Information on Ringo's cymbals is left to much speculation.
Research is being done through a variety of sources.
A number of visitors to this site have provided me with information concerning the cymbals that Ringo used. Ironically enough, the list does go litterally from A to Z (Arbiter to Zildjian.) Unfortunately, most of the information that I have been given cannot be verified. That being said, I plan to present some of the information that seems credible along with photos and hopefully audio and/or video files if I can get that specific on this web site.
I encourage anyone with direct information or with detailed experience in verifying or dating cymbals to be part of this investigation. High resolution photos would also be appreciated. Let's have some fun with this.
By far, the most popular question is wanting to know details on the hi hat cymbals Ringo used early on to get his unique wash sound. Jeff Chonis, Ringo's drum technician for 25 years has the answer. "Ringo said that he used the same 14" Zildjian A hi hats on all Beatle recordings." The answer is short and sweet. Now the other questions arise concerning the weights, the stamp logos and the year.
Let's Start At The Beginning
A photo from 8/22/1962 taken at the Cavern days after Ringo joined the Beatles.The cymbal sizes were 20", 18" with 14" hi hats.
Let's dive right into the biggest question asked regarding Ringo's hi hats. What were they? Ringo has stated that he used the same set of 14" Zildjian A's with the Beatles. I am posting a number of photos of his hi hats to see if we can make any deductions:
According to Ringo, his first drum set was an Ajax kit. Right from the start we have no information as to whether it came with cymbals or if Ringo owned any when he bought this set. For the record, Ajax did offer a low end line of cymbals.
When we take a closer look at the 20 inch cymbal below, we see an unusual large flat bell, which is just what an Ajax 20" looked like back in the day. This seems like a logical conclusion until you discover that Paiste Stambul and Kurts also made cymbals with the same bell shape. Below are photos of Ringo's first 20".
Below is a photo of Ringo's early cymbals and his first Ludwig Downbeat kit
Below are photos of Ringo using a 20 inch 4 rivet sizzle cymbal
Ed Sullivan (1964)
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Abbey Road Studios (1965)
Abbey Road Studios (1967)
The above appears to be another 20 inch sizzle cymbal with 4 rivets positioned further in for the edge. It appears to be the same cymbal used during Let It Be (see below).
Two rivets can be seen in this photo.
This 1963 photos shows Ringo using an 18" sizzle minus its rivets