Sabian Press Conference at NAMM 2009

As soon as the doors opened on Thursday at NAMM 2009, Sabian kicked things off with an official press conference for us drumming journos. Along with announcing a spate of new cymbals and the very intriguing “One of 100” project, Sabian management talked about the struggling economy and how the company was prepared to tough it out. Founder Robert Zildjian even put in an appearance, acknowledging the layoffs that we reported on last month and finding for his company something of a silver lining in the current cash crunch: Sabian is set to survive the economic downturn, but many smaller cymbal manufacturers probably won’t.

While that Darwinian attrition may be good news for established businesses, it doesn’t exactly leave me with the warm fuzzies. I like that there are (or at least that there were) opportunities for new and creative cymbal companies to put interesting or less expensive products on the market. I like choice. I like options. And I definitely like that the little guys can bust out with big innovations.

But what do you think? Are there too many little companies causing “confusion in the cymbal market,” as Robert Zildjian implied, or are there not enough options out there for you? Do you play one of the big four—Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, Meinl? Or do you prefer one of the smaller brands?

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