Generally speaking, it's widely considered that the old Zildjian A or K rides from the 40's and 50's are the most sought-after cymbals of all time.
Personally, even though I'm a Saluda endorser, my favorite ride of all time is the one cymbal that I didn't trade to get my new Saludas: my 1963 20" Zildjian A ride that was my dad's. Part of the sound of my current Saluda 20" Mist-X Ride was patterned after that cymbal.
it's a toss up for me...currently i play a 22 k custom dark, but i have always been in love with the versitility of a 21 a sweet ride ...you can crash on it for as long as you want and go right back to the bell without losing any response from it.
paiste makes a line called dark energy, and the 22" mark 1 ride is quite nice. it's dark and musical, but LOUD. and the 22" sabain david garabaldi ride is sweet too, nice crashing and riding. very controllable.
although i used a z custom 20in ( i dont care what u say it cuts threw like no ones buisness ) if i wasnt in the band im in now i would be playin a zildjian 20in k custom dark ride.
its to sexy to describe
I've played many over the past 30 years. Started on an old Zildjian 24" that was just huge! That cymbal belongs to my father and I'm sure I will inherit it at some point.
Ones that are near and dear to my heart-
Zildjian 20" K Custom Medium
20" A custom
Sabian Andre Ceccarelli 20"
But I am currently using two that really blow my mind- I alternate between them depending on the setting. In low volume rooms I use a Meinl 20" Byzance dry which has tons of stick definition and a real clean bell, then my current favorite is a 21" Meinl Byzance Medium Ride. Real nice and shimmery and has great definition as both a ride and a big explosive crash.
20" K Heavy, 22" K Custom Dark, or this crazy 22" Paiste prototype I have for rock... the 20" K Heavy is the most versatile ride I have ever owned, I really can use it for swing one night and metal the next...
i just got my favorite ride a couple weeks ago, the sabian 21" hh raw-bell dry ride. im in a metal band and it can cut through or mix into the sound, i can switch sticks and it becomes a beautiful jazz or blues ride. best thing ive ever heard and the bell is killer.