Best cymbal setup for a beginner?

SuperUltra

Member
Hi, so first of I think it would be important to mention I play mainly metal, but sometimes jazz and more mellow music. Does anyone know some good cost effective cymbals for this? Thanks
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
If you're on the budget end of things, you have to be less picky about sound. Its not a matter of picking the right cymbal for the right genre, its a matter of picking the cymbal that just flat out sounds the best at the price point.

For cheap beginner cymbals, I'd say Paiste is probably your best bet. If you're willing to shell out a little bit more, you can go with Dream or Wuhan cymbals.

But going back to genre, saying you play mainly metal but sometimes jazz.....you're talking the literal opposite ends of cymbal spectrum here. What are typically classified as metal cymbals are going to be loud and bright, and jazz cymbals are mellow and warm. You can break that rule, of course, but that's the standard. Your thin weight rides and crashes you'll use for jazz will shatter and break under metal playing. If you want a neutral setup that is applicable for the most genres, then at a pro level I'd recommend something like Zildjian A's or Sabian AA's.

But since you're not talking about that price point, just stick with my beginner level recommendations. You can't be picky about sound, but you have options as far as bang-for-buck.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
70s-90s used A. Zildjians or Sabian AAs are still the best bargain in cymbals. Usually you look for the grungier ones, but I'm seeing things selling cheaply on ebay that look pretty nice.

A standard all purpose set up would be:
20" medium ride (maybe ping ride)
16-18" thin or medium thin crash
14" new beat hihats (or medium hihats)

You could get all of those for >$300 on ebay. Total pro cymbals you could use the rest of your career.
 

iCe

Senior Member
I'd go with Paiste PST7. No too expensive and they sound (for their price) great! Several models and types as well, so you can have a Light, "normal' or Heavy models. The obvious one would be the PST7 Universal pack since it sits between the thin and thicker models. If you have some more money to spend, go with the 900 series.

Zildjian S-series would be a great set too and is pretty diverse.
 

JDFaulky

Member
I think recommending the Zildjian A series is a little overkill for a new drummer. Unless you want top quality right out of the gate and have the cash to burn, I would recommend something a bit underneath that line (if you want to stick with Zildjian that is).

I'm a fairly new drummer myself and I went with the Zildjian S line and highly recommend them. You can get the box set for a little under $500 and they sound pretty solid for the price. Every cheap cymbal set I've played so far do not feel like REAL cymbals and are rather unattractive sounding. The Zildjian S series feel like legit high quality cymbals while playing them and the sound is good enough to make you feel more confident in your playing. I also went out and bought the S series 10" splash to go along with them and I like it as well. I mainly play alt-rock/hard rock style and these cymbals fit pretty well for a growing drummer.

I would recommend buying a box set if you can. It saves you a lot of money if you were going to piece meal them out. For example, the Zildjian A series box set is around $800, but the hi-hats inside that box set are almost half that price on their own.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I think recommending the Zildjian A series is a little overkill for a new drummer. Unless you want top quality right out of the gate and have the cash to burn, I would recommend something a bit underneath that line (if you want to stick with Zildjian that is).

I'm a fairly new drummer myself and I went with the Zildjian S line and highly recommend them. You can get the box set for a little under $500 and they sound pretty solid for the price. Every cheap cymbal set I've played so far do not feel like REAL cymbals and are rather unattractive sounding. The Zildjian S series feel like legit high quality cymbals while playing them and the sound is good enough to make you feel more confident in your playing. I also went out and bought the S series 10" splash to go along with them and I like it as well. I mainly play alt-rock/hard rock style and these cymbals fit pretty well for a growing drummer.

I would recommend buying a box set if you can. It saves you a lot of money if you were going to piece meal them out. For example, the Zildjian A series box set is around $800, but the hi-hats inside that box set are almost half that price on their own.
I bought all "vintage" Zildjian A's when I got back into drumming a little over a year and a 1/2 ago. 20" ride, 18" crash ride, 16" thin crash, and 14" New Beats. I spent about $450. Yes I looked hard and asked for deals (at eBay). But the deals are out there. I got most of it from one person. So they were more than willing to give me a deal.

I did NOT like my Mastersound S series hats. VERY BRIGHT! Quite loud. I'm not a beginner. So I had something specific in mind, basically ALL cymbals that I had owned before. The S Series would have been awesome when I started out. Anything would have been better than the Camber II pies I had to deal with for about a decade.

If you just want to buy new, ok. But it's not necessary. You can buy great cymbals used.
 

JDFaulky

Member
I bought all "vintage" Zildjian A's when I got back into drumming a little over a year and a 1/2 ago. 20" ride, 18" crash ride, 16" thin crash, and 14" New Beats. I spent about $450. Yes I looked hard and asked for deals (at eBay). But the deals are out there. I got most of it from one person. So they were more than willing to give me a deal.

I did NOT like my Mastersound S series hats. VERY BRIGHT! Quite loud. I'm not a beginner. So I had something specific in mind, basically ALL cymbals that I had owned before. The S Series would have been awesome when I started out. Anything would have been better than the Camber II pies I had to deal with for about a decade.

If you just want to buy new, ok. But it's not necessary. You can buy great cymbals used.
If you can make that happen then yeah, absolutely. Some folks may not want to put in that much work to find all the used cymbals they need. I know in my area, even as common as Zildjian A’s are, I can’t find too many people selling them so I opted to buy something new.
 

microkit

Senior Member
I've gotten all Sabian AA or AAX used and never paid over $100 for a cymbal, and MF Stupid Deal Of The Day and other seasonal sales/discounts are a great way to pick random AA/AAX 16" crashes for $99.


- Stagg makes decent cast bronze stuff for cheap, ranging from DH (fantastic pro stuff) to their cheaper stuff that costs next to nothing used
- Sabian Sr2 is a gamble I'm willing to take
- The Wuhans I liked are discontinued, not familiar with current offerings but I do look for these used sometimes. Got a nice 10" splash for, I think $20-30
 

Iristone

Well-known member
I think Wuhans, Xsrs, and used A's can be a good idea. If you feel ambitious, you might try a vintage Czech brand called Amati Kraslice. I have one that sounds quite nice, but I'm not 100%sure because they are obscure vintage cymbals after all.
Anyway - run, don't walk away from Zildjian Z-whatever-T's and Meinl whatever-CS's. I've heard potlids that sound better than both of them.
 

microkit

Senior Member
I think Wuhans, Xsrs, and used A's can be a good idea. If you feel ambitious, you might try a vintage Czech brand called Amati Kraslice. I have one that sounds quite nice, but I'm not 100%sure because they are obscure vintage cymbals after all.
Anyway - run, don't walk away from Zildjian Z-whatever-T's and Meinl whatever-CS's. I've heard potlids that sound better than both of them.
This. I've hear cheap Meinls sound good but the ZBTs are terrible. I'm not a fan of B8/B8Pro either, if you're going to compromise, do so by buying less desirable sizes and lines of decent pro cymbals used.
 
Top