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Old 05-28-2014, 04:43 PM
kookadams kookadams is offline
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Default what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

Ive heard either the zildjian A or K is uqual to the sabian hh- AND Ive also read that the hh isnt entirely hand-hammered but is it moreso than other cymbals? Like how bout in comparison to say wuhan?
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:08 PM
mcjnic mcjnic is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

Sabian HH are (or were) completely handhammered. These days, there are all sorts of lines within lines within lines. It's not so cut and dry. Originally (and some of them today) they handhammered the bow, bell, and all. There really was nothing much that compared to them out there (other than some small boutique lines). If you find some of the pure handhammered Sabians, hang on to them ... provided you like the sound. They are works of art. One could make a case that the Zildjian Constans are somewhat similar ... maybe, sort of. They are nice, but not quite the same. Wuhan? Well, the early early ones were very nice, if not a bit rough and unbalanced. I like the early ones. The ones they put out today are a far cry from the original line. Dream has produced a few nice ones, too.
Sorry to say, there really isn't much out there that is similar enough to the true handhammered Sabians. That's not to say that there aren't any great handhammered cymbals ... there are! Meinl Byzance, Zildjian Constans, Istys, and quite a few others. Great cymbals and lots to choose from.
Good luck!
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:08 PM
zenstat zenstat is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

Sabian HH cymbals haven't been fully shaped by hammering since just about the beginning (early 1980s). According to Hugo Pinksterboor, The Cymbal Book page 118:

Quote:
At Sabian the HH cymbals are pre-shaped by a large mechanical hammer, the so called bumper or Quincy drop-hammer. When pre-shaping, piles of about three cymbals (depending on the size) are put on a guiding pin and turned around slowly, while letting the bumper do the work. This treatment saves the men with the hammers a lot of time. An experienced hammerer will work on a 16" crash for about fifteen minutes
This book dates from 1992 and the fieldwork and interviewing was done earlier. Since then more pre shaping is done by hydraulic pressing (I believe Sabian explicitly say the HHX are pressed now) followed by machine hammering followed by a small amount of hand hammering. Yes, I'm talking about both the HH and the HHX being hydraulically pressed and mostly machine hammered. In terms of the final sound characteristics, the hand hammering may not account for even 1% of the sonic characteristics. We simply don't know. The few hammer blows done by hand might just be cosmetic rather than sonic.

The same thing is also true for all American made K cymbals (yes including K Constantinoples) going right back to the EAK beginnings. It's well documented, but often overlooked. The mythology of "hand hammering" is hard to budge. No production K Constantinople model has ever been hand hammered for bow shape (which is the hand hammering which counts). If any true hand hammering takes place it is minor in sonic impact, just like the HH line. And Zildjian don't say they hand hammer on their web site. I believe (but haven't yet found out for sure) that the only hand hammering at Zildjian now is in the Sound Lab Prototypes. I know Paul Francis knows the craft, and I suspect Zildjian use it for the prototype experiments before they commit to cutting code for the computer based hammering machines. But I don't know for sure, and I don't know what proportion.

American Zildjan's latest offerings (Kerope) are referred to as "handmade" rather than mentioning any specific production methods relating to initial hydraulic pressing, followed by computer controlled machine hammering. One presumes they are like the K Constantinoples but with a different hamming program running in the computer. They are a little cheaper than the K Constantinoples, which surprises some people.

I like the sounds which are produced by the Sabian HH series, the K Cons, the Keropes (which I've only experienced via sound files). They are doing great stuff which sounds fine to my ear. However, science leaves the room when marketing takes over.

So the equivalent of Sabian HH would still be the American Zildjian K Constantinoples, I suspect. Both are machine produced and top quality. One way to find out is to go and look at the price point at which the different lines sell. That will tell you, although it says nothing about how they sound. Just where the two competitors think the different lines sit against one another in terms of what price they can charge. It may also be that the equivalence is seen more like

K Constantinople = Artisan
K = HH

But cymbals vary so much that if you are asking in terms of which will play together nicely, you just have to audition individual cymbals.

Other than boutique makers (e.g. Matt Bettis, Heather Stine, et al.), you really need to look outside North America to find cymbals which are still hand hammered into shape. It just takes too long in countries where labor costs are high (ie workers get a decent living wage). I say good on Sabian and Zildjian for making good use of technology to keep jobs in North America. I say they don't really need to let their marking departments put out misleading descriptions of their production methods. There is a much better story to be told.

Disclaimer: I can provide further references for the true description of production methods, but I think by now I shouldn't really have to because this is old territory and has been gone over before many times on this site. You can search on here for all sorts of things about "hand hammering". However, if you insist I will add more references.
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Last edited by zenstat; 05-29-2014 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:27 AM
caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

I would argue that that are NO Zildjian lines like the Sabian HH series. The closest comparison would be Zildjian Ks from the early 90s, but with a little bit of the A Custom sound mixed in. Although roughly similar, there's no straight-across equivalent.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:25 PM
mcjnic mcjnic is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

zenstat,
while I appreciate your passion for completeness, I will disagree with you on principle. You are being just way to forward and aggressive for my likes.
now, about the Sabian HH being completely handhammered ... I am not speaking to the basic press shaping on every line. I would have thought that would of been obvious as I had stated something to that effect. Oh wait, here it is ... "Originally (and some of them today) they handhammered the bow, bell, and all."
Just in case you missed the detail, they also don't hammer out the ingots either.
But, they did (and still do on some) hammer the bell, the shape, and the bow. I've endorsed Sabian in the past and own several specials that hold these hammering details.
Now, if you still feel obliged to prove every cymbal that has come out of Sabian fits your profile, I believe you will be forcing rain into a screen box.
have a sweet day.
caddy hit the nail on the head.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:15 AM
hardbat hardbat is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

The Canadian K Zildjians were essentially identical to Sabian HH. Of course, they were only made for a very short time.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:34 AM
xipa4 xipa4 is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardbat View Post
The Canadian K Zildjians were essentially identical to Sabian HH. Of course, they were only made for a very short time.
BTW,they are only identical to first run HH (the ones that had HH logo attached in the Sabian logo)
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:30 AM
kookadams kookadams is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

So... in the 50s and 60s the two main zildjians were the As (avedis) and Ks and the Ks are the closest to sabian HHs ? Im still confused with the mixed replies/ are or were the HHs all the way hand-hammered etc.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:30 AM
zenstat zenstat is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kookadams View Post
Im still confused with the mixed replies/ are or were the HHs all the way hand-hammered etc.
Opinions seem to vary. One of the problems may be the wording of your question. Sorry if this seems to strident or forceful. I'm trying to get the tone right.

What do you mean by "all the way hand-hammered"? Is your meaning the same as mcjnic's phrase "completely handhammered" and "they handhammered the bow, bell, and all."? If so, go with his answer.

If by "all the way" you mean are hammer marks apparent all over the cymbal (bell and bow) then yes the HH series does have such hammer marks. Here is my very nice Sabian HH Sound Control ride (yes I have one, in case some of you incorrectly thought I was a Sabian hater)





The hand hammering appears on the bow and the bell of the cymbal in the form of small roundish marks.

For me I use "completely hand hammered" when a hammer in the hand is the only tool used to shape the cymbal. When a machine is also used, then the cymbal stops being "completely hand hammered" and becomes "partially hand hammered". My previous mistake may have been to leave off the all important qualification "completely".

Or is "all the way" a reference to time, and asking if the earliest ones were made with the same production techniques as current ones? If that's what you mean, then I believe production techniques have changed. Certainly the look of the hammering (and degree of obvious hammering) has changed. If you are really interested I've got a photo series of the different generations of HHs (and some of AAs) which illustrate what I mean.
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Last edited by zenstat; 06-05-2014 at 03:14 PM. Reason: photos
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:15 PM
zenstat zenstat is offline
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Default Re: what is the zildjian equivalent of the sabian hh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kookadams View Post
So... in the 50s and 60s the two main zildjians were the As (avedis) and Ks and the Ks are the closest to sabian HHs ?
Again, it depends on what you mean by "closest". Sonically closest? Visually closest? Closest in terms of production methods? Closest in terms of cost? Closest in terms of value for money (whatever that means to you)? Closest in terms of social status?

Remember that Sabian didn't exist until the early 80s. When you bring in the 50s and the 60s you are bringing in very different cymbals made by the American Avedis Zildjian Company and the Turkish K Zildjian Company. Sabian HHs are many years away from these. The closest to the earliest HH are the Canadian Ks. Both were made at the same factory by the same people. But Canadian Ks were still made differently and are sonically distinct from cymbals made by the Turkish K Zildjian Company. And both are different again from American Ks. This is all in The Cymbal Book, and I really recommend you go and read it.

I've been trying to think of an analogy which might be less contentious. Maybe this will help:

If I asked "which is closest to Mexican food, Italian food or Middle Eastern food?" I'd be posing a question like yours.

I would get different opinions because tastes vary and individual experiences vary. Different people will select different aspects of the comparison when they answer. Some might think of great meals they have had. Some might think of the level of spice involved, or the cooking methods, etc. Some will complain that each of these food areas has huge diversity by region and you need to be more specific about which area within a country. Some will complain that there is so much variation between individual cooks and meals that you can't really generalize to any great extent.
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Last edited by zenstat; 06-05-2014 at 07:01 PM. Reason: clarification
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