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.
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.
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.
The center portion of the cymbal. This area doesn't open up immediately when struck, making it effective for pronounced stick tones and patterns.
The outer edge where a cymbal responds immediately and where most players strike to produce an instant Crash response.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stick selection can greatly influence your cymbal sound. See our stick selection for more details