Some Preliminaries

This is a page on hammering which serves two functions. First it defines some terms, and second it illustrates them with pictures. It is only just getting started but I wanted a place to start collecting things. It will also have some pictures of the tools which are involved, and illustrate hammering patterns used in different production eras. I'm actively revising the categories, names for things, and classifications. So expect that these will change. For example I really need to tidy up hammer size because it doesn't achieve the sorts of distinctions I'm looking for.

Irregular Hammering

Image: Irregular Hammering

irregular

The above is a cymbal which shows Irregular Hammering. I'm using this term to describe hammering which doesn't have a particularly obvious regular pattern to it. In particular I'm contrasting it to a concentric ring pattern (see below). This is a modern K Custom and all machine hammered.

Irregular is about pattern or distribution. It is not a distinction about whether the hammer marks were made by somebody swinging a hammer, somebody holding a powered hammer in their hand, or somebody moving the cymbal blank under a machine hammer, or a computer doing all the work. It is about the pattern of the hammer marks.

Zildjian refer to their hammering on the K family as "random" in contrast to the A family hammering. I prefer the term "irregular" as a statistician, because we are picky about the technical definition of the word "random" and what it implies in terms of the underlying generating process. I also don't want to call it "unsystematic" or "haphazard" because it represents a carefully chosen pattern which creates the right cymbal sound. The key feature of this style of hammering is that it lacks any strong systematic pattern we can discern by eye. Irregular as a term comes from Pinksterboer, The Cymbal Book p113.

Concentric Ring Hammering

Image: Concentric Ring Hammering

concentric

The above is a modern Armand 16" crash cymbal which shows the concentric ring hammering style. I chose this picture because it has very easy to see rings, and we also know the hammering was done by machine. But concentric ring doesn't automatically imply machine. It's just about the pattern. Skilled craftsmen can produce concentric ring hammering style without the use of a machine which has some kind of guide or pin to follow. Where hammering is done without the use of some guide or pin, let's call it "freestyle". So hammering can be both concentric ring in pattern and freestyle (by eye) in targeting method.

There are other regular (vs irregular) hammering patterns possible, but the circular shape of a cymbal lends itself to concentric circles being the most obvious regular pattern. Another regular pattern which is used in cymbal construction is radial spoke. Look no further than a bicycle wheel and you see radial spokes.

Image: Bicycle Spokes

bicycle spokes

The difference between radial spoke and concentric ring might be hard to pick after the fact, but in pure radial spoke hammering the hammer impressions will be further apart as you go out from the bell. Pure concentric ring will have the hammer impressions the same distance apart. It's a geometry thing. If you have a look at the Armand picture the hammer impressions are the same distance apart in an outer ring as an inner ring which is closer to the bell. The difference might not be so easy to pick if the hammer blows are being targeted by eye (freestyle).

In addition to spokes as straight lines, the spokes can be curved. For example, on this Z Custom Projection Crash. This is an example of another type of regular pattern.

Image: Curved Spokes

curved spokes

Other Attributes

So far I've introduced Pattern (regular versus irregular) and a few other hammering attributes which we'll elaborate on and fully illustrate in due course. The next is Targeting (freestyle or "by eye" versus some sort of mechanical aid or template or computer program). This isn't just a two state attribute. There are at least 4 different states to be coded. But I'm still working on the coding.

The rest of the descriptive attributes I'm trying out are:

It seems to me that lots of virtual ink has been expended on drum forums discussing "hand hammering" versus "machine hammering" versus "hand made" (what does that really mean?) before getting clear on just what the different aspects of hammering look like. Yes, the last 3 attributes of initial bow creation, bell, and force take us a bit past just describing what is visible to us in the finished cymbal, and get into the production process itself.

When it comes to understanding how hammering is used in the production process in cymbal manufacturing, and how these last 3 attributes can affect the sonic properties of a cymbal, I always defer to people who actually make cymbals for a living.

You can read up on what one of the independent cymbal makers (Craig Lauritsen) says:

Hammering 101

Hammering 101 Cont.

In some situations I'm going to avoid "hand versus machine" discussion by trying to work at the level of describing what we see on the surface of a finished cymbal, and not make "after the production process" inferences about whether somebody held a hammer in their hand or not. Later on I'll be showing examples and trying to illustrate the difference between machine force hammer and hand force hammer marks. And I'll show some examples where I can't tell and don't care how the blows were struck. But I hope to be able to describe and illustrate them adequately so that we can examine how strongly the look of the hammering is related to a particular stamp era and production era.

Pre Trans Stamps: 1930s to mid 1940s

We begin not in the USA but back in Turkey, so we have a point of reference for what production technologies were like when Avedis started off in the USA.

Image: 30s: Turkish made K Zildjian Constantinople Bottom

16-old-k-con-bot2.png

In the 1930s K Zildjian were hammering cymbals like this in Turkey:

pattern: irregular
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, bell
depth: deep
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round or oval
initial shaping: hammering
bell: hammered
force: all hand

Image: 30s: Turkish made K Zildjian Constantinople Stamp

16-old-k-con-stamp.png

Image: 30s: Turkish made K Zildjian Constantinople Top

16-old-k-con-top.png

The hammering on the top isn't nearly as obvious. The lathing on both the top and the bottom show differences in the distance between the tonal grooves from place to place.

So what were the early Avedis Zildjian cymbals like?

Image: 30s: Avedis Zildjian Bottom 13" Hi Hat

13-851-896-bot2.jpg

In the 1930s A Zildjian were hammering cymbals in a similar way to their Turkish cousins.

pattern: irregular but heading towards concentric ring
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, no visible hammering on bell
depth: deep
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round or oval
initial shaping: hammering
bell: pressed in
force: all hand

The hammer blows on this cymbal are slightly further apart then the Turkish example. You can also see a contrast between the bell of the Avedis cymbal (pressed in using a die I believe) and the bell of the Turkish made K Zildjian which isn't as crisply formed.

Image: 30s: Avedis Zildjian Stamp 13" Hi Hat

13-851-896-stamp2.jpg

Above is the stamp from this cymbal. It is a Second Stamp (if you choose to use that terminology). It also has the U.S. stamp on it which means U.S. Military issue.

Image: 30s: Avedis Zildjian Stamp 13" Hi Hats

13-851-896-top2.jpg

Here is the top side of the hi hat pair. The hammering on the top isn't nearly as obvious as the hammering on the bottom. The lathing on both the top and the bottom show differences in the distance between the tonal grooves. Both of these had sustained major damage in the form of cracks at the bell bow transition which have been stop drilled at the ends of the cracks.

Trans Stamps: mid 1940s to mid 1950s

Image: Trans Stamp 16" Bottom Hammering

trans-16-bot.jpg

This 16" cymbal has concentric ring hammering on the top and bottom. Although the basic concentric ring pattern is clear on the bottom, the spacing between the hammer blows isn't consistent. The hammer marks overlap in a number of places. Not all Trans Stamps have this much hammering on them.

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: deep
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand

Image: Trans Stamp 18" Top Hammering

trans-18inch-top.jpg

Top side of this 18" cymbal has visible hammering is, but not as strongly visible as on the underside. In this case you can still see concentric ring hammering, and it appears to be relatively sparse. There are larger gaps between the rings, and larger gaps between the adjacent hammer marks in each ring.

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: medium
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand

Here is another 16" Trans Stamp (type II) which shows a hammering style which is quite different.

Image: Trans Stamp 16" 775g Bottom Hammering

16-775-bot.jpg

This 16" cymbal seems to have more irregular than concentric ring hammering on the bottom. The hammer marks seem to be broader and overlap in many regions, although the marks are quite shallow. In some ways it looks more like this Canadian K in terms of hammering style.

pattern: irregular
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: shallow
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: oval
initial shaping: hand hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand

Image: Trans Stamp 16" 775g Top Hammering

16-775-top.jpg

The top might have slightly more concentric pattern to it, but it's hard to be sure. The lathing on the top wouldn't be out of place on a late 50s small stamp cymbal. It shows the finer lathing on the bell, and concentric rings of variable width lathing as you move along to bow from the bell to the outer edge.

Image: Trans Stamp 16" 775g Stamp

16-775-stamp.jpg

The next example is another 18" Trans Stamp (type III) which illustrates another variation on the Trans Stamp hammering theme.

Image: Trans Stamp 18" 1510g Bottom Hammering

8-1510-bot.jpg

This 18" cymbal seems to have clear concentric ring hammering on the bottom. But it is less deep, and doesn't overlap much.

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: shallow
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hand hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand

Image: Trans Stamp 18" 1510g Top Hammering

18-1510-top.jpg

on the top of this cymbal we see concentric ring hammering, but with what seems to be a smaller hammer face than that used on the bottom. There are a few rings where the hammer marks are separated from one another half way out the bow.

Image: Trans Stamp 18" 1510g Stamp

18-1510-stamp.jpg

so what have we learned? Trans Stamps have lots of variation in hammering style. There might be a correlation between which die stamp is on a cymbal and which style of hammering it has, but I haven't yet gone through all my reference gallery collecting the evidence and looking at the correlation. The correlation is unlikely to be perfect, and there might not be much chronology to be had in it.

Here is a picture from a Mechanix Illustrated article (August 1954) which shows the equipment used to hammer older Avedis cymbals. One interesting feature is that concentric ring hammering appears on the cymbal in the foreground. So here we see that somebody can hold a hammer in their hand and produce concentric ring hammering with targeting entirely by eye.

Image: Mid 1950s Hand Hammering at Avedis Zildjian

50s-hammering.png

You can also see the metal anvil placed on a tree trunk, which is how it is still done today . There is also a second hammer and some tool I don't recognize kept handy on a second log. Why have a second hammer handy? Some cymbals have different sized hammer faces used on them. This was done back then in the 1950s and continues to this day (although I've cheated a little and chosen an example from Paiste on a modern machine hammered (human guided) Dark Energy cymbal. You can see three different sizes of round hammer marks:

Image: Three Different Hammer Face Sizes

3-hammer-sizes.jpg

1954 Stamps: 1954(ish)

The 1954 stamp is supposed to fit between the Trans Stamps (hand hammered) and the Large Stamps (first to be hammered on a Quincy Drop hammer). In terms of hammering style, the question seems to be "does the hammering on a particular cymbal look more like Trans Stamp hammering or Large Stamp hammering". But the question is not always easy to answer because both Trans Stamps and Large Stamps show quite a bit of variation in their hammering. Which sort of Trans Stamp hammering? And which sort of Large Stamp hammering? Here is a first example of a 1954:

Image: 1954 22" Hammering Top Side

22-54-hammering.png

And this example does seem to fit within the range of Trans Stamp styles.

pattern: concentric ring with significant irregular looking hammering as well
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: medium
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round(variable)
initial shaping: hand hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand

Here is another example which shows significant hammering on the top and the bottom.

Image: Heavily Hammered Top Side 17" 1154g

17-1154-top

The hammering on the top is very pronounced and it looks to be concentric ring but with a significant degree of irregular hammering in there as well. I don't know whether this represents the earliest Quincy Drop hammer style, or the last of the hand held in the hammer style. Whatever the technique, it appears to be shared among some Trans Stamps, 1954 Stamps, and some Large Stamps.

pattern: concentric ring with significant irregular hammering
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: medium
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hand hammering? Quincy drop?
bell: pressed in
force: hand

Image: Heavily Hammered Bottom Side 17" 1154g

17-1154-bot

Large Stamps: mid 1950s to later 1950s

First up is a Large Stamp which looks like it has Trans Stamp hammering to me. The Large Stamps are supposed to be the first Avedis cymbals which have the Qiuncy Drop Hammer used on them.

Image: Large Stamp 18" 1061g Bottom Hammering

18-1061-cr-bot.jpg

This 18" cymbal has concentric ring hammering on the top and bottom. Although the basic concentric ring pattern is there on the bottom, the spacing between the hammer blows isn't consistent and the pattern has a fair amount of irregular spacing in there.

pattern: concentric ring plus irregular spacing
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: deep
hammer size: small
hammer shape: round, but some oval and elongated
initial shaping: hammering? Quincy drop hammer?
bell: pressed in
force: hand

There is so much going on in this hammering that I've annotated some features on a quarter of the bottom hammering image (at a bigger scale).

Image: Large Stamp 18" 1061g Bottom Hammering Detail

18-1061-detail.png

There is an obvious ring of lathe chatter which some people mistake for hammering. I've checked this phenomenon out with some cymbal makers and lathe users (thanks to Matt Nolan, and Cliff DeArment) and there seems to be general agreement that it is lathe chatter. In towards the bell from the lathe chatter ring there is a zone of medium round concentric ring hammering. This style of hammering is also present just out from the ring of lathe chatter, and it is seen in the lower left corner of the purple marked area of lathe chatter. Further out towards the edge there are areas of more elongated hammer marks which I've marked as "hand hammering work". I'm not really sure whether this is done with a hammer in somebody's hand or done by somebody holding the blank under the Quincy drop hammer but without any guide. But I'm content to say it looks more like some Trans Stamp hammering and less like the small round concentric ring hammering characteristic of the post Large Stamp periods.

Image: Large Stamp 18" 1061g Top Hammering

18-1061-cr-top.jpg

On the top side of this cymbal the hammering is still visible, but not as strongly visible as on the underside. The stamp is the Large Stamp without the 3 dots.

Image: Large Stamp 18" 1061g Stamp

18-1061-cr-stamp.jpg

The hammering in this 18" contrasts nicely with the hammering on this 22" Large Stamp Type I (Block Stamp).

Image: Large Stamp 22" Bottom Hammering

block-22-bot.jpg

This 22" cymbal has small round concentric ring hammering on the bottom. The look of the hammering is closer to the late 50s than the 18" Large Stamp. It has the late 50s style of smaller round hammer marks which are more evenly separated.

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: uncertain
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: medium
hammer size: small
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand

Image: Large Stamp 22" Top Hammering

block-22-top.jpg

On the top side of this cymbal the hammering is still visible, but not as strongly. If I only had a photo from the top you wouldn't be able to pick out the pattern. This is why bottom photos are so important for studying hammering, especially in the 60s and older cymbals.

Here is a second Large Stamp Hollow Block which looks more variable in the hammering, in the same way that the 18" Large Stamp without the three dots did.

Image: Large Stamp 2590 22" Bottom Hammering

22-2590-bot.png

This 22" cymbal has small round concentric ring hammering on the inner portion of the bottom. But as you move outwards, the hammering changes to a larger hammer face and looks more irregular in style. Not completely irregular, but more than the inner portion.

pattern: concentric ring inner, more irregular outer
targeting: uncertain
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: medium
hammer size: small inner, larger outer
hammer shape: round inner, more oval outer
initial shaping: hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand? machine?

Image: Large Stamp 2590 22" Top Hammering

22-2590-top.png

On the top side of this cymbal the hammering is visible, and you can see the contrast between the inner part of the bow (small hammer face concentric ring) and the outer part of the bow (medium hammer face concentric ring). Once again if I only had the top photo to work with I wouldn't know about the greater variation in hammering towards the outer portion on the underside. Working from just a phohto of the top is working with a bit less than half of the story.

So there is variability in the Large Stamps which includes ones which look like Trans Stamps in terms of hammering, and ones which look like later 1950s cymbals in terms of hammering. Plus there are some which have hybrid or mixed styles with some areas more concentric ring and some areas more irregular.

Based on the examples in my reference collection, this variation in hammering isn't correlated with the three different Large Stamp dies. But I'll need to do a more careful analysis to see what statistical associations there might be.

Later 1950s Style Hammering

Image: late 50s 20" Ride 1980g Bottom Hammering

20-1980-bot.jpg

This 20" cymbal has concentric ring hammering on the top and bottom.

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: machine assisted? little placement variations visible
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: medium
hammer size: small
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: quincy drop hammer
bell: pressed in
force: machine, some hand?

Image: late 50s 20" Ride 1980g Top Hammering

20-1980-top.jpg

It is easy enough to see small round concentric ring hammering on the bottom, but it isn't as visible on the top. I've marked a few places where it is easier to spot. In terms of lathing, this cymbal shows a pattern which is often (but not always) shown on late 50s cymbals where the bell has finer lathing on at least part of it. In addition there is a bit of lathe chatter in the area of the bell bow interface. Again, this lathe chatter isn't exclusive to the late 1950s, but it happens in cymbals with late 1950s stamps and production clues more frequently than it does in other eras.

Image: late 50s 20" Ride 1980g Stamp

20-1980-stamp.jpg

In addition to illustrating the 1950s small stamp on this cymbal, you can also see an example of the variability in lathing. There is a band which passes through the English portion of the stamp which has a different style to the lathing above or below that band.

This is also a late 50s cymbal, but the bottom hammering looks like it is done with a tiny hammer face. You can see the more common hammer size further in towards the bell. I don't know if this represents hammering done at the factory, or afterwards. But I'm on the hunt for similar examples.

Image: late 50s 18" Tiny Hammering Example

z-50s-tiny-hammer.jpg

1960s Style Hammering

Image: 1960s 24" Ride 2882g Bottom Hammering

24-2882-bot.jpg

This 24" cymbal has concentric ring hammering on the bottom but it is subtle and hard to see. I've used a bigger image with annotations to help. Hopefully once you spot the hammering in the detail image, you will be able to go back to the full cymbal image and spot more concentric circle rings.

Image: 1960s 24" Ride 2882g Bottom Hammering Detail

24-2882-bot.png

I've marked where there are three concentric circles of small hammer marks heading up it an arc. It is quite possible that the hammer marks were more visible (and larger) before the lathing took some of the surface away.

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: machine assisted?
location: top (hard to see if there is), bottom, not on bell
depth: shallow
hammer size: small
hammer shape: round?
initial shaping: quincy drop hammer?
bell: pressed in
force: machine?

Image: 1960s 24" Ride 2882g Top Hammering

24-2882-top.jpg

It is very hard to pick out any hammering on the top of this cymbal. That doesn't mean it isn't there. The lathing is variable in width, but not as varied as the 1950s style lathing. The larger grooves go right on on the bell.

Image: 1960s 24" Ride 2882g Stamp

24-2882-stamp.png

This is the early 1960s stamp which measures out at around 1 3/16".

In the 1960s the hammer face being used can appear to be a bit rectangular in shape, rather than a smooth oval. Here are a couple of close ups which allow you to see the difference.

Image: Late 50s Round Bottom Hammering Detail

late-50s-round-bot.png

Image: Early 60s Rectangle Bottom Hammering Detail

early-60s-rect-bot.png

Now just in case you are getting excited and thinking that round hammer face = 1950s and rectangular hammer face = 1960s, here is a rectangular hammer face from the late 1950s.

Image: Late 50s Rectangle Bottom Hammering Detail

late-50s-rect-bot.png

So whatever is happening it isn't pure chronology. Multiple hammering machines in the factory plus multiple hammer faces to choose from leads to variation, but not necessarily a way to date cymbals. And interestingly, these 3 cymbals were purchased together new with a Ludwig kit in 1965.

So how do these concentric circle patterns get created? Here is a mid 1970s catalog photo of a machine at work. If my machine terminology is right, this is a reciprocal power hammer, which is the successor to the earlier drop hammer. The cymbal is on a pin or shaft which goes through the mounting hole, and then it is turned to create each ring. There is slight variation between the hammer strokes because it is turned by hand and targeted by eye.

Image: 1970s Hammering Machine

bottom-hammer.png

Notice the cymbal is being hammered on the bottom. According to Bill Hartrick's original timeline hammering on the bottom dropped out in the later part of the 1960s.

bot-hammer-yr.png
However, this distinction is not as black and white as he suggested. Some cymbals with a 1970s stamp don't have visible hammering on the bottom, but others do.

It is possible that this catalog photo is from a time before they quit hammering on the bottom. From a decade before the catalog? It is possible that the photo is "staged"? If it was staged then somebody has put a lot of rings of hammer strokes on the bottom already just for authenticity. Given the number of cymbals with bottom hammering which seem to come with other 1970s attributes, the evidence doesn't seem to support the theory that hammering on the bottom stopped in the early 1960s.

The following 19" cymbal has 1960s looking concentric ring hammering on the top and bottom. I haven't examined a large sample of 1970s cymbals (maybe 40) but based on what I've seen there might be bottom hammering on 5% or so.

Image: 19" Mini Cup Ride 2324g Top Hammering

19-2324-top.jpg

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: machine assisted
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: medium
hammer size: small
hammer shape: rectangular
initial shaping: hydraulic pressing?
bell: pressed in
force: all machine

Image: 19" Mini Cup Ride 2324g Bottom Hammering

19-2324-bot.jpg

It is easy enough to see the abundant concentric ring hammering on the bottom. Yet the stamp on this cymbal is a 1970s stamp:

Image: 19" Mini Cup Ride 2324g Stamp

19-2324-stamp.jpg

It isn't the best stamp picture in in the world in terms of focus, but it is enough to demonstrate that it has the appropriate vertical alignment and lack of bold ZILDJIAN which are diagnostic of a 1970s stamp. So this might be a cymbal which was produced in the early 1960s and not die stamped until the 1970s. That sort of delay (8 years or so) is consistent with the explanation for how some cymbals with Trans Stamp style hammering or Large Stamp style hammering have a 1960s stamp. Or it is possible that some cymbals continued to be hammered on the bottom in the early 1960s style well into the 1970s. Either way, it is no longer safe to look for the presence of bottom hammering in isolation. I've shown a 1970s cymbal with visible hammering top and bottom, and a 1960s cymbal with no visible top hammering, and barely visible bottom hammering. This is a cautionary tale of just how variable hammering can be. Some cymbal have lots of visible hammering, some have no visible hammering, even when they are from the same era. This means that judging different eras from the visible hammering alone is not that reliable. The die stamp does not always line up perfectly with the production clues like hammering and lathing.

Next we have another 1970s cymbal which shows lots of bottom hammering, but has a 1970s hollow ink Zildjian on it.

Image: 1970s Bottom Hammering

70s-bot-ham.jpg

There is lots of visible hammering on the bottom side, along with a hollow ink Zildjian logo which is just visible (upside down) at 11 o'clock. The hammering is easier to see in this enlargement. I see rectangular hammer face in here rather than just oval. Rectangular hammer face harks back to the mid 1950s (coming back to document this if it checks out properly)

Image: 1970s Bottom Hammering Detail

70s-bot-ham-2.jpg

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: machine assisted
location: top, not on bottom or bell
depth: shallow
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: rectangle
initial shaping: hydraulic pressing
bell: pressed in
force: all machine

The rectangular hammer face can be hard to spot. If it is pressed in firmly, the rectangular hammer can cause the sloping edges to appear more rounded than squared off. If the rectangular hammer face is pressed in lightly then there is only a hint of linear shape. Here is the bottom of a third 1970s hollow ink Zildjian cymbal which shows subtle bottom hammering with a rectangular face in three concentric rings. I've annotated 3 hammer marks in the middle ring, and one in each of the other two rings.

Image: 1970s Rectangular Hammer Face

rectangle-hammer.jpg

When I first encountered this example I thought it might be lathe chatter (ref coming) since there wasn't supposed to be bottom hammering. But now that I've collected enough examples, I have seen it as very lightly pressed in rectangular hammer face on the cymbal bottom. So once again the hollow ink Zildjian on this cymbal doesn't fit with hammering on the bottom in the simple "1970s = no bottom hammering" scenario. It might be that this cymbal was hammered and lathed in the 1960s and given the hollow Zildjian ink stamp just before it was shipped out some time in the 1970s. The take home message is: ink, hammering, lathing, and die stamps all vary independently. They are not perfectly correlated.

Turkish made K Zildjian New Stamps

We've seen what's happening in the USA in terms of hammering, but before we moving on it is worth contrasting this with what was going on back in Turkey. Partly this is because when we get to the 1980s Avedis are producing K Zildjians in the USA and we will be making comparisons with those as well. In the later 1960s and early 1970s, Turkish made K Zildjians were looking like this:

Image: 60s-70s 15" K Zildjian 1370g Bottom Hammering

15-1370-bot.jpg

This 15" cymbal

pattern: irregular
targeting: eye
location: top, bottom, bell
depth: deep
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hammering
bell: pressed in
force: hand and maybe some power hammer

Image: 60s-70s 15" K Zildjian 1370g Top Hammering

15-1370-top.jpg

It is easy to see the irregular hammering on the top of this cymbal. The lathing is a little variable in width, but not remarkably different from the lathing on the American cousins of the day. The larger grooves go right up on the bell. There isn't any particularly obvious hammering on the bell but that might just be this particular cymbal and these particular photos.

Image: 60s-70s 15" K Zildjian 1370g New Stamp

15-1370-stamp.jpg

This is the final Turkish K Zildjian stamp before production moved first to Canada, and later to the USA.

1970s Style Hammering

We've already seem a cymbal with a 1970s stamp but 1960s hammering style. Here is a cymbal which fits more into the 1970s stereotype for hammering.

Image: 70s: 22" Heavy Ride 3870g Top Hammering

21-3175-top.jpg

There is visible hammering on the top side, along with two ink stamps in two different fonts for good measure. The hammering and the ink stamps are easier to see in this enlargement.

Image: 70s: 22" Heavy Ride 3870g Top Detail

21-3175-ink.jpg

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: machine assisted
location: top, not on bottom or bell
depth: shallow
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hydraulic pressing
bell: pressed in
force: all machine

Image: 70s: 22" Heavy Ride 3870g Bottom Hammering

22-3870-bot.jpg

The bottom doesn't show any visible hammering, but it does show the Zildjian hollow ink logo. It also has fingerprints (and associated grease and oil buildup) on the bottom which might look like very shallow hammering to the uninitiated. It is just grime, and there is no sign of hammering even in the original photo which is twice the size.

The lathing in the 70s tends to be more consistent in terms of the size of the tonal grooves. At least that's the stereotype. Once again this cymbal has variation and noticeable bands on the bottom. The same larger tonal groove lathing extends up the bell on the top and the bottom (inside of bell).

1980s Style Hammering and Lathing

Image: 80s: 21" Rock Ride 3175g Top Hammering

21-3175-top.jpg

In the 1980s there isn't much visible hamming on either the top or the bottom. This doesn't mean they aren't hammered. Just that it tends to not be very visible.

pattern: concentric ring
targeting: machine assisted
location: top, not on bottom or bell
depth: shallow
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hydraulic pressing
bell: pressed in
force: all machine

Image: 80s: 21" Rock Ride 3175g Bottom Hammering

21-3175-bot.jpg

The lathing in the 80s tends to be consistent in terms of the size of the tonal grooves. The same larger tonal groove lathing extends up the bell on the top and the bottom (inside of bell). But the contrast between the 1970s lathing and the 1980s lathing isn't great.

North American K Zildjians: 1978±2 into the 1980s

The Avedis Zildjian company took over the Turkish K Zildjian trademarks, and began producing K Ziljdian cymbals in Canada late in the 1970s. These were not produced exactly the same way the Turkish ones were, but they are still quite different in terms of hammering from the Avedis line. The Canadian Ks have a stamp which seems to progress naturally from the Turkish K Zildjian New Stamp. They kept much of the top portion as is, and added the Genuine Turkish Cymbals (in a curve) from the Avedis stamps. No country of origin is shown on this example, but other cymbals have a MADE IN CANADA on them. The presence/absence of the MADE IN CANADA isn't unique to Canadian Ks. It is also known from the Canadian Avedis line.

Image: Canadian K 18" 1590g Stamp

18-can-k-1590-stamp.jpg

Image: Canadian K 18" 1590g Top Hammering

18-can-k-1590-top.jpg

pattern: irregular
targeting: machine assisted and some by eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell?
depth: medium
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: unsure about Quincy drop hammer
bell: pressed in
force: some machine some hand

Image: Canadian K 18" 1590g Bottom Hammering

18-can-k-1590-bot.jpg

When production moved to the USA the die stamp changed, the ink changed, and so did the lathing and some other production details. There isn't a single consensus year for the move to the USA, but it is most likely 1981±2. The usual uncertainty applies because personal recollections, advertising material, catalogs, etc. don't all line up perfectly.

Image: Early American K 18" 1580g Stamp

18-1580-stamp.jpg

Image: Early American K 18" 1580g Top Hammering

18-1580-top.jpg

Image: Early American K 18" 1580g Bottom Hammering

18-1580-bot.jpg

pattern: irregular
targeting: machine assisted and some by eye
location: top, bottom, not on bell?
depth: medium
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: unsure about initial hydraulic pressing
bell: pressed in
force: mostly machine, with some hand work

The K Customs

Image: Golf Ball Hammering Example

golf-ball-hammering.png

pattern: irregular
targeting: computer
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: deep
hammer size: golf ball
hammer shape: round
initial shaping: hydraulic pressing
bell: pressed in
force: machine

Laser Stamps: 1994 onwards

Bottom hammering may have not appeared on some 1970s or 1980s Avedis cymbals, but it didn't go away forever. Here it is on a cymbal from somewhere in the years 1997-2002 (based on the position of the Laser serial number). But the hammering on this cymbal would not look out of place in the 1960s.

Image: Laser Stamp 18" Ride Bottom

18-laser-ride-bot.jpg

Image: Laser Stamp 18" Ride Top

18-laser-ride-top.jpg

pattern: concentric circle
targeting: computer
location: top, bottom, not on bell
depth: shallow
hammer size: medium
hammer shape: rectangle
initial shaping: hydraulic pressing
bell: pressed in
force: machine

Image: Laser Stamp 18" Ride Ink

8-laser-ride-stamp.jpg

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text last updated 17 Feb 2016 9:27 AM

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