|Founded||1981Meductic, New Brunswick, Canadain|
|Headquarters||Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada|
|Key people||Robert Zildjian (Founder)
Andy Zildjian (President)
The company was founded in 1981 in Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada by Robert Zildjian, son of Avedis Zildjian III, the head of the Avedis Zildjian Company. Family tradition had it that the head of the company would pass the company down to the oldest son (Armand). After Avedis Zildjian III died in 1979, Armand (who was President of Zildjian at the time) became Chairman of the Board. This eventually led to a family feud and a legal dispute between Robert and Armand that resulted in Robert leaving Zildjian to form the rival Sabian company. The companies continue to be rivals, and are both among the world's most popular cymbal brands.
The settlement gave Robert Zildjian the Canadian factory that had been producing the K. Zildjian line (all manufacturing in Turkey having ceased by this time). Armand and Robert had a major dispute over where the K. Zildjian line should be manufactured. As President of the Zildjian Company, Armand had insisted that the K's be made in the United States with input from famed drummers Elvin Jones and Tony Williams.
In the settlement, Robert agreed not to use the Zildjian name or to claim that his cymbals were the same. Some say that the most notable difference between Zildjian and Sabian cymbals is that Zildjian uses a softer, mellower sounding alloy while Sabian uses a more tin-based alloy, although this is untrue. The professional-grade cymbals manufactured by both companies use the same bronze alloy consisting of 80% copper, 20% tin and traces of silver. Others state that the cymbals of the two companies can be distinguished by sound somehow fairly easily, stating that Sabians are relatively thicker for their advertised weight, having longer sustain (with some exceptions) than their Zildjian counterparts, and Zildjian having a faster response (or attack) tending to be mellower in sound overall. All those opinions state that the differences depend on the individual cymbal models.
Robert Zildjian formed the word Sabian from the two first letters of the names of his three children Sally, Bill and Andy (a nickname for Armand), and initially released two lines of cymbals, HH and AA both of them of the traditional bell bronze alloy. As of 2013, Sabian's president is Andy Zildjian, the youngest in the family.
- SBr - Short for "Sabian Brass", the SBr series is Sabian's least expensive line of cymbals that succeeds Sabian's Solar line of brass cymbals.
- B8 ("Focused Bright")/B8 Pro ("Focused Brilliant") - Student/entry-level cymbals made of B8 bronze alloy (92% copper, 8% tin). B8 cymbals come in a traditional finish, while B8 Pro cymbals come in a brilliant finish.
- APX ("Focused Cut") - APX is Sabian's first professional line of B8 cymbals. These cymbals are very bright and aggressive due to their "high-decibel" design, making them a favorable choice among rock and metal drummers. Comes in a traditional finish.
- Vault ("Unique") - Cymbals with added cut. Comes in a brilliant finish.
- Signature - Cymbals developed in assistance with Sabian-endorsed artists. Price and quality vary by cymbal.
- Paragon ("Powerful") - Neil Peart's signature line of cymbals that made their debut at Rush's "R30" tour. Paragon cymbals includes a hand-hammered finish and a brass-colored ink that blends in with the cymbal. Paragon combines elements from the AA, HH, and AAX line of cymbals to create a powerful and versatile sound. These cymbals were originally developed in a traditional finish, but from late 2009 onwards, Paragon cymbals are now available in a brilliant finish in addition to their original finish. All cymbals are sized strictly to Neil's personal preference.
- Xs20 - Intermediate-level cymbals made of B20 bronze alloy (80% copper and 20% tin with traces of silver). They originally came in a traditional finish, but from 2009 onwards, brilliant finishes are added to the line. These cymbals have recently moved from Modern to Vintage for a more accurate sorting.
- HH ("Vintage Dark") - Short for "Hand-Hammered". As the name implies, these cymbals are individually hand-hammered by Sabian's cymbal artisans. Each cymbal has a different style and touch applied to it, and the power and placement of the strokes vary, giving each HH cymbal a different tone.
- AA ("Vintage Bright") - Short for "Automated Anvil", these cymbals are completely machine-made. These cymbals project a bright and classic sound that is suitable for many styles of music.
- AA Metal-X - A subline of the AA series aimed for rock and metal drummers. Metal-X cymbals features its "Power Active" design, which gives the cymbals more tone and projection than standard AAs.
- AA El Sabor - A subline of the AA series aimed for Latin drummers and percussion players. Distinctive by its flanged edge and raw bell, except for the hi hats, which is normal, except for the raw bell and flat bottom cymbal.
- AAX ("Modern Bright") - Cymbals made with the same techniques as their AA counterparts, but features Sabian's "Dynamic Focus", which eliminates distortion and increases the cymbal's clarity, it also makes the cymbal react the same at all volumes.
- OMNI - Subline of cymbals made in conjunction with Jojo Mayer. They are claimed to have both riding and crashing abilities in one instrument.
- HHX ("Modern Dark") - Cymbals made with the same techniques as their HH counterparts, but features Sabian's "Tone Projection" design, which increases projection and effectiveness.
- Legacy and Evolution - Sublines of the HHX series designed in conjunction with Dave Weckl. Legacy cymbals come in a traditional finish, while Evolution cymbals come in a brilliant finish.
There are also signature cymbals within the other series which aren't part of the Vault series, such as the Groove cymbals designed in conjunction with Zoro. Several innovative products Sabian has released includes the AA Rocktagon Crashes, the X-Plosion and O-Zone Crashes, the X-Treme Chinas, the X-Celerator Hi-Hats, and many others. Sabian has also debuted the SR2 series which consists of factory renewed B20 cymbals at a discounted price.
Some drummers who endorse Sabian cymbals include:
Dave Weckl, a jazz drummer