The Ultimate Guide to the Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal

‍ 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal Image Source: FreeImages

## Introduction

In the world of music, finding the perfect ride cymbal is essential for creating a versatile and dynamic sound. One particular ride cymbal that has gained recognition for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship is the Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride. Designed to commemorate Zildjian’s rich history and celebrate two decades of excellence, this cymbal offers a unique blend of stick definition, colorful tones, and superb projection. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about the Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal, from its design and sound characteristics to its manufacturing process and how it compares to other ride cymbals in the market.

An Overview of the Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal

The Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal is a remarkable instrument that represents the pinnacle of Zildjian’s craftsmanship. This limited-edition ride cymbal features a brilliant finish, providing a visually striking appearance that is sure to catch the eye of any drummer. The symmetrically hammered design ensures consistent and balanced sound production across the entire surface of the cymbal, allowing for excellent stick definition and articulation.

When it comes to sound characteristics, the A Custom 21″ Ride Cymbal offers a wide range of tonal possibilities. Its medium weight and striking brilliant finish contribute to a crisp, sweet, and sophisticated tone with a well-defined attack. The cymbal produces warm and colorful overtones, adding depth and richness to your overall sound. Whether you’re playing jazz, rock, or any other genre, the Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal proves to be a versatile and reliable choice.

The Zildjian Sound Lab: Finding Your Perfect Sound

Zildjian understands that every drummer has unique preferences when it comes to cymbal sound. That’s why they developed the Zildjian Sound Lab, a tool that allows you to compare different cymbals and find the perfect sound profile for your individual needs. The Sound Lab meters help you evaluate various characteristics of a cymbal, including brightness, dryness, definition, and sustain. By using these meters, you can easily identify the specific sound qualities that resonate with your musical style and voice.

  • Brightness: Determines the pitch of the cymbal, ranging from low and dark to high and bright.
  • Dryness: Indicates the amount of overtone in a cymbal, with drier cymbals exhibiting minimal overtones and shorter sustain.
  • Definition: Refers to the clarity and articulation of the cymbal’s sound, ranging from soft and buttery to a solid, well-defined note with a strong stick sound.
  • Sustain: Reflects the length of the note produced by the cymbal, with some cymbals having a longer sustain than others.

The Manufacturing Process: Excellence in Craftsmanship

The Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal is meticulously crafted using a series of precise manufacturing techniques. Zildjian’s cast bronze cymbals are individually poured and cast from raw molten metal, ensuring consistent quality and tone across each cymbal model. After the casting process, the cymbals go through a complex sequence of heating, rolling, shaping, hammering, and lathing techniques unique to each cymbal range.

Cast bronze cymbals, such as the A Customs, offer numerous advantages in terms of tone and projection. The Zildjian secret alloy, consisting of 80% copper, 20% tin, and traces of silver, contributes to a rich, full-bodied sound that improves with age. These cymbals also exhibit greater projection, clarity, and durability compared to other materials. With their exceptional craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, Zildjian ensures that each 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal meets the highest standards of quality and performance.

Comparing the Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal

While the Zildjian stands out on its own, it’s important to consider how it compares to other ride cymbals in the market. Let’s take a closer look at some popular alternatives and see how the A Custom measures up.

  1. Zildjian 20″ K Custom Ride: The K Custom Ride is known for its dark and warm tone, making it a favorite among jazz drummers. It offers a lower pitch and a more complex sound compared to the A Custom, providing a different sonic palette for drummers seeking a unique voice.
  2. Sabian 21″ HHX Groove Ride: The HHX Groove Ride is designed to deliver a funky, versatile sound with excellent stick definition and a balanced wash. Its medium weight and dark tonal characteristics make it suitable for various genres, including funk, fusion, and rock.
  3. Meinl 21″ Byzance Vintage Pure Ride: The Vintage Pure Ride offers a vintage-inspired sound with a dry and earthy character. It produces a warm stick attack and a controlled wash, making it a popular choice among drummers looking for a traditional, organic sound.
  4. Paiste 2002 22″ Ride: The 2002 Ride is renowned for its bright, cutting sound and excellent projection. It offers a higher pitch and a longer sustain compared to the A Custom, making it suitable for drummers who prefer a more powerful and assertive ride cymbal.

It’s important to note that personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the right ride cymbal. While these comparisons provide a starting point, it’s recommended to try different cymbals in person and listen to their sound characteristics to find the perfect match for your musical style.

Caring for Your Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal, proper care and maintenance are essential. Here are some tips to help you keep your cymbal in top condition:

  1. Clean your cymbal regularly using a soft cloth or a specially formulated cymbal cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the cymbal’s finish and sound quality.
  2. When transporting your cymbal, use a protective case or bag to prevent any potential damage. Ensure that the cymbal is securely fastened and cushioned to avoid any impact during transportation.
  3. Avoid placing your cymbal on uneven or hard surfaces. Use a cymbal stand or a padded surface to rest your cymbal when not in use. This helps prevent cracks or dents caused by accidental drops or impacts.
  4. When playing, use appropriate drumsticks or mallets that are suitable for ride cymbals. Using sticks with excessive force or playing with improper technique can result in damage to the cymbal’s surface and compromise its sound quality.
  5. Store your cymbal in a cool and dry environment to prevent moisture or humidity damage. Excessive moisture can lead to corrosion or discoloration of the cymbal’s surface.

By following these simple maintenance practices, you can ensure that your Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal remains in excellent condition, providing you with exceptional sound and performance for years to come.


The Zildjian is a testament to Zildjian’s commitment to excellence and their rich heritage in cymbal making. With its versatile sound, meticulous craftsmanship, and striking appearance, this ride cymbal is a worthy addition to any drummer’s collection. Whether you’re performing on stage or recording in the studio, the A Custom 21″ Ride delivers the perfect balance of stick definition, colorful tones, and projection. Take your drumming to new heights with the Zildjian 21″ A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride Cymbal and experience the unparalleled quality and sound that Zildjian is renowned for.

Remember, choosing the right ride cymbal is a personal decision, and it’s important to consider your musical style, preferences, and the sound you want to achieve. Take the time to explore different options, try them out in person, and trust your ears to find the ride cymbal that truly speaks to you. Happy drumming!