In the world of cymbals, there are very many brands that promise the world, but very few that deliver. Zildjian is one of the few who have actually loved up to their promise. The brand is a real market of quality in the modern market. As an experienced drummer, I understand what it takes to call a cymbal good accessories.
There is more than just it looks. In many cases, the brand that makes all the difference. Zildjian has proved this fact over and over, making some of the best cymbal in the world. No wonder it has become the most popular cymbal maker of all time.
But many people still don’t understand why Zildjian is one of the best cymbals brands. Among the reasons is that they don’t know what products the company has.
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In other words, it all depends on your experience with drums. And so, if you are still wondering about the best Zildjian cymbals, you will find this guide very helpful.
About the Zildjian Cymbals
I have met a lot of people asking whether Zildjian cymbals are really as good as they say. Well, there is a reason this is the largest cymbal maker in the world.
When it comes to the best quality and features, very few companies come close to Zildjian. And with their experience in the market, the makers understand what modern music demands, and they are ready to offer that, better than what anyone would imagine.
A brief history
I would like to start with Zildjian’s history as a brand so that you can easily understand what makes them market leaders.
The company’s journey began in the early 17th century, with Avedis I in Constantinople. He was an Armenian alchemist who discovered a secret alloy while attempting to create gold by combining metals. His discovery produced interesting sound properties that made it perfect for creating cymbals.
Aveda’s cymbals become very popular because of their clarity, sustain, and power. This even made Sultan invite him to live in the palace so that he could craft cymbals for Janissary bands. He was awarded 80 pieces of gold and a family name ‘Zildjian,’ which meant ‘cymbal smith’ for his incredible works.
In 1623, Avedis was allowed to leave the palace so that he could start his own business away from Constantinople. And for the 200 years that followed, the Zildjian family continued to produce that unbranded “Turkish Cymbals.”
Avedis Zildjian decided to manufacture and display branded cymbals in 1851. The cymbals were displayed across Europe throughout the late 1800s, receiving a lot of fame for their excellence. The business was not very profitable at first. Nevertheless, the alloy’s secrets eventually passed to Avedis III, who become friends with many professional drummers at the dawn of the swing era.
His good standings with artists like Jo Jones, Gene Grupa, and Buddy Rich, among many others, made him a great player in the manufacturing of cymbals are we known them today. Even though the Great Depression hit just months after opening the first cymbal factory, it did not stop him from succeeding.
The Zildjian family tradition of making cymbals continues to rings across the world. Through continuous research and innovation, the company has managed to capture the attention of every drummer. All the 16 generations have kept the secret alloy, which is not at the heart of the world’s fine cymbals.
The company is defined by a strong passion for carrying the family secret, which will continue to serve drummers all over. Since then, the family and the company have never stopped discovering a new idea that creates better sounds for everyone who uses them.
Today, Zildjian has a wide range of crashes, rides, hi-hats, and many other cymbals to meet different needs. It does not matter your experience; there is always something to make you smile.
Latest lines of Zildjian cymbals
Zildjian is, without a doubt, the best cymbal manufacturer in the world. As the top company, you would expect it to offer various options to meet specific needs. Here is a look at their latest products.
Zildjian cymbals carry the classic sound of the first cymbals, which has been immortalized in a wide collection of recordings. Many of the greatest drummers of all time have used these cymbals, liking them mostly for their brightness.
They range from paper-thin and delicate products to extra-heavy and cutting. They have come with recent adjustments to their curvature and weights. Hence, many of the latest models capture the sweet spot of the classic A sounds. Every crash, ride, and hi-hat in this collection is a manifestation of top sounds.
A Customs are a renowned choice of metal, rock, and fusion styles. They are known for their brilliant finished and radical hammering techniques that deliver a crisp, sweet, and complex A Zildjian sound. But they are all made to come out with a contemporary feel. These pieces are not too dark and not too bright, but they offer a fast attack and clean response that no other product can easily reach.
Then there are the A Avedis, a vintage recreation of the timeless tunes and feel from thousands of hits that define the 30s through to the 60s. This new addition creates an air of cleans sounds from swing to bebop, to the explosion of rock and roll, among many other sounds. They are named in honor of Avedis Zildjian III, who gave rise to the modern American Cymbal. The legendary sound has been recreated and now present with the new generations.
The K Zildjian cymbals have been a great inspiration for many drummers over the years with their deep, warm, and expressive sounds.
Kerope Zildjian developed them in 19th century Turkey for the modern generation. It is the elaborate hammering and lathing techniques that create the versatility in Zildjian cymbals. It makes the K series cymbals dark, yet well suited for a wide range of musical genres.
The K Custom cymbals draw their spirit from the legendary K Zildjian Cymbals. They offer dark and rich sounds that are necessary for modern drummers in contemporary music environments. They are defined by classing K hammering and a variety of other modern techniques that give them unique appeal for modern needs. The cymbals are good for modern jazz, studio, country, and medium rock. These pieces are designed to meet the modern diverse music environment.
The Kerope line, on the other hand, represents the brand’s rich history and cymbal making experience. They offer the most authentic vintage K recreation in modern times. The Cymbals are handcrafted to look and sound dark and complex. Each cymbal has gone through a 14-step handcrafting process that carries every knowledge humanity has about making cymbals.
Then there is the legendary K Constantinople, which is the pinnacle of the Zildjian cymbal family. If you are looking for perfect blended sound quality, any drummer will send you to these products. It is their complex hammering the contributes their unique sonic abilities. They come in small batches using a 14-step handcrafting method, giving each one a signature voice.
The best sellers in the line include a 16-inch K Sweet crash, the 21-inch K Sweet ride, 14-inch K Custom Special Dry Hi-Hats, 17-inch K Custom Hybrid crash, 20-inch Kerope Ride, and 20-inch K Constantinople Medium Thin Ride Low.
The Zildjian FXs series cymbals are described as colorful and personal. These cymbals are designed to give you a personalized experience with their unique sounds.
They give you a chance to experiment with a wide range of effects and accents. Their uniqueness is not just in the way they look, but in the way, they are crafted as well. They let you add exotic colors and character to the sound of your music. With an Oriental China Trash or a Transformer, there is nothing to stop you from creating the most amazing sounds.
Talk about bright and cutting sounds in cymbals, and an experienced drummer might refer you to the Z family of Zildjian. They offer the best sound you can get on a budget, which makes them even more awesome.
This Zildjian family of cymbals called ZBT (Zildjian Bronze Technology) comes delivering a bright and intense sound that cuts straight through the mix. Each Z line cymbal features extensive lathing with a traditional finish.
Many of us know that bronze is not the best material for making cymbals. Some manufacturers don’t even consider it because it seems too brittle and can easily break. However, Zildjian has found a way to create from its cymbals that will not disappoint. Besides, not everyone has the money to invest in higher-end products.
If you are looking for an easy entry into the Zildjian family, Planet Z cymbals are a good recommendation. They are designed to be versatile and inspiring for the modern drummer. Each of them has been precisely crafted in the U.S.A, from a combination of Nickel Silver alloy. This means no matter the music style you play, and there will always be new sounds and new directions with the Planet Zs.
Every Zildjian cymbal is created for a specific purpose, and the S family is no different. These versatile and bold collections of bright cymbals offer the best of the brand. This is why they are very expensive.
The S family cymbals are designed and crafted with a well-balanced frequency response, which makes them suitable for a wide variety of music styles. If you have any expectations for any B12 alloy cymbal, these pieces will deliver beyond your imagination. The best sellers in this line include 20-inch S Medium Ride, 16-inch S Medium Thin Crash, and 14-inch S Hi-hats.
For those who live in small rooms, like apartments or college hostels, practicing your drumming can be very hard. We know that drums are extremely loud, especially the cymbals. And not everyone enjoys such loud noises.
Besides, it would be best if you protect your ears from loud music. Many musicians have lost their hearing because of too much exposure to loud music. The Zildjian L80 low volume cymbals are an excellent solution here. The cymbals are designed to offer up to 80% noise reduction compared to classic cymbals without losing their authentic feel.
These cymbals are ideal for small lesson rooms, low volume gigs, or anywhere you don’t need to later. Play anywhere you want with these incredible pieces. This collection’s best sellers include Low Volume LV468 4 Cymbal set and Low Volume LV348 4 Cymbal Set.
The Gen16 A/E Zildjian technology employs the use of Buffered Bronze cymbals with their volume-reducing hole pattern, a Direct Source Pickup, and a Digital Cymbal Processor (DCP). This brings you to a new experience of digital drumming.
Zildjian has tried to come up with new innovations and technologies to meet modern users’ needs. This system gives users the power to shape acoustic cymbal sounds and apply DSP effects like EQ/Filtering/Pitch Shifting. This way, once can easily create new textures not common with classic cymbals without the worry of feedback, crosstalk, or phasing.
Note that this technology is different from cymbal triggers pads. The Zildjian Buffed Bronze cymbals can be played using sticks, rods, or mallets. They can also be brushed and choked like traditional cymbals since they are real cymbals. Bestseller includes Gen16 Buffed Bronze 14-inch hi-hats, in Gen16 Buffed Bronze 18-inch Crash/Ride, and Gen16 Buffed Bronze 20-inch.
Are Zildjian ZBT cymbals good?
The simplest answer is yes. Zildjian ZBT is among the best cymbals on the market today. ZBT stands for Zildjian Bronze technology, which is a line of line great-sounding cymbals at a very affordable price.
Most Zildjian cymbals are very expensive because of their high quality. But the company has tried reaching out to entry-level buyers by offering these cheaper alternatives. They are made from bronze, which is not the best material for making cymbals. But don’t think they are bad. On the contrary, they deliver a bright, intense sound that rings well through the mix.
Each of these cymbals was created through a detailed and focused Zildjian process. They feature high lathing with classic finishes. Planet Z cymbals are made for those who need an entry-level solution. They are built in the U.S.A using a proprietary of Nickel Solver alloy. Hence, they are very good.
Which is better, Zildjian, or Sabian?
If you ask about drummer what their favorite cymbal is, they will probably give you a Zildjian or Sabian. Some even combine both. Cymbals are a very important component in any drum set. And this means you need to pick the right one. It all comes down to the brand you buy.
Both Zildjian and Sabian offer the same quality products.
They are literally brothers, since Sabian is an offshoot of Zildjian, and members of the same family found them. Every secret that Zildjian has in crafting their cymbals is also with Sabian. This makes it very hard to decide which of them is the best.
However, many professional drummers will choose Zildjian over Sabian. This is because Zildjian is at the top of the industry, and they have been making drums for more than 100 years. The company is stronger and offers a wide range of sounds.
What are the best cymbals for metal?
Choosing the right cymbals for the type of music you play can create a huge impact on your performance. In this case, metal is a very aggressive genre that requires sturdy and durable hardware/components.
Also, you will need cymbals that ring out loud. This is what makes meaning for rock and metal drummers anyway – noise. My recommendation includes Meinl MB20, Paiste Alpha Boomer, Zildjian Rezo, and A Customs, Byzance, and Sabian AAX. These pieces will not disappoint. They have the sound and the quality for a good performance, whatever music style you play.