How Important Are the Ink Logos on Cymbals?

JazzDrumGuy

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That guy was trying to lowball you due to no logos. Maybe you could have split at $150 but it's your call. I think of you had two identical cymbals and one had logos and one didn't or was worn, the one without logos would be worth a little bit less but it depends on the cymbal.
 

Markkuliini

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Guitars have a small logo on the head stock. Keyboards maybe have a small logo in a corner facing the player, otherwise it's on the body rib facing the audience. Maybe something underneath. I never see big labels on guitars or keyboards facing the player.
Huh? Just do an image search for 'synthesizer' and click the images. It's actually quite hard to find one that doesn't have logo and model facing the player.
 

blueshadow

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All a matter of taste. I love the look of the big K on my cymbals makes me remember looking at them in Modern Drummer growing up. When I could afford them I was told I wouldn't like them for country/rock music that they were Jazz cymbals so I never even put a stick to one at a store. As to value of the cymbal I agree it was more of a ploy to get you to reduce the price. If I want logos then I'll find a cymbal with them and not bother someone selling one without or with faded logos.
 

REF

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Huh? Just do an image search for 'synthesizer' and click the images. It's actually quite hard to find one that doesn't have logo and model facing the player.
Yeah, that's what I did before I posted, just to get an expanded view of what's out there. All I saw were small logos in a corner of the unit, larger ones on the back rib of the unit, and some have logos underneath. So, here you have an instrument twice as large as a cymbal with a small logo on the face a third the size of Sabian or Zildjian or other companies out there. Makes no sense to me. For me it is total overkill on the part of the cymbal company to advertise their name.

I remember all the drummers who flipped at Ludwig coming up with their bigger bass drum logo decades ago. Overkill was the reaction but, Ludwig went for the younger crowd, as most businesses will, and cater to the next generation's tastes. They liked the big, modern logo. I was young at the time and I thought it was overkill.

I guess the go big or go home attitude has just become the lion's share of the way things are advertised today.
 

REF

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You mean, like putting their name on them?

View attachment 408162View attachment 408161View attachment 408159View attachment 408160

Instrument makers have done that for, like, ever. I don't think there's anything special about cymbals.
I notice the size of those monikers. Even the Strad label is on the inside of the instrument, where makers place their labels. Otherwise cleft shape and head stock shape are identifiers for Luthiers.

Cymbals have been struck with stamps of the same size and variety as instruments of the past which still retain small identification marks.

Even the Steinway, given the size of the instrument, makes more sense, to me, than huge cymbal logos.

And I still ask why that ink makes a newer cymbal, resold, more valuable as a musical instrument.
 

Drumming-4-Life

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Recently I reluctantly listed my Sabian HH Raw Bell Dry Ride for sale in a local drummers' Facebook group. Since I like the cymbal, I'm reluctant to sell it, but because I never set it up (it's too specialized for me), I figured that it's best to get my money out of it and move on. My asking price was $200, though I was realistically looking for something north of $150, maybe around $175 depending on the particulars.

A prospective buyer peppered me with questions to the point where I was becoming annoyed. (No, sorry, I don't want to trade for a snare worth $100, etc.) Eventually he made a low ball offer of $125 and explained that the ink logos on my cymbal were faded and it therefore isn't worth much.

I was incredulous. Although I'd never put much thought into it, I'm somewhere between indifferent to ink logos and hating them. Kind of like wearing clothes with the seller's name on them, I don't like to provide free advertising for a company when I'm only buying their product. With respect to cymbals, while I've never intentionally dirtied one up (perhaps by burying it in the backyard), I suppose I've got a slight preference old cymbals with patinas and no ink logos at all. The only time I remember specifically reacting negatively to ink cymbal logos was when the hollow logo Zildjians came out. I dislike that logo so much that I avoid those cymbals. Now that I think about it, I also dislike Sabian's ink logo. Mostly, though, the ink logo is the last thing I look for in a used cymbal. If it's there, I frankly rarely notice, although if it's not there, so much the better.

Yet this guy was justifying his low offer on the grounds of faded ink logos. This prompts me to ask the rest of you: Are ink logos important to many cymbal buyers or did I just run into an oddball (or maybe a guy coming up with an excuse to make a low ball offer)?

I can understand it when drummers like shiny new-looking cymbals, even though that's not my taste. I can also understand it when collectors pay more for cymbals in mint condition. However, in this case the cymbal is just a used instance of a recent mass market cymbal that's obviously not going to be shiny new-looking and won't have value for collectors for a century. The value of this cymbal is found in playing it, not looking at the logos. I had to wonder if this prospective buyer was so much a victim of marketing that he actually thought the Sabian logos made him look cool.

I handled the offer by saying "no thanks" and not pursuing the discussion. To criticize faded logos struck me as too ridiculous to continue fooling with this guy. Plus, as said, I like the cymbal myself and am not so eager to sell it that I'm willing to take a low offer or deal with the ridiculous in the hopes of getting more. But now I wonder if there are other logo-likers out there and how prevalent they are.
Last year, I took the plunge. After MANY years of cleaning around the logos on my precious Zildjian and Sabian cymbals, I finally decided to be gone with all the logos (clear drumheads too). It is very liberating. I don't care if anyone thinks they are less valuable, because I don't plan to sell any of them anyway (it took me 20 years to find my favorite crashes, rides, splashes, chinas, stacks, etc.). So this is what I see when I play.

frontnewrideposition1small.jpg


newksplashessmall.jpg


I removed all the logos with acetone, then I sent all of my cymbals to a reputable dealer, Drums on Sale in Hagerstown, MD, and he buffed/polished all the cymbals on a lathe. Chris (at Drums on Sale) easily spruces up brilliant cymbals, and can change traditional finish cymbal into brilliant finish cymbals. In that second photo, those are both Zildjian K Splashes, 8" and 10". The 8" came brilliant from the factory, but the 10" came traditional... Chris was able to match their finish very well... at a reasonable price.
 

REF

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Ha, ask Paiste owners if their labels matter. White label Giant Beats anyone?
I'm a Paiste owner. Lots of them. Sigs, SF, Alphas. Like I said, their labels are the most difficult to remove. I have a new 26" Giant Beat. I love it. I gave up trying to remove the label. At least, I need to do more research for the next attempt. I could always write the company, I guess. A Sabian Rep was reluctantly kind enough to tell me how to remove their logos. Maybe Paiste would do the same.
 

REF

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Last year, I took the plunge. After MANY years of cleaning around the logos on my precious Zildjian and Sabian cymbals, I finally decided to be gone with all the logos (clear drumheads too). It is very liberating. I don't care if anyone thinks they are less valuable, because I don't plan to sell any of them anyway (it took me 20 years to find my favorite crashes, rides, splashes, chinas, stacks, etc.). So this is what I see when I play.

View attachment 408221

View attachment 408222

I removed all the logos with acetone, then I sent all of my cymbals to a reputable dealer, Drums on Sale in Hagerstown, MD, and he buffed/polished all the cymbals on a lathe. Chris (at Drums on Sale) easily spruces up brilliant cymbals, and can change traditional finish cymbal into brilliant finish cymbals. In that second photo, those are both Zildjian K Splashes, 8" and 10". The 8" came brilliant from the factory, but the 10" came traditional... Chris was able to match their finish very well... at a reasonable price.
I have done quite a bit of business with them over the years. I didn't know they did that cymbal work.

Beautiful drum set, btw. Nice symmetry.
 

Redbeard77

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Condition of the logo doesn't bother me as long as it's legible enough to verify what model the cymbal is.
 

Markkuliini

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Yeah, that's what I did before I posted, just to get an expanded view of what's out there. All I saw were small logos in a corner of the unit, larger ones on the back rib of the unit, and some have logos underneath. So, here you have an instrument twice as large as a cymbal with a small logo on the face a third the size of Sabian or Zildjian or other companies out there. Makes no sense to me. For me it is total overkill on the part of the cymbal company to advertise their name.

I remember all the drummers who flipped at Ludwig coming up with their bigger bass drum logo decades ago. Overkill was the reaction but, Ludwig went for the younger crowd, as most businesses will, and cater to the next generation's tastes. They liked the big, modern logo. I was young at the time and I thought it was overkill.

I guess the go big or go home attitude has just become the lion's share of the way things are advertised today.
Sorry, read your original text bit too fast, before my morning coffee.
 

Bronzepie

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I'll take em' or leave em'. In the past I have gone as far as removing them, not now, too much effort, I'll live with em'
They don't matter to me when buying.
Most valuable to me helping with positive ID, model, dating, etc.
If you see Sharpie logos, BEWARE!
Agreed!
 

Old Drummer

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To the snobbery issue, I have bought and sold a few cellos for more than a DW drum set outfitted with vintage K's would cost, and I can state with 99% confidence that the value of those cellos would drop significantly if the maker had painted the company's name on the cello's body. Yes, there are often labels on cellos, usually inserted inside, and makers have distinctive styles that enable them to be identified, but a gaudy ink company logo on the cello itself would be a no-go.

Similarly, look at the Steinway & Sons logo. It faces the player and appears tasteful to me. There's no pseudo-artwork and the ink isn't plastered on the side or top of the piano in huge letters (that don't even conform to the piano's curves). Steinway could put ink logos on its pianos like cymbal makers put on their cymbals, but it has the good sense not to. Most people good enough to play a Steinway are also sophisticated enough to recoil at gaudy ink logos.

Same with even guitars. Huge ink logos could be painted on them too, but Martin for example doesn't do this. Its name is up by the tuning pegs, small and tasteful.

But drummers are given huge, often gaudy logos, sometimes plastered at ill-fitting angles, as if we have no aesthetic sense at all. This is insulting, and leads me to suspect that the cymbal makers believe the "dumb drummer" jokes.

There are four purposes for labels or logos, three of them legitimate. One legitimate purpose is for the makers to "sign" their work out of pride. Good for them, they should do this. Another legitimate purpose is to identify the provenance of the cymbal, mostly for later collectors. A third legitimate purpose is to identify the product for buyers and users. Painting "top" on the top of a pair of hats of different weights helps, as also does painting "thin" or the like on a cymbal to give a rough idea of the weight (although writing the number of grams under the bell is better). But the fourth offensive purpose is to force the buyer to be a billboard advertising the company.

Most cymbal makers are treating us like eager advertising billboards, and unfortunately some of us are such victims of consumer culture that we want to be billboards, I'd guess because feeling associated with a cymbal maker, albeit as merely a buyer, gives us a pathetic sense of pride.

I think it's legitimate snobbery requires us to rebel against this treatment.

Look at it this way: In my opinion, the most elite new cymbals drummers can buy are those they commission cymbal smiths to custom make according to their exact specifications. If you did this and the maker asked if he could put a huge ink logo on your cymbal saying "Harry's Cymbals" together with a design his kid drew in art class, would you tell Harry to go ahead with the logo? I suspect that you wouldn't. I think you'd tell Harry that it's OK to put something small on the cymbal indicating that he's the maker, but to skip the gaudy ink.
 

feelyat

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Most cymbal makers are treating us like eager advertising billboards, and unfortunately some of us are such victims of consumer culture that we want to be billboards, I'd guess because feeling associated with a cymbal maker, albeit as merely a buyer, gives us a pathetic sense of pride.

I think it's legitimate snobbery requires us to rebel against this treatment.
Yeah, not sure I buy it. My instrument is the drum set, not the cymbal. The drum set is a composite instrument, and some components have significant logos, others don’t. A similar dynamic exists with guitar amps and electronic keyboards. Those have prominent logos, often facing the audience, and serve the same purpose as cymbal logos: identification and brand identity, and, to a degree, advertising. I rarely see guitarists remove the logo off their Marshall stacks, and if they did, the value would definitely go down.
 

Redbeard77

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I'm not sure how much advertising there really is from cymbal logos as far as visibility to the audience. Yes, some logos are large, but given the typical orientation of a cymbal they're really only visible to the player. I know I've often tried to see what gear someone was using because I liked the sound of it, but other than maybe a brief glimpse of the brand logo as the crash tilted down, it's more or less impossible.
 

fusseltier

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Recently I reluctantly listed my Sabian HH Raw Bell Dry Ride for sale in a local drummers' Facebook group. Since I like the cymbal, I'm reluctant to sell it, but because I never set it up (it's too specialized for me), I figured that it's best to get my money out of it and move on. My asking price was $200, though I was realistically looking for something north of $150, maybe around $175 depending on the particulars.

A prospective buyer peppered me with questions to the point where I was becoming annoyed. (No, sorry, I don't want to trade for a snare worth $100, etc.) Eventually he made a low ball offer of $125 and explained that the ink logos on my cymbal were faded and it therefore isn't worth much.

I was incredulous. Although I'd never put much thought into it, I'm somewhere between indifferent to ink logos and hating them. Kind of like wearing clothes with the seller's name on them, I don't like to provide free advertising for a company when I'm only buying their product. With respect to cymbals, while I've never intentionally dirtied one up (perhaps by burying it in the backyard), I suppose I've got a slight preference old cymbals with patinas and no ink logos at all. The only time I remember specifically reacting negatively to ink cymbal logos was when the hollow logo Zildjians came out. I dislike that logo so much that I avoid those cymbals. Now that I think about it, I also dislike Sabian's ink logo. Mostly, though, the ink logo is the last thing I look for in a used cymbal. If it's there, I frankly rarely notice, although if it's not there, so much the better.

Yet this guy was justifying his low offer on the grounds of faded ink logos. This prompts me to ask the rest of you: Are ink logos important to many cymbal buyers or did I just run into an oddball (or maybe a guy coming up with an excuse to make a low ball offer)?

I can understand it when drummers like shiny new-looking cymbals, even though that's not my taste. I can also understand it when collectors pay more for cymbals in mint condition. However, in this case the cymbal is just a used instance of a recent mass market cymbal that's obviously not going to be shiny new-looking and won't have value for collectors for a century. The value of this cymbal is found in playing it, not looking at the logos. I had to wonder if this prospective buyer was so much a victim of marketing that he actually thought the Sabian logos made him look cool.

I handled the offer by saying "no thanks" and not pursuing the discussion. To criticize faded logos struck me as too ridiculous to continue fooling with this guy. Plus, as said, I like the cymbal myself and am not so eager to sell it that I'm willing to take a low offer or deal with the ridiculous in the hopes of getting more. But now I wonder if there are other logo-likers out there and how prevalent they are.
The original stamped and now lazer etched logos should still be there, so who cares about the painted on logo? He doesn't know anything, probably didn't like it tarnished either, but most pros want the tarnish. Better off keeping it than selling it to someone like that.
 
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1- write the type of cymbal under the bell. 2- clean your cymbals. 3- ink Logos wear off (see #1). I have too many cymbals- but I buy for the sound not the logos. Anybody have a 1930's Zildjian with the ink on it? noop. Value? through the roof.. cymbal tastes change over time. I need to sell my A Custom ping rides. Not the 'washy' sound I want now. I prefer wood tip sticks now- changes the sounds. If I have a cymbal that I want more 'ping' to it- I can use nylon tips. in short- logo worn off just says it has been played and cared for. I am more interested in cracks and where the sizzle holes were drilled. Keyholes don't bother me too much, 1- makes the cymbal CHEAP- 2 small keyholes can be bored out. large ones can be salvaged with a brass grommet.- BUT the sound has to be right
 

zenstat

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Anybody have a 1930's Zildjian with the ink on it? noop. Value? through the roof..
Both of these statements are inaccurate. There are 1930s cymbals with ink. I showed this one before, therefore they exist.



If I do a retrieval in my database I can give you estimates of what proportion of A Zildjian cymbals from different decades have them.

As far as prices go, the expected price may be higher (after taking into account factors like brand, series, model, diameter, production era, weight, structural condition, surface condition) but "through the roof" is not what the evidence suggests. Maybe more like 10% but I have yet to estimate this accurately. And as I said before it isn't looking like a "one size fits all" equation will do a good job. The ink effect varies with different brands, etc.
 
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gwbasley

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I never cared for the ink on my cymbals. Going back to the 60's when I bought my first Zildjians, the ink came off along with the fingerprints the very first time I polished them up...that's right, I polish my cymbals and I also wax my drums.

To some this may seem like a confession but I surely don't feel that way at all. When I was first starting out I worked hard to buy my first kit and wanted it to look good on stage. To this day that has not changed. I looked at the ink stamps like you would look at tags on new clothing...as soon as you get home, off they come! Other drummers may be impressed by logos but I play for my audience and I believe they appreciate the shine more than some exotic names that they are unfamiliar with.

I can appreciate that there are a lot of members here who buy and sell so their perspective is probably at odds with mine and that's fine, but, for myself it's no ink.
 

JDA

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I think the logos (some; mine) look good they certainly don't look bad. And.....And....
 

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