Zildjian 14" A Thin Crash Rant

zenstat

Well-known member
I'll have to put a bit of analysis work in as I don't have a ready answer. I'm still part way through putting together the overview of weight classes for A Zildjian cymbals from 1930 to present. That's a lot of diameters and a lot of decades and I started off with 22". I haven't made it down to 14" yet. I'm still stuck in the 1930s to 1960s in the A Series ride cymbals. ;)

I'm also not really familiar with the A Custom 14" cymbal models. A quick look has already told me that at present there isn't a Thin Crash named as such in the A Custom lineup. It looks like the A Custom 14" Crash is the Thin weight class model and there is also an A Custom Fast Crash. So far I've found

A Zildjian Fast 692g, 720g
A Custom Crash 675g, 742g, 792g, 810g
A Custom Fast Crash 639g, 694g

With this small amount of data it is possible that the 675g weight you were told is correct and represents the lower end of the distribution. There would then be an overlap between the A Custom Crash distribution and the A Custom Fast Crash distribution which is something we find when we look closely at other models and diameters. I have reasonably detailed information on how the weight classes changed in the 2013 redesign of the A Zildjian cymbals, and have documented the New Beat changes through cymbal weights which shows that we can pick up the changes:


And the larger sweep of history is here


I don't know if the A Custom line has gone through similar but less documented changes at some point.
 

zenstat

Well-known member
Going right back to your first post, if you are looking for a Hi Hat top, my favorite pairing is

14" 1960s 732g
14" 1960s 1120g

I had the bottom and went looking for a top at the weight I knew (from my New Beats research which shows a 2:3 weight ratio) should work well. 60s 14" cymbals are plentiful and inexpensive. You won't be likely to find one with THIN ink although they do exist. This is a 776g example

NB-thin-top-ink.jpg


Reconstructing weight classes means finding these occasional cymbals which still have their weight class ink. So if you do find a cymbal and there is any weight or model ink, please do let me know. Every new data point helps.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Going right back to your first post, if you are looking for a Hi Hat top, my favorite pairing is

14" 1960s 732g
14" 1960s 1120g

I had the bottom and went looking for a top at the weight I knew (from my New Beats research which shows a 2:3 weight ratio) should work well. 60s 14" cymbals are plentiful and inexpensive. You won't be likely to find one with THIN ink although they do exist. This is a 776g example

NB-thin-top-ink.jpg


Reconstructing weight classes means finding these occasional cymbals which still have their weight class ink. So if you do find a cymbal and there is any weight or model ink, please do let me know. Every new data point helps.
Interestingly, your favorite pairing is quite close to what I have discovered I like. I can't remember the exact weight of my Zildjian bottom, but I believe it is somewhere between 1050 and 1120 grams. I have the exact weight written down at home and can post it when I get home from work today. That said, I really have no idea what model the bottom is, although now I wish I knew. I got it in Hong Kong in 1974 when I was young, and I don't recall any stamping or even categorizing of any Zildjians in the stores. I just remember that in those days, you either bough a Zildjian or you bought crap. It was recommended to me by the salesperson as part of a pair that included a UFIP top that I'm pretty sure weighs in at 828 grams. In fact, I rembember insisting on a Zildjian top, wondering why the guy was saying I should get the UFIP top, until he set them up som we could compare them. When we compared the two, the UFIP sounded better. And, it still sounds great, and has good action, but at 13 and 15/16", it is ever-so-slightly smaller than my 14" bottom.

(I don't know if you're aware of it or not, but Zildjian ironically now has a new hi-hat model, the K Custom Session that also sports a 13 and 15/16" top over a 14" bottom.)

The problem with this size combination is that this tiny difference results in sticks getting chewed up at an amazingly quick rate from catching the edge of the slightly larger botton that sticks out a bit. Hence my search for a 14" A Thin Crash. While the A Thin Crash is actually 14 and 1/8" (well, at least the small A and Large A series are), a slightly larger top is better than a slightly larger bottom because the angle of the protrusion of the bottom edge, not the top edge, is what eats sticks.

The Large A Thin Crash I referenced in my original post was a bit lighter at 820 grams, but I remember it sounding nicely "pronounced" when hitting it when closed, and it had an awesome fan/bark. I attribute the more "pronounced" sound as due to my UFIP having a slightly dark timbre to it. I actually posted in a different thread my findings when I tested that A Thin Crash as a hi-hat top. But, at the time I was looking for a crash not a hi-hat top, and that A Thin Crash didn't fit what I was looking for. It wasn't until quite some time later after I got some A Mastersounds that I realized the stick-chewing was from my original hats, because sticks started lasting years again when the Mastersounds were on the kit. I now actually have a set of A's and an almost brand-new set of A Custom Mastersounds, but the A Customs ended up having too sharp of a sound for me, so I'm in the process of selling them and they're in brand-new condition from me playing on them for less than an hour before putting them away. I might sell the A Mastersounds, too, once I find the right top to replace my UFIP (but I will never sell the UFIP).

I did consider having my bottom hat diameter shaved a bit, but I don't want to ruin it. I've tried so many combinations, between that circa 1974 bottom and both Mastersound bottoms that I have, and it seems like no matter what top or crash I put with what bottom, that 1974 bottom makes any pairing sound significantly better. It's actually ironic that I know this now, because prior to my trying different things out, I would never have thought a hi-hat bottom makes such a difference, which I'm sure you have discovered, too!
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Going right back to your first post, if you are looking for a Hi Hat top, my favorite pairing is

14" 1960s 732g
14" 1960s 1120g

I had the bottom and went looking for a top at the weight I knew (from my New Beats research which shows a 2:3 weight ratio) should work well.
What are the measured diameters of your top and bottom? Are they the exact same size?
 
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MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Zenstat,

Don't know if you want this data for your research, but here are pics of my Hollow Logo 13" and 16" Thin Crashes. Yep, you heard right, the 13" is a CRASH not a Splash. The "Thin Crash" ink is gone from the 16", but you can still make out the hollow logo on the back if you look close. The 13" is 538 gram, and the 16" is 928 grams.
image000000.jpg

IMG_20210327_212709_01.jpgimage000001.jpg

BTW, my Ufip hi-hat top is 826 grams, and my Zildjian bottom is 1180 grams.
 

zenstat

Well-known member
What are the measured diameters of your top and bottom? Are they the exact same size?

Yes my 14" top and bottom are the same size to within measurement error, and they match up nicely. I also happen to have two 14" UFIP Crashes from what is now the Class Brilliant Series. These come from before the time when the Brilliant Series was separated out so they are labelled Experience. I can't remember what year that happened although I've probably got it in my notes somewhere waiting for the wiki pages for all cymbals Italian. The UFIP crashes are 750g and 805g. The 805g is about 0.5mm smaller than the 750g. The 750g is 14" and matches up with my A Zildjians. The 850g is ever so slightly smaller then the A Zildjians. The complication with Italian cymbals (as well as Chinese and Turkey) is that the manufacturers seem to target metric sizes and they are often undersized. For UFIP this might have stopped in the 1990s but I haven't really looked into the time frame for that. 14" is a diameter which converts to 355.6mm so when a manufacturer targets 355mm they are very slightly undersized. The undersizing effect is different depending on the diameter and the actual target in mm. Studying the diameter ink on cymbals can give us some insight when the ink has both inches and metric. But I've got examples where the nominal measurements given in ink

35 cm / 14"

tell you that if those were accurate they cymbal would be 5.5mm undersized, but it isn't that much smaller than true 14". And for a larger UFIP example there is a

UFIP 21" 53cm which would be 20.88" and a
Bosphorus which also has ink saying 21" 53cm but it is actually 2mm less in diameter

This is one reason why there are lots of slightly undersized cymbals out there.

I also have some late 1950s 14" A Zildjian flange hats and they are slightly oversized compared to the nominal 14" diameter. When I match either of them up with one of the 1960s A Zildjian hats they are 1.5mm larger all around. My hats aren't the only slightly oversized 1950s A Zildjian cymbals I have, and they aren't the only ones I've documented from other people's collections. I also have a mid 1950s 14" A Zildjian cymbal (Trans Stamp 3) which is slightly undersized and is about 1.5mm smaller than the 1960s A Zildjian hats. Diameters weren't perfect and the further back you go the more likely you are to find diameters which aren't exact.

All of these diameter differences are within 0.1% of the target diameter and we're studying manufacturing tolerances.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
I just got word back from someone selling a 14" thin crash, with the small a ink, that it weighs 848g and the diameter measures 14.25 inches. The ink says 14"/36cm. This is for your records.
 

JaysonJeanChannel

Well-known member

iCe

Senior Member
Got a like on a post of mine here and checked this thread. Reading the comments i just realised i'd love to have a 14" crash again. I favor bigger crashes (18 and 19, even 20 although i don't own a 20" crash), but anything below 18" is 'meh'. I did have a full set of Meinl Classics years back; 14" medium crash, 16 and 18" powerful crashes. Thinking back, the 14" never anoyed me. In my current setup it fills the gap between the 10" splash and the 18" crash perfectly. Not too splashy, not to crashy. Maybe an 14" crash is the answer. Ahhhh too many ideas!
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
How does it compare to the sound of the A line? Although I have not heard one in person, I'm thinking it has more of a metallic sound.

The S series sounds to me like they have less body (more pshhh) than the A and K series. Like the mids being scooped out and the highs turned up.
 
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pgm554

Platinum 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?
Try an A fast crash.
I'm using one with a mastersound A bottom.
Works quite nice.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
I recently sold my A and A Custom sets of Mastersounds, and am back to using my UFIP hi-hat top over an A hi-hat bottom. I thought an A Fast Crash might be too light, thus too low in volume. What does your A Fast Crash weigh? And, what is its exact diameter, if you don't mind?
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Going right back to your first post, if you are looking for a Hi Hat top, my favorite pairing is

14" 1960s 732g
14" 1960s 1120g

I had the bottom and went looking for a top at the weight I knew (from my New Beats research which shows a 2:3 weight ratio) should work well. 60s 14" cymbals are plentiful and inexpensive. You won't be likely to find one with THIN ink although they do exist. This is a 776g example

NB-thin-top-ink.jpg


Reconstructing weight classes means finding these occasional cymbals which still have their weight class ink. So if you do find a cymbal and there is any weight or model ink, please do let me know. Every new data point helps.
Do you happen to know how much difference there might be between the hollow logo models that sport "THIN CRASH" on the front vs. the solid logo models that also say "THIN CRASH" on them, but have no large or small "A"? For example, is the solid ink simply a change in their logo stencil, or are they significantly different in metal composition, shape, lathing, etc., such that if I mix a solid ink version with my hollow logo crashes, it will sound out of place?
 

zenstat

Well-known member
Do you happen to know how much difference there might be between the hollow logo models that sport "THIN CRASH" on the front vs. the solid logo models that also say "THIN CRASH" on them, but have no large or small "A"? For example, is the solid ink simply a change in their logo stencil, or are they significantly different in metal composition, shape, lathing, etc., such that if I mix a solid ink version with my hollow logo crashes, it will sound out of place?

I'm still in data collection mode and haven't yet been back for more analysis. There are no changes in metal composition and no big lathing changes. There might be small shape differences. We know that because the 2013 reset specifically mentions lower weights and lower profiles


but we don't have much more detail on a model by model diameter by diameter basis. Paul Francis also mentions more taper (thinning towards the edge) on some crashes. But that's all I've got. Other than that you will have to hear the cymbals together to know if they blend nicely. I know it is a pain to have do a capture and release program to find just the right one, but that's the state of play as far as I know.
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Thanks for the reply. When they went from no "A" to small "A" (don't know exactly when that was), there was a big difference in sound (in a bad way, in my opinion), and the color of the metal was more "orange-ish". But, when they went from small "A" to large "A" (that you mentioned), the sound got a lot nicer again. I was wondering/hoping that there might not be a detrimental change from hollow logo to solid logo (before "A").
 
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