Help me out here

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've been playing Zildjian for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think I've finally come into a set-up that just works for me, and I always use it. It's able to cover everything that I may do. Yet at the same time, I've never really tried other brands (except for the odd Sabian here and there over the years). So if you were to try a different brand, would you get models close to what you already have? Or would you get something completely left-field from what you're used to?

I remember the SoulTone folks telling me whenever I visited their warehouse, to bring my own cymbals so I could find something close to what I like. Then I remember, "why would I be trying cymbals to replicate my current set? I already have the sounds I like here". Which leads to the question, when you try other brands, do you find the familiar sounds you're in to or do you seek out something different? If what you have is working for every situation you get in to, would you even be looking for other cymbals at all?
 

Mendozart

Platinum Member
I played Zildjian A’s for the longest time myself. Then, in the mid 90’s I discovered the Sabian HH line, and put a set of those together, which were completely different. Around 2008, I fell in love with the Paiste Signature series, and put together a set of those, with some 2oo2’s sprinkled in. They are all completely different sounding, which I pick and choose for different gigs/recording situations.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I played Zildjian A’s for the longest time myself. Then, in the mid 90’s I discovered the Sabian HH line, and put a set of those together, which were completely different. Around 2008, I fell in love with the Paiste Signature series, and put together a set of those, with some 2oo2’s sprinkled in. They are all completely different sounding, which I pick and choose for different gigs/recording situations.
I just think I’d get what I’m used to, and regardless of brand, end up with what I already have.
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I just think I’d get what I’m used to, and regardless of brand, end up with what I already have.



Are you open to other sounds/tones? If so, why not experiment and see what else is out there? I tend to think there is more variance in cymbals than in drums, so I'd give it a shot.

Back in 2008, I started playing Bosphorus cymbals after having exclusively played Zildjian for 20 years. At first, I was basically playing whatever sounded like my Zildjians, but over time I started experimenting with the entire Bosphorus line. From there, I switched over to Istanbul Agop where I have stayed for the past 10 years or so. Recently some Paiste cymbals have caught my attention. I never like to just repeat myself, so I may branch out and try some new sounds.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Most likely scenario.

It's only when you have a desire / use for something with a different delivery that it's worth having a look.
I was very tempted at going Paiste, and I was checking out things like the 17" Steve Jordan hi hats, and the 22" Signature Light Ride, and then discovered my 17" thin crashes as hats and my 22" K Light Ride sounds almost exactly the same, but with a gong-y undertone. Everything else sounded either too bright or too dark, getting into the realm where I had to pick and choose where to use certain sounds, but my current set-up seems to fit into all situations (my crash is a 20" A Thin crash) and doesn't kill the musicians around me like regular A's would, or Paiste 2002's would. So I'm a bit fatigued now after listening to so many different cymbals - they all kinda' blur together!
 

KEEF

Senior Member
I think you have a sound in your head and unless there is an outside influence - new band with a complete change of genre perhaps - then your 'head sound' likes what it likes and you will naturally gravitate towards it whatever brand you go for.
I have just bought back my old ride (that I traded in) as the new one just didn't sit right with me. Every review -and some esteemed folks on here- say the new one (Z 21" k-sweet) is an awesome ride and i really want to like it,but i just don't ?‍♂️ lost a fair bit on trading in and then buying back - not a path I'd recommend- but I'll sell the K and feel a bit better about it.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I like all kinds of sounds, not all of them work in the band I'm in though. So, I do have some cymbals that I don't play much. I'm keeping them though, I like the sounds and cymbals don't take up much space.
My regular setup I use with the band is working wonderfully and really can be as expensive as my technique allows, I could be very happy with just those. But I guess I'm kind of a gear nut, and why not have some variety if you have space and funds?
For me it's a hobby, so I follow my whims
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
So if you were to try a different brand, would you get models close to what you already have? Or would you get something completely left-field from what you're used to?

I wouldn't anything close to what I already have unless I was needing a "backup" cymbal to replace a cymbal that may be breaking soon. If I was looking for something new, there's usually something very specific I'm looking for, and I'll hear it when I hear it.

If what you have is working for every situation you get in to, would you even be looking for other cymbals at all?

Absolutely not.

I tend to not buy anything if I don't need it for a specific purpose. I don't like "having for the sake of having." Once you go down that road, there's no ending. Every kit and cymbal I have is for a specific purpose. The majority of the time, I get rid of what I don't use.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Cymbal companies have to compete with each other. That means they often offer adaptations of each other's concepts. Each attempts, in one way or another, to counteract what the others are doing. In that regard, finding a manufacturer you're comfortable with and holding course makes the most sense to me.

With my requirements accommodated, I have no impetus to gaze beyond Zildjian at this point, at least not with the intent of making a purchase elsewhere. The Paiste Giant Beat is really the only non-Zlidjian series that tempts me, but I'm of a "one cymbal set for everything I do" mentality, and while Giant Beats are certainly a multi-application line, my A Avedis family more readily merges with the music I play. I don't foresee myself buying more cymbals for a very long time.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Bo - I'm always looking for that 40's 50's jazz cymbal sound. Not much ping. Blakey kinda smooth sound, but still with stick articulation. I've been a Zildjian guy since I got my first Zildjian hi-hats for Christmas in something like 1970.

For me, none of the modern or current Zildjian offerings come close to sound I want. None. I've listened and listened and bought/returned/ resold.

I have thus been forced to scour eBay and Reverb for vintage Zildjian cymbals, usually made before 1960, and often much earlier. They're esxpensive and they sell fast if in good condition.

Recently I tried Instabul Mehmet cymbals and found them to be great sounding cymbals. For what I want, Zildjian has nothing close in their new offerings. You can get the Instabul Mehmet's in very thin and lite versions, further duplicating the sound I want. My latest purchase is a Instabul Mehmet 22" ride weighing 2300 grams. It's just about perfect for my sound.

FYI I'm still using a little vintage (1940's era) 16" very thin Zildjian crash/ride with rivets. I use it for all crashes plus I ride it when backing piano or harmonica.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
If I were looking for a set of cymbals and were planning to keep my current set, I'd want something very different for the sake of variety. I've been playing my current cymbal setup for a few years now and sometimes I'd like to hear something different, so I get where you're coming from.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I've been playing Zildjian for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think I've finally come into a set-up that just works for me, and I always use it. It's able to cover everything that I may do. Yet at the same time, I've never really tried other brands (except for the odd Sabian here and there over the years). So if you were to try a different brand, would you get models close to what you already have? Or would you get something completely left-field from what you're used to?

I remember the SoulTone folks telling me whenever I visited their warehouse, to bring my own cymbals so I could find something close to what I like. Then I remember, "why would I be trying cymbals to replicate my current set? I already have the sounds I like here". Which leads to the question, when you try other brands, do you find the familiar sounds you're in to or do you seek out something different? If what you have is working for every situation you get in to, would you even be looking for other cymbals at all?
It does sound like an exercise in futility, doesn't it? I would definitely be looking for a different flavor in other brands. Sabians have a faster attack and shorter sustain on average. I would consider it a more modern sound I guess. And they've got that O-zone crash that no one has successfully mirrored. Meinl cycmbals, which I never liked for years, have made some big changes in the last decade and are sounding great also. I'm still on team Z though.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
2002, I went from playing a mix of brands to a single brand (Meinl, mostly Byzance series). Up to then I had a mix of Sabian and Zildjian cymbals that were all very nice sounding, but still not what I wanted to hear. Or what I heard in my head, and wanted to hear from my kit.

That would be the only reason for me to consider another brand now. I highly doubt that will ever happen. When I play other peoples kits, the cymbals just don't resonate with me :D:p

Play what you love. Don't mess with a good thing!
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I went from Paiste to Sabian about twenty years and many cymbals ago. Sabian has all of the sounds I want, so I see no reason to switch again, even though there are many cymbals out there that sound great and are not Sabians. Peace and goodwill.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Or would you get something completely left-field from what you're used to?
Well ..... that's what I did, initially. After years of playing a typical "mix" of Zildjian and Paiste "rock" cymbals, I went down the rabbit hole on hand-hammered Turkish cymbals ..... mostly Istanbul Mehmet and Agop cymbals. Some Soultone, Buzin and Masterwork, also. And it was a wonderful journey ..... spent about 5 years there.
Which leads to the question, when you try other brands, do you find the familiar sounds you're in to or do you seek out something different? If what you have is working for every situation you get in to, would you even be looking for other cymbals at all?
Then ..... I became a Sabian guy. Sold off all my Turkish cymbals. And a few "others" ..... to the tune of about 22 cymbals got sold.

What precipitated this ..... a drummer buddy became a Soultone endorser, so I gave him my Soultones, and he gave me his non-Soultones. And I found the Sabian's he'd given me to be right up my alley.

So now (several years later) I've got about 30 Sabian cymbals. And they're in 4 different categories. I've got the Vanguard series. Hats and the 5 crash/rides. And they are very versatile/multi-genre cymbals.

I've got a full set of "rock" cymbals. HHX-X-Plosion and HHX-X-Treme crashes, and unidentified ride (loge scrubbed off-possibly AA) and a few different hats.

A really dark set .... 18" AA sick hats, 14" XSR Monarch hats, 18" HH King crash, 18" XSR Monarch crash, 22" AA Apollo ride.

And a full set (except the Distortion hats) of VFX cymbals. Perfect for the ambient/modular synth/electronica stuff I'm into.

And, of course, I've got a few Sabian oddities, as well as some "other" brands. 2 different LP Ice Bells, a Zlidjian 22 Earth Ride, and a Zildjian AmirII china.

So ..... what I have "is working for every situation" I get into. And I'm not really looking any further. ;) But never say never !!!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My tastes are definitely evolving and the cymbal sounds I hear in my head now aren't very similar to even 10 years ago. I'm totally turning towards a darker, trashier sound. If that means moving to another company, then so be it. I ended up shelving my beloved original K Custom after almost thirty years in favor of an Omni, because I wanted a thinner, crashable ride with a bit of darkness and wash to it. I'm seriously considering getting some Meinl or K Custom Special Dry crashes as well.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
I only buy cymbals based on sound. Never based on brand. At this point if replace any cymbal it's to get the extra little that I think the current cymbal is missing. So it requires some major cymbal geeking and really it just comes from just wanting something new, for the sake of novelty. I usually regret those purchases.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I have two (well, three) sets of very different cymbals. Two sets of Zildjian Ks and a set of Paiste 2002s.

I wanted the 2002s for their big, bright sound but my K Sweets are taking over from the other two. They're just so darn versatile and good for everything that they get the call every time. I do like having a very different set on hand though. Takes my ears some time to adjust when I set up the 2002s.
 
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