How durable are thin cymbals?

Drewbrew

Member
Im sure there is already a thread about this but i have limited internet access. Anyway i have been looking at several cymbals like the paiste thin traditional ride and the zildjian k constantinople rides and was wondering due to their weight how durable are they really? I ask because im really digging the sound and considering buying one but i dont wanna drop $400+ dollars on a cymbal that will break after 2 or three months of heavy use. My cymbals get used quite often and im in no way a basher but i do play my cymbals with a pretty average amount of force. Any replies will be much appreciated
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Usually a thin ride is going to hold up ;fine unless you constantly crash ride on it. It's mostly with thin crashes that you have to be more careful to not over play them.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Playing with proper technique should alleviate any concerns about breaking these cymbals.These rides are not made for extremely loud music, you would be looking more at low to moderately loud music.

if you are looking for something to use more as a crash ride, why don;t you take a look at the Paiste 2002 ride or 2002 Mediums - these are excellent sound files on Paiste's website that will give you an idea about these. You can also check out Youtube videos as well.
 

Megafones

Junior Member
"In no way a basher" sorry that one got me good.

The thin and medium thin cymbals aren't really designed for say metal drumming or anything with constant "bashing" on the crashes. It's more low key stuff, jazz, blues, bebop, soft rock, that kind of stuff, used more as an effect rather than part of the main beat or groove. That's why they'll usually have such a great attack and sustain to really contrast from whatever else your working with, while the heavy duty cymabals will work best when you're really working into them.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
..... how durable are they really? ....digging the sound and considering buying one but i dont wanna drop $400+ dollars on a cymbal that will break after 2 or three months of heavy use .....average amount of force.
I think you should stay away from thin cymbals. A good quality cymbal should last you a lifetime. I have some cymbals that are 30 years old, and they'll go another 30, easy. If you're breaking cymbals after 2 or 3 months, not good.​
I don't know your def. of "average amount of force", but just the fact that you're asking this is kinda a red flag.​
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
I think you should stay away from thin cymbals. A good quality cymbal should last you a lifetime. I have some cymbals that are 30 years old, and they'll go another 30, easy.​
Well, I'm not so sure about SHOULD. How many Pros break their whole setup after a tour? You're going to say THEY have bad technique? Maybe you hit your cymbals real light and in a fashion they don't break. But that's the sound YOU like. It's not necessarily better.


Fox.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
As long as you aren't playing into the cymbal or into the edge, you should be fine with the thinner cymbals.

I'd play them first to make sure they are going to give you the sound you want with the way YOU play.

This isn't a judgment on your playing, it's just that sometimes things sound a certain way played by others, and when "you" (or I) play the same cymbal or drum, they don't make the sound you want.

It's a lot of change to drop on something to find out you don't like it when YOU play it.

I play with a lot of different dynamics and sometime pretty heavy, but I've not had any problems with my Thin or Med Thin cymbals. I also use everything as a crash and a ride, so my set up gets a thorough work out on a gig. No probs with the thinner stuff.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
The K Constantinople rides are great cymbals but they're not made to be played with a great deal of force. I don't think it would sound all that good for one thing. If you want a good jazz ride cymbal, though, you could do a lot worse, and I very much intend to get one. Every single one I've heard sounded wonderful. I heard Justin Chesarek play one just the other night, a 22". Very nice.

Any top-quality cymbal is durable, but that doesn't mean that it can't be cracked or broken.

I guess more forceful playing would call for a thicker ride cymbal, no? I can't see a rock drummer using, or wanting, a K Constantinople.

Back in my "rock period" I played Paiste Rudes. Anyone remember those? Good cymbals. Couldn't break those!
 

Adam8

Senior Member
I've recently switched from medium and heavy cymbals to medium-thin and thin cymbals - so far no breakage. I think they flex better than heavies - btw I noticed both Eric Kretz and Abe Cunningham playing(bashing) K Cons a little while back, so they must have some durability.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
How many Pros break their whole setup after a tour?
I don't know how many. How many Pros are on this forum, asking this question?

You're going to say THEY have bad technique?
Did I even mention technique? No. If a cat wants to break all his gear, fine with me. Break your stuff, pay for it all, and be happy. All the Pros I know, if they break a cymbal, you would never know it, unless you were at that particular gig. Because the next show they play, they're gonna have a brand new plate, on that stand.
Maybe you hit your cymbals real light and in a fashion they don't break. But that's the sound YOU like. It's not necessarily better.
Actually, I have two sets of cymbals. When I really wanna rock, I play my Paiste Red ColorSound 5's. 14" hats, 20" ride, two 16" crashes, and one 18" crash. They were made between 1983-1986.​
My other set is all handmade Turkish cymbals. 15" Istanbul Mehmet Turk hats, 20" Mehmet Turk ride, Istanbul Mehmet 14" crash, Masterwork Legend 16" crash, Soultone Extreme 16" crash, and about 5 Turkish splashes, that I mix it up with.​
BTW, what part of your post is addressing the OP and his question?​
 

Drewbrew

Member
I think you should stay away from thin cymbals. A good quality cymbal should last you a lifetime. I have some cymbals that are 30 years old, and they'll go another 30, easy. If you're breaking cymbals after 2 or 3 months, not good.​
I don't know your def. of "average amount of force", but just the fact that you're asking this is kinda a red flag.​
Harry, what i meant was that when i buy a cymbal its gonna get used a good bit no matter what. Between sessions and gigs and practice all my cymbals get pretty thoroughly used so im sating that if i have say a paiste traditional flat ride and i drop $450 on it and after three or four months of sessions, gigs, and practice it breaks and im down $450 and not satisfied with a darned expensive cymbal. Just clarifying
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
I don't know how many. How many Pros are on this forum, asking this question?


Did I even mention technique? No. If a cat wants to break all his gear, fine with me. Break your stuff, pay for it all, and be happy. All the Pros I know, if they break a cymbal, you would never know it, unless you were at that particular gig. Because the next show they play, they're gonna have a brand new plate, on that stand.

Actually, I have two sets of cymbals. When I really wanna rock, I play my Paiste Red ColorSound 5's. 14" hats, 20" ride, two 16" crashes, and one 18" crash. They were made between 1983-1986.​
My other set is all handmade Turkish cymbals. 15" Istanbul Mehmet Turk hats, 20" Mehmet Turk ride, Istanbul Mehmet 14" crash, Masterwork Legend 16" crash, Soultone Extreme 16" crash, and about 5 Turkish splashes, that I mix it up with.​
BTW, what part of your post is addressing the OP and his question?​
Well, you said "A good quality cymbal should last you a lifetime". I just don't agree with that. I mean, should it? That was my main point. We'd all like them to, but is it worth it to be real careful with those expensive and beautiful cymbals when you can't play them how you'd like, which may also prevent you from getting the exact sound you like?

Harry, what i meant was that when i buy a cymbal its gonna get used a good bit no matter what. Between sessions and gigs and practice all my cymbals get pretty thoroughly used so im sating that if i have say a paiste traditional flat ride and i drop $450 on it and after three or four months of sessions, gigs, and practice it breaks and im down $450 and not satisfied with a darned expensive cymbal. Just clarifying
As Harry said, he does have two sets of cymbals. The most usage and abuse your cymbals are gonna get is most likely from practice, unless you gig A LOT. Using this concept, it might be a good idea to practice with different cymbals, and use the thinner, more exotic/expensive ones only for live shows and recording sessions. That will definitely increase their lifespan dramatically, even if you play them as if they were any other cymbal. I don't think thinner cymbals are particularly prone to breaking more easily (not a lot, anyway), but the less you use them when you don't really need to, the more you're gonna get out of the money you paid for them.


Fox.
 

Strangelove

Gold Member
I guess more forceful playing would call for a thicker ride cymbal, no? I can't see a rock drummer using, or wanting, a K Constantinople.
My thoughts exactly. Dark thin cymbals are just not made for rock, metal or other very loud mixes. They are just not loud enough or bright enough to cut through.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
.... say a paiste traditional flat ride and i drop $450 on it and after three or four months of sessions, gigs, and practice it breaks and im down $450 and not satisfied with a darned expensive cymbal.
Here's what Paiste says......about their flat ride.​
The Paiste 20" Traditional Series Light Flat Ride Cymbal is dark, warm, smoky. Tight range with complex, low mix. Soft, buttery stick feel. Pretty sizzling ping over smoky quiet undertones. Great for quiet articulated playing​
Are you a quiet, articulate, player?​
It doesn't sound to me, like you are.​
Yes, $400+ is a lot of money to drop on a plate.​
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Well, you said "A good quality cymbal should last you a lifetime". I just don't agree with that. I mean, should it?
All things being equal, provided I don't abuse/misuse said cymbal and apply it for situations for which it was designed.......damn straight a cymbal should last a lifetime. Now they don't always of course, depending on many factors, technique and correct application being two of them. But when I'm buying a cymbal, my expectaion is that it will indeed go the distance with me.

Funnily enough, the only cymbal I've ever broken was a Zildjian A Thin crash, I was playing hard rock with it. I learned my lesson with that.....can't blame Zildjian....only the turkey that bought the wrong cymbal for the wrong application.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I bought three A Zildjians at the same time over 20 years ago - a 19" medium thin, a 16" medium, and an 18" Rock. They were arranged around the kit left to right in that manner, and always mounted loosely with cymbal sleeves on the tilters. I played everything from soft acoustic groups to amplified hard rock with those cymbals.

The thickest one - the 18" Rock - cracked after about 15 years of use. In its defense, it was the heaviest, which means it took a hammerlike stroke to get it to open up, and it was placed far right for the huge end-of-fill dramatic crashes.

The 16" medium cracked next, around the bell instead of up the middle (in fact, the cymbal suddenly lost volume and sustain and it took me over a week to figure out why). This crash was my punctuation crash, but again was taking a full stroke to open up.

The 19" is on my far left and as such doesn't get as much straight-on abuse as the other two did. It is the only cymbal that has survived intact from that set to this day.

I replaced the two broken crashes with A Customs, which are thinner by nature, and they respond much more quickly with less of a hit.

So what did I learn?

1) If you go thin, use larger sizes that provide the volume you want without having to hammer down on the cymbal.
2) Thicker cymbals don't necessarily mean more durable cymbals, because you WILL hit them harder than thinner cymbals to get a good sound.
3) Put your thinner cymbals in places where you can't really hammer them by accident (like to the far left and right of your kit).

As to the whole technique issue: one of the main factors in how a cymbal works is that the metal flexes to push air and sound up and down away from the pie. A thinner cymbal, it follows, would be more flexible, whereas a thicker cymbal would flex less readily and be more brittle, prone to breakage. To illustrate, I (again) pull out this photo of Neil Peart choking his 16" Paragon crash, which is a medium-heavy crash - look at that thing warp!

Bend metal enough times and it will break. Obviously bending it more harshly (i.e. violent playing) will fatigue it more rapidly, but if you routinely use a little muscle through your thicker crashes, you may crack one one day.
 

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jondrumming

Senior Member
I play HHXplosion crashes, which are relatively thin. They're designed to be hit reasonably hard, and even though I don't hit them as hard as I could, I still have no worries about them breaking on me. The thing about thin crashes is that they open up easier; you don't have to hit them as hard as a thick crash to get them to play loudly.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Well, you said "A good quality cymbal should last you a lifetime". I just don't agree with that. I mean, should it? That was my main point. We'd all like them to, but is it worth it to be real careful with those expensive and beautiful cymbals when you can't play them how you'd like, which may also prevent you from getting the exact sound you like?
To me this is a spurious argument. The "exact sound you like" is readily available. All the top cymbal makers offer an amazing choice of cymbals for every style of music. That's just a fact.

Also, why is treating your equipment well by playing it well, by "treating it carefully," so wrong to you? Isn't it obvious that bashing on a thin cymbal that is not meant to be bashed on is going to break it eventually?

Sorry, I'm just not getting this.

And yes, I can testify to the fact that a well-made cymbal will last forever. For an example, I've got a Zildjian 20" Mini-Bell ride cymbal that's almost as old as me and it sounds lovely. I have no idea how many drummers played the thing before I got it, and it's in perfect shape.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I guess nothing actually lasts forever, but when something is taken care of, their longevity should not be a problem. Most of my crash cymbals are either medium thin or thin and the thinner cymbals take a little less effort for them to open up, unlike that of a medium weight. Case in point is the Sabian Evolution crashes, they have the same tone whether they are hit lightly or more aggressively. These are thin cymbals which open quickly and easily. I've had mine for almost two years without any problems.

The fact is, I'm still using some of my dad's Zildjians from the 40's, a pair of 12" hats and a crash.

Dennis
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
To me this is a spurious argument. The "exact sound you like" is readily available. All the top cymbal makers offer an amazing choice of cymbals for every style of music. That's just a fact.

Also, why is treating your equipment well by playing it well, by "treating it carefully," so wrong to you? Isn't it obvious that bashing on a thin cymbal that is not meant to be bashed on is going to break it eventually?

Sorry, I'm just not getting this.

And yes, I can testify to the fact that a well-made cymbal will last forever. For an example, I've got a Zildjian 20" Mini-Bell ride cymbal that's almost as old as me and it sounds lovely. I have no idea how many drummers played the thing before I got it, and it's in perfect shape.
Well, I don't break many cymbals or sticks, but that's just how I play, and the sound I like. But for example, Gavin Harrison, a Pro's Pro, who hits relatively hard, but still comes from a jazz background, has stated many times that he breaks cymbals and sticks regularly. Anyone here is going to say HE is doing things wrong?
I'm not talking about mistreating it, but rather playing it the way you play.


Fox.
 
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