How to stop customers from pawing cymbals?

FoolInTheRain

Senior Member
I live in this camp

in my mind cymbals are meant to be "pawed"
grabbed, felt , flicked, spun, ... whatever

nothing more unnatural , unattractive and awful looking to me than a perfectly lathed, shiny, cymbal with no fingerprints and stick marks

I never in my life understood why someone would clean their cymbals

if you have a good cymbal it is meant to age naturally like wine and will sound better with age and whatever the years lay upon it .

there is no better sounding cymbal than a well made one that spent years in smokey clubs

just one mans opinion

if it is not cracked, the stick stays on top, has a dark soul, has a nice wobble and wash ...i couldn't possibly care less what the finish looked like

I don't judge cymbals with my eyes..... I judge them with my ears
Well said. I feel the same about most of my cymbals. I will admit I like to keep my A Customs polished. It goes both ways, I guess. I don't mind my Meinl's looking they've been gracefully aged for decades in smoky jazz clubs, but I also like my A Customs to look like.....you know, A Customs.
 

gretsch-o-rama

Senior Member
Id definitely say electric fence or shock collar upon entry of store. Or just stare at them while stroking and talking to your shotgun. Should clear things right up!
 

groove1

Silver Member
I don't touch cymbals I don't think I would buy, but if I am interested I will hit it with the side of
my thumb near the edge, tap my fingers on it, and click my large fingernail against the edge
to hear it ring...along with sticks, mallets etc. I use my hands on cymbals when playing live so why wouldn't I want to hear how they sound that way? I understand you are really talking
about the customers who just handle the cymbals when they walk by.....like people who touch all the clothing in a clothing store when they aren't interested in the item. Dunno...
I don't care what the cymbal looks like though, only what it sounds like.
 

barryabko

Senior Member
Yeah, perhaps the NAMM reference wasn't the best.

But to stress my point again, there should be no problem if the store owner just made sure that the cymbals were wiped clean before sending out ;)

Let 'em paw - and let the emplyee clean it up is what I say!
There is no problem with that as long as the person buying it has been informed that the cymbal they are buying has been out on a dealer's sales floor and used for audition and demonstration purposes. With full disclosure from the dealer each person can decide for themselves whether they would consider such a cymbal new or a demo. Personally, I would consider it a demo.
 
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poika

Silver Member
Yeah, perhaps the NAMM reference wasn't the best.

But to stress my point again, there should be no problem if the store owner just made sure that the cymbals were wiped clean before sending out ;)

Let 'em paw - and let the emplyee clean it up is what I say!
 

barryabko

Senior Member
Yes, the state of the cymbal is info that should be available to the buyer, of course.
But, I think the debate is more about what makes a cymbal considered as new/demo/used.

In my opinion, a cymbal is an instrument that needs to be tested before purchase, whenever possible. Testing a product doesn't necessarily make it a demo piece.
I wouldn't be comfortable ordering a new Sweet ride without the chance to hear it first. I would want to audition as many as possible before making a decision, because I know they have good ones and not so good ones.
I don't think my testing out a cymbal for two minutes would anyhow lessen the value of it, or bring it down to the demo cymbal -price category.

Then you might have a cymbal that has been brought on display at NAMM, for instance, where everyone will have a go on it just because they can. That would be considered a demo cymbal in my opinion.

And then you have used, as in a cymbal that has been bought and owned by someone and is being resold. Doesn't matter if the buyer ever played it or not, it can still be "like new", but it is still used.
Yes, under best circumstances a cymbal should be auditioned before the purchase. If a cymbal on display at NAMM would be considered a "demo" why is a cymbal on the display floor at a dealer not considered a demo? Both are touched by multiple people and can likely be hit with a stick hundreds, if not thousands of times. What's the difference? Is it the number of people who have touched it or the number of hits? Who is keeping count of the number of people or hits in the store vs. NAMM? It can't be the amount of time out on display because NAMM is only four days long and most probably a cymbal on a dealer's display will be out longer than that. Where is the line drawn? What is the criteria?
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
Depending on the company I know they hit the cymbal several times before shipping then out.

Zildjians are not virgins.

When I buy online I am aware that I replace picking the infidel cymbal myself with convienience.
 

poika

Silver Member
Yes, the state of the cymbal is info that should be available to the buyer, of course.
But, I think the debate is more about what makes a cymbal considered as new/demo/used.

In my opinion, a cymbal is an instrument that needs to be tested before purchase, whenever possible. Testing a product doesn't necessarily make it a demo piece.
I wouldn't be comfortable ordering a new Sweet ride without the chance to hear it first. I would want to audition as many as possible before making a decision, because I know they have good ones and not so good ones.
I don't think my testing out a cymbal for two minutes would anyhow lessen the value of it, or bring it down to the demo cymbal -price category.

Then you might have a cymbal that has been brought on display at NAMM, for instance, where everyone will have a go on it just because they can. That would be considered a demo cymbal in my opinion.

And then you have used, as in a cymbal that has been bought and owned by someone and is being resold. Doesn't matter if the buyer ever played it or not, it can still be "like new", but it is still used.
 

barryabko

Senior Member
Let's forget the car dealership analogy. It's just confusing the issue.

My point is that the seller of the cymbal should fully disclose the state of the cymbal that is for sale.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Car dealers have "demo" models of cars for people to drive. Most of the time when it comes down to the actual purchase you don't buy the car you just drove for demo, you specify what color, options, etc. you want and they find that specific car for you from an associated dealer or order one from the factory...
I don't know what kind of dealership you're going to but I have never experienced this with my own car, my wife's or going with my mother to buy cars when I was younger. In my experience the customer test drives the car they're going to buy.
 

barryabko

Senior Member
Except all cymbals have their little nuances, this isn't a vacuum cleaner where every single one is going to be the exact same. Musical instruments should be considered more like a car dealership, feel free to test drive but once it leaves the lot its used and you just lost half the value.
Car dealers have "demo" models of cars for people to drive. Most of the time when it comes down to the actual purchase you don't buy the car you just drove for demo, you specify what color, options, etc. you want and they find that specific car for you from an associated dealer or order one from the factory. When the dealer actually sells that car they've been using for demo it is is sold at a larger discount than a new one which reflects the fact that there is some diminishing of value based on the amount of use the demo car has had.

Yes, of course cymbals vary from sample to sample and the more discerning buyers will want to hear the actual cymbal they are buying. If they can go to their local dealer and try various samples on display they will hopefully find one they like and buy it. If they are shopping on line and they can listen to a sound file made by a dealer I don't think that is as good as an in person audition but it is better than just buying a cymbal "blind" and hoping you get a good sample shipped to you.

The point I am trying to make is that an on line dealer should fully disclose the condition of the cymbal they have for sale. Is it:

1 - Brand new in a factory sealed box.
2 - Opened for inspection and / or recording only and then wiped down and packed back in the box waiting for someone to buy it.
3 - Opened and put out on the sales floor for customer "demo" auditions.
4 - Has it been on loan to the store owner's nephew for a year while he's been learning to play drums?
Etc.

I just want full disclosure by the seller.

Some people wouldn't care if the cymbal they are about to buy has been opened, been put out on the sales floor and has been handled and played by a number of customers. Others would prefer to buy a cymbal that has not had as much "hands on" use and is as close to "factory fresh" as possible. With full disclosure by the seller a buyer can make their own informed decision.
 
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kyle

Senior Member
It all depends how the cymbal is described in an on line listing for sale.

If the only handling that the cymbal had was unpacking by a store employee, set up and recorded to make a sound file to post and then afterward wiped down and packed away waiting to be sold - I would consider that to be a "new" cymbal. It should be described in an on line listing as "opened for store inspection and recording only."

If instead of being wiped down and repacked that cymbal was then put out on the display floor of a store and various customers subsequently handled or played it - I would consider that to be a "demo" cymbal. It should be described in an on line listing as "opened for customer demonstration purposes on our sales floor."

In the retail world any item that is opened and put out on display is considered a "demo". A "new" item is one that is in the original factory-sealed box. If it has only been opened for inspection it would be called an "open box" unit.
Except all cymbals have their little nuances, this isn't a vacuum cleaner where every single one is going to be the exact same. Musical instruments should be considered more like a car dealership, feel free to test drive but once it leaves the lot its used and you just lost half the value.
 

barryabko

Senior Member
Well, okay, this kinda makes sense.... But how do you feel about video clips made by the store to hear the cymbal?
Would you rather choose getting a factory box sealed cymbal without hearing it first, if the other option would be for the shop to put up clips so you could compare the cymbals?

Because we all know that cymbals can sound quite different, even if they are the same brand, the same line and the same size.
I bought a pair of hats new last year, from on online shop. I listened through many pairs within the same line and one pair spoke to me more than the rest.

I'd take that option of choosing over factory sealed any day.
It all depends how the cymbal is described in an on line listing for sale.

If the only handling that the cymbal had was unpacking by a store employee, set up and recorded to make a sound file to post and then afterward wiped down and packed away waiting to be sold - I would consider that to be a "new" cymbal. It should be described in an on line listing as "opened for store inspection and recording only."

If instead of being wiped down and repacked that cymbal was then put out on the display floor of a store and various customers subsequently handled or played it - I would consider that to be a "demo" cymbal. It should be described in an on line listing as "opened for customer demonstration purposes on our sales floor."

In the retail world any item that is opened and put out on display is considered a "demo". A "new" item is one that is in the original factory-sealed box. If it has only been opened for inspection it would be called an "open box" unit.
 

poika

Silver Member
If I am making a web purchase of a cymbal that is described as "new" I would expect it to be a brand new in the factory seald box unless stated otherwise on the web page.
Well, okay, this kinda makes sense.... But how do you feel about video clips made by the store to hear the cymbal?
Would you rather choose getting a factory box sealed cymbal without hearing it first, if the other option would be for the shop to put up clips so you could compare the cymbals?

Because we all know that cymbals can sound quite different, even if they are the same brand, the same line and the same size.
I bought a pair of hats new last year, from on online shop. I listened through many pairs within the same line and one pair spoke to me more than the rest.

I'd take that option of choosing over factory sealed any day.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Just guessing since I haven't worked in a music store in 35 odd years, that some 70% of folks coming in are buying with their eyes. Maybe 10% are accomplished musicians who really can discriminate sound quality and work tones out of instruments. So if you are a store owner, what do you do? Cater to the 10% who don't care about fingerprints or the vast majority who expect pristine shiny new stuff for the dollars?

I've never tried it since I'm also in the group here that likes my cymbals natural, but it seems to me that most of the fingerprints are oils and some salts. And before they etch into the finish, it ought to be possible to remove that with some sort of degreaser like IPA (propanol not beer) without cutting oxides or the polishing that true cymbalholics abhor.
 

barryabko

Senior Member
Never tried on an item of clothing before you bought it?
Please let me clarify: Yes, I would certainly want, and expect, to be able to audition cymbals on display in a store to help me make a purchasing decision. I can see in person how much handling or playing each cymbal has had. If I am making a web purchase of a cymbal that is described as "new" I would expect it to be a brand new in the factory seald box unless stated otherwise on the web page.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I have worked in many drum shops, and I've never had much of an issue with this.

Usually, it's just the brilliant finish cymbals that show fingerprints easily.

Unless it was a particularly unpopular sounding cymbal that would sit around long enough to get that finger printed up. In general, cymbals were sold before they got too bad. And I'd generally wipe everything down once a week anyway.

And if something did start looking bad, I'd just take some cymbals polish to it (making sure to use the appropriate polish for the cymbal).

But this was also back when you could sell a cymbals for more than pennies on the dollar.

Given there is no money in selling cymbals anymore, I guess it's no longer worth the effort.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Car dealerships allow people to test out the wares. Plus, part of the job is to polish the products to make them look "new." Drum shops should be the same, if those sorts of things matter to the owner. I imagine a brick and mortar store would lose business if drummers weren't able to handle/test the cymbals.

I bought a couple of new cymbals from Guitar Center years ago (before I knew better than to buy new gear--ugh, what was I thinking?!?!?). The sales associate offered to clean off the fingerprints for me, and I said, "Sure." I believe it was the Paiste cleaning product he used on the Zildjians, but whatever it was, it took the finish right off around the edges, and they looked like carp! Fortunately, I don't care about looks, but dayum, they looked awful. I figured that cleaning the prints off involved wiping it with a fine fiber cloth or something, not stupidly stripping the finish off. Before I sold those cymbals, they were shiny around the bell and inner bow, and not shiny around the edges. They will probably form an uneven patina...
 
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