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DIY 3 Zone cymbal v2

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  • DIY 3 Zone cymbal v2

    (Preface: The project described in this thread, and the one linked to a few lines below, require some prior knowledge about how piezo/switch pads work, how a piezo is wired to a jack, what tip, ring and sleeve are, and what a 10k resistor is - I'm sorry but that's not within the scope of this thread. If you do not know what the aforementioned are about, you don't stand a chance of making this cymbal. Those things are described in countless other threads. Use the search engine and you can look them all up. I keep getting PMs asking things like "I want to build this but what are the switches for?"; "What is a switch?"; "What is all the copper for?", etc. Please, please, before sending me PMs with questions like these or even considering making a project similar to this one, use the search engine on this forum, google, whatever, and look up how a piezo/switch pad works, what a switch is, what a piezo is and how it's wired, what a stereo jack is, what a resistor is, etc.)


    I made myself another 3 zone cymbal using a similar method to that used here:, but changed the design in some ways to make it easily repairable and better-looking.

    This time, instead of gluing the two practise cymbals together, they are bolted using small flat-headed screws, bolts and locking washers. The screws are very small and with a little countersinking and epoxy they are fixed to the top cymbal:
    I used 5 of them:

    Then I layed down the copper on top and bottom cymbals. Another change is that now the piezos go in between the cymbals. I shaved off an area the size of the piezos so they were flush with the surface and linked them with copper tape. Also, I didn't make any cuts around the edge and the triggering is still good, so it turns out it wasn't necessary and simplifies things somewhat.

    For the spacing I used strips of 1 mm sheet rubber, the same stuff I use to cover the cymbal surface to dampen noise. It creates a perfect gap, though some experimenting was required to determine how far from the edge it had to stop to let the cymbal flex. At 12 o'clock on each cymbal there are strips of copper that make contact when you assemble the cymbals, to pass down the signal from the top to the bottom without using a wire. That way, when you disassemble them, there are no wired connections that could accidentally get tugged loose.

    Next, I covered the top of the cymbal with the sheet rubber (pond liner):

    And then covered it with carbon fibre vinyl:

    Last of all, I cut out a circle of 5 mm hard poron to fit the centre and covered that too:

    Added a project box underneath and that's it. It takes some patience to put it all together, but I think the end result looks pretty OK and it triggers great. One major flaw of the previous design was that if anything failed, as the cymbals were glued together you had to pretty much destroy the whole thing to get at the internals, while now it's as easy as it gets. Also, the glue made the spacing, which is very important, uneven, causing some areas to be harder to trigger than others - now it is uniform all around.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ignotus; 01-18-16, 03:23 AM. Reason: Added preface

  • #2
    Ahh now! See as much as I love carbon fibre... I wouldn't cover a cymbal in it lol.

    1) I love it too damn much, I wouldn't want to scratch it, less play drumsticks on it argh!
    2) I equally love it for its matte finish, and don't people want shiny cymbals?

    If it works for you though, it works!
    ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
    ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
    PA Comparison Sheet


    • #3
      In this case it serves a practical purpose - the rubber is slightly textured and picks up dirt too easily, so the vinyl gives it a smooth, easy-to-wipe surface. There are shiny vinyls in all kinds of colours, but I still have a fairly large roll left over from wrapping the drum shells so just used what I already had. The pics don't really do it justice though - it is shinier in the flesh.

      On the other hand, I have a hi hat covered with this that is about 7 months old and it doesn't have a single blemish on it. This stuff is very tough; it's made for wrapping cars so it's made to withstand quite a lot of abuse.

      If the rubber had been smooth, I would have left it with that though and saved myself the hassle of putting the vinyl on.


      • #4


        • #5
          Looks amazing !

          How are the 3 piezo's connected to each other?
          Only with the coppertape ?
          Ludwig Epic, Roland Mesh-heads, DIY Cymbals, Roland TD-9, EZdrummer2 + EZX


          • #6
            Yes, just the copper tape. However, the conductivity on the adhesive side is a bit hit and miss, so to make sure I apply small smudges of solder wherever separate strips meet and also on the piezos. You can also fold the end of the copper over itself and hold it down against the surface with another small piece, but I prefer some solder to make double sure.


            • #7
              Ok, well I made some very basic DIY crashes from practise cymbals with just one piezo, wires and a (mono) female jack.
              So if I want 360 triggering, I just add 2 or 3 piezo's and connect them with coppertape ? (and a bit of solder as you said on the tape)
              Correct ?
              Ludwig Epic, Roland Mesh-heads, DIY Cymbals, Roland TD-9, EZdrummer2 + EZX


              • #8
                That's right.


                • #9
                  Last question :-)
                  My DIY cymbals are only 1-zone, just edge, no bell or bow.

                  Should it also work if I use wires instead of copper tape?
                  So that the piezo's are connected to each other like the current piezo is connected to the female jack ?
                  Made a little drawing. The green wires are my current wires.

                  Could it cause double triggering ?
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Dreamdrummer; 11-20-15, 09:22 AM.
                  Ludwig Epic, Roland Mesh-heads, DIY Cymbals, Roland TD-9, EZdrummer2 + EZX


                  • #10
                    Yes, wires would work just the same. I use copper tape because of its almost-zero profile and because it's much less likely to break off the piezos than wire, but the function it does is the same.

                    I've made several cymbals with multiple piezos and never had double triggering issues.

                    Looking at the picture, one of the sides of that square is redundant.


                    • #11
                      OK, so should I just connect the piezo's on the brass edges ?
                      Ludwig Epic, Roland Mesh-heads, DIY Cymbals, Roland TD-9, EZdrummer2 + EZX


                      • #12
                        No, ceramic to ceramic and brass to brass, but you don't need to complete the square: piezo 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4. You don't need another connection from 4 to 1 as it is already connected through 3 and 2. If you have any further questions about this, please start a new topic, this one has been derailed enough already


                        • #13
                          Nice job! Not only a great idea, but what a sweet looking cymbal!!!


                          • #14


                            • #15
                              Very good there a choke function ? is it working with megadrum module?... Thanks
                              Last edited by krickgpe; 11-23-15, 02:47 AM.