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SABIAN History and Factory Tour

The SABIAN Brand Promise

The SABIAN brand is about fierce spirit, relentless passion and constant evolution − a driving force that results in the most innovative cymbals for drummers who share our desire for continual improvement. It is this force that facilitates art – the art of crafting some of the most awarded cymbals ever played, recorded and heard by musicians. SABIAN is a company built on people who have a passion for art -- craftsmen who have spent decades perfecting the art of making new and innovative cymbals using age-old techniques.

The SABIAN Story

SABIAN was born from a burning desire by founder RZ to create the very best for drummers around the world. In 1981 when SABIAN first opened its doors to the world, RZ announced: “I want to be the best cymbal company in the world. Creating the very best for drummers is primary. That’s my motivation.”

Ever vigilant and visionary when it came to the synergy between trends and sounds, RZ had been a pivotal figure in manufacturing the cymbals that put the boom in the British invasion just over a decade earlier, shipping cymbals to UK music shops since 1968. Now on his own, Bob opened a brand new cymbal company in 1981, SABIAN − an acronym formed from the first two letters of the names of his children: Sally, Bill and Andy.

Drummers instinctively grasped RZ’s mantra, to “create, so that drummers can create,” and they flocked to the fledgling cymbal company. SABIAN soon counted legends like Dave Weckl, Terry Bozzio, Neil Peart, and Jack DeJohnette among its early endorsers. Working side-by-side with these musical giants, the passionate craftsmen in the small factory on the banks of the Saint John River would go on to create the most radical and ground-breaking sounds in the history of cymbal manufacturing.


Today, when you walk through the SABIAN factory you see people using their hands; not to operate digital control panels on computerized machines, but to hand hammer raw blanks into form, or to lathe grooves of sound into metal that just hours before was hot rolled and tempered. Throughout the factory you will find people using their hands in nearly every step of the manufacturing process. We know there are faster ways to make cymbals − but we believe it is our people that make the SABIAN Difference.

When you play a SABIAN cymbal you are playing an instrument that has been formed out of passion by people who love what they do, because passion is at the core of all we do. From industry-leading customer service to its world-famous Vault access, SABIAN is renowned for being open and approachable to all: from its customers to artists to retailers.

Like no other cymbal manufacturer, SABIAN combines traditional, old-world elements of cymbal making with forward-thinking technology and creativity. SABIAN remains the only major cymbal manufacturer to employ handcrafting at every stage of cymbal production, and the only major cymbal manufacturer that continues traditional hand hammering. No other manufacturer can boast this same combination of musical metal with hands-on craftsmanship by skilled and passionate artisans.