Close to that "old K" sound, complexities in sound is very similar, but their shapes are world's apart. I could make a case that Istanbuls relate more in shape, to old K.Constantinoples. Were only available for a very short time ('82 through '85) in USA, where Mel Lewis picked up his first set of Istanbul's the cymbals were only available in limited quantities. Hand made in Turkey around 1977, 20.
The stamp means Zilciler Co., then Mehmet Tamdeger, then Agop Tomurcuk, then Stambul. After the old K factory closed down in 1977 Agop Turmurcuk established ISTANBUL ZILCILER Co."
They are still stamped with the words "Zilciler", but there are other variables to include. Pre-split Istanbul's debuted in the states in 1984 at the NAMM show. Their name in 1984 was "Zildjiler Co." and they bore this stamp: /lf-Cy-07.html
Shortly after the NAMM Show, they changed their name to Istanbul Cymbal Co. because Zildjian threatened to sue because it was too close to their name. I do not have an example of one of these stamps, and I am unsure if it included the word "Zilciler", but that was the official company name at that point. Let me include that these original Istanbuls were met with quite praise as being close to that "old K" sound, but were only available for a very short time ('82 through '85) in the states because of a distribution problem. (In 1982 the first ones landed at Barry Greenspon's Drummers World, where Mel Lewis picked up his first set of Istanbul's, 19 and 21 'medium' and 14 hats.) Referencing an article from MD 1988:
"Back when K Zildjian cymbals were made in Istanbul, the Gretsch Drum Company
was the American distributor of the product. So it seems somewhat fitting that Gretsch has now acquired American distribution of the cymbals that are currently being made in the same factory that the "old K's" came from. These cymbals first turned up in the States at the '84 Summer NAMM show, and they attracted quite a bit of attention from drummers who liked the original K's. The cymbals were only available in limited quantities, but word of mouth among "old K" fanatics was strong, and the cymbals began acquiring a certain mystique.
That mystique became even stronger when, for whatever reasons, something went
wrong with the original American distribution, with the result that Istanbul cymbals have not been available in this country for the past couple of years.
A few were still leaking in, however, byway of American jazz drummers who managed to visit the Istanbul factory while on tour in Europe. Again, the word was that these cymbals were, for all practical purposes, "old K's." And I can personally attest to that. I've got a few of the original K Zildjians myself, and I've spent many an evening at the Village Vanguard listening
to Elvin Jones's and Mel Lewis's old K's, so I know what they sound like. The Istanbul cymbals I heard at the '84 NAMM show sounded like old K's, and so did the Istanbuls that a couple of drummers I know brought back from Europe. And the last time I heard
Mel Lewis at the Vanguard, he was using Istanbuls that sounded like the old K's he had always been associated with.
So when I heard that Gretsch had acquired American distribution for Istanbul cymbals, and that the company was going to lend us a few of them for review, I already had a pretty good idea as to what we would be getting. Boy was I wrong. The Istanbul cymbals that arrived here are decent sounding cymbals, but they do not sound at all like "old K's."
Now, the stamp of these "NEW" Istanbul referenced in the article (still pre-split) from '88 had the crecent and star, wrapped around by "Hand Made in Turkey", then stamped "ISTANBUL", then Zilciler Co., then M Tamdeger, then A Tomurcuk, then Hand made in Turkey. These are what most people refer to as "Pre-Split" Istanbul's, but they are very different from the first batch that arrived here in the states in '82 and were displayed at the '84 and '85 NAMM show.
The modern company Istanbul Agop stamp includedes the word Zilciler in the stamp, but it is followed by "LTD", as opposed to "CO" in the above mentioned Pre-split Istanbul's.
The information about the cymbals made PRIOR to the is a bit sketchy. In an Istanbul Agop company brochure from the late 90's it says "After the old K. closed down in 1977 Agop Turmurcuk established ISTANBUL ZILCILER Co." This is confusing because I believe it is not saying that "In 1977 he established Istanbul Zi...", but instead saying "In 1977 the old K factory closed down" (which is correct), and then it is stating he established Istanbul Zilciler Co., but no date given for that.
Further info comes from a 1988 Istanbul Brochure when they were re-introduced into the states (different cymbals than in '84-85). It says "Mikael (Zildjian) closed the factory in 1977. A year later he died. After the factory closure, all the tools and machinery were disposed of in Turkey. In 1981, Agop and Mehmet decided to reopen the factory. They sourced both old and new plant and started to make cymbals for the Turkish Market. In 1982 they entered the export markets send and are still expanding..."
No damage keyhole, absolute in perfect condition. Price from $ 650,- . If you are interested please send me an email, i have mp3 sound sample.

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