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The Zildjian A Custom line has been around for a few decades, and it’s always remained one of the top options for gigging drummers who need powerful sounds on stage.
There are various cymbals within the line, but Zildjian offers a main package that includes hi-hats, two crash cymbals, and a ride. This Zildjian A Custom cymbal pack is a great option for drummers needing a full set of pies.
In this review, I’m going to dive a bit deeper into what makes these cymbals so good. I’ll use my experience of playing them to discuss how they perform and which kind of drummers would benefit from using them the most.
I’ve always been a fan of how these cymbals sound. They’re really quite bright, meaning they’re loud and shimmering when you strike them. However, they still have enough nuance to produce different tones depending on where you hit them.
You can get a powerful and explosive sound from forcefully striking the two crash cymbals, but you can also get tighter and more controlled tones by simply hitting the surfaces.
It would be easiest to compare these to Zildjian’s standard A line of cymbals to get a full idea of their tones. The A cymbals are also bright, but the A Customs have a glossier sound that pushes them to sound a bit louder.
They’re more similar to the Classics Custom cymbals from Meinl, but I think the A Customs sound far richer, so they’d always be my personal choice over those.
The Medium ride cymbal that comes with the pack is definitely a powerhouse. It has a sharp bell sound that resonates so nicely when you strike it. It’s the perfect cymbal to play when jamming out a loud chorus groove.
The 14” hi-hats have the same appeal. They’re aggressive and menacing when you leave them a bit open, but they’re tight and distinct when closed.
Each cymbal in the set is made from Zildjian’s famous B20 cast bronze alloy. I find the process that the cymbals go through quite interesting, as it allows Zildjian to create a seriously diverse range of cymbals that all share similar build qualities.
While cymbals from the A and K Custom ranges are also made from B20 bronze, the ones in this pack are a bit thicker. That’s what gives them more projection and clarity.
With them being on the thicker side, I found that the A Custom cymbals feel fantastic to strike really hard. It feels like they handle the force you put into them really well, whereas cymbals from the thinner K Custom line are more likely to break if you constantly smash them.
So, that’s why I’d say that these A Custom cymbals are amazing options for drummers who like to hit hard. You’ll likely break fewer of these over time than thinner cymbals with tones that are a bit more complex.
I also love the consistency of these cymbals. With cymbals in the K line, it’s actually a drawcard that they have different weights and offer slightly different tones from cymbal to cymbal.
However, I like that you can get an 18” A Custom crash and have it sound very close to the one that you may be replacing it with.
I’d consider the A Custom cymbals versatile, but not as versatile as a lot of other options that Zildjian offers.
With their bright and powerful tones, they mainly work best for heavy musical styles like rock, metal, and punk.
I’ve watched so many live shows where drummers were using these, and I can always clearly hear them through the mix, even when they’re competing with distorted guitars and other dense instrument parts.
They’re versatile enough to use in every music style where bright cymbals are a good fit. So, they’d work quite well in hip-hop or country settings as well.
I’ve realized over the years that they’re an excellent set of gigging cymbals, as they bring volume and energy on stage.
However, they’re not the best fit for styles that need softer cymbals. While you could get away with using them in a jazz context, you’d be much better off using the K Customs instead, as those sound a lot better in lower-volume environments.
If you’re a rock, punk, or metal drummer, this cymbal pack is incredible. If you’re a jazz drummer, there are plenty of other good options that will be better suited to your style of playing.
I already mentioned the Zildjian K Custom cymbals, but you can also check out options from the Meinl Byzance Series and Sabian HHX line.
The whole Zildjian A Custom cymbal pack costs just over $1000, which I think is a relatively good deal, considering the value you get from these cymbals.
If you were to buy each cymbal in the set individually, you’d be paying a few hundred dollars more, so that’s where you can easily see the value on offer.
However, I also think it’s good to compare this set to the options from other big cymbal brands and look at how much they cost.
If you’re looking for bright and explosive cymbals, your main options are the Zildjian A Customs, Sabian AAXs, Paiste 2002s, and Meinl Classics Customs.
Out of all of those lines, the Meinl Classics Custom cymbals are the most affordable. However, as mentioned earlier, I don’t think they match in quality compared to the Zildjian A Custom cymbals.
The other pack options from Sabian and Paiste cost around the same as this A Custom pack, so I wouldn’t say that the value is better or worse. You just need to listen to all the cymbals and decide which ones you like the most.
Overall, the Zildjian A Custom cymbal pack is one of my favorite options on the market. I love how much these cymbals project, bringing plenty of energy to your setup.
I’d mostly recommend these if you’re a heavy drummer, but I’ve seen how well they work in plenty of other styles as well.
To get the best and most versatile setup, it would be good to mix a few other cymbals in with what you get from this pack.
I’ll also mention again how these are some of the most durable cymbals in Zildjian’s lineup. You can strike them really hard for long periods and they’ll hold up very well!
If you’re looking for a new set of cymbals for your kit, you should definitely check these amazing cymbals out.
What Comes In The Box?
- 14” A Custom hi-hats
- 16” A Custom crash
- 18” A Custom crash
- 20” A Custom Medium ride
At A Glance
- Some of the best cymbals for heavy styles like rock, punk, and metal
- These cymbals are also versatile enough to work in bright styles like pop and hip-hop
- Powerful tones that cut through mixes easily without losing effectiveness
- Each cymbal is highly durable, so you can feel comfortable playing them hard
- Well-balanced tones across each cymbal in the pack, offering the classic Zildjian sound
- While the cymbals are versatile, they’re a bit too bright and powerful for musical styles that need softer sounds from the drums