Cymbal "Break-In"

Rock Salad

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
929
Reaction score
690
Location
Tulsa, Ok. USA
Please share your experience and knowledge with me/us?
Got a brand spankin' new set of cymbals, Bosphorus Antique fwiw. I have never had new cymbals before although I suspect some second hand ones were unused. I know that hats can curve, I know that resonances can become prominent. Not sure how, but I know these can happen.
Please share any wisdom you have collected, so I don't ruin these perfect pies.
 

Mcjnic

DFO Master
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
3,798
Reaction score
2,738
It takes time on a stand for the metal to settle (I’m a poet!).
Over the years, I have used a soft mallet to work the new cymbals.
But generally speaking … time on a stand is what you need.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
23,547
Reaction score
12,512
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
that's all you got to do.. I hope you got some "Rides" in the whole set of Antiques..
 
Last edited:

fitzsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2015
Messages
441
Reaction score
576
Location
Atlanta, GA
I do the Elvin thing. Full volume sustained rolls with mallets; rest; repeat several times.
 

Tracktuary

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
287
Reaction score
328
Location
MKE
I've never found a cymbal's sonic characteristics to change once they were available for purchase. I believe the cymbalsmiths have covered this before, but the metal is pretty settled shortly after final hammering / lathing. There might be some changes in the weeks following, but there isn't much left to change once it hits your stand.

But many here disagree with my observations based on theirs. Has anyone recorded their cymbal on day 1 and then recorded it on day 366? Whatever discernible difference there might be would be nothing compared to that attained by changing sticks or adding some tape.
 

Piggpenn

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
981
Reaction score
390
Location
Eastern Iowa
Break in period? I'd never heard of that.

Unbox, mount on cymbal stand. Enjoy....hopefully. ;)
 

mebeatee

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
1,060
Reaction score
787
Location
Sechelt(ish), B.C. Canada
They may change a bit after all the gunk, goop, and patina set in otherwise no real “break in” period needed. btw....you surely aren’t going to “clean“ them.....;)
Only your ears need to get broken in to all the new sounds you will discover.....unless you break the cymbal.
bt
 

Mcjnic

DFO Master
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
3,798
Reaction score
2,738
Well … cymbals do in fact change sonically, depending on time, use, and environment.
I had just purchased a set of Sabians. Mr. Brown picked them out for me, as I was an endorser at the time. I played them for a few months and then packed them up for a transfer. They were packed up and stored in a box underneath lots of other boxes and locked in a container.
By the time I was able to pull them out (delayed for cause), the cymbals had altered.
I had a film record of the before (a project) and Mr. Brown had remembered them. When I sent them back, they confirmed they had indeed “changed” and replaced them.
The official word was that the metal had rapidly settled due to the heat of the storage. It is something that would normally take years. That is how it was explained to me by Sabian.

I have other experiences that dealt with time and use. One involves an HH ride. Again, Sabian quantified and confirmed the change.

I have a feeling, my experiences are not unique in cymbals altering over time, use, and environment.
We all have our life experiences.
 

Pat A Flafla

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
707
Reaction score
701
Interesting article
I got a Ping ride for $80 that had a stank and wobble to it. I buried it for a year, and it sounded great for a few years. It still sounds OK, but I'm thinking about burying it again.
 

Pat A Flafla

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
707
Reaction score
701
I was just wondering about this for a different reason. I've had 2 aax 18" stage crashes, one new, the other used. Loved them so much that I snapped up a good deal on one that had supposedly been used in a clinic at Sweetwater or one of those places. Got it on a stand with the used one and they sound nothing alike. This new one is cold and slow to respond, with a very quick decay. Yuck. I'm hoping that it will "soften up" a little bit if I lay into it every day.
 

Sprice

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
80
I'm not sure how much cymbals change but I'm sure there's a certain amount of change in people's ears. You learn to listen for different things and your taste develops or maybe you just get used to some tones that sound brash at first. I found a video of a 50's A I passed on because I thought it sounded terrible but hearing it a couple years later I'm kicking myself. I imagine it's like good beer or cigars or whatever...the better stuff is an acquired taste.
 

Tornado

DFO Master
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
3,449
Reaction score
3,914
Location
Dallas
Yeah, I'm of the opinion that it's your ears that break in, not the cymbal. You get used to it and eventually start liking things that weren't familiar to you when you first bought it.
 

Markkuliini

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
3,056
Reaction score
2,022
Location
Sweden/Finland
Having bought several, and I mean very several (lol) hand made cymbals in last 2 years, I can say they they definitely break in and change, especially if they were heavily hammered (so the bronze has been shocked more).
When buying a cymbal so fresh that it's been hammered and lathed only approx 2-3 weeks earlier, it's actually quite apparent. Some, especially thin ones, change and then stay more or less the same within the first week of playing.
Some, especially thicker ones, might take longer, couple of months maybe. After that I haven't noticed any changes, exept what some patina build up might result.

In these cases the change is almost always to the better, they become more open and 3 dimensional, you'll get more treble into the mix when the bronze settles. And the feel of the cymbal gets often but harder and rebound gets better.

But I suppose that if you buy from bigger brands, the cymbal had always had time to settle before it reaches your hands, so the possible change, when you start playing it, will be much more subtle.
 

Rock Salad

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
929
Reaction score
690
Location
Tulsa, Ok. USA
I'm thinking purposely using different sticks in rotation will help by emphasizing different pitches, so that none become overly pronounced. Also trying to remember to spin the hats often, so that the whole of the edge of each is familliar with the whole of the edge of the other. Im not spinning the ride or crashes, im good with those developing distinct areas/tones. Im doing a little playing with mallets too and swells, just to get them wide open screaming because i dont play that hard normally.
 


Top