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Thread: Zildjian 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride

  1. #1

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    Default Zildjian 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride

    A bit of a back story before the review, I purchased this cymbal a few weeks ago online and wanted to make a quick review about it for anyone that might inquire about this ride or is in the same situation that I found myself in.

    When it comes to Ride Cymbals, I am very, very pick about how they sound. I have had some heavier weighted Ride Cymbals [Sabian 22" Paragon [Brilliant], Zildjian 20" A Ping, Zildjian 20" A Custom Ping [Sold], Zildjian 20" A Custom Projection [1 sold and purchased another one afterwards that I still have] and then I have had lighter weighted cymbals such as a 21" A Zildjian Sweet Ride [Brilliant] & I sold a 20" A Custom Medium Ride a few years ago.

    My Go-To-Ride was always my 21" A Sweet Ride [Brilliant]. It does everything. Good wash, great crash-ability, pretty good bell, good articulation but it tended to build up and wash out pretty fast and it is on the darker side of the sound spectrum but I love it still. Throughout the years, I felt that my Sweet Ride was a tad too washy & a tad darker than I'd like, but my other brighter rides were too heavy to crash [Although my newest A Ping Ride crashes pretty well], the rest of the above listed cymbals in the heavier weight range just didn't sound as pleasing when crashed. Some better than others, but I knew this already prior to purchasing them.

    I love the A Custom series, but never fell truly in love with their rides like I do all their other cymbals as they had good to great ping, but never great crash-ability. Sometimes downright awful crash-ability and cringe-worthy ping. So I was at a cross-road in regards what to do as I was trying to find *that perfect ride cymbal*.

    I started looking at ride cymbals in weight and had an idea where to start. I don't know what my 21" Sweet Ride weighs in at, but I knew I wanted something heavier, but not too heavy to sound so it would be pleasing when crashed as I like to crash my rides.

    I didn't want a 22", 23" or 24" ride. I feel those cymbals are a bit too dark for my taste/sound, especially 23" & 24", so I was committed to 20" or 21". Maybe a 22" if it was perfect.

    My plan was to either purchase a heavier 21" Sweet Ride [Brilliant], or find maybe a lighter A Custom Medium/ReZo/Ping/Projection ride.

    That was until I decided to look again at the 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride.

    I remember playing a 21" Anniversary Ride in Guitar Center a few years ago and put it back because it was way too washy, even more so than my Sweet Ride. However, after learning more about weights, grams and how that all plays into the Ride Cymbal sound, I looked at that again and I am so glad I did!

    I could have bought this cymbal for cheaper, but I found EXACTLY what I wanted so I was more than happy to pay full-price online to get EXACTLY what I wanted.

    The 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride is a Medium-Thin weight.

    My choices were down between two weights:
    2426 Grams
    2550 Grams

    A difference of 124 grams.

    I took a chance with the heavier weight [2550 grams] and I'm glad I did, as I wanted something a bit on the heavier side for strong ping, as the band that I play in uses dual lead guitars, keyboards, synths, vocal melodies, bass guitar, etc.


    Bow: A little washy when played near the bow [of course] but this is also a Medium Thin cymbal. It is very natural sounding here with a good mix of wash and ping but I would say it is still pretty smooth here you can hear the ping. The wash does not overtake the ping. Not the best spot for strong ping, but pretty good for wash as expected.

    Ping: VERY articulate for it's weight, and all the notes are picked up on it. Gets even better the closer to the bell.

    Bell: The lathing on the A Custom makes this thing shine as it is pretty ear piercingly good. It doesn't take much effort into playing the bell for the sound to come out & it definitely beats my Sweet Ride bell when I compared them side by side. My Projection Ride Bell is a bit darker sounding [might be bigger as well] but this one is definitely brighter, sounds louder, and makes itself known when it's played!

    Wash: Very natural, smooth sounding, it doesn't over take the notes when riding like lighter weighted rides will, it is a prat of the cymbal and flows beautifully.

    Crash: A tad heavier weighted sound when crashed, but nothing too noticeably to where you would say "What are you doing?" and it does not sound out of place when it's crashed. It has a natural crash sound and cuts wonderfully. It takes a bit more to open up than my Sweet Ride so I have to lay into it ever so slightly more but opens up decently.

    Recording: This is such a wonderful sound, it's not harsh on the ears or anything, it is smooth like butter but bright enough to be heard and picked up through the music.

    Appearance: I wasn't sure how I would like the White Ink on the cymbal, but come to find out, I love how it looks with the rest of my A Customs and my Twisted Blue Oyster DW Collectors.

    My Only Complaint: I think it's EVER SO SLIGHTLY heavier than I'd like, so I would like to know what the 2426 version sounded like in person, but then if I would have bought that I probably would be saying the opposite that I am now. I wanted the heavier one for great ping and articulation and to be honest, it delivers for sure!

    Final Verdict: This thing might never come off of my drum-set. I seriously love this cymbal and believe THIS IS THE PERFECT RIDE CYMBAL FOR ME. Articulation, ping, crash-able, smooth natural wash, neither the wash nor the ping overtakes the sound, and it looks beautiful as well. Finally! It is now my new favorite cymbal.

    I would say that the 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride is to the A Custom Family as to what the 21" A Sweet Ride is to the A Family. The A Custom is a bit glossier, louder, articulate, and brighter.

    I compared my Anniversary Ride and my Sweet Ride side by side, and recorded side by side as well, and every-time the Anniversary Ride won me over! And it wasn't just *that new cymbal feeling*, I loved everything it did for me and said that is what I have always been looking for.

    Don't overlook this cymbal in mind if you are looking for good to strong ping with a good to great bell that is crash-able but is not too overbearing or harsh sounding as other heavier ride cymbals or A Custom Ride Cymbals can be known for.

    And it's a 21", which obviously sits perfectly between 20" and a 22" so it's just right for me!

    Here is the link to a YouTube video of the cymbal I bought:

    Happy drumming!

    Last edited by druski_2k5; 10-30-2017 at 07:22 PM.
    DW Collectors
    Twisted Blue Oyster
    Toms: 8x10, 8x12, 12x14, 14x16 [Evans G2 Coated/Evans Clear Genera Resonant/G1]
    Kick: 18x20 [Evans EMAD2 White/EQ3 Coated White + Kickport]
    Pure Maple Standard Shells
    Chrome Hardware

    Snare: 6x13 DW Edge Snare - Tiger Oyster - Chrome Hardware
    Aux: 5x12 Pork Pie Little Squealer
    RotoToms: 6 - 8 - 10 - Remo Pinstripe Clear
    Evans & Remo Heads

    Zildjian A Custom
    Zildjian A Series
    Zildjian EFX
    Zildjian K & K Custom
    Sabian Paragon

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Zildjian 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride

    Zildjian has a 23" Sweet ride also.

    Last edited by Olimpass; 10-30-2017 at 08:19 PM.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Zildjian 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride

    I think you just posted the longest thread intro on this forum. If i’m not mistaken, is the anniversary ride the one with the white print? I’ve watched videos “Jared Dines” and he used to use it more of a crash. Lots of wash. Pretty thin cymbal too.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.


  4. #4

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    Default Re: Zildjian 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride

    Nice review druski! Welcome back!

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Zildjian 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride

    Great review bud, that clip you attached sounds awesome and your desires for a ride sound almost exactly like mine. I curently have a 20" regular K and a 21" K Hybrid. Neither one crash very well but the Bell on the Hybrid is perfect however the bow plays a little too thin and the reg. K is opposite. I will have to check one of those Anniversary ones out in person. Thanks
    Ludwig Classic Maple 22x16,10x8,12x9,16x16
    7" Moon Gel Practice Pad
    Sabian HHX Legacy

    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing NOT MY BAND, JUST A GREAT LOCAL BAND WHO SHOULD BE SOOO MUCH BIGGER IMO

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Zildjian 21" A Custom Anniversary Ride

    Nice thorough and detailed review. I'm happy you found that one you were looking for. Nothing better than finding the right gear that "fits" your individuality! It's just too bad we have to go through so many to find "the one".

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

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