Let the manufacturer choose them?

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
First off my apologies if this belongs in the gear section please move it if necessary.

I've had two snare drums custom built by different builders (to great effect) in the past few years. They took my verbal wishes and transferred them into instruments that I had been dreaming of sound-wise.

Will the large cymbal companies someday offer this service? I'm thinking Zildjian specifically since their cymbals tend to all sound different from each other. Paiste is very uniform in their production and if they don't make it they don't make it.

Say I wanted to order the sound of Art Blakey or Gene Krupa's cymbal setup as it sounded back in the day. Zildjian could pull from existing stock to replicate that sound as close as possible no?

Would like to have a Zildjian or Sabian rep. here to chime in as well.

Super Phil

Senior Member
Saluda will make whatever you want. How well they pull it off depends on how well you describe what you want, I guess. They will also take the cymbal back and re-work it if you're not happy with it. Good prices too.


Platinum Member
I think Zildjian is too big to ever let that into their business for non-endorsers. Not enough RoI.

Saluda certainly could make something like that, but in my experience they have a unique feel like the major cymbal brands. They don't really sound exactly "like" Z or S or whoever. But that's just my experience.


Gold Member
Sabian's Custom Shop will work with you to make a cymbal to your sonic specifications.They are a pleasure to deal with and outstanding at reproducing cymbals. I am in contact with them now about possibly making a cymbal with the same sonic qualities as the one on Art Blakey Big Band remastered in 2013. To my ear this is the epitome of the classic Jazz ride cymbal sound.


Platinum Member
Totally forgot about the Sabian custom shop! They do indeed do that, though I don't know if they'd hand-select already-made cymbals from their warehouse.


Platinum Member
The big 3, and all the smaller players all make so many ride cymbals, I don't see how one couldn't find the sound they were looking for with such a wide, wide, wide variety of choices.

And even so, how a cymbal sounds on record or from the audience point of view and how it sounds from the drum throne are two very different things.

In addition, the shape and material of the stick tip, and more importantly, touch, can drastically change the sound.

I recall being at an open jam 3 years ago. The guy before me made the ride cymbal sound like a million dollars. It's was just beautiful. I couldn't wait to get up behind the kit, and see what this amazing ride was.

When it was finally my turn, I got behind the kit and realized it was just a ZBT. When I played the same ride, it just went "CLANG, CLANG, CLANG" and sounded terrible.

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Interesting points DED, that's true.
Thanks for the idea of the Sabian custom shop guys, I may go that route eventually.

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Yeah it's a cool idea but I would rather trust my own ears over some random guy from a cymbal company who may or may not give a shit how "perfect" their choice is. I tried to describe a hihat sound to a drum store once (and I was after some ufips) and the hats they sent really missed the mark.

I'm thinking that guy just didn't care but did want my money.