Grams per inch

lefty2

Platinum Member
Is there any correlation in grams per inch with cymbals? I have a 16” HH med thin and a 18 med thin. The 18 sounds like a much heavier model than the 16 like it's a 18”heavy and a 16”med thin. The 16 weighs 69 grams per inch and the 18 weighs 79 grams per inch. If I got an 18 at 69 grams per inch like the 16 it would weigh 1242 grams. Is there any thoughts on this?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I never thought about it in those terms, more like gram ranges for size and type. Figuring out grams per inch seems an unnecessary step-- and it doesn't translate across sizes:

90g/inch @ 18" = medium ride, @20" = jazz ride, @22" = extra light jazz ride or crash
55g/inch @ 16" = thin crash, @ 18" = extreme paper thin, @ 20" = absurdly thin, @ 22" = unheard of?

Or a 21" Zildjian Rock Ride is ~ 150g/inch. A 6" splash would be 900g (they're normally ~100 or less-- ~16g/inch)
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Look at 2 14 inch high hats. Both 14 , 2 different gram weights. I see no correlation
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
An odd but interesting question. Kind of like I wonder about snare sizes. I mean a 5x14 equals 70 but it's NOT square inches and I don't think there's such a thing as round inches. But I do wonder how that 5x14 would compare sound wise to a 4.5x15 which equals 67.5. Would the 2.5 (inches) make a sonic difference. I mean we're only talking really about movement of air. Right?
 
Don't know but here's a lot of data if you want to check. :) http://black.net.nz/avedis/avedis-prices.html
Look at 2 14 inch high hats. Both 14 , 2 different gram weights. I see no correlation
Variation does not mean that there is no correlation. And of course correlation does not mean that there is dependence:
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An odd but interesting question. Kind of like I wonder about snare sizes. I mean a 5x14 equals 70 but it's NOT square inches and I don't think there's such a thing as round inches. But I do wonder how that 5x14 would compare sound wise to a 4.5x15 which equals 67.5. Would the 2.5 (inches) make a sonic difference. I mean we're only talking really about movement of air. Right?
Are you talking about volume / cubic inches? The volume is 5x7²x3.14.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Look at 2 14 inch high hats. Both 14 , 2 different gram weights. I see no correlation
I’m talking in terms of sound. Does it sound thin at this many grams per inch does it sound heavy at this many grams per inch and so on. High hats are meant to be one heavier than the other generally speaking.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
An odd but interesting question. Kind of like I wonder about snare sizes. I mean a 5x14 equals 70 but it's NOT square inches and I don't think there's such a thing as round inches. But I do wonder how that 5x14 would compare sound wise to a 4.5x15 which equals 67.5. Would the 2.5 (inches) make a sonic difference. I mean we're only talking really about movement of air. Right?
that would be the cubic inches of a column. The movement of an amount of air. Like a flute is higher pitched than a trombone. Look up volume of a cube. V=Bh or V=πr2h
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I've often wondered the same thing, if there is a range that promotes specific sounds. I dont think so. Two identical weight cymbals can sound completely different because of bronze type, hammering, and lathing.

As for drum volume, that doesnt matter either. Two drums can have the same volume but have different dimensions.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've often wondered the same thing, if there is a range that promotes specific sounds. I dont think so. Two identical weight cymbals can sound completely different because of bronze type, hammering, and lathing.

I would agree, though I'm no expert in the craftsmanship of cymbals. It seems logical, however, that alloy, hammering, and even finish would determine a cymbal's voice to a greater extent than weight exclusively. We know from previous discussions that alloy composition is rarely consistent. For instance, analyze, from a chemical standpoint, two identical cymbals marketed as B20, and you might find that one is B19 and the other is B16. There are too many variables at work in a cymbal to trace its identity to a single spec.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Using inches, multiply the radius squared times pi, times the height of the drum.

(to determine how many cubic inches is contained within a certain sized cylinder)
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
I would agree, though I'm no expert in the craftsmanship of cymbals. It seems logical, however, that alloy, hammering, and even finish would determine a cymbal's voice to a greater extent than weight exclusively. We know from previous discussions that alloy composition is rarely consistent. For instance, analyze, from a chemical standpoint, two identical cymbals marketed as B20, and you might find that one is B19 and the other is B16. There are too many variables at work in a cymbal to trace its identity to a single spec.

I think weight x diameter is the best heuristic for a single variable that defines a cymbal’s sound.

Zildian’s Earth Ride and Sabian’s AA Raw Ride give us the perfect quasi-experiment in this regard: both cymbals are B20 and lack hammering and lathing, yet they vary by about 1000 grams at the same diameters. Both are completely different in sound and application.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I would agree, though I'm no expert in the craftsmanship of cymbals. It seems logical, however, that alloy, hammering, and even finish would determine a cymbal's voice to a greater extent than weight exclusively. We know from previous discussions that alloy composition is rarely consistent. For instance, analyze, from a chemical standpoint, two identical cymbals marketed as B20, and you might find that one is B19 and the other is B16. There are too many variables at work in a cymbal to trace its identity to a single spec.
That's understandable I'm looking at identical cymbals though, same alloy same model same hammering to a degree anyway. Just lighter in weight to produce a thinner crash sound.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
That's understandable I'm looking at identical cymbals though, same alloy same model same hammering to a degree anyway. Just lighter in weight to produce a thinner crash sound.

Got it. I think the significance of the calculation might be more theoretical than practical, however, as two identical weights and diameters could still produce different sounds and feels. Cymbals can be a little mysterious in that regard.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I think weight x diameter is the best heuristic for a single variable that defines a cymbal’s sound.

Zildian’s Earth Ride and Sabian’s AA Raw Ride give us the perfect quasi-experiment in this regard: both cymbals are B20 and lack hammering and lathing, yet they vary by about 1000 grams at the same diameters. Both are completely different in sound and application.

Weight certainly has tonal impacts. A heavier cymbal will generally have a higher voice than a thinner one.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
Is that fact depressing?

I suppose it’s disappointing in a way. I find this topic interesting and would like to go a little further with the discussion.

Obviously, there’s no requirement to respond or contribute in any other way than you’d like, but I think you can do better than that.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I suppose it’s disappointing in a way. I find this topic interesting and would like to go a little further with the discussion.

Obviously, there’s no requirement to respond or contribute in any other way than you’d like, but I think you can do better than that.

Ha! I guess I'm not feeling very encyclopedic tonight. Please excuse my misleading brevity, which isn't intended as an impertinence at all. To enlarge upon your point regarding weight, I'm not surprised that glaring differences would be detected in two cymbals of the same diameter that exhibit a weight departure of 1000 grams. That's why an 18" Rock Crash, which is fairly heavy, is in a higher tonal range than an 18" Paper Thin Crash, which is comparatively light. The two might have identical specs otherwise, but their respective weights assign them dramatically distinct identities.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
Ha! I guess I'm not feeling very encyclopedic tonight. Please excuse my misleading brevity, which isn't intended as an impertinence at all. To enlarge upon your point regarding weight, I'm not surprised that glaring differences would be detected in two cymbals of the same diameter that exhibit a weight departure of 1000 grams. That's why an 18" Rock Crash, which is fairly heavy, is in a higher tonal range than an 18" Paper Thin Crash, which is comparatively light. The two might have identical specs otherwise, but their respective weights assign them dramatically distinct identities.

I appreciate you (and anyone else in this forum, for that matter) responding, but you’re missing my point. You’re basically restating what I’ve said already. What I was and am responding to was this:

...It seems logical, however, that alloy, hammering, and even finish would determine a cymbal's voice to a greater extent than weight exclusively.

I disagree. Given a 20” cymbal, if you only knew either the alloy, hammering, finish or weight, the weight would absolutely be the most informative data point with regards to sound.
 
I disagree. Given a 20” cymbal, if you only knew either the alloy, hammering, finish or weight, the weight would absolutely be the most informative data point with regards to sound.
You're probably right - when buying online, you know about the alloy and finish by knowing the series / looking at the pictures, though. The size of the bell is also somewhat indicative but quantifying the hammering and profile seems too tricky / complicated.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I disagree. Given a 20” cymbal, if you only knew either the alloy, hammering, finish or weight, the weight would absolutely be the most informative data point with regards to sound.

I acknowledge your point, though weight (alone) is not a metric that would shape my decision to attain (or decline) a cymbal. Alloy, hammering, and finish are very significant elements. A Zildjian K Constantinople that weighs 1200 grams would sound nothing like an A Custom of the same weight. It's for that reason that I see little value in isolating cymbal specs -- or drum specs, for that matter.
 
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