Major cymbal manufacturers
Other cymbal manufacturers
Amedia Cymbals is a small Turkish manufacturer of cymbals. They have 23 different lines of Cymbals. Amedia is a family run business which has been producing Cymbals for many generations.
Anatolian Cymbals is a small Turkish manufacturer of cymbals, which started out in 1999. Anatolian cast bronze cymbals are crafted from the Anatolian B20plus alloy consisting of 80% copper I 20% tin as well as a secret special additive known only to Anatolian. Each Anatolian cymbal is handcrafted. Anatolian has 12 different lines of cymbals.
Dream Cymbals is a Canadian cymbal company which started out in 2005. It is a collaboration between the Canadian instrument designers of Mountain Rhythm, and Chinese cymbal makers. All of the company's cymbals are made in the Wuhan region of China. Their main lines are "Bliss", "Contact", and "Energy", and "Dark Matter". Their "China cymbals" are made as a separate line called "Lion", and a line called "Pang", which Dream bills as, "[neither] a china nor a ride nor a swish..."
AJAHA Cymbals produced cymbals from the 1910s through the 1970s. Ajaha cymbals appeared in the 1912 Gretsch catalog, fourteen years before Fred Gretsch Sr. registered the Zildjian brand in the United States. The 1941 Gretsh catalog says, "For almost thirty years American drummers have ranked Ajaha second only to K Zildjian." The telltale identifying mark is the signature "X.E. Ajaha" on the underside of the cymbal bell. Some observe that the characters X and E resemble the Greek characters "hee" and "ksi." The last Ajaha cymbals were produced by Tosco-Italy, in the 1970s as a stencil brand supplied to Gretsch drums.
Very early Ajahas (date based upon visual stylistic/craftsmanship grounds) tend to be small, 11-14", and either very heavy, or paper thin. The UFIP produced Ajahas of the 70's run the gamut of sizes 12"-22" and weights. Also of note is that these UFIP versions bear an ink-stamped reproduction of the Ajaha signature.
As to whether Ajaha was initially a Turkish maker, or a European (possibly Italian) maker who had apprenticed in a Turkish workshop (perhaps even the K Zildjian workshop in Istanbul) is open to debate. Its difficulty is compounded by the relative rarity of such cymbals still in existence.
The lack of concrete information on these cymbals may also be because the only identifying mark was an ink signature or stamp (as opposed to an embossed stamp), so the ink may have worn off, leaving many Ajahas as "no-names." Also, the varied quality of those that are identifiable does not encourage further investigation. Lastly, in keeping with the very unfortunate tradition of not discussing past artisans they did business with or employed (if there is no marketable gain for doing so), Sabian (Tosco), UFIP (Italy), and Gretsch may have more information on Ajaha than they are willing to disclose. Too obscure for almost any musicians or collectors to care about, these cymbals have little market value today. Ajaha the company, and the cymbalsmith, remain an enigma.
Octagon is a Brazilian cymbal manufacturer founded in the early 90's, that originally started out as a pedal manufacturer, launching the first bass drum pedal made in Brazil. It quickly switched on to make cymbals.
Orion Cymbals is a Brazilian brand of cymbals and percussion founded in 1999 as a division of Multialloy Metais e Ligas Especiais Ltda, and aims to remain a leader within this segment in Brazil and Latin America.
Harpy cymbals originated in Brazil. The cymbals were made out of B8 Bronze. The company was popular for the way they coloured some of their cymbals, adding visual excitement to professional cymbals. As of 2006 the company renamed itself KREST.
Artists who play with Harpy/Krest cymbals are more numerous in Brazil. Some popular artists are soloist Gledson Meira, and Jamil Pilli of Chipset Zero. Harpy cymbals are used in America by Andrew O'Donnell, of Attila and the huns (18" China).
Stagg is an instrument manufacturer. They primarily make inexpensive entry-level instruments for beginners. Their product list consists of acoustic and electric guitars, pianos and keyboards, classical instruments, percussion instruments and other accessories. They also make various cymbals and gongs.
Hammerax is an American cymbal company which produces cymbals as well as a group of unique bronze instruments. They were founded in 2006. They are made in the United States and have the longest warranty of any cymbal company (4 years).
Because so few of these vintage cymbals exist on the market today (they are much less prevalent that some other vintage Italian contemporaries, such as Zanchi) Bellotti remains one of the more obscure names in cymbal manufacturers. Most Bellottis are relatively small 12"-15", and quite heavy. Their craftsmanship displays a fine lathing on top and bottom and very broad, circular-peen hand-hammering. The cast bronze cymbals are of a B20 alloy. The bellholes of most Bellottis are of small aperture, which suggests a fabrication date prior to the 1960s or earlier. Very finely crafted, most existing examples are likely to have been hand or field cymbals, due both to their weight and diameters.
The tell-tale insignia is an embossed stamp on the underside of the cymbal. There are two versions of this stamp. The first simply reads "Bellotti" on capital block letters. The second version also reads "Bellotti," but also incorporates the logo of a bell. Often, Bellottis have an embossment that reads "Italy" or "Made in Italy" in a semicircular pattern. This embossment appears on other Italian cymbals of the 1940s-1960s.
Pasha cymbals were Italian-made cymbals from the early 1960s through early 1970s. A stencil brand produced in the UFIP S.r.l. factory, Pashas were the stock cymbal for Rogers Drums and appear in Rogers catalogues of this era.
The telltale insignia is a crescent moon with the word PASHA adjacent to it, the font of the lettering being all capitals, the characters with rounded edges. The stamp was either embossed, or simply an ink stamp. Pashas also often exhibit a square ink stamp, "Made in Italy".
Most examples are thin to medium-thin in weight. Pashas were composed of B20 alloy, cast bronze, and machine and hand hammered. They tend to produce a warm tone with wide but controlled wash, as opposed to a very prominent stick/ping sound, which make them appropriate jazz cymbals.
They are sometimes mistaken for the more contemporary Istanbul cymbals "Pasha" product line, although they bear no resemblance to the latter.
Roberto Spizzichino is an Italian Jazz drummer and renowned master cymbalsmith. Spizzichino personally lathes and hand hammers cymbals in his workshop in San Quirico, Tuscany in the tradition of the K Zildjian cymbal makers from Istanbul. The first Spizzichinos were made from inexpensive, heavy B20 blanks imported from China. By heating, hand hammering and lathing the material, Spizzichino sought to bring out desirable sound characteristics often lacking in machine-made modern cymbals. Spizzichino became unsatisfied with the purity of the Chinese material after a couple years, and found a different supplier. All Spizzichino brand cymbals are now crafted from high quality B20 bell bronze discs sourced from Turkey.
Early in his career, Spizzichino worked for the Italian cymbal company UFIP, doing cymbal development and research. It was after leaving UFIP when Spizzichino started experimenting with his own "Spizz" brand cymbals in 1986. Spizzichino also worked for Bespeco, an Italian musical equipment manufacturer. Bespeco still offers a line of machine-made B8 "Spizz" brand cymbals produced according to a process developed by Spizzichino. In addition, the Chinese cymbal manufacturer, Wuhan, produced a limited number of its own "Spizz" brand cymbals during a brief collaboration in 1989 when Spizzichino visited the factory. He was in China to find a source for B20 blanks. Spizzichino was involved in the Wuhan/Spizz cymbals' design but was not involved with the cymbal production and distribution. He was not satisfied with the product and did not wish to be associated with it. Neither the Bespeco "Spizz" or the Wuhan/Spizz cymbals are currently endorsed by Spizzichino.
Nowadays, Roberto Spizzichino focuses primarily on creating premium jazz cymbals. These cymbals are coveted by jazz drummers seeking the 'old K sound.'
Matt Nolan Custom
Matt Nolan is an English drummer and metal sculptor. Nolan works as an independent cymbal and gong maker from his workshop in Bath in the South-West of England. Matt Nolan Custom brand cymbals are made mostly from malleable bronze that Nolan personally works by hand with hammers, anvils and fire. Nolan also makes cymbals and gongs from more unusual materials, most notably Stainless Steel and Titanium. Nolan's cymbals and gongs are known for their often very decorative appearance, with colours, textures and sometimes even non-circular shapes.
Nolan, formerly an Electronic Engineer, started producing his musical instruments and sculptures commercially in 2008 but had been making them on a hobby basis for a number of years prior to that. Nolan's instruments are used by Rock and Jazz drummers as well as Orchestral and Avant-Garde musicians. Nolan has created custom works for Massive Attack, Björk and the Boston Symphony Orchestra among others .
Matt Nolan's stated aim is to "help bring percussion and percussion instruments more to the fore, more into the public awareness and appreciation" and he says of his work that "the whole thing has become a fascinating exploration of art and sound for me." 
For more information, visit the website www.mattnolancustom.com .
Masterwork cymbals runs a small operation in Istanbul, Turkey. They are mostly sold in Europe and some in Asia. 80% of Masterwork output is Darbukas and less than 20% is cymbals.
Orient cymbals is a corporation of Masterwork cymbals. Orient cymbals was created ship OEM TRX, Soultone and other cymbals within European territories. Partners Yucel and Cetin operate Orient Cymbals from their Taksim area retail store called Masterwork Music Distribution. Masterwork also sells their own brands of string instruments, etc.
Saluda Cymbals is a custom cymbal manufacturer. They make cymbals from a B20 High grade alloy, and offer a wide range of custom accommodations through many series of cymbals, such as the Mist X series (most easily compared to the Zildjian A customs), Earthworks, Diamonds, Decadence, Glory, Tesla, Voodoo (4 Sub-Series and V Bells), Definitive Jazz, Nemesis, and Black Mist (Onyx). These are high level cymbals that they can make to meet exact requests in sound and design.
Saluda's main operations are at 2651-B Shop Road in Columbia, SC - anyone can stop by and watch them hand hammer, lathe, apply clear finishes or acid burn finishes. They have a second cymbal shop around the corner from the main shop off Shop Road. Saluda's drum crafting shop is located in Orangeburg, SC (45 minutes from the Columbia shop).
Saluda's creativity can be seen in their endless amount of released prototypes.
Supernatural cymbals are manufatured by Dogukan Okur and William Salas the owners of Supernatural's Foundry in Istanbul Turkey.
UFIP S.r.l. is an Italian cymbal manufacturer, producing mainly high-quality bell bronze cymbals using centrifugal casting, also known as rotocasting or spin-casting. They are the only major cymbal manufacturer to use centrifugal casting. The hand-made and "Ear-Created" UFIP cymbals are the Class, Natural, Bionic, Brilliant, Rough, Extatic and Experience series, this last consisting of a range of prototypes from the other series and limited/custom production cymbals.
The company's signature series cymbals, Firma, were made from enriched B22 spin-cast bronze and hand-hammered by company owner and senior cymbalsmith Damiano Tronci. As of late 2007, they are no longer made. The company's offer includes intermediate (Tiger) and student (M8) cymbals, not made from the spin-cast technique. Tigers are rolled and stamped bronze, and M8 are stamped bronze sheets. UFIP also made cymbals, which they sold under the Atlas, Kashian, and CB-700 labels. UFIP cymbals are known for rich timbre and great adaptability to all musical genres and styles—and also for their higher than usual prices.
Wuhan is a brand of cymbal, specialising in mid-range B20 cymbals and china type cymbals of all alloys and types. Their headquarters and manufacturing facilities are in Wuhan, China. They used to manufacture 'S' series, but now they stick to 'Traditional' series. They also make gongs and have done so for over 2000 years (according to their website).
- ^ http://www.dreamcymbals.com/instruments/cymbals/pang
- ^ Pinksterboer, Hugo: The Cymbal Book. Hal Leonard Publishers. 1992
- ^ Salgado, J. "Vintage Cymbals, an Identification Guide", "Not So Modern Drummer", vol. 12, #6
- ^ Rogers Drum Co., Catalog 60R, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio
- ^ http://bjork.com/#/past/people/matt%20nolan
- ^ Drumhead Magazine, Issue 016, July–August 2009
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