Cymbal Innovations

SGT_Drummer

Senior Member
I am a drummer for life, no questions about it, but what I really love are cymbals. Big ones, small ones, ones with holes, bent edges, hammered, lathed, and on and on and on! However, I had a brain storm last night about cymbals in general and really have put some thought into this over the last day.

What is the future of cymbals?

I really want to know everyone's thoughts on this. I mean when you look at every cymbal manufacturer they are essentially doing the same thing all around with slight nuances. So what if we started thinking outside the box. We made chinas by basically taking the edge and folding it up, what if we folded it down? There have been combinations and variations of hammered and lathed cymbals. What if you hammered a portion and then lathed a portion in like a pie pattern? Lathe the bell and middle, then hammer the upper and outer portions? We could increase the angle from the bell to the edge. We could experiment with all kinds of cut outs and folding, coating and metallic composition. Yeah people ARE experimenting, but they are still 'in the box' so to speak.

But what I would REALLY like to see is a change in the metal. Lets face it, EVERYONE and thier brother uses Bronze. B8, B10, B12, B20, etc, etc. What if we started moving away from Bronze? We know steel has resonant qualities because there are Steel Snares. What if you made a cymbal from steel and coated it in Bronze instead of some crappy black plastic? Not just steel, there is a whole range of metals to experiment and combine. Tungsten, Teflon, Steel, Iron (probably would be too brittle if its solid iron), Aluminum, Copper, Titanium, etc. I could go on all day with different mixtures and coatings and designs. The evolution of the cymbal has come a LONG way in 100 years, but it seems like we've hit a plateau. We've hit a literal wall of sorts, and for the next wave of innovation I think we should look at the 'other' options.

Like I said, I have put ALOT of thought into this and really wanted to discuss it with everyone. Please let me know your thoughts. This might be a good way to get a new cymbal company started. Lol.
 

spirit

Senior Member
Man- you think deep Dude! I cant imagine what lies ahead for cymbals only one thing I bet--they dont make em with glass ever! (least not normal glass).

I have a set if Zildians including a really, really nice flat ride that cost a fortune- But it sound fantastic for jazz and blues..I also have a set of Sabian B8s that I use on occassion for Rock gigs in Pubs as they suit that music and take a battering fairly well. I know they are cheap compaired to most but they sound ok and to be honest I dont wanna chance an expensive set in some of the places I play in!

You now the type of place, you count your wheels when you park and check them every half hour! Lol
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
I think its already happening regarding different cymbal sounds with some of the new smaller custom cymbal companies experimenting with various alloys and different other metal formulations, shapes and sizes and such for cymbals.

The beauty of what was discovered with the B20 bronze formulation and some of its later alloy B hybrids is the fact you can work with and is doesn't shatter in a millon bits during the cymbal making process when becoming a thin vibrating disc or later when first struck with a stick hard by a player.

The trick with other metals to create news sounds is to perfect individual formulas that can stand up to both the manufacturing process involved and regular normal playing is way I see it. Once that has been "fine tuned" so to speak the possibilty of new sounds knows no limit regarding other metals and formulas to be used for making cymbals of any new strange shape, sound or size.
 

SGT_Drummer

Senior Member
The beauty of what was discovered with the B20 bronze formulation and some of its later alloy B hybrids is the fact you can work with and is doesn't shatter in a millon bits during the cymbal making process when becoming a thin vibrating disc or later when first struck with a stick hard by a player.
wow! i honestly did not know that. now that i think about it i should have lol. but that is definitely a very good point. i could see that being a serious issue with trying to use iron as it can be a very brittle substance when compared to other metals.

hrmm... what if they were to take iron or steel, then coat it with the b20 bronze then intentionally break the iron or steel using the b20 to hold the iron or steel in the casing. hrmm.. i think that might satisfy my craving for cymbal that sounds like glass breaking very slowly lol.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
I am a drummer for life, no questions about it, but what I really love are cymbals. Big ones, small ones, ones with holes, bent edges, hammered, lathed, and on and on and on! However, I had a brain storm last night about cymbals in general and really have put some thought into this over the last day.

What is the future of cymbals?

I really want to know everyone's thoughts on this. I mean when you look at every cymbal manufacturer they are essentially doing the same thing all around with slight nuances. So what if we started thinking outside the box. We made chinas by basically taking the edge and folding it up, what if we folded it down?
Already done by Sabian.

There have been combinations and variations of hammered and lathed cymbals. What if you hammered a portion and then lathed a portion in like a pie pattern?
Doesn't make much sense considering the physics of a cymbal.

Lathe the bell and middle, then hammer the upper and outer portions?
Done by many cymbalsmiths.

We could increase the angle from the bell to the edge.
Done ages ago. Vintage Zildjians in general have a higher profile than modern cymbals.

We could experiment with all kinds of cut outs and folding, coating and metallic composition. Yeah people ARE experimenting, but they are still 'in the box' so to speak.
Do check out some of these websites:
http://www.rarevintagecymbals.com/Bettis Custom.php
http://johancymbals.fr.nf/

But what I would REALLY like to see is a change in the metal. Lets face it, EVERYONE and thier brother uses Bronze. B8, B10, B12, B20, etc, etc. What if we started moving away from Bronze? We know steel has resonant qualities because there are Steel Snares. What if you made a cymbal from steel and coated it in Bronze instead of some crappy black plastic? Not just steel, there is a whole range of metals to experiment and combine. Tungsten, Teflon, Steel, Iron (probably would be too brittle if its solid iron), Aluminum, Copper, Titanium, etc. I could go on all day with different mixtures and coatings and designs.
Do check out some of these websites too:
http://www.rarevintagecymbals.com/Steve Hubback.php
http://www.hammerax.com/home.htm
http://www.factorymetalpercussion.com/

Got your imagination running yet?
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I think the future lies in ice cymbals:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix_11UeGwYY


No, seriously, I have no doubt that cymbal makers constantly experiment with different alloys and materials. As for what (if anything) will eventually replace bronze, who knows. It might not even be metal, for all we know, just like drum heads are no longer made from animal skin.
 

SGT_Drummer

Senior Member
I think the future lies in ice cymbals:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix_11UeGwYY


No, seriously, I have no doubt that cymbal makers constantly experiment with different alloys and materials. As for what (if anything) will eventually replace bronze, who knows. It might not even be metal, for all we know, just like drum heads are no longer made from animal skin.
yeah thats a very good point. i need to get to a normal computer so i can check out that video. i've heard alot about it just haven't had a chance to look at it yet.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If you can make a cymbal that sounds more musical than B20 bronze and it's cousins, that possess all the correct properties required for the manufacturing and playing of the cymbals, while still remaining cost effective enough to be competitive....you'll go down in history. On one hand I congratulate you for thinking outside the norm, but on the other hand... I'm pretty sure metallurgists throughout millenia arrived at the conclusion that B20 bronze and it's cousins had it all, and that's why they're here today. I'm sure many experiments were made with different alloys already. Sure you could maybe get a better sound from a pure silver cymbal, but who could afford it?
 
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