Zildjian "Then and Now"

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
These are great Jeremy - you understated it. I’ve only seen first but that is a treasure- the young grad students needs to watch that one. The cymbal exposition was fabulous. But the stories-Crip, and PaPa Joe Jones whistle, whistle, whistle-glug and test till you see the Devil dancing on that cymbal. Louie Bellson and the heavier bottom hat was a huge contribution. That was really enjoyable a ton more to explore. Thanks for posting.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
I wasn't aware that the A series was reworked in 2013. That was interesting to learn from the video on that series.
So if I buy an A zildjian cymbal that was made fairly recently it'll sound close to the one's from the late sixties and 1970's.
That's fantastic to hear. It's what I'm looking for.
(I grew up hearing really only two cymbals around my area in my youth the A series and the Paiste 2002's).
 
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Stroman

Platinum Member
I wasn't aware that the A series was reworked in 2013. That was interesting to learn from the video on that series.
So if I buy an A zildjian cymbal that was made fairly recently it'll sound close to the one's from the late sixties and 1970's.
That's fantastic to hear. It's what I'm looking for.
(I grew up hearing really only two cymbals around my area in my youth the A series and the Paiste 2002's).
Same here. And the Paistes usually had to be ordered! I'm sure glad Zildjian backed off from the super heavy As of the 80s. Those got to be ridiculous. I prefer the new, lighter weight As.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
This is that familiar old sound to my mind.

Nice sounding cymbal played by a monster drummer...

 

C.M. Jones

Diamond Member
So if I buy an A zildjian cymbal that was made fairly recently it'll sound close to the one's from the late sixties and 1970's.
You'll want to explore the A Avedis series, which is fashioned in the spirit of As from the '50s through '70s. It consists of nothing but hats and multiuse cymbals (crash rides). I play 15" hats, a 21" (which I use as a ride), and two 19"s (which I use as crashes). They're lighter than standard As and are quite dynamic and musical.
 
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SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
You'll want to explore the A Avedis series, which is fashioned in the spirit of As from the '50s through '70s. It consists of nothing but hats and multiuse cymbals (crash rides). I play 15" hats, a 21" (which I use as a ride), and two 19"s (which I use as crashes). They're lighter than standard As and are quite dynamic and musical.
I use a Zildjian 21” rock ride along with Zildjian A’s including a 16” from 2003, 17” (2016) and 18” (2001) plus a really old 12” splash that’s lost all ink and I can’t find the stamp but still sounds fabulous. 14” hats from 2005. I looked up all of the serial numbers which identify the dates and specific issue numbers.
Do other cymbal manufacturers do that?
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
Avedis Zildjian were latecomers starting in 1994. They encode the year plus what I've called batch number.


I've since heard the batch number called an oven batch from another ex Zildjian worker. The makes sense if you think of how the production system works.

Paiste brought in serial numbers during 1972. They encode the year but don't give specific model info. This is one of the reasons we have much better info on Paiste. The other reason is the dedicated team who work on the wiki. Thanks guys.


I don't know of other major cymbal makers who do serial numbers. Agop did some serial numbers on a few lines some years back but it didn't seem to catch on generally with them. Among the independents, Matt Bettis has the year encoded on his cymbals, and Mike Skiba (RIP) had a serial numbering system on his cymbals he made from blanks. Craig Lauritsen started out engraving both weight and date under the bell along with his signature. I've got a set of those. Later on he stopped putting the date on, but post October 2011. There may be others doing it I don't know about.
Thanks for the info! Some of the stamps are so faint that they are barely visible, but it’s really cool that they use a method to the madness
 

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KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I was happy with the reworking of the A line starting in 2013.
Around '99-2000, I couldn't get a nice sounding A cymbal. They were ALL too dull, and lifeless sounding compared to everything else I had ever gotten from Zildjian.
I went to Sabian and got what I was looking for, and then some--since it was the same cymbal design with a different name and family member making it anyway.

The last couple years I have made my way back to Zildjian cymbals (with a 10+ year detour with Paiste after Sabian haha!).
The 15" New Beats I got in 2019 are heavier than what I got back in '91, and also have a slightly different bow to them, but I still like the sound. Nothing to make me ask "what happened?" to the model.
I also bought a couple different 21" A Sweet Rides in '19 that are really nice, and very similar to the original one I got when they first came out in '98.
The 23" A Sweet Ride was cool, and really nice sounding on its own, and when I played alone, but it didn't work with my band, so I sold it.

It seems as though the A crashes and crash rides are more in line with what was available in the late 70's-mid 80's also. The bow and taper is not as pronounced anymore. I really didn't like the extra edge "dip" the A cymbal design had for a long time. That to me is what ruined the sound more than having things get heavier.

The Avedis line is great. I have a 21" that I use quite a bit. It's a really good "multi" cymbal, which is how I use my cymbals anyway.

Now, if Zildjian would revive the 20" A SWISH, I'd be pretty dang stoked (even though I just picked up a 20" '78-'82 Swish that sounds awesome).
 

C.M. Jones

Diamond Member
Around '99-2000, I couldn't get a nice sounding A cymbal. They were ALL too dull, and lifeless sounding compared to everything else I had ever gotten from Zildjian.
They were also getting too heavy as I recall. New Beats were clangy, and even some Thin Crashes had too much bulk. The 2013 redesign was certainly a promising turn. And what's landed me on the A Avedis series is that it reminds me of the vintage As I started out with, which were lighter and more pleasant to work with all around, at least from my vantage point.
 
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