Cymbal Set?

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Find a music store that has Sabian SR2 cymbals. That way you can get new cymbals at used prices. It would be best to try them out in person though. Peace and goodwill.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
This is a very good cymbal set for the price from Steve Weiss Music.. They are B20 bronze, hand hammered cymbals. They sound great. I have a set that I got for my practice kit and they sound fantastic and I would have zero issues using them on any kind of gig. I recommend them highly. There is also a very nice video demo of them. You won't be disappointed. You get a ride, crash, hats, splash and a bag for under $300. Again, brand new, B20 Hand Hammered cymbals. Best deal on the market. Even better than the Dream "Ignition" Series cymbal packs, which are also a great deal, but these are even better. They sound just as good as any pro level cymbals from any company.

The only difference between them is that one comes with 16" crash and one comes with an 18" crash.


 
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BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
Paiste 101, Zil ZBT, Sabian B8, Meinl HCS are "Cymbal Shaped Objects".
The 101's were the first cymbals I played on. They were good for learning to hit different objects. I played some HCS in the shop while I was looking for some new stuff, not knowing much about them. To my ear, they are just about the worst things I've ever heard, and I love my Meinls.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Last year, a student of mine picked up a pack of Sabian HHX's (20 ride, 14 hats, 16 and 18 crashes) for $750, and that's the best deal I've ever seen in my life. We tested all the cymbals in the pack before buying, and even though it was the student's first cymbal purchase, he could easily tell the difference between the HHX's, some Zildjian A's, and Paiste 2002s. He said they sounded more "sophisticated". The Zildjian A's were on the bright side, and Paiste 2002s much brighter, and glassier. To the uninitiated, a brighter cymbal sounds louder, and that could be interpreted as "better", but the hard truth is that cymbals are already louder than your drums, so louder isn't a necessary or desirable quality. So when you listen to those demos, do not mistake brighter for better. Nearly all drummers who are out playing gigs on a local level are searching for ways to keep our volume low, and balanced with the band.

$500 is not much money for cymbals. It would take lots of searching, testing, and experience to make that work. You would have to find quality used cymbals, and have developed taste well enough to hear a good find through a crappy recording. Do not waste money on Paiste 101s, ZBTs, B8s, B8Pros, etc., which will have bright, tinny, nasty overtones. If you listen closely to the YouTube demos, you can hear it. It's much more obvious in person.

I think you should double your cymbal budget, and get a pack of HHX's, K Custom, or K Custom Dark. The cymbals will hold their value well enough, and you can just relax and not have to think about better cymbals for another 5 years. Why are cymbals like this more expensive? More labor and better metal. The hammering is more thorough, the alloy is nicer, and the quality control is higher.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I'm piecing together my first kit and am looking for recommendations for cymbals. I'll probably start with high-hats, a couple of crashes, and a ride. Curious as to which cymbals I could purchase for less than $500 a set which would have the richest/ fullest sound. So hard to hear the difference on online videos. Thanks in advance.
Go to Reverb and search for AAX cymbal pack.
You can find them at huge discounts, just save a little more and well worth it.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
, , , and the quality control is higher.
I'm not sure what you mean by "quality control," but when it comes to sound consistency within a given line, sheet cymbals (such as many Paiste specimens and the Zildjian S Family) provide a much more predictable product than cast cymbals (Zildjian Ks, for instance). With the casting process, you get a different result with each cymbal. With the sheet process, you can replace a given model with the same model and just about replicate the original sound every time. About five years ago, I owned two Zildjian K 18" Dark Thin Crashes. One was brighter than a sunlamp, the other darker than a power outage. Pretty shocking.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I'm not sure what you mean by "quality control," but when it comes to sound consistency within a given line, sheet cymbals (such as many Paiste specimens and the Zildjian S Family) provide a much more predictable product than cast cymbals (Zildjian Ks, for instance). With the casting process, you get a different result with each cymbal. With the sheet process, you can replace a given model with the same model and just about replicate the original sound every time. About five years ago, I owned two Zildjian K 18" Dark Thin Crashes. One was brighter than a sunlamp, the other darker than a power outage. Pretty shocking.
Sound consistency may be the most important quality issue, but it’s not the only one. There are breaks, chips, cracks, oxidation, weight distribution, and probably some others. The cheap stuff is usually much more prone to breaking and defects.

When you buy a box of higher end cymbals you can also expect a good return policy, from the manufacturer, independent of the store or seller, if purchased new.

of your K Dark Thins probably still sounded less bright than an A or 2002, and worlds better than a ZBT.

My point is: why spend $500 on cymbals you’ll just want to replace in a year? Unless you just need “something to practice on”, why not buy quality? Heck I still have a K Custom Dark crash from 20 years ago.
I’m assuming the original poster doesn’t yet have the experience to pick out some low priced gems from a pawn shop.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
. . . of your K Dark Thins probably still sounded less bright than an A or 2002, and worlds better than a ZBT.
I actually think Paiste 2002s sound infinitely better than most Zildjian Ks, but I prefer a brighter cymbal with more definition than wash. I'm not renouncing Ks at all. They're excellent cymbals. It all comes down to taste.

I was close to returning to Paiste (I've owned sets of 2002s and Signatures in the past) when Zildjian released the S Family a few years ago. One reason I love it is that it sounds more like Paiste than Zildjian. If I wanted to leave my S cymbals behind but stick with Zildjian, I'd probably go the A Custom route, also quite bright. I'm just not a dark, washy, trashy kind of guy when it comes to cymbals -- not that there's anything morally offensive about dark, washy, and trashy cymbals.

I will concur ZBTs failed to impress -- a subjective claim but one I can't avoid. Zildjian was wise to nix them.

Advancements in manufacturing technology are shrinking the "quality" gap among the manifold lines cymbal companies are offering. Unfortunately, the market is so saturated that beginners can feel lost in a never-ending labyrinth. This is the worst and best time to be a drummer, depending on one's outlook.
 
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wraub

Well-known member
That the cymbal market is depressed is definitely true...

In the last few months before things changed, I'd gotten a 22" 60s Zildjian ride, a set of Avedis Zildjian 14" Quick Beat hats, an Avedis Zildjian A 17" Rock Crash, a 10" Zildjian A Custom Splash, and a Paiste PST 3 18" Crash Ride for $180 total... the Paiste was actually included for free with another purchase.

EDIT- I was wrong about the price I quoted above...It felt wrong, so I double checked, and for the hats, ride, splash, crash, and crash ride, the total was actually $235. I apologize, and put the blame squarely on very good beer.

I also got an almost complete set of Zildjian ZHT tins (hats, 2 crashes and a ride) along with some other cheaper cymbals (ZBT hats and Agazarian crash) for $47 at a pawn shop. (Maybe not "the best" cymbals, but the ZHT line had some winners, and it was a great find for a starting drummer.)

Couple that with "motivated sellers" and the deals are out there, if you don't mind the search and the circumstances.


The used cymbal market is pretty depressed, right now. Has been, for a few years, but this pandemic has really kicked it down.
Figure out first, whether you prefer brighter sounding cymbals ..... or darker sounding. Then digging deeper ..... do you prefer a ride with a lot of pingand little wash, or a balance .... or a lot of wash/and not so much ping?

You might not be able to get two crashes ..... but for $500 ..... you could probably score a high end set of hats, a ride, and one crash. Depending on your luck ..... maybe two crashes.

You're right about "some" video's out there. But a lot depends on your computer speakers of headphones. I find Memphis Drum Shop (mycymbals.com) video's sound pretty good.

In selling some cymbals for a friend (Zildjian) .... I sold some 14" A Custom hats for $215. + shipping. I had a non-pay bidder on a 16" A Medium crash ..... and a 20" K heavy ride. PM me, if you're interested in either of those. I'm a Sabian guy, so I've no need for either.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
(Maybe not "the best" cymbals, but the ZHT line had some winners, and it was a great find for a starting drummer.)
I think that's the best attitude a beginning drummer can assume. Why spend loads of money on cymbals before your tastes have developed? Early on, the focus should be on drumming, not on equipment. Your cymbals won't matter until you've learned how to play them.
 

wraub

Well-known member
That was my belief from the beginning, and still is, recent purchases notwithstanding. ;) Always has been, even with bass and recording gear.
I started with just a couple of cheap drums, then added some really cheap cymbals, then realized their shortcomings and moved up to the set mentioned above. I had learned enough to know the likely improvement in tone they'd potentially offer (and they did), but I also learned a lot from those too. Hence, the cymbals I play now, the Zildjian A mix mentioned above.
Also, at every point, I did a lot of research, and shopped for the best quality, most likely actual improvement in sound or function that I could afford at that point.
I am a believer in not paying too much for anything, and I regularly shop for bargains with as informed an eye as possible.




I think that's the best attitude a beginning drummer can assume. Why spend loads of money on cymbals before your tastes have developed? Early on, the focus should be on drumming, not on equipment. Your cymbals won't matter until you've learned how to play them.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I would also add that the sonic difference in cymbals can be almost baffling, truly amazing, and seems to know almost no price range...
Good sounding just sounds good.
 

iCe

Senior Member
I'm going to suggest starter or semi-pro cymbals. Unless you start with excellent technique, you don't want to crack some beautiful sounding cymbals. Even if they're used cymbals, you probably don't get a refund after it cracks. I started on some Paiste 302 models (comparable to PST3 these days) and cracked every cymbal except the ride. After that i learned not to play through the cymbal, don't hit too hard (because i saw drummers on stage doing that, but yeah... endorsements mean they get a new one after they crack it haha) and over time upgraded to some semi pro cymbals (Paiste Alpha and 802) which led me to appreciate the richer sounds of more expensive cymbals. Looking back i think it was good that i started on cheaper cymbals, because i would hate to crack a precious Zildjian K or Paiste 2002 because i beat it like Godzilla pillaging through Tokio.

I'd suggest going to a (bigger) music store or even a drum specialty shop so you can get advice in person on what to get. For starter sets anything from Paiste, Zildjian, Meinl and Sabian is decent. Stay away from cymbals that are made by drum manufacturers, like Pearl for example. The cymbals they make are... well, let's say that the Pearl slogan 'the best reasons to play drums' can be applied to their cymbals as well, but then it would say 'the best reason to stick to making drums' ;)
 

Local Oaf

Well-known member
Don’t be afraid to mix brands or buy used. I love my cymbals but I play a mixture of Sabian AAX, Zildjian K Custom, and Paiste Signature for my main cymbals. Then Dream, Gio, Saluda, and Wuhan (for messing around with stacks).

The only cymbals I bought new were a couple of splashes for very specific purposes. But I got killer prices on my main used cymbals because I hunted for great deals for a while. But what matters is that they all sound good together. Sets are convenient but can be pricier.
 

Pootle

Well-known member
For your first kit I’d buy a set of cymbals that inspires you to play and makes you feel good. I’d start off with some fairly bright cymbals as a starting point as no matter what you buy, you will want to change them as some point as your taste will change. For 500 quid, I’d get a Zildjian S pack or AAX pack and use the remaining cash to buy a china. You’ll have a lot of fun with those cymbals and it’s great fun opening a new pack of gleaming plates. Plus if you decide drumming is not for you, you’ll probably get a fair amount of your money back reselling. I wouldn’t bother getting into the complexities of B20 at this stage as you really need to have some knowledge; advising a beginner to buy dark K cymbals doesn’t sound very sensible to me either.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You could get a 21" Xist ride and have over $250 left for hats or crashes. I paid 214 for mine new from Ye Olde Memphis Drum Shoppe.

Best value in rides I've seen. I snagged 3 of them. Each one is equally good, but they aren't exactly consistent with each other. They all have their own personality. Ticks 3 out of 3 boxes, with a really great ride, crash and bell
 

Armor of Light

Senior Member
This is a very good cymbal set for the price from Steve Weiss Music.. They are B20 bronze, hand hammered cymbals. They sound great. I have a set that I got for my practice kit and they sound fantastic and I would have zero issues using them on any kind of gig. I recommend them highly. There is also a very nice video demo of them. You won't be disappointed. You get a ride, crash, hats, splash and a bag for under $300. Again, brand new, B20 Hand Hammered cymbals. Best deal on the market. Even better than the Dream "Ignition" Series cymbal packs, which are also a great deal, but these are even better. They sound just as good as any pro level cymbals from any company.

The only difference between them is that one comes with 16" crash and one comes with an 18" crash.


Those look like Wuhans. Nice sounding..if they are.
 
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