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Industry Musical instruments
Founded 1981; 36 years ago (1981) in Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada
Headquarters Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada
Key people
Robert Zildjian (founder)
Andy Zildjian (president/CEO)
Sally Zildjian-Teague
Products Cymbals

Sabian is a Canadian cymbal designer and manufacturer. It is one of the "big four" manufacturers of cymbals, along with Zildjian, Meinl and Paiste.[citation needed]


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. As president of the Zildjian Company, Armand had insisted that the K name remain with his company, while the artisans moved to Robert's company. In the settlement, Robert agreed not to use the Zildjian name or to claim that his cymbals were the same. "We signed off from Zildjian December 4, 1981," said Robert Zildjian in an interview [1]

Robert Zildjian and his wife Willi, on a drive down to Boston,[1] came up with the new name for his cymbal manufacturing company, Sabian by using the two first letters of the names of his three children—Sally, Bill and Andy (a nickname for Armand) and "-ian" (indicating Armenian descent)[citation needed]—and initially released two lines of cymbals, HH (Hand Hammered) and AA (Automated Anvil), both of them of the traditional bell bronze alloy. As of 2006, Sabian's president is Andy Zildjian, the youngest in the family.

On January 18, 2017 Andy Zildjian was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for the company's major contributions to the world of Heavy Metal.[2]

Long time and influential endorsers[edit]

Sean Kinney of Alice in Chains

Neil Peart of Rush

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theatre

Rikki Rockett of Poison

Billy Cobham, jazz great

Steve Ferrone of Tom Petty

Dave Abbruzzese, ex Pearl Jam

Chris Dave, session great

Stanton Moore, session great

Jeff Hamilton of the Jeff Hamilton Trio

Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace

Ray Luzier of Korn

Stix Zadinia of Steel Panther

Rob Affuso, ex Skid Row

Jojo Mayer, session great

Shawn Drover, ex Megadeth

Jimmy DeGrasso of Alice Cooper, Megadeth, and Blackstar Riders

Virgil Donati, session great

Rod Morgenstein of Winger

Stet Howland of Metal Church

Bobby Rock of Lita Ford

Mick Brown of Dokken

Jason Hartless of Ted Nugent

Frank Ferrer of Guns N' Roses

Tony Royster, session great

Travis Smith, ex Trivium

Chad Smith of The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Jose Pasillas of Incubus

Mike Dupke, ex W.A.S.P.

Pete Webber of Havok

Mark O'Connell of Taking Back Sunday

Brent Smedley of Iced Earth

Mike Wengren of Disturbed

Gregg Bissonette, session great

Chester Thompson of Genesis

Phil Collins of Genesis

Vinnie Paul of Pantera

Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot

Pete Sandoval, ex Morbid Angel

Gene Hoglan of Testament

Glenn Power of The Script

Jeremy Furstenfeld of Blue October

Bob Bryar, ex My Chemical Romance

Jay Lane, ex Primus

Mitch Marine, ex Smash Mouth

Karl Brazil of Feeder

Garrett Whitlock of Mark Tremonti

Randy Black, ex Primal Fear

Bill Ward of Black Sabbath

Blas Elias, ex Slaughter

The Rev, ex Avenged Sevenfold

A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister

James Cassells of Asking Alexandria

Martin Axenrot of Opeth

Herman Matthews of Kenny Loggins

Terry Bozzio of Frank Zappa

Curly Smith of Boston

Matt Abts of Gov't Mule

Jeff Bowders of Paul Gilbert

Chris McHugh of Keith Urban

Daniel Adair of Nickleback

Jeff Brown of Art of Dying

Rich Beddoe, ex Finger Eleven

George Kollias of Nile

Joe Babiak of Michael Angelo Batio

Christoph Schneider of Rammstein

Brandon Barnes of Rise Against

Glen Sobel of Alice Cooper and Impelliterri

Todd Sucherman of Styx

Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad

Johnny Kelly of Kill Devil Hill, Danzig

Roy Mayorga of Stone Sour

Paul Ferguson of Killing Joke

Will Calhoun of Living Colour

Matt Chamberlain, session great, ex Pearl Jam

Richard Christy of Charred Walls of the Damned, ex Death, ex Iced Earth

Dane Clark of John Mellencamp

Bernard Purdie of Steely Dan, session great

Jeremy Colson of Steve Vai

Jason Costa of All That Remains

Austin D'Amond of DevilDriver

Jack DeJohnette, jazz and session great

Greg D'Angelo of Stephen Pearcy, ex White Lion

Joey Dandeneau of Theory of a Deadman

Danny Schuler of Biohazard

Bevan Davies of Danzig

Liberty DeVitto of Ronnie Spector

Robin Diaz, session great, ex Daughtery

Erik Eldenius of Billy Idol

Brian Doerner of Decibel, ex Helix

Will Dorsey of Body Count

Adrian Erlandsson of Paradise Lost

Jason Rullo of Symphony X

Paul Douglas of Toots and the Maytals

Daniel Erlandsson of Arch Enemy

Stefanie Eulinberg of Kid Rock

Brent Fitz of Slash

Brian Frasier-Moore, session great

Jon Farriss of INXS

Geoff Dugmore, session great, ex Killing Joke

Aaron Solowoniuk of Billy Talent

Mark Flynn of The Disciples

Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger

David Garibaldi, session great

Mark Guiliana, session great

Andy Galeon of Fosrock, ex Death Angel

Tomas Haake of Meshuggah

Chris Gaylor of All American Rejects

B.J. Genton, session great

Garrett Goodwin of Carey Underwood

Troy Miller of Amy Winehouse

Kirk Arrington, ex Metal Church

Rob Hammersmith of Skid Row

Chad Sexton of 311

Jamie Postones of [[Tesseract (band)}Tesseract]]

Rocky Gray of We Are The Fallen, ex Evanesence

Andy Hurley of Fallout Boy

Alan White, ex Oasis

Shannon Larkin of Godsmack and Wrathchild America

Joe Morello, jazz great

Andy Mrotek of The Academy Is

Xavier Muriel of Buckcherry

George Nealy ll of James Brown

Martin Skaroupka of Cradle Of Filth

Todd Nance of Widespread Panic

Cody Hanson of Hinder

Ravi Jakhotia of Randy Jackson, ex Crimson Glory

Mike Lasaponara of Cute Is What We Aim For

Dustin Steinke of Sixx A.M.

Tony Laureano of Dimmu Borgir

Tim Sutton of Streetheart

Shannon Leto of Thirty Seconds To Mars

Arno Lucas of Peter Gabriel

Lucky Lehrer of Circle Jerks

John Humphery of Seether

Shannon Lucas of Black Dahlia Murder

Jose Jimenez of Santana

Bashiri Johnson of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson

Jonathan Joseph of Jeff Beck

Ryan Van Poederooyen of Devin Townsend Project

Nick Oshiro of Static-X

Tyler Stewart of Barenaked Ladies

Jim Riley of Rascal Flatts

Gary Wiseman of Bowling For Soup

Van Williams of Ashes Of Ares, ex Nevermore

Chris Woody of Bastille

Mike Zimmerman of Kenny Rogers

Brian Young of Fountains of Wayne

Tim Yeung, ex Morbid Angel

Van Romaine of Steve Morse

Aaron Rossi of Ministry

Garry King of Kip Winger

Ramon Yslas, session great

Dave Weckl, session great

Brice Williams of Lady Antebellum

Joe Vitale of Joe Walsh

Scott Reeder of Fu Manchu

Kevin Ricard of Stevie Wonder

Nir Z of John Mayer, session great

Scott Kusmirek, ex Gin Blossoms

Tony Palermo of Papa Roach

Ash Pearson of 3 Inches of Blood

Daren Pfeifer of Hollywood Undead

Billy Powell, session great

Daniel De Los Reyes of Zac Brown

Chris Reeve of Filter


Richard Hughes of Keane used Sabian up until the late 2000s when he switched to Zildjian.

Johnny Dee of Doro Pesch used Sabians up until the late 2000s when he switched to Paiste.

Inferno of Behemoth used Sabians up until the late 2000s before switching to Paiste.

Tom Hunting of Exodus endorsed Sabian up until 2007 when he switched to Meinl.

Jaska Raatikainen of Children Of Bodom used Sabian from the late 1990s into the early 2000s when he switched to Meinl.

Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden used Sabians up until the early 1990s when he switched to Zildjian.

Deen Castronovo, ex Journey, used Sabian into the 1990s until the switched to Zildjian.

Carmine Appice was noted for his use of Sabians from the mid 1980s up until the late 2000s.

Steve Adler of Guns N'Roses used Sabians exclusively throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s.

Daniel Davison of Every Time I Die used Sabians up until 2015 when he signed on with Zildjian.

Stacy Jones of ]]Matchbox Twenty]] used Sabian up until the late 2000s when he changed to Paiste.

Ben Wysocki of The Fray endorsed Sabian up until 2017 when he switched to Zildjian.

Joey Jordison, ex Slipknot used Sabians up until the early 2000s when he switched to Paiste.

Vinny Appice of Dio, Black Sabbath, and Heaven and Hell used Sabian up until the 2010s when he switched to Istanbul Mehmet.

Robb Reiner of Anvil used Sabians up until the late 2000s when he switched over to Paiste.

Dana Burnell of Crimson Glory used Sabians up until sometime in the 2000s when he started using mostly Zildjian.

Hellhammer of Mayhem used Sabians up until the late 2000s when he signed on with Paiste.

Jurgen Reil of Kreator used Sabian up until 2011 when he switched to Meinl.


  1. ^ a b Gary B (29 May 2016). "Interview with the late Robert Zildjian, founder of Sabian Cymbals" – via YouTube. 
  2. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°59′38.76″N 67°28′42.96″W / 45.9941000°N 67.4786000°W / 45.9941000; -67.4786000