Dating zildjian cymbals cymbals forum
Zildjian's are variable, so there may be more louder, brighter K's in the post 2000 era, but I've generally had no trouble finding modern K's that fit my sound palette of mostly 90's K's.
To say they are very different, or noticeably different is so gross exaggeration IMO. I haven't gone through any Zildjian vaults since about 2008, so I can't say what the current crop of K's sound like.
One take on it is it's an attempt to add value to used K's, using as it's cue the higher value of EAK's.
I have a couple of EAK's and they are very, very nice.
Better is subjective, but my EAK's have more character, and are also (subjectively) richer and sweeter than my standard 90's K's.
I've honestly mixed post 2000 K's with my 90's K's many times and they sound very similar to me.
The best, but longwinded, way of acquiring K's would be to buy and sell used until you have amassed a collection of great sounding cymbals. The best, but longwinded, way of acquiring K's would be to buy and sell used until you have amassed a collection of great sounding cymbals. As are actually 'tighter' cymbals that are pitched higher than Ks.
The Ks I like are the Intermediate American Ks, (IAK) which were made from 82ish until 2000.
Personally, I don't consider K's an upgrade to a A, they are just a different cymbal that is more expensive. Whether or not it's a good thing, Zildijian's inconsistency has pushed me away from their cymbals because I mostly order cymbals these days.
If I find a good sounding but overpriced K in a shop, I can't order a similar cymbal and know it will sound as good.
I always have the "image" of K's being a 'jazz cymbal' which is not to say you can't use them for Rock, but that kind of metaphor might give you an idea of what 'direction' the sound is going.
I would not think of them as an "upgrade" - more like a crossgrade to a different "flavor".