Why does everyone love Zildjian?

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Sterfry95

Member
They aren't anything special. They're all machine made, and for the price they sell at I'd much rather get hand made ones. Why does everyone want/play them?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
They're like Fender, or Gibson, or Ludwig and Gretsch, Harley Davidson, Ford, etc.,... They were there first and established the market. They met the needs of everyone at the time and really dominated. When I was younger, your only choice was either Zildjian or Paiste, and even then, Paiste didn't have the American market as much as Zildjian did. Over time, Paiste came on strong, and Sabian too (which is actually related to the Zildjian family, and was even kept out of the American market for a time by Zildjian too), and then Meinl. Only in recent years have we seen this explosion of "Turkish Cymbals" from independent companies - who I suspect are getting all of their cymbals from one place in Turkey ;) (that statement's probably not true - but it sure feels like that when you go to the NAMM show and see so many vendors hawking their "Turkish" cymbals).

Apparently, Zildjian could've stayed to what they always made, but they too, do research and development and come out with new models or improvements to old ones. I love my Zildjians, but have played others. But considering I've been playing Zildjians for most of my life (35+ years) I don't need to change. You younger folks have much more choices these days.
 

Sterfry95

Member
Try playing some vintage Zils and I think you will get it ... not to say that the new stuff is in any way bad.
I love 60's ones my dad has a 22" sizzle ride from the 60's. It's amazing. But I know over the years they changed their formula (70's was the big change) and to me you can't even compare the vintage to new ones. It's like saying that Slingerland is still relevant when no one even knows they are around anymore (they are they are owned by Gibson if you look on their site you'll find them). It's just a completely different product than they used to be. I'm not saying Zildjian is irrelevant or bad just that there's so many other options now so why just pick what everyone else does? I under the personal preference but there's people who won't give other companies a chance based on the name and not the product.
 

Sterfry95

Member
They're like Fender, or Gibson, or Ludwig and Gretsch, Harley Davidson, Ford, etc.,... They were there first and established the market. They met the needs of everyone at the time and really dominated. When I was younger, your only choice was either Zildjian or Paiste, and even then, Paiste didn't have the American market as much as Zildjian did. Over time, Paiste came on strong, and Sabian too (which is actually related to the Zildjian family, and was even kept out of the American market for a time by Zildjian too), and then Meinl. Only in recent years have we seen this explosion of "Turkish Cymbals" from independent companies - who I suspect are getting all of their cymbals from one place in Turkey ;) (that statement's probably not true - but it sure feels like that when you go to the NAMM show and see so many vendors hawking their "Turkish" cymbals).

Apparently, Zildjian could've stayed to what they always made, but they too, do research and development and come out with new models or improvements to old ones. I love my Zildjians, but have played others. But considering I've been playing Zildjians for most of my life (35+ years) I don't need to change. You younger folks have much more choices these days.
I sent you a friend request, I'd like to talk to you more, I see you on a lot of threads and post, and you actually understand what you're saying haha
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
It seems to me that not everyone loves Zildjian. Their market share has dropped considerably in recent decades with the rise of Sabian, Meinl, and various Turkish makers.

Like Bo, I remember being a new drummer back in the early '80s and there were pretty much only Zildjian As (no Ks in wide distribution yet) and Paistes (2oo2s, Rudes, and a few Forula 602s, but no Signatures) in the music stores. I remember when Sabian was launched and it took me right up to recent years until I starting really appreciating their offerings.

I've never put too much stock in the machine vs hand hammered aspects as not everything hand made suits what I like to hear and a lot of what we get led to believe as being hand hammered really isn't (all Ks, HH, HHX, for example). But even the machine made cymbals are still lathed by hand (only exception being the Xs20 line that I can think of), and lathing is huge when it comes to how a cymbal sounds in the end as it's responsible for the thickness profile from bell to edge of bow.

I think why a lot of drummers still like Zildjian (including me) is the sound that results from the processes they use, despite that it's a machine doing most of the work (rolling, pressing into shape, and hammering).
 

Sterfry95

Member
It seems to me that not everyone loves Zildjian. Their market share has dropped considerably in recent decades with the rise of Sabian, Meinl, and various Turkish makers.

Like Bo, I remember being a new drummer back in the early '80s and there were pretty much only Zildjian As (no Ks in wide distribution yet) and Paistes (2oo2s, Rudes, and a few Forula 602s, but no Signatures) in the music stores. I remember when Sabian was launched and it took me right up to recent years until I starting really appreciating their offerings.

I've never put too much stock in the machine vs hand hammered aspects as not everything hand made suits what I like to hear and a lot of what we get led to believe as being hand hammered really isn't (all Ks, HH, HHX, for example). But even the machine made cymbals are still lathed by hand (only exception being the Xs20 line that I can think of), and lathing is huge when it comes to how a cymbal sounds in the end as it's responsible for the thickness profile from bell to edge of bow.

I think why a lot of drummers still like Zildjian (including me) is the sound that results from the processes they use, despite that it's a machine doing most of the work (rolling, pressing into shape, and hammering).
Hand hammered cymbals usually last longer. I have heard a lot of complaints about Zildjian and how their products aren't up to snuff. Yet in a music store its all I see is Zildjian and Sabian. Which technically Sabian is in the Zildjian family. All my local Guitar Center even has is those two. And the occasional 2002 or Sig. Not even one Meinl. Same thing with my local Drums Etc. and Best Buy
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I grew up with them, they have the sound and feel I'm used to, and they just seem right to me.

I have other cymbals from Paiste and Sabian, but they don't get used nearly as much.

There are some cymbals from other manufacturers I've heard and am interested in though.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Who cares if they're machine-made? You get a better, more consistent overall product taking advantage of technology. This hand-made angle is overblown marketing hype.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
It's true there are some terrible mass produced cymbals out there (and so many fools to buy them) but there are a few models that stand up to some boutique brands, just gotta comb through the cymbal racks at your local every now and then.
 

Sjogras

Silver Member
Never owned a Zildjian, maybe I never will. I have played predominantly Sabian, the fantastic dry crashes in the HHX line is what catches me.

The only Zildjian cymbal that has ever caught my attention is a large china, probably a Swish knocker. Chris Maitland plays that cymbal on the Porcupine Tree records, think it's 22" or 24".
 

Terrence R

Silver Member
I gatta say, I'm more than satisfied with my Zildjian's. I've been jumping back in forth between Zildjian and Sabian for the past few years and I always jump back into the Zildjian's. Mind you, I still love my sabians, but I favor my Zildjian's more due to the sound, quality, and appearance. I'm yet to try any Paiste cymbals. All I ever hear is great stuff about them tho. I think I'm afraid of trying them, I don't wanna open the wallet up again for ANOTHER cymbal setup LOL.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Hand hammered cymbals usually last longer.
I'm not sure what you're basing this assertion on, but consider that most drummers that go the truly hand-hammered route are lighter-duty drummers who aren't typically associated with those that crack cymbals. Only exceptions that come to mind would be Carmine and Vinnie Appice. I'd be surprised if they haven't cracked more than a few.

I've had dozens of cymbals from Zildjian, Sabian, and Paiste. The only cymbals I haven't broken were the Sabians, but that has more to do with me favoring my Zildjians to the exclusion of the Sabians and I've never kept one long enough to crack it - they just get sold.

But I'm that'll change since I've been favoring my AAX and HHX Xplosion crashes lately and have been beating the hell out of them. FWIW, the HHXs aren't hand hammered either (but still sound great to my ears).
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I have heard a lot of complaints about Zildjian and how their products aren't up to snuff.
It's a well established fact here on Drummerworld that Zildjian are junk......just like Remo heads and Ludwig strainers. No need to question any of it sight unseen. I know it's true because I read it on the internet
 

Sterfry95

Member
I'm not sure what you're basing this assertion on, but consider that most drummers that go the truly hand-hammered route are lighter-duty drummers who aren't typically associated with those that crack cymbals. Only exceptions that come to mind would be Carmine and Vinnie Appice. I'd be surprised if they haven't cracked more than a few.

I've had dozens of cymbals from Zildjian, Sabian, and Paiste. The only cymbals I haven't broken were the Sabians, but that has more to do with me favoring my Zildjians to the exclusion of the Sabians and I've never kept one long enough to crack it - they just get sold.

But I'm that'll change since I've been favoring my AAX and HHX Xplosion crashes lately and have been beating the hell out of them. FWIW, the HHXs aren't hand hammered either (but still sound great to my ears).
You do know that HH for Sabian stands for "Hand Hammered" Series right?
 

Sterfry95

Member
It's a well established fact here on Drummerworld that Zildjian are junk......just like Remo heads and Ludwig strainers. No need to question any of it sight unseen. I know it's true because I read it on the internet
Remo isn't bad. I have no issues with them. I've played Evans and they sound like wet tin foil. I've played Aquarian, they drop out of tune very fast same thing with Attack. I don't understand why Bozzio is hooked on them. Probably cause he only has to hit all of his +400 drums one time so he doesn't notice they have no tone.
 
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