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BUYING DRUMS AND CYMBALS ONLINE

One word...

RESEARCH

The seller first

- Have they sold a lot? More than ten for me as a rule.

- Feedback? Not 100%? Then go into their user account and find the most recent complaints and see if this is someone you want to give money to.

- Have they been around? When did they join? Yesterday? No chance. Last year? Much better.

- Paypal only for me.

The product

- Copy the name or product code and google it. Read the reviews and the forums. Put it in an image search and check that the picture matches up. Find out the lowest price for the item when sold new from various sites (this will help you decide on your maximum bid).

- As a rule I do not buy anything unless there is a picture and it is clearly an amateur photo of the actual product and not some studio picture of a brand new product from the company website

- Know the product. Cymbals... some companies are famous for consistency of sound (particularly in certain of the ranges). I would not buy low end cymbals off ebay but Zildjian, Sabian and Paiste - particularly if you have a good knowledge of their ranges, construction and purpose - can all be purchased with adequate confidence. Once again research forums for more on this.

Trial and error.

Over the years I have often bought something on ebay, given it a go on my kit for a few months and decided it was not for me. I then clean it, repackage it and sell it. More often than not I get my money back and have sometimes even turned in a profit. So ebay turns out to be the best instrument rental place I know. This is much better than tapping a cymbal in a cold music store and trying to remember what your other crash sounds like and whether this one will fit in etc.

As a further note on buying online cymbals...

Trying a cymbal out in the store is good but NOT the final word. When I first hear a new cymbal, because it is new, the sound can come across as alien and therefore perhaps not good to my mind ... when in fact it is excellent. We tend to match up to what we know and so by trusting our gut too much we can end up with a lot of vanilla hanging above our kit. Also cymbals don't sound their best in isolation. Add a kick and put a cymbal in the context of your band's music and what might sound too bright or what might seen to have too much decay in the music store can actually be perfect.

I listen to a lot of music and if I hear, particularly in a live recording or situation, a cymbal sound that excites me, I will research the drummer until I know the name and make of the cymbal I was hearing and then go out and buy it. Check out the Paiste website for this kind of thing as a starting point (they include sound clips - very handy).

J

eBay

Paiste

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