Zultan Cymbals celebrates 20 years with Anniversary cymbal set

Zultan Cymbals is marking 20 years in the cymbal manufacturing business with the release of a limited edition cymbal set. The Zultan Anniversary Set features 15” hi-hats, 17” and 19” crash cymbals and a 22” ride, all of which are cast from B20 bronze, and are handmade in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to Zultan, the manufacturing processes for the anniversary set work the metal harder than normal, which results in a reduction of harsh overtones, a medium decay with strong articulation and ‘earthy’ tones, suitable for jazz, funk and "grungy rock".

To match the slightly trashy, dark sonic character, Zultan has finished the Anniversary Set by giving it and equally raw visual, achieved by leaving the cymbal unlatched, and applying larger, more focussed hammering to the top surface.

What's more, following Zultan's tendency for offering premium-level cymbals at affordable prices, the set comes in at an impressive £582 (€666) and is available now.

Regarding its anniversary, a statement from Zultan reads: 

“Zultan was launched at the dawn of the third millennium. Introducing any new product is an exciting event. But we decided to present these cymbals at the Musikmesse trade show in Frankfurt without a brand or product name. Naked, you might say. 

We wanted to keep their origin and maker a secret, ensuring that nothing would prejudice the drummers who gave their opinions on sound and quality. Thankfully, the response was positive across the board. 

Even disregarding their price point, these cymbals held their own in terms of finishing, quality and sound when compared to cymbals by renowned makers. That was the first chapter of the Zultan story, written before these cymbals even had a brand name.

The first series was christened the Rock Beat series. As is typical for a debut release, the range was limited in terms of the breadth of its appeal. Consequently, the new cymbals weren’t able to satisfy all tastes. Louder cymbals such as the Q and F5 were added to the portfolio, named after nature’s fiercest storms. Over time, we extended our Rock Beat and CS series, incidentally one of the world’s only cymbals made using B25 bronze. 

Next came the Aja series, produced in East Asia. Its name was a nod to the Steely Dan album that marked the breakthrough of Steve Gadd. All other series are manufactured in Turkey. There the know-how and expertise of local artisans and their experience with traditional manufacturing enables Zultan to offer an enticingly diverse range of products, delivering aesthetic and sonic variety thanks to a multitude of different processing techniques and tools.  

When planning the market debut and distribution strategy for our cymbal, we chose to forge our own, less worn path. When we decided 20 years ago to offer our cymbals only online, many thought the internet was a poor sales medium for cymbals. It was no surprise that many drummers were sceptical. But that spurred us on towards an approach that was radically new at the time: make cymbals audible on the internet.

Zultan was the first brand in Germany (and probably worldwide) to offer audio files of its cymbals as part of the product description content. This was before YouTube even existed. From that point on, we have continually extended our cymbal range. Currently this encompasses 12 different cymbal series as well as attractive accessories, with each and every product displaying consistently high level of product quality despite the exceedingly attractive pricing.

20 years of Zultan! And the future is only just beginning..."

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.