How Important Are the Ink Logos on Cymbals?

pwc1141

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If you have a cymbal with some credibility, a true player knows what it is and goes for the sound if it suits his genre and style. Logos on my gear might be left on reverse but if any wear or loss is there on the main side then so be it. Frankly overly overt logos distract me somehow. Selling on-line is of course different to selling to someone who can see and hear a cymbal and I can understand someone checking cymbal credibility when unseen.
 

rock roll

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When I buy cymbals from eBay or reverb etc and I can't hear them, how do I figure out what it is and the age etc if it has no discernible markings. and how do I figure out what it's worth.assuming it's what the seller says it is. Remember we are talking ink logos.
Short answer , it only matters if you sell it.
 

Old Drummer

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When I buy cymbals from eBay or reverb etc and I can't hear them, how do I figure out what it is and the age etc if it has no discernible markings. and how do I figure out what it's worth.assuming it's what the seller says it is. Remember we are talking ink logos.
Short answer , it only matters if you sell it.
I'm not sure about all cymbals, but with Zildjians as well as the Sabians and Agop I just checked, there are identifying stamps pressed right into the metal. True, these stamps get worn down over the years, but so also do the ink logos (and the pressed stamps last longer). True too, these pressed stamps don't always tell you everything you want to know. However, there's often a surprising amount of information in them, at least if you know how to decode them (which a google search can show you). A knowledgeable online seller will probably post or send you a closeup photo of the stamp to enable you to verify that the cymbal is as described. Add information about the size and weight as well as the overall condition of the cymbal (that helps you judge its age) and you can pretty much figure out what exact cymbal it is. If you're a real pro, you'll also be able to eyeball the bell, profile, lathing, and hammering from a photo and really zero in on what exact cymbal it is.

Except for making some of this information larger and easier to see, I don't know how ink logos improve the online shopping experience. The ink logos after all don't usually provide much factual information, and the factual information that is sometimes provided can be misleading. A cymbal labeled medium might be as heavy as another labeled medium-heavy, while one labeled crash may be identical to another labeled ride. Then there are labels like rock, jazz, and even worship.
 

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I'm not sure about all cymbals, but with Zildjians as well as the Sabians and Agop I just checked, there are identifying stamps pressed right into the metal. True, these stamps get worn down over the years, but so also do the ink logos (and the pressed stamps last longer). True too, these pressed stamps don't always tell you everything you want to know. However, there's often a surprising amount of information in them, at least if you know how to decode them (which a google search can show you). A knowledgeable online seller will probably post or send you a closeup photo of the stamp to enable you to verify that the cymbal is as described. Add information about the size and weight as well as the overall condition of the cymbal (that helps you judge its age) and you can pretty much figure out what exact cymbal it is. If you're a real pro, you'll also be able to eyeball the bell, profile, lathing, and hammering from a photo and really zero in on what exact cymbal it is.

Except for making some of this information larger and easier to see, I don't know how ink logos improve the online shopping experience. The ink logos after all don't usually provide much factual information, and the factual information that is sometimes provided can be misleading. A cymbal labeled medium might be as heavy as another labeled medium-heavy, while one labeled crash may be identical to another labeled ride. Then there are labels like rock, jazz, and even worship.
ahh...wellll...erm....

Hang on a second...

Stamps, do not indicate weight, profile, 'type', etc. They indicate the maker, and in the case of say...Zildjian Ks they may indicate the family.

And yes, we all could become a Professor of Cymbals, or perhaps, send a picture and a check for $50 to Zenstat so he could study the bell, profile, hammer marks, stamp, etc. Run cross-references by weight and age and get back to us with "You have a Zildjian K medium thin manufactured around 1993." Of course you do run the risk of the cymbal being sold... Or we could look at the ink and say-"looks like a nice 18" IAK Dark Thin crash". And, for the most part, labels DO indicate improtant info-no matter if there are some discrepancies within the same type or not, more often than not, they still give you accurate info like weight, taper, and type.

The oh-so-simple answer is for makers to continue with their marking...and for those that don't care for markings or labels to get out the acetone and just take them off. Easy-peasy...win-win. Nobody gets hurt everyone gets a trophy and goes home happy. Sure beats having to draw my own markings on with a Sharpy or a paint pen. I'd much rather let Zildjian artisans do it....lol.

If it's a used cymbal and the markings are missing, ilegible, or somehow or another messed up then the buyer just hast to decide how important it is to them-again "easy-peasy". lol
 

Old Drummer

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ahh...wellll...erm....

Hang on a second...

Stamps, do not indicate weight, profile, 'type', etc. They indicate the maker, and in the case of say...Zildjian Ks they may indicate the family.

And yes, we all could become a Professor of Cymbals, or perhaps, send a picture and a check for $50 to Zenstat so he could study the bell, profile, hammer marks, stamp, etc. Run cross-references by weight and age and get back to us with "You have a Zildjian K medium thin manufactured around 1993." Of course you do run the risk of the cymbal being sold... Or we could look at the ink and say-"looks like a nice 18" IAK Dark Thin crash". And, for the most part, labels DO indicate improtant info-no matter if there are some discrepancies within the same type or not, more often than not, they still give you accurate info like weight, taper, and type.

The oh-so-simple answer is for makers to continue with their marking...and for those that don't care for markings or labels to get out the acetone and just take them off. Easy-peasy...win-win. Nobody gets hurt everyone gets a trophy and goes home happy. Sure beats having to draw my own markings on with a Sharpy or a paint pen. I'd much rather let Zildjian artisans do it....lol.

If it's a used cymbal and the markings are missing, ilegible, or somehow or another messed up then the buyer just hast to decide how important it is to them-again "easy-peasy". lol
OK, the ink does sometimes provide a bit of information, but remarkably little, and the little information provided is often (a) smaller than the company's name and (b) incorrect.

In the cymbal I posted a photo of, the only potentially useful information conveyed by the ink is "hand hammered raw bell dry ride" and the size (21"). OK, this tells the buyer the model of the cymbal as well as the size, and that's something, but this bit of useful information is much smaller than the company's name and design (washed out by the flash). There is, however, no indication of the weight of the cymbal, the year it was made, or other facts that the buyer might want to know, I also think that most people could eyeball the cymbal and see that it's hammered with a raw bell, even as most people have access to rulers. More than this, I suspect that it isn't even hand hammered. Doesn't Sabian use hammering machines? If so, the ink is a lie.

Anyway, if a company wants to put useful information in ink on a cymbal, which nowadays probably includes its model name, I can see the benefit of that. But I think it's a stretch to maintain that the bulk of the ink on cymbals is useful.

Do people send Zenstat $50 for a consumer's consultation? I've used his Zildjian stuff for years online for free.
 

bongomania

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Do people send Zenstat $50 for a consumer's consultation? I've used his Zildjian stuff for years online for free.
Oh brother, you are in for a terrible shock when his bill arrives! He’s worse than the IRS and the library lady combined. It can take a while for the collection statement to get to you, because it travels by kiwi.
 

Mongrel

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OK, the ink does sometimes provide a bit of information, but remarkably little, and the little information provided is often (a) smaller than the company's name and (b) incorrect.

In the cymbal I posted a photo of, the only potentially useful information conveyed by the ink is "hand hammered raw bell dry ride" and the size (21"). OK, this tells the buyer the model of the cymbal as well as the size, and that's something, but this bit of useful information is much smaller than the company's name and design (washed out by the flash). There is, however, no indication of the weight of the cymbal, the year it was made, or other facts that the buyer might want to know, I also think that most people could eyeball the cymbal and see that it's hammered with a raw bell, even as most people have access to rulers. More than this, I suspect that it isn't even hand hammered. Doesn't Sabian use hammering machines? If so, the ink is a lie.

Anyway, if a company wants to put useful information in ink on a cymbal, which nowadays probably includes its model name, I can see the benefit of that. But I think it's a stretch to maintain that the bulk of the ink on cymbals is useful.

Do people send Zenstat $50 for a consumer's consultation? I've used his Zildjian stuff for years online for free.
Just to bow out in a gentlemanly fashion, let's just say apparently you and I really see things very differently...

I don't see a grand conspiracy where cymbal makers lie to their customers by putting things like "hand hammered" on their machine hammered cymbals, or put incorrect information on their cymbals-like Zildjian putting a big "K" on an A or putting "dark thin" when in reality it is a "dark heavy" or other such things. Yes, weights will vary within a series or a family, we all know that. But I do not think the information is of little use or "incorrect"-intentionally or otherwise. And I don't find a company name-large or small to be offensive in anyway. In fact, I am just shallow enough to kind of dig having a maker's name tastefully placed on a cymbal. Yep, I find it kind of cool looking actually, just like seeing a well done bass drum head decal. But the best part is-I don't *need* that name on their and many times I will play out with my old As whose ink, if there was any, was gone before I was born...lol.

I am NOT trying to maintain that "the bulk of information on cymbals is useful" or any thing else. I have cymbals with and without ink, and the ones with ink have never bothered me enough to remove it. In fact I rarely even think about the markings on my cymbal unless someone posts about it like in this thread, or I am putting a cymbal up for sale.

I do think there is room in the drumming community for people who like it either way (or somewhere in the middle...), but I don't see the need to start a campaign to get cymbal makers to change or remove their "ink". It is so easy to remove it if you don't care for it that it is literally a complete non-issue...

Good luck, and sincerely all the best!

Oh, "ps" that part about sending Zenstat money? That was a joke....lol.
 

Drumming-4-Life

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I wish Zildjian would add all of the cymbal information to their laser-etched logo, including the product line, model of the cymbal, and weight.
 

Old Drummer

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Just to bow out in a gentlemanly fashion, let's just say apparently you and I really see things very differently...

I don't see a grand conspiracy where cymbal makers lie to their customers by putting things like "hand hammered" on their machine hammered cymbals, or put incorrect information on their cymbals-like Zildjian putting a big "K" on an A or putting "dark thin" when in reality it is a "dark heavy" or other such things. Yes, weights will vary within a series or a family, we all know that. But I do not think the information is of little use or "incorrect"-intentionally or otherwise. And I don't find a company name-large or small to be offensive in anyway. In fact, I am just shallow enough to kind of dig having a maker's name tastefully placed on a cymbal. Yep, I find it kind of cool looking actually, just like seeing a well done bass drum head decal. But the best part is-I don't *need* that name on their and many times I will play out with my old As whose ink, if there was any, was gone before I was born...lol.

I am NOT trying to maintain that "the bulk of information on cymbals is useful" or any thing else. I have cymbals with and without ink, and the ones with ink have never bothered me enough to remove it. In fact I rarely even think about the markings on my cymbal unless someone posts about it like in this thread, or I am putting a cymbal up for sale.

I do think there is room in the drumming community for people who like it either way (or somewhere in the middle...), but I don't see the need to start a campaign to get cymbal makers to change or remove their "ink". It is so easy to remove it if you don't care for it that it is literally a complete non-issue...

Good luck, and sincerely all the best!

Oh, "ps" that part about sending Zenstat money? That was a joke....lol.
I appreciate the gentlemanly approach and hope mine is the same.

The arguments against ink logos have been made and I see no need to repeat them. A person either accepts them or doesn't. And as you point out, there are arguments for them.

But I think what you're saying here is mostly your taste. Ironically, mine isn't that different. Except, as mentioned, for having an aversion to the hollow logo Zildjian ink, it never dawned on me to care one way or another about ink on cymbals. My Agop has a huge ink logo (11" x 2") that I never thought about--much less cared about--until this discussion made me think about it. Now that I have, I find myself objecting to it. It says nothing of value to me, just "Istanbul, Agop, handmade cymbals from Turkey," and it dawns on me that there has been ink logo inflation over the years that I'm not comfortable with.

Some of my discomfort arises from my sense (independent of cymbals) that marketing in general has gotten out of hand while placing a burden on the economy. Marketing does serve legitimate purposes, namely to match customer desires with company products and inform customers of those products. But it quickly becomes a wasteful game. Coca-Cola spends $3 billion a year advertising a product everybody in the world is already familiar with. (Unsurprisingly, it therefore targets children.) MasterCard and Visa both spend oodles trying to out-market each other, usually with ads that tell customers nothing about their products but rather create focus group tested emotional good feelings. Goodness, hospitals market--and with misleading information. We're all also paying for this--essentially paying to be hoodwinked. So yes, there is a conspiracy, but no one company is at fault. Each wastes more and more money on marketing because their competitors are doing the same thing. And this appears to be what's happening with cymbal makers. I can't fault Istanbul for its huge ink logo when other companies are doing the same thing.

More subjectively, while Zenstat shows that ink on cymbals is as old as the hills, my recollection is that the drummers I admired coming up didn't have ink on their cymbals. Here, for example, is a short b & w clip of Joe Morello:


As I recall from those days, Joe knew what company's cymbals he was playing--and other drummers knew it too. There was no need for huge ink logos. Why are those huge ink logos on cymbals today?

Because everyone else is putting them on their cymbals so anyone who wants to compete has to.

Then we get the seeming cart-before-the-horse issue of some buyers (like the one I was dealing with) actually buying because of the ink logo. Huh? This really is backwards, and shows how out of hand marketing has become.

So I guess we'll agree to disagree.

PS. Yeah, I knew you were kidding about Zenstat.
 

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Logos aren't going anywhere...



unless you want to do a false flag or something....
 

zenstat

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I wish Zildjian would add all of the cymbal information to their laser-etched logo, including the product line, model of the cymbal, and weight.
Product line (aka series), model and diameter are coded into the batch number. See


You need to contact customer services with your full serial so they can look it up.

Weight is written on for some lines now, but not all. So I guess my investment in a scale will still pay off. :glasses8:

Why are those huge ink logos on cymbals today?
I've heard the blame put on MTV (or more generally the advent of music videos) but I haven't got hard evidence to back that up.

And Joe Morello's cymbal is a slightly oversized 20" with a late 50s Small Stamp and a weight of 2192g. We got this info from


and other sources.

take-five-3.png


take-five-5.png


although the video notes say B version Small Stamp, the photo above suggests it is the A version. Late 50s either way, and an "ordinary" weight. But an extraordinary player.
 
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JDA

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"Istanbul, Agop, handmade cymbals from Turkey,"
underneath it should/could/ say model..and possibly gram weight (so don't have to weigh (altho they usu differ slightly sometimes more than slightly from one's own scale) this is the ink that holds detail info. K Cons have their model inked on top. easily worn or removed. When that's gone on those it's then, only educated guess. I like the way the Turks do it which is a continuation of old K turks...
 

JDA

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Right. the Serial number on the Zildjians should include a model designate just like an automobile VIN
 

Tama CW

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One can date into a fairly close range with inking.

Zentstat's "PAPER THIN" 1930's inking from earlier is a good example of fonts used in the early days. You wouldn't even need to see the Zildjian die stamp to somewhat date that cymbal. Same goes for Hi Hat ink stamps from the 50's.

New Beat hi hats from late 60's to early 70's have a straight line inking - different from the curved inking used in the later 70's and 80's.
Zildjian hollow logo stamps were only used from 1978-1982....pretty defined dating if you ask me.
Zildjian solid inking without the "R" trademark at the tail end dates those to 1982-approx early 90's. The inkings Zildjian used from around 1978-1994 laser stamping helps to date them sometimes to within 1-2 yrs.

As far as good treatment of a cymbal. I cherished my 20" EAK from the day I bought it new. I never played on the logos - never. It was never left out in the open air when not playing it. I handled it by the edges only. Look ma, no fingerprints after 35 yrs. And good reason I did all that. I had a one out of 100 (or 1000) collectible because of that extra care. None of that made me any less of a player or drummer. Remove the logo's off this K....figure on a 20-30% drop in price. If any Zildjian cymbal benefits from the logo's....it's the K's imo. And I feel the same way for pre-1990's Paistes as well, esp. the 602's, 2oo2's, Big Beats, etc.


best 1.jpg
best 2.jpg
 
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Drumming-4-Life

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Product line (aka series), model and diameter are coded into the batch number. See


You need to contact customer services with your full serial so they can look it up.

Weight is written on for some lines now, but not all. So I guess my investment in a scale will still pay off.
It doesn't have to be in code... it can all be engraved in the cymbal... no need for secrecy or research.
 

zenstat

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It doesn't have to be in code... it can all be engraved in the cymbal... no need for secrecy or research.
Yes it could have been designed differently. The current system has been in place since 1994 so you can rail against secrecy or research but that's all we have. Perhaps you should be happy that some people are doing the research and making it available for free.
 

Old Drummer

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If any Zildjian cymbal benefits from the logo's....it's the K's imo.
This is just a matter of taste, but I agree with you. I kind of like the K ink logo (and I'm an anti-ink guy). I think I do because, while large, the K is actually an understatement. No novice is going to understand what the heck the K signifies, but drummers will know. The logo assumes a somewhat sophisticated viewer, which is probably the point of the design. K's are after all a somewhat elite cymbal, and the simple K ink logo conveys this in a properly understated way. My guess is that Zildjian intentionally departed from the bumper sticker logo for the K in order to appeal to drummers who would like to consider themselves more sophisticated than average, and I admit that their marketing scheme works on me.
 

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Product line (aka series), model and diameter are coded into the batch number. See


You need to contact customer services with your full serial so they can look it up.

Weight is written on for some lines now, but not all. So I guess my investment in a scale will still pay off. :glasses8:



I've heard the blame put on MTV (or more generally the advent of music videos) but I haven't got hard evidence to back that up.

And Joe Morello's cymbal is a slightly oversized 20" with a late 50s Small Stamp and a weight of 2192g. We got this info from


and other sources.

View attachment 408890

View attachment 408891

although the video notes say B version Small Stamp, the photo above suggests it is the A version. Late 50s either way, and an "ordinary" weight. But an extraordinary player.
The MTV conjecture regarding large ink stamps on cymbals is interesting, but chronologically challenged. I believe the big ink hollow logo Zildjians predate MTV (and music videos). It's possible, of course, that although the big ink hollow logo predated MTV, big ink logos were perceived by cymbal company executives as useful once music videos appeared, so the practice continued and expanded. That is, chronology may be less relevant than perceived usefulness.

I read somewhere that Morello's "Take Five" cymbal weighed 2188 grams, though accurate information is hard to come by and 2192 is about the same. ("Slightly oversized" though is interesting.) I have also noted that while the Morello cymbal documentary says that he used only one cymbal when recording "Take Five," all the videos I find of his playing show him with at least one additional cymbal. Related, just going from memory, I believe he changed to another cymbal brand within a few years. My guess is that he may have changed cymbals periodically, and probably played "Take Five" with different rides.

But yeah, I do think that early on he played a Plain Jane medium weight A, albeit possibly hand picked from the factory, and have noted that many say he played a light A, I'd guess because the fashion now is light rides. No, he got what he wanted out of a medium--although I suspect he kept replacing it in his search for the ideal ride, as we all do.
 

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This is just a matter of taste, but I agree with you. I kind of like the K ink logo (and I'm an anti-ink guy). I think I do because, while large, the K is actually an understatement. No novice is going to understand what the heck the K signifies, but drummers will know. The logo assumes a somewhat sophisticated viewer, which is probably the point of the design. K's are after all a somewhat elite cymbal, and the simple K ink logo conveys this in a properly understated way. My guess is that Zildjian intentionally departed from the bumper sticker logo for the K in order to appeal to drummers who would like to consider themselves more sophisticated than average, and I admit that their marketing scheme works on me.
Don't flip that "K" over.....lol

:p


(At least the later ones)
 

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