Pricing on a couple of cymbals...

markkarj

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I've noticed a few things on the cymbal pricing side, and I'd welcome your perspective on what you've seen in your respective markets.

A national chain here in Canada is holding its inventory sale tomorrow and Saturday. Among their sales, they're offering:
1) An Avedis Vintage 22" for $399 CAD/$300 USD (down from $499 CAD); and
2) An A Custom 25th Anniversary 23" ride for $449 CAD/$338 USD (down from $574).

The thing I find intriguing is that I drop by this store fairly regularly, and these cymbals have been on the racks for at least a couple of years. The community is doing fine economically, and seems to have a vibrant arts scene.

So my questions are
1) Is it just a regional market thing from your perspective;
2) Does higher-end product simply move slowly; or
3) Are instruments becoming too expensive? I know cymbal prices have generally gone up greater than the rate of inflation during my 30+ years of drumming.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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1) No - there are cheap deals and crazy-priced deals all over.
2) Depends - if you are in cow town boonies, you won't be moving K Cons.
If you are in the Big City, more likely, but with the WWW, hard to tell.
3) I bought a new 18" K thin dark crash in 1995 for $300. Sweetwater has the "same" cymbal new for $325. Of course, mine is an IAK and the new K's are junk IMO, but that's not much of a price increase. Of course, new RB kits were $600 back in the 60's with full Istanbul K cymbals and now that setup is easily worth 10X that, so I assume are talking new prices?

With regard to an Avedis vintage 22 - is that just an old A? If so, that price seems high. As for a 23" A Custom, there is one on Reverb for $300. I found another used at $340. I only did super quick Google searches - I am sure you could find better deals if you looked at EBay, Reverb, MGR, or Craigslist (is it called Kijiji in the Great North???)
 

Ptrick

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1) No - there are cheap deals and crazy-priced deals all over.
2) Depends - if you are in cow town boonies, you won't be moving K Cons.
If you are in the Big City, more likely, but with the WWW, hard to tell.
3) I bought a new 18" K thin dark crash in 1995 for $300. Sweetwater has the "same" cymbal new for $325. Of course, mine is an IAK and the new K's are junk IMO, but that's not much of a price increase. Of course, new RB kits were $600 back in the 60's with full Istanbul K cymbals and now that setup is easily worth 10X that, so I assume are talking new prices?

With regard to an Avedis vintage 22 - is that just an old A? If so, that price seems high. As for a 23" A Custom, there is one on Reverb for $300. I found another used at $340. I only did super quick Google searches - I am sure you could find better deals if you looked at EBay, Reverb, MGR, or Craigslist (is it called Kijiji in the Great North???)
Let’s not forget about inflation.
1D5F39E8-E8AE-4BFC-AF4F-D751A46BFA4F.png
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Zen, excellent as always. My point was if you look at a Progressive Jazz RB kit from the early 60's, with K Istanbul cymbals, it was only $600.00 back then. Today, that same kit (as a collector's now) and those cymbals would easily be 10X the original price. I guess inflation is one consideration, as is the value of a vintage collector's item......cheers!
 

VinSparkle

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I've noticed a few things on the cymbal pricing side, and I'd welcome your perspective on what you've seen in your respective markets.

A national chain here in Canada is holding its inventory sale tomorrow and Saturday. Among their sales, they're offering:
1) An Avedis Vintage 22" for $399 CAD/$300 USD (down from $499 CAD); and
2) An A Custom 25th Anniversary 23" ride for $449 CAD/$338 USD (down from $574).

The thing I find intriguing is that I drop by this store fairly regularly, and these cymbals have been on the racks for at least a couple of years. The community is doing fine economically, and seems to have a vibrant arts scene.

So my questions are
1) Is it just a regional market thing from your perspective;
2) Does higher-end product simply move slowly; or
3) Are instruments becoming too expensive? I know cymbal prices have generally gone up greater than the rate of inflation during my 30+ years of drumming.
It’s Canada. It’s a small market, so stuff is just more expensive because...well, what are you going to do? Move to the States? I find this to be the case across most goods. Then layer on tax and it’s even worse.
 

Ludwigboy

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I've noticed a few things on the cymbal pricing side, and I'd welcome your perspective on what you've seen in your respective markets.

A national chain here in Canada is holding its inventory sale tomorrow and Saturday. Among their sales, they're offering:
1) An Avedis Vintage 22" for $399 CAD/$300 USD (down from $499 CAD); and
2) An A Custom 25th Anniversary 23" ride for $449 CAD/$338 USD (down from $574).

The thing I find intriguing is that I drop by this store fairly regularly, and these cymbals have been on the racks for at least a couple of years. The community is doing fine economically, and seems to have a vibrant arts scene.

So my questions are
1) Is it just a regional market thing from your perspective;
2) Does higher-end product simply move slowly; or
3) Are instruments becoming too expensive? I know cymbal prices have generally gone up greater than the rate of inflation during my 30+ years of drumming.
Is the national chain Long and McQuade? I received a phone message about an inventory sale.
 

funkypoodle

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It’s Canada. It’s a small market, so stuff is just more expensive because...well, what are you going to do? Move to the States? I find this to be the case across most goods. Then layer on tax and it’s even worse.
A few years ago I got a showcase thingy in NYC (I live in Quebec City). I was checking out the music stores in Time Square and I noticed that Sabians were really high priced compared to at home. So it seems to work both ways. I've never purchased Paistes in Switzerland, but nothing is inexpensive there, even the chocolate.

Anecdotal: I once purchased a bundle of Vic Firth sticks in Casablanca, Morocco. I literally could have gone to a local souk & had a 3 piece suit custom made & added a Gucci shirt and Italian shoes for the same price.
 

Old Drummer

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My parents drove me 50 miles in about 1968 to get a lower $50 price on a 20" A. Zildjian than could be found nearer. Using an inflation calculator, that $50 is $370 today. Amazon sells the equivalent cymbal today for $300 and free shipping. Prices are simply lower today than they were, ahem, 52 years ago.

My guess is that what's going on today (in addition to the internet driving brick-and-mortar stores into bankruptcy) is (a) a proliferation of cymbal choices, and (b) rapidly changing fashions in cymbals. Zenstat (and others) may correct me, but back in 1968 there were only 2-3 options for quality 20" rides, and maybe some weight and sound variations within them. Today there have to be at least 50 different options for quality 20" rides. With the proliferation of cymbals has come fashions in cymbal selection. One 20" ride will be hot for a few years, only for it to recede in popularity and another to take its place. Retailers are therefore under a lot of pressure to get their inventory right and push the inventory they have onto buyers. Understandably, they sometimes fail, and need to slash prices to unload unsold inventory in order to cut their losses and make way for new inventory. It's a brutal business these days.

I'll add that Zildjian's prices strike me as high. More and more cymbal companies are offering quality cymbals at lower prices. Zildjian seems to be riding on its historic reputation more so than competing head-to-head on quality and price. This is not to say that Zildjian isn't still making good cymbals. It is, and some of its cymbals have no rivals. Even so, my sense is that buyers pay a "Zildjian premium" for the name--until there's a market glut and sellers need to unload excess inventory.
 

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