Zildjian's A series Sweet Ride 21" is a higher end drum cymbal that I recently have used for recording purposes. I've recorded with this cymbal before, although I'm not a drummer myself. A good friend of mine owns this cymbal, and since we've played and recorded together a lot, I've got a good amount of experience with this cymbal. Most recently when we used it, it was for a week long recording session for a rock/pop/folk sort of album. The cymbal is built extremely well and judging from how long my friend has owned this cymbal for, it should last a lifetime as long as it isn't dropped too many times or lost. As far as the tone is concerned, this is right up my ally, as it isn't too bright but still cuts through a mix extremely well. It's definitely got a crisp high end, but when I say that it isn't too bright I mean that it isn't overpowering. I used a pair of Coles 4038 ribbon microphones as overheads, which are pretty dark colored microphones, but this cymbal still came in crisp and clear. I'd used the Zildjian A Series Sweet Ride 21" with more traditional overhead microphones in the past like Neumann KM 184's, but we were going for a different sound here and I must say that it worked out extremely well. Even with the darker toned Coles microphones, the cymbal cut through well. Since I'm not a drummer I can't comment too much on the more detailed aspects of this cymbal, like what it's made from and all that, but I can say that it's an awesome sounding cymbal that I wouldn't hesitate to use again when and if I get the chance. Zildjian's 21" A series Sweet Ride isn't a toy by any stretch and doesn't cost the price one would, so expect to pay the proper amount for cymbals like this. If you're a regularly gigging or recording drummer looking for a great ride cymbal, you should be all ears for this one...
The Zildjian sweet ride is another good (not great) cymbal from the Zildjian A line. I was eager to play this cymbal for a long time because I had always heard it was versatile and smooth. I had played similar medium A rides that were great, so I had high expectations.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed by this product. It is billed as a versatile cymbal that can be used in rock, jazz, or whatever else. I found it to be pretty boring, not suited to any genre in particular. It was surprisingly abrasive, contrary to its name, and had a lot of ringing. The sound itself wasn't too dark or righ, dry or wet (though mostly on the dry side), but in its neutrality it lacked character. I don't care if both Louie Bellson and Travis Baker use it, I am not a fan. Another strange thing about it is that it sounds very different cymbal to cymbal and room to room. Almost every time I play another sweet ride I feel like it has a slightly different resonance, and this is really highlighted in different acoustic situations. Obviously all cymbals can be expected to sound different in various environments, but considering that this cymbal is new and had a uniform production (not all hand hammering) I was surprised to hear the differences.
Regardless of its faults, this cymbal is still a Zildjian A and is worth a listen. It is not my thing, but I can't speak for everyone on that. I would suggest the Zildjian A medium ride or Zildjian A rock ride for rock music instead of this, as well as the ping ride. If playing jazz, I wouldn't suggest anything from the Zildjian A line at all. The sweet ride is a fair value. If the various music styles mentioned are going to be played it is best to have a variety of cymbals rather than try to do it all with one.