Zildjian ZBT Series Cymbals Reviews 4

I purchased the ZBT 3-set from Haight-Ashbury Music in SF. This was 13" h.h. plus 18" crash-ride, plus free Splash. Then I added a 16" Crash, and 14" China from Musician's Friend. I wanted some decent sounding cymbals, as an upgrade from my previous ones.

I like everything about these ZBT's. Some folks come down on them because they're sheet bronze, as opposed to cast (wooo-oooh-oooh)....but in honesty, they sound really, really good. They have nice overtones, particularly the crash-ride which I like a lot. You can get a lot of nice variation in sound on that crash-ride. The China is pretty good, a sharp high "crack" sound with a pretty fast decay. Crash is OK, too, although not piercingly sharp (if that's what you crave). The 'hats sound very decent, as well. We play Fusion, Jazz, Latin and Rock on these...it sounds real good, very rich.

I am reaching to come up with much of a criticism of these....Perhaps some of them do ring a bit (particularly the splash...but show me a splash which doesn't)...but c'mon, in any live band setting rings aren't audible. I suppose in a real recording studio (as opposed to a garage studio) you would want something better...but for practicing or playing live in small venue, they're solid. Some folks say they crack as well. Hmmm...in my experience, if you hit a cymbal correctly, and it's mounted right, it shouldn't crack...unless you're forcing it to produce a volume it's not made for. I hit medium-hard, and these take it fine. These are not smash-'em-bash-'em cymbals. They respond pretty well to touch.

They are eye candy, aesthetically....pretty finish. The durability is good...yes, they mark up a bit, but a quick rag polishing can clean that up in no time.

Listen up....ZBT's are decent cymbals, and for the price, no other mfr. can touch their sound quality (no, not comparably-priced Paiste or Sabian...both of which sound OK, but with far less overtone and richness). They may be bottom-of-the-line Zildjians, but they are still Zildjians and therefore better than any other economically-priced units by anyone else. I must also say that I know some players who have upgraded from ZBT's to other series, and they all still keep at least one ZBT mixed in with their A's, K's, Paistes, Sabians, or even Istanbul's. You'll like these, for the price nothing comes close; treat them well and they'll return the favor.

It\'s The Wrist rated this unit 4 on 2005-01-05.

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