Zildjian Kerope Rides review

A pair of new medium weight metals

  • £429
  • €595
  • $499

MusicRadar Verdict

Zildjian's Kerope series is already a critical success, and these two medium rides add some meat to the complex and beguiling sound of a legendary era of cymbal making.


  • +

    Simply incredible cymbals.


  • -

    These are just about flawless.

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

Despite modern music getting ever brasher and louder, a welcome balance is maintained in the way each cymbal company has sought to develop vintage, darker, softer and lighter series.

This is right up Zildjian's street as the original purveyors of highly collectable 'Ks' and 'As'. The K Kerope line was first seen in the UK in April 2014 and has been a runaway success. Now Zildjian is offering two medium weight rides to the previous light ones.


The 20" and 22" Kerope rides are a distinctively special burnished orange-gold. Zildjian closely examined vintage cymbals in its own vault to plunder the best aspects of those prized 1950/'60s archetypes. Although spanking new, the Keropes look 'lived-in', with a specially applied ageing patina.

Individually hand-crafted, a 14-step process results in each cymbal being oh-so-slightly different. The exact gram weight is inked on the underside of each bell, inviting the individual drummer to search out his/her ideal instrument.

Hands On

Going on our recollection of the standard weight rides, these 20" and 22" Medium rides have even more body and wash. Actually, rather a lot, although they're never in danger of drowning, such is the controlled manner of Zildjian's sound design.

We fell in love with the first Keropes and it's hard to imagine how any drummer would not warm to these.

Although heavier than the earlier, lighter Keropes, these are still lush cymbals with the vibrant stick sound melting effortlessly into the overall body. The 22" in particular has a massive presence and its large flattened bell gives a clanky yet darkly musical chime.

In fact, it seems both cymbals have more of everything, as the stick clarity is fractionally sharpened by the extra weight, while the overall volume of each cymbal is slightly increased. Crash riding has an extra power, the crash sound having a short, bright whoosh balancing a deeper, longer undertow.

We fell in love with the first Keropes and it's hard to imagine how any drummer would not warm to these. Tonally rich and complex, they still sit sweetly in just about any musical situation - jazz, r'n'b, gospel, pop and rock too.

If not intending to play too loud we should still investigate the lighter weight pair, but for so many modern situations where you find yourself applying some extra force, these new medium additions will fit the bill perfectly.