china cymbal for jazz?


Silver Member
any recommendations for a 20-22” china cymbal for jazz that doesn't break the bank?


Senior Member
Sometimes (if you can find a good one) a standard Wuhan, at that size, works very well. I'm not a super big fan of Wuhan chinas, and I think anything 18" or smaller is a one trick pony because they are so stiff and don't open up at all (you really have to whack them). Once you get to a 20" and larger, they usually offer more subtlety and can be played lighter. Add a few rivets Jeff Hamilton style.

You may want to try the used market. Some of the older Zildjian China Boy Low cymbals are pretty subtle and laid back. I also have a 20" Sabian HHX china that sounds great. A used one can be found for a decent price.

Good luck!

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Is the Zildjian 22” swish knocked out of your range? That cymbal is seriously great. I wish it was a little lower pitched, but it totally works.


Silver Member
My Lions were the thinnest ones in a bunch, and the open up quickly. Also, when mounted bell up, they have more variety of timbres depending on where you hit them. That makes them just fine for jazz, specially with brushes.


Senior Member
Anything over 20" and with rivets and a relatively flattish profile. A 22" swish is the best way to go.
I have a 22" Han Chi that I put a few rivets in that rivals my Zildjian swish in terms of mellowness, if you can find one of those...


Junior Member
I bought a Meinl Byzance China Jazz Ride. It has a pretty cool China sound (low and cuts through well) but sounds terrible as a ride (like a trash can lid) in my opinion. I keep looking at prototype kcon swishes that show up on line from time to time....I just wish I could hear one somewhere in person. I have a 20' Pang from the 90s and it sounds pretty good with 6 rivets in it.


Senior Member
I used to have a Zildjian Oriental Crash of Doom on my bop kit as a 3rd ride/trashy cymbal. I believe Tommy Igoe used to do the same thing.

I now have a Sabian Crescent Stanton Moore Trash Crash that I find has similar qualities.


Well-known member
the Zildjian 22" Swish Knocker is the "original" jazz china IMO. If you look at pics of the old greats, that is usually the china type cymbal you see....I really wish I had an old one. I don't have any china's right now. My 1990 Zildjian 16" high finally got a crack in the bow, so it is now going to become the bottom of a stack at some point

I think any darker, large china type will work. I tend to go for Zildjians only, but the Istanbul Agop Signature 22" China is one that would pull me away from Zildjian..and some of the newer Meinl stuff is interesting as well


Gold Member
The best China style cymbals for Jazz that I have played are both by Paiste .
The sadly discontinued Paiste Signature Traditional Medium Light swish is my favourite by far . They come up for sale occasionally and they are excellent and very pretty . Not your typical gongy harsh sounding China .

The new 22” Paiste Masters Swish is beautiful and is the China style cymbal for people that really don’t like China cymbals .

honirable mention should go to the Istanbul Agop Signature series cymbal. It has More of a traditional China vibe but it has a nice aged in quality.


Junior Member
I've got a 18" Zildjian china that I like, but not sure it would be suitable for jazz. Sometimes I wish I had gone for a 20" but my Zildjian mini-cup ride is only 20". Before I start buying more cymbals that I already have, I need to find a decent larger crash, maybe an 18" to go with my 16" Zildjian medium crash. But the china is on the darker side so the more I think about it, the more I think it might be good for jazz.