B20 or bust

fobz

Active member
But that makes the argument false. A self fulfilling prophecy is argumentative fallacy and is false because what is prophetised allows the wanted effect to come to fruition. Example: B20 cymbals are better, and I have one, and it's better than my B8. This is only true for me, not everyone, so the claim that B20 is better is not a valid argument.
Hahaha I'm not saying I agree with it in principle, just that if manufacturers make most of their best cymbals out of B20, then when people say B20 cYmbAls arE bETer they're probably statistically correct.

When someone asks on a forum like this what cymbals they should upgrade to, there are always a few people who say 'you should buy B20 cymbals because they're the best', which reflects the actual marketplace so you can't really blame them for thinking that...
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Hahaha I'm not saying I agree with it in principle, just that if manufacturers make most of their best cymbals out of B20, then when people say B20 cYmbAls arE bETer they're probably statistically correct.

When someone asks on a forum like this what cymbals they should upgrade to, there are always a few people who say 'you should buy B20 cymbals because they're the best', which reflects the actual marketplace so you can't really blame them for thinking that...
Statistically I totally agree. I believe more people are happier with their B20s over B8s. That's still opinion though.

I dont blame anyone for how they think about their cymbal sounds. It all personal. But the thread does insinuate that one is better than the other, and I like to play devils advocate when these things pop up.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Statistically I totally agree. I believe more people are happier with their B20s over B8s. That's still opinion though.

I dont blame anyone for how they think about their cymbal sounds. It all personal. But the thread does insinuate that one is better than the other, and I like to play devils advocate when these things pop up.



:p
 
Every cymbal company other than Paiste (that I'm aware of) uses B8 only for their low level, student-quality cymbals. That has created a very strong impression that B8 equals bad sounding junk.

That impression is hard to shake because, unless you play Paiste, all professional lines are made of B20.

But it is the amount of hand work and care that goes into the cymbal, and not exclusively the alloy it is made out of, that really defines a cymbal's potential. Obviously Paiste is a big leader in this area, since they make a lot of very fine-sounding professional level cymbals out of B8.

I think the root of the "alloy snobbery" that exists today is because unless you play Paiste you don't really have very many options for good-sounding cymbals that aren't B20. Sabian tried to introduce a semi-pro B8 series (APX) but while they were a big improvement over their student-level cymbals they never caught on and the line had a pretty short lifespan. Zildjian's S series (and ZHT that begat them) is another example of a good-sounding semi-pro line of cymbals that aren't B20 but both companies position their non B20 cymbals more as a stepping stone up to their professional lines and not as a true alternative to them.

Company mindset and pricing structure reinforces that divide by only having B20 cymbals at the apex of the product line. Paiste is different because they have more non-B20 professional lines, but their most expensive cymbals are all B20 too.
I did want to add that Meinl has their Pure Alloy line that is gorgeous in my opinion. I believe they are B12 though rather than B8, but b12 is still closer to the b8 ratio than a b20.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
I think the B-20 bias is real because of imprinting. Whatever you were imprinted with...people tend to follow that imprint for life. Think of it this way: What if the whole world was imprinted with the (non Paiste) B-8. When a B-20 cymbal shows up do we think that everyone would drop what they are using right away? Some would I'm guessing, but IMO the majority would stick with what they were imprinted with.

Imprinting is so powerful and it must be considered

Also, consider the fact that B-8, B-12, B-15....I'm guessing they only became available within the last 30 years. Not a lot of chance for imprinting in that short time, especially if the majority of drummers icons are using B-20. How many people here were imprinted with B-8? And how many were imprinted by B-20? That explains the bias IMO.

I would love to see an imprinting experiment on clones where one clone was imprinted with B-8 and the other with B-20. My guess is that the B-8 imprinted person wouldn't care for the B-20 sound....and vice versa....even though I would say that the majority of drummers today think the B-20 sound is "superior"

Imprinting.
Very interesting.
I grew up seeing the likes of Cozy Powell surrounded by Paiste 2002s, seeing and hearing aggressive bands using Rudes, and hearing a small number of , mostly, German Heavy Metal bands with Meinl Rakers. So in terms of imprinting I’m absolutely a perfect specimen.
However I also have an open mind and I’m at pains to research before I state anything as fact, I also hope I differentiate between what I put down in print as fact and opinion. The fact is that there is no single “better” cymbal. My opinion is that the best cymbal for the job is what pleases the ear of the player and the listener, and what cymbal works better than the other known available options in a particular setting.
Here’s my thoughts on almost every “best instrument” debate I’ve read. As a listener, how often do you refuse to listen to something because the players are using a brand of instrument that you believe isn’t good enough? I can speak only for myself and say that’s never happened to me, it’s never been a consideration on record. Live I can think of only two occasions where even after giving the benefit of the doubt I’ve found the sounds I’m hearing wanting, one was a PA that was painfully loud and one was a budget cymbal used in a pub band that couldn’t be heard, even then I didn’t walk out of either gig and I did find the latter situation amusing and interesting.
 

Roscoe Joe

Active member
Been playing for decades yet only recently learnt about B8, B20, etc... It's not too much of a big deal with me just so long as I like the sound. Been eyeing off some B8 splash hats by Rech as that's the only option for that size that I can find.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I hear you, man I've had entire sets of Paiste 2002s and Signatures. I actually like Zildjian S's more than Paiste 2002s, but Paiste Signatures are VERY hard to beat. Zildjian either hasn't cracked that code yet or doesn't want to fully invest itself in the pursuit of doing so. We'll see what Zildjian's future efforts produce.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying S's quite a bit. Every now and then, I try to find something I dislike about them, but I never really uncover anything that inspires me to kick them to the curb.. My Mastersound hi-hats are excellent, and my Thin Crashes are bright without being obtrusive. There's an underlying mellowness about them that's been quite surprising. The bell of my Medium Ride is nice, and the bow is acceptable, though I wouldn't say it's my favorite ride ever. It sustains a bit too long for my taste.

I usually play a set of cymbals for three to five years, sell them, and replace them with a brand-new set. I'm in my second year with S's. Should I desire a change, A Customs are the most probable destination for me. I'd like to stick with Zildjian, and A Customs have that glassy sound I like so much. Their hammering, lathing, and finish also make them similar to S's.
You're talking about a 1-5% variance of tin. The S line is B12 (12%Sn) according to Zildjian and the Paiste proprietary alloy is 13-18% Sn according to their patent, common assessment is that it's 15%. I think Zildjian hit it as close as they can without being sued.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
There's a 24" Paiste 2002 ride for sale. Incredibly deep, rich sounding from the demo the seller provided. I'd like to sell my 20" for one, but it's twice the price. 😂
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I'd like to line up a 2002, a pst7, 900, giant beat, and RUDEs just to hear the manufacturing difference because they're all B8 (formula 2002) cymbals.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
You're talking about a 1-5% variance of tin. The S line is B12 (12%Sn) according to Zildjian and the Paiste proprietary alloy is 13-18% Sn according to their patent, common assessment is that it's 15%. I think Zildjian hit it as close as they can without being sued.
Yes, the tin content of Zildjian's S and Paiste's Signature is very similar, though tin is only one dimension of a cymbal's identity. To me, the S, though bright and defined, conveys some of Zildjian's characteristic smokiness, while the Signature embodies that sparkling cleanliness we all associate with Paiste. Both are excellent cymbals. It all depends on what you're after. I'm a big fan of the S, as you've probably deduced, so that's what I'm playing right now.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Yes, the tin content of Zildjian's S and Paiste's Signature is very similar, though tin is only one dimension of a cymbal's identity. To me, the S, though bright and defined, conveys some of Zildjian's characteristic smokiness, while the Signature embodies that sparkling cleanliness we all associate with Paiste. Both are excellent cymbals. It all depends on what you're after. I'm a big fan of the S, as you've probably deduced, so that's what I'm playing right now.
I would attribute that to Zildjian's casting process. It is also proprietary, for good reason I think.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I would attribute that to Zildjian's casting process. It is also proprietary, for good reason I think.
The S isn't cast the way the A and K are cast. The S is stamped, just like most Paiste lines. Zildjian's S and Paiste's Signature both start as sheet metal; cymbals are then stamped from those sheets. Zildjian As and Ks, on the other hand, are poured into individual molds. Zildjian's definition of "casting" differs from that of Paiste.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
The S isn't cast the way the A and K are cast. The S is stamped, just like most Paiste lines. Zildjian's S and Paiste's Signature both start as sheet metal; cymbals are then stamped from those sheets. Zildjian As and Ks, on the other hand, are poured into individual molds. Zildjian's definition of "casting" differs from that of Paiste.
Well, then Paiste needs a dictionary. Stamping and then hammering/lathing to shape is a stamping process. Casting is mold poured liquid that is then finished after cooling, usually by trimming mold excess.
Honestly, I thought the S line was cast like the others, not stamped.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Well, then Paiste needs a dictionary. Stamping and then hammering/lathing to shape is a stamping process. Casting is mold poured liquid that is then finished after cooling, usually by trimming mold excess.
Honestly, I thought the S line was cast like the others, not stamped.
Perhaps you are forgetting that the cymbal discs that Paiste uses are in fact cast first. That bronze must start out as a liquid as bronze is an alloy and does not appear anywhere naturally, especially as a consistant solid.

From Paiste: "An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. In an alloy source metals do not bond chemically. They coexist in a microscopic grain structure. Melting and thus mixing the ingredient metals produces the alloy. During this stage, the exact temperature and heating process will produce a specific and carefully controlled grain structure. The molten metal mix is then cast from the melting container, which involves forming it into a particular shape by pouring or pressing it into a mold while it slowly cools off. This is the process called casting, and it is the only way to produce an alloy."

Their definition sounds pretty spot on to me.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Perhaps you are forgetting that the cymbal discs that Paiste uses are in fact cast first. That bronze must start out as a liquid as bronze is an alloy and does not appear anywhere naturally, especially as a consistant solid.

From Paiste: "An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. In an alloy source metals do not bond chemically. They coexist in a microscopic grain structure. Melting and thus mixing the ingredient metals produces the alloy. During this stage, the exact temperature and heating process will produce a specific and carefully controlled grain structure. The molten metal mix is then cast from the melting container, which involves forming it into a particular shape by pouring or pressing it into a mold while it slowly cools off. This is the process called casting, and it is the only way to produce an alloy."

Their definition sounds pretty spot on to me.
Yes, "cast" really comes down to semantics, with Zildjian and Paiste subscribing to departing definitions.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Perhaps you are forgetting that the cymbal discs that Paiste uses are in fact cast first.
I was unaware they smelted their own alloys.
That bronze must start out as a liquid as bronze is an alloy and does not appear anywhere naturally, especially as a consistant solid.
Thus, an alloy.
Bronze, like other alloys, can be acquired in bar stock form and then manipulated how one chooses.
I forge many of my own parts for racing.
It's the intricacies of the particular manufacturers processes that I am not versed on. Metallurgy was part of my engineering degree program. ;-)
 
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