I brought brand new Zildjian A Custom cymbal set including a 14" hihats, 16 and 18" crash cymbals, and a 20" ride. I like the sound.

However the cymbals shipped with these odd stains on them. I attached photos below. What is this stain, and what does it say about the cymbal condition? These are supposed to be brand new. Are these simple birth marks, or perhaps it means the cymbals were not kept in good conditions before shipping to me? Is it possible to clean it?



  • brass polish? Cymbals are pretty much indestructible – Carl Witthoft Dec 10 '15 at 12:42

Cymbals use an alloy containing copper so they tarnish and corrode over time, even if they are not touched with sweaty fingers. Some drummers prefer tarnished cymbals, though I think it's more about (or entirely about) image than sound quality. One drawback to polishing your cymbals is that it will remove the black logo.

If you do decide to polish them, use a non-abrasive cymbal polish such as Zildjian Cleaning Polish or Groove Juice. I've heard Brasso works too, but have not tried it.

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  • NEVER BRASSO. Brasso is too abrassive and will remove the sheen, the mirror-like finish. – Mike Feb 5 at 7:52

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