The Roving Rowes


Sabian Cymbals Being Made at

The 2000 NAMM International Trade Show

A lot goes into the manufacturing of cymbals. The Sabian company provided a demonstration of one step of the process involved in hand hammering cymbals to produce the quality of sound Sabian cymbals are known for. This was no actor, but one of the craftsmen who spend many hours every week doing this very thing. To each side of this were displays of cymbals in various stages of manufacture.



Cymbal materials (small)

Silver-laced tin (20%) and copper (80%) combine under intense heat to create pure Sabian B80 bronze, the world's most musical and durable cymbal metal. This molten metal cools and hardens into "castings."

Cymbal casting (small)

Each casting is destined to a specific size and thickness of cymbal. Softened by heat, they are flattened by multiple passes through a powerful rolling mill. As many as a dozen runs between oven and rolling mill build strength into the metal while shaping a suitably sized "blank."

Cymbal blank (small)

Reheated until soft, the blank is pressed with a cup then drilled with a center hole before being cut into a circular shape.

Cymbal hammerer (small)

The hand hammering process the cymbal maker went through develops the sound of the cymbal. Since the operation is hand done, no two cymbals are exactly alike.

Cymbal blank after hammering (small)

Hand hammering shapes the cymbal and the sound, with hundreds of strokes dimpling the bronze surface and personalizing the cymbal with a warm, complex musicality.

Lathed cymbal (small)

Lathing cuts away the raw, dark surface while shaving the cymbal to its correct thickness and cutting sound-enhancing tonal rings into the metal.

Finished cymbal (small)

Sabian says, "Every Hand Hammered has its own unique voice - warm, complex and very musical. For players with something to say, Hand Hammered is the ultimate choice."

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