The Zildjian Gen16 AE cymbals Review by DJLadydrummer


I typically use Zildjian and Sabian cymbals but I love the tone of Zildjian cymbals.  Zildjian has been a pioneer of the cymbal industry for years and they are still going strong.   Their newest line of cymbals had me in awe and it was a privilege to play them.

While preparing for tour with hip hop artist, my tour manager spotted a display of Gen16 Zildjian cymbals in Guitar Center.  He immediately called me and advised that we had to get these cymbals.   Although they are considered electronic cymbals, we thought it would be great to integrate them with regular cymbals on the DW tour kit.    We quickly found out that these cymbals came with a module in which we could change cymbal sounds as well as enjoy the lighting they provided.

We immediately started our research to find out what these cymbals could do as well as admire their cool design.

The Gen16 cymbals were developed by Japanese businesses and the concept was introduced to Zildjian by Korg.   Due to the Japanese businesses not having manufacturing capabilities,  Korg partnered with Zildjian and they produced a great product called the Gen16 AE Cymbals.

The 1st thing that draws you into the cymbals are the perfectly designed tiny holes in the cymbals along with the nickel plated alloy cymbal sleek design.   The holes reduce the acoustic volume of the cymbals although you can still hear the cymbals very well.   They give you a quieter cymbal sound.

Under each cymbal is a stereo microphone that is in a “reversed cup shaped” mount, in which lights up.   The clarity of these cymbals  coming through an amplifier or sound system will blow your mind.  The responsiveness and articulation of each cymbal sound made me smile.    The feel of each cymbal felt slightly different than a regular cymbal, and I couldn’t help but wonder if these beautiful cymbals could be cracked with one hard hit.  Although these AE cymbals seem as if they are built very well, I’m sure that using caution may be an automatic response.   After all, they are essentially electronic.

Each cymbal plugs into a module called the DCP (Digital Cymbal Processor) in which you are able to control

  1. Master Volume and Channel Volume
  2. 20 Tones (each channel) 100 total
  3. 11 Reverb Presets
  4. Reverb return levels
  5. Channel Pan
  6. Mix Blend (drums/cymbals)
  7. Headphones volume

The DCP allows up to 5 cymbal inputs, one 1/4″ input (for electronic drums L/R), output L/R, one 1/8″ input for (MP3/CD player), and USB for firmware updates.   You are supplied with a color coded snake in which plugs into DCP and runs to each individual cymbal and hi-hat.

We were a little confused on how to assemble hi-hat due to the assembly of  the AE microphone, but were able to quickly access “How To” videos on Zildjian’s website.    Otherwise, the lighting/microphone cup was fairly easy to assemble.

If you are a drummer who loves the Newest and Greatest… will love these babies, but for a touring drummer on a big stage they would prove to be a great investment.    They simply add excitement to your kit as well as giving a great sound in an amplified system.

Pricing may vary, depending on if you are buying the set, which includes the module.   Cymbals can be purchase separately as well.    My tour manager found the best deals on Amazon, You can also find these cymbals here: EBAY – Zildjian Gen16 AE Cymbals

My review:

Customer Review
 I love the Zildjian Gen 16 cymbals !!, May 13, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Zildjian GEN16 Acoustic-Electric Cymbal Splash & Pickup System 12 inch

I am not only impressed with the way these cymbals look but was also impressed with the sound. You are able to change the sound to what is suitable for you. The feel is a little different, but I was able to quickly adapt. Having cymbals that light up, especially for big shows or concerts is the BEST !!! They were easy to set up and the module settings were easy to understand. Great JOB Zildjian !!

Video at NAMM Introducing the Gen16 cymbals

3 Comments on “The Zildjian Gen16 AE cymbals Review by DJLadydrummer

  1. that review reads more like an advertisement, no criticism that you will find in other reviews on the net

    • Beat of Her Drum by DJLadydrummer – A well-known drummer (Denise Commander Johnson) that has played in the MD,VA, DC area. I have played for many churches, jazz, rock & R&B artists. Was contracted to Nintendo to promote WiiMusic. I demonstrated the virtual drums, as well as 100 other instruments. Currently plays for many local artists as needed. Toured with well known hip hop artist and continues to share the gift of music. Being a musician can be rewarding, but its important to have good habits for success. Discipline and planning is also important when embarking on an unstable market like the music business. Follow your beat and always have constant learning in your schedule and daily routine. You can be successful as a business and do what you LOVE ! Create Music and Don't Miss a BEAT

      Thanks for your honest opinion. I actually tried to share MY own experience as well as give some technical information for those who wanted MORE specific information. These aren’t your everyday cymbals ….. took some technical knowledge to hook up. I had a tour manager, but other people may not have the benefits of someone else setting up for them 🙂

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