The Different Types of Cymbal Manufacturers

timothy roberts ride cymbal


We’d like to thank Justin Netti, Owner of Cymbal Swap, for contributing his cymbal expertise to help us create this insightful guide to understanding cymbal manufacturers. 

Photo above provided by Timothy Roberts Cymbals

The rise of independent cymbal brands deems it necessary for us to get a better understanding of who actually manufactures the cymbals we play. As Justin explains, there are a few common categories of cymbal makers worth understanding.

The major cymbal manufacturers consist of: Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, and Meinl. They have a wide array of series to choose from and most cymbals can be found in most drum shops and online stores. They sound great, consistent and you probably know what to expect from these brands.

Turkish Cymbal Companies

There’s a ton of smaller cymbal companies from Turkey that you may not know their brand name, but the cymbalsmiths behind those companies at one point in their career may have learned from or worked for those major brands.

Most of the Turkish-made cymbals are hand hammered, each very unique and you’ll find they are high quality cymbals. I’m always impressed by the level of quality from these cymbalmakers. If you order from them directly, they may be able to customize a cymbal for you.

Cymbal Designers are creating the concepts and testing out new innovative cymbals to bring to the market. They may not be the ones doing the hammering or lathing.

These cymbals are typically made by Turkish cymbalmakers and are very high quality hand hammered cymbals. Often times they’ll be offered in smaller batches and harder to find in local stores, but usually available online.

These designers may also offer custom cymbal design and work with you to create a cymbal to your specs.

Independent Cymbalsmiths are artisan cymbal makers who usually source blank cymbals from Turkey, China or elsewhere to hand hammer and lathe unique, one of a kind cymbals.

These may come at a higher price point, but they are usually created by a single person who spends many hours dedicated to crafting a customized cymbal with extreme attention to detail.

Many of these smiths also offer modifications or repairs of customer cymbals. If you want something truly made for you to your specifications, you need to check out what the cymbalsmiths have to offer. They each have their own style and specialty, so reach out to Cymbal Swap to have a consultation for custom designed cymbals.

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