Is there a Sabian timeline?

ThomFloor

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
840
Reaction score
534
....similar to the Zildjian ones.
I'd like to know in some detail:
1. when the Sabian label got REALLY big. Early 90's...or was it earlier/later?
2. When the original 'HH' short form became fully spelled out and labelled with 'Hand Hammered' in that cursive script on rides. It then eventually returned to 'HH' label.
thanks.
 

Bri6366

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
503
Location
Levittown, PA
There is a guy on the Pearl Drummers Forum Phyrro or something like that. He's up on the Sabian timeline.
 

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
20,072
Reaction score
2,445
Location
Illinois
The Sabian timeline is the Zildjian timeline up until around 1980 when Bob Zildjian (son of Avedis, younger brother of Armand) left that company and took over their Canadian plant to form his own company. He knew the "secret family recipes" so the Sabian legacy dates back to 1623 as well, although as part of the split agreement they cannot mention that or any other connection with Avedis Zildjian Co. in their advertising.

One the reasons for the split was Armand not listening to his brother's ideas on cymbal making so the two companies have evolved, following different philosophies and different paths, in the ensuing 40 years but one of the reasons Sabian came so far so fast was that they already possessed the Zildjian know-how as far as how to make quality cymbals and their production quality was on par with Zildjian's from day one (in a plant and on machines that had previously made Zildjians). Also Bob had connections with some Zildjian artists who switched to his new company.

So Sabian had a head start a far as becoming a major cymbal maker.

As far as marks and ink variations and the dating thereof that will have to be up to someone else to answer for you.
 
Last edited:
Z

zenstat

Guest
There isn't a Sabian timeline as far as I know. I'm not a member of the Pearl Drummers Forum so I'm not able to search for all posts by

Phyrro or something like that
If there is some info there, I'd be interested to see if the level of evidence is comparable to my Avedis Zildjian timeline work. If it is that saves me having to do one and that would be really great. :hello1: I've got a Sabian ink timeline in mind for the future, and have been collecting evidence (in the form of photos) for a few years but just when I come across stuff. I've just been full on with Paiste, Avedis Zildjian, and K Zildjian Istanbul first.

A few Sabian mentions (and cymbals including early ink) appear in my Brief History of North American Ks. << clicky link

There have also been a few threads here on DFO where I've tried to give some guidance based on what examples I do have. You might be able to find those threads if you search here on DFO. What I've discovered so far is about 5 times as many ink variations from the early days as I ever imagined (and I imagined what most people mention), with all sorts of "intermediate" forms between the Canadian K ink, the AZCO ink and trademark stamp, and the earlier forms of the Sabian ink. But I don't have reliable years for the sorts of ink changes which have been asked about as regards

1. when the Sabian label got REALLY big. Early 90's...or was it earlier/later?
2. When the original 'HH' short form became fully spelled out and labelled with 'Hand Hammered' in that cursive script on rides. It then eventually returned to 'HH' label.
other than to say there are at least 5 eras for the HH line ink.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Pimp-a-diddle

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
716
Reaction score
273
Location
ABQ, NM
I recall Sabian really starting to roll and pick up endorsers around 85/86. To my knowledge, "AA" and HH" have always been the names of those respective lines. Interesting side note: when I was 15 or 16 I went to a Sabian Vinny Appice drum clinic at Explorers Percussion in KC. I won the top door prize in the raffle; a brand new pair of Sabian AA "Regular Hats" in brilliant finish. I used those hats for 4 years before I traded them off and picked up a pair of Quick Beats. Turns out Vinnie and I share the same birthday, though not the same year.
 
Z

zenstat

Guest
To my knowledge, "AA" and HH" have always been the names of those respective lines.
That's not what the ink says though. In the earliest eras the AA series didn't mention AA anywhere at all. The AA and HH series ink was pretty much the same on top (model name with no diameter info, but hollow font for AA and solid sloping font for HH, with the tiny HH added into the Sabian "half cymbal" ink logo on the bottom. Cue the 5 times more than I imagined prior to collecting up examples when I also found some Orchestral cymbals which don't fit that description. And then there are the special and different Sound Contol rides.

The earliest ink style for the HH series seems to be just a tiny HH on the bottom. I guess you were supposed to recognize an HH series by the look of the hammering if the ink was removed. Then HH moved to the top, and AA stared appearing as AA (not necessarily at the same time). Later HH went to Hand Hammered, then it reverted to HH, and in more recent times changed size to a smaller font. There are also differences from HH straight up and down to HH in italics (slanted). All of these changes are not pinned down to specific years as far as I know. But I may just be out of the loop.

Check out just a few of the example I've got. These are not in known chronological order. Just as they happen to come, to illustrate that there is lots of variation even early on.

HH series with no HH and a larger ink SABIAN on top.

18-early-hh.png


Did somebody remove the Sabian graphic device (which is half a cymbal) from that one? Or it didn't have one, just the word Sabian? Here is a different cymbal (16") with the bottom ink still there. See the tiny HH added to the right side of the Sabian half cymbal ink graphic?

16-1026-early-HH-bot.jpg


This also shows the diameter ink which is on the bottom. In other cases the diameter ink was on the top. And the early little HH can get a whole lot bigger. Here's another 16"

16-1020-top.jpg


16-1020-bot.jpg


Remember this is all early variation when the diameter ink was on the bottom and in the same hollow font as the diameter ink for the AA series (not yet called AA anywhere).

Early AA (sometimes called pre-AA) before there was any AA ink. Hollow font model ink on top along with just the word Sabian (in the font it shares with my first example). So maybe they weren't putting the half cymbal ink on top at first?

21-dry-ride-top.jpg


The bottom has the hollow font model ink and the Sabian half cymbal graphic.

21-dry-ride-bot.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

EvEnStEvEn

~Lounge Lizard~
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
18,383
Reaction score
3,437
Location
Oklur Homer
^ Correct. There was no half-cymbal ink on top of those early models, only on the bottom.
 

Ghostin one

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
178
Reaction score
120
Location
Eastern PA
I got a ride today that has no "AA", just marked medium with the Sabian half-round logo on top and bottom. Maybe later than the previous pictures?

(3257 g, heavy for a medium)
 

Attachments

Z

zenstat

Guest
I believe later, particularly on grounds of Sabian ink logo size. But I'm getting way ahead of where I usually like to be in terms of quality evidence. My interest started off with an 18" mini bell ride (AA which doesn't say AA) I had some years ago which seemed to have complete ink

SabianMiniBell18.JPG



sabianMiniBell18z.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

markkarj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
230
Reaction score
93
....similar to the Zildjian ones.
I'd like to know in some detail:
1. when the Sabian label got REALLY big. Early 90's...or was it earlier/later?
2. When the original 'HH' short form became fully spelled out and labelled with 'Hand Hammered' in that cursive script on rides. It then eventually returned to 'HH' label.
thanks.
I think the Hand Hammered designation (and not just HH) was around 1995 or 1996.
 

ThomFloor

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
840
Reaction score
534
I think the Hand Hammered designation (and not just HH) was around 1995 or 1996.
Thank you.
I had known the Sabian company history but was more concerned with these details on HH line and on the logo.
Also all the 80s surely had the small Sabian logo (see examples SteveBlacks posts above) but not sure when the Sabian logo got BIG. It has returned to a nicer smaller size in recent years.
I have two Sabian HH 'classic' rides. They differ little in weight, but one has 'Hand Hammered' spelled out, the other has 'HH', but both with the BIG Sabian logo.
 
Z

zenstat

Guest
I think the Hand Hammered designation (and not just HH) was around 1995 or 1996.
Any specific evidence you can point me to for 1995 or 1996 and the change to Hand Hammered? I expect if we go looking there will be ads and or catalogs which will provide a year. Otherwise it would seem we are down to personal recollection.
 
Z

zenstat

Guest
Here's an old (2004) version of the HH timeline (not mine, and I don't consider the source reliable enough that I would use this without independent confirmation for years):

====
1st Series
Introduced 7/82: Cymbal TOP has no printed logo, only the model type. Cymbal BOTTOM has small printed logo w/HH; size in centimeters and inches, signature inside bell.

2nd Series
Introduced 9/85: Cymbal TOP has printed large logo w/HH; model type in right leaning block letters. Cymbal BOTTOM has large logo w/HH; size in centimeters and inches; signature inside bell.

3rd Series
Introduced 1/89: Cymbal TOP has large printed logo w/ no HH; HH is included as part of model type printing. Cymbal BOTTOM has only large printed logo.

I'm sure there are slight variations to this information. It's based on Sabian magazine ads, dealer flyers and price guides, as well as the cymbals themselves.
====

I believe by "large printed logo" and "logo" he means the half cymbal graphic device. I'm not sure whether in the 3rd series he means there is a literal HH as part of the model info or if he has shortened the script Hand Hammered as HH. If it is a literal HH then there is an HH phase before the Hand Hammered phase (which he doesn't get to). I haven't yet looked through all my examples, but I think the 4th Series would be the fully written out Hand Hammered. Later (5th series) there was the big HH and in 2106 the series was remastered and the HH shrunk (6th series).

Oh and in case anybody is still unaware, the "signature" under the bell is the name of the company SABIAN.

https://www.drumforum.org/threads/age-of-this-older-sabian-hh.114722/

That thread also has a date claim of 83-84 (again with no evidence or discussion) and I believe that's consistent with the 1st Series (from a different source) I included above. Give or take.

The Slingerland Drum Catalog from 1980 seems to be one source of years for this early ink stuff.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

K.O.

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
20,072
Reaction score
2,445
Location
Illinois
When Sabian took over the Canadian Zildjian plant I read that this was the plant that made Zilco cymbals.
I know they made Azco cymbals there but also regular A. Zildjians and supposedly the early American K's. Bob was the one who brought the Turkish relatives over to this hemisphere to help start production of Ks. I believe they stayed with him and Sabian after the split and if so no doubt played a part in the production of the early HH line.
 
Last edited:

markkarj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
230
Reaction score
93
Any specific evidence you can point me to for 1995 or 1996 and the change to Hand Hammered? I expect if we go looking there will be ads and or catalogs which will provide a year. Otherwise it would seem we are down to personal recollection.
Unfortunately, I've sold my old editions of Modern Drummer so I am relying on memory. I recall buying and reading a Modern Drummer around the summer of 95 or 96 as my brother and I were on a road trip in which they'd described the change. They also introduced a handful of new models with the HH to Hand Hammered switch... dark crashes and I think a raw bell ride being among them.

The other option is to contact Sabian directly off Facebook... they're very responsive to messages.
 

bluejacketsfan

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
559
Reaction score
44
Location
Pomeroy,Ohio
@ Steve Black: That makes sense of this old poster I used to have. Wth the top not saying "Sabian", that must be why they're showing it on the bottom instead.

I read on one of these forums that as part of the legal agreement between the two Zildjian brothers that 1.) the relation to the Zildjian company couldn't be used in press/publicity; and 2.) the Sabian name couldn't be used on top of the cymbals for a certain time period. Has anyone else heard this?
 
Z

zenstat

Guest
When Sabian took over the Canadian Zildjian plant I read that this was the plant that made Zilco cymbals.
I know they made Azco cymbals there but also regular A. Zildjians and supposedly the early American K's. Bob was the one who brought the Turkish relatives over to this hemisphere to help start production of Ks. I believe they stayed with him and Sabian after the split and if so no doubt played a part in the production of the early HH line.
These topics are documented in Pinksterboer, as well as on my site. For the beginnings of the Canadian K Zildjians see:

A Brief History of North American Ks

This includes some more recent oral history which wasn't available to Pinksterboer. And yes, the Canadian factory made the A series as well as ZILCO by AZCO and other stencil brands.

ZILCO by AZCO

A Zildjian Canada trademark stamps

I also think it is important when mentioning ZILCO to keep mentioning that there are 3 distinct ZILCO trademarks, and two of those are from earlier decades and made in the USA (WW2 era) long before the idea of a Canadian facility was a twinkle in the eye of Bob Zildjian. Although I mentioned that I haven't got a full Sabian timeline available, I'm not exactly at ground zero because of the intertwined nature of the two companies. It's just that I haven't ever got back to sorting out the 1990s and later.

@ Steve Black: That makes sense of this old poster I used to have. With the top not saying "Sabian", that must be why they're showing it on the bottom instead.

I read on one of these forums that as part of the legal agreement between the two Zildjian brothers that 1.) the relation to the Zildjian company couldn't be used in press/publicity; and 2.) the Sabian name couldn't be used on top of the cymbals for a certain time period. Has anyone else heard this?
Thanks Sean. Interesting possibility. I know about (1) but hadn't heard about (2) that I can remember. Hopefully we can flush out some more information from somebody.
 


Top