zildjian... Way too much variance within the same model, as if "close enough" is the company mantra. Some people like the uniqueness of that but I personally don't like that. I prefer more consistency in a cymbal.
 

roncadillac

Member
I personally feel that if there were a United Nations style board of cymbal makers the second thing they should agree on (after first discontinuing the use of purpose specific titles like 'ride' or 'crash') is to swap the use of the word 'medium' for 'mediocre' because that's what most medium rides are to me. They aren't heavy or pronounced enough to fit in louder settings and they aren't thin and musical enough to fit in subtle settings.

To answer the main question of Zildjian medium vs Zildjian sweet: the sweet ride has a larger bell, more of a sloped shoulder taper (think umbrella shape), and a thinner edge that opens up to a crash much better. Neither are going to be extremely pingy but overall I find the sweet ride to be a more versatile cymbal and the medium to be more boring.

The only 'medium' weight ride cymbal I've ever had that I really liked is my current 18" uptown and I'm a huge fan of that cymbal. It does not have tonal grooves, it's got a very small bell, and it's got huge hammer marks that ad a funky trash to it's pleasing stick sound so it's not even fair to compare it to a standard Zildjian medium or sweet ride.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
I agree with roncadillac above. Medium rides are a "jack of all trades, master of none". I've never met a medium ride I've liked. Like ron C said above, they are too heavy for a quiet jazz gigs but not loud enough to use on a contemporary rock gig. The crash sound is typically pretty harsh on Medium Rides. Usually the bell is "blah" and impersonal. If you own a medium ride in your cymbal bag, it's like having that one friend that only eats white bread and bland rice, only watches network TV sitcoms, dresses only in white shirts and khakis and only listens to adult contemporary instrumental music.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
I have an Armand which is basically a Sweet. I find it very shimmering, maybe a bit washy, but never gongy at all. I find it terrific for a bit of swing or crash-riding, maybe not so cutting for very straight, loud playing.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
I agree with roncadillac above. Medium rides are a "jack of all trades, master of none". I've never met a medium ride I've liked. Like ron C said above, they are too heavy for a quiet jazz gigs but not loud enough to use on a contemporary rock gig. The crash sound is typically pretty harsh on Medium Rides. Usually the bell is "blah" and impersonal. If you own a medium ride in your cymbal bag, it's like having that one friend that only eats white bread and bland rice, only watches network TV sitcoms, dresses only in white shirts and khakis and only listens to adult contemporary instrumental music.
Pretty close to best post ever.

Pete

Edit - my church owns an A Medium crash that lives in the closet. It is not my friend.
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
If you own a medium ride in your cymbal bag, it's like having that one friend that only eats white bread and bland rice, only watches network TV sitcoms, dresses only in white shirts and khakis and only listens to adult contemporary instrumental music.
Are you judging the cymbal, the owner, or both here? Just curious.
 
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