Zildjian 18" A Custom EFX Crash Cymbal

It used to be that about the only special effects cymbal available was the China. All that changed in the past few years when lasers acquired the capability of cutting holes in metal. Recently, there has been an explosion of cymbals with several shapes of holes as well as the number of holes. In a few cases, it almost looks like there is more hole than cymbal. The Zildjian A Custom EFX has its own personality, and it is very agreeable. I suppose "trashy" is appropriate, but that word is used with a lot of cymbals that don't have holes in them, nor are they classified as special effects cymbals. You just have to listen for yourself. This one is 18" in diameter and thin in weight.


  • Manufacturer Line: A Custom EFX
  • Type: Crash
  • Style: Thin
  • Alloy: B20 - CuSn20 - 80% Copper, 20% Tin
  • Diameter: 18"
  • Metal Work: Machine Hammered, Machine Lathed, Brilliant Finish
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • MSRP: $431 USA; Street Price $245
  • Zildjian

You can see that the A Custom EFX has a combination of oval holes and small round holes. There are several hundred hammer strokes on the cymbal, and the entire cymbal has fine lathing lines.


Spectral analysis illustrates peaks at 420 Hz, 1.5 kHz, 2.1 kHz, 2.8 kHz, and 3.4 kHz, after which the response declines out to 55 kHz. It works beautifully as a crash, but is not for riding on the body, as the ping is buried in the wash. However, the bell rides very nicely.


The cymbal is very thin but does not respond as quickly as one might think. The peak level of sound is reached at 0.2 seconds, followed by a moderately slow decay, which occurs throughout most of the frequency range. This cymbal surprised me, and it is one of the most pleasant sounding special effects cymbals I have yet heard.


Click HERE to listen to an audio sample, which will include crash (when appropriate), ride, and bell sounds (these are 24 bit, 176.4 kHz wav files, so be sure your sound card is capable of handling these high resolution sound files).