Zildjian K History Question


Platinum Member
If a cymbal has the K on the underside instead of "Zildjian", how old does that make it? I remember a friend of mine bought one in '81 like that, and I've seen '80s era pics of Vinnie with Ks like that, too, but does anyone know the timeline for when Ks were stamped that way? Seems to me that there were only a few years when Ks were stamped that way, but I could be wrong, since I don't know anything about what the Ks looked like when they were being produced in Canada (pre-split).

My long time drum mentor calls the new Ks "K-mart Ks", which I thought was really funny - then I promptly bought one against his advice! It has the K stamp on the underside, which is why I'm now curious.



Senior Member
Two of my K's from around 2002-2003 have the K underneath, but I've seen others of the same models that have the Zildjian logo underneath. I've always wondered if they ever used both or if there is any kind of timeline to go by.


the early ones have the K underneath, which some call the EAK's or Early American K's. I heard that Zildjian changes up the ink stamps every few years (even the block letters) to keep the trademarks from expiring.