Zildjian New Beats

vtran711

Well-known member
I recently picked up a used kit and added used pair of Zildjian 14" New Beats. Prior to getting these cymbals I decided to pick up a new pair of 14" Meinl Custom Classic Darks. I know many highly recommend new beats and I know they are generally of higher quality but I seem to like the Meinl Darks better. For some reason the Meinls seem easier to control and I'm able to get the sounds I want much easier. The New Beats sound almost too bright and tinny. Being a beginner I wonder if this is just my untrained ear and later down the road I'll wish I kept the New Beats. I need to return one of them and am leaning towards keeping the Meinls. I understand I should go with what my ear likes but I can't help to think maybe I'm missing something. I don't play anything heavy. Anyone else think New Beats are too bright?
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I recently picked up a used kit and added used pair of Zildjian 14" New Beats. Prior to getting these cymbals I decided to pick up a new pair of 14" Meinl Custom Classic Darks. I know many highly recommend new beats and I know they are generally of higher quality but I seem to like the Meinl Darks better. For some reason the Meinls seem easier to control and I'm able to get the sounds I want much easier. The New Beats sound almost too bright and tinny. Being a beginner I wonder if this is just my untrained ear and later down the road I'll wish I kept the New Beats. I need to return one of them and am leaning towards keeping the Meinls. I understand I should go with what my ear likes but I can't help to think maybe I'm missing something. I don't play anything heavy. Anyone else think New Beats are too bright?
New beats from 60 years ago are very different, much darker and quieter, than more recent New Beats. I hear Steve Gadd is using the same set he’s had since the 60s. And I bet they’re nice and dark and controllable.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
... Zildjian 14" New Beats ..... 14" Meinl Custom Classic Darks. ..... my untrained ear and later down the road I'll wish I kept the New Beats. I need to return one of them and am leaning towards keeping the Meinls. I understand I should go with what my ear likes but I can't help to think maybe I'm missing something.
If you like the Meinl's better, go with the Meinl's. Maybe later .... you'll still never like the New Beats.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
I concur with PPS and HC. Not all New Beats are created equal. Go with what you like. Later you can take your time and look for a darker pair of NBs. They’re out there. I know as I have a pair.
 

sillypilot

Junior Member
I’ve got new NewBeats and Meinl Byzance Vintage Sand Hats. I really like both and each work nicely in many situations but they do sound very different. I’m not sure what kind of music you play, I’m a rock guy and the New Beats to me sound like what I hear on records (granted I have no idea what the heck they actually used in the recording..it could have been a trash can). However the Sands Hats sound really neat to me as well and they’re a lot of fun. One thing that was interesting to me the other day was a guy playing some Meinl sand hats that were pretty dark at a rock gig un-mic’d and you couldn’t hear them at all. They blended so much into the music I could see him hit the hats but not hear them. The band behind him had brighter Sabian AAs and you could clearly hear them. Anyway if You can keep both do it for a little while and see how you feel in a few months.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
IMO, every drummer should have a set of New Beats.

Probably best to keep what you like for now though.
NB's are common enough that you shouldn't have a problem finding a set of them later if you want.
 

vtran711

Well-known member
One thing that was interesting to me the other day was a guy playing some Meinl sand hats that were pretty dark at a rock gig un-mic’d and you couldn’t hear them at all. They blended so much into the music I could see him hit the hats but not hear them. The band behind him had brighter Sabian AAs and you could clearly hear them. Anyway if You can keep both do it for a little while and see how you feel in a few months.
I could definitely see that with the sand hats.

I brought the Meinls to my last jam session and my bandmates took notice as to how great they sounded. I'll bring the New Beats next time to see how it plays in a band setting. The New Beats just don't sound well in my drum room at home but that may be due to the room dynamics which I know requires a bit of dampening (i.e. hardwood floors).
 

vtran711

Well-known member
Ended up keeping the Meinls. Brought both to jam night and bandmates agreed Meinls sounded better. These will do me just fine for now and if I stick with drumming and my skills improve years from now maybe I'll splurge on new Zildjian hats at that point. The Meinls are hammered so I wonder if that's part of why I prefer them???
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I'm glad you "followed your ears" on this one.

Listen, I think Zildjian makes a solid cymbal. I've had at least one to two Zildjians in my possession since I started playing drums in 1994. With that said, Zildjians can push out some of the most inconsistent cymbals on the market in their price-point IMO. They vary so much, and I'm talking about same models and years - everything. You can play a brand new set of New Beats and they may sound harsh to your ears. You may play another set that's sitting right beside them, and they sound perfectly balanced.

They always say to "try before you buy" when it comes to instruments, and when it comes to Zildjians, this is definitely the case. They make great products, but just make sure it's the sound you want from the specific cymbal in your possession.
 
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EricT43

Senior Member
Listen, I think Zildjian makes a solid cymbal. I've had at least one to two Zildjians in possession since I started playing drums in 1994. With that said, Zildjians can push out some of the most inconsistent cymbals on the market in their price-point IMO. They vary so much, and I'm talking about same models and years - everything. You can play a brand new set of New Beats and they may sound harsh to your ears. You may play another set that's sitting right beside them, and they sound perfectly balanced.

They always say to "try before you buy" when it comes to instruments, and when it comes to Zildjians, this is definitely the case. They make great products, but just make sure it's the sound you want from the specific cymbal in your possession.
Definitely agree with you on this one. I've always played Zildjians, and still play Zildjians, but they vary quite a bit. For those of us with limited local selection and/or restricted to online buying, it's a problem. Even a well-stocked shop will often not have more than one of any particular cymbal, making it impossible to make live comparisons. Part of the reason why businesses like mycymbal.com are so popular. And manufacturers that make more consistent products, like Paiste.

I find it hard making a final decision on how a cymbal or drum sounds until I have a chance to use it in a band situation. They always sound so much different in the mix with other instruments. For a long time I played 14" Quick Beats, which in my practice room sounded very loud and a bit harsh, but out in front of the stage, they sounded sweet and silky. New Beats have some overtones that are unique to that model that are not necessarily pleasant when played solo, but I think they are great-sounding hats for all styles of music. Simon Phillips plays them.
 

Polska

Member
I love my New Beats. They are crisp and bright and give me the exact sound I want (like what sillypilot said above). Probably the one piece of equipment I have never looked to replace.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I find it hard making a final decision on how a cymbal or drum sounds until I have a chance to use it in a band situation. They always sound so much different in the mix with other instruments.
Agreed. A band situation can vary greatly with a solo inspiration.

Here's another thing. Sometimes, your practice area may just be a bad-sounding room. Oh, it may look nice, but the room just sounds bad. I have a really cool finished basement, but for spacing purposes, I always catty-corner my drums between two sheet rock walls. EVERYTHING sounds bad in that room, especially at that angle. It's just a harsh-sounding environment. However, get my gear anywhere else and it sounds better.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
I'm a but like you. My Tama RoyalStar 1973'kit came with new beat Hihat cymbals for the 70's, Zildjian but made in Canada so, in the current Sabian factory... I'm not the drummer, my drummers like them, the previously and the current one but if Imcomoate them to the cymbals that I bought, Meinl Byzance dark crash 17", Meinl Byzance traditional 19" crash, Zildjian A custom sweet ride 23""25th anniversary, Sabian Holy China 17" etc, but I feel them a bit "too much normal", not a lot of personality, nice "tic" but not great, They are heavy on bottom and medium heavy on the top. I have listened to new Meinl hihat on demo online and I was astonished....So, I will keep them, but I'm pretty sure I will buy another pair in the future...
 
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