Our cymbals help define the overall character of our kit sound, offering the tonal colour and flavours on top of the base-sound of our kit. But with so many ‘standard’ crash, ride, splash and china sounds already in our arsenal, sometimes we need something a little different.
For 2019, Zildjian has rounded out its range with some left-of-the-norm additions to its catalogue. From straight-up FX, to characteristic crashes and versatile new models that span the boundaries of cymbal types, here’s a guide to Zildjians contemporary new models.
Hear the Zildjian 2019 line-up
The Compozer's Stephen Asamoah-Duah talks us through Zildjian's 2019 additions, before playing each series in his performance.
While stacking two cymbals is not a new idea, it’s not without its problems. Different tonalities, profiles and sizes can be a roll of the dice when it comes to creating a stack. That’s why pre-configured stack cymbals have become increasingly popular, and Zildjian’s offering has set the new standard. These cymbals are affordable, yet classy-looking with a proprietary custom alloy used for the top cymbal, and a colled-rolled steel for the bottom cymbal. Each stack comes bundled with their own mounting hardware in the form of a Zildjian-branded Cymbolt clutch that will work with your current cymbal stands.
The sound is contemporary, and will work well for all styles. From soft, percussive white noise/handclap emulations, to sharp, crisp accents for metal - if you can’t find the right type of ‘accent’ cymbal, these stacks are your ideal solution.
Likewise, you can pair them with other effects cymbals to create some interesting new combinations. Use them as X-hats, mount them on your drums for electronic effects, the only limit to stack sounds is your imagination.
Type: Stack cymbals
Sizes: 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”
Best for: Quick cutting accents in any genre
New crash sounds
The Zildjian K Cluster crashes mark a new sound in the K range. At their heart, these cymbals are K Series crashes, but with an FX twist. The cymbals themselves are paper thin, with unlathed bells and traditional K hammering and lathing. However, those ‘clusters’ which give the crashes their name are where the distinct tonality comes from. These collections of extra hammering not only give the cymbals a unique look, but they serve a sonic purpose too: shortening the crash’s sustain.
The result of all these features is a crash sound that is rooted in everything we drummers love about the K Series cymbals - smooth, dark and traditional, but with an added element of trash that gives a nod towards Zildjian’s EFX line, without losing its main purpose. The Cluster crashes are fast - you strike them, they erupt, and they get straight back out of the way, making them the ideal addition to your current collection of cymbals.
Type: Crash cymbals
Sizes: 16”, 18”, 20”
Best for: Fast crashes with added trash
Dark and sweet
The remit of Zildjian’s K Sweet series is simple - to deliver the K sound that has defined dark, warm tonality for decades, but with a modern flavour that makes it perfect for today’s music. While the launch of the K Sweet series saw the arrival of larger 15” and 16” hi-hats, Zildjian has added a pair of more ‘traditional’ 14” hats to the line-up for 2019.
Starting with contrasting thin top and extra heavy bottom cymbals respectively, the K Sweets give you an articulate ‘chick’ sound when closed or stepped: helped along by the unlathed bells. These cymbals also feature the K random hammer pattern which, combined with the weight of the cymbals, provides a smooth wash when played open, always maintaining that round, K warmth.
Sizes: 14”, 15”, 16”
Best for: Warm, vintage-style hat sounds with a modern edge
There are crash cymbals, and then there is the infamous Oriental Crash of Doom. Originally designed in collaboration with Dennis Chambers, Zildjian has taken the original C.o.D format and gone a size up, making this 22” monster one of the most characterful crashes you’re likely to play.
As a crash, it’s explosive: thunderously loud when fully open, with a long, dark sustain. But it’s not all about bombast and volume. The Crash of Doom can also hold its own as a ride cymbal, offering a dark yet defined stick sound, and the extra large bell works as an accent cymbal in its own right. Combined with other cymbals, the Crash Of Doom can form the basis of a unique stack sound too.
Type: Crash cymbal
Sizes: 22”, 20”
Best for: Powerful, loud crash sounds, alternative ride cymbal