Does the cymbal stand make a difference in the cymbal's sound?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Disclaimer: I didn't know where to put this. It could go into the cymbal discussion or the "other gear" board. I just put it here, and we will see where it ends up!

Ok, so I was just watching an interview with Simon Phillips. He said that with one of his kits that he uses flat-base stands. He basically said that because they are slightly less stable and tend to "wobble" a little more than the double-braced, heavy-duty stands that the cymbals sound better. I've never heard of this or even thought about it. I'll be the first to admit that I've never been able to tell a difference in the sounds of cymbals no matter what kind of stands they were mounted on; however, I'll also admit that I never bothered paying attention.

Anyone else notice this?

Have you ever bought stands by how they make your cymbals sound as opposed to just worrying about stability?

Those of you that have bought lighter cymbal stands and/or those Yamaha super-lightweight stands...do your cymbals sound different now? Have you noticed anything?

Any other thoughts?
 

MrTheOne

Member
I seem to remember Jojo Mayer saying something similar in an interview. Light-weight stand, less mass, allows the cymbal to vibrate more freely and sound fuller.
Never tried it myself, but from what I’ve read about the idea it’s negligible. Especially in mic’d situations I would think.
But maybe I’m wrong. I’d be interested in more information on this.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I haven't noticed any difference between heavy, medium or flat base stands.
If he's using Tama flat base stands, I believe the threaded post the cymbal goes on may be 6mm, instead of 8mm, and that will make a little difference in the amount of swing the cymbal has. The felts on those stands are smaller also.

I use CUSHPads by Sonall Percussion, and my cymbals on any stand sounds EXACTLY the same as if I was just holding it up at the hole with my finger.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I can state that I found ( to my ear) a difference in the sound of my cymbals when I switched from double/single braced tripod cymbal stands to flat base ultralight stands . I think my cymbals have more shimmer and articulation and sustain with the flat base stands compared to the double or single brace tripod stands .

I found the Tama Classic series with the solid ( not hollow) upper sections to be my favourite cymbal stands , followed closely by the Canopus Jeff Hamilton stands .
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I don't think it matters. Between the rubber feet, the nylon inserts, the plastic sleeve, and the felts, I think ALL cymbal stands are already dead as hell. I feel like this is a non-issue.

In the case of SP and the wobbling stand, perhaps the wobble has something to do with it sounding better, not the stand itself. Maybe a cymbal hanging from a rope would sound even better than the wobbling stand. I really don't think it's the stand itself.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I have noticed a distinct difference in the cymbals sound between my old Tama Titan Stilt stands with counterweights, to those without counterweights, to a standard Tama Roadpro stand and also to a Gibraltar flat based stand. With that said, the flat based stands give the cymbals the most body and fullness and have the most natural sustain. Standard Roadpro stands were also quite good with almost no distinct difference between it and the flat based stand. The Titan stilt without counterweight began to slightly choke the cymbal and was noticable between it and a newer Roadpro stand. The stilt with counterweight took out a lot of body and low end if the cymbal. It almost made me sell the cymbal because it was so bad. It was choked, flat sounding and overall ugly.

This was only tested with a 16" Sabian HH Thin crash. I haven't noticed I'll effects on larger cymbals like 18-20" crashes or heavy ride cymbals.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I have noticed a distinct difference in the cymbals sound between my old Tama Titan Stilt stands with counterweights, to those without counterweights, to a standard Tama Roadpro stand and also to a Gibraltar flat based stand. With that said, the flat based stands give the cymbals the most body and fullness and have the most natural sustain. Standard Roadpro stands were also quite good with almost no distinct difference between it and the flat based stand. The Titan stilt without counterweight began to slightly choke the cymbal and was noticable between it and a newer Roadpro stand. The stilt with counterweight took out a lot of body and low end if the cymbal. It almost made me sell the cymbal because it was so bad. It was choked, flat sounding and overall ugly.

This was only tested with a 16" Sabian HH Thin crash. I haven't noticed I'll effects on larger cymbals like 18-20" crashes or heavy ride cymbals.
It seems that the counterweights make a difference. But that seems directly related to how the stands are "weighted" into the floor, does that make sense? Is it the stand, or how it's "braced" to the floor (with the weight)??
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I have noticed a distinct difference in the cymbals sound between my old Tama Titan Stilt stands with counterweights, to those without counterweights, to a standard Tama Roadpro stand and also to a Gibraltar flat based stand. With that said, the flat based stands give the cymbals the most body and fullness and have the most natural sustain. Standard Roadpro stands were also quite good with almost no distinct difference between it and the flat based stand. The Titan stilt without counterweight began to slightly choke the cymbal and took out a lot of body and low end if the cymbal while the Stilt with counterweight almost made me sell the cymbal. It was choked, flat sounding and overall ugly sounding.
This reflects my own shower thinking. Absorption of the cymbal vibration is based on both the resonant frequency and mass of the stand compared to that of the cymbal. Since the material the stand is made out is included in the resonant frequency and mass, I'm not including it although it is a factor. I'm thinking that, in the case of a stand with a resonant frequency close to the cymbal frequency, the larger the mass of the stand, the more absorption of the cymbals vibration (ie energy).

And even if you use plastic/rubber grommets and felts, there is still some transmission of those vibrations (from the cymbal to the stand), especially if the felts are old and hard from being compressed over time.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Wouldn't it ALL depend on the cymbal felts? And if a stand "moves or wobbles" slightly, wouldn't that actually decrease sustain and vibration?
Right. "Coupling" is another factor. Loose coupling between the base and the stand, and between the cymbal and the mount (via rubber grommet and felt) lower the transfer of vibration/energy. Another factor is the configuration of the stand like how long is the overall "path" to permanent fixture (aka floor or drum riser). Cymbals mounted on boom stands with the boom at a right angle (what many of us use to get maximum adjustment ease) unfortunately add to that path length, and change the resonant frequency of the stand.

EDIT: And as others have said, nylon inserts in the telescoping sections of a stand offer a form of coupling.
 

Jhostetler

Senior Member
I would imagine that lighter stands also affect the sound indirectly due to how they can affect they way the stick strikes the cymbal. I notice this with my large jazz rides on a small flat leg stand. A smaller stand will wobble and will provide some "give" when the cymbal is struck. So the stick will be in slightly longer contact with the cymbal compared to a stiff stand which will provide more of a rebound. To my ears this extended contact darkens the sound whereas a heavier stand will "brighten" the cymbal. This of course is also only my own conjecture and should be taken with a grain of salt.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
In most cases, not drastically. It does have an effect, but it's nothing anyone notices unless they're being weird.

However, the type, size, thickness and material of the cymbal "felt" and sleeve all make a very big difference. As does the room, stick/tip you use, and the way you hit and where... But I digress.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
When I saw the video of Peter Erskine talking about DW (or Yamaha) making an old style cymbal stand for him, with him claiming it allows the cymbals to breathe (or something like that), I thought BS. But I respect Erskine and figured there must be something to it.

The physical mechanics of the transfer of energy to the stand from the cymbal tells me that the stand is producing sympathetic vibrations and transferring this back the the cymbal. A contamination of the cymbal’s sound, IMO.

/flamesuit-on
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I have noticed that my ride cymbal feels different on a long boom compared to a straight stand or short boom. There is some flex up and down which can be out of sync with fast notes, making some notes louder and others softer. Also affects the rebound off the cymbal. I discovered this playing jazz ride patterns on someone’s kit - the fast swing pattern notes were harder to play evenly.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The physical mechanics of the transfer of energy to the stand from the cymbal tells me that the stand is producing sympathetic vibrations and transferring this back the the cymbal. A contamination of the cymbal’s sound, IMO.
This sounds good, but I still am not sure. If one hits a stand it sounds pretty dead and somewhat quiet. I can't imagine it having any effect over the livelier, louder cymbal. Not to mention we hit the cymbal. Is the hit the same between stands? That will have significantly more effect than a stand.

I think this might be the auditory equivalent of the butt dyno. Just as this new air filter makes my car so much faster, this stand makes my cymbal so much more musical.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I really wonder about this. If this were the case, crank down the cymbals wing nuts to insure the stand moves with the cymbal, or remove the bottom felt, again, to insure a more monolithic meeting. I remember those spring mounts that guaranteed the cymbal moved without movement of the stand. I will respect these pros opinion, but it all falls apart when one uses a rack.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
If one hits a stand it sounds pretty dead and somewhat quiet. I can't imagine it having any effect over the livelier, louder cymbal.
My guess is that the stand is reflecting (mutating?) lower-frequency vibrations, and it’s not responding to any single impact.

I also think Watso is correct about the felts.

When I record & mix my little ditties, all this nuance is masked by the other instruments. (The one thing I do adjust for on set is the sympathetic vibrations of the toms, especially from my bass drum.)
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So getting down to the science...I think most would agree that tom isolation via ISO mounts increases sustain.

With cymbals, are we saying that a more "grounded" stand sounds better with cymbals than an ISO type mounting for cymbals?

That's what it seems like is being stated, but I'm not sure.

Because if that is the case, it doesn't add up to me.

My first thought, I would think cymbal mount isolation, like tom mount isolation, would be preferable, but I never experimented with it.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I also think Watso is correct about the felts.
I agree. It's the one thing that touches the cymbal. It must have some effect.


When I record & mix my little ditties, all this nuance is masked by the other instruments. (The one thing I do adjust for on set is the sympathetic vibrations of the toms, especially from my bass drum.)
Is this something you can test with that fancy recording equipment? Like do a straight stand vs boom stand vs hanging from a string vs tip of the finger vs you get the idea. Is this something that can be seen in the soundwave if all other factors are equal? Or mic the stand and see if it does anything when the cymbal is hit. I dunno. I think this is an answerable question.
 
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