How to ruin or improve a cymbal

MrYikes

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I just bought and received a 18" Glarry cymbal. I paid $18. I got what I expected but now I have a 1082g cymbal I can mess with. I drilled three holes and put roofing nails in them, but I still can't hear the sizzle, I will get some rivets. What other things would you like to do to a cymbal? I do not know how to find info on how to change the sound of a cymbal. Any help? BTW, it's not a terrible sound just not something that I enjoy.
 

bongomania

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IME: easy to ruin, difficult to improve.

I’ve been experimenting with hammering, and I’ve learned a lot, but I’ve also turned about $1000 into shiny trash.
 

amosguy

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Guessing the roofing nails are too heavy to vibrate very much.

Maybe try some pop rivets (uncompressed ......)
 

JDA

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Glarry.. Oh,

  • Made of high quality copper ally, 18" in size
  • Offer you melodious tinkle sound when you hit the cymbal top
  • Dig out your deep desire to play crazy and shocking melody
  • Designed for sincere and professional drummers or someone having extremely great enthusiasm on playing the drum
 

JDA

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That sounds like a cymbal you would drill a hole in to hang on top of your hihats; or place on top of another cymbal or on a drum...
get semi-creative with it without hammering it

then again, it's (entirely?) Copper, so probably maybe, would hammer pretty easily, over a soft wood stump, careful taps with a round-peen hammer...
 

MrYikes

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I drilled nine holes. The aluminum roof nails didn't sound right. I put in the little paper split rivets, but they weren't heavy enough to do anything so I put small washers under them and took away 6, leaving 3 of those paper clasps with three steel washers and it works. Sizzles pretty good, not as good as my old "Sizzler" which got misplaced through time, but good enough. I will get some actual rivets to try though. Now I'm working on the tone. This cymbal has too much higher tones and a very small area close to the edge that has the lower tones. I put duct tape, black, cause you know the black duct tape is better that any other duct tape, close to the bell to try to deaden the higher tones and that worked somewhat, in that the lower tones came out better, but the overall sound was deadened. I know that the cymbal is thinner at the edge and that the lower tones are also towards the edge, therefore it seems to me that by thinning even more towards the bell (maybe three inches from the edge) I could get lower tones to become more dominant. The underside of this cymbal has not been lathed, so it is just a flat surface. I will use a belt sander to take off some of the metal to thin it so that I can hear the difference. More to come.
 

MrYikes

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I decided to use a cut off blade on an angle grinder. The dark marks are felt tip marker. It sure does look like steel under the covers, but then I'm not intelligent on that part. It is not magnetic. No help with tone so far.
 

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tripp2k

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Stack 'em for interesting effects if your modding doesn't yield a pleasant outcome.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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That is a bad cymbal - even for $18! One of those cheap metal, looks like a cymbal but sounds like a cookie tin top cymbals! It's not even worth trying any techniques.

But if you are inclined, other than drilling holes, you can try hammering it. I've taken a blow torch to a cymbal which resulted in very cool blue/rainbow colored streaks and patterns, but makes it very brittle especially if dropped (cracked into many pieces - dang!).......you may have to step it up to a junky Sabian B8 or Zildjian ZBT to actually hear a difference after your mods.
 

MrYikes

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That is a bad cymbal - even for $18! One of those cheap metal, looks like a cymbal but sounds like a cookie tin top cymbals! It's not even worth trying any techniques.

But if you are inclined, other than drilling holes, you can try hammering it. I've taken a blow torch to a cymbal which resulted in very cool blue/rainbow colored streaks and patterns, but makes it very brittle especially if dropped (cracked into many pieces - dang!).......you may have to step it up to a junky Sabian B8 or Zildjian ZBT to actually hear a difference after your mods.
Yeah, you are probably right, waste of money and time. So I stopped working on it.

BTW, it sounds good now.
 

mbettis

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I do not recommend direct-drive cymbal lathes. Even one that uses a low-powered motor can easily cause permanent damage to hands and arm joints. If you build your own lathe, I recommend you make it belt-driven. Belts will usually slip and leave your fingers attached if get caught in your lathe.

Matt
 

D. B. Cooper

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I do not recommend direct-drive cymbal lathes. Even one that uses a low-powered motor can easily cause permanent damage to hands and arm joints. If you build your own lathe, I recommend you make it belt-driven. Belts will usually slip and leave your fingers attached if get caught in your lathe.

Matt
Thanks for sharing your experience, man.
This is the kind of advice that is missing from our current DIY craze/culture. There is so much wisdom wrapped-up in the trades/arts. Hopefully we collectively rediscover a respect for tradespeople in the future. Dedicated, hard won experience enriches our culture in a way that is lost when we learn everything from a screen.
 

loach71

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I do not recommend direct-drive cymbal lathes. Even one that uses a low-powered motor can easily cause permanent damage to hands and arm joints. If you build your own lathe, I recommend you make it belt-driven. Belts will usually slip and leave your fingers attached if get caught in your lathe.

Matt
Sage advice, Matt. RavidR has an extensive safety disclaimer at the beginning of his YouTube video. Perhaps he has been the victim of a DIY cymbal lathe accident,

 

mbettis

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Thanks, guys. I have to admit, "Safety 3rd" has been a tongue-in-cheek anthem of mine for years. However, with turning cymbals, our hands are just way too close to both the lathe and the workpiece to risk using a direct-drive set-up. If you ever want to see some truly horrific sheeet, look up lathe accident photos. Shredded dudes are not pretty.

Matt
 


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