Cymbal Brands Matching?

Emmaticus00

Senior Member
Ok guys I'm completely upgrading my cymbals. I just have to find a new ride and hi hats, maybe an 17" and up crash. So I'm running ZBT's and an AA 16 Medium Thin crash. I want really good sounding cymbals but I'm kinda a brand snob and like matching. However that doesn't matter if it sounds good. I see you guys on here with Sabian AAX and then New Beats. Do you like multiple brands?

What's better: Cymbal brands matching or multiple brands but great sound?
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
I would try to match the ride and hats to have a similar timbre (dark, dry, bright, etc) unless you find a good contrasting match you like.

You don't HAVE to match brands unless you are under a contract that prevents you.

I just define what sound I am looking for and general characteristics. Then my decision is decided by the lowest price I can find in combination with cymbal quality.
 

robthetimekeeper

Senior Member
Best is matching cymbals that sound great!

I personally will mix up my cymbals if they sound good together but mostly I stick to matching A Zildjians. I own cymbals from all different brands but I just really dig my Zildjians.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I mix it up.

I think people get a bit silly with all their 'cymbal applications'.

Maybe the most important things are whether your ride is pingy or washy. A very loud pingy ride sounds off for jazz playing, and a washy jazz ride can get lost in rock playing. Doesn't mean you can't.. I play rock/metal sometimes and I have a jazz ride.

And maybe if you play open hats in a hard rock/metal style then you don't want your hats to be too dry.

For crashes I don't go smaller than 18''.

If you gotta buy a pack... and you're after bright rock/metal sounding cymbals then I'd look at the k custom hybrid sets personally.
 

gretsch-o-rama

Senior Member
Tony Williams was a big proponent of matching a set of cymbals. He gave an example in the 1985 Zildjian day video. I think he was right. He seemed to go for similar sounds of different pitches.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I think people get a bit silly with all their 'cymbal applications'.
Depends. I tend to keep a variety of cymbals specifically because I want them for different "applications"

In a quiet acoustic, coffee shop style setting, I don't want my 24" and 20" Giant beats washing the bejesus outta the whole thing and overbearing every other instrument on stage. So for that application, I'll grab my 15" or 16" fast crashes......they open up sharply, speak quickly at a moderate volume and then bugger off, leaving enough space for everything else. Exactly what I want them to do. But they simply won't cut it when I'm placed next a Marshall stack cranked to 11. At those times I'm looking for some "balls" and my small fast crashes simply sound like a splash in such a situation. They don't cut, they don't carry and they aren't at all defining.

I know you can get carried away with the concept. And I'm also aware that you can get a variety of instruments to carry over effectively across a variety of applications. But I'm also of the firm belief that "application" determines everything and sometimes you just can't rely on one instrument to slay them all. You do need to adapt according to the "application".......whether that be a players style or musical approach, right through to the gear they chose to use to get the job done.
 

Elliot

Member
I don't think matching matters, just find the right sound you like. For me, personally, I find matching cymbals kind of odd when it's not a pro endorser. When I see someone with a set of entirely one type of cymbal, I think "Really? Those were the only cymbals you liked out of ALL the cymbals?"

Unless it's A's, those are kind of my exception. Everyone should have a set of A's, and an acrolite.
 

spides666

Senior Member
Class as me as super anal but I can never ever mis match brands. I can't have Paiste Crashes and a Zildjian Ride etc........it's all or nothing..........completely Paiste or Sabian or Zildjian etc
 

paravil

Senior Member
Tony Williams was a big proponent of matching a set of cymbals. He gave an example in the 1985 Zildjian day video. I think he was right. He seemed to go for similar sounds of different pitches.
That's what I prefer. It doesn't have to do with matching brands and series, but with matching sounds. I like similar characteristics at different pitches. Even too vast a difference within a brand bugs me. One kit I play (not mine) has two crashes, a 16" A Fast Crash and an 18" K Thin Dark Crash. Bugs the crap out of me personally because when moving between the two doing accents, or crashing them at the same time, the difference is jarring. Now if there was another 16" K, and the Fast Crash was aux, it'd be a different story. My point is, I like them to match BECAUSE of, not in spite of, the sound.
 

drummerjims

Senior Member
I don't think matching matters, just find the right sound you like. For me, personally, I find matching cymbals kind of odd when it's not a pro endorser. When I see someone with a set of entirely one type of cymbal, I think "Really? Those were the only cymbals you liked out of ALL the cymbals?"

Unless it's A's, those are kind of my exception. Everyone should have a set of A's, and an acrolite.
Matching doesn't really matter however as some people have pointed out on here cymbals from the same company/line IMO tend to blend well together.

I have never been able to get behind the A line only the New Beats. A's may work for a lot of people but never have for me. Even though I would like to try out that 23" sweet ride.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Class as me as super anal but I can never ever mis match brands. I can't have Paiste Crashes and a Zildjian Ride etc........it's all or nothing..........completely Paiste or Sabian or Zildjian etc
For good or bad, I fall into this same category. Recently thinking about adding either a splash or one more crash but I only look at what matches my current setup.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I've never been into the brand loyalty thing and have had mixed brands on my kits. But I've been gradually changing my tune on that because I discovered I really do like my cymbal tones and characters to be more cohesive, and when it comes right down to it, Zildjian makes my favorite cymbals, so I sold off the last of my Paistes and Sabians since they were just collecting dust. Now it's New Beats, an A Medium Ride, and K and A Custom crashes.

All is right with the world.
 

ianjphil

Member
If you aren't endorsing/have an endorsement with a company, then why limit what equipment you use? As long as your cymbals work together, and you like the sound, then get whatever cymbals you want..!
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I've never been into the brand loyalty thing and have had mixed brands on my kits. But I've been gradually changing my tune on that because I discovered I really do like my cymbal tones and characters to be more cohesive, and when it comes right down to it, Zildjian makes my favorite cymbals, so I sold off the last of my Paistes and Sabians since they were just collecting dust. Now it's New Beats, an A Medium Ride, and K and A Custom crashes.

All is right with the world.
I agree with your sentiment about the brand loyalty thing, I don't care about the brand, but there seems to be something about the Zildjians working as set. I think part of it is that music shops don't tend to carry full lines of multiple brands, so finding the right cymbal, might just come down to whatever brand the shops carry and if there are enough Zildjian for you to pick from. If I had to do it again I would get them all in Wuhan/Dream, I think the Chinese cymbals all get manufactured in a few factories in the same town, so they tend to work pretty well together, though they sound out of place in a zildjian set. It would be interesting if some of the other manufacturers could converge on some standards so that they were more interchangeable. IE if Sabian and Paste were able to some how work together, and get rides and crashes that sound good together then there might be some more choice in the market.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I've always played what I liked the sound of; brand matching has never been much of a concern. Granted, my setup has always mostly been Sabian, 'cause I really like most of their stuff, but if I can't find what I want to hear there, I have no problem looking elsewhere.

In my most recent ride cymbal hunt I listened to almost everything from Sabian, Zildjian and Paiste and still didn't find quite what I was looking for until I ended up with a Meinl Byzance ride.

Personally, I'd rather chase sounds than logos...
 

braincramp

Gold Member
I have always mixed..right now 20" K Ride, 18" A fast crash, Dream Contact 17", and Paiste 404 15" medium hats... they blend quite nicely..
 

BFrench501

Senior Member
The way I look at this question, is that if you match according to manufacturer, all you are doing is giving the relevant cymbal company free advertising.

I used to be amused when one drummer had a full sabian line up and would go to gigs wearing sabian shirts and have sabian stickers plastered everywhere. Was he endorsed? Yea, or no actually..... :)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
all you are doing is giving the relevant cymbal company free advertising.
Or playing sounds that are pleasing to your ear.


. Was he endorsed?
If he liked the sound, does it matter?


You guys are all far too one sided when you swing this argument. I'm forever hearing things like "buy with your ears" and "the logo is irrelevant".....and I agree, but it goes both ways. If that's true for the ability to mix and match brands, then it's equally as valid for choosing all the same branded cymbals, no?

If the sound captures your ear, then end of story.....whether that sound shares the same logo or different ones.
 

Mike Stand

Silver Member
I agree with your sentiment about the brand loyalty thing, I don't care about the brand... I think part of it is that music shops don't tend to carry full lines of multiple brands, so finding the right cymbal, might just come down to whatever brand the shops carry... It would be interesting if some of the other manufacturers could converge on some standards so that they were more interchangeable. IE if Sabian and Paste were able to some how work together, and get rides and crashes that sound good together then there might be some more choice in the market.
Yes, in my experience my choice of cymbals has definitely been influenced by the selection available in stores. Big brands like Zildjian and Sabian really dominated the market during my formative years and hence I now play only Zildjians. I read with interest about all the different Turkish made brands as well as Dream cymbals but I have almost zero experience with them. Now that I buy second hand on the internet, I obviously stick to what I know will please my ears. I would love the opportunity to broaden my horizon and test dozens of different series of cymbals but there are only very few stores worldwide that actually have that kind of stock on display and ready for testing. I did just buy my first (second hand) Istanbul cymbal though, it was being sold at less than half price, I couldn't resist.

I wouldn't like the different cymbal makers to start compromising their distinctiveness by making cymbals that more closely matched other companies' cymbals though. I think it's great that there's so much variety in the cymbal market despite it being dominated by only a few brands. I reckon that's because each one is trying to keep their individuality.
 
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