Paul Francis left Zildjian?

David M Scott

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How ironic this all would be if this comes down to Sabian buying Zildjian.
Well here's what I can tell you about that. Firstly Sabian is located in the very small New Brunswick town of
Meductic .. population 173 people. Manufacturing costs are low and of course all costs including wages are in Canadian dollars which currently sit at 30% below the U.S. dollar and the Euro is higher by .30 cents in average. That gives Sabian a huge advantage when shipping to the U.S. and Europe. So as I have been in international export business for years and we love it when our dollar is @ 30% discount because the U.S. and other cou
I know from a very good source that Paul was asked to leave the company. I probably shouldn't get into the details to be safe from a legal standpoint.

In short, it seems that Zildjian/Vic Firth is more concerned with being a business focused on monetary gain than the historical significance of the company and product innovation. It's a sad trend, but a new reality we're seeing more and more of today.
I certainly hope he lands back in the Cymbal business as true craftsmen are becoming a rarity as machines take over every facet of industry.
It's interesting to note that in the past few years Sabian has really put emphasis on their Vault and custom series
while still manufacturing big numbers for the general public. Andy Zildjian seems to have a sixth sense when it comes to reading the market. Sabian's move to refurbish or in some cases change top line demo units and sell them at 1/2 the price of the original is pure genius and even if the program never makes a
lot of money, shows that the company is proactive when times are tight due to Covid restricting/reducing work hours and incomes of the working people. And Portsmouth Drum Center shows on a video that they drive 6 hours to the Sabian factory, test out the refurbs and bring back up to 300 of them at a time. So for Sabian cymbals that would most likely ended being remelted have now become a value added item.
 

jptrickster

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That would be a killer idea... bring back a high-end ‘K Istanbul’ line, all hand made in Turkey. Replicate the old K stamping... THAT would be a great idea. Hey, I hear Zildjian has an opening, you should drop them your resume! lol
I 'd work for free All I want is the recipe!
 

JDA

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Paiste? really Paiste?
well, at least there'd be no melt room fires
(
 
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thenuge

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Are you employed?
Yes. I’m an “essential” worker, gone in every day – on the hellscape subway so double risk - for the past year +, risking it all for..my landlord.. and people like you. I ain’t mad though. But that may be why I wrote what I did. Just zooming out..maybe too far lol. No disrespect meant to all Paul’s hard work and dedication.
 

multijd

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No one should be upset about anything. If Z (or all cym co’s) went belly up tomorrow we’d be ok. They are tool makers, at best. We are the carpenters. We build what is music. No tools existed at the dawn of music, because we were the music. We don’t need anything.
I’m not quite sure what you mean. I need my drums and cymbals to play gigs, make money, satisfy my creativity. I’m not a caveman. Sticks and stones and animal bones won’t do it!!
 

thenuge

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I work in a grocery store starting before the pandemic. I signed up for nothing and only kept going in since it seemed like pick your poison: possible actual death from working or financial death from staying home, which can lead to..death. I only offered my job info since I was asked and someone thought I lacked either sympathy or perspective. Trust me after this year I have a whole lot of both. All good. Just happy to be breathing..and still able to play great cymbals like Paul helped make.
 

thenuge

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I’m guessing the pandemic blew a big whole in the z bottom line, job cuts, maybe Paul was offered a pay cut and rejected it, maybe not. Maybe axed. But..maybe he got axed because of all that he did. The ground work is done. It was done before Paul was born. There. What “r&d” needs to happen really? Do we need a brighter cymbal? A darker one? More less trashiness? It’s all there and been done gone over tried to copy succeeded failed. it’s all there. All they need is a skipper to steer the ship now. Maybe. I don’t know. But maybe all that is a testament to what Paul did/helped do/continue. Steering the ship. Here’s to calm seas. Good music. And great cymbals.
 

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Zildjian once make an excellent B8 cymbal. Early 1980's AMIR 1 - block letter - first generation. They are superior to A's in some ways. And pretty close in others. Very smooth sounding. Crash/ride weights. Tiny and short bells. Almost like semi-flat ride/crashes.
For some reason Zildjian dropped that line. Maybe they took grief from Paiste as the AMIR 1's were as good as the Paiste 404/505 lines. It wouldn't be hard at all for Zildjian to resurrect the AMIR 1 line.
But that could likely impact the very lucrative entry level "Z" line cymbals not to mention some B8 lines. Since the AMIR 1's came out.... Zildjian has only gone downhill in B8 quality. They got B8 "dead right" the first time. Then made it worse.
I had some of those AMIR cymbals in the early 80s and couldn't believe how good they were.

Z's best recent move, to me, was the redesign in 2013 or so.


Dan
 

RIDDIM

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I’m guessing the pandemic blew a big whole in the z bottom line, job cuts, maybe Paul was offered a pay cut and rejected it, maybe not. Maybe axed. But..maybe he got axed because of all that he did. The ground work is done. It was done before Paul was born. There. What “r&d” needs to happen really? Do we need a brighter cymbal? A darker one? More less trashiness? It’s all there and been done gone over tried to copy succeeded failed. it’s all there. All they need is a skipper to steer the ship now. Maybe. I don’t know. But maybe all that is a testament to what Paul did/helped do/continue. Steering the ship. Here’s to calm seas. Good music. And great cymbals.
Um, no. It's not all been there and done before; a cursory review of the product line and company history would make that very clear.
 

David M Scott

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I was thinking that too.

Perhaps a Canadian business is planning to expand into the US.
Being Canadian and in business most of my life I can't see Sabian or Dream buying the U.S. Zil plant or business. Sabian operates out of Meductic New Brunswick population 171 souls. Their operating costs are very low ie: taxes and wages and costs are all in Canadian $$'s which are usually 20-30 % less than
U S $$'s. This gives them a huge advantage when exporting into the U S so for them to buy the Zil plant doesn't make economic sense. Sabian dropped it's
U S Distributor a few years back and started selling dealers direct. That cut out the middle man and increased revenues and made the dealers happy. Portsmouth Drum Shop regularly takes the 6 hour trip to Meductic hand selects product and brings back 300 plus cymbals at one time. Sabian started a "drop ship" program for dealers in Canada. I just bought a new Legacy HHX Dave Wechl signature from a retailer the opposite side of the country from me at a nice discount, paid them by e transfer snd Sabian shipped from their factory to my door. If they don't have that program for U S dealers it could be implemented. In my mind the last thing Andy Zildjian would want is U S brick and mortar and staff making U S dollars. If in fact Zildjian is in $$$ trouble, Sabian could increase production out of Canada big time for mega dollars less and give the discount to the dealers. Sabian also have their Vault and Signature series and their key people learned first
hand from Kerope Zildjian and his nephew when they came from Turkey to the old Zildjian Canada operation which morphed into Sabian in 1981.
But, stranger things have happened !
 

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I know from a very good source that Paul was asked to leave the company. I probably shouldn't get into the details to be safe from a legal standpoint.

In short, it seems that Zildjian/Vic Firth is more concerned with being a business focused on monetary gain than the historical significance of the company and product innovation. It's a sad trend, but a new reality we're seeing more and more of today.

This first sentence- is the only dribble of news- and the flower on instagram
 

David M Scott

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Second paragraph is Zildjian CEO Joh Stephans LinkedIn Bio. Pay particular attention to the very first line stating he has 'deep experience accelerating short term bottom line performance'. As a retired VP in retail, I can tell you that this means he utilizes flat out 'haircuts of expenses' in the face of poor sales. And the Immediate Expense cut is always people. People that are high paid, people that are challenged in the business climate, people that are too smart, people that are head-strong with their own ideas, people that won't kiss the CEO's rear. I've seen this tactic, under the term 'Right Sizing The Company' used more and more. With fewer positions and lots of unemployed, Expensing Your Way to Profit has become the Go-To Button for driving Short Term P&L Bottom Line and 'smoke & mirror' your way into seeming dominant as your sales continue to dwindle.

Accomplished CEO with deep experience accelerating short term and long term top and bottom line performance and developing brand equity for B2C and B2B businesses with both Domestic & Global footprints. Links vision with execution excellence throughout all parts of the P&L and balance sheet to drive increased enterprise value. Attracts and develops high performance talent & teams to create positive culture momentum. Responds to rapidly changing priorities in fast-paced environments, leveraging problem-solving and decision-making abilities to effectively navigate the complexities of a company’s competitive landscape.

Specialties: P&L/Balance Sheet Optimization & Delivery, Talent Acquisition/Talent Development, Brand Positioning, Portfolio Strategy, Innovation Pipeline, Customer Segmentation, Process Optimization
Amen .. we older people who spent their lifetime in marketing have seen this scenario over and over.
 

David M Scott

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I grew up loyal to Zildjian and having fond feelings toward the company. Over the last couple years of reading and seeing some of the Zildjian videos, I started to suspect that I have naively swallowed hogwash.

That 400 years of cymbal making? Not really. The Avedis in the US who started the company in the US wasn't even making cymbals when he opened the company. He was a businessman in another business altogether until the opportunity to capitalize on his family name was presented to him. The 400 years of cymbal making is marketing hype, not history.

Then there was the opening of the Canadian factory. Zildjian only opened it as a threat to its workers if they unionized. If the vote for a union had succeeded, Zildjian was prepared to fire them all and move to Canada. No wonder the union vote failed.

And the founding of Sabian after a legal battle inside the family tells us that these people were cutthroat when it came to business. Forget family loyalities, we're going to court!

Stunning was then a video with Paul Francis in which the interviewer several times mentioned Sabian. Paul never once said the name. In fact, he awkwardly phrased his comments in order to avoid saying it. This told me that Zildjian's company culture is very strict. Paul seemed afraid to even say the name Sabian.

For all I know, this is what it takes to run a successful company, but I realized that my fond feelings toward Zildjian were mistaken. It's a company like many others. If you like the products it makes, buy them, but don't for a minute think you're buying from nice guys or some historic Turkish cymbal makers. It's just another ruthless company with a marketing department looking out for its bottom line.

I have no idea what the situation was with Paul, but I'm pretty sure that he was working for a tougher boss than the marketing materials imply.
If you believe what Andy Zildjian says in his interviews on YouTube and Drum History, the Canadian operation was opened to counter the
Read an Instagram post by an endorser who had left and gone to Sabian because of this. Said cutting Sarah and Paul loose was the key to his decision. Said No one at the company even contacted him and he had no clue who was the contact now.
Comments on that thread mentioned corporate decisions are now at the forefront. I cant imagine Armand would be happy. Might be this guy.

The boy "has been around the horn" a lot. As an 81 year old who has spent my lifetime in marketing I have seen these types come and go many times. As another member posted, these types are brought in to up profit margins when business is declining and that is most often when inflation, high unemployment rates etc rather than poor performance by staff is the cause. The first thing they look at is expenses with salaries being at the top of the list. Subsequently they will cut the people that helped shaped the company in good times. Then they move on to the next company which is certainly what this man's resume indicates. I have personally gone through this scenario three times. Invariably the "cutter gets cut loose her or himself" but by that time he/she has gutted the core of the corporation. So why bring in these hatchet people to begin with ? When a company finds its sales or market share falling panic sets in among the top management, owners and/or boards and what later most often proves to be irrational decision making takes place. ...and that is a far too common
scenario.
 

David M Scott

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I grew up loyal to Zildjian and having fond feelings toward the company. Over the last couple years of reading and seeing some of the Zildjian videos, I started to suspect that I have naively swallowed hogwash.

That 400 years of cymbal making? Not really. The Avedis in the US who started the company in the US wasn't even making cymbals when he opened the company. He was a businessman in another business altogether until the opportunity to capitalize on his family name was presented to him. The 400 years of cymbal making is marketing hype, not history.

Then there was the opening of the Canadian factory. Zildjian only opened it as a threat to its workers if they unionized. If the vote for a union had succeeded, Zildjian was prepared to fire them all and move to Canada. No wonder the union vote failed.

And the founding of Sabian after a legal battle inside the family tells us that these people were cutthroat when it came to business. Forget family loyalities, we're going to court!

Stunning was then a video with Paul Francis in which the interviewer several times mentioned Sabian. Paul never once said the name. In fact, he awkwardly phrased his comments in order to avoid saying it. This told me that Zildjian's company culture is very strict. Paul seemed afraid to even say the name Sabian.

For all I know, this is what it takes to run a successful company, but I realized that my fond feelings toward Zildjian were mistaken. It's a company like many others. If you like the products it makes, buy them, but don't for a minute think you're buying from nice guys or some historic Turkish cymbal makers. It's just another ruthless company with a marketing department looking out for its bottom line.

I have no idea what the situation was with Paul, but I'm pretty sure that he was working for a tougher boss than the marketing materials imply.
Andy Zildjian stated that Canada was opened as the US was facing big export duties shipping into British Commonwealth and European countries where as Canada a Commonwealth member could ship with in it and to Europe. Andy stated that his dad Robert had great connections in those markets. He didn't mention anything about Unions. At the time the relation ship between Robert and Armand was breaking down Robert asked his father Avedis to sign an agreement to sell the Canadian operation to him at a predetermined price. When Avedis died and Robert was able to exercize his option Craigie and the Zil board learned that, the family relationship blew up. Thus Robert and Armand ceased communication. Andy
said the two began reconnecting as they grew old but that didn't happen with the cousin(s). One post here said that perhaps Sabian could buy the Zildjian
name and operation and ship equipment to Canada. Firstly I truly believe that as long as "a U S Zildjian" still owns a controlling interest that will never happen. And as for Sabian buying the equipment .. why would they even consider that when they could expand their current operation using Canadian $$s. And.. remember Karope and his nephew worked at Zildjian Canada and passed on all the processes used in the Turkish operation.
my thoughts as a retired businessman and marketing manager.
 

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He didn't mention anything about Unions.
that happened in 1968 and was the reason Bob was sent to Canada in 1968 to look for to buy property/place/building/ hire locals/ and set up another shop in total/ Avedis was prepared to move production out of the US. After the threat passed the AZCO shop became so good it continued
Listen to this podcast interview at 45:25 minute mark.
 
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David M Scott

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that happened in 1968 and was the reason Bob was sent to Canada in 1968 to look for to buy property/place/building/ hire locals/ and set up another shop in total/ Avedis was prepared to move production out of the US. After the threat passed the AZCO shop became so good it continued
Listen to this podcast interview at 45:25 minute mark.
Great.. missed that in the podcast, of course I usually listen to podcasts after my traditional 2 small triple Martini's. My Dr. said I have to cut back so i've dropped back to only two Olives in each.
In 68 I bought an 18in Zilco by Azco ride which I still have. I had it drilled for rivets which were all the rage then and I believe I paid about $40 for it and hid it from my Bride as had kids, mortgage and $600 month salary. Over the years i've had a 22in Flat /Jazz ride, and 18in Crash and currently a 22in Heavy A Ride all made in Canada.
Cheers
 

JDA

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so, a lot happened in the New Brunswick (Correct location?) plant. Paul says- and Andy says in the sit down interview- the New Brunswick "azco" plant did the "special" cymbals... the swishes etc...So the guys there Got real Good.. and when it was time for K's the Turkish workers (a few) were brought to Canada- to begin the hand hammering which begot the Canadian K (carried on in the Sabian HH..
So that little trip Bob took up there and establishing that place------still paying dividends (altho divided up now) But was an Important part
 


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