Rehab overbuffed cymbals?

JCW

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Hello all. A while ago I picked up a pair of unmatched 15" Zildjian A's (one '60s, one '70s, both very light), and it turns out they were so buffed that they've taken on that pie-tin tone due to being overheated. I liked them at first because they were so light and fast, but then realized they basically sound like crap. Anyone ever had any success with any sort of rehab method for this, like reheating them and trying again on the sound, or something else? I buried them for a while to give them a bit of patina, but it didn't really change anything. They sound a little better if I use one over top of a relatively heavy Zilco I have, but together they are just meh. Thanks for any assistance.
 

JCW

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Here you go. Third pic really shows the buffing, and the fourth pic is the Zilco since I mentioned it.

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dtk

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I suppose you could send them to Heather Stine or Midwest Cymbal repair and have them re-lathed...they could probably hammer them too....
 
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JCW

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Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't pay that much for them and would just sell them to GC or Sam Ash nearby instead of spending anything on them. Maybe I'll try hammering them myself--always looking to add new instrument maintenance and repair skills. I also got a pair of 16" Giant Beats around the same time, and at first I wasn't too sure about them, but after a bit I realized they're actually perfect.
 

CC Cirillo

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Whenever I get new hats, or any cymbal for that matter, I find it takes me a while to become accustomed to their nuances.
Often cymbals I don’t like alone sound great with a band and vice versa.

Of course you might have already spent your time with them, or simply know what you like faster than I do.

I certainly like the idea of burying them.
 
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JDA

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lemme see the Avedis stamp (they look pretty normal to me) they may have come out/ released/ half baked ; )
they could be "A & Cie" stamp early brilliants (or) were just some early 70s weirdos (there were many..)
 

JCW

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Sorry, back in the ground already. They definitely aren't A & Cie stamps--they look like straight-up '60s and '70s, one with dots, one without.
 
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ThomasL

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If they had been truly overheated, they'd be very fragile and prone to crack.

In which way do they sound like crap? For the looks, I'd probably clean them and apply a patina, but let's talk about the sound first.
 

Johnny D

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During my years at Zildjian, I/we would always advise people not to use a buffing wheel, or any process that introduces heat to clean their cymbals. I was told early on that it can change the molecular structure of the alloy and thereby alter the sound of the cymbals. I think you're seeing an example of this. This is why Zildjian doesn't endorse any of the cymbal cleaning machines or services.

You could argue that they want to sell their own cleaner, but trust me, it's not a huge money-maker. It's mainly so people don't ruin their cymbals. And really, the best and safest method is warm water and a mild soap.
 

JCW

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In which way do they sound like crap? For the looks, I'd probably clean them and apply a patina, but let's talk about the sound first.
They sound cheap and don't have much character. They are tolerable if I use either of them (both are about 900 grams) above the Zilco (about 1500 grams). Together they don't sound much better than a pair of Zildjian B8s (both of them being very light probably doesn't help). I'd seen the "pie-tin" comparison before somewhere about buffed cymbals, probably here--sounded about right for these as well. For now, I'm just going to leave them in the ground for the rest of the summer.

During my years at Zildjian, I/we would always advise people not to use a buffing wheel, or any process that introduces heat to clean their cymbals. I was told early on that it can change the molecular structure of the alloy and thereby alter the sound of the cymbals. I think you're seeing an example of this. This is why Zildjian doesn't endorse any of the cymbal cleaning machines or services.

You could argue that they want to sell their own cleaner, but trust me, it's not a huge money-maker. It's mainly so people don't ruin their cymbals. And really, the best and safest method is warm water and a mild soap.
Thank you. I'd read up on how this can damage them, and these are so buffed I don't see how they could possibly not be damaged.
 

mlayton

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I like to use a spray of vinegar/salt/water on mine and leave them in the open sun for a week or two. Mist them with the hose every now and then. They get a nice patina quickly. Have also gently after wiped with a light bit of WD40 to give it a little sheen. Not sure how much it affects sound. Easy to remove of not desired. Has worked well for me a few times.

Mike
 


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