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The K Custom Special Dry cymbals from Zildjian promote a dark and trashy sound with a deep level of musicality. Featuring hi-hats, crashes and rides as well as a range of effect cymbals, Zildjian have gone to town with the sizes; especially the crashes, which will not disappoint lovers of big cymbals.


Constructed from the top secret Zildjian 80/20 Bronze alloy, the cymbals retain the burnt, un-lathed and natural look of their predecessors, with three types of hammerings and scoring. The look is raw and earthy, but unlike the last Special Dry range that were completely natural, the bottoms of these models are fully lathed. Each cymbal has a unique sized bell to match the natural properties of the shape. The trash crashes and trash china are literally riddled with two different sized holes and there’s even an FX hi-hat top that has its own unique hole pattern.


RIDES | 21” & 23”

I love that there’s two larger sized rides in this range. The 21” ride retains the rawness of the original Special Dry ride, but with a lightness and more integrated bell and it’s crashable too. The 23” is actually sightly heavier than you’d expect, with a clear amount of stick definition and a clearer, bigger bell. You can crash it, but not quite as much as its smaller brother.


CRASHES | 16” – 22”

These are a stroke of genius in my mind. Somehow, Zildjian have been able to create crashes that are light, speak really quickly and decay reasonable rapidly, with a distinct dry, trashy quality and a stack of volume. Yes, the crashes are actually really loud when you lay into them, which allows for more versatility. The agro just increases with the size, all the way to 22”. The larger cymbals were awesome – full-bodied, super sensitive to the touch and loud. They’re trashy but not so much to be unusable as a primary crash.


HI-HATS | 13” – 15”

The hi-hats are beautiful. The 14”s have a wonderful, almost perfect ‘shurpwhen opened and a musical ‘chick’ with played with either foot or stick. The 15”s, as expected, have a wider sound and lower pitch with a little less definition overall, but are really nice to leave a little open for a dry slushy sound. The natural finish takes away that real cutting, bright frequency that can be so off putting – particularly in the studio. Neither size are particularly loud though, and do require a little heavy handedness if you want volume. This might be just what some players are after though, because you can be really relaxed with your velocities.


EFFECT RANGE | Trash Crashes 17” – 21” | Trash China 18” | Splash 10” | FX Hi-Hat Top 14”

Here’s where things get interesting. The trash crashes are angry and loud. The formula is the same as the crashes, but those holes give even more rawness and a super fast decay. The bigger ones are lower in pitch, but have the same qualities. The china is again, the same formula but feature that undertone that only a china cymbal can have. To be honest, unless you’re a super china lover, the trash crashes will have everything you need for accents. The splash is super short and perhaps the driest cymbal. It’s not too loud either – it does its thing and then decays away immediately. The surprise of the range is the FX hi-hat top. Add this to the 14” standard hi-hat bottom for the loudest chick, with the foot I’ve ever tried and a super dirty, trashy, high-pitched effect with an exuberant amount of clarity.


Zildjian have come up with a range that not only compliments their other cymbal ranges but also speaks for itself. These cymbals are easily integrated into anyone’s set up, from just one cymbal to a whole bunch. Some players will love to go to town using these in random combinations from hi-hat/crash or stacks. For me, I like dry cymbals, but these new ones also allow for a touch more sustain than you’d expect, which makes them more versatile in my books. The big crashes are to die for too. Zildjian have been smart with providing such a big range of sizes because there’s something for everyone.