Hand Made K Cons?

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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Getting into K Cons lately, part of which has included ogling over the many different nuances in lathing and hammering from model to model (at least the two I have). I remember reading somewhere here that despite appearing to be hand-manipulated to some degree, even the indentations in the bells are machine programmed and consistent from one cymbal to the next. Let it be said that the degree of manual forming has no significance to me, as I love the sound of these cymbals regardless of the manufacturing process.

I'm posting this thread because my 22" MTL (purchased this year) came with a very noticeable gash in it. After reading that even the seemingly random elements may be pre-planned and machine programmed, this gash left me wondering whether this was truly an anomaly, or whether this same gash exists on other cymbals from this model and year. I've included a close up of the gash, and another image showing the position relative to the text on the cymbal.
 

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varatrodder

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Programmed to appear random. I would guess the gash above is a result of the casting/rolling process.
 

cymbal.wiki

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Here are the pits on two different bells rotated to congruence. There are variations in how fully pressed in they are from one cymbal to another, but they are in the same place.

k-con-pits.jpg

They seem to be built into the bell pressing mold. The pits are different on different models presumably when a different bell is used on a different model. There are also changes over time with pits dropping out on some models.

The hammering patterns are programmed and executed on a mechanical hammering machine. Pinksterboer (The Cymbal Book p113) and I both prefer to call them "irregular" rather than random, because they aren't random. If randomly hitting a cymbal created a nice musical instrument there wouldn't be trained craftsmen at work creating cymbals.

I agree with varatrodder that the gash might be from early on in the rolling process and was deep enough that it didn't get removed by the lathing process. You can compare the depth of the gash to the depth of the hammering marks which also show oven crust at the bottom because the lathing doesn't get that deep.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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Here are the pits on two different bells rotated to congruence. There are variations in how fully pressed in they are from one cymbal to another, but they are in the same place.

View attachment 486121
They seem to be built into the bell pressing mold. The pits are different on different models presumably when a different bell is used on a different model. There are also changes over time with pits dropping out on some models.

The hammering patterns are programmed and executed on a mechanical hammering machine. Pinksterboer (The Cymbal Book p113) and I both prefer to call them "irregular" rather than random, because they aren't random. If randomly hitting a cymbal created a nice musical instrument there wouldn't be trained craftsmen at work creating cymbals.

I agree with varatrodder that the gash might be from early on in the rolling process and was deep enough that it didn't get removed by the lathing process. You can compare the depth of the gash to the depth of the hammering marks which also show oven crust at the bottom because the lathing doesn't get that deep.
Thank you for your thorough reply and enlightening explanation of the process used to make these cymbals. I could see the hammering being programmed, but the gash just seemed especially random when compared to the rest of the cymbal. I was concerned at first, but seeing the same oven crust in it that remained in the deeper hammer marks, I figured it was from early on in the manufacturing process.

Anyhow, it seems the special uniqueness of my cymbal has transcended the prescribed manufacturing process, and I've got a one of a kind, ultra rare collector's item ; )

As I said before, however they're made, I just love the sound of these cymbals. I haven't played another 22" MTL, but I do wonder if the gash has any impact on the sound compared to others.
 

Seb77

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Here are the pits on two different bells rotated to congruence. There are variations in how fully pressed in they are from one cymbal to another, but they are in the same place.

View attachment 486121
They seem to be built into the bell pressing mold. The pits are different on different models presumably when a different bell is used on a different model. There are also changes over time with pits dropping out on some models.
I'd say fewer pits appearing is a result of different lathing depth, same as with the hammermarks and that gash, which does look like an oddity.
The term mechanical hammering might imply it's done the same with all cymbals, but I think they calibrate the machine with each batch, as there is still a lot of variance between individual castings.
 

JDA

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but I think they calibrate the machine with each batch, as there is still a lot of variance between individual castings.
I'd like- now that we've looked a 3 different Bells/cups- look at the body/face/ of various K Cons (and maybe the straight K Dark Medium)
to see if they all get a -model-specific- code.
K con Light and K con Medium
then K Con MTL
``````
It could be. prototypes were hand hammered. tested . decided upon. finalized. Then. the surface pictured digitally scanned someway. then fed (by code)
into 'the machine.

I'd be particularly curious about comparing various 22 K Dark Medium
being I own one.
could ya call it some serious 3D printing?
 
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Seb77

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It could be. prototypes were hand hammered. tested . decided upon. finalized. Then. the surface pictured digitally scanned someway. then fed (by code)
into 'the machine.
Meinl did this, but only with highly consistent blanks, such as B8. (Amun series, I recall).
With individual castings being automatically hammered, I think they testdrive a few at the beginning of a batch, then adjust paramters of the machine based on visual inspection of the resulting shape - you'd need to lathe each one as well in order to check if the sound came out right.
 
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