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Q. Why shouldn't I just buy new cymbals from my local store or on-line sources?

A. Sure, you can do that, and the vast majority of drummers do. However, if you are trying to create your "own" sound, then playing mass-produced cymbals that you and everybody else can pick up at your local Guitar Center probably isn't the way to go.

Q. Well, what is so different about vintage and hand-crafted cymbals?

A. Hand-crafted cymbals are just that, hand-crafted. That means that a master cymbalsmith sat down with bronze, a hammer, an anvil and created the cymbal. That process results in truly unique and individual instruments. Prior to the mid 1960's even the largest cymbal factories produced hand-crafted cymbals. Those cymbals are also generally thinner that today's mass produced cymbals yielding more musical and complex sounds.

Q. But aren't vintage cymbals too expensive for the average drummer?

A. Not necessarily. Vintage Zildjian cymbals can actually be quite a bit less expensive than corresponding, pro-level modern cymbals.

Q. What if I purchase one of your cymbals and do not like it? Can I return it?

A. Yes. I offer a full 30-day money back guarantee. If one of my cymbals does not turn out to suit your needs for any reason, just return it in the same condition that it was in when you purchased it. I will return your full purchase price minus shipping.

Q. What is the difference between Zildjian and K. Zildjian cymbals?

A. While the owners of both companies come from the same family lineage, the companies were completely separate. Zildjian is an American company with all of its cymbals produced in the United States or Canada. K. Zildjian created all of their cymbals in Turkey. In the early 1970's, Zildjian purchased the rights to the K. Zildjian name and the Istanbul factory was closed.

Q. What is an EAK Zildjian?

A. In the early 1980's, Zildjian continued the K Zildjian line by producing the last of their hand hammered cymbals. For a short few years, Zildjian produced these hand hammered K's and they have become known as Early American K's....EAK.

Q. I've heard of Canadian K's. What are those?

A. Zildjian used to own the cymbal factory in Canada that later became the Sabian factory. Prior to producing the EAK's, Zildjian first resurrected the K line in their Canadian factory. Cymbalsmiths from K. Zildjian in Istanbul had been relocated to the Canada to produce cymbals that were very much like the last of the Istanbul K's. Canadian K's are rare, wonderful cymbals.

Q. Where will you ship and how much will it cost?

A. I will ship world-wide. Shipping costs will be quoted on an individual basis for all orders.

Q. Matt, do you really make Bettis Custom Cymbals by hand?

A. I sure do. I have a couple of cymbal/gong foundries in China ship me B20 blanks that already have the bell in place. Then, I hand hammer the shape and tension into each one and perform all of my own lathe and finish work myself... by hand. I often hand hammer the bells, as well, in order to add to the complexity of the sound.

Q. I simply do not believe you. Prove it?

A. Ummm, OK.... Check out the following pictures of a cymbal blank going through the process.......

Q. Yeah, OK... I guess I believe you now. But, if you were really serious, wouldn't you stamp your cymbals, and not just sign them?

A. Good point. Here's my stamp.......

Q. Nice.

A. Thanks!

Q. What is all this about True, Natural, Ageing and your new TNA cymbals?

A. Well, my concept for True, Natural, Ageing (TNA) came about from hearing a lot of cats talk about how they like the mellower sound of a cymbal that has been around for 25 or more years. I also noticed that some big cymbal factories were attempting to re-create that aged sound in some of their new cymbals. Unlike the cymbal factories, my low volume, hand crafted approach to cymbalsmithing allows me to actually accomplish the goal of making new cymbals out of 30-40 year-old, truly aged, bronze. So, I am doing just that on a very limited scale. All of my TNA cymbals receive my stamp and signature. Additionally, every one is also stamped "TNA".

Have other questions? contact:
Matt@RareVintageCymbals.com