I just bought a "fake" Soultone ride from Sam Ash

TK-421

Senior Member
I stopped by my local Sam Ash last weekend, and as usual, I grabbed a stick and starting banging out ride patterns on cymbals that caught my eye. I've been looking for a good deal on a left-side ride for my occasional jazz gigs, and in the used cymbals section, I found a raw/unlathed, seemingly hand-hammered 20" Soultone Inferno ride for $100. And lo and behold, it actually sounded pretty decent. Not ideal, but for the price, it'd do—especially since I only play a few jazz gigs per year. And while I'm not all that familiar with Soultone, it's at least a "known" brand, so I could always sell it if need be.

So I bought it.

Then I got home and looked up the Soultone website to see what I could learn about my new-to-me Inferno ride. Nothing there, no mention of Inferno. Well, maybe it's an old, discontinued line, so I Googled "Soultone Inferno"—and still couldn't find anything. Hmmm.

I then noticed something peculiar. The Soultone logos, both on top and on the bottom, weren't silkscreened on, but were actually stickers (however the "Inferno" name was silkscreened, indicating that these were applied at different times). I also noticed some sort of faded red markings underneath the logo stickers. Could this be a fake Soultone?

When I searched Google Videos for Soultone Inferno, I came across a video labeled "RARE Buzin Inferno 12" Hi Hat Cymbals FOR SALE". BUZIN???? What the hell are Buzin cymbals? So I googled "Buzin Inferno" and found my answer. As you can see, my "Soultone" ride is clearly a Buzin Inferno.

So now I have a dilemma. Do I keep the ride, which I kinda like (but I'd likely be stuck with since I imagine it'd be hard to sell an unknown Buzin ride), or use Sam Ash's 30-day return policy to get out of it? To complicate matters slightly, before I discovered it's true origin, I decided that I'd like to have it lathed to reduce the weight, in hopes of opening up the sound a bit. I found a local cymbalsmith who'd do it for $80, but now that I know it's a no-name cymbal, do I really want to pour another $80 into it?

What would you do?

By the way, the first pic is of a Buzin Inferno ride I found online, the rest are of my new ride. You can see the reflections off the Soultone sticker in pic #3 (a silkscreened logo wouldn't do that), plus you can just make out a faded red "BU" in pic #4, and an "N" in pic #5. You can sort of see the full "Buzin" logo in the last pic.

More pics of an actual Buzin Inferno ride can be found here:

https://reverb.com/item/7187637-dark-hand-hammered-masterwork-buzin-20-inferno-ride-great-cd-2372-gs
 

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Stroman

Platinum Member
Well, if it sounded all that good, your wouldn't be thinking of lathing it. I can't speak for you, but it would irritate me no end to have that ride, knowing it was basically counterfeited. I'd return it without a moment's hesitation.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I would return it simply on the basis that you don't like the sound that much. $100 for the ride plus $80 to thin it out? You may as well find a ride you like.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
If it sounds good as is, I would keep. You play cymbals, not labels.
But if you have to do something to it to make it right, and its counterfeit already, I would return it. It sounds like its already a ride that needs work. You are kind of guessing that it might improve its sound by lathing it down, and that is still an unknown that will cost you another $80.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
People don't realize how often counterfeit and fake drums are sold all the time. Guitarists have come to expect seeing fake Gibson and fender instruments but because it's a little more uncommon for drummers we are always caught off guard. I've seen plenty of fake ludwigs and vintage drums, this is the first time I've ever seen this with a cymbal though

You could contact the guys you bought it from and ask them for some money back since it's possible you overpaid because of the brand you were under the impression of buying. I'd make the argument that a music vendor should know what they're selling. If you like the sound though then you should keep it
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Hang on there, pal. A bit of internetting may change your mind.

As our own Bermuda remarked on another forum in 2010 and on our own forum the year before that, Buzin was the original name of Soultone. The Soultone brand came out of a failed joint venture, part of which was the sale of cymbals labeled Buzin (they were basically rebranded Masterworks).

What you may have found is an original Buzin which Iky Levi himself rebranded to match his new business name. But what they really are is selected Masterwork cymbals, which are great quality.

Don't worry too much about the branding, because it's certainly one of the most bizarre music business stories I've heard - if it's a great cymbal, it's a great cymbal. You got a pretty good deal IMO.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Buzin is probably some off brand made at the Soultone foundry, and they rebadged it. It's almost certainly as "real" a Soultone as anything, and you got it for $100 and it sounds good, so what's the problem? Sounds like a good cymbal to let your guy massacre/attempt to improve, since it cost you nothing, and it's sort of a bastard.

Seeing alparrot's comment: of course that's the deal.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Hang on there, pal. A bit of internetting may change your mind.

As our own Bermuda remarked on another forum in 2010 and on our own forum the year before that, Buzin was the original name of Soultone. The Soultone brand came out of a failed joint venture, part of which was the sale of cymbals labeled Buzin (they were basically rebranded Masterworks).

What you may have found is an original Buzin which Iky Levi himself rebranded to match his new business name. But what they really are is selected Masterwork cymbals, which are great quality.

Don't worry too much about the branding, because it's certainly one of the most bizarre music business stories I've heard - if it's a great cymbal, it's a great cymbal. You got a pretty good deal IMO.
Very interesting, thanks for that info. This at least clears it up somewhat. As for the sound, I do like it, or I would never have bought it in the first place (no matter how cheap it was). At the store I was wailing on it at full volume, but when I got it home, I played it much quieter, like how I would actually play it at one of my jazz gigs. That's when I decided that I might want to have it lathed down a bit, not to totally change the sound, but to help it open up easier at lower volumes.

Still not sure what I'm going to do. I have a rare rehearsal coming up with my jazz trio in 2 weeks, so I think I should at least play it as-is in the correct jazz setting before deciding on anything.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
The Buzin/Soultone connection makes a difference, for sure. Knowing it isn't a straight-up counterfeit, I would probably keep it.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
People don't realize how often counterfeit and fake drums are sold all the time. I've seen plenty of fake ludwigs and vintage drums, this is the first time I've ever seen this with a cymbal though
I remember participating in a discussion at another forum (that I'm no longer a part of) as to why there aren't a lot of fake drums. Sure, I can see how people might try to pass off vintage drums as more valuable than they really are, and I can also see how someone might try to pass off a lower line "Brand A" set as an upper-line "Brand A" kit.

However, when it comes to modern drums, by the time someone pays for the "correct" hardware, finish, and badges, there will be no money left to be made trying to pass off a lower line drum set as something high-end. I could be wrong though.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I remember participating in a discussion at another forum (that I'm no longer a part of) as to why there aren't a lot of fake drums. Sure, I can see how people might try to pass off vintage drums as more valuable than they really are, and I can also see how someone might try to pass off a lower line "Brand A" set as an upper-line "Brand A" kit.

However, when it comes to modern drums, by the time someone pays for the "correct" hardware, finish, and badges, there will be no money left to be made trying to pass off a lower line drum set as something high-end. I could be wrong though.
Now that you mention it, I suspect this kit may not actually be a Pearl. I smell a fake.
 

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harryconway

Platinum Member
I stopped by my local Sam Ash last weekend ...
Info. says you're in Los Angeles. Soultone distrubution is located in Encino, I think. I'd contact them direct .... if you want any work done on the cymbal. Heck, they might just let you swap it out for one that's more to your liking. Or at least give you a discount.​
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Thanks man. When I read the OP's post, it seemed to ring a bell (no pun intended). I think it's cool that instead of a fake, he may have a piece of some rather salacious history instead!
That just makes me want to keep it! To think I bought a piece of salacious cymbal history for $100 at Sam Ash. Who'da thunk it?

Info. says you're in Los Angeles. Soultone distrubution is located in Encino, I think. I'd contact them direct .... if you want any work done on the cymbal. Heck, they might just let you swap it out for one that's more to your liking. Or at least give you a discount.​
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Soultone cymbals handmade in Turkey? If so, I don't think they'd have the machinery or ability to relathe it in LA, even if they are based here. And I highly doubt they'd let me swap it out for another. But if anyone from Soultone sees this and wants to get a piece of their "salacious history" back, hit me up.
 
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