Hands-On Review:Nearly Four Centuries of Essential Metal

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The Zildjian story begins in Constantinople in the 17th century. Avedis I was an alchemist who developed an extremely musical metal alloy. With it he created powerful, durable cymbals. As his fame grew, the Sultan bestowed upon him the name "Zildjian," which is Armenian for "cymbalsmith." Such were the beginnings of the family's reputation for crafting innovative, exceptional-sounding cymbals and for manufacturing excellence that now spans 14 generations.


Fast forward to 1929. The Zildjian family established itself and its art in the United States in the midst of the Great Depression. Times were tough but music was swinging. It was the dawn of jazz and the modern music era. Avedis III wasted no time establishing a bond with the hot new drummers of the day. He tapped their insight to bring their sound desires to life.


The Zildjian Odyssey

A rich tradition continues
That close relationship with leading drummers has been passed down directly to Avedis' descendents. Whenever great strides are made in music and in drumming, a Zildjian is there to respond and lead. Avedis III's son Armand created a modern factory and sparked a dramatic flurry of cymbal development that has spanned three decades. Today, his daughters Craigie and Debbie are carrying the Zildjian spirit into yet another new age of music and cymbal innovation.


K Customs
This is where the Zildjian Sound Lab goes into innovation overdrive. K Customs arm you with a collection of modern K voices like no other. In this range you'll find sound that sets the standard for modern cymbal design like the K Custom Medium Ride, the K Custom Dry Light Ride, and the brand new K Custom Special Dry Ride. Many are specifically designed to provide more volume and cut with a quicker attack and decay than traditional K Zildjians. They all enable drummers in contemporary jazz and studio situations to vary their K sounds to meet the demands of today's music.


K Zildjians
Legend. Legacy. The innovative cymbal work of Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, or any one of a sweeping collection of the greatest drummers in history. You can bet your bass drum they've all been fueled by K Zildjian cymbals. The deep, dry, and shimmering sounds developed by Kerope Zildjian in 19th-century Turkey continue to inspire drummers today. Elaborate hammering and lathing transform the secret alloy into versatile cymbals with a wide-ranging blend of high and low frequencies that can be mellow or intense. It all depends on how you play them.


A Customs
It's tough to top the unmistakable and reliable sound of A Zildjians for almost any playing situation, but the award-winning A Customs are an irresistible alternative. Developed with the assistance of Vinnie Colaiuta, A Customs utilize radical rotary hammering techniques, thin weights, and a striking, brilliant finish for a crisp, sweet, sophisticated A Zildjian sound. Not too dark, not too bright - cymbals that are just right for modern music.


A Zildjians
These are the cymbals that launched a million drum solos and shaped musical history - tried and true musical icons whose history spans centuries and infinite musical styles. A Zildjians are the world's most popular and versatile cymbals, and for good reason. Splashes, Crashes, Rides, HiHats or Effects, they all explode with a spectrum of tonal colors and excel in any musical setting. They're extremely sensitive to your particular touch and style, yet capable of producing as much volume as your music demands.


Z Customs
Cymbals that rock! Z Customs can handle the pressure of driving, heavy music while delivering a bright, penetrating cymbal voice. As hard rock music has mutated into countless new forms, Z Customs have kept pace. They're better than ever, with state-of-the-art hammering, an exciting new look, and enhanced sound. Z Customs walk the fine line between volume and musicality, for drummers who do the same.


Sound effects
You can never have too many sounds when your creativity demands them. The Zildjian Sound Lab continues the tradition of working with the world's most inventive and experimental drummers and percussionists like Alex Acuña, Dennis Chambers, and Zach Danziger to create uniquely designed, innovative sound effects. These exotic sonic colors help you define your signature sound and add character and variety to your kit.


Don't let price stand between you and a sensational-sounding set of cymbals. Unleash the energy of Zildjian Bronze Technology (ZBT) on your kit! Revolutionary manufacturing techniques developed by the Zildjian Sound Lab release a fast, bright, high-volume sound from the power-packed ZBT alloy. They make an ideal first set of Zildjians and are the most popular box set cymbals in the world.


Take Zildjian Bronze Technology up a notch with ZBT-Plus. You'll find advanced hammering and lathing, enhanced sound, and an expansive collection of cymbals to choose from when creating your setup. ZBT-Plus cymbals add real versatility, musicality, and professional Zildjian performance to whatever music you're into.


Zildjian Drumsticks: play with fire
Held to the same standards of excellence as their cymbals, Zildjian Drumsticks are constructed in Moundville, Alabama, from the finest U.S. select hickory and maple woods. Zildjian's pioneered an innovative grinding stone process for straighter and more consistent sticks, now an industry standard. Zildjian controls every aspect of the manufacturing process from raw wood to the finished product. Boasting an all-star roster of artists including John Otto, Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, John Tempesta, Manu Katche, Tim Alexander, Samantha Maloney and Tre Cool, Zildjian Drumsticks have drawn many praises.