I bought this cymbal at a Local NYC drum shop for 205. I've played both Zildjian and Sabian for years, and although about a decade ago, I was mostly on Sabian, Zildjian came back in a BIG way and I converted back to all Zildjian over 6 years ago and haven't looked back- except for ONE problem... I couldn't find a Zildjian china to replace a Sabian 16" AA China in bright finish... The little Sabian AA is truly irreplaceable- I still play it out because it is my little workhorse china. However I finally found a Zildjian that rivals even the Sabian for sound, and thus I use it for my home/studio kit- read below for why...
Like I said, this is literally the ONLY china I've found in the entire Zildjian line that does what the Sabian does for me: Offer incredible initial attack and projection and a super fast decay. China's are very tough to shop for, because in a store, without the band around, it's tough to see how the cymbal will musically meld into the overall sound. The Sabian is awesome live because the bright finish actually makes the sound a bit darker (not many people understand this, but since the latheing lines are toned down, "bright finish" cymbals have a slightly darker and warmer tone than traditional finish). The zildjian is actually a bit faster than the Sabian in terms of that initial super-trash sound, however the ringing overtones stay a bit longer, BUT, the overtones are so muted that they don't "show up" in the music, so the result is a perfect Trash attack that doesn't stick around for very long at all- and it fades very smoothly on recordings, so Ive' finally found what I needed. Best China I've ever played!
There's not much that I don't like about it, BUT I will say this... Knock wood, I'm not a cymbal breaker- I haven't broken a cymbal since I was a kid- I've found that you don't have to lay into a cymbal to get more sound- in fact sometimes if you hit lighter and pull back the stick faster, you'll allow the cymbal to open up MORE. However this is not the case with the K custom china- there are musical instances where the "K" properties of the cymbal require you to smash it to get a head-turning sound... The K line is inherently darker and more musical than most other stuff- luckily the K custom is slightly BRIGHTER than the regular Ks, which is a good thing, but you still have to hit this one hard of you want a really trashy initial projection. If you want something slightly bigger and louder in overall sound and you're afraid of breakage, you may look to an Oriental China trash in 16 or 18 inches... Also, the K custom is a bit more expensive, so this is something to consider.
Quality wise, not much else compares to the K customs- they're hammered and lathed to perfection, and every individual cymbal has it's own unique character- I got lucky, my K custom is really spectacular sounding, but I've found that in this particular model, most are excellent.
Although this is by no means a cheap cymbal, this is the ONLY cymbal Iv'e found that offers such a wonderfully musical (yet bad-ass) attack and still fades away quickly and smoothly. This isn't a common cymbal either- you may even find it a bit tough to get a hold of, but I'd encourage you to check them out if you want something special. A great cymbal- one of my favorites!scud
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