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Cymbal Reviews

Zildjian ZXT Cymbals

Looking for a good price? After searching for ages the best price I found for these cymbals was here online. Click here to check them out!

Zildjian ZXT Cymbal set

The Zildjian ZXT cymbals series is among the huge choice of mid-range cymbals on the market today. It's an interesting series, put together with young and lively drummers in mind. Zildjian even say they're made from "an enhanced alloy with attitude", so it sounds like they mean business!

Like most cymbal series, they can be bought seperately or in a variety of packs including a crash with hi-hats and a ride, or an effects pack and so on.

Here i'll be reviewing 14 cymbals in the series including 1 pair of hi-hats, 2 rides, 6 crashes, 2 splashes, 2 chinas, and 1 interestingly named trashformer. Let's get to it...

So, What Are They Made Of?

The ZXT cymbals have been made from sheet bronze instead of being cast individually, and that's because this is a budget series. But, Zildjian have used unique lathing and hammering patterns on each type of cymbal to bring the best qualities out of each. And, when you look at them it's easy to see what they mean! Apart from the ZXT logo, some of these cymbals look so different from each other that you'd think they were made by different manufacturers all together!

One thing that's clear is that these cymbals do look good. The quality of the lathing and hammering, and the bright finish is excellent. But hey, this is Zildjian so I wouldn't expect anything less.

How Do These Babies Sound?

Sheet bronze cymbals are never going to sound as good as the more expensive cast bronze type. But, the ZXT cymbals are some of the better sheet bronze metals i've played. They have all the usual characteristics of sheet bronze - brightness, liveliness, and a quick response, but some of them have qualities similar to slightly higher priced cymbals in Zildjian's range. Let's have a look at them up close...

Crash Cymbals

Ok, your choice of crash cymbals in the Zildjian ZXT series includes 14", 16", and 18" sizes in thin, medium-thin, and rock weights. Starting with the 16" crashes, the medium-thin is quite warm with some sparkling high-end, it would be better suited to quiter styles. On the other hand, the 16" rock crash is full on with a bright, loud attack, and a long sustain. It just zings with high-end energy.

Going up to the 18" sizes, the 18" thin crash has a fast response then dies away quite quickly. It's definately got some volume and power on it's side too, but there are some unwanted high-frequency overtones that linger around after you've hit it. The 18" mediun-thin is similar, but has more power, volume, and not such noticeable overtones. But, the heavier rock version is the most powerful, and has a great sustain. I'd be happy to play any of them, but the medium-thin is definately my favourite.

Last up is the 14" thin crash. This is again quite warm and bright, but it seems to come and go too quickly. Hitting it gives an initial spark of bright energy, but then it disappears and you're left with a mild, humming undertone. It's ok, but i've played better.

Ride Cymbals

Moving onto the ZXT rides, you can choose from a 20" medium or a 20" rock version. Like the rock hi-hats, the 20" rock ride has some cool looking hammering patterns on it to bring out it's...well...rocking qualities I guess. It's heavier than the medium ride and has a big dry tone, with really clear stick definition. You have to get stuck into it hard to get the full wash of sound from it, but when you get there it's super loud and has a fair sustain.

The 20" medium ride, being lighter, is very lively and bright, plus has a sweet, long decay. It's got more of a wash of harmonic overtones when you play it, and the stick definition is slightly less pronouced. It's not as loud as the rock ride, but it is more musical.

Hi-Hats Cymbals

Apart from looking great, the 14" rock hi-hats don't sound at all bad either. They're gritty and full of bright energy, but there's a hint of darkness too. Playing 'em closed gives a good crisp chick, while open they sound gnarly without being too brash. They don't have any shrieking overtones like some budget hats do, so overall i'm really impressed by these!

Splash, China, And Effect Cymbals

But, by far the most interesting cymbal in the ZXT series has to be the 14" trashformer. It's a metallic purple colour and looks like it's been half melted and then run over by a truck! (maybe that's how Zildjian make it...er...possibly). It all makes sense when you hit it though, the sound is punchy, trashy, and up-front. You can even stack it on a crash to trashform the sound. It's pretty cool, but will work best if you play hip-hop, dance or something similar.

If you want a more traditional trashy sound, the 14" or 18" chinas might work for you. The 18" china is loud, powerful, full-bodied, and almost gong-like, so be warned! But, my favourite is the 14" china that's brash, punky, trashy, and has a sharp attack. It's real tasty, kinda like spicy food....full of flavour.

To finish the ZXT series, we have the 8" and 10" flash splash cymbals. Both are quick and give a short blast of cutting sound, but the 10" version has a little more sustain and presence. They're ok, but not too exciting.

Overall - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly...

The Zildjian ZXT cymbals are a super little series, full of bright, projecting sounds, some very interesting ones too. Plus, they obviously look stunning with the unique lathing and hammering on each one. For me, the best of the bunch are the hi-hats and the crash cymbals that seem to be punching well above their weight.

Any downsides? The series as a whole is excellent, but there are a couple of individual cymbals that don't quite meet the mark. The 14" and 18" thin crashes are good, but no way as good as the other crashes. Lastly, the flash splash cymbals are just ok too...not amazing. I guess that's not really a downside but it's worth mentioning.

What about the price? The ZXT cymbals are in the mid-range in terms of quality, and the price basically reflects that. Considering the hi-hats, and crashes are so good, it's a wonder they don't cost more. Where's the cheapest place to buy? Here's the cheapest site i've found. They usually have the lowest price and sometimes free delivery too, so I recommend checking them out for the best deal!

The final word: the Zildjian ZXT series shows that it's possible to make some great sounding and looking cymbals from sheet bronze. Apart from a couple of mild disapointments, these cymbals sound brilliant, especially the crashes and hi-hats.

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More Zildjian reviews:
* Zildjian Pitch Black
* Zildjian Z3
* Zildjian ZHT
* Zildjian ZBT

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