Absolutely 100% correct. No question.It's not the cymbal. It's a great cymbal, but it's not the cymbal.
When I hear one of Tony's rides on a recording, I regularly think 'that's the best sounding ride I've heard of it's kind'. That certainly tells you something special about this unique player. I'm sure he got his pick of nice gear as well, but even then, a ride (or any other cymbal) isn't anything until a human being brings it to life. He had a unique way of bringing cymbals to life.
I think Poppies is right, though. That particular cymbal is a collection of contradictions, and it's become the holy grail of jazz rides for good reason. Naturally, a big part of that reason is Tony, but I have seen footage of him playing the EAK Zildjians later in his career, and there's almost no chatter about those. Famous drummer after famous drummer talk about that ride cymbal - and these guys know about the difference that gear actually makes (or not, as the case may be). There's certainly something about it.
Either way, I think this thread is less about 'The Tony Cymbal = the Tony Sound' and more about interesting drum & gear info/trivia about one of our heroes.