new crash sound vs used crash sound

bud7h4

Silver Member
Bought a new K Custom Dark 17 and almost returned it because it wasn't opening up as nicely as my 16 and 18 (the other two would "crash" with much lighter hits). But after playing it only a few days it now opens up like the others. Is this common, especially after such a short time?
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Bought a new K Custom Dark 17 and almost returned it because it wasn't opening up as nicely as my 16 and 18 (the other two would "crash" with much lighter hits). But after playing it only a few days it now opens up like the others. Is this common, especially after such a short time?
I have heard people say that about vintage crashes, mostly having to do with the discoloration of the bronze (and supposed changes to the metal) along with decades of compacting the molecules with strikes. But I've never heard it about a new cymbal. I would guess that you're just figuring out how THAT cymbal can best be played.

Pete
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think it's definitely a thing with brand new cymbals, the initial settle in time. I have an Xist (Agop) ride that was a bit harsh new, now it's settled in nicely. But theseer2 brings up a valid point too. I am not the one to judge if my perceptions are consistent. If you'd ask me, I'd say the cymbal got dirty, and settled in after vibrating for a few months. I wouldn't say it's my perceptions that falsely told me that the cymbal mellowed, but I could be wrong.

From my experience (or botched perceptions) I'm sticking with the notion that all brand new cymbals have 1 big change in the first few months, (assuming they are played enough) then stay there...not counting the dirt factor, or lack of, on the cymbal, as it relates to it's tone. When I clean a cymbal, it's brighter. I think we've all experienced that. That alone proves dirt will mellow a cymbal. Which makes sense and adds up to me. But the initial change is still a thing as far as I can tell.
 
Bought a new K Custom Dark 17 and almost returned it because it wasn't opening up as nicely as my 16 and 18 (the other two would "crash" with much lighter hits). But after playing it only a few days it now opens up like the others. Is this common, especially after such a short time?
Note that there can be a lot of variations with Zildjian cymbals of the same model. I have a Ping Ride that's a better crash than a ride due to how thin it is. And my 19" K Custom Dark crash was noticeably lower pitched than my 20" K Custom Dark Ride. And another K Custom Dark ride in the store sounded borderline trashy while mine was just sweet.

Point being, I always try a bunch of different cymbals and buy them based on the sound I'm looking for and not what the label says.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Like new speakers, my opinion and observance: its not the object that get "broken in" its you mind/ear perception thats getting broken in.
I think it's both. And it can be verified by recordings of the cymbal when new, and after it's broken in.
 

theseer2

Junior Member
I think it's both. And it can be verified by recordings of the cymbal when new, and after it's broken in.
Got any? I do know they they sound different over time, but how long? Is that considered broken in? Or just aging -absorbing and tarnishing?
Are you saying you can play a cymbal hitting it 100 times a day over a week and it will sound different in a recording?
 
I've always felt that brand new cymbals that I've owned seemed to open up better and were more responsive after playing them for a while. Most of the cymbals I have now I bought used so they play/feel the same.
 

theseer2

Junior Member
Maybe we should try sending 120 volts or 240 even through our cymbals and see if they sound different afterwards? :D
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
There´s a story about Elvin Jones visiting Gretsch HQ whenever he needed new cymbals (Gretsch imported the turkish Ks) and bashing them hard (the cymbals, not Gretsch :)) for about an hour. After that he could tell whether a cymbal was to his liking or not.

I have my personal theory: If you play a cymbal, you try to excite the frequencies you like (by the way you strike it, the sticks you use etc.) - you want it to sound good after all. After some time, the cymbal will be "played in" enough to accentuate those frequencies by itself. Or maybe it´s just voodoo...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Maybe we should try sending 120 volts or 240 even through our cymbals and see if they sound different afterwards? :D
Ha ha. I can appreciate this. I'm going to say no they wouldn't sound different afterwards. If they did sound different, I wouldn't get a very good feeling about the copper wiring in all our homes.

If you guys want to contribute, I will get some representative samples of all the major manufacturers, I'll record them new, bash them for like 5 hours each, then re- record them 2 weeks later. We will put this subject to rest. I just need your money. It will be worth it if everyone contributes say 20 bones. My paypal is larry@aceelectric.biz. The sooner you pony up, the sooner we will have an actual answer with recorded proof.
 
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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Like new speakers, my opinion and observance: its not the object that get "broken in" its you mind/ear perception thats getting broken in.
I think I lean this way. If the cymbals bend, crack, or you simply bash them--sure. That'll change them sonically. But how much can normal vibration change them? Molecules moving around? I mean, I get it, but how much? I don't know though. I'm far from an expert.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
This dispute goes on in audio circles, too. Does the sound of a speaker change over time? Undoubtedly it does, because it is made from very soft materials driven by electrical current to move back and forth from 40 times per second up to 20,000 times per second (in theory). Wear and tear takes its toll.

How long does it take repeated strikes to change the molecular structure of a cymbal? Nobody knows. One thing that is known, though, is that human "auditory memory" is only a few seconds long. (Not to be confused with the auditory memory that allows us to recognize - not remember - voices, etc.) Our ears (ie, our brain), however, adjust themselves to audio input to allow us to hear more of what we want to hear over repeated exposure. IE, we learn to "tune out" audio qualities that we find objectionable. Just don't tell your wife!

(I thought that I had this study bookmarked, but I can't find it. It was on one of the stereo forums.)

GeeDeeEmm
 
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theseer2

Junior Member
I think I lean this way. If the cymbals bend, crack, or you simply bash them--sure. That'll change them sonically. But how much can normal vibration change them? Molecules moving around? I mean, I get it, but how much? I don't know though. I'm far from an expert.
A whole new meaning to "Hand Hammering" bash them to death with the buttend of the stick to get em to sound the way you want!
 

One Up One Down

Senior Member
I think it's both. And it can be verified by recordings of the cymbal when new, and after it's broken in.
And do some analysis on them on the computer, like calculate the fourier transform and see if the frequency profile has changed. (I actually did this a little while ago to see how the sounds from my bass drum and snare drum looked.) 🤓
 

theseer2

Junior Member
This dispute goes on in audio circles, too. Does the sound of a speaker change over time? Undoubtedly it does, because it is made from very soft materials driven by electrical current to move back and forth from 40 times per second up to 20,000 times per second (in theory). Wear and tear takes its toll.

How long does it take repeated strikes to change the molecular structure of a cymbal? Nobody knows. One thing that is known, though, is that human "auditory memory" is only a few seconds long. (Not to be confused with the auditory memory that allows us to recognize - not remember - voices, etc.) Our ears, however, adjust themselves to audio input to allow us to hear more of what we want to hear over repeated exposure. IE, we learn to "tune out" audio qualities that we find objectionable. Just don't tell your wife!

(I thought that I had this study bookmarked, but I can't find it. It was on one of the stereo forums.)

GeeDeeEmm

On the Steve Hoffman forums you had people saying you can break in speaker wires, and you can polarize the copper in a certain direction to make it sound better and dont dare reverse the ends.

Unless were paying absolute attention, most of the time we are not hearing sounds, we are perceiving the sound with bias.

Prime example. I've been paying a song on a record that always ships at a certain point since I was 13. One time I played that same song ripped from a CD and while I'm surfing the net, I "heard" that same skip in the same spot. Bizarre!

As for the wife, same thing, I've heard it all before, but like modern music, it gets worse and worse over the years.
 
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