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Cracked Cymbals: What to do?
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18th October 2010
Old 18th October 2010
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Cracked Cymbals: What to do?

Last week I contacted Paiste about my cracked cymbals. Here was the exchange:

Quote:
Hi Paiste,

I have three cracked Paiste cymbals and want to know if you recycle the
brass. The cymbals are:

18" Signature Fast Crash
8" Signature Splash
16" Sound Formula Thin Crash

I'd be more than happy to ship these to Paiste USA. Just let me know.
Paiste responded in a day with this:
Quote:
Hi Chris,

Thanks for your e-mail. We do re-cycle our cymbal but not to make new
cymbals out of. We usually sell them to a scrap yard for them to be used
for other purposes.

I'd recommend you do the same thing. You might get a few bucks for selling
them.

Good luck & thanks for your support.

Paiste America, Inc.
This surprised me. Their metal could be used to make new things, bells maybe, if cymbals cannot.

I recently played on a set of Sabian "SR" cymbals. These are re-lathed cymbals using their premium B20 bronze. They sound much better than their entry level stuff, at about half the price of their HHX stuff. Examples are here.

I was thinking/hoping Paiste would place more value on their alloy.
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18th October 2010
Old 18th October 2010
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The Paiste Signature series is a totally shoddy line IMO. I know of countless drummers (myself included) who have dealt with an unacceptably high occurrence of cracked Paiste Sig's. Luckily, when it was me, the cracks occurred within the 30 day store warranty period (and I ain't that hard a hitter!), so I was able to swap em for some K's and never looked back. This was some time ago, and it's unfortunate to see it's still a problem, especially since there is something to recommend their sound. But I'm not surprised in the least to see they don't value their alloy beyond what they can initially scam out of their customers.

Sorry, I realize this is a bit off topic, but shame on them. To answer your original question: don't buy Paiste!
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18th October 2010
Old 18th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB_Photo View Post
Last week I contacted Paiste about my cracked cymbals. Here was the exchange:


Paiste responded in a day with this:


This surprised me. Their metal could be used to make new things, bells maybe, if cymbals cannot.

I recently played on a set of Sabian "SR" cymbals. These are re-lathed cymbals using their premium B20 bronze. They sound much better than their entry level stuff, at about half the price of their HHX stuff. Examples are here.

I was thinking/hoping Paiste would place more value on their alloy.
Paiste makes their stuff out of sheet material where Zoldjian and Sabian are using cast material that they melt and pour temselves. I don't know if Paiste are melting their own metals or not but if they are not they really couldn't use the scrap for anything anyway.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB_Photo View Post
Last week I contacted Paiste about my cracked cymbals. Here was the exchange:


Paiste responded in a day with this:


This surprised me. Their metal could be used to make new things, bells maybe, if cymbals cannot.

I recently played on a set of Sabian "SR" cymbals. These are re-lathed cymbals using their premium B20 bronze. They sound much better than their entry level stuff, at about half the price of their HHX stuff. Examples are here.

I was thinking/hoping Paiste would place more value on their alloy.
Yeah, if they actually reused the alloy to make bells or figured out a way to recycle and reuse them it might reduce some waste and cost. Lower the carbon footprint associated with their products, etc. Bad business in my books, an archaic view showing lack of foresight. They lost a potential customer in me after reading this.
The letter is a pretty diplomatic way of saying they are worthless. Not sure I would deal with a company that takes such a light view of what was once a lot of money spent. I also don't like to break cymbals...nor be treated like a walking wallet.
Sorry to hear this CB. Back in the day, people stood behind their product with a little more pride and showed customers more respect.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Paiste makes their stuff out of sheet material where Zoldjian and Sabian are using cast material that they melt and pour temselves. I don't know if Paiste are melting their own metals or not but if they are not they really couldn't use the scrap for anything anyway.
Paiste only make their low-end lines from sheet material, as do just about every other major brand.

In any case, with any large manufacturing infrastructure the setup will be for the highest efficiency from raw ingredients to final product. The processes required for recycling old cymbals (which would require smelting, correct alloy segregation, removal of acquired impurities etc) would simply be more time consuming and expensive than they're worth considering the actual demand.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Depending on how bad the crack is, you can always cut it out with an angle grinder. Your cymbals won't be pristine, but they'll be fine for gigging and such.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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It's illegal to use cracked cymbals.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Quote:
you can always cut it out with an angle grinder.
I was going to try and make one of these.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbeeth View Post
The Paiste Signature series is a totally shoddy line IMO. I know of countless drummers (myself included) who have dealt with an unacceptably high occurrence of cracked Paiste Sig's. Luckily, when it was me, the cracks occurred within the 30 day store warranty period (and I ain't that hard a hitter!), so I was able to swap em for some K's and never looked back.
I'd never cracked a cymbal until I began using Paiste. I've played since 1965 and have used every brand of cymbal except Paiste. I don't think they crack 'cuz they're made from cheap metals, though. I have a hunch they heat treat them to get their sound. And I do love their sound. There's a glassine quality to it that isn't found in any other brand. There's high and low frequencies that, to me, make a beautiful and unique sound.

Whether or not I continue to use them . . . oops, too late. I just bought another 18" Sig Fast Crash. And it sounds just as nice as my other one. Yup, they have excellent sonic consistency.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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I'm in the metal recycling business by day. Send the cracked cymbals to me. I will pay you $2.25 per pound and make sure that they are recycled 100%. I will even analyze the alloy chemistry for you if you want.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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What I took from their email is that they do recycle, but they outsource it. They simply sell their scrap to a recycling company instead of doing it themselves. Probably a better method for them than actually melting everything down. He's just suggesting that instead of putting the money back in their pocket, put it back in your own.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
Paiste only make their low-end lines from sheet material, as do just about every other major brand.
Are you sure about that?
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19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB_Photo View Post
I'd never cracked a cymbal until I began using Paiste. I've played since 1965 and have used every brand of cymbal except Paiste. I don't think they crack 'cuz they're made from cheap metals, though. I have a hunch they heat treat them to get their sound. And I do love their sound. There's a glassine quality to it that isn't found in any other brand. There's high and low frequencies that, to me, make a beautiful and unique sound.

Whether or not I continue to use them . . . oops, too late. I just bought another 18" Sig Fast Crash. And it sounds just as nice as my other one. Yup, they have excellent sonic consistency.
Sounds like your hooked. I feel the same way about my vintage A Zildys They just please my ears through every frequency and I love the decay. The difference is they were made in the 60's and are still in great shape. That's almost 50 years of playing for one set of cymbals...and I haven't contributed to the scrap heap of cymbals that only serves to sell and produce more. If they built cymbals like that today, how would they be able to sell you more cymbals?
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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[QUOTE=PhilR;5906907]Paiste only make their low-end lines from sheet material, as do just about every other major brand.

All Paiste cymbals, even their expensive lines, are made of sheet material. The one exception being their Twenty series, which are cast in Turkey and lathed and hammered in their home country (Switserland I believe)
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.r.a.p. View Post
All Paiste cymbals, even their expensive lines, are made of sheet material. The one exception being their Twenty series, which are cast in Turkey and lathed and hammered in their home country (Switzerland I believe)
This is true for the Paiste Twenty series. They're made with classic B20 bronze, not the Paiste Sound Formula bronze.

On the Paiste site there isn't any mention of sheets or ingots, just a mention that their entry-level cymbals are machine hammered. The videos with Charlie Banante of Anthrax are kinda cool, but don't reveal anything.

Last year I had the opportunity to spend a day with the Zildian rep and we talked about cymbal production. The classic Turkish method is to hammer ingot from a crude, fat disk into a finished cymbal, which Zildian uses for their premium lines. He did mention that Paiste uses sheets for cymbal production (as does Zildian and Sabian), but stopped short of saying it was used for all their cymbals. He thought their sonic consistency was due to using sheet bronze, but said it was conjecture.
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Originally Posted by surfspank View Post
The difference is they were made in the 60's and are still in great shape. That's almost 50 years of playing for one set of cymbals
Way cool!
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19th October 2010
Old 19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB_Photo View Post
Last year I had the opportunity to spend a day with the Zildian rep and we talked about cymbal production. The classic Turkish method is to hammer ingot from a crude, fat disk into a finished cymbal, which Zildian uses for their premium lines. He did mention that Paiste uses sheets for cymbal production (as does Zildian and Sabian), but stopped short of saying it was used for all their cymbals. He thought their sonic consistency was due to using sheet bronze, but said it was conjecture.
Issue 148 of Slagwerkkrant (dutch for drumsnewspaper) states that Paiste doesn't have the facilities to cast cymbals. If that's a fact all their series must be made of sheet material. At least it makes sense to why they went to a Turkish firm to do the casting.

It seems the Twenty series is quiet a break from their past.
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19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.r.a.p. View Post
It seems the Twenty series is quiet a break from their past.
Sonically, they do have more lower frequencies (like any B20 bronze cymbal), but Paiste still manages to get a brightness in the tone that I like. I have a 20" Twenty ride and really play it hard, usually with the shoulder of my stick (to get more wash) and it shows no sign of wear.

In all fairness to Paiste, the cymbals that cracked (listed above) I've owned and played for 15 years. The weird thing (to me) is how long the splash lasted. I thought it would be the first to die (it was the first splash I've ever owned) 'cuz it took such a beating.
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19th October 2010
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Cracks are not a Paiste only characteristic; I cracked two Zildjians, two Ufip's and one Sabian.

I never played Paiste cymbals seriously, but last year I got a chance to play them with the house set of Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest (Romania). It was the 2002 series with a 16 crash, 18 crash, 20 ride and 14 hats. They were fantastic. I was told these were great rock cymbals, but they suited my gothic jazz combo very well. Pure tone and a nice touch of glasiness.
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19th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.r.a.p. View Post
Cracks are not a Paiste only characteristic; I cracked two Zildjians, two Ufip's and one Sabian.

I never played Paiste cymbals seriously, but last year I got a chance to play them with the house set of Hard Rock Cafe Bucharest (Romania). It was the 2002 series with a 16 crash, 18 crash, 20 ride and 14 hats. They were fantastic. I was told these were great rock cymbals, but they suited my gothic jazz combo very well. Pure tone and a nice touch of glasiness.
No, I think it's a modern cymbal trait. I remember when Sabian first came out I cracked one a couple of years after I bought it. They replaced it. I think they actually came with a lifetime warranty back then. Either way, I was really happy with how I was treated....but then they were a new company trying to establish themselves. The nicest crash I've ever heard is a vintage badgeless Sabian that is on my Brother-in-laws kit...for now. I think I'll be able to talk him out of it eventually because he plays guitar and never touches his kit. I do.
I played a stripped cocktail kit on Sunday that belonged to the headliner's Drummer. It had a Rude China which had to be one of the best sounding China's I've ever heard. The Drummer told me he loved Paiste, but wouldn't recommend them unless I was made of money. He was an older guy, he said he "treats" all of his cymbals before he plays them.
Also had what looked like a new A Ping that did not sound anything like the Pings I've hit. We have another gig with them in a month, I'll try to get the details as to what exactly the "treating" involves. I figure heat and earth, but I could be wrong.
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28th October 2010
Old 28th October 2010
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I recommend a tour of the Sabian factory, then a tour of the Zildjian factory. Then, naturally, a tour of the Paiste factory.

Even though Sabian is an off-shoot of Zildjian, their manufacturing methods for the premium cymbals are different.

I've not taken any factory tours, but from what I've heard and seen on iPhone pics from those who have, I'd choose Sabian before Zildjian.

Even though Paiste has a few videos of their facility, they don't show us any sheets of brass.
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29th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB_Photo View Post
I've not taken any factory tours, but from what I've heard and seen on iPhone pics from those who have, I'd choose Sabian before Zildjian.
I would choose a cymbal by playing it long before I would choose a cymbal by touring their factory or getting an email from someone who has.
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29th October 2010
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Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I would choose a cymbal by playing it long before I would choose a cymbal by touring their factory or getting an email from someone who has.
+1 This is actually a great bit of advice for anything musical. Not just cymbals. Try before you buy.
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29th October 2010
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I would choose a cymbal by playing it long before I would choose a cymbal by touring their factory or getting an email from someone who has.
um, yeah, I wasn't advocating a factory tour instead of intelligent purchasing practices. I was simply advocating users to see how they're made, and how differently they're made.
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30th October 2010
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um, yeah, I wasn't advocating a factory tour instead of intelligent purchasing practices. I was simply advocating users to see how they're made, and how differently they're made.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to tour the factories, but I'd like to think I would be hard-headed enough to NOT allow it to influence my purchases in any way whatsoever.

One cymbal could be made by magical elves with silver hammers and one cymbal could be stamped out by grimy industrial robots, if the robot cymbals play better, sound better, those are the ones I am going to buy.
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30th October 2010
Old 30th October 2010
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Way cool!
Some of us who were around in the 60's aren't in the greatest shape, but many of the the cymbals made then...are! What's wrong with this picture.

Best wishes,

Lloyd
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30th October 2010
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One cymbal could be made by magical elves with silver hammers and one cymbal could be stamped out by grimy industrial robots, if the robot cymbals play better, sound better, those are the ones I am going to buy.
In 1993 I sold my darkroom. Sink, chemicals, optics, electronics, everything. And as soon as I cashed the $2431 check I marched right down to my local drum store and bought this kit. When it came to cymbals, I told them I wanted to choose them blindfolded. I sat down to a throne, a kick & snare, a hat stand and a cymbal stand setup. In about 90 minutes my choice was clear: Paiste Sound Formula and Signature.

The Magical Elves with their silver hammers had done a wonderful job. Seventeen years later, three of them have cracked. I sprinkled the fairy dust on my lawn, but the Magical Elves said I'd have to go to here if I wanted to dance with the Unicorns.
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30th October 2010
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Seventeen years later, three of them have cracked.
Only 3? wimp!

seriously, 3 cymbals in 17 years is not too bad, depending on how you play

You did the right thing, IMO. I think it's better to have a cymbal you love for 10 years, than a cymbal you settle for forever.
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31st October 2010
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seriously, 3 cymbals in 17 years is not too bad, depending on how you play.
Perhaps, but the strange thing is how they've all cracked within a few months. This leads me to believe the metal fatigued due to work hardening, which leads me to believe Paiste heat treats their metal to get their sound. Just a guess though.
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1st November 2010
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I've been fairly lucky with not breaking cymbals, however the ones I broke run counter to some other experiences in this thread. Quite unfortunately, the best cymbals I ever had were old Zildjians, including a 22" Swish Knocker, an 18" slightly thin crash, and a 22" old A ride.

All of them and some others were purported to have belonged to Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon, and were sold to me by someone who knew him personally. This person had the pictures to prove it. Anyway, the aforementioned cymbals reside in the cymbal graveyard inside my old rolling trap case.

Based on that experience, I don't know that there is much of an argument to support the premise Zildjians were made more durably back in the day, although I was fairly young and stupid when I got my basher-hands on those plates, so a great deal of the responsibility lies with my former naive self. If I had the broader range of experience and appreciation for drumming that I have today, those cymbals would still be alive and well, ready for the next musical setting where I could use them to the best advantage. They were special.

A few of their smaller kin survived that era. Some really old and funky sounding 14" hats (that make cool small crashes as well) and an even older 13" crash. They have more sonic character than most cymbal makers seem to be capable of creating today, with a few exceptions. Instanbul comes to mind. These crusty old beauties are going to live a long time.

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