Cymbal Anatomy

What makes cymbals sound different?

Bell Size
Larger bells generally produce more overtones and higher volume than cymbals with smaller bells. Small bells due to its nature are softer and lower. A smaller bell reduces ring and sustain and provides a more defined stick sound for riding. Larger bells produce more overtones and a longer full-bodied sound.

Most cymbal models are available in a range of weights. Simply size and weight combine to increase the volume, power and response. Weight affects the volume, overall sound and power of a cymbal. Thin models respond faster (vibrations move through the metal faster). Thin crashes are explosive and full. The sound of thin rides are warmer. Thinner cymbals are well suited for light to moderate volumes. Heavy cymbals respond with big, loud and cutting sounds. Crashes are penetrating and cutting with attack. The hi-hats and rides have increased stick definition while the strokes are more clear and definite. Medium weight models are versatile, so the medium cymbals are a good starting point. Mixing weights may be your answer to a great sounding set-up. If you are a hard hitter medium to heavy weights are well suited for your playing. Medium and heavy cymbals are thicker. These are more durable cymbals designed to perform in loud musical situations.
Heavy weight: High volume, high pitch
Thin weight: Low volume, low pitch

The higher the profile the higher the pitch. Low pitched sounds blend with the music. High pitched sounds are cutting and suited for loud playing.
High profile: High pitch, brighter response, cutting sound.
Low profile: Low pitch, warmer response, fuller sound

Pitch represents the perceived fundamental frequency and it is the dominant sound of the cymbal. Cymbals are non-pitched instruments. A good cymbal produces frequencies in each of these three areas High, medium and low. The proportions between them determine the character of the cymbal. Higher pitched cymbals cut through the music while the low pitched blend into it, making for a bigger and fuller sound.

The sustain of the cymbal largely depends on the decay of the high frequencies. The highs are the first to cut through, the low frequencies will last for a quite long time.

Larger cymbals have more volume and longer sustain. Their response is slower when compared to smaller cymbals. Smaller cymbals produces small sounds and lower volumes.
Large cymbals: More volume, long sustain, big sound, lower pitch
Small cymbals: Less volume, short sustain, small sound, higher pitch


Brilliant T-Xtra, MetalShop, PunkHead:
Brilliant cymbals sound brighter, having more high-end than the natural ones. While lathing cuts tonal grooves into the cymbal, the buffing process evens out the surface for a smoother and shimmering response.

Traditional T-Classic, La Pasion Turca, Swink King:
Traditional cymbals produce a full range of high and low tones. The vibrations are being broken up on the ridges which helps to give a warm response with an added bite and presence.

Natural T-Natural:
An oxidation process applied to the cymbal ends with muting the mid-highs. Lathing near the edges smooths the response.

Aged CymbalMaker, Janissary-X:
Old world lathing techniques helps to maintain the vintage sound. While the hand polishing gives that pure, balanced tone.

The formula is not about what the alloy consists of, but the way it is prepared. Our metal is called B20 at chemistry - SnBz 20 - 20% tin (Sn, Stannum) and 80% copper besides minimal amount of silver. The composition is NOT a secret, the way we make it makes them unique.

The degree to which the cymbal changes in thickness from the cup to the edge. The design of the taper will contribute to the amount of Crash-like or Ride-like qualities in the cymbal. Medium-Thin Rides have the most extreme taper being thick at the cup and thin at the edge.

Ride Area
The center portion of the cymbal. Which doesn't open up immediately, mostly effective for pronounced stick tones and patterns.

Crash Area
The outer edge where a cymbal responds immediately, mostly strucked to produce an instant crash response.

Hand hammering applies the hammer strikes irregularly all over the cymbal surface. This lowers the profile and pitch, reduces and darkens overtones, adds dryness and increases the amount of warmth and body of its sound. Over-hammered cymbals receive additional hammer strikes after they are lathed. This further reduces overtones, adds dryness and shortens decay.

Tonal Grooves
Tonal grooves applied at lathing process helps the sound energy escape from the cymbal. Larger, deeper tonal grooves open up the cymbal sound. Fine, shallow grooves smoothen the sound. Cymbals with no tonal grooves (unlathed) have fewer overtones.

Drum Sticks
Stick selection influence the cymbal sound more than you can imagine. Such as the tip type (wood or plastic) and shape. Mostly the the plastic tips produce brighter sounds while the wood tips are more warmer. Refer to the drumstick manufacturers websites for detailed info.