10 China Cymbals Compared - Which Is Best For You?

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Istanbul Agop Turk hands down is my favorite. I have no real use for it. It wouldn't fit with what I do. But it has a beautiful attack that opens up really quickly, with this almost distant, echoey sustain. It's quite beautiful, almost like there is a second cymbal off in the distance.

Many of these cymbals I didn't like at all until the jazz half of the video. I liked the Istanbul instantly.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
I'm sorry, but none of those - not one - possessed the sound that I'm looking for in a China-type cymbal. The emphasis today seems to be on prioritizing the gongy, trashy attack of the genre without any concern for the fine frequency balances that - to me - produces a refined China cymbal.

So far I've found only one line of cymbals that sometimes deliver on these attributes - the Zildjian Swish. (NOT the Swish Knocker!!!) Being even move specific, Zildjian Swishes in the 18" size seem to be the sweet spot. In over fifty years I've managed to run across a few that I would call "acceptable," and only one that I would call perfect. That one, in particular, sounded like the sweetest light ride that you've ever encountered, and was spiced with just a hint of Chinese. Four rivets made it perfect for riding and accenting.

**For those that just want some China noise, disregard all that I've said. Honestly. Any of the demonstrated cymbals will provide that popular ear prick. Nothing wrong with that, either. Pick your color.

GeeDeeEmm

*** I've searched for representative sound files of these on the internet and have yet to find one that represents what I'm referring to. The search goes on!
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I thought the Istanbul Turk sounded great, and I liked the Xist as well. I've been a Zildjian guy for years, and while the 17" K in this comparison is not bad, I have yet to find a Zildjian china cymbal that I really like. For now, I've found a happy compromise with an 18" A Custom EFX cymbal, but I wish Big Z would come to the table with a china as good as the ones from Istanbul, Meinl, and Sabian. I used to have a 19" Paragon that I regret selling, and it was awesome.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
"10 China Cymbals We Love From Only Our Preferred Brands".

I like these videos, but they never include Dream, Wuhan, Amedia or other brands. Seriously, how can you have a China Cymbal comparison video without a Wuhan? They are pretty much the gold standard for china cymbals.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
"10 China Cymbals We Love From Only Our Preferred Brands".

I like these videos, but they never include Dream, Wuhan, Amedia or other brands. Seriously, how can you have a China Cymbal comparison video without a Wuhan? They are pretty much the gold standard for china cymbals.
Can’t say W***n C***a or you’re a xenophobe, so not included! :eek:
Istanbul Turk is safe on the other hand, so I’m going with that. 😎
 

Benthedrummer

Junior Member
Hmmmm.......I kinda have a thing for the 17" Sabian AA Holy China.

It's not overbearing but it's trashy, explosive and crisp. It's a good balanced volume that sits well with my other cymbals.
 

jdavis

Member
Hmmmm.......I kinda have a thing for the 17" Sabian AA Holy China.

It's not overbearing but it's trashy, explosive and crisp. It's a good balanced volume that sits well with my other cymbals.
I like the Holy China too, but I prefer the larger one. Too bad the Paiste 602 was the 22" model. Would have preferred to hear a smaller one.

Good video, though. Thanks, DCP! :)
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
Talk about impeccable timing! I needed this!

The Istanbul Agop Series along with the Meinl Equilibrium are a dream, and the Paiste Formula 602 penetrates deep to my soul.

I'm in the market for a China, something that provides a unique sound outside that of my Paiste Masters 22" Swish, which in the world of cymbals equates to the Holy Grail of all cymbals for me, so this video helps open up an ideal starting point in my quest to find a perfect addition to my cymbal setup.

As always, many thanks, DCP!
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
So far I've found only one line of cymbals that sometimes deliver on these attributes - the Zildjian Swish. (NOT the Swish Knocker!!!) Being even move specific, Zildjian Swishes in the 18" size seem to be the sweet spot. In over fifty years I've managed to run across a few that I would call "acceptable," and only one that I would call perfect. That one, in particular, sounded like the sweetest light ride that you've ever encountered, and was spiced with just a hint of Chinese. Four rivets made it perfect for riding and accenting.
I didn’t think that I would ever buy a China but I bought a 20” 70’s swish on a whim a while back because it sounded different and was a good deal. I didn’t know what to do with it for the longest time but I now have it mounted right side up, below and to the right of a Mehmet 22” light ride. I have 3 or 4 rivets in it and primarily use it as a “crash” or effects crash. It took me a while to adjust my touch to be able to crash the turned up edge light enough to avoid destroying it while getting a good sound. I like how it sounds from my position sitting on the throne, but it really shines when recording. A very tasty sound. I almost never use it as a ride.

The 20” is definitely on the deeper, low end side. I‘m using that to my advantage but I’ll bet the 18” sounds fantastic.

My setup is jazz oriented with three cymbals total. The Mehmet, the Swish and an Agop traditional 18” crash. Its a nice minimalistic setup and pretty much all I need for a variety of musical styles.

Side note... I use brass split rivets (which are brass coated steel). I don’t split them open to keep them in place. Instead I use little neodymium magnets on the underside to stop them from flying out. That setup allows me to add and remove rivets at will to change to sound or easily pack the cymbal in a bag.
 
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