Best cymbals you've ever played.

I seen a post about "The worst cymbals you've ever played" which inspired, but excuse me if there is already a post about this...

Personally, the best cymbals I have played are my Sabian 17/18 Evolution Crashes. I play loads of styles, like jazz, latin, punk, technical stuff and straight up dynamic rock and they do the job! People say "They're really thin, you'll crack those!" But I haven't and I've had them for around a year. I haven't cracked a cymbal yet to be fair!

Then, HHX Stage Hats and the stage ride, Sabian AA Holy China and in my college, there was an 18" A Custom set-up and I loved it! Shame I don't have any money. :(


Platinum Member
My K Custom Hybrid hats and crashes are really dear to me.
They are good for every style that I play.


Platinum Member
Best cymbals? Ha, that easy!

For hats, hand's down the 14" New Beats ... and the 15" New Beats ... and the 15" 2oo2 Sound Edges ... and the 14" K Custom Darks ... and 14" AAX Xplosions ... and ...

Well, that didn't go very well and that was just hats ... Okay, nevermind.

Terrence R

Silver Member
I've been enjoying Meinl Byzance cymbals lately. Just picked up a Byzance Extea Dry Thin crash that blows me away. I also love A Customs and stuff from the AAX line. Can't go wrong with A series either. Too many great ones to list.
Ive played almost all the major brands over the years. They have all been good because I picked them myself based on my tastes....

I'm playing Sabian now and I love the Artisans and the thinner weight HHX's. So I suppose Sabains are the best in my world now. I am very happy.

I'm pretty sure if you had unlimited resources on any of the major brands you would be able to find cymbals that you really like. All the brands have so many lines to them, it's relatively easy to find something you like.

It's weird because there are a lot of cymbals that sound great by themselves - or even with the rest of the kit...but when they are blending with the band and the music, that's the real test. If it were up to me, I would have all trashy sounding jazzy cymbals if I were playing by myself...but I have to take what they sound like with the band into that's that balancing act...get a trashy dark sound with enough resonance to cut through the band to a degree. I think Im off topic now...I will shut it. :)

Again to answer the question, Sabian Artisans and HHX's.


Gold Member
Im a big fan of Paiste Sigs and 602s



Platinum Member
I hit a 18" Paiste Signature Full Crash in a store once and it was pretty much the best thing I'd ever heard. But not good enough to pay >$300 for it (I'm just a lonely basement drummer), and I don't like buying used crash/splash/china cymbals.

I do have 13" signature sound edge hats, a 20" signature dark metal ride, and a 20" signature dry heavy ride which I do love (and had no trouble buying used)... but man, that crash was awesome.


Senior Member
In no particular order:

18" Meinl Byzance extra thin hammered crash
17" Meinl Byzance med thin crash
19" Paiste 2002 crash
17" Paiste Twenty thin crash
15" Paiste 2002 SE hats
14" Meinl Sand hats

I wouldn't necessarily play all these together, but each one of these has something that really makes me smile regardless of venue context or setup.

Craig J

Senior Member
14'' Sabian AAX Studio Hats
16'' Sabian HH Thin Crash
16'' Sabian AAX Dark Crash
18'' Zildjian K Ride (80s I think)
22'' 60's Zildjian A Ride


Well-known member
All of the ones I still own are the best to me. Istanbul Agops, Bosphorus and some old K's.


My K constantinople's are perfect for me. I dearly dearly love them.

However, I think the absolute best cymbal I ever played was at a Carl Allen clinic when he asked me to come play his kit to demonstrate something. It was some Sabian prototype that they were making for him. I chased it for a year or so afterward but I don't think it was ever produced. It was definitely different than what became his signature mini bell ride, which is nice. Oh well, either Carl or some lucky person somewhere has it!


Gold Member
Paiste 602s both the original and the reissues ( I bought the original set of reissues).


Platinum Member
People say "They're really thin, you'll crack those!"

Thinner-edged cymbals are actually less likely to crack given their greater flexibility. Of course, heavy cymbals won't crack if played well, but they are generally at a great risk of cracking due to a big hit. I've only had 30 min of time with my Evolution crash since I bought it but it is insanely sweet. Very in line with the intense quality of my Evolution hats and Evolution ride. The more I discover of this line, the more I am impressed with Sabian's work there.


Pioneer Member
Best to me in this scenario means for whatever underlying reasons will be special, unique or rare.. .. so of the cymbals I've played briefly but not owned it would be:

A few old Ks and Constantinoples that had beautiful tone. Obvious at the first stick hit.

An old 602 ride that was rare. Medium thin, beautiful sounds.

An older Sabian Leopard ride that had a thinner edge than most. Dry but not dead. Lively yet controlled. This is the cymbal that led me to purchase the "best" cymbal I have ever played that I get to play almost everyday.

22" K Custom High Definition Ride - hands down the "best" cymbal that I've ever played and play regularly.

YouTube some Tommy Igoe with his Birdland Big Band and you'll hear just how versatile the KCHD can be. ;-)


Silver Member
Istanbul Agop 2_" Signature Agop Ride, 22" Sabian 22" AA Raw Ride (the only Sabian I've ever even liked), a thinner Spizz, Bosphorus 20" Masters Ride. Yes, all rides. All had a complex, fun sound and great rebound.


Platinum Member
The best I have ever played are the Sabian cymbals I play at church:

21" AAX Raw Bell Dry Ride
18" AAX Studio Crash
17" AA Thin Crash
16" Wuhan China
14" Paragon Hats
10" SR2 Splash

Peace and goodwill.


Senior Member
My Paiste Cymbals

18" Paiste Signature Power Crash
17" Paiste signature Full Crash
18" Paiste Twenty Series Prototype Crash
21" Paiste Twenty Series Prototype Light Ride