Zildjian ZBTs

warrior21

New member
Getting back in the drumming game after a long layoff, and wanted to upgrade my cymbals. As I want to make sure I'm going to keep my interest and practice going, I don't want to break the bank on new cymbals, but improve on the ones I currently have, which are probably 25-30 years old, and were nothing special at the time.

I found a retailer selling a 5-cymbal set of Zildjian ZBTs for $199. For the price, that seems like a great deal. I know you can find equipment on eBay and Craigslist, but it's hit or miss.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I am going to warn you that not a single person here will recommend this. What they will recommend is:

1. Buy used. There are far better deals to be had on better cymbals, and besides, a "new" cymbal loses value as soon as it leaves the lot, so to speak. It does require more work, but it's kind of fun hunting out deals.
2. Buy once, cry once. Meaning, it will cost more to buy better cymbals, but they're worth the investment by far.
3. Buy only after you try, if possible. Better to get a sense of how it sounds and feels in person. Even if you go to the local store and play on some, then go online and find the best used deal, at least you have some idea of what to expect.

You mention wanting to maintain interest in playing. Having been in a similar position of not wanting to "break the bank" on cymbals for most of my years drumming and using the equivalent of ZBTs, it was really eye-opening when I did a little research and bought something a little better, so I speak from similar experience. Playing on decent cymbals makes a huge difference, believe me!

I know it's tempting to buy a pack thinking it's a good deal, but used cymbals in good shape aren't of any less intrinsic worth and you can get better bang for your buck. Yes, it requires more of a buck, but the bang is far better!
 
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bananers

Junior Member
ZBTs are a pretty basic level set of cymbals, I don't know what old cymbals you currently have but I doubt the ZBTs would be much of an upgrade, if one at all.

I currently have ZBTs which were my first set, and I'm recently back into gigging again where I don't have the luxury of my music school's nice high end Zildjians - and I cannot wait to get rid of mine.

This being said, when I took them out recently at a practice my hi hats were surprisingly crisper and much less harsh than I remembered, however the crashes and ride are just horrible. If you are going the second hand route I would imagine you can find a much much nicer, more versatile set! 😊
 

Frank

Gold Member
Calling them basic is kind. :)

Just about any other low end solution will be better than those ZBTs.

My suggestions for low end cymbals that don't suck:

- The Paiste PST 7 or 5 line.
- Wuhan B20s
- Stagg B20s

The ZBTs sound like trash can lids you can get at Home Depot.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
ZBT's?

Ooops I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Used pro level cymbals. Or new pro level cymbals. Be kind to yourself and your listeners.

The cheap stuff just is't worth it, because....

You eventually WILL buy pro cymbals. So any money you spend on lesser cymbals will be pure waste. Skip them and buy good stuff.

ZBT stands for Zildjian's buyer trap, a little known tidbit :)
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I don't want to break the bank on new cymbals, but improve on the ones I currently have, which are probably 25-30 years old ....

I found a retailer selling a 5-cymbal set of Zildjian ZBTs for $199. For the price, that seems like a great deal.
+1 on everyone telling you NO !!!!!

If you've got 5 old cymbals ...... pick either the hats or ride, and replace it. And keep working at it, until you've got at least some good hats, a good ride .... and at least 1 good crash.

You're old cymbals .... you can eventually experiment with them and make "stacks" effects cymbals.
 

Local Oaf

Well-known member
+1 on everyone telling you NO !!!!!

If you've got 5 old cymbals ...... pick either the hats or ride, and replace it. And keep working at it, until you've got at least some good hats, a good ride .... and at least 1 good crash.

You're old cymbals .... you can eventually experiment with them and make "stacks" effects cymbals.
Stack experiments for life
Drill drill drill saw saw saw stack stack stack hit hit hit
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
If it were me, I’d go to....... wait for it..... wait for it...... Guitar Center. Try out their used cymbals right there in the store on one of their drum sets. I have 5 Guitar Centers near me so I’m sure in one day I could find something cheap that I could live with.
.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I bought the Zil ZBT cymbal pack for about $150 years ago. The 3 Cymbal Pack included an 18" crash ride and a pair of 13" hi-hats plus a free 14" crash. The hats are still in use but both crash and ride sit collecting dust-I even tried rivets but they are just horrendous. I did find the 14 crash with rivets (on bottom) and my Zil A 14 thin crash (on top) make nice hats recently but that’s about it
 

BruceW

Senior Member
I have a 16" ZBT that I still use and like the sound of. I haven't been thrilled with the sound of any of the larger ones that I've played.

People will crap on them here, and on Facebook. If that's all you can get, and all you can afford, well... Tho as others have said, there are a lot of options to lower cost cymbals, used being your best bet. (Coming from the guy that is saving his pennies to buy a "good" set to replace his mismatched used stuff. Nothing wrong with mismatched or with used, I just want an upgrade.)
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Unless you're heading into battle and need makeshift shield and body armour don't bother.

Buy once and cry once, go A onwards.
 

warrior21

New member
I had been out of the drumming game until about 4-5 years ago. It had been 25 years.

My daughter had been taking lessons, and before purchasing an acoustic kit for her, wanted to make sure she was going to stick with it, so when the Alesis kit finally kicked the bucket, I found a used 5-piece Pearl Export for her from a local music store that was no longer giving drum lessons. The store also had a 7-piece Slingerland (I can't honestly tell if it's any good), but I always loved Slingerlands as a kid, so I bought that for myself, with the idea I might start playing again. So, I got those two kits, plus they gave me the run of the drum room, so I walked out with some cymbals, snares, thrones, and more, for a steal. The cymbals included some Zildjians and a Paiste. I honestly can't tell if those cymbals are any good, so if there's a way to upload some pics of them, I can do that.

Over the past six months or so I have started to play more. I had had Camber cymbals mainly (see, nothing good), and my daughter is now using them (there may have also been a Camber or two from the store, as well). But I wanted to get a set of all the same line, or at least better quality stuff. Again, I'm really just getting going again (starting to play with some guys), so I don't and can't spend a fortune at this time, but want to "upgrade".

I had stopped at a Guitar Center last night (it's local, and just to browse, though I'm sensing that place may be taboo around here?), and I guess Zildjian is doing away with the ZBTs and are now supplying an "I" series? To these ears, I thought they sounded a bit better than the ZBTs.

I appreciate all the responses and understand what you're all saying as to quality. Honestly, I will never do this professionally but if I can upgrade and they sound better than what I have and it's what I can afford to spend right now, then that's where I'm at.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I appreciate all the responses and understand what you're all saying as to quality. Honestly, I will never do this professionally but if I can upgrade and they sound better than what I have and it's what I can afford to spend right now, then that's where I'm at.
I virtually guarantee you will have buyer's remorse if you buy super cheap cymbals. There's just no getting around it. They sound awful and they may even dull your desire to play.

Please do yourself a favor and check out the Paiste PST7 line if you are adamant about budget cymbals. They're pretty much the best of the entry level cymbals and can be had for a reasonable price.
 
So, I got those two kits, plus they gave me the run of the drum room, so I walked out with some cymbals, snares, thrones, and more, for a steal. The cymbals included some Zildjians and a Paiste. I honestly can't tell if those cymbals are any good, so if there's a way to upload some pics of them, I can do that.
You can easily include a picture in a post - it's at the top of the box you type into, next to the smilie face - or press Ctrl+P. You may need to make them smaller before uploading them.
If you have a Zildjian already, it can't be worse because ZBTs are the worst line that Zildjian offers. Just post a picture of the cymbals and the stamps and you'll know what you have in no time.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I had stopped at a Guitar Center last night (it's local, and just to browse, though I'm sensing that place may be taboo around here?), and I guess Zildjian is doing away with the ZBTs and are now supplying an "I" series? To these ears, I thought they sounded a bit better than the ZBTs.
Well .... they are a bit better ..... which is why Zildjian is bringing them in as replacements for ZBT's. Zildjian DID have a budget line before (ZHT) that sounded OK/so-so. But they were B12 cymbals .... not B8's ..... and Zildjian discontinued them.

It's your ears that matter. And Guitar Center ain't no sin to shop at. If they have what you need, +1. They can have really good prices on used gear. I recently bought a used Yamaha Manu Katche Jr. drum set from them, as well as two Sabian Vanguard cymbals. Better prices than eBay, Craigslist, or Reverb (on those particular items).

As stated by others .... check out the PST7's .... and also check out PST3's and PST5's if you can. You can hear 3's and 5's here.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Learn the names of some better cymbals, such as the Zildjian A Custom, or Paiste 2002. Check pawn shops, stores and craigslist ads. When good stuff appears, buy it. Good cymbals are a pleasure to play.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I think if you're really hesitant to go all-in with the cymbals, I would still suggest going used and looking for something like Sabian XS20 cymbals. Those get a fair amount of praise around these parts and are a good step up from the ZBT/B8s out there, and would probably run you no more than an equivalent set of new ZBTs.
 
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