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What Factors Affect Cymbal Prices?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

Cymbal prices are typically affected by several factors, such as size, type and style. The metals used in the production of the cymbal also affect cymbal prices. Like most products, the manufacturer that produces the cymbals directly impacts the cymbal prices, with some manufacturers fetching a greater price due to popularity. The ability of a certain cymbal to create a clear sound or a brightness when struck with a drum stick is often one of the key factors behind a high selling price.

When making music, some factors are inherently common among instruments. The production of a clean and bright sound is the earmark of a quality product, and commonly commands the highest price as compared to lesser-quality products. This holds true with cymbal prices as well as other musical items, including guitar and amplifiers. In the music industry, certain manufacturers are known for consistently manufacturing high-quality cymbals, and in doing so, these companies are able to ask a higher price for their products. The reason for the difference in sound, consistency and even price is routinely found in the raw materials used to manufacture the cymbals as well as in the manufacturing process itself.

Man playing a guitar
Man playing a guitar

Like the production of a quality church bell, the metals used in the process of pouring and casting the bell apply to the process of casting a cymbal. Many combinations of raw materials can create a cymbal, however, the best-sounding cymbals typically use the best-quality materials. Other factors that contribute to cymbal prices are machining practices and marketing costs. Some of the lesser-quality — and subsequently lower-priced cymbals — are stamped out on large machines with a minimum of hand work used in the process. Conversely, the higher-priced cymbals that are considered by many drummers to produce the best sound often incorporate several steps that are completed by hand. These increased manufacturing costs are often reflected in higher cymbal prices.

The size of the cymbal is another factor in pricing the product. Larger cymbals routinely require more of the costly precious metals that are used in the production process. On another manufacturing aspect, small cymbals are commonly produced by hand; therefore, they are often more costly than a larger version due simply to manufacturing costs. One of the driving factors behind the pricing of cymbals is the endorsement of popular drummers or bands who inspire consumers to seek out a certain brand or type of cymbal. It is not unheard of for a particular drummer's endorsement to drive cymbal prices up and over those of a competitor's prices.

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