Taking years to break in large ride.


Gold Member
Has anyone had a large ride that took years to get to break in? Recently, I wound some marimba mallets and started doing roll sessions, really mellowed the cymbal out. I had the cymbal for maybe five or six years, but it is a hefty 24" medium A, with lots of bow, admittedly a couple years I didn't play it much at all. I wonder, if you let a cymbal rest, does it lose some of its, "break in", and need to be re warmed up? Not only does it sound mellowed, but it also has more jiggle and wobble.


Platinum Member
Lots of old debate on here about 'cymbal aging' . Maybe even can see using the search function.
I think the best answer to the question is "maybe". Sometimes ones ears for a cymbal change too.


Silver Member
I can see a cymbal stiffening up a little if sitting still to long,but have no science to back it up.

I have bought quite a few new cymbals and I think that A's and K's and esp A's can take a year or even two to settle in,the heavier/thicker they are in relation to the diameter the longer it takes in my experience.

I have owned a few new cymbals from Sabian,Bos,UFIP and Saluda,but the majority have been Zil's and they seem to be the ones that have the most radical change with the most high end zing before settling in,esp the straight A and K lines.


Platinum Member
Of course a cymbal will mellow as it ages. Look what we're doing to the metal bonds every time we hit the thing. It's an alloy designed to have some softness and stretch, the longer it ages and gets used the more loose those bonds become. Add to that the effect of the sticks on the surface, and the possibility of the dirt and grime getting into the micro fractures...

All things change as they age.


Platinum Member
Question: if you wanted a mellower ride, why did you buy a 24" Medium Ride in the first place?

Cymbals do mellow over time from use, and some people believe if a cymbal is stored "under tension" (like, leaning against a wall or with other cymbals on top of it) it mellows the cymbal as well. It's just metal fatigue that causes the slowing of vibrations, which results in attenuation of the high frequencies and the perceived "mellowing" of the cymbal. Metal at rest won't change in sound, unless under some sort of stress (which, they are ALL under atmospheric pressure, are acted upon by gravity, etc...).

I buy all of my cymbals "pre-mellowed" by other people. That way, they sound how I like right off the bat, and they're cheaper. Breaking in a new cymbal sounds like too much work and too much money to me. :D