Best cymbals for alternative/rock/hard rock

Jsk36

Senior Member
I currently Have an old pair of A zildjian 14 inch mastersound hi-hats

old A custom 16" zildjian crash,

and a 21" sweet ride by zildjian

I don't know if I should get a new ride, because, I can't really get into my sweet ride.

And also I don't know if I should get a new hi hat.

any opinions on what other cymbals, brands, sizes, and types I should get for my taste in music?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
What do you mean by "can't get into"? Do you mean that you can't lay into it enough? Do you mean that you just don't like the sound? Some clarification, please.

What kind of sound are YOU interested in? That's what's most important. Some rock guys play Zildjian A cymbals, some A Customs, some Ks, some...??? They all mostly sound the same when you bash 'em really hard and they are picked up by mics going through a venue's PA. After fighting for sonic space with guitar, bass, and vocals, a cymbal has few frequencies that can actually cut through. What kind of sound makes YOU happy?

What has been used before, and seem to be popular, are Zildjian A and A Customs...
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
You won't find many hi-hats better than yours. Maybe you can extend your A Customs to 17" and 18" sizes?

To find the right ride, it's as simple as going to the store, closing your eyes to pick the right one, and selling the sweet ride on Ebay.
 

Jsk36

Senior Member
What do you mean by "can't get into"? Do you mean that you can't lay into it enough? Do you mean that you just don't like the sound? Some clarification, please.

What kind of sound are YOU interested in? That's what's most important. Some rock guys play Zildjian A cymbals, some A Customs, some Ks, some...??? They all mostly sound the same when you bash 'em really hard and they are picked up by mics going through a venue's PA. After fighting for sonic space with guitar, bass, and vocals, a cymbal has few frequencies that can actually cut through. What kind of sound makes YOU happy?

What has been used before, and seem to be popular, are Zildjian A and A Customs...
When I said "can't get into" I meant don't like the sound much, but it has a clean sound don't get me wrong.

and my interest is probably K's and A customs, well, I would actually be interested in a crash/ride, because it's two in one basically so I would get more for my money.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
When I said "can't get into" I meant don't like the sound much, but it has a clean sound don't get me wrong.

and my interest is probably K's and A customs, well, I would actually be interested in a crash/ride, because it's two in one basically so I would get more for my money.
The 21" Sweet Ride basically IS a crash/ride. If you want a "pingier" sound, then go for something in the Zildjian A or A Custom lines. If you want darker and "trashier", go for something in the K or K Custom lines. I, personally, really dig the 24" K Light Ride.

Keep the A Custom Crash, and get an 18" one as well. As for the ride and hats, do you have a drum shop close by? Do the "close your eyes" test. If you like the sound of it, then get it or something close to it.
 

Jsk36

Senior Member
The 21" Sweet Ride basically IS a crash/ride. If you want a "pingier" sound, then go for something in the Zildjian A or A Custom lines. If you want darker and "trashier", go for something in the K or K Custom lines. I, personally, really dig the 24" K Light Ride.

Keep the A Custom Crash, and get an 18" one as well. As for the ride and hats, do you have a drum shop close by? Do the "close your eyes" test. If you like the sound of it, then get it or something close to it.
if it were you playing a live performance, would you choose a set of A customs, or a set of K's? , especially for a rock concert.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
if it were you playing a live performance, would you choose a set of A customs, or a set of K's? , especially for a rock concert.
Personally, I wouldn't choose a "set" of either. I like the A Custom crashes, but not the rides or hats. I like the K rides, but not the crashes or hats. For a rock show, I like to have something a little more "pingy" for a ride, something more full-bodied for a low crash, something thinner and "brighter" for a high crash, and something cutting with a big sloshy open sound for the hats. Here's what I use...

Quieter gigs
Hats: vintage Zildjian A top/Sabian Flat Hat Bottom
Crash: Zildjian Armand Thin 16" and Med. Thin 18"
Ride: Sabian HHX 20" Stage Ride

Louder gigs
Hats: Sabian HHX Evolution hats
Crash: Sabian AA Rock Crashes 16" and 18"
Ride: vintage Zildjian A 21"

I don't personally own A Custom crashes, but I like them. They open up quickly, they are bright and dark all in one, and their sustain is controlled. They would seem ideal for rock. The hard part is finding a ride that would compliment them, which is why I haven't bothered getting any. The HHX Evolution hats sound good with them, I know from experience.

That's all I got for now...hope it helps, and good luck!
 

Jsk36

Senior Member
Personally, I wouldn't choose a "set" of either. I like the A Custom crashes, but not the rides or hats. I like the K rides, but not the crashes or hats. For a rock show, I like to have something a little more "pingy" for a ride, something more full-bodied for a low crash, something thinner and "brighter" for a high crash, and something cutting with a big sloshy open sound for the hats. Here's what I use...

Quieter gigs
Hats: vintage Zildjian A top/Sabian Flat Hat Bottom
Crash: Zildjian Armand Thin 16" and Med. Thin 18"
Ride: Sabian HHX 20" Stage Ride

Louder gigs
Hats: Sabian HHX Evolution hats
Crash: Sabian AA Rock Crashes 16" and 18"
Ride: vintage Zildjian A 21"

I don't personally own A Custom crashes, but I like them. They open up quickly, they are bright and dark all in one, and their sustain is controlled. They would seem ideal for rock. The hard part is finding a ride that would compliment them, which is why I haven't bothered getting any. The HHX Evolution hats sound good with them, I know from experience.

That's all I got for now...hope it helps, and good luck!
I have a pretty good idea what I should get now, thanks!
 

Solaris

Silver Member
For crashes look at bigger sizes - 18" and 19" are the most commonly used. The most important aspect is how cutting the cymbals are - look for models with a fast attack and projection. If you are laying into your cymbals a lot go for heavier weights for durability - though all my cymbals are thin or medium thin and I haven't had any issues with breakage. As for pitch go for what sounds you like - I have high, mid and low pitched cymbals and they all work.

As for rides, they are probably the most personal cymbal to choose. If you don't like the Sweet ride possibly check out A Rock or A Custom ping rides if you want more stick definition and presence. If you want something a little darker look at the K heavy ride or Sabian HHX Dry Ride and HH Raw Bell Dry Ride.

I think your hats would be fine for alternative/hard rock, plenty of chick and cut
 

Olly!

Junior Member
Hey!

Have you ever considered looking at Paiste?
I have Paiste 2002 and GiantBeat cymbals which really give that classic rock sound if that's what you're looking for.
I personally love them, they sound great when hit hard, and John Bonham of Led Zep used them...

Hope that helps :D
 

uphillrush

Junior Member
if you can muster the cash cash for the babys, the ziljian a custom rezo hihats are easily the best hi-hats ive ever heard. im into hard and progresive rock, like yes rush and zeppelin, and for that these are great. they sound really good for playing any of rushs stuff, like red barchetta and closer to the heart. bottom line is, there great hats. good stick definition, (sticks bounce right off them) and there great whether the open or closed.
 

Dr.LIBRA

Junior Member
Hello everybody!
I’m just beginner and I’m interested what is good cymbal combination (in minimal cymbal price) for playing Rock and Alternative? I have only Meinl MCS Hi-Hat 14 In
Thanks beforehand!
 

K.Howden

Senior Member
If you are laying into your cymbals a lot go for heavier weights for durability - though all my cymbals are thin or medium thin and I haven't had any issues with breakage.
I know it's been said many times before, but thinner cymbals should, in theory, be more durable because they are more flexible and dissipate the energy put into them better.

The example I'd use is if you were to take two rulers of the same length and of the same material but of different thicknesses and bend them until their breaking point. You'd be able to bend the thinner of the two to a further degree before it snapped because it's flexibility allows it to better deal with the stress being put upon it.

Technique obviously plays the most important part in how long any given cymbal will last you and not forgetting to mention how you mount the cymbal too.

Hope everyone is well,

Kev
 

Swexx

Senior Member
I have Paiste 2002 and GiantBeat cymbals which really give that classic rock sound if that's what you're looking for.
Amen! I bought my first Paiste 2002 crash about a year ago and I may never look back at Zildjian again. For me and my playing (rock, indie, pop) it is just perfect. Loud, shimmering, really brilliant and pretty rideable too. I'm planning on getting a second 2002 crash this summer.

Good luck!
(the 2002 rides and Sound Edge hi-hats are also GREAT in my opinion, btw)
 

ZildjianLover

Senior Member
Use the Sweet Ride as a crash and get a heavier ride.
That's what I did! Great minds think alike, I guess. I bought my 21" Sweet Ride, traditional finish, a month after I originally made this post. the heavier ride I have is a used 20" A Custom Projection Ride I got for $180 after sales tax. It definitely lives up to it's name, and cuts through the mix with its pingy attack, but it also has an unbeatable bell and glassy, precise overtones. Great for just about any kind of rock, pop or metal. It's relatively crashable for a cymbal of its size, but I still use my Sweet Ride for that purpose most of the time.
 
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JesusMySavior

Silver Member
For live use A Customs (or Sabian AAX) work great. They cut through a band really well even if they sound a bit, um, aggressive behind the kit. For studio work I like K's and Meinl Byzance as they blend well in a mix.

Try an A Custom ReZo Ride if you don't like your Sweet Ride. It's got some nice tonalities to it.
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I have 14" Zildjian Quick Beat high hats. For live rock music they are awesome. They cut through the mix very nicely and have a smooth high-end sound when opened.
 
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