Buying cymbals, please help me select. need help

dpk204

Senior Member
I just sold some stuff around the house and it has given me a cymbal budget of $550. I am looking for a pair of hi hats, 2 crashes, and a ride.

I am upgrading from Sabian B8's and Sabian PRO's. I would like to go with the A Zildjian line. I have seen two packs available. 1 pack has the New Beats, 16 and 18" medium thin crashes and a 21" sweet ride. There is another identical pack but with a 20" medium ride instead of the sweet ride.

I looked at the used cymbal selection and to put the same setup together, it actually costs more than the pack and they would be used with no warranty.

I thought the Zildjian packs were a better deal because they seem a little cheaper than the Sabian AA pack and you get the New Beat hi hats.

I just want to know if you would go with a sweet ride or a medium ride and is $550 a fair price or is there some other package out there that is a better deal.

Honestly, I like the Paiste 2002 line but a used package is coming out to around $750 + shipping charges.

I'd like to buy these in a few days so if you can offer some input, It would be helpful. I've never owned a B20 cymbal and I've been waiting for this day for a few years now.

Thanks
 

thechief7676

Senior Member
I picked up an Armand Zildjian box set on ebay a few months ago for $599. They were only used once and sound great. 14" hats, 16" & 18" Med. thin crashes, 21" ride, and an Armand Cymbal Bag.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
The Sweet Ride seems like a very popular ride on this forum, but it is a more washy, less defined ride than the Medium. So it boils down to which style of ride suits you better. If you have time and opportunity before you have to buy, you might want to go do a little side-by-side comparison.

But me personally, being an old A Zildjian fan - I'd jump on that. Sounds like you're probably saving 2-300 bucks easy.
 

AnOasis

Member
Not bad at all ... new beats are great hats and I like medium thin crashes. Great upgrade from those B8's!
 

dpk204

Senior Member
If I could add to this, which is better the Zildjian A's or the Sabian AA's. I mean overall, which one would appeal to you more. If the Sabian is a better pack, It's only $50 more. It comes with the 21 RBDR.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I did own the Sabian AAs including the Raw Bell Dry ride, but traded them in on Sabian Hand Hammered cymbals which better meets my playing criteria. I do also own the Zildjian A series cymbals which I will probably never part with, if I can help it. My only advice would be to try to play the cymbals that you're truly interested in and make an educated decision. A lot of different people I talk to are never able to actually audition the cymbals they want to buy, so they are taking a gamble on how they're going to sound. Most cymbals sound good on their own, but when mixed with others, even in the same exact series, they might fall short in a number of categories. Zildjian and Sabian are known for this and I've experienced this myself many, many times when auditioning cymbals. This is why I say listen to them first if at all possible.

These, plus one or two that aren't in the picture, were traded for the HH series.



These are some of my Zildjian As that work in the many different musical genres that I play and yes every single one was hand picked to work with the rest in that series.



Dennis
 

dpk204

Senior Member
Thanks Dennis,

But does it help if they are "sonically matched" Can I trust that they will sound good together if they are said to be "picked from the vault."

Overall how does the AA line compare to the Zildjian A line. All I know is that a lot of people say that Zildjian A's are fine but some say that Zildjian used to make them better back in the day.

Actually, I just found another Sabian AA pack for $500 but it has medium crashes as opposed to medium thin.

These days my local Guitar Center doesn't display a wide variety of cymbals because I guess people are buying them elsewhere. I wish they had all of them to listen too. Right now, I am listening to the Sabian and Zildjian websites as well as mycymbal.com.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
If Sabian say they are "sonically matched", it gives me the indication that they auditioned the cymbals and they just didn't pick them from the vault and stick them into one package. At least I hope that they would try to actually match them. Where sonically matching your cymbals comes more into play is when your using cymbals such as Medium Thin crashes for example and they are say an 18, 17, 16 and a 15". Being only an inch apart you really have to make sure each cymbal sonically fits "in" relation to the others. Right now I'm using some Zildjian K Custom Dark crashes. I have an 18, 17 and two 16" crashes. The thing is that one of the 16" crashes sounds exactly like a 15" instead of a 16". So for all intentional purposes I have the sounds of an 18, 17, 16 and a 15" crash. When I'm picking cymbals I usually pick the hats first and then a ride to go with the style of music I play. Then I'll get two crashes to start, usually an 18 and a 16". After that it's generally a 17", this is where you have to take some of your cymbals with you to audition the others. I might evolve a bit more by adding a 19" or a 15" depending if I want to go lower in pitch with the entire spectrum or higher.

I always liked the sounds of the Zildjian A line of cymbals, I've been using them for 50 years. I made the mistake with buying the Sabian AAs because I thought they were going to give me a particular sound that the Zildjians didn't, I was wrong so I sold them. What really got me onto the AAs in the first place was the first time I played the AA Raw Bell Dry ride. It had a sound that I couldn't get out of my head. I can't find anything wrong with AA cymbals at all, but already having my As, I felt as if they very well adressed the genres of music I play, so the Sabians were just redundant.

I don't know the type of music you like to play, but if it was me, I would look into the Medium Thin and Thin types. I did own a 19" Zildjian A Medium cymbal and to my preference, it just took too much to get it to open up. I don't beat my cymbals, but that 19 just seemed too heavy to get the sound out of it that I desired using my playing styles.

One other thought, if you find a cymbal's sound to your liking on the Zildjian or Sabian sites, this does not guarantee the cymbal you get is going to sound very much the same. I found a very wide degree of tolerance from cymbal to cymbal in the manufacturing process with Zildjian cymbals. The same goes with Sabian, but to a slightly lesser extent.

Dennis
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
I'd say go to a few shops and play lots of cymbals. Ignore the black stuff printed on them and just listen to the cymbals themselves. Play every single cymbal in the shop if you can, and after you played them then take note of what the brand and model is.

Until you get very familiar with cymbal variations, I would recommend you ignore any verbal description of a cymbal. Cymbals make very complex sounds and words like 'dry' or 'wash' or 'sizzle' or 'bright' or 'glassy' or 'vintage' or 'dark' don't mean anything whatsoever until you have heard those adjectives in person.

$550 will get you a full set of some excellent cymbals, and nowhere in the drummers manual does it say they all have to match in a set.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
If you like paiste 2002 and have a light budget I'd suggest the alpha line. they are the same formula just more machine made in Germany. Check out Paiste's site. They are a pro level cymbal (5 finger death punch) at budget pricing. I'd personally stay away from the "slipknot" black coated ones. Being a 2002 owner I always wanted to do the pepsi challenge between the 2002's and alpha's blindfolded just to see if I could hear the difference. This is of course if you must have new cymbals I would go the ebay route with used ones and if you dont like one sell it, you'll get your $$ back and will get a great set up for 550.
 

dpk204

Senior Member
I thought about the Paiste Alpha series. Aren't they Paiste's best-selling line? I thought I heard that somewhere. I liked the hand hammering and hand lathing of the 2002's and of course the red logos.

I just found a Sabian AA pack from Cascio Music for $499 + 14% off. It has the 14" medium hats, 16 + 18" medium thin crashes and the 20" medium ride. This is looking better and better to me. After a little more research and a trip to guitar center, I might just get these.
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
I thought about the Paiste Alpha series. Aren't they Paiste's best-selling line? I thought I heard that somewhere. I liked the hand hammering and hand lathing of the 2002's and of course the red logos.

I just found a Sabian AA pack from Cascio Music for $499 + 14% off. It has the 14" medium hats, 16 + 18" medium thin crashes and the 20" medium ride. This is looking better and better to me. After a little more research and a trip to guitar center, I might just get these.
Don't go to GC to hear them and then buy them from Cascio. Print out a copy of the Cascio ad and get GC to try to match the price. Seriously. GC made the investment to allow you to hear the cymbals, and if you buy them from somewhere online you wil lbe harming your future music scene. it is worth the extra money that you pay to be able to hear them in person, and if people keep buying musical instruments online there will soon be no shops where you can hear them in person.

it is more important than you think, so please keep this in mind.

Peace,
 

Witterings

Silver Member
In a shop I've put 2 different AAX Stage Crashes next to each other, 2 x's A Custom Crashes and 2 x's stagg China's, all of these were identical cymbals and not one of the pairs sounded the same, each cymbal will have it's own distinctive sound and you honestly won't believe how different 2 of the same model sound until you try it for yourself !!!!!!

The other thing you say you really want the 2002's in which case don't buy anything but 2002's !!!

Whatever else you get instead, you'll spend your money, get them home and set them up - - - when you try them out instead of being elated and really pleased with them you'll be playing them and thinking "I wonder what the 2002's would have sounded like".

You've got a reasonable budget, if your into drumming for the long haul do it a bit at a time and get what you REALLY want, get your hats 1st as they're used most and maybe one of the cymbals.

Think about e-bay as well, I've just bought some second hand more budget cymbals to leave along with a practice kit where we rehearse and there are some decent cymbals on there that go for approx half retail cost, I nearly bought a pair of Meinl Byzance Htas that had been used for one gig and went for £150, their retail in the UK is £300.

Don't forget you can also sell your old B8's and Pro's on e-bay, I was looking at them for the practice kit and they were fetching reasonable money.

I have 2002 hats and tried them against 8 others and kept coming back to them and use a mix of Paiste, Zildjian, Istanbul and Sabian for my other cymbals but took what I had to the shop to try then aginst each other.
I've bought cymbals over the internet in the past that I just haven't liked when I've tried them or they haveen't matched with the other cymbals I already have!!!!
Good luck with whatever you get !!!
 
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