How to tell if vintage cymbals are good


Senior Member
I've been seeing a lot of vintage Zildjians on eBay, but how do I know if they're quality B20 bronze? The seller usually says how many grams they weigh but how do you know if they will sound like A's? I've never bought vintage cymbals before.

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Saw some "Vintage" zildjian scinitars the other week.

Coming from a classifieds seller it often just means old, beat up, crap cymbals.


Platinum Member
most of those are vintage A zildjians and the quality of bronze is fine, as always. The 'condition' of the cymbal is another matter, and thats where pics come in handy.

As for their sound that is harder to discern without a sound file. I f you are looking for a certain soudning cymbal ...dark vs. bright, heavy vs. light ....the weight comes in handy. Chart below (from cymbalholics) is useful. For example, sometimes you can lookup a simlar A Zildjian cymbal on a youtueb that has the same weight as in your ad.

Soem fo my best cymabls are bought used, you need to research their weights, example.

Weight Range Table for 22 Inch cymbals:

extra light ------- 1900-2100g
light ------------- 2100-2300g
medium light ---- 2300-2500g
medium --------- 2500-2800g
medium heavy -- 2800-3100g
heavy ----------- 3100-3500g
very heavy ------ 3500 and up

Weight Range Table for 20 Inch cymbals:

extra light ------- 1570-1735g
light ------------- 1735-1900g
medium light ---- 1900-2066g
medium --------- 2066-2314g
medium heavy -- 2314-2561g
heavy ----------- 2561-2892g
very heavy ------ 2892 and up

Weight Range Table for 18 Inch cymbals:

extra light ------- 1272-1405g
light ------------- 1405-1539g
medium light ---- 1539-1673g
medium --------- 1673-1874g
medium heavy -- 1874-2075g
heavy ----------- 2075-2342g
very heavy ------ 2342 and up


Platinum Member
well, that is a 'medium heavy', which means it will have nice stick definition and bell, but not likely very crashable - kind of gong like. search on youtube for the same ride sound files; 'vintage Zildjian A 21 medium heavy' to get a general idea of its sound.

depends what music you play. sometimes a ride like that suits good loud heavy rock. its a great price.

if you do the ebay thng there is a l, i think his handle is "mtdrumbeat' and he has great deals on Vintage A rides, from Montreal. Some with keyholes but that never bothered me.