Selecting & Buying Second-Hand Cymbals
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
- Aim for a well established make.
- Research the models available and what the reviewers say
- Cymbals come in an even greater variety of sizes and types
than drums! Think about the type of music you will be
- Smaller, thinner cymbals are quieter, 'speak' (respond) and
decay more quickly than their heavier relatives, especially with
lighter sticks, multi-rods or brushes.
- Larger diameter cymbals are generally lower pitched, louder
and have longer sustain.
- Heavier cymbals tend to ring more, are louder and decay more
slowly. Just to confuse things further, different manufacturers
have their own names and sub-types of the three main categories;
'crash', 'ride' and 'effects' cymbals.
- Read the adverts in the music and drumming press and if you
choose to view, take someone with you who knows what they're
- 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
- Look for signs of extensive or deep corrosion.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
REPAIRING A CRACKED
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
Repairing a Cracked Cymbal
The best advice is DON'T CRACK YOUR CYMBALS IN THE
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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