So, you've got a great sounding vintage Zildjian K ride cymbal but you have no idea when it was made: how do you date your vintage Zildjian cymbal? The short answer, check the cymbal stamp!
Choosing cymbals is hard and I want to make it easier! That's why I've been working on recording audio and video of my cymbals so you can now hear the awesome sound of the cymbal you're buying!!
When you buy cymbals as much as I do every once in a while you're bound to run into a cymbal you've never seen before. This can be both good and bad, as every drummer who's bought a patina covered vintage cymbal at a garage sale knows.
Sometimes these cymbals turn out to be valuable Zildjian K Constantinoples with the stamps worn off, sometimes they're cheap cymbals that sound great after age mellowed out their sound, or sometimes they're just cheap and overpriced because they look old.
Recently I ran into a Zilco cymbal for cheap and grabbed it—here's what I learned when I took it home.
Just wanted to give everyone a quick heads up on an event I'm sponsoring:
Lodo Drum Guy is proud to partner with Legends Jazz Festival 2015 as its backline drum & percussion gear provider. Check it out tomorrow, 12/3, and Friday, 12/4, at Legend High School in Parker, CO. The music will be amazing as 30 bands perform and you'll get to hear my inventory in action. Space is limited. Event will be AWESOME!!
As many of you know, when New Belgium's Tour de Fat needed to find a vintage, professional backline drum set out of all of Denver's used drum stores they could have called they turned to me!!
Needless to say I was stoked!
If you missed my last post about finding the vintage Ludwig Super Classic drum set I'll fill you in. Here's the deal:
New Belgium needed a drum set that could live up to all the bemusement of their awesome stages and crazily costumed cyclists—one of the many cheap beginner drum sets I go through weekly wasn't gonna do the trick. I needed a special vintage kit to match all the vintage cycling moustaches that would look great on stage.
New Belgium's cycling beer fanatic following is a well-dressed crew, just ask anyone who was at the costume contest. What drum set can live up to that?
The one I found!
The Ludwig Super Classic!
It's a perfect 1965 Ludwig Super Classic drum set in MINT condition and delivered it from Utah for an unbeatable price. These amazing sounding cans are wrapped in a beautiful champagne sparkle finish that stood up to Tour De Fat's amazing stage design.
In case you missed it, City Park was pretty full of cyclists and beer enthusiasts last weekend who helped raise more than $100,000 for charity marking Tour De Fat's most successful single-day draw to date.
The event kicked off with a costumed bike parade from City Park, through Park Hill and back to the Tour De Fat's main stage. The event featured Portaoke (karaoke in a port-o-potty), music from bands like Jekyll, Wild High and In the Whale and tons of other bemusements.
That Ludwig drum kit has since toured the country, bringing amazing vintage tone to all those that attend and giving those vintage Luddys the attention they deserve (they were found in the owner's garage, untouched for years). Thank you New Belgium, Fat Tire, and Tour de Fat for THAT!!
I love helping people save money on awesome drum kits and cymbals, especially when the money they save goes to charity. I've got another upcoming fundraiser so make sure you're subscribed to my newsletter and blog feed.
I don't say this often, but when I do, I mean it...AWESOME!!
Right now the loft is loaded down with cymbals after a few quick buying runs so I'm getting ready to do another cymbal sale for those of you who missed the last one.
I've got a ton of rare, used and vintage cymbals in stock right now so take a look and grab them before they're gone. I managed to find some awesome vintage Zidljian crashes and rides, as well as a great selection of sought after modern cymbals like Paiste Prototypes and Sabian Vaults.
Check out my cymbal sale buyer's guide below for a couple of my favorites!
Also if you're not on the mailing list yet, make sure to sign up so you don't miss out on upcoming sales!!
Cymbal Sale Buyer's Guide
In the meantime I thought I'd do a few profiles of some of the awesome cymbals I've got in stock right now (sorry to those reading this after the fact) as a buying guide for the upcoming sale.
Since I've already gone into detail on some of the boutique Turkish cymbals before I'm going to focus more on the big guys here and write about some of my favorite Zildjian cymbals I've got at the loft right now.
Zildjian Avedis Quick Beat Hi Hats
These are some of my favorite hi-hats, and right now I've got a great pair of vintage 14˝ Zildjian Avedis Quick Beats in stock. These hats often get compared to Zildjian's New Beat Hi Hats for their versatility—you can play funk, rock, soul, jazz, pretty much whatever you want with these hi hats.
The main difference with Quick Beats is that they feature a vented bottom hat—check out the four holes Zildjian drilled around the bell on the bottom hi hat:
The vented bottom gives Quick Beats a much crisper “chick” than Zildjian's New Beat hi hats because it prevents air lock.
Quick Beats also feature a flatter profile and heavier bottom cymbal than Zildjian New Beats normally have. 14 inches is an ideal size for these.
The sound of these is nice and focused and can make any drummer's sticking sound articulate.
Nice bright tone and good volume that cuts through the mix.
This particular pair is from an older run and has great vintage warmth that so many drummers are looking for.
These are awesome and a must have if you're looking for professional quality hi hats with crisper, unique tone!!
The 18˝ Zildjian K Custom Special Dry Crash
Looking for an awesomely dry crash cymbal?
Look no further, this Zildjian K Custom Special Dry Crash sounds epic with a nice dark pitch and dry, borderline trashy tones. This is a faster crash compared to other 18 inchers and has short sustain.
Zildjian Ks are legendary for their low, dry tones from the jazz era and this crash cymbal is custom built to be even drier! Zildjian's factory lathed the bottom, scored the top and used unique hammering (giving the cymbal a cool pattern) to get the unique tone.
Not only does this cymbal sound great, it's a rare find. These were made in 2011 when they were released only to small dealer shops.
This cymbal is perfect for a jazz crash, metal drummers who love dark, dry cymbal tones or anyone who just likes how these awesome cymbals sound.
Happy Cymbal Buying
Alright guys, I'm going to keep this one short and sweet. As always if you have any cymbal or drum questions get in touch.
And if you haven't already done so get on the mailing list so you don't miss your opportunity to grab great cymbals like the Zildjian Quick Beats or K Custom Dry Crash at a discount on top of my already awesome prices.
Finding Ludwig's Classic '60s sound
I recently had the opportunity to hunt down an awesome vintage 1960's Ludwig drum kit for the Tour de Fat summer concert series put on by Colorado's own New Belgium Brewing. They asked me to keep a lookout for this awesome era of vintage Luddys to add a classic vintage drum tone to the back-line for their summer concert tour.
I was stoked, but finding a 1960's era vintage Ludwig drum kit at an affordable price is not easy—collectors LOVE these drums for their warm sounding 3 ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany shells.
These drums sell for top dollar on eBay with irrational exuberance even when they're in bad condition—vintage drum dealers often grab the unique tom brackets, bass spurs, drum mufflers and other hardware for restoration projects.
Nonetheless, after 3 weeks I finally found an awesome set of vintage Ludwigs:
A Champagne Sparkle Super Classic Ludwig drum set stamped May 1965 in damn-near new condition!!
Showroom Ready Vintage Ludwigs
These Ludwigs are a drum dealer's dream:
The original owner bought this drum kit (manufacture stamp May, 1965) and played it for a bit before meeting his wife. She custom-sewed drum cases for him out of denim and asked him to put his drums in storage since she hated the loud noise. He quit drumming and stored the drum kit for over 40 years when I bought them in like-new condition at an estate sale in Utah. They are truly mint.
These Luddys have an amazing vintage tone that's got the warmth and darkness of poplar and mahogany. Although they don't project in the same way modern birch drums do the depth and quality of the tone is well worth it since it sounds less harsh. Vintage Ludwigs record and mic up especially well, sitting comfortably in the mix.
These are beautiful vintage Ludwigs:
Drum shells are 12˝ and 13˝ hanging toms, with 14˝ and 16˝ floor toms, and a huge-sounding but tiny 14˝ × 20˝ bass drum that glitter beautifully under stage lights. The '60s shells were painted white on the inside and have 1˝ solid reinforcement rings. Features classic 1960s knurled hardware and white felt baseball bat drum mufflers.
Getting the Ludwigs Ready for Tour De Fat
I couldn't find a nicer set of vintage Ludwigs, but I still needed a snare drum and cymbals to round out the vintage drum tone for Tour de Fat.
Fortunately I had the perfect snare drum:
A vintage Ludwig aluminum Acrolite from the early 1960s. I added this snare from my personal stash and it sounds great.
I also picked up a giant lot of vintage Zildjian cymbals and outfitted the kit with a set of vintage Zildjian A cymbals. These cymbals, like vintage Ludwigs, feature a darker, warmer tone designed for the lower volumes of the 1960s. These warm tones sound great with mics on stage or recordings and are one of the reasons '60s records sound so great.
I asked a buddy from Geffen what drum heads I should use and he recommended Remo coated heads. After slapping them on and tuning them up I delivered an awesome '60s drum kit in complete and perfect condition to Fat Tire.
Hear the vintage Ludwig & Zildjian tone
This awesome drum kit will be at Civic Center Park in Fort Collins on 9/5 and at City Park in Denver on 9/12 if you want to check it out for yourself. After that, it will be on tour throughout the summer with New Belgium's Tour De Fat.
You can find more details about where to see the vintage Ludwigs on New Belgium's Tour de Fat site.
I recently came across an awesome vintage drum kit, the 1989 Yamaha Recording Custom (model PRC1492). The owner was looking to get a smaller set of drums and swap out some cymbals and I had no problem taking on his monster Yamaha Recording Custom drums. These are Yamaha drums from the era of heavy music with over sized power toms and massive 22˝ bass drums.
For those of you that don't know the story behind Lodo Drum Guy or want to know more about how I became one of Denver's biggest used drum, cymbal and music gear dealers check out Westword's online music section. Bree Davies just did a feature that goes into detail about how I got started buying used and vintage drums, cymbals, guitars and everything else I can get my hands on.
Used Tama Starter Drums at a Starter Price
About 7 months ago, I sold this 5-pc Tama SwingStar drum set to the family of an 8 year old girl for $370. The girl was brand new to drumming, her parents wanted to get her a solid used drum kit with hardware and cymbals but didn't want to spend a lot of money in case she quit.
Tama SwingStars aren't the nicest drums around but sound surprisingly good with new heads when tuned right. The deep toms, 20˝ kick drum and a set of used starter Zildjian cymbals on solid Tama hardware are a kid's dream, even if the parents would rather have a quieter, smaller bass drum. In fact used drum sets like this are perfect for starting drummers—I go through tons of used Tama SwingStars with whatever cymbals I have around. The difference is when you buy from me you know they're not ruined drum shells with bad bearing edges and keyholed cymbals. Trust me, I've seen a few drums and cymbals in my day.
This 8 year old loved her drum set for 7 months until, guess what...she quit and wanted to play guitar instead. So I took the used drum kit back on trade towards a starter guitar package I had for $260 and paid the family an additional $50 in cash. So for only $60, this little girl got to play a legit Tama drum set for 7 months.
Good news for the parents: now they can have their daughter practice guitar with headphones after listening to her bang on her drums and cymbals. And they didn't pay $900 for a new SwingStar at some other drum shop in Denver.
That's how things roll here at Lodo Drum Guy. My drum store started when I bought a similar starter used drum set and cymbals for my own daughter (although it wasn't a Tama SwingStar). This has had a life-changing impact on my kid and no other used drum shop or music store can offer you this flexibility for $60!
I LOVE IT!! you will too...see you soon.