So the kind of cymbal polish actually does matter at the end of the day?

Feesdt

Junior Member
I have this set of cymbals that is an older edition of the Istanbul Xist range. They don't seem to be of the same brilliance as the new ones finish-wise. Now, in an attempt to clean them I used Zildjian Brilliant polish (that is what the local store had available ... )
The result seems a little weird now... I can't seem to come back to an even color across the entire cymbal. And I do know that there are people who advised against using brilliant polish on non-brilliant cymbals. But back when I went to buy the polish I believed the people claiming that the different varieties of polish was just marketing and that the different types of magical coating on different types of cymbals was also just marketing.

But now that the result is so weird, I wonder if this time around I believed the wrong people.

But most important of all, regardless of any supposed mistakes I made, I would like to find how I can recover the cymbals as best as I can. And see if I can get them to a point where they stay valuable for anyone who wants to buy them. Because I'd like to sell them as soon as I can.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Hi there...

Cymbals typically come in 4 flavors... Traditional, Natural, Patina, and Brilliant (Plus combinations).

Some cymbals are coated with a polyurethane layer at the factory. Typically, it is associated with brilliant cymbals. Recently, it has started being used on traditional cymbals.

A "polish" is a micro-abrasive, a solvent/evaporate, and sometimes a wax. It works like sandpaper, literally grinding off the surface of the cymbal. This is fine when that surface is coated with poly. On traditional/natural cymbals, you end up grinding off the top layer of bronze and filling grooves with wax. On patina cymbals, you grind off the patina, exposing the raw bronze which begin to oxidize unevenly do to the non-uniform application of wax.

Does it destroy your cymbal? No. It's just going to make it uglier than when you started. Your traditional/natural cymbals might sound a bit different, but that's because they're now coated in schmoo that's near impossible to remove.

Cymbal cleaning is best accomplished with water, towels, elbow grease, and perhaps a drop of Dawn-style detergent.
 

Feesdt

Junior Member
Thanks a lot KamaK for the extra clarifications.

Ok, so I made a big mistake.
And it looks like I didn't really ruin those cymbals but at the same time I kind of did.

Should I sell them in their half-ruined state for next to nothing because of what I did?
Or is there something that I can do that makes them in a bit of a better condition and still be able to charge an amount that is somewhat easier to digest?
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I just don’t understand why people polish cymbals.
Only thing I can figure is some people are just plain attracted to shiny objects. Personally I don't care for the "bling" factor. I go more toward the patina and even industrial look. Oh. There are also people that have a compulsion to clean and brighten in order to stay busy. Don't want anyone to accuse them of being lazy. My first thought when I see super shiny cymbals, hardware and drum shells is "You don't play much do you?"
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Or is there something that I can do that makes them in a bit of a better condition and still be able to charge an amount that is somewhat easier to digest?
You should be able to recoup >33% retail in their current condition.

There is no "easy" fix to correct what has been done. It would be a multistep process beginning with figuring out the ingredients to the polish you used, and would be well above and beyond anything one would typically do in their home.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm not fond of cleaners designed for cymbals. Over time, all can have a deleterious impact on a cymbal's finish, as well as upon logos and other identifying characters. As KamaK urges, "Cymbal cleaning is best accomplished with water, towels, elbow grease, and perhaps a drop of Dawn-style detergent." I agree wholeheartedly. Even the gentle practice of wiping cymbals with a soft, dry towel can pay dividends. Doing so usually removes stick marks and other minor blemishes. Chemicals need not be applied for moderate makeovers.
 

Feesdt

Junior Member
You should be able to recoup >33% retail in their current condition.

There is no "easy" fix to correct what has been done. It would be a multistep process beginning with figuring out the ingredients to the polish you used, and would be well above and beyond anything one would typically do in their home.
Thank you that's really useful!
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
You could have a set of drums and cymbals from a 1980 Kmart set. The only thing that matters is how you play. People are not looking at your cymbals they are listening to how you play.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
You could have a set of drums and cymbals from a 1980 Kmart set. The only thing that matters is how you play. People are not looking at your cymbals they are listening to how you play.
Have you ever heard cheap cymbals mr Goose?
If you're talking drums I'm inclined to agree - but cymbals? Nah. I've tried it. Nah.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Have you ever heard cheap cymbals mr Goose?
If you're talking drums I'm inclined to agree - but cymbals? Nah. I've tried it. Nah.
Have you ever heard a cheap set of Kmart drums Mr. Rider? Or have you witnessed a 500 dollar cymbal sound better after it's polished?
 

wraub

Well-known member
Personally, I clean my cymbals when I get them with water and Dawn, followed by water and towels. After that I just play them and try to keep the dust and dog hair off.

I have one brilliant, shiny cymbal, and it may be my least favorite of all I own. Hmmm...
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Personally, I clean my cymbals when I get them with water and Dawn, followed by water and towels. After that I just play them and try to keep the dust and dog hair off.

I have one brilliant, shiny cymbal, and it may be my least favorite of all I own. Hmmm...

Mr. wraub what kind of Dog do you have?
 
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