Bosphorus Cymbals is one of the few remaining companies in the world that still manufacture cymbals in pretty much the same way they have been made in Turkey for centuries. Today’s big cymbal makers such as Zildjian, Paiste or Sabian churn out millions of cymbals a year and most of them are, at least partly, computer-designed and machine made.
Not so here, where 15 trained cymbal makers create just 200 cymbals per week and each one of them is completely handcrafted. Once the copper-tin metal mixture has been cast into blanks, these are rolled through machines that vaguely resemble printing presses, the metal sheets are hand-hammered into shape. Finally some cymbals are lathed to give them their final thickness (others remain un-lathed for a drier sound and rougher look).
It’s hard to believe that these high-quality instrument are made in a shack on the outskirts of Istanbul that resembles a medival blacksmith’s workshop. What’s even more astonishing is the fact that not one of the people working here is a musician, let alone a drummer.