Keyholes, thoughts

premierplayer

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When I see a ride cymbal with a keyhole my first thoughts are...
:icon_e_surprised: wow, that things had a lot of play time, someone really loved it, I bet it's a good one

If I try to negotiate a purchase of a key holed cymbal I'll always try get a few bucks knocked off, but deep down, my experiences tell me it's not hurting anything and certainly not affecting the sound in any way.

Some of the best cymbals I've ever played were key holed to some degree.
 

Rock Salad

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Same here, unless it's a newer cymbal. In that case i'd leave it alone, might crack if i look at it too hard.
 

Dumpy

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I would say our philosophies are similar, as it goes with this story; I recall a story of an original Korina Gibson Flying V, as in the 1958 ones. This thing was pristine, worth as much as a decent home in the Midwest. This guitar dealer friend of mine said it was bar none the worst playing guitar he EVER played, even worse than the junky Asian made guitars from a JC Penney catalogue from the 70s. He said he loves getting that type of guitar to sell, but most vintage mint guitars are not players due to the fact they just were duds. Sometimes a dud can be played in and even reworked into a masterpiece, but that takes away their mint status.

I am automatically suspect of any mint instrument that is more than ten years old, of course unless it is truly NOS; even then, long term storage could make the instrument a fine piece of furniture or wall decor and NOT an instrument you would play. That beat up, patina’d, key holed and flea-bitten cymbal may not have tons of life left, but is probably one of the sweetest sounding cymbals you’ve played.
 

der Schlagzeuger

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I agree with you 100%, however, my OCD-ness will not allow me to own a key-holed cymbal for an extended period of time. In fact, I envy you.

I'm one of those that can't even walk away from my kit w/o turning all of my pies in the "proper" direction so the logos are heading upwards!

(I even had to go back and insert a hyphen in between "key" and "holed". :sad:)
 

Wxmaggot

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I personally have no problem with it. If the cymbal sounds great and you can save some cash, do it!
The OCD comment above is a common thing amongst my group of friends when it comes to our gear. I could see how someone would hate just the look of it or knowing it's there. If someone could hear a difference, if any, that a keyhole has made then that's a whole other story. I'm sure it could be done by someone, somewhere!
I read an interview with Eric Johnson (amazing guitarist) many years ago where it was stated that he could detect changes from his guitar pedals when the batteries had been changed by his tech in the studio they were working in. So, he might be able to tell the difference haha!
 

Drm1979

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My ride which is a vintage 60s zildjian has some keyholing to it. It's not that bad and I've always used cymbal sleeves. But this year I got a grombal to put in it for extra protection. Its the one cymbal that I bought used on my first drum set that I've never had to replace and I absolutely love its sound. It's the only ride cymbal I've ever used and hope to never have to replace it.
 

JDA

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I would like to try an experiment.
Place a new or un-keyholed cymbal on a stand- without any stem protection. "against the threads" if you will.

And see how long it takes.
I think some keyholes- like perfectly washed stones- are in the 15 to 20 year category of "formation" if you will.
What do you think . How many years and how much usage do some keyholes look like they've had to you. It's amazing actually how perfectly formed some are

(I mean ride cymbal key holes. Hi hat keyholes- oh bad news to me)
altho I guess have to acknowledge there's some hi hat keyhole adherents out there some where.
Key holes are from a day when people actually had gigs. Steady non-stop gigs. Even if it was the local VFW or anything. Amazes me how deep and perfectly formed some are.
It's a lot of hours on the bandstand at a steady moderate volume and pace/vibration..
 
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Dumpy

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I would like to try an experiment.
Place a new or un-keyholed cymbal on a stand- without any stem protection. "against the threads" if you will.

And see how long it takes.
I think some keyholes- like perfectly washed stones- are in the 15 to 20 year category of "formation" if you will.
What do you think . How many years and how much usage do some keyholes look like they've had to you. It's amazing actually how perfectly formed some are

(I mean ride cymbal key holes. Hi hat keyholes- oh bad news to me)
altho I guess have to acknowledge there's some hi hat keyhole adherents out there some where.
Key holes are from a day when people actually had gigs. Steady non-stop gigs. Even if it was the local VFW or anything. Amazes me how deep and perfectly formed some are.
It's a lot of hours on the bandstand at a steady moderate volume and pace/vibration..
Used and loved. That is what a key hole signifies to me.

Weirdly enough- exaggerated hi hat key holes are something I rarely see though I know they exist. Since they tend to be more parallel to the ground and not tend to hang on an angle, possibly? Of course I find more hi hats just wear out and crack from constantly being pressed together.
 

mydadisjr

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I have had a special 60's Zildjian 20" ride for years now, weighs about 2500 grams. Has a serious keyhole. It is probably the best Zildjian ride I have ever owned and I have owned quite a few.

I picked it up CHEAP because of the "flaw".


About Eric Johnson... the amount of voltage a battery delivers can definitely change the sound of a distortion/boost/ compression pedal, so if your 9V battery is drained to less than 8 volts, a guitarist with pretty good ears might easily hear a difference when a fresh battery was put in.
 
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Toast Tee

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I don't mind keyholing. If it knocks the price down, I don't think a clean keyhole is going to do much of anything to it's sound.
Interesting story about an old 22 Trans Stamp. I got a case of cymbals from an old neighbor that had been standing in a hard case for 30 years or so. It had a bunch of late 70's/early 80's A's. They all keyholed from the weight over the years. The Trans was the only cymbal not to keyhole at all.
 

CC Cirillo

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I agree with you 100%, however, my OCD-ness will not allow me to own a key-holed cymbal for an extended period of time. In fact, I envy you.

I'm one of those that can't even walk away from my kit w/o turning all of my pies in the "proper" direction so the logos are heading upwards!

(I even had to go back and insert a hyphen in between "key" and "holed". :sad:)
See, I’d want to arrange to go in after you check out a used cymbal and reject it— and pick it up for a lot less.
A keyhole, on an otherwise good sounding cymbal, bothers me for about 20 seconds. I’m going to cover it will a felt anyway. I’m going to sleeve it so it won’t get worse.

If it sounds good and still has structural and mechanical integrity, I can rationalize just about any imperfection in old gear. I‘m fine with wear from use but not abuse.
 

Sinclair

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I agree 100%. Of absolutely no concern except when looking for a new girlfriend.
 
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Dumpy

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See, I’d want to arrange to go in after you check out a used cymbal and reject it— and pick it up for a lot less.
A keyhole, on an otherwise good sounding cymbal, bothers me for about 20 seconds. I’m going to cover it will a felt anyway. I’m going to sleeve it so it won’t get worse.

If it sounds good and still has structural and mechanical integrity, I can rationalize just about any imperfection in old gear. I‘m fine with wear from use but not abuse.
Loved and played, right?
 

CrashBoomPang

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I've got a pair of Paiste Dark Crisps I got for cheap with some respectable keyholing on the top hat. No clue how it happened to this fairly heavy pair of hats. They do sound pretty great still. Lots of stickmarks as well as faded ink on the top hat too - supports the "much loved" hypothesis I suppose?
 

Dumpy

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I've got a pair of Paiste Dark Crisps I got for cheap with some respectable keyholing on the top hat. No clue how it happened to this fairly heavy pair of hats. They do sound pretty great still. Lots of stickmarks as well as faded ink on the top hat too - supports the "much loved" hypothesis I suppose?
Much loved. Of course we all know that the life span is potentially reduced with key holes and the like. I won’t pay close to new price for a key holed cymbal, but will buy it if it sounds good.

I don’t have the cymbal collection I used to, but I probably was buying one used cymbal per month for awhile trying to find that perfect sound for a certain setting. I went through whole sale sound changes on occasion. The great thing about already key holed cymbals was that I wouldn’t have much in them, but I wouldn’t lose much when it came time for them to go.

I don’t have any key holed cymbals in the “lifer” vault as of now. Whatever lifer cymbals that have key holes will be ones I put there, unless I find that ride cymbal that speaks to me used. If it’s in otherwise good shape and it picks me, then I will take her with key hole and flea bites.
 


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