Master cymbal specialist
by Jenny Mero, FORTUNE Magazine

(FORTUNE Magazine) - Mark Love, 46, Sabian, Meductic, Canada

I've been designing and testing cymbals for 26 years, but I only recently started playing the drums. We make every piece by hand in a process that dates to the 17th century. It begins with melting copper and tin.

Then we put the alloy through shaping, more heating, and hammering. After the cymbals are made, they are hand-tested at least twice. I test thousands a day: Around 80% to 90% are accepted. The bad ones sound dead or dull, which can be caused by shape or tension problems.

The accepted ones are sent to the coating and printing station. Metals go through a lot of stress in manufacturing. It takes a while for the molecules to settle down. They actually sound better with age. Over the years we have had hundreds of drummers visit. Some spend weeks here helping develop new models.

We've made cymbals for Neil Peart of Rush and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At the request of Jojo Mayer, Nerve's drummer, we made Fierce Ride, a cymbal that has an undertone of a passing subway train. That's a sound we rarely hear in Meductic. Top of page