View Full Version : Thin, Medium, Heavy???

09-01-2008, 07:03 PM
Hi everyone, been away for a while, good to be back amongst everything vintage drums.
My knowledge of vintage cymbals is very limited, I understand that a lot of people prefer the Thin cymbals. I have had a look through the Vintage Cymbal site here and think there is some important information missing. Please correct me if I am wrong and point me to the info.
When searching for vintage cymbals I find it difficult to determine just by the weight (as most ink stamps have worn off) if the cymbal is a Thin, Medium or Heavy relative to it’s size. I thought maybe if this site had a simple to read chart that states each cymbal size, a range of weights in grams and if it would be classed as a Thin, Medium or Heavy. I know there are plenty of experts here that could perhaps share this information in an easy to understand way.
Is this just a Zildjian thing to name there cymbals in this way?
Any help as always would be greatly appreciated.

09-01-2008, 10:33 PM
I was thinking the same thing. Are cymbal weights consistent with each model or do you just get lucky? What is an ideal weight?

09-01-2008, 11:45 PM
I've had vintage Zildjian cymbals marked "THIN" that were Medium Heavy, as well as cymbals marked "MEDIUM" that were pretty light. I don't think Zildjian based it entirely on the weight...probably the shape and how it played were also contributing factors.

Here's a link to a nice calculator that will tell you the category of a cymbal if you know the gram weight and diameter:

CYMBAL CALCULATOR (http://users.rcn.com/cwalter1/cymbalweight/)


09-02-2008, 08:27 PM
Paiste also had/has the thin, medium, heavy description. Back in the early days drummers weren't so concerned about what to call their cymbals....crash/ride/splash. They just bought cymbals which worked with the music that they played and their setup. The cymbal was bought for the sonic properties it provided. The weight descriptors were just guidelines to help musician narrow things down.

09-03-2008, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the helpful replies. That calculator is great, is there some way we can get that info onto this site in a simple chart? Back to searching for a Thin 18" cymbal......

12-11-2008, 01:09 AM
By today's standards, everything can get pretty confusing with cymbals. Overwhelming numbers of types and styles makes everything different from one to the next.

For practical purposes, there is a basic chart to go by here, culminated by and borrowed from my brothers at Cymbalholics :

Weight Range Table for 22 Inch cymbals:

extra light ------- 1900-2100g
light ------------- 2100-2300g
medium light ---- 2300-2500g
medium --------- 2500-2800g
medium heavy -- 2800-3100g
heavy ----------- 3100-3500g
very heavy ------ 3500 and up

Weight Range Table for 20 Inch cymbals:

extra light ------- 1570-1735g
light ------------- 1735-1900g
medium light ---- 1900-2066g
medium --------- 2066-2314g
medium heavy -- 2314-2561g
heavy ----------- 2561-2892g
very heavy ------ 2892 and up

Weight Range Table for 18 Inch cymbals:

extra light ------- 1272-1405g
light ------------- 1405-1539g
medium light ---- 1539-1673g
medium --------- 1673-1874g
medium heavy -- 1874-2075g
heavy ----------- 2075-2342g
very heavy ------ 2342 and up

For 16" and smaller, you'll have to do your own math. Basically, these weights are pretty much ball-park figures, because different cymbals from the SAME maker cane vary in any particular size & weight class -- and so different cymbals from DIFFERENT makers, all the more so.

Hope this helps.

Dig it !

12-11-2008, 01:16 AM
Just wanted to mention, Josh, that your style of music and playing ought to help dictate what sizes and weights of cymbals might be best suited for you.

You'd mentioned seeking an 18" thin (a crash, I presume).

Remember that larger cymbals equal deeper (and louder) tones - - thicker cymbals equal brighter (and louder) tones.

Thinner cymbals generally are lower in pitch, and usually also less in sustain. Great for jazz and light blues. Short-lived in heavy rock at stage volumes.

Larger, heavier cymbals cut through amplified music and offer a bit more wash before they're drowned out by the music. But they're no good for quiet quartets or studio work.

Dig it !