[Selecting & buying second hand cymbals & cymbal repair by Waywood Music]

Selecting & Buying Second-Hand Cymbals


[21-inch Wuhan chinese cymbal]When buying cymbals, always AIM for the BEST THAT YOU CAN AFFORD, even if it means saving-up that little bit longer. It is worth the wait.  A cheap cymbal very rarely sounds like an expensive cymbal!

Use the following as a guide to help select the best cymbal for you:

  1. Aim for a well established make.
  2. Research the models available and what the reviewers say about them.
  3. Cymbals come in an even greater variety of sizes and types than drums! Think about the type of music you will be playing:
  4. Read the adverts in the music and drumming press and if you choose to view, take someone with you who knows what they're looking for.
  5. Listen to the cymbal. Is it what you're after? Compare it with what you already have. Does it complement or fight against the sound of the other cymbals? Remember that different sounding cymbals CAN BE A POSITIVE BENEFIT to your sound and increase your flexibility.
  6. Look for signs of extensive or deep corrosion.
  7. Check around the central hole for signs of 'key-holing' i.e., the hole is oval or distorted due to wear arising from metal-to-metal contact. This is especially prevalent on top hi-hat cymbals and represents an increased risk of splitting or cracking around the bell, especially in smaller, thinner cymbals.
  8. Look for signs of abuse such as distortion, chipping, cracks and repairs. Listen for buzzes and rattles which may indicate problems such as fine cracks at the edge, bow or bell.
  9. All of the major manufacturers 'stamp' their name into the metal of the cymbal. Check that this is present to show that the cymbal really is what is being advertised. Select the thumbnail below for an example.


[Photograph of Zildjian logo stamped into cymbal]

Zildjian Logo Stamped into Cymbal (Click on image to enlarge)

Never be afraid to ask the owner questions about the history of their cymbals and why they are selling them.

DON'T think that you MUST buy cymbals of the same make or type. There are so many excellent cymbals out there. Not all are made by the top names. So there is plenty of opportunity to buy exactly the cymbal set that you want.


If YOU DO FIND A CRACK IN ONE OF YOUR CYMBALS, CAREFULLY drill a small hole at the end of the crack nearest the bell if the crack radiates from edge towards the middle. If the crack is PARALLEL TO THE EDGE, drill a hole at BOTH ends. Although this will extend the life of the cymbal, its days are numbered!


[Repairing a cracked cymbal image]

Repairing a Cracked Cymbal




You may like to Contact Us with specific Questions.

Alternatively, you may like to contact the Cymbal Manufacturers directly, or the Music Press to access reviews and 'road tests' of the equipment you're looking for.


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