Cymbal thump


Gold Member
So I ordered a used 17" vintage A Zildjian crash off GC's site which arrived yesterday. I threw it on a stand and hit it and heard "thump". It literally didn't sound like a cymbal, there was no crash or ring to it. I inspected it and there was no damage to it at all. It made no sense.

I brought it to GC and initially the guys looked at me like I was nuts when I said I had a dud cymbal. So they too put in on a stand and hit it..and then died in laughter as it had no crash to it.

They were nice enough to give me a full refund as well as a $25 credit for my trouble.

Anyone else ever have a cymbal that just sounded like a round piece of metal? It sounds nuts but it just had zero cymbal qualities to it. I have no idea what the previous owner did to it, but someone damaged the integrity of the metal.


Platinum Member
Perhaps was a dud right out of factory, ordered onlien by previous owner, and that was why its in the 'used' bin at GC.
I've had some stinkers ordering online, but never a total dud.
How disappointing after all that excitement unwrapping and mounting on a stand.


Gold Member
It was very disappointing and then corporate said I'd have to drive to a GC which is about 45 min away in order to dump it.

It was a 60s vintage A Zildjian so I'm not sure it could have been a dud out of the factory..this thing has been somewhere for 40 years. The bottom felt smoother than it should have been, that was the only damage I saw..if that is even damage.

Very hard to explain, but no way was this released from a factory like this. It literally had no pitch, almost no sound at all. I just can't figure out what someone did to it to make it like this. I'm baffled.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
If a finished cymbal is heated - such as, in an oven - it can go dead. It's hard to explain why anyone would do that, and I won't tell you how I know. But I also imagine there'd be some telltale complexion issues.

This is why I tell everyone they need to hear a cymbal before buying it. Even Paistes with their reputation for consistency.



Platinum Member
"Thump" is what you get when you step on a cymbal, turn it inside out, then turn it right-side-in again.


Silver Member
The oven scenario makes sense,I guess it could have permanently altered the
temper of the metal,or possibly it was heated then cooled really quickly?

A few years ago I played an outdoor gig in Florida,really hot late afternoon and at end of first set a squall blew in and dropped really cold rain on to my kit, for about 3 minutes,after it blew over I dried everything with a bar towel and hit my 18 saluda crash and got exactly what the OP said,a thump,like I was hitting a choked cymbal,no crash or overtones. We took a 20 minute break and when I hit the cymbal after that it was back to normal.It was bizzare.No other cymbals on the kit were affected.


Gold Member
Thanks for the replies. I guess someone put it in an oven....I can't even begin to understand why someone would do that. Lesson learned, keep my crashes out of the oven when I bake a pie.. At least GC was good about the whole thing.


Platinum Member
I had a kit that went through a building fire. The cymbals were soft, dead sounding and stayed bent when you hit them. They were also obviously burnt - with shades of black, red and green.

So the oven theory makes sense.


Senior Member
"Thump" is what you get when you step on a cymbal, turn it inside out, then turn it right-side-in again.
When cymbals are hand-hammered they're turned inside out many times. I've had to pop at least a couple of cymbals back to right (cheap purchases), and they were fine. Maybe it was more the "stepping", and not the inside out?


Gold Member
Bringing back an old thread, but I came across a dead cymbal at Guitar Center this week. There's some sustain to it which actually comes across better in the video than in person, but overall it's just a dud.
As bad as the cymbal was in your video, it still had some sustain and tone to it. The one I got was literally like hitting a a frying pan. I think the bigger issue is how these cymbals are being sneaked past whoever buys used gear at GC and being put up for sale. It is clear no one is testing this gear, which is quite concerning.