Zildjian 14" A Thin Crash Rant

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Can someone please tell me when and why the heck Zildjian would do away with the 14" Thin Crash??!! Like I'm supposed to buy an S series 14" Thin Crash in lieu of the A series. Yeah, right! WTF?!!

Ok, I'm done now. Off to look at what Sabian has to offer. I was looking for an A Thin Crash to use as a Hi-Hat top. Maybe HHX is closest to the A Zildjian line?
 
Is the fast crash too thin for you?

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MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
The Sabian AA-line is more similar to the A-Zildjian line. HHX is more like K or K-Custom.
Oh, right. Thanks for straightening me out.
 
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J-W

Well-known member
As a top hat, I probably would use an S series in lieu of an A just for the slightly brighter sound.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
As a top hat, I probably would use an S series in lieu of an A just for the slightly brighter sound.
I did consider that. A few years ago, in search of a crash that would fit my existing cymbal combo, I bought a used 14" A Thin Crash for $90. It didn't work fit the mix like I expected, and for grins I checked it out as a Hi-Hat top. It sounded spectacular, but I already had a UFIP over a Zildjian A Medium bottom, and some Mastersounds, so I sold it. But, the sound of that 14" A Thin as a top has stuck with me over all this time, and now I seriously want that sound. Let's put it this way, I've decided to sell all my Mastersounds, and I actually have As and new A Custom Mastersounds (I've played only once). That's how much I want that sound.

Perhaps as a Hi-Hat top the S might work, but since the sound of that A has stuck with me all this time, I'm concerned I might be disappointed. Is the S only slightly brighter, and not as bright as the A Custom line?
 

J-W

Well-known member
Perhaps as a Hi-Hat top the S might work, but since the sound of that A has stuck with me all this time, I'm concerned I might be disappointed. Is the S only slightly brighter, and not as bright as the A Custom line?

I have limited experience with the S line, other than tinkering with some at GC, but they did seem brighter than my A's which is no surprise due to the difference in alloys. I do not have A Customs and didn't A-B the S to the A Customs as I have no interest in the A Customs whatsoever.
@C.M. Jones here could probably give you a better comparison as I believe he has more experience with all 3 lines, if I'm not mistaken.

One thing to consider, though, is that you'll likely never find that exact A sound since inconsistency is just the nature of that line. That, and you likely have a different memory of it, anyway, since it's been awhile.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I have limited experience with the S line, other than tinkering with some at GC, but they did seem brighter than my A's which is no surprise due to the difference in alloys. I do not have A Customs and didn't A-B the S to the A Customs as I have no interest in the A Customs whatsoever.
@C.M. Jones here could probably give you a better comparison as I believe he has more experience with all 3 lines, if I'm not mistaken.

One thing to consider, though, is that you'll likely never find that exact A sound since inconsistency is just the nature of that line. That, and you likely have a different memory of it, anyway, since it's been awhile.

The A Custom and the S are very similar lines. They're hammered identically, lathed identically, and finished identically. Their distinction resides in their respective alloys and in the methods employed to prepare those alloys. The A Custom (B20) is poured into individual molds, giving every cymbal a unique character. The S (B12) is stamped from sheets, creating remarkable consistency across the series. With the A Custom, it's wise to hear each cymbal before making a purchase, as tonal variations might be prevalent. With the S, on the contrary, one 18" Thin Crash will be almost indistinguishable from another 18" Thin Crash, so you can buy them blindly with tremendous confidence. I don't consider one line to be better than the other. Each has its own merits. The qualities you value in a cymbal should guide your selection.

On the frequency scale, I'd conclude that S's are a little brighter than A Customs, while A Customs are somewhat brighter than regular As. That's a relative evaluation, however. I've heard A Customs that are brighter than S's and As that are brighter than both. Exceptions abound in the world of cymbals. Listening carefully to each specimen is the best way to make informed assessments.

I have a very high opinion of S's overall. They served me well for a few years, and I have nothing negative to report in my experience with them. My recent transition to Zildjian's A Avedis series didn't stem from dissatisfaction with S's. The A Avedis line is simply a better fit for my current applications. Regardless, I rate the S a professional-grade cymbal that greatly exceeds its price point. Its intermediate marketing is highly misleading.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Man I love my Zildjian 14 in thin crash-it's got a bad keyhole. I didn't know I couldn't replace it. I think I'm going to take my epoxy compound and mix me a ball and mold to create a collar to fit in hole and take away metal contact with cymbal. It shifts to key hole spot to keep eating away at it. It needs to harden to create a new hole but not glued to cymbal to impede it. Like a plastic sleeve-you think it would take stress off metal and not change it?
 

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MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Well, there you have it. While the S line may very well be a good bang for the buck, the description above indeed sounds like the S has a more metallic sound to it, to the extent that it's pitch is likely even higher than the A Custom. I like the sound of As better than the A Customs for the variety of genres I play.

And, yes, I realize that I may not get the EXACT sound I remember, but then again, my application is for a hat, not a pure crash. Since I have a few hats already, and have experimented quite a bit with combinations including using tops of some pairs as bottoms for others (never the other way), I have discovered that the pitch of the hat struck closed, as well as the chick of a foot action, is surprisingly dependent more on the bottom hat more than the top. Where the top is most important is in the "fan" or "bark", wherein you strike the hat when closed then quickly open and close it again with your foot (a la the famous accents in Take the Money and Run). The action and pitch of that fan/bark is dictated by both the top and bottom hats, with the seemingly flexing and vibration action of the top hat being a large contributor to the duration of that shhhhht sound. Of course, too heavy of a bottom can hinder that top action, but the top is most important in the pitch of the fan/bark as well.

So while I may not get the exact sound I originally experienced with that A Thin Crash as a top a few years back, since a top is greatly affected by the bottom, a slight variation in a crash in the same line is likely to be more forgiving and possibly even undetectable when used as a hat top. But, changing metals, production methods and finishes would likely be more noticeable. For example, my A Mastersounds and my A Custom Mastersounds sound very different and have very different actions. Even when I mixed the tops and bottoms between the two, they are very different.

So, if at all possible, I think I should stick to the same line that I heard. That said, since the A Thin Crash is no longer made, I did consider an A Custom Fast Crash, in that the lower pitch of being paper thin might offset the higher pitch of the A Custom nature and make it lower, but I am concerned that sub-700 grams might make it too soft in volume. Although I am fully mic'd, that might cause me to feel like I have hit harder when on the hat, then change intensity when on something else, if that makes sense. FWIW, my current Ufip top is 820 grams, and that original A thin was within 20 grams heavier. I have it documented somewhere.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
GetAgrippa, have you tried "grombals"? It's just a rubber grommet made for cymbals, but you could probably find something similar in a hardware store.
Good idea-one I just had once I thought about the epoxy buzzing or rattling. LOL. Thanks mate.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
My experience with the S series is it feels more brittle when struck and has brighter metallic overtones.
Looks like Zildjian is just repackaging the Z series.
The hi hats are OK ,but geared towards a more amped up band.
I own a Pitch black ride which is of the same alloy (B12) that I use for gigs to cut through heavy amped guitars.
The coating cuts down on the metallic overtones and dries it out.
It has its niche ,but is kind of a one trick cymbal.
Got it for $59 bucks at GC.
 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
The Z series were all cast B20 bronze, as far as I know (Z, Z power, Z custom, Z3) but Planet Z are brass. ZBT and ZXT are B8 sheet bronze. ZHT are B12, like the S series.
 
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MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Man I love my Zildjian 14 in thin crash-it's got a bad keyhole. I didn't know I couldn't replace it. I think I'm going to take my epoxy compound and mix me a ball and mold to create a collar to fit in hole and take away metal contact with cymbal. It shifts to key hole spot to keep eating away at it. It needs to harden to create a new hole but not glued to cymbal to impede it. Like a plastic sleeve-you think it would take stress off metal and not change it?
Your drawing looks nothing like the keyholing I have on my 1972 20" Sizzle Ride. I'll post a pic when I get home. But, I did nothing to it. I just put a larger diameter sleeve on the stand tilter, and that prevents the tilter stem from going into the keyhole groove. I wouldn't even consider epoxying or anything else.

I think you should let me borrow your A Thin Crash. I will see what I can do to help you. It might take 5 years or so for me to get it back to you. :)
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
GetAgrippa, have you tried "grombals"? It's just a rubber grommet made for cymbals, but you could probably find something similar in a hardware store.
I got some grommets from a hardware store that work great. Don't know if they would stand up to heavy hitter, but I didn't have problems with them in a steady gigging cover band and in the local church worship circuit.
 
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