If the wire's cut, you can easily repair it by removing the outer sheathing, stripping the two wires inside and reconnecting them. Then you can tape them with electrical tape, or if you're so inclined, solder them for a more permanent fix.
But if the cymbal itself is the problem, what can you do, apart from send the cymbal back to the manufacturer and wait for a replacement? Well, if you don't mind doing a little bit of soldering, you can actually replace most of the cymbal for very little money.
What you need
Quick Fix Materials
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Soldering iron
- Solder (with flux if needed)
- Electrical tape (optional)
- Scraping tool / knife
- Wire cutters / strippers
- All of the above, plus:
- Wire (I used hookup wire, which is cheap and sturdy)
- Mono audio jack
- Pliers (optional)
- Glue suitable for gluing plastics together
- 'Helping hands' (optional)
- Pencil (optional)
Identifying the Problem
The underside of a GH:WT cymbal looks like this. There are four small screws which you should carefully remove with your Phillips head screwdriver. Once the cover is removed, you're ready to find out exactly where the source of your trouble is.
This kind of problem is usually due to one of the connections inside the cymbal having broken loose. There is a kind of white compound covering each solder point, as the picture to the right shows, and this can make it difficult to find out which connection is having trouble.
The transparent tape in the picture was not originally present; I added it as a cheap fix to low sensitivity.
The first thing to do is to slowly tug on each wire to see if you can find out where it's loose or broken. If you're lucky, you'll only have to resolder a single point.
If you find one or more loose wires, this usually means you simply have to resolder them, and you can use the Quick Fix method listed below.
If you don't find anything wrong (or everything is wrong), don't panic! You can use the Full Fix method below to get back on the skins in no time.
The Quick Fix
If you find one or more loose wires, great! Simply clean the white rubbery compound off both the wire and the area underneath it, which will reveal the original solder point. I usually find it easier to resolder the wire slightly away from the original solder point. If you're resoldering one of the connections on the piezo sensor (the round copper ring with a white center), remember that you must have one wire soldered to the copper ring and one to the white area in the center. Strip a short length of the wire with your wire strippers. Tin the wire by applying a small amount of solder to it (apply flux if necessary), take a small drop of solder, and apply it to the wire while it's pressed down onto the sensor (again, apply flux if necessary to the sensor). Your cymbal should be working fine again. You may want to apply some electrical tape to keep the newly soldered wire from becoming loose again.
The Full Fix
If you're unlucky, like I was, you might find out that you have more than one broken connection, or worse, that the little board or the audio jack have malfunctioning connections. However, all is not lost. In fact, the board does nothing but provide a way to secure the audio connector to the cymbal. It's not required, and with this fix, we'll bypass it completely and still have a fully functional cymbal.
In this case, we'll assume the worst and consider the board and/or the audio jack are completely broken. Start by removing the screw keeping the board in place, and remove it entirely. Remove all the white compound around the wires on the piezo sensor and cut the wires, as we will have to replace them with longer ones.
Take the audio jack and place it on the cymbal, with the single pin facing upwards (it's a mounting pin, but we won't be using it). Place the plastic cover on top to make sure you have the jack lined up with the hole in the cover. We will be gluing the jack in place here, so you may wish to mark the position of the jack with a pencil before proceeding further.
Once you've done that, measure two lengths of wire, each one long enough to connect the jack to one of the areas of the sensor (one for the copper ring, one for the white ring inside). If you have a 'helping hands', as shown in the picture to the right, use the clips to hold your audio jack.
Hook the two wires into the two parallel connectors on the audio jack, as shown to the left. Use the pliers to make them nice and tight. If needed, apply some flux to each connector, then take a small drop of solder with the iron and press it to the area where the connector and the wire meet.
Once you have the jack soldered to the wire, position it in the proper area (use the plastic cover to check if you haven't marked the position).
Solder each wire to the piezo sensor, applying flux if needed. One wire has to be soldered to the outside copper ring, one on the white area inside. Once the wires are soldered in place, you can put some electrical tape over the sensor to minimize chances it will come apart again.
Glue the audio jack to the cymbal. I used a small amount of quick-set epoxy, but many types of glue should work for this. Wait long enough for your desired glue to set before replacing the plastic cover. The picture to the right shows a completed fix.
Test your new cymbal by playing a song or two. Mine works flawlessly!