Is Zildjian about to reissue its Z Series? This not-so-covert teaser video certainly suggests so

Metal fans, rejoice! Zildjian appears to be cooking up a surprise for next week, and all the signs are pointing towards the return of its Z (or possibly Z Custom) cymbal range: a staple in heavy setups throughout the mid-'80s-late '00s.

The intrigue began today as the cymbal brand (which is now into its fifth century of cymbal production) posted a sort-of-but-not-really cryptic teaser video entitled Bring Back… featuring a number of hard hitters.

At the end of the video, it cuts to a detailed close-up showing the distinctive Zildjian Z star-shaped hammering pattern, with the words "Coming 4.9.2024", which, happens to be this coming Tuesday.

Now, if you’ve ever seen a Z series cymbal, you’ll recognise the hammering pattern Originally introduced in 1986, the Z Series was a hit with rock and heavy metal players who wanted more aggression, volume and cut from their cymbals. It’s this earlier incarnation of the Z line that is associated with the star-shaped hammer marks, which were applied by machine. 

Zildjian Z

(Image credit: Zildjian)

The Z range was discontinued in 1994, when Zildjian applied its ‘Custom’ treatment to the Z formula, resulting in the Z Customs. These featured a circular hammer mark, arranged in a distinctive spiralised pattern. 

Amongst the much-loved models from the original Z series were the Heavy Power Ride, Dyno Beat hi-hats, and Power Smash. The combination K/Z hi-hats found favour with players of all genres, but a particular standout was the Mega Bell ride, which appeared as both a Z and Z Custom model, delivering a slicing, clear sound from its oversized bell section, perfect for the demands of heavy music.

Zildjian Z3

(Image credit: Future)

The Z Custom line was revamped in 2009 as the Z3, which lived on until 2013. Now, with heavier playing styles going strong, it appears we’re about to see a reincarnation. Will it be Z? Z Custom? Both? Or possibly a new range based on the heritage of both? According to Zildjian’s post, all will be revealed on Tuesday!

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.