Used Zildjian ZBT - Worth it?

Skoon21

Member
I'm a beginner, just starting to learn and I'm looking to replace the 14" high hats and 18" crash/ride that came with my Pearl Roadshow. Without even knowing much, the cymbals sound terrible. I found a used set of ZBT's (14" hi hats 16" & 18" crash and 22" ride) for $100. They look to be in pretty good shape online and I'm wondering if they are in fact in good condition, would this be a good buy? I know ZBT's are low end but will they be some kind of upgrade from my pearl cymbals? The stock cymbals almost deter me from practicing and I'm looking for something that isn't cringe worthy that won't break the bank. Is it worth waiting and finding something else used or will this hold me over until I get better? Thanks in advance!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
ZBT's are Zildjian's entry/economy line. If I have to say something positive about them, it is that they make the sound they are supposed to make. This makes them useful for beginners, rehearsal areas, and environments that you wouldn't bring your fine cymbals.

<$100 is an expected price for a used set with no problems (cracks, bends, bootprints).
~$50 if it's a beater set.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
My suggestion is go to a music store that has cymbals you can listen to. Hit the ZBT's and see if you like them. If you do, then buy the used ones you found. If not, keep searching for something you tried at the store that you do like.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
ZBTs won't sound better than your pearl cymbals. Buy something more expensive USED is my .02$.
 

Skoon21

Member
Some good advice... Any suggestions on what would be a step above ZBT's on a budget? I'd prefer to find a set instead of piecing it out if I can.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
Some good advice... Any suggestions on what would be a step above ZBT's on a budget? I'd prefer to find a set instead of piecing it out if I can.
that really depends on your local used market. Usually you find single cymbals (but good ones) for cheap, and I recommend buying 1 cymbal at a time because buying a set you're not sure you like the sizes of is a bad thing. You should get a good idea of what cymbal size and thickness (or even the precise model) and then go used cymbal shopping.
 

Kuromaku

Well-known member
I think the ZBTs will be a little more musical than the ones that came with your kit. And the fact that you're getting more cymbals, in terms of number, is helpful in practicing what to hit and when.

I think it comes down to how long you think you'll hold on to these - if you're going to trade-up in less than a year, then keep saving the money. If you're going to use them for a couple of years, go ahead and get something you can live with in these and continue to discover what you want to get eventually.

A debatable finding of mine is that Paiste somehow makes cymbals of "cheaper" metal sound good.

I know what you're going through - I started with Sabian B8s, then piece by piece worked my way up to AAXs. Then I switched over to Paiste Alphas. Then I finally decided to pull the trigger on what I really wanted, Zildjian Ks. This progression has taken over 30 years for me, haha.
 

Skoon21

Member
I think the ZBTs will be a little more musical than the ones that came with your kit. And the fact that you're getting more cymbals, in terms of number, is helpful in practicing what to hit and when.

I think it comes down to how long you think you'll hold on to these - if you're going to trade-up in less than a year, then keep saving the money. If you're going to use them for a couple of years, go ahead and get something you can live with in these and continue to discover what you want to get eventually.

A debatable finding of mine is that Paiste somehow makes cymbals of "cheaper" metal sound good.

I know what you're going through - I started with Sabian B8s, then piece by piece worked my way up to AAXs. Then I switched over to Paiste Alphas. Then I finally decided to pull the trigger on what I really wanted, Zildjian Ks. This progression has taken over 30 years for me, haha.

As long as the ZBT's are better than what I have, I don't see myself upgrading anytime soon, I'm too newbie. I like the idea of just getting a set instead of piecing it out because I'm not sure on the sound I'm looking for. I just know what I have now sound like trash (cans.)
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
As long as the ZBT's are better than what I have, I don't see myself upgrading anytime soon, I'm too newbie. I like the idea of just getting a set instead of piecing it out because I'm not sure on the sound I'm looking for. I just know what I have now sound like trash (cans.)

Since you know this about yourself, then get the ZBT's and rock out! Like the Sabian B8's mentioned above, they'll get the job done for the time being & when you're ready, you can spring for what you know sounds good.

I loved going into a Sam Ass or Guitar Sucker store back in the day & just hit cymbals in that room of theirs. What I learned from that was I was hearing what I felt was a great cymbal. So when I had enough, I'd buy the one I knew I liked.

Rinse & repeat with as many as you want to have.

You'll get there in due time. Also mentioned above was how long it takes to acquire what you'll play for the rest of your life. You're on the right path, so stick with it!🤘🤘
 

Superman

Gold Member
I think we can all agree that ZBTs are what they are. Would I record with them, no. Would I gig with them, no. But if you are on a budget and understand what you are getting, I would go for that deal. That's a really good price for them. If you don't abuse them, you can probably sell them for what you paid in a couple years when you are ready to upgrade to a pro line.

I used to have a set of B8s for my practice kit and they were fine for that. For $100 I'd get them with no regrets.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Go to mycymbal.com and listen. One can learn much about cymbals there. It helps to have good speakers and/or headphones. Peace and goodwill.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
If you play rock music then you might like the 16 inch ZBT crash and 22 inch ride cymbals. They are loud, bright sounding (maybe a little harsh sounding) and will cut through if you jam with other musicians. I have the 16 inch ZBT crash and 22 inch ZBT ride cymbals, I like them. They are inexpensive too, so I can take them to gigs without too much worry that they will get damaged. The ZBT hi hat cymbals I don't know about. But for USA $ 100 I think a ZBT cymbal set is a good deal.
 
Last edited:

calan

Silver Member
I'll agree that while ZBT are... not good, they're a damn sight better than whatever trash came with the Pearl kit. They at least play like the real thing and the sound could actually be recognized as a cymbal, as opposed to the flimsy scrap metal you're currently using.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I'm a beginner, just starting to learn and I'm looking to replace the 14" high hats and 18" crash/ride that came with my Pearl Roadshow. Without even knowing much, the cymbals sound terrible. I found a used set of ZBT's (14" hi hats 16" & 18" crash and 22" ride) for $100.
That's a really good price, for hats, ride, and two crashes. New, that box sells for $339. I think for the situation you describe, it's a sound move.
 
Last edited:

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
"I'm a beginner, just starting to learn and . . ."

By far then, your top concern should be honing your drumming skills, not fretting over your equipment. You'll have ample time to become a gearhead later, should such an affiliation appeal to you. Meanwhile, if the ZBTs in question allow you to grab an essential setup at a reasonable price, I say go for it. You don't need top-dollar cymbals right now. You have a lot to learn beforehand.
 
Last edited:
Top