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Mark’s visit to the Bosphorus factory

Earlier in August, Mark (Drumshack’s MD) went on a buying visit to the Bosphorus factory in Istanbul, Turkey. Since the visit, stocks are now more readily available at Drumshack including a lot of the new ranges such as the Black Pearl, Electro and Art Hoenig (Lyric series) that have been released this year. Unlike most other cymbal companies, Bosphorus also make bespoke cymbals so that we can offer custom cymbals to our customers! It usually takes around 4-6 weeks to complete a custom order.

Each of our cymbals that we have chosen to stock at Drumshack has been hand chosen by Mark out of a possible 750 hand hammered cymbals in the Bosphorus factory collection. During his stay, Mark was able to witness the fascinating, ancient and unique hand hammering process that Bosphorus use to craft their cymbals. Each and every single one of the cymbals has been hand made from start to finish and has not touched an automated hammering machine.

And we're off!
And we’re off!

Mark arrived at Istanbul airport without a visa so had to pay £20 to get through the gates but after that, he was whisked off the hotel for dinner with one of the Bosphorus factory staff, Emrah. The next day, was an early start at 9AM to tour the factory. It was lucky that it was the 1st day of cymbal processing so Mark was able to see how each cymbal was made from start to finish using a technique that had been handed down from generation to generation.

Red hot cymbal discs
Red hot cymbal discs being heated up to the right temperature

Discs of metal are heated up in a huge furnace which is blasting out intense heat. Once they are at the correct temperature, they roll and carry the cymbal blanks while they are still red hot until they are the right size. Just like you would with pastry!

The bell is then formed using a machine and the hole is drilled for mounting. At this stage, some cymbals are sorted into ones that need to be lathed and ones that don’t. Once this is done, the cymbal is then cut to size and weighed to make sure it is absolutely perfect before going off to be hammered.

Each cymbal is then passed through a production line of 7 highly experienced cymbal smiths. Every single one of the cymbals is finally passed to the Master Hammerer who inspects each one to make sure it is of the high Bosphorus standard. It is amazing how the cymbal smiths are so experienced that they know by the foot print of the hammering whether the cymbal will turn out well or not. They don’t even need to test them by striking them – they just know instinctively! They very rarely get rejects because the smiths know their craft so well and we can definitely vouch for that!

The most experienced production line ever!
The most experienced production line ever!

After seeing the cymbals being crafted first hand, Mark is convinced that Bosphorus are one of the finest hand made cymbal manufacturers in Turkey and here’s why:

“No other Turkish hand made cymbal company (that we know of) produce hand hammered products from start to finish and almost always use an automated machine at some point in the processing. Bosphorus is the only company that can boast hand hammering across their whole range. It was a magical process to watch, especially for a drum geek like me, and I am so glad I got to witness those incredible cymbal smiths in action!”

To round off the visit, Hassan (1 of the 3 owners) and Mark chatted for hours over Turkish tea swapping ancient cymbal and drum legends and stories; with Emrah as the translator as he didn’t speak much english. A perfect end to an action packed business trip! It certainly made a change from your average buying visit.

Thank you for reading, we hope you enjoyed this post and all the photos! Check out the gallery below!

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