Rivet "Theory"

jashoup

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For those jazz cymbal aficionados out there who like to play cymbals with rivets, for a little sizzle...

I'm curious about your experiences with different makes, models, weights, and sizes of cymbals, differing numbers of rivets, different types of rivets, different spacings of the rivets, etc. Basically, how do you describe the sound that you personally seek in a rivet cymbal? What factors do you consider when choosing what cymbal you rivet, and how you carry it out? I'm specifically interested in achieving maximum response and sustain in a rivet cymbal.

Heavier versus lighter - steel versus brass rivets - cluster or perimeter drilling? Bell size? Other factors? What do you think?

Thanks,

Jeff
 

Seb77

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Regarding placement: I think the tried-and-true distance from the edge you see with factory-riveted cymbals is a good start for a long, even decay. Some cymbals use a cluster (Z. Sweet Baby), evenly spread rivets (Z. A Custom sizzle) or two spaced rivets (Istanbul Mel/Legend). Sometime just one rivet is enough.
I liked the results I got by first finding a good spot for one rivet, trying it out with a rivet dangling from a string. Drill and put in the first rivet, then maybe do anothe "search" with a second one to find a good spacing.

Drilling cymbals and fixating rivets is another topic. Try searching cymbalholic.com via Google; quite a few ideas around there.
 

PressRoll

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Heavier cymbals = more sustain and longer sizzle
Lighter cymbals = less sustain and shorter sizzle
Heavier rivets = darker sound and less sizzle
Lighter rivets = brighter sound and more sizzle
Installed closer to the edge = more sizzle
Installed closer to the center = less sizzle
Too many heavier rivets on a lighter cymbal will sizzle for a short time
Too few lighter rivets on a heavier cymbal will sizzle for a long time
Rivet material by density: Aluminum, Steel, Brass, Copper

Putting this theory into practice is where it becomes difficult. My general rules are:
Number of rivets = no less than 3 and no more than 6
Weight of cymbal to install on = heavy to medium weight
Placement of rivets = Generally even spaced around the cymbal. About 1.5-3" in from the edge depending on cymbal size. Small cluster is fine (2-3 rivets max) but placement is crucial to not mess with the balance of the cymbal.
 

JoePasko2002

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I play with brushes in a group w/ acoustic stringed instruments, and I think rivets are essential for me, if I want to incorporate cymbal(s) into our mix. I prefer a symmetric arrangement over an asymmetric cluster. I have cymbals with 3 or 4 rivets evenly-spaced around the circumference, and they have worked out well for me and what I do.

But for the last year, the main cymbal that I use is the result of a surprisingly successful experiment.

I bought a Zildjian 16" Fast Crash of Ebay, that had been cracked, and had been cut down to 13" by the folks at Saluda Cymbals. I drilled 6 holes into it, straight across the diameter, and installed brass split rivets (the kind that look like paper fasteners). I haven't seen rivets arranged like that before, but I wanted to try it. I got pretty much what I had been seeking: a crash/ride optimal for brush-playing in a bluegrass (-ish) band ! Nice sustain, bright sound, cuts though without over-powering the other instruments (or startling the geezers in my band, when I give it a good whack).


13zildjian.JPG
 

Funktosterone

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I absolutely love sizzle rides. I love Billy Higgins and have really migrated to his overall drum and cymbal sound. I have owned a few sizzles. My favorites have been the 21" Istanbul pre-split and Agop Mel Lewis rides, both 22" and 21" Bosphorus Traditional rides with rivets added, and the 22" Bosphorus Hammer. I've also have a 21" Istanbul Mehmet Nostalgia that loves rivets.

As far as number of rivets and rivet placement goes, I've never really needed more than two rivets. The Bos Hammer has three spaced evenly at 9, 12, & 3 o'clock, roughly 1-1.5" from edge). Since the Hammer is Med-thin in weight (~2500-2600g) it can handle more rivets and still keep a defined stick on top without getting lost in the sizzle/wash. The 21" Mels are a bit thinner (~2100-2200g), so two rivets (1 & 2 o'clock approximately 1-1.5" from edge, spaced ~4" apart) works nicely - again, allowing the stick to remain prominent, keeping the sizzle separated and underneath.

In my experience, it's really difficult to find a well balanced jazz sizzle ride. I want some complexity, not just a ping with sizzles underneath it. That's cool if you're shooting for California cool jazz, 1950's big studio, big band sound; but for combo playing, I want a nicely balanced, slightly complex ride that has a nicely defined stick with integrated sizzle sound, so when you shank or crash the cymbal, you get a lovely, mellow, dark "shhhhh" sound. It's a beautiful thing.

All that said, that's just my personal experience and preference. I have seen and played sizzle rides where the rivets were up closer to the bell and they sounded great - less sustain on the sizzle, more stick definition. One of the most important things for me, however, is making sure the rivets sit away from my playing area when the cymbal rests itself on the stand. If I'm drilling my own rivets, I always check how the cymbal rests on the stand first, then mark my spots based on the position of the cymbal, regardless of where the logo is.

Good luck and have fun!
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I like rivets. I have cymbals with up to 8 holes evenly placed about 1-2" from the edge. I don't normally play more than 2 in a cymbal. If I really like a cymbal and think a rivet(s) will help, I start with one. About 1-1.5" in from the edge. Put the cymbal on the stand and let it hang naturally. It will normally keep a certain position (not due to a keyhole). If you spin it a few times slowly, and start playing it, it should rotate back to the same position. Then I add a rivet on the FAR side of where you are seated for maximum rivet action even with one. Drilling a cymbal is pretty easy to do. I suggest put some blue painter's tape on the top so the drill bit doesn't skip. Use an 1/8" bit. I like Zildjian rivets although I don't have the tool to crimp them which is annoying. I snip the tip once it is thru to make a "+" pattern and use bottle nose pliers to flare them out or remove them. I may add a 2nd hole maybe 4-8" away depending on the sound.

I don't like the 3 hole Zildjian cluster (aka Sweet ride) and I don't like the Mel Lewis setup (1 on each side). I have a 21" M.L. and just use one rivet and it's fine.

As for cymbal weight, I play lighter darker cymbals (modern K's, Istanbul Agops, Bosphorus) If you have a heavy ping ride, you will have a more pronounced rivet sound as the cymbal doesn't resonate much due to weight. I like the rivet to just add a little extra wash to the cymbal and not actually convert it into a swish-y type sound. If I want that sound, I have a 20" china with 4 rivets I put in (3/6/9/12:00) and get that effect when needed.
 

JDA

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Sustain. Rarely need-use more than one or two myself
 

gezz

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I like rivets as another factor is the added definition they add.. that's why I love my A custom Sizzzle Ride as for me it's perfect.. you need to lay into the cymbal to activate its full tone.
Also the slightest of touches is so subtle.. so many colours
 

RyanR

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There are no rules to rivets. Well one.

Lighter Bosphorus rivets give more of a hiss, the heavier Istanbul rivets are more gritty.

And another: Too many rivets can choke a cymbal right out.

Other than that, attempting to make "rules" doesn't work. Too many exceptions.

-Ryan
 

Animaaal

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I have only one riveted ride, and I love it. It's the 19" Z Beautiful Baby, 3 rivets in a straight line cluster. Very light cymbal, very crashable, and a very sweet, subtle ostinato. Hey, this cymbal was designed around Armand's concept of the perfect, classic jazz ride sound- and that's good enough for me. It creates a nice shimmery undertone, has just enough ping to not get lost, and crashes beautifully- that textbook jazzy wash. I fell in love with the sound the first time I heard it. Makes a great LSR, or main ride for a minimalist setup.

3 rivets seems to be the magic number... I've seen plenty of rides with more than 3 rivet HOLES, but almost always someone's removed the 'extras' and pared it down to 2 or 3 actual rivets.

I like to keep things reversible, I really hate to make a permanent alteration to any instrument unless it's 110% a sure thing. For instance, a ride that you really don't like/ don't use that just needs sizzle to be playable. Otherwise, what I do with a ride that could use some sizzle sometimes (for certain styles, say) is I just throw some beaded chain on it. A piece of beaded chain is so cheap, and so easy on/off, and then you've still got your unaltered ride. Also, it's a good way to dry up a ride for a more acoustic setting, or just to eliminate unwanted 'busyness' in the rides sound. Turn an A into a K for $1.00! Certainly it's a good way to try out a ride with some sizzle. I've tried all the different bead sizes, and have found that the smallest beads are the best. They sound more rivety, and choke the cymbal less than the larger beads. The large beads don't shimmer, and take away too much tone for my taste.

I've got 2 solutions to mounting the beads without looking thrown together, I'll include pics. (And yes, I'd be happy to make the dice version for members. The wire version is so DIY anyone can do it.) Yes, there are beaded chain accessories available, but cmon. The wire is on a 21" K Hybrid, the die is on a 60's Medium ride.
 

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RickP

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I like rivet rides when playing brushes, now that being said depending on the cymbals, I only like one or two rivets installed.
I had a lovely 21" Agop Mel Lewis ride that comes with two rivets and it was nice with the two rivets, but removing one rivet made it
an excellent cymbal as it helped bring out the stick definition.

I have have had a couple of the 19" Armand rides with the three rivet clusters and they were just OK. The placement of the rivets wa snice,
but the actual cymbal was not to my liking.

I owned a 22" Zildjian Swish back in the 70's that came with 8 rivets equally spaced and it just made the sizzle too overpowering.

Nowadays I own no cymbals with rivets but I do utilize the ProMark Rattler when I want a rivet sound.
 

RyanR

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RickP said:
Nowadays I own no cymbals with rivets but I do utilize the ProMark Rattler when I want a rivet sound.
Rattler has nothing on real rivets. BTDT.

-Ryan
 

RyanR

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RickP said:
Nowadays I own no cymbals with rivets but I do utilize the ProMark Rattler when I want a rivet sound.
Rattler has nothing on real rivets. BTDT.

-Ryan
Very true but it does work in a pinch.




Totally agree!

-Ryan
 


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