20" Zildjian K custom??

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I want to say it came out in 1987 or so.

They first came out in 16", 18" and 20",

The store I was working in at the time sold a ton of the 20". Between Weckl, Gadd, and Vinnie using the 20", they became very popular and were very hot sellers.

The 16" was a flop, and a few of the 18" sold. But the 20" was the one to have.

Around 1989 the 22" version was introduced.

Then in around 91 or 92, variations of the K Custom were introduced, starting with the K Custom Dry, and then it snow balled from there into 101 variations of the K custom.
 

PanamaRick

Junior Member
I just got one on ebay with the label 'Perfect' on the add, but it has the K and all the stamps including the 20"/51cm one. It is a dark ride and sounds the same as the one in the store. I got it for $199. The same ride was $349 at the store. What I may do is take it to the store and play it along theirs to see the difference, but I can't tell there is any right now. The one I have is a brilliant. I now realize taht I should have gotten the hybrid... I will or get the 24" K custom. But...i am very happy with the sound of this one...and the price.
 

drummaman1

Senior Member
Cool - thread revive.

What I think to be is: The story behind the K Custom was based on a protoype Zildjian made for Steve Gadd. They made a 20" though Gadd always played an 18" back then. It was a new thing, considering what they were offering for K at the time was hats, crashes, Rides. They may have just released splashes and chinas at that time (80's) but an unlathed K...was a new thing at the time.

That very prototype allegedly made an appearance at the local GC some years ago, when Gadd was still living back in Rochester. Word was his son tried to sell it for drug money. Allegedly, I don't know if it happened or not. Sad if it did.

Years later, I heard (or read somwhere) that Steve Gadd was considering the move to Sabian (around the time Neil Peart did). It's the reason Zildjian created the Session series, to keep him as an endorser. Also that benefit Z made in his honor that year, too.

Of course, it's all hearsay. I could be completely off.
 

Black Label

Senior Member
Hi there - I swopped a crash cymbal that I did not use anymore for a Zildjian K ride - I had no idea what it was except that it was 18", pre-serial, rather heavy (2100g) and strange looking with clear machine and random hand hammering marks. I loved it because of the dry darkish ping, the gongish shank and killer bell. Even wash riding it is has a surprising nice spread as well for such a heavy cymbal. The only word I could make out was an upside down "CUSTOM". So the search started and I came across this interesting (albeit old) thread. It helped me ID my ride and give me some interesting history info. So I thought I'd revive the thread and post some pics of the cymbal. Being a pre-serial, am I correct that it is at least a pre-1992 cymbal? Based on the hammering, do you guys believe that this may be one of the first / earliest K Customs? Between 87 and 92?

Thanks and regards
 

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alparrott

Platinum Member
Hi there - I swopped a crash cymbal that I did not use anymore for a Zildjian K ride - I had no idea what it was except that it was 18", pre-serial, rather heavy (2100g) and strange looking with clear machine and random hand hammering marks. I loved it because of the dry darkish ping, the gongish shank and killer bell. Even wash riding it is has a surprising nice spread as well for such a heavy cymbal. The only word I could make out was an upside down "CUSTOM". So the search started and I came across this interesting (albeit old) thread. It helped me ID my ride and give me some interesting history info. So I thought I'd revive the thread and post some pics of the cymbal. Being a pre-serial, am I correct that it is at least a pre-1992 cymbal? Based on the hammering, do you guys believe that this may be one of the first / earliest K Customs? Between 87 and 92?

Thanks and regards

That's precisely what you appear to have - a pre-'92 18" K Custom. As was mentioned earlier, the 20"s were incredibly popular, but the 18"s never quite caught on (because few people wanted that high a pitch in their ride, methinks). That makes this one probably less priceworthy, but we see a lot fewer of them as well.

What's the deal with the ink circle on the top? Can you buff that out?
 

Black Label

Senior Member
That's precisely what you appear to have - a pre-'92 18" K Custom. As was mentioned earlier, the 20"s were incredibly popular, but the 18"s never quite caught on (because few people wanted that high a pitch in their ride, methinks). That makes this one probably less priceworthy, but we see a lot fewer of them as well.

What's the deal with the ink circle on the top? Can you buff that out?

Hi Al. Thanks for your input. The circle is luckily in pencil and can be erased easily. The previous owner was going to cut it down to a 17"!!! Luckily I rescued the poor thing. Over the weekend I played it alongside my 20" 1976 paiste 2002 ride and was surprised that the ping of the 18" was not much higher than that of the 2002. Maybe its the B8 and B20 alloys and also the darker nature of the K. I also want to compare it at some stage to an 18" Super Zyn (5 Star) ride that I have. That would be interesting as both are B20's.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I also want to compare it at some stage to an 18" Super Zyn (5 Star) ride that I have. That would be interesting as both are B20's.

The 18" 4 star Super Zyn is an amazing crash ride. A mate of mine has had one since the 70s, it's easily as good as any Zildjian. The crash is really clean if I remember?

If your K Custom is like the 20" which I have the ride is a lot more complex and a lot thinner than the modern K Custom rides.
 

Black Label

Senior Member
I set the Super Zyn and the K up next to each other last night and they really do complement each other beautifully, the K obviously being the pingier, darker, dryer one with a gongier crash sound and the Super Zyn (which is a little thinner) being higher pitched, more washy and brighter with a more traditional crash sound. Actually, with only those 2 cymbals on your kit (and a nice set of middle of the road hats - at the moment I have a set of light weight 15" Paiste 2002 hats up) you can really play just about anything. The bell on that 18" K is absolutely killer.
 

Tama CW

New member
Sorry to rehash a 5 yr old thread. But, I got this 20" Zildjian several months ago....and this is 1st thread I've run into that shows an example similar to mine. Appears to be an early or Prototype K Custom, or even a "Pre-EAK K custom" of sorts. The square/large oval/diamond type of deep hammering is similar to what was posted earlier by AlParrott. The heavy hand(?) hammering almost covers up the very faint "dashed" circumferential hammering of 1/2" ringed intervals. Unlathed and brilliant. To really confuse the issue it is stamped as an Avedis with the 80's large CO stamp. No model or diameter ink. No inked large K. Weight is 2933 gm. Bell is large at 6". Die stamp faces inward. Any opinions where it fits into the K line? Paul Francis thought it was a mis-stamped regular production K Custom.
 

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zenstat

Well-known member
Old resurrect from before I published on these.

I'd say 1987 given that is the currently known first year of these. It could be the year before as we have evidence (and a report from Paul Francis) that production for a new model sometimes started up the calendar year before so that stock was ready for the drum shows early in the year.

Machine hammering using the relatively new rotary hammering machine produces that dashed ring pattern.

rotary-hammer.png

Machine hammering without a guide produces the irregular hammering. A person holds the cymbal under the hammer and chooses the position. The order is rotary hammering machine, then pressed into shape, then the additional irregular machine hammering. There is a lot of variation in the degree of hammering post pressing. Image and info from:


The CO stamp is currently known to be in factory use from 1982 - 1987 based on it's use on models where we have specific release years. Your cymbal is one of about 5 I've got records of which seem to blur the boundary between K and A. What we call the 70s stamp was also in use during that period, and right up until 1993. So this is another example of multiple dies in use in the factory at the same time: CO, 70s, and K. There are other stamps as well in the lower lines but I haven't written those up yet and am waiting until everything moves over to the wiki.

Thanks to several denizens of Cymbalholic (including Paul Francis) for much of the info on these. And thanks to you for confirming the Large Cup was in use on a 20" K Series Custom.
 
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Tama CW

New member
Thanks Zenstat for your thoughts on this cymbal. I would also note that the cymbal came from former long time Artist Relation's Managers at Zildjian/Sabian. So they might have had a reason to end up with an early "K Custom" and hold on to it for 25+ yrs.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Thanks Zenstat for your thoughts on this cymbal. I would also note that the cymbal came from former long time Artist Relation's Managers at Zildjian/Sabian. So they might have had a reason to end up with an early "K Custom" and hold on to it for 25+ yrs.
What a gem! And I bet it sounds superb. Congrats on your find -- a true piece of cymbal history right there. Play it in good health!
 
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