Cymbal Quality Over Price

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
You may pry my Wuhan china and splash, sitting right next to my UFIP and HHX's out of my cold dead hands. 'Not professional" my ass.
Wuhan China's are not only "pro" I'd argue they are the standard by which others base their China's off of.

I was referring to their crashes, ride and hi-hats. Which I bought for my son.

Compared to my Zildjian A's and K's, the Wuhans don't sound as good overall, but they are close.

I'll admit, in certain musical situations, I actually prefer the Wuhan 16" crash OVER my Zildjian 16" crash.
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
Still yet to hear a ZBT that I actually like. When I do my position on this might change and I'll start spouting their praises. But until then, I'm gonna continue suggesting people reach a little higher. Simply because that's the exact same advice I'd tell myself or someone near and dear to me.

That said, I took a guy out on Thursday of last week to help him and his 12 year old select his first kit and cymbals. We walked away with a box set of B8 Pros, because despite how hard I looked and how hard I wanted it to be the case.....I just couldn't fit him out with a used set of pro level cymbals for the same price.

So it's not a matter of dismissing "cheap(er)" cymbals as a matter of course.....it's a matter of dismissing what I've heard and just haven't been able to cop. It'll take a hell of a lot more than what I've heard previously for my ear to be convinced that ZBT's are the best option available for the budget conscious. If that pisses guys on a drum forum off, then so be it.....but I'd rather give you my most honest answer, than a sugar coated one.
I'm not to fond of the older ZBT cymbals myself, but it's not because they sound horrid. I'm just not fond of a super ringy cymbal. That being said, the new ZBT cymbals are leaps and bounds ahead of the ones from a few years back - I have an old ZBT 20" ride that I experimented with by hammering, burrying, sanding, all kinds of abuse, and believe it or not, it actually sounds pretty acceptable as a crash. I haven't had the chance to use it on a recording, but I've done a fair chunk of gigs with it. Unlike the B8 ride I use for crashing, which hasn't been tampered with at all. The sound has just changed from the years I've been bashing it.

My main ride is a 22" ZHT, which for me is an awesome cymbal. I love the sound of a dry ride, but it's not particularly applicable for the music I play. The ZHT ride is a good medium. It has a clean stick definition, so I always hear the tip hitting the cymbal, the bell is great, and I can even crash it.

Here's the real kicker. My hi-hats are nameless. I recently purchased a bunch of cracked, or cheap cymbals from a buddy of mine for only $10. In this mix was a 14" Groove Percussion crash, a 16" no name crash ride, a 15" badly cracked A custom crash, and a ZBT plus 10" Splash. The Jewels were these 14" hats that look like they came off one of those out of the box kits that come with the D2 drum kits or something, but these nameless hats are unreal. I mean, the stars really must have aligned when these things were pressed. I'd been using a 16" B8 Pro medium crash, and a 16" Pro Series thin crash as hi-hats. And I loved them. But I am absolutely addicted to these 14" brandless hats.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I find all that extremely frustrating.
You've made a couple of threads about this....why do you want to win people over to your way of thinking?

Granted some beginner cymbals are good, if you really use heavy rides as crashes I think you have pretty low standards, probably why your ideas are met with some resistance.

I don't get how fussy people are about drums and not about cymbals. I'm a cymbal nazi.
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
You've made a couple of threads about this....why do you want to win people over to your way of thinking?

Granted some beginner cymbals are good, if you really use heavy rides as crashes I think you have pretty low standards, probably why your ideas are met with some resistance.

I don't get how fussy people are about drums and not about cymbals. I'm a cymbal nazi.
I haven't made a single thread about this. Someone mentioned this on a Wuhan thread, and that sparked the idea for the thread

I'm not trying to "convert anyone to my cymbal religion". I'm just very open minded when it comes to cymbals, and I feel others should be, also. And it irritates me that I can record, and play live with "cheap" cymbals, and they sound fine, but others ridicule them. But I certainly don't condemn anyone's way of thinking - I just seek to know why.

Also, saying I have low standards, tells me you have a limited vocabulary on the drums. The heavy rides I use give me great tones as crashes. If you think heavy rides can't be crashable, then you need to spend more time checking out cymbal demos. In the last few years, I've been trying to focus on "playing" my cymbals, rather than bashing them.

So please, before you try criticizing my choice of sound, I suggest you stray a bit from 16" crashes and a pair of 14" socks.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I'm not trying to "convert anyone to my cymbal religion". I'm just very open minded when it comes to cymbals, and I feel others should be, also. And it irritates me that I can record, and play live with "cheap" cymbals, and they sound fine, but others ridicule them. But I certainly don't condemn anyone's way of thinking - I just seek to know why.
I'm not sure why you want everybody to be open minded, I wouldn't spend any time worrying about what anybody else thinks. When other people start buying your gear they can judge what you play.

I have played with guys who spend thousands on les pauls and mesa boogies, and I've played with guys who find old gear at thrift shops. Both have their own idea of musicality and what sounds good. Nobody is right, it is all subjective. Keep playing what you like and dont worry about what anybody else thinks.
 

mbettis

Senior Member
Life is too short and unpredictable to waste on cheap, crappy cymbals.

Later (maybe/hopefully),
Matt
 

longgun

Gold Member
I'm not sure why you want everybody to be open minded, I wouldn't spend any time worrying about what anybody else thinks. When other people start buying your gear they can judge what you play.

I have played with guys who spend thousands on les pauls and mesa boogies, and I've played with guys who find old gear at thrift shops. Both have their own idea of musicality and what sounds good. Nobody is right, it is all subjective. Keep playing what you like and dont worry about what anybody else thinks.
+1..............................it's all about the sound

About a year ago at church, I was listening to the band and the drummers ride cymbal sounded amazing. Amazing enough that I had to go take a look and see what he was playing.

I was fully expecting to see a "K" Constantinople or some other extremely high priced cymbal.

Turns out it was a 20" B8 pro...........................couldn't believe it, but it was right there before my eyes and ears.

Made me take a step back and pay more attention to the sound, instead of the stamp.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
+1..............................it's all about the sound

About a year ago at church, I was listening to the band and the drummers ride cymbal sounded amazing. Amazing enough that I had to go take a look and see what he was playing.

I was fully expecting to see a "K" Constantinople or some other extremely high priced cymbal.

Turns out it was a 20" B8 pro...........................couldn't believe it, but it was right there before my eyes and ears.

Made me take a step back and pay more attention to the sound, instead of the stamp.
+1.. we were out having a late dinner while at the shore and there was a band playing in the bar a good ways away..I told my wife after a couple of songs I have to see what cymbals the drummer is using..I walked over and to my suprise Sabian B8's..I was blown away...but should not have mentioned to her what B8's cost.. of course the conversation ended up by having to explain why I need $200 a piece plus cymbals on my set.. I tried to put it off on the band must have had a great sound guy to make them sound that good..
 

B_HALF19

Member
Fun experiment:

Next time you're at your local music store, hand some sticks to your buddy, wife, an employee, etc... and have them play a few different cymbals with your back turned. Have them try different brands and series and see what sounds best to you without knowing what you're hearing. You may be surprised with the results.
 

Stomper4x4

Junior Member
Fun experiment:

Next time you're at your local music store, hand some sticks to your buddy, wife, an employee, etc... and have them play a few different cymbals with your back turned. Have them try different brands and series and see what sounds best to you without knowing what you're hearing. You may be surprised with the results.
I agree. What I also like to do is hit the edge of a cymbal with my open hand, a nice gentle, sweeping strike and just listen to its tones and overtones. Doing this, I have yet to hear a budget cymbal sound near as good as a mid or pro model. Some of the Sabian Xs series are really nice (especially the hats) but the lower grade models, you can really hear a difference.
 

Raelthomas

Senior Member
I agree. What I also like to do is hit the edge of a cymbal with my open hand, a nice gentle, sweeping strike and just listen to its tones and overtones. Doing this, I have yet to hear a budget cymbal sound near as good as a mid or pro model. Some of the Sabian Xs series are really nice (especially the hats) but the lower grade models, you can really hear a difference.
Agreed. I noticed that, too. You tend to get a more ringy, heavy sound with many cheaper cymbals.

I'm a bit of a cymbal snob, but I have heard cheaper hats and rides that have been fine. I wouldn't cheap out on crashes, though... not ever. I've yet to hear a budget crash that I liked. They sound clangy. Reminds me of the cymbals we had on our school kits.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
For years and years I played on A Zildjian crashes, Paiste Sound Vader hi-hats, and a Pearl CX-300 ride. I was completely happy, and I even had a teacher who couldn't believe that the ride was a Pearl beginner cymbal.

I agree -- for your crashes, spend the cash, but your ride and hats don't have to be quite as spendy to sound great from the seats.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Someone mentioned Wuhan crashes earlier. My son got a free crash with a china, or vise versa. Anyway it was a nice sounding 16" thin crash. I really liked it. I've got a 14" a Sabian Pro China that I really like. Don't think I'll ever replace it. I've also got a B8 10" splash that I really like too. Like many of the others, my crashes are more expensive. I've only owned 2 actual ride cymbals. A Paiste 2000, and an old Zildjian, not sure what kind of ride on the Zildjian. Both of my rides are just ok, IMO. I recently bought a Sabian 20" ISO Crash as a crash ride, and have an Omni on order. I've not played many inexpensive rides, but the ones I have played I didn't care much for. I've not been big on rides until recent years. They cost too much, so I didn't have one for about 15 yr. My 1st ride was the 2000. Got it in the mid. 80's
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
While there is some good advice here, the bottom line of all this is usually that if you're a serious player, you're going to eventually upgrade (those of you that haven't or don't see the need to, I understand). You're so serious about playing that you'll always be on the look out for the next best way to improve your sound, this is just human nature.

I look at this from a financial perspective. If you say, buy a set of ZBT's, you've invested in a set of cymbals. When you want to upgrade, you'll be adding newer, better ones, and over time, you will have replaced your initial investment. So I say, if you're emulating the greats, then you will be at least checking out what they use and if their sound is your sound, you'll most likely upgrade into those models. So why not just buy cymbals once? If you like Zildjian A's, then get a set of A's and be done with it. You will have an investment that you can grow old with and can gig with without thinking it won't handle what you throw at it. If you want to add a couple of different flavors later, you can, but you won't need to replace the set you already have.

With the exception of adding that monster 24" K Light Ride, I've been playing the same cymbal set now for almost 25 years. Am I happy with my investment? Of course. Some odd-ball cymbals came and went, but my core set is still the same.

I understand that cheap cymbals can sound good, and I had some when I was a kid, but they're unacceptable for the people I play with now. If people you play with are used to the sounds they hear from the radio, then I would give it to them.
 

audioragegarden

Senior Member
When I expanded my set this past fall, I kept my old PST 5 rock crash and rock hats that I've had for years and added a couple of good quality used crash cymbals (a 17" first generation RUDE crash/ride, and 18" Alpha thin crash) for 70 bucks each. The only reason I replaced my PST 5 ride was because the new crashes were so loud that they completely drowned out the ride. I replaced it with a $180 used Alpha 24" rock ride because it sounded the way I wanted my ride to sound, and despite the relatively hefty price tag, it was still cheaper than most of my other options. I don't intend to replace my PST 5 hats and crash anytime soon because even though they're cheaper and supposedly lower quality than other Paiste varieties, I feel like they still hold their own amongst the more expensive cymbals.

Long story short, I simply worked out a balance between personal taste and calculated frugality to get what I needed. If you like a cheap cymbal's sound, go for it. If you think a more expensive one sounds better, that's fine too (though it's advisable to either find a similar-sounding cheap alternative first, or buy used). After all that's done, if someone criticizes your personal taste in cymbals, tell em to sod off.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
In my opinion, knowing what cymbals to choose is something that comes from experience. There comes a point when you simply know what sounds you're after; after all, what your drum kit sounds like depends a lot on what cymbals you're using, if you see what I mean, the two elements that make up the whole.

And knowing what sound it is that you're going for will inevitably have you looking at the top-of-the-line cymbals, no?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
In my opinion, knowing what cymbals to choose is something that comes from experience. There comes a point when you simply know what sounds you're after; after all, what your drum kit sounds like depends a lot on what cymbals you're using, if you see what I mean, the two elements that make up the whole.

And knowing what sound it is that you're going for will inevitably have you looking at the top-of-the-line cymbals, no?
^^This!

If you do the requisite listening because you're a fan of music, you will emulate what you hear out of a basic instinct for survival amongst all the other players. Why sabotage yourself by using stuff that will not get the job done? You can tweak guitars and drums, but you can't tweak cymbals. You're stuck with what they are. You can always take a beautiful cymbal and make it sound like trash, but you can't go the other way.
 

ggmerino

Senior Member
I think cheap cymbals sound fine live with loud harcore/metal etc. The metal clang cuts through the mix and any wash, overtones etc. get drowned out anyway. Generally at low volumes or in the studio, all those harsh overtones and clanginess sound terrible- then I think you nedd some quality B20/Paiste alloy, thinner, hammered cymbals.
 
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