How similar are the old Zildjian K Custom (brilliant finish) and the old Z Power Rides?

Road Bull

Silver Member
This is something that I have been wondering about a bit. I used to not dig the sounds that these cymbals project, but I have found my tastes to have changed a bit over the years. They look very similar in appearance and maybe weight. The bells sound similar as well.

It's funny, I have a 20" Zildjian K Custom Dry that I have had for years. I pulled it out for the first time in a long time and put in on the kit. It replaced a 20" A Ping Ride. MAN! That is some brutal decay. Back in the bag it went. The search continues...

Anyone have experience with these?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
About as similar as night and day IMHO.

The old Z Heavy Power rides are a beast, and scream rock n roll. Real thick and really bright.

K Customs were not as heavy and much darker.

You could crash on a K Custom if you wanted to. The Z sounds like manhole cover if you try to crash on it.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Are you talking about the Z Series Power ride being similar to a K Custom? I have to query if you're actually looking at a Z at all as they just couldn't be further removed from a K Custom. The Z series were at the complete opposite end of the Zildjian scale to any of their K series. The Z's were loud, thick, aggressive cymbals designed to be hit hard and cut through a wall of sound. The difference between them and a K Custom could be measured in light years.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Are you talking about the Z Series Power ride being similar to a K Custom? I have to query if you're actually looking at a Z at all as they just couldn't be further removed from a K Custom. The Z series were at the complete opposite end of the Zildjian scale to any of their K series. The Z's were loud, thick, aggressive cymbals designed to be hit hard and cut through a wall of sound. The difference between them and a K Custom could be measured in light years.
lol. So I am talking about the brilliant finish K Custom ride. Both seem to be non lathed, lots of ping, strong bell, and long sustain. I seem to remember trying both at one time or another, but not side by side. Just from the clips, it seems the K Custom, (the session ride seems to be most common), that the K might have more sustain and maybe a bit more versatility. But all I have to go on atm are some sound clips, mostly from youtube.

K: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCFj9B_bR7w

Z: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8spXjdhB0nQ
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I own an original K Custom. Sure, it's a heavy, pingy ride with a great bell, but it's also capable of some very surprising subtlety and articulation whereas the Z Power Ride was just clang, clang, clang. About as much subtlety as a car battery going through a plate glass window.

The goals for the two cymbals were very, very different. The K Custom was designed to provide electric jazz, fusion, and studio drummers with a versatile voice that could, if needed, punch through amplification. The Z Power Ride was designed to cut through high amplification as its primary quality.

I would feel perfectly okay with bringing my K Custom to a coffeehouse gig or to quietly back a vocalist and piano. Not so much the Z. Unless I never wanted that gig again.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Both seem to be non lathed, lots of ping, strong bell, and long sustain.
Still vastly different IMHO. From my experience with both series of Zildjian, I'm still confidently calling "chalk and cheese"
About the only similarity between the two is that they're both round disks of bronze with "Zildjian" inked on the top.

I would feel perfectly okay with bringing my K Custom to a coffeehouse gig or to quietly back a vocalist and piano.
Agreed. I think you'll find so much more subtlety apparent in the K. The Z Custom is a one trick pony. It excels at that trick, but that's all it's got.

Road Bull, try and revisit both cymbals by getting up close and personal with them again if you can. It'll be obvious that they are just completely different animals.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I would feel perfectly okay with bringing my K Custom to a coffeehouse gig or to quietly back a vocalist and piano. Not so much the Z. Unless I never wanted that gig again.
I do think for loud hard rock, the Z Heavy Power Ride is the best ride ever made.

But yes, for gigs that don't involve playing loud rock, it best to leave it at home in favor of something else.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
I own an original K Custom. Sure, it's a heavy, pingy ride with a great bell, but it's also capable of some very surprising subtlety and articulation whereas the Z Power Ride was just clang, clang, clang. About as much subtlety as a car battery going through a plate glass window.

The goals for the two cymbals were very, very different. The K Custom was designed to provide electric jazz, fusion, and studio drummers with a versatile voice that could, if needed, punch through amplification. The Z Power Ride was designed to cut through high amplification as its primary quality.

I would feel perfectly okay with bringing my K Custom to a coffeehouse gig or to quietly back a vocalist and piano. Not so much the Z. Unless I never wanted that gig again.
Right on. That's fair enough. Its much easier to hear both cymbals ping quite clearly through the sound samples, but not much of the K's other subtle qualities.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I've played the Z ,but I own a 20" K custom and the're different animals.Both are heavy rides,but the K seems to have multiple personality disorder.It's a very versitile cymbal,with a bell that's a Marshall killer,but still musical.

The Z is really a straight ahead rocker and a real stick breaker of a ride.You really have to hit it hard to get anything out of it.( kind of like some people I know)

Compared with the K,which Alparrot and Pocket said,can play many roles from soft to a roar.That K and my 22" vintage Paiste 2002,and my late 50's vintage A Zildjian 22" are my go to rides.

Steve B
 
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Road Bull

Silver Member
Thanks for all the posts guys. That is how I remember the Z series to be as well. And although I do play in a loud band these days, it doesn't mean that I want to trade quality for volume. I had just seen some Z rides on local CL and was wondering if it was worth checking them out.

I do have a fairly loud Zildjian Ping Ride that I am using now. I love shouldering the bell, but I think I am looking for something else when it comes to the body. I would really like to hear one of the new 2013 24" Zildjian Medium Rides. That seems to be a good all around ride.
 
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