Zildjian is "Bringing Back" something on April 9, 2024

2112 let me take some back to the studio today/tonight (whatever time it is now), so here's the demo!

I think it's easily the best Mega Bell Ride that Zildjian have made in 15 years. I actually really like these, especially the hats.

That Keplinger also sounds absolutely ridiculous.
I did like the snare sound.
The cymbals...meh.

I really dug Cry Of Love getting some play on that intro though!
They're nasty. Were clangers back in the 80s/90s and still are now. It wouldn't surprise me if Zildjian have failed to see the humour in the "Bring back the Z-Customs" shouts. Just some marketing guy has probably seen them and believed them as real requests, Paul Francis isn't there to reign them in anymore.

What's next, bring back the Edge series!! Bring back the Scimitar Bronze!!

I see their market - I know they didn't have any offerings for the metal crowd, however the A Customs are brighter and cutting enough for most. I play heavy music however Meinl Byzance Medium offerings have enough metal content to be loud enough, yet dark enough to blend nicer with the drums themselves. The 19" Z Crash is kinda attractive sounding, and the hats are not too bad but still take your head off. Those rides though...no, no, no.
I loved the Z Customs back in the 90s and early 2000s because they had the full body sound of an A but also the bright cut of a Paiste 2002. It was a nice hybrid of the two different sounds.

Plus back then I liked to hit hard and they held up.

But even in the studio, I thought they sounded fantastic at the time.

But as I said in my last post, I don't see myself needing cymbals that heavy anymore.
Same here, have my needs covered with Paiste Rudes and some heavier 2002's, but I think they sound quite good. Nice to have options. They seem to be quite expensive here in Europe though, so I doubt I will consider them that much for my next cymbal purchase. A pair of those 15" hats are double the price of what I paid for my 15" Meinl Pure Alloys 😱
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I finally found a document that *kind of* supports that story, but with big caveats. Technically A did buy the rights to K in 1968, but by that point K was in fragmented shambles and there had been multiple trademark owners and disputes for many years. The A brand didn’t even own all of the A rights itself until shortly before trying to move the K craftsmen to Canada. So the narrative of big bad A buying little old K to shut it down is not accurate.

Edit: if it in fact was Mel Lewis who told the more simplified story, that would make sense. He was an early endorser of Istanbul (Agop and Mehmet) around 1990, and they would absolutely have sold the tale that *they* were the true and rightful inheritors of the K legacy, and that their birthright was unfairly taken by the giant Zildjian of America.
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A. Zildjian was a Turkish/Bucharest trademark
A in America was always Avedis Zildjian
Gretsch sold in addition to K.Zildjian from overseas A. Zildjians


art Blakey is seen with that above Sizzle in some Pics like 55 rivets or so
A. an Aram off-shoot (distinct from American Avedis)

they didn't buy the rights Avedis sued Gretsch once in 1953 and lost then sued again in 1968 and won
with a 10 year 'grace' period to close; . That's why Bob visited the Turkey works in 68 (he was allowed) and why old Ks lasted (new stamp) until 78..
all the court docs are still on the internet.
The Judge agreed in 53 K. was a different animal from A. and awarded Gretsch to keep the trademark rights.
Gretsch proved K. was a different animal than an Avedis in 53 but ..lost in 68

funny huh :)

I like this recounting and bookmark it

"The legendary ‘K. Zilciyan’ cymbals which drummers seek to find even today, continued to be sent to America until the orders ceased in 1977. A year later Mikael Usta was unable to sell any more cymbals. The day came when for the first time in centuries the sound of the hammers ceased and the fire went out in the foundry. Broken-hearted, he was forced to close it down.."

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This is very much bucking the trend of the last decade for darker thinner cymbals. I do think there is place for bright and thicker cymbals. I still use Zildjian A custom projection crashes or Paiste Twenty when playing heavy guitar music, they sound great. it’s good to have choice across the spectrum. Hopefully you can buy a Z custom bottom hat and make. 2024 set of K/Z hats.