Is this vintage Zildjian a crash, a ride, or a crash/ride?

Local Oaf

Well-known member

Okay so I bought this 18” Zildjian today at a pawn shop. It ways 1559 grams. Based on the stamp, it’s from the ‘60s. It’s that size range where where it could be a crash or a ride. I know cymbals can to some degree be whatever you want them to be, but I’m trying to figure out what the original intent was.

It pings better than it crashes so I’m leaning towards it being a ride, but it is literally my first vintage cymbal, so I don’t know if that’s just how all the Zildjians sounded back then, whether crash or ride.

Also 18” is a bit on the smaller side based on my knowledge of modern ride cymbals

Does anyone have any insight? Thanks!

[Edit: Here’s a video. The crash of the cymbal sounds much louder in person.]
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Based upon its era, diameter, and weight, I'm going to hypothesize that it's a crash ride. Back in the early 1960s especially, it was quite common for drummers to have a single cymbal with their kits, often mounted on the bass drum. Even if "it pings better than it crashes," it may have been crafted as a multiuse cymbal, as many vintage cymbals were.

If you think it's a better ride than crash, just use it for the former purpose. If you like its sound and feel as a ride, its formal designation really doesn't matter.
 
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opentune

Platinum Member
An Zil A 18 medium thin crash is usually 1380-1450 g. Yours is just over that ...so moves you into a medium crash range...or yes maybe its is an 18 ride. But as CMJ said, in the 60's many cymbals were just ....'cymbals' ...with a multi-purpose.
It really doesn't matter, just a name.
Type '60's Zildjian A 18 grams' on utube and get an entire range of samples and variety of 'names' for a given weight. The sounds of many vintage Zildjians are quite variable.
ps. your video didn't upload.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
Unfortunately, you may not find a definitive answer to your question. Fortunately, a few people put a lot of work into vintage Zildjian weights and classifications.

Here’s a recent discussion on the topic. From that discussion is a picture of a Zildjian cymbal weight table from around 1970, I believe:

D3D1CFBC-28F7-485C-AD71-8D1055F79D71.jpeg

If we go by the table, we can probably rule out your cymbal being a “crash.”
 

Peedy

Senior Member
I own two 18in Zildjians, one from the late 1950s and one from the mid 1960s. They weigh 1270g and 1290g with the lighter actually marked “Thin”, which during that time meant about 1250-1350 grams.

Yours would be at the high end weight of a Medium Crash Ride or the lighter end of a plain Ride cymbal.

Pete
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Remember also that back in the day, cymbals were lighter for their designations (if they had any). I have a 1970s 20” Light Ride that does a great impression of a medium crash. Then through the 80s the weights started getting heavier and only in the last ten years or so have they been starting to get light again. I say if it does both ride and crash qualities good enough, then use it for either. Don’t get too hung up on what it’s “supposed” to be. If you can make it fit the music you’re doing, then it works 😉

Will Calhoun told a cool story when his teacher let him pick out hi hats. His teacher just put all the cymbals flat on the floor and Will had to go through them to find which two he liked as hats. Probably took hours. He says later that what he picked was actually two bottoms, but they fit the music he was making, so he kept using them. And his signature hats are actually pretty heavy.
 

Local Oaf

Well-known member
This site gives you an estimate of how light or heavy a cymbal is: https://www.budstein.com/cymbalweight/ - it's a handy tool when buying online without soundfiles.
After my first crappy brass ride, I bought a 20" Avedis from the 60s. It weighs only 1800g and it forced me to work on my touch a lot since the wash can build up very quickly - it was pretty frustating. Now I realize it might have been a "Crash" instead of a "Ride" all the time. :)
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Based on the sound when you hit it, I would use it as a crash. It has some ping but not to my liking as a ride. However it is yours and you can decide. I don't have any data on the cymbal, just opinion.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
That’s on the crash end of crash/ride, for me. But only slightly. It could be a great ride for small acoustic gigs, if you play softly and use lighter sticks.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have a vintage K that is also 18". I use it as both a crash and a ride depending on what I am trying to accomplish. I have no idea what the original designation of the cymbal was, not do I care. I'll ride a crash or crash a ride if I want. Stamped words mean nothing.
 
Related to a question I was going to ask. There is an article from Neal Peart about some gigs he did as a teenager. He talks about his 18" Zildjian and his 20" Zildjian and borrowing a buddy's 20" Zildjian ... but he does not differentiate between crash or ride. Was that typical in the 60's? A cymbal was a cymbal?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Was that typical in the 60's? A cymbal was a cymbal?
Much more so than it is today. Modern specialization is often a marketing ploy. If you think you require 150 pieces for a drum set, you're more likely to spend a lot of money. At the same time, I value specialization in a sense. For instance, I like medium rides and thin crashes, so a multiuse cymbal isn't really my ideal, though I don't doubt that there are some good hybrids out there.

The modern hi-hat design, with a lighter top and a heavier bottom, hasn't always been the norm either. Hi-hat tops and bottoms used to be of almost identical weight. And hi-hats weren't always sold as pairs. You just bought two cymbals of your choice and put them together. Going back far enough, every cymbal was multiuse.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
The modern hi-hat design, with a lighter top and a heavier bottom, hasn't always been the norm either. Hi-hat tops and bottoms used to be of almost identical weight. And hi-hats weren't always sold as pairs. You just bought two cymbals of your choice and put them together. Going back far enough, every cymbal was multiuse.
Yep. In the late 50s it was common to go into a music store and buy your cymbals off dowels. For HHs you decided. A “Matched Pair” just meant they were about the same weight. And when high end sponsored pros went to the Zildjian factory they’d do the same thing, choosing what sounded good to their ear.

Pete
 

makinao

Silver Member
I have a 2013 18" A thin crash which is 1331grams, and a 2009 A Custom Projection crash which is 1518 grams. So yours could be a medium-thin or medium crash.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Could be a marching cymbal? That's what I thought just from looking at it. I seem to remember them having that round bell.
Could be. But generally the marching cymbals I’ve seen have had some type of HH like wear from being crashed together.
 
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