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Old 09-01-2010, 09:16 AM
calfskin calfskin is offline
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Default Re: UK Vintage Drum Timeline by Mike Ellis

Originally Posted by Beatnikjazz View Post
Nice job with the Premier and UK drums timeline !

Well done for something long over due here on this side o' the pond.

Now I'm wondering if you might be willing or able to supplement the timeline with a timeline on Premier/Zyn cymbals...?

They're such an integral and important piece of Premier history.

Like the story of how the British government offered a home and wages to any of their WWII Italian POWs when Premier wanted to hire those Italians who were skilled cymbal smiths from UFIP. Apparently, most of them stayed, and they set up a new cymbal shop for Premier, and made cymbals for a very long time there...

I know Premier made their own cheap spun brass cymbals, just Like Ludwig and Leedy did in the U.S., up until the war. I'm guessing they just stamped their brand name, Premier, onto them.

Then, after the war, when the Italians went to work in Premier's newly rebuilt cymbal shop, they put out some rather nice hand-made (B20 bell bronze) cymbals under the Premier brand. Soon after came the Zyn brand, starting in 1950. Most of them were made of nickel-silver (NS12 alloy) I believe...

But in which year did the Super Zyn brand begin...? They were B20, I think.

Then came the Standard Zyn (stamped that way to distinguish them from the Super Zyns?) as a mid-level NS12 cymbal...? What year did they start stamping them Standard Zyn...?

In 1968, Premier launched the 5 Star Super Zyn B20 bell bronze hand-hammered line, which even today are considered comparable to Avedis Zildjians.

Then came the Krut brand (1960s?), which were then renamed as 2 Star Zyn in the 1970s...?

It can seem a little tricky trying to figure out which cymbals appeared in which years, and what their alloys were.... Even more confusing when you try to figure in the stencil brands for Beverly, Ajax, and probably a few others.

Hell of a challenge, a Zyn timeline, but one I believe would be well worth the effort.

Food for thought, my good brothers !

Dig it !

-- Beatnikjazz --
An English cymbal timeline is much needed, if only to beef up the acclaim of these much maligned cymbals. Here are a few observations. All of the Kruts I have encountered seem to be identical to the Zyns I have encountered.The material seems to be Nickel Silver, there are several weights and two distinct profiles----one a more classic bell and arc,which from a distance resemble an A. Zildjian and another with a more pointy bell and sharply declining arc which resembles a chinese hat. The two shapes have markedly different sound----the latter having a more Chinese light gongy sound. All were extensively machine hammered. Beverley cymbals seem to be identical as well but I have recently seen what appear to be hand hammered Beverley's with smaller mounting holes.Did they produce their own line of cymbals prior to the Della Porta purchase?
To turn to Ajax. These seem so different in all ways, that it is hard to believe that they came from the same factory. Ajax had a large and in the 22and 24" sizes an enormous bell with a big floppy arc that curves up and down from the bell. Ajax cymbals despite the silver colour of the alloy are much more prone to denting and bending in use. I have an 18" light from the 50's that I have played since 1967 and it looks to be hand hammered but I can reveal to you its secret======it is stick hammered. Ajax sound completely different than Krut and Zyn---they have a fuller crescendo and in the heavier weights they ride dark and brilliant at the same time ----kinda like a K. They also appeared on the market with the name of Gordon on them but in all other appearances were an Ajax. I also have come across an old (probably 50's) bronze hand hammered Ajax.Standard Ajax and Gordon cymbals were not hammered at all----they appear to be spinnings from sheet alloy. I guess the question is ---is there authoratative verification that they were made in the Zyn workshop?
I have both Super Zyn and 5 star Zyn. Although they are both clearly B-20 and hand hammered with a profile and sound reminiscent of A. Zildjians---it does seem that there was a change somewhere. The 5 star is a more modern cymbal---brighter and more cutting----I guess , the super-zyns were more K- like.
Zyns have been reintroduced as hand hammered B-20'S made in China. By all accounts ,they are very good ,especially for the price. Not sure if these qualify as English cymbals. The last Zyns I saw new at retail and actually bought were a pair of 6" 2 star high hats. They are actually quite lovely. Premier still listed Zyn's(I think made by Paiste) in their catalogue in 1999 here in Canada.
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