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Studio Cymbals - K Customs? which options?
Old 30th May 2018
  #1
Studio Cymbals - K Customs? which options?

Hi drummer friends!

Looking at purchasing a simple set of "studio cymbals" to cover when a drummer doesn't have the goods themselves.

Been thinking about this for a while - majority of my local session friends have suggested K Customs as being a good "generic" option. I'm not really looking for uniqueness or off the wall optinos - just "won't ever sound bad" options.

So - given that criteria - what would you go for? I'm looking at the Custom dark crashes at the moment - maybe a 17" and a 18"? Or would you go 16" and 18" for more differentiation?

What about hats/ride? I'd probably tend to a lighter, pingier ride than a washy thick one...

@ chrisso ?! be my sounding board!

Thanks guys
Old 30th May 2018
  #2
I just use standard K darks (no Custom).
Ideally you want something not too bright, not too loud, and as you say - not too weird sounding.
Recently I've been using the Istanbul Agop Traditional Thin series. Their Steroid ride cymbals are great too.
Or the Zildjian Kerope.
Sabian HH, or Paiste Signature too.
All the cymbal companies make quieter, darker cymbals.

These days I try and buy used.
There's a nice drum shop near The Enmore Theatre.
I've never quite got the appeal of K Customs other than Steve Gadd was involved in their development.
Old 30th May 2018
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post

What about hats/ride? I'd probably tend to a lighter, pingier ride than a washy thick one...
Lighter ride generally = washier. Heavier/thicker = pingier.
One of each is ideal.
The Agop Sterling (Sterloid) rides are a good halfway house, light but pingy.
The Zildjian Kerope cymbals can be a ride or a crash.

Hats? K hats are great, or Agop Traditional Medium, or vintage (60's, 70's) Zildjian A's.
Old 30th May 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
I have a full set of K's, K Customs, Keropes and Meinl Byzance.

90% of the time I use Kerope's in 22 medium (ride potion), 18 (left crash), 20 (right crash) and 14 or 15 hats.
Old 30th May 2018
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I just use standard K darks (no Custom).
Ideally you want something not too bright, not too loud, and as you say - not too weird sounding.
Recently I've been using the Istanbul Agop Traditional Thin series. Their Steroid ride cymbals are great too.
Or the Zildjian Kerope.
Sabian HH, or Paiste Signature too.
All the cymbal companies make quieter, darker cymbals.

These days I try and buy used.
There's a nice drum shop near The Enmore Theatre.
I've never quite got the appeal of K Customs other than Steve Gadd was involved in their development.
Thanks. Good to know (I may have been getting confused between K and K Customs).


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Lighter ride generally = washier. Heavier/thicker = pingier.
One of each is ideal.
The Agop Sterling (Sterloid) rides are a good halfway house, light but pingy.
The Zildjian Kerope cymbals can be a ride or a crash.

Hats? K hats are great, or Agop Traditional Medium, or vintage (60's, 70's) Zildjian A's.
I meant thicker sound - I really don't want that low ringy tone that gets everywhere! At this point I'm looking only really at a pair of crashes, and one ride/hat option that *should* work as much as possible. Just as an option to whatever drummers bring in!

What sizes for the dark crash would you generally go for?
Old 30th May 2018
  #6
Still.....
The thicker heavier rides are drier (shorter) and have more stick attack. The lighter rides are washy, with less stick attack. If you just want to hear the stick on the ride and not a lot of swishy cymbal around it, you want heavier rides. If you want the swishy, less distinct ride, you want the lighter ride or crash/ride, ala kerope.
Size of crash depends on the music. Modern rock in the vein of Coldplay, Foo Fighters I would go with larger crashes, 18" to 20". RnB, Pop I would go with smaller crashes, 16" to 18". I see a lot of the pop RnB drummers are using crashes with holes cut in, which are very short, punctuations, accents. Most rock drummers are using longer, lighter, washier crashes that also double as washy rides (ala Ringo, Dave Grohl.
Old 30th May 2018
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post

I meant thicker sound - I really don't want that low ringy tone that gets everywhere!
The heavier rides are higher pitched and don't wash out.

If you can only have a couple of crashes I would say maybe 17" and 19"?
But the 17 might be too short for rock and the 19 too big for RnB and pop.
Old 30th May 2018
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The heavier rides are higher pitched and don't wash out.

If you can only have a couple of crashes I would say maybe 17" and 19"?
But the 17 might be too short for rock and the 19 too big for RnB and pop.
Ha. Well, like I said, I'm aiming to cover generic ground!

To be honest, if I'm recording a drummer for a pop band, it's most likely they'll have a good kit. Most of the guys we use for session drummers have a great selection.

It's the bands in development by the label, or stuff I bring in myself, that tend to have crap gear! And they tend to be rockier. I like the idea of 18/20 Keropes...and then maybe a 22" K dark Medium ride?
Old 30th May 2018
  #9
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spambot_2's Avatar
If they have to be K-custom, as much as they might not sound ideal for EVERYTHING, if you don't go choosing the funniest looking pieces anything will do from fine to very nice for pretty much any genre.
For cymbals it's generally true that heavier = higher pitch, and usually also more attack, so a big and/or thick ride will do if you want a high pitched, more attack-y ride, but those will be a tad exaggerated for crashing, so you might get a 20"-21" medium ride to double as a big, washy crash - sabian has a video (or a series of videos?) where a drummer plays a number of rides as crashes, that should give you an idea of the result you might expect and help you decide if you want to go in that direction.
For crashes I'd probably choose lighter, brighter stuff than the ride, with a short enough sustain.

For rockier stuff I'd choose 14" hats for sure, the 14" session hats will likely be a fine choice, not much apart from the "tick" from the stick.
I'd then go with a 16" or 17" crash and an 18 or 19" crash, depending on whether you choose a ride that can double as big crash or you don't (well, any ride can double as a crash, but you get the idea), medium to dark, or maybe medium to light if you go with bigger cymbals.
Of course the "most ideal" option would be a 16" and an 18" crash, a 20" mid-light washier crash-ride, and a 21" or 22" mid-heavy ride in my opinion, but seeing how much these cymbals go for, even just 3 cymbals + the HH will work good enough.
I'd also steer away from the natural finish cymbals as they're a tad to dry for rock and definitely too dry for pop if you ask me.

If they don't necessarily have to be Zildjian I'd recommend the Meinl soundcaster custom and soundcaster fusion series, you can probably find those for fairly cheap as they don't make these anymore, those crashes are something else really, the 16" soundcaster fusion trash crash is short, bright for just a moment, heavy, not really that trashy, really good imo, if a bit thin.
The Byzance traditional line also has some quite good heavy rides.

Have fun with the choice, and do let us know how it ends up :p
Old 30th May 2018
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by spambot_2 View Post
If they have to be K-custom, as much as they might not sound ideal for EVERYTHING, if you don't go choosing the funniest looking pieces anything will do from fine to very nice for pretty much any genre.
For cymbals it's generally true that heavier = higher pitch, and usually also more attack, so a big and/or thick ride will do if you want a high pitched, more attack-y ride, but those will be a tad exaggerated for crashing, so you might get a 20"-21" medium ride to double as a big, washy crash - sabian has a video (or a series of videos?) where a drummer plays a number of rides as crashes, that should give you an idea of the result you might expect and help you decide if you want to go in that direction.
For crashes I'd probably choose lighter, brighter stuff than the ride, with a short enough sustain.

For rockier stuff I'd choose 14" hats for sure, the 14" session hats will likely be a fine choice, not much apart from the "tick" from the stick.
I'd then go with a 16" or 17" crash and an 18 or 19" crash, depending on whether you choose a ride that can double as big crash or you don't (well, any ride can double as a crash, but you get the idea), medium to dark, or maybe medium to light if you go with bigger cymbals.
Of course the "most ideal" option would be a 16" and an 18" crash, a 20" mid-light washier crash-ride, and a 21" or 22" mid-heavy ride in my opinion, but seeing how much these cymbals go for, even just 3 cymbals + the HH will work good enough.
I'd also steer away from the natural finish cymbals as they're a tad to dry for rock and definitely too dry for pop if you ask me.

If they don't necessarily have to be Zildjian I'd recommend the Meinl soundcaster custom and soundcaster fusion series, you can probably find those for fairly cheap as they don't make these anymore, those crashes are something else really, the 16" soundcaster fusion trash crash is short, bright for just a moment, heavy, not really that trashy, really good imo, if a bit thin.
The Byzance traditional line also has some quite good heavy rides.

Have fun with the choice, and do let us know how it ends up :p
Thanks - no they don't have to be K Customs, I think it's just from a previous straw poll the K series came out (I think I might be making up the custom bit!).

Cost isn't really that important - it's not my money and the company will want new from reputable supplier, not shopping around!

Thanks for the advice!
Old 30th May 2018
  #11
I'm sure the 18 to 20 Keropes will be good.
I would definitely check out a heavy ride.
Try and find someone with a few rides to try. Often there is no consistency. A light ride might sound perfect and a heavy too clangy, or vice versa, a heavy ride just exactly what you want and a medium too washy.
So try a few rides until you find one you like.
The Sterling rides for Agop are great rock/pop rides.
Old 30th May 2018
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by spambot_2 View Post
Of course the "most ideal" option would be a 16" and an 18" crash, a 20" mid-light washier crash-ride, and a 21" or 22" mid-heavy ride in my opinion,
I would kinda agree.
The Keropes for example double as rides and crashes, but I think it's good to add a heavier ride that has more definition.
14" hats are flexible.


So K, and/or Kerope, or Agop Traditional and Agoop Sterling if going for new cymbals.
The Sabian HHX line is also nice.
Old 30th May 2018
  #13
Thanks all. I've put in a quote now, but I'll finetune that...I like the idea of the Kerope 18/20 crashes.

Of course - these are intended as "addons". Chances are a given drummer will have one good crash, so it could be keropes as crash/ride, plus one of their crashes...I think 2 rides is not on the cards!
Old 30th May 2018
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

When I went cymbal-hunting several years ago it took months. And even then, I only ended up buying a 20" K crash/ride that I love and a pair of 16" hats that I tolerate (forget the brand).

The main problem with cymbals is that, compared to drums, they aren't very tweakable. They are what they are.
Old 30th May 2018
  #15
Gear Nut
 
C.r.a.p.'s Avatar
For recording I most of the times rely on a pair of 16" & 17" K custom fast crashes. Lower pitch and not too loud are for me their qualities. For hats I use a pair of 14" K Constatinoples. Low on loudness so they don't bleed on the snare mic. I like rides in the pitches E, A or G so they won't sound dissonant with most chords. In my case a 20" Constatinople light ride low for the wash and a hollow logo 20" Avedis ping ride for.............well I spoiled that one already.
Old 30th May 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
When I went cymbal-hunting several years ago it took months. And even then, I only ended up buying a 20" K crash/ride that I love and a pair of 16" hats that I tolerate (forget the brand).

The main problem with cymbals is that, compared to drums, they aren't very tweakable. They are what they are.
Not tweakable but the very best ones respond to different playing techniques quite dramatically.
Especially the larger sizes.
Old 13th June 2018
  #17
Gear Head
 

My go to for many years was an 18K Custom dark. It got me through alot of different gigs and sessions. Cymbals can have huge variance in fundamental tones even in the same size and model. I learnt that working in retail and sold hundreds of cymbals. Truth be told lot's of drummers struggle and there are still myths about selecting cymbals. Cheap ones almost always have nasty overtones. But like any instrument in the hands of a master it'll sound alot better.
I'm not tied to anyone brand- use em all and then mix and match. It can be both confusing and daunting seeing how many choices there are for cymbal variety's and brands. having a few sets of choices really helps, more if there is ability to swap over if one is not working.
Having said that if you get a a pair of newbeat hihats- you can cover just about anything- I also love the sound of a 2002 bottom and a 60's zildjian thin top hat, different tools for dif jobs, I got a crush on 15" hihats- My wish list is for the Paiste formula 602 15" tasty
Possibly and 18 for the main crash and a 16 >14 for short accented notes.
Rides- are so personal - I wont go there-
good luck.
Old 30th June 2018
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Going with the cymbals aren't very tweakable, always listen to cymbals ON STANDS. The display walls make every cymbal sound terrible.
Old 1st July 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
just picked up K Hybrid hats. Sound great. Sizzle, but don’t take your head off.
Old 5th July 2018
  #20
Gear Maniac
I have nearly 100 cymbals, many brands, makes and models. I don't get hung up on the specific line, especially with the single-cast bronze (Zildjian and Sabian), because they vary greatly between cymbals. I also think mixing and matching is not bad either, although many fear that it won't work.

I currently have Zildjian crashes (I just prefer them personally). Sizes are mostly larger, 17", 18", 19", and I prefer the A Custom Medium, A Medium, A Medium Thin, K Medium-Thin, and K Custom Medium Thin. Overall, the A Custom Medium wins it if I had to only pick one. They are the newer models, so they are a little thicker.

Rides, the Zildjian K 20" Ride is a great choice for medium-wash cymbal. Otherwise, Paiste is my go-to for ping and heavy. Several of my favorite rides are out of production, but the Paiste Signature Dark Metal 22", 2002 24" Ride and 2002 22" Ride are great (not the 20"). I also use an old Exodus 22" Ride, as well as the Paiste 602 Medium 20" Reissue but the latter is on the bright side. They are a gem when found, but few A Medium Ride 20" are amazing - most sound terrible though.

Hats - something that isn't too loud is my priority. I have a couple discontinued sets of Zildjian Armand 13" and 14" hats, K/Z 13" hats, a custom setup UFIP Top 15" / A Zildjian New Beat Bottom 15". I also have an unusual set of Zildjian Z3 15"-hats that are actually very mellow.

Splashes, I prefer Sabian AAX. Chinas I prefer Paiste and Sabian various lines, especially the Paiste T20 experimental / prototype ones.
Old 7th July 2018
  #21
Gear Nut
 
LockStock's Avatar
Custom Dark hats and Constantinople crashes for recording here. Rides are so personal.
Old 19th July 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Funny Cat's Avatar
Subscribed. I'm in the same position. Need some good cymbals for recording guest bands. I'm actually well set with hats and ride, just need crashes. Good advice here all around. I'll look into a few of the ones mentioned. Thanks!
Old 11th February 2019
  #23
Gear Addict
 

I've been on the quest for a long time... listening to every file I can find on Memphis' www mycymbal dot com. Trying to stay in the Zildjian family for political reasons. I have plenty of jazz cymbals, and plenty of vintage vibey cymbals, but I want pumpy huge hard rock. I heard a session once and the drummer was playing 20 and 21" hand hammered Meinl's and it simply sounded like the world ending when he went to the chorus. That's the ticket. Trying to find that equivalent in the Zildjian world has been a challenge.

Lots of A customs in the 90s and those are my favorite records, something just doesnt sound right about them today, or maybe I'm not able to compensate for raw cymbal vs in the mix. Entirely possible.

Best crash sound I've ever heard is John Stanier on Helmet's "Like I Care"... allegedly 2x 22" A Custom Rides that he simply beat to death. That ride is hard to find these days. And finding one thin enough to crash like this is even harder. Posted below if anyone cares to listen.

YouTube
Old 12th February 2019
  #24
What about Kerope. They are in large sizes and crushable.
I've spent most of my career playing loud rock and anything A is usually too brash and too loud for me.
Most of my cymbals are K Dark.
Old 12th February 2019
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
What about Kerope. They are in large sizes and crushable.
I've spent most of my career playing loud rock and anything A is usually too brash and too loud for me.
Most of my cymbals are K Dark.
You know, I've never given the Kerope rides a listen, only the crashes. Might just work out. Will be lacking in the searing hi end of the K custom hybrids and A/A custom, but that might help in the longrun... louder in the mix without piercing hi's. I love the K darks for general purpose recording... I have a 20 K crash/ride, I just don't think they're aggressive enough for this one particular project I want to track. Throwback to the days of Brendan O' Brien all over the airwaves.

Hope you're well Chris! Long live the black n white polka dot shirt. I messaged you as a young college student and I'm currently in Nashville playing, teching, engineering and producing. Thanks for the help now and the encouragement 10+ years back!

Last edited by Denus; 13th February 2019 at 02:34 AM..
Old 12th February 2019
  #26
1) As far as I'm aware all the Kerope are unspecified. They are neither crash or ride, they are meant to be both (to taste)
2) They probably aren't as aggressive as K Darks. But anyway, you could give them a go.
I find A's are just too loud for recording.
Old 13th February 2019
  #27
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valjean24601's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
1) As far as I'm aware all the Kerope are unspecified. They are neither crash or ride, they are meant to be both (to taste)
2) They probably aren't as aggressive as K Darks. But anyway, you could give them a go.
I find A's are just too loud for recording.
Hey Chris,

Do you use the dark thin crashes or just the dark crashes? I've gone through several dark thin crashes in various sizes and never found ones that recorded well, they were always particularly harsh even recorded through Coles 4038's which is incredible really. Maybe I just got a bad run of cymbals.

Maybe using the regular dark crashes might work better, some of that extra weight in the cymbal might take away some of those trashy/harsh tones that are prevalent in the thinner models.

I've been using some 1960's A's for the last year or so and they've been recording really well for me in my particular room.

I hope all's well,
Mark.
Old 14th February 2019
  #28
Good 1960's A's are excellent.
I guess I use standard K Dark crashes. They've always been good for me. In theory, the thin ones should be even better.
Old 20th March 2019
  #29
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Heavier cymbals are higher pitched?
Old 21st March 2019
  #30
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
Heavier cymbals are higher pitched?
Yes, for the same cymbal size, alloy, lathing, hammering, etc, this statement is true.
Topic:
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