Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page where you can find the answers to many questions we often hear from consumers, dealers and business partners of the Zildjian Company. If you don’t see your answer below or need further assistance, please visit Contact Us.
About the Company
Is the Zildjian Company hiring and accepting applications?
Zildjian is always looking for talented people to join our family. You can submit your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep your completed resume on file should any openings come up in the future that match your skill set. For a list of Job Opportunities available at Zildjian, please visit our Careers Page.
What is the Zildjian Company's address?
The Zildjian Company Corporate Headquarters, home of Zildjian, Vic Firth, and Balter Mallets brands, is located at:
Avedis Zildjian Company
22 Longwater Drive
Norwell, MA 02061 USA
For more about the company, click here.
Do you offer tours of the Zildjian cymbal factory?
** Zildjian Factory Tours are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back on Factory Tour Signup page for announcement of future tour dates. **
Zildjian Factory Tours are open to the public and are held the third Thursday of each month at our world headquarters in Norwell, Massachusetts.
During the guided tour, you will witness firsthand the step by step process for crafting the world's most popular cymbals. You will learn the unique story of the origin of the Zildjian family business dating back to 1623 in Constantinople and see hundreds of original photos of legendary drummers from Big Band to Jazz to Rock & Roll on our Wall of Fame.
Tours begin promptly at 9:30AM and last about 90 minutes. All attendees must be at least 12 years of age. For your safety, visitors must wear closed toed shoes and no shorts.
Our tours are free of charge, but due to the high volume of interest, reservations will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.
I'm interested in becoming an official Artist/Educator! How do I join the family?
Order Questions or Changes
If you have any questions at all about your order, please see our Contact Us page.
For questions about your online order related to status or payment, please contact our order management partner, Quivers. Quivers Customer Service can be reached Monday-Friday 6am-11pm EST at 1-805-250-4555.
What is Quivers?
Quivers is one of the world's leading provider of global eCommerce for consumer goods. With Quivers, orders placed on branded websites are offered to a managed network of global partners for fulfillment, which includes authorized Zildjian dealers. Orders on Zildjian.com are placed through the Quivers network, and orders may be fulfilled by Zildjian or one of our authorized dealers. In using Quivers, Zildjian is able to provide you with the convenience of shopping online for our products, while also supporting our local networks of dealers. Quivers is extremely safe and secure to use. For more information, you can go to: https://www.quivers.com/.
Can you ship my order to a P.O. Box?
When you receive your order, always keep the paperwork that is included with it in case you wish to return or exchange an item. Also, save any emails you receive about you order, as they may provide important information. A return merchandise authorization (RMA) is required for all returns. You can request an RMA online, or you can call the merchandise shipper or Zildjian Customer Care and we will issue one for you. Returns can only be requested within 30 days of the product shipment date. Shipping costs will not be refunded. Returned items must be in their original packaging and in new condition, or they will be rejected and sent back to you. Specific stores may have variations to this policy. View the return policy at the online store or contact Z Customer Care if you have questions. Your order must be returned to the merchant shipper in order to receive full product credit, your shipping costs will not be refunded. Contact the merchant shipper for help or assistance in processing a return. Merchandise will be accepted for return within 30 days of receipt. The merchandise must be in new and unused condition and in its original packaging. A restocking fee may apply to returned items or items that have been cancelled from an order after it has been assigned to a fulfillment location. If a restocking fee will apply to an order, it will be noted on the final screen of checkout before you complete your order.
What is the best way to protect my cymbals?
How do I prevent my cymbals from cracking?
How do I clean my cymbals? Is it okay to clean my ______ cymbal?
What is the best way to protect my cymbals?
We know Cymbals are expensive. To help you maintain yours in the best way possible, we’ve created these quick guidelines to help you protect your Zildjian Cymbal investment for life.
How do I prevent my cymbals from cracking?
Cymbals can break for a few reasons, but most of the time it’s due to abuse from improper technique. Following these guidelines will help to keep your cymbals in top shape! Click here to watch.
How do I clean my cymbals? Is it okay to clean my ______ cymbals?
To remove fingerprints and stick marks from your cymbals, you can use a mild dish soap (avoid strong cleaners like Clorox) and rinse with warm water. Be sure to thoroughly dry off your cymbal with a clean non-abrasive cloth, and check to make sure all moisture has been wiped from the surface.
For dirtier jobs, you can use our Brilliant Cymbal Cleaning Polish*. This product is designed for Brilliant finish cymbals ONLY (A Custom, S Family, and various other A and K Family models). If you’re unsure whether your cymbal is a Brilliant finish, you can check our website or ask ZCare. We’ll be happy to answer this for you.
Watch a cymbal cleaning demonstration here of how to use Zildjian Cymbal Cleaning Polish.
L80, FX Stacks, traditional and natural finish cymbals: Wipe surface with a clean, dry cloth. Do not use cymbal cleaner or any other type of cleaning product as this may alter the finish in unintended ways.
A Avedis, Kerope cymbals: Wipe surface with a clean dry cloth only. These cymbals undergo a special accelerated aging process that gives them their unique character and vintage tone. Using cymbal cleaner on these models will remove the patina, and permanently alter their sound and color.
* Any cleaner will remove ink logos, so make sure to polish around these areas. Polish also removes natural patina, which can slightly brighten up the sound of your cymbal.
Using cleaners formulated for different metals carry no guarantees of desired appearance, and can yield mixed results such as an orangy color and blotches of discoloration.
How do I find the best cymbal(s) for me / the drummer I’m shopping for?
We understand our selection can look a bit overwhelming at first. Zildjian makes a lot of different cymbals – over 400, in fact! If you’re new to drumming, or shopping for the beginning drummer in your family and need a crash course on cymbals, our Zildjian Cymbals 101 video is the perfect place to start. You’ll learn about the different cymbal types, their function on the drum set, and what makes each Family of cymbals unique, so that you’ll feel confident that you’re choosing the right sound for you.
If you’re an experienced drummer further along in your journey, and looking to add a new sound or effect to your setup, use our Cymbal Finder tool to fast-track your search for the perfect cymbal.
How old is my cymbal? It has ______ trademark.
Variations of the famous Zildjian Trademark have been in existence for hundreds of years. One might think that each succeeding trademark change would allow for a specific period of time to be associated with that marking. In reality, it is necessary to maintain the registration of any particular trademark by incorporating its use periodically through time. Due to that fact, we cannot accurately assess the age of any cymbal made before 1994. Since then, Zildjian has created its trademarks through the use of state-of-the-art laser etching technology, which allows our cymbals to receive a perfect rendition of any of our trademarks in any size. This new trade marking procedure also allows Zildjian to place an additional lot number within the trademark, which is specific to each and every cymbal made. This information allows us to know EXACTLY when each new instrument was created, what craftsmen were involved in its manufacture, and what procedures were incorporated during production.
Every cymbal is assigned its own serial number. On most cymbals, it is located on the topside in the 3 o’clock position beneath the laser-engraved Zildjian trademark. A Avedis cymbals have the serial number engraved on the underside near the cup. The two-letter prefix indicates the year it was manufactured. Please see the complete list belowto identify the year your instrument was made!
ID – 1994 JD – 2004 AD – 2014 IE – 1995 JE – 2005 AE – 2015 IF – 1996 JF – 2006 AF – 2016 IG – 1997 JG – 2007 AG – 2017 IH – 1998 JH – 2008 AH – 2018 II – 1999 JI – 2009 AI – 2019 JJ – 2000 AJ – 2010 BJ – 2020 JA – 2001 AA – 2011 BA – 2021 JB – 2002 AB – 2012 BB – 2022 JC – 2003 AC – 2013
Are Zildjian cymbals "Hand-hammered"?
With the development of new technology, the hand hammering is not the most effective or efficient way to manufacture the highest quality, consistent cymbal. We now have the ability to accurately recreate hand hammering with computer-controlled machinery. A computer can be programmed to hammer a cymbal in a symmetrical pattern, as in the A and A Custom ranges, or randomly, as in the K and K Constantinople ranges. Symmetrically hammered cymbals have a high, bright cutting sound because the hammer rows are more organized and vibrations can easily travel across the body of the cymbal. Randomly hammered cymbals have a range of overtones and a darker sound because the sound vibrations have to travel through the many unorganized hammer marks. This new technology has allowed a consistency in cymbal sound that cannot be duplicated by human hands.
What makes cymbals sound different?
Profile The degree of curvature from the cup to the edge. The profile or "bow" of a cymbal affects its pitch and overtones. Higher profile cymbals will be higher in pitch and have fewer overtones. Flatter design cymbals will be lower in pitch and have more overtones. Taper The degree to which the cymbal changes in thickness from the cup to the edge. The design of the taper will contribute to the amount of Crash-like or Ride-like qualities in the cymbal. Medium-Thin Rides have the most extreme taper being thick at the cup and thin at the edge. Bell All other factors being equal, the bell or cup size determines the amount of overtones or ring projected by a cymbal. A larger bell produces more overtones and a longer full-bodied sound. A smaller bell reduces ring and sustain and provides a more defined stick sound for riding. Ride Area The center portion of the cymbal. This area doesn't open up immediately when struck, making it effective for pronounced stick tones and patterns. Crash Area The outer edge where a cymbal responds immediately and where most players strike to produce an instant Crash response. Diameter The size of a cymbal determines its volume. Larger cymbals are louder with greater volume potential. They will sustain longer but respond more slowly and have a lower pitch. Smaller cymbals will react more quickly, will decay faster and have a higher pitch. Weight Heavier cymbals have a higher pitch. The more metal in a cymbal, the more it projects, the louder its volume and the greater its sustain. Heavier cymbals have a more prominent "ping" sound with fewer overtones and take longer to reach their optimum vibration. Lighter cymbals provide less stick definition, speak quicker and have less sustain. Hammering Random hammering applies the hammer strikes irregularly all over the cymbal surface. This lowers the profile and pitch, reduces and darkens overtones, adds dryness and increases the amount of warmth and body of its sound. Symmetrical hammering applies hammering strikes in organized patterns over the surface of the cymbal. This heightens the profile of the cymbal, raises its pitch and increases the brightness and overall color of its sound. Over-hammered cymbals receive additional hammer strikes after they are lathed. This further reduces overtones, adds dryness and shortens decay. Tonal Grooves Applied during the final lathing stage. They facilitate the escape of sound energy from the cymbal. Larger, deeper tonal grooves open up the cymbal sound. Fine, shallow grooves "sweeten" the sound. Cymbals with no tonal grooves (unlathed) have fewer overtones as some of the sound is "trapped", enhancing Ride qualities. Drum Sticks Stick selection can greatly influence your cymbal sound. See our stick selection for more details.
Can I buy cymbals from the Zildjian Factory?
Can I get a "custom" made cymbal?
Zildjian's inability to accept requests for custom-made cymbals is primarily affected by the cymbal making process itself. Our cymbals are processed from individual castings that are heated and rolled many times until the proper "pull thickness" is achieved. They are then tempered by placing the "cymbal blanks" in a special solution of cold water while the "blanks" are still red-hot. From this point the cymbals must undergo the remaining processes in a quick and timely manner. The unique Zildjian alloy requires that the shaping, hammering and lathing of the cymbals occur while the metal is still in a malleable state. If too much time elapses, the alloy becomes very hard and will not accept the various procedures in a consistent manner. For this reason, we generally are unable to interrupt any part of the process to implement a procedure that might be needed to answer a request for a custom-made cymbal. Small batches of cymbals are, at times, sent through to create custom cymbals to address special requirements needed by one of our endorsing artists. This can be expensive, both in manpower and time taken away from the production of other cymbals but it often creates a dialogue as to the possibilities of this "custom" cymbal becoming a new and innovative product. Keep in mind that most new products require a large capital investment to procure what is necessary for manufacturing (shaping dies, re-tooling of machinery, etc.) and extensive documentation to verify that the right specifications will be used in its production. Due to the proprietary nature of discussing what techniques can be used to create a "custom" cymbal, we limit our dialogue to only those who are within our endorser program.
What is the difference between cast and bronze cymbals?
Cast Bronze cymbals are individually poured and cast from raw molten metal. Each casting is cooled and sorted by weight for each cymbal model. The castings are then put through a complex sequence of heating, rolling, shaping, hammering, and lathing techniques unique to each cymbal range. Cast Bronze cymbals have a rich, full-bodied sound that improves with age. They also have greater projection and clarity than any other cymbals. Zildjian cast cymbals are made from the Zildjian secret alloy, which is comprised of 80% copper, 20% tin, and traces of silver. Bronze cymbals begin as pre-formed disks cut from metal with uniform thickness. Precision hammering and shaping pummels cymbal disks freeing up distinctive tone. Bronze cymbals have a very fast response with a quick decay. They have excellent durability and a consistent sound within each respective model. Affordably priced, Bronze cymbals are an ideal first cymbal choice.
What are the guidelines for purchasing cymbals online from other retail websites?
The online retailer should be an “AUTHORIZED ZILDJIAN DEALER”. Look for the Authorized Zildjian Online Badge. Please note that Zildjian cymbals sold as “used”, “slightly used” or “second hand” are NOT covered by the Zildjian two year warranty policy. Only cymbals sold “New” qualify. Check the online/protection and security assurances the online retailer offers. Know the full business mailing address of the retailer from whom you order.
Does it matter what kind of straps I use with my crash cymbals?
Yes! The cymbal straps are an integral part of your cymbal playing. The wrong kind of straps can not only be uncomfortable for your hands, but can disrupt the sound production of the cymbal. The straps should be tied in a secure knot and checked periodically for any rips or tears. It is generally not recommended to use the large pads that can be placed over the straps to shield your hands from the cymbals, as they will dampen the sound. However, some marching percussion programs do use pads or gloves due to the extremely difficult and rigorous playing that is required.
Does Zildjian sell "seconds"?
Zildjian began selling "seconds" in the sixties to select dealers. These "seconds" were cymbals that were flawed with small dents or scratches, but that were of quality sound. The "seconds" were very popular in the seventies but became increasingly scarce as the modern cymbal making processes produced fewer of these blemished cymbals. Eventually, Zildjian ceased selling seconds in 1981 and today, the few flawed cymbals produced at Zildjian are cut up and melted for the alloy.
What is Zildjian's cymbal warranty policy?
Zildjian cymbals carry a two year warranty, from date of purchase, against manufacturing flaws. Zildjian requires that all cymbals for warranty replacement be returned to us for review. Quality is important to us and we use these opportunities to track the manufacture of the cymbal in question to ensure quality continues to improve. Please call Zildjian Customer Service at 781-871-2200 for a return authorization number (RA #), or you can request a RA# here online. Once you have your RA#, please return the cymbal to: Avedis Zildjian Company 22 Longwater Drive Norwell, MA 02061 R/A No. __________ Please enclose a copy of your original purchase receipt with your cymbal, as this is vital to determining the warranty period. A cymbal returned without a receipt will be evaluated by the serial number on each cymbal, which tells the evaluator how old the cymbal is. A cymbal will not be replaced if it has been: misplayed, dropped, played with excessive force or treated abusively; bought second hand or used in a lease program; or if more than two years have passed since the purchase of the cymbal. Please package your broken cymbal in a clean box from your local Post Office or UPS Store. Do not use pizza boxes or anything similar. Cymbals returned in anything other than clean packing may be returned to sender unopened. Please allow 6-8 weeks for your replacement cymbal. Note: Customers outside of the United States must return cymbals directly to the dealer/store that they purchased them from. The store will, in turn, contact its distributor for replacement.
Where can I find my local Zildjian Retailer?
Visit our Dealer Locator. If you're in the United States, the website may be able to locate you through your IP address and provide you with the closest dealers. You can also type in your Zip Code to find the same information. A Google map will come up with each dealer's store information and allow you to get exact directions. For those outside of the US, you can select a dealer or distributor from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the Dealer Locator page.
How can I install rivets into my cymbals?
We recommend that you send your cymbals directly to us for rivet installation. Our factory has special equipment designed for placing holes in cymbals, which is much safer than any other hole punching process. We recommend two different installation patterns to choose from: a 3-rivet cluster 1-½" from the edge, or the traditional pattern of 6 rivets equally spaced around the cymbal, 1-½” from the edge. We will also accommodate a custom pattern if possible. Just call our Customer Service Department @ 781-871-2200, and they will issue you a Return Authorization Number (RA#), so you can send us your cymbal.
We also sell stainless steel Sizzle Rivet 12-packs for $11.00. Your You can also purchase “screw driver” rivets at any hardware store. These rivets are simply split open by a screwdriver, which gives you the ability to control the amount of “play” the rivet has in the cymbal.
Why do most people put the heavier HiHat cymbal on the bottom?
HiHat pairings generally have a slightly heavier bottom cymbal to firmly support the top cymbal and help create a good balance between the "chick" and the "wash" of the pairing.
Can I get logos re-printed on my cymbal(s)?Unfortunately, we do not offer any printing services at this time.
How are Zildjian drumsticks made?
Zildjian drumsticks are made "the Zildjian Way." The process is controlled every step of the way, starting with stacking and air-drying the wood boards. When the wood has been sufficiently air-dried, it is introduced to dry kilns, which specifically dry each board to Zildjian's exact quality standards. Proper drying prevents warpage throughout the entire process. Boards are then cut into dowels and hand checked to make sure each meets Zildjian requirements. The dowels are then ground to the exact shape and size of the particular model drumstick. All Zildjian Drumsticks are inspected throughout the process and are weight-paired and pitch matched.
Do you have a Stick Anatomy Diagram?
The same tip shape (round for example) can sound and feel quite different depending on its size. Small tips produce brighter, more focused sounds, while large tips "fatten up" the projection and overtones and add volume. Tip shapes dramatically affect the type of sound sticks will produce when you use them since they are the part of the stick that makes the most contact with cymbals and drums.
The area just before the tip and the thinnest part of the stick. Thinner necks flex more, making the stick more responsive.
Where the stick shaft slopes into the neck. Front-heavy sticks feature shoulders that are closer to the stick tip. This produces less bounce and response, allowing you to dig in and be "on top" of the music.
Smack a good rimshot on your snare. The shaft takes the most impact.
5. Grip (diameter)
This area of the stick should feel comfortable in your hand when you play. Thinner sticks are easier to handle and therefore more versatile.
Shorter sticks are easier to control and weigh less. Longer sticks increase reach, response, flexibility and leverage.
Centerless grinding shapes a rounded butt-end that is more comfortable in the hand. It also creates fuller tones than the tip end when played on drums and cymbals.
What are the different types of tips and how do they affect the sound?
Tear Drop: Slightly broad surface of this tip draws full, lower pitched sounds from cymbals and drums.
Barrel: A heftier versatile shape that creates a deep rounded sound.
Acorn: This angular tip produces a more articulated cymbal response, but also has the heft to make it suitable for playing Rock.
Round: Bouncy and responsive, these tips produce fuller cymbal sounds and fatter drum sounds depending on their size.
What is Anti-Vibe™?
Anti-Vibe™ was developed in conjunction with noted authority Sims Vibration Laboratories, Inc. These sticks contain a patented dampening device in the butt-end that effectively reduces key vibrations in the stick. This makes the stick easier to play and more comfortable for certain players than standard sticks. Anti-Vibe™ sticks maintain the conventional lacquer finish because the vibration absorption technology is contained out of the way, in the butt-end of the stick. These sticks are also great for using on electronic drum pads and practice pads because these surfaces tend to cause excessive vibration. It feels like you're hitting the sweet spot on every stroke!
What is DIP®?
DIP® is an innovative coating that we apply to many of our drumsticks. Developed through extensive research and development with top percussionist Marc Quinones, this coating provides a great grip on the drumstick. Zildjian Artist Model Sticks designed by Trilok Gurtu, and Marc Quinones also feature DIP®?.
What kind of wood is used to make Zildjian and Vic Firth sticks?
Zildjian and Vic Firth use a few different types of wood. The most popular type is hickory, which provides great feel and strength for durability. Hickory also sounds great on drums and even better on cymbals. A less dense alternative is maple. Its light weight provides a great feel for low volume settings. Laminated Birch is featured on our Zildjian Heavy Jazz model stick. Laminated Birch allows the stick to be weight and density controlled to meet a heavy weight specification. Laminated Birch sticks have an incredibly smooth and solid feel.
What other grip options are available with Zildjian Drumsticks?
Our natural lacquer finish drumsticks feature a thin coat of lacquer that provides a comfortable grip. Our DIP sticks are the most unique grip enhancement coating that we offer. Unique grip options are also featured on the Kozo Suganuma artist model which has a rough lacquer texture. The Joey Kramer artist model sticks do not have lacquer and are rough sanded. The Terri Lyne Carrington artist model drumsticks has a lighted sanded and lacquered finish. Zildjian Stick Wax is also a great grip enhancement product that can be applied to any stick.
What type of tip should I use on my drumstick? Wood or nylon?
It's a matter of what you prefer for a particular playing situation. Nylon beads have a different feel. They tend to have more bounce, or rebound. Nylon produces a harder or sharper attack on the drums and the cymbals, while wood produces a softer, warmer one by comparison. So, it's really not a matter of good or bad, right or wrong. It's a matter of what's appropriate to your cymbal set-up and to the type of response and attack you prefer. Experiment and find out what works best in your particular situation.
What is the right drumstick for me?
What is the right mallet for me?
The feel and specs of a mallet are important. They contribute to your sound and how you play. To find the best mallet for you, use our Selection Guide and see all Vic Firth and Balter Mallets.