Tiny cracks on cymbal bell - how to prevent

Robzildjian

Member
I’m a very experienced drummer, 40 years playing since I was a child. I have only once cracked a cymbal in that time. However, I’ve been playing with a louder band recently and although I’m only a medium volume player I’ve notice some tiny cracks around the bells on my zildjian a custom and k custom crashes. I’m sad to see these as I love these Cymbals. How can I stop this from spreading? What’s the best way to protect the centres of my cymbals from this. The kit I play is the same however I am using a rehearsal kit with this band but I put new sleeves and washers on the cymbal stands. Advice appreciated.
 
Last edited:
That sucks and I can relate.. Is it a shared rehearsal place? Even if you're in a new room with nice people that tell you that there are no other drummers playing your kit doesn't mean that it has to be true. I've also had this problem (crack on the crash bell, ripped snare resonant head, wonky set up on return), so ask your band mates. I put a note on my snare when I found these problems and asked who the anonymous fool was. I didn't get a response but at least it did get better. Since then I swapped the cymbals in that room to cheap cymbals with small cracks.
If it's not that, it's hard to say without a video. Maybe it was you after all (felts too tight, hitting harder with this band...?), so don't start insulting everyone right from the get go if you suspect other people causing the damage.
 

Robzildjian

Member
No it’s only me playing them as I don’t leave the cymbals in the rehearsal room. I know it’s all about how I play them but what would set up would minimise this? thx
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Post two pictures.
One picture of the top of the cymbal mounted on the stand.
And one picture of the top of the stand without the cymbal on it.
Maybe we will see some issue that you don't see.

.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Sounds like the wing nuts are too tight. If the cymbal can't swing fairly freely there will be little energy dissipation. Also, check the sleeves that you put on. I've seen some that are oversized and the cymbal barely has enough room to be mounted.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Like ineedaclutch eluded to, they may be too tight. If you are hitting them in a downward motion this exacerbates the issue.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Sounds like the wing nuts are too tight. If the cymbal can't swing fairly freely there will be little energy dissipation. Also, check the sleeves that you put on. I've seen some that are oversized and the cymbal barely has enough room to be mounted.
Like ineedaclutch eluded to, they may be too tight. If you are hitting them in a downward motion this exacerbates the issue.
Hey..... That's no fair !!!
You guys are jumping the gun. I wanted us to figure this stuff out by looking at the pictures.
You spoiled everything! Scheese.......

.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Hmmm. Seems to me that we keep seeing more and more queries about cymbals cracking around the bell hole. I can't say that I can point to exactly what may be causing the problem. I've been at this for over fifty years and (knock on wood, knock on bronze, whatever) I've never cracked a cymbal. And I have always used cymbal felts and wingnut tightened down to the plastic cymbal tilter seat. But I've always been one of those "glancing blow" players rather than a direct blow type. I wonder if this has anything to do with it?

Sorry I can't offer anything other than these observations. From what you've described about your playing style, there doesn't seem to be anything that stands out as a culprit. So we are left with . . .

LET'S SEE PICS!

GeeDeeEmm
 

Robzildjian

Member
Thanks all. Hard for me to get photos and I’m surprised as this has not happened before in 30 years of playing. So good felts and sleeves, tightened not too much and cymbals not at an angle so flat I guess you are suggesting. Hard to get photos at the moment. I’ve been using my same kit, but a different one at rehearsals so that is probably the culprit.
 

roncadillac

Member
When I was a 'kid' I was going through crashes, some rides,and snare heads like disposable razors. First thing that lessened this was watching a video of myself playing and realizing I was doing full blown over the head hammer style hits EVERY time I struck a cymbal or drum, stopped doing that. Next, I loosened if not removed my wingnuts (or went to thinner felts) and switched to smaller sticks and it hasn't happened since. I haven't cracked a cymbal or busted a head in over ten years and I get plenty loud when needed. Basically, my combination of poor technique and improper set up caused the issue. Now since you are a more experienced player with some seasons under your belt I'm not saying your technique and/or set up are improper/causing the issue however you yourself did say this current situation is slightly out of your comfort zone or your norm so you may be physically responding to that improperly.

Also, it took me a LONG time to realize that regardless of the style of music you are playing... Your guitarist needs to turn the damn thing down. Drummers catch heat for being the 'loudest' yet everyone seems to forget we are just trying to keep up with our wanna-be guitar God lol.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
If your cymbals have been in service for 30 or 40 years, the cracks might just be *death by a thousand paper cuts.* I can imagine they would "work harden" in the stress areas over a lifetime of playing and finally the *death by attrition* is starting to show. Maybe there's a cymbal-smith or metallurgist who can chime in?
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Obvious point: More forces at the cymbal hole location than the cymbal can withstand.
Variables that can cause this:
- As mentioned, wing nuts tightened - My wing nuts are there for decoration. I don't think mine ever come in to play.
- Not mentioned - Maybe the cymbal sleeve is too fat? I always aim for the smallest thing to fill a cymbal hole as possible. The larger the diameter of the cymbal sleeve, the smaller angle at which forces start to act on the hole.
 
Top