Do feel the need to play the same brand of cymbals?

Paul Blood

Junior Member
I play mostly older 80's era Zildjian K's and A's with a few Sabian, and Bosherous in my collection too. I've collected all my gear over the last few decades, mainly what I found good prices on the used market. Part of me longs for a complete "package pack" of cymbals or at least all the same brand. I feel like the cymbals would pair up better if they're all from the same company/line. But part of me thinks that is kind of foolish thinking. Maybe the big name pro's would use mixed up cymbal set ups too if they had no endorsement deals?

How important is it to you to play on the same brand/line for your cymbal set up?
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Early on I thought it was important because I felt each manufacturer had something different to offer. I've since thrown away this line of thought and purchase cymbals with:

1. My ears
2. My wallet

The cymbal must be something I need, and I'll know it when I hear it. It wont be new either.
 

Out of Round

Active Member
I tell myself it doesn't matter, but I still have 3 complete sets of Paistes in 2002, Giant Beat, and 505. I prefer having all matching alloys in a setup, but I would throw a B20 in there if the situation needed it due to any reason. So, I guess I have a buying preference that ultimately isn't that important. But I really like matching alloys.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Some brands are fairly narrow in their sound palette, while others cover a lot of territory. I've found that Sabian offers just about any sound you could want, from dusky Turkish sounds to traditional rock sounds to sizzlier Paiste type cymbals (the APX line.) That's why I happily use them exclusively.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
Play what you like. I have 4 brands on my gig set. Paiste doesn't do it for me, they are too perfect. I like hearing them but not playing them. Different strokes and all. I didn't plan anything, it just ended up being 7 cymbals across 4 different brands. Masterwork, (22 ride and a 18 crash) Soultone, (14 hi hats and a 19"crash/ride) 10" Sabian splash, and a Zildjian K 17" crash
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
How important is it to you to play on the same brand/line for your cymbal set up?
Not sure it's that important to me, but currently, I'm pretty much a Sabian guy. Early on, I played whatever I could afford (like a lot of us). Later, I was pretty much a Zildjian/Paiste guy. Mostly because that's what was out there, in the local shops (new/used).

My first big shift was to hand hammered Turkish cymbals. Istanbul Mehmet & Agop, Soultone, Masterworks, Buzin.

And my current and last big shift ..... I went to Sabian.
Some brands are fairly narrow in their sound palette, while others cover a lot of territory. I've found that Sabian offers just about any sound you could want, from dusky Turkish sounds to traditional rock sounds to sizzlier Paiste type cymbals (the APX line.) That's why I happily use them exclusively.
100% Other than a 22" Zildjian Earth Ride, and an 18" Amir II china ..... I'm a total Sabian user, now. 30+ cymbals worth.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
For no particular reason, I like sticking to one brand. All my life I've been a Zildjian guy, and now just switched to Paiste (as I've been eyeing them for over 40 years), and I'm really happy I made the switch. I've tried Sabians in the past and found them to be Zildjians, and whenever I try these new lines coming from Turkey, they all sound the same ;)
 

petrez

Senior Member
Most of my cymbals are Paiste and I really love them, and I ultimately prefer to keep a uniform brand setup, but there are some Meinl's I have a hard time ejecting from my setup. Mainly chinas and efx cymbals, can't quite find those similar sounds in the Paiste lineup, yet. So I have gotten used to it being that way, and probably will as long as I'm not endorsed by a brand.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Not even a little. Most of mine are Sabians of some sort, but only the 16 crash and AA reg hats have anything in common, and prices were a major determinant in what I got. I get the sound and a price I like and I am perfectly happy.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Sabian has all of the sounds I want, so that is what I buy. I rarely ever try out anything else in a store. Peace and goodwill.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I play what sounds good to me, and sounds good with the rest of the kit. I have Zildjian, Sabian, and Meinl cymbals plus an LP Rancan china on my kit currently. I used to fret about it, but hey, I'm not locked in an endorsement deal with anyone right now, so what the heck.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
How important is it to you to play on the same brand/line for your cymbal set up?
Ever since I can remember, I would commit my work under a single brand so that if something went wrong or I had a problem, there was no inter-brand interference. I'm talking about DeVilbiss or Binks, Sunfire 421 or Imron, Trek or Specialized, Canon or Nikon, Speedotron or Profoto. These tools are more complex than a cymbal, but the principle applies: I learn [by using] a particular brand of product how it operates and functions, and when I try a different brand, I'm acutely aware of the differences.

With cymbals, I played all different brands on various church kits. I could hear differences and made my judgements based on that. When I [finally] had the money to buy some good cymbals, I did a blindfold test at my local drum shop and walked away with Paiste.
 

JoeVermont

Active Member
I go with my ears before brand. In my more rock and roll days I had a mix of Sabian, Zildjian, and Paiste. I'm now all Zildjian (K's and A's) but only because it's the sound I want. The one constant for me - since 1981 - 14" New Beat hats.
 

jaymandude

Active Member
There’s something about Paiste for me that dictates playing full sets. It’s not the sound so much as it is the feel. They’re generally stiffer, except for the Traditionals which are softer. So to keep my touch consistent I usually do all Paiste. Plus there’s something about their system where the pitches never really compete with each other.

I have a great working set that I can rely on. But now I’m starting to build a great Zildjian /Sabian set where I can just grab a bag and go and not worry about it.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
yep....I am a Zildjian only guy. It makes it easier for me. I know their cymbal lines real well. My dad was a Zildjian guy, so there are "warm fuzzies" around those cymbals for me as well.

I know that I should give other cymbals a try, and even like the sounds of many other brands - Meinl cymbs have been the closest ones to possibly convince me to try something else - but when I see shiny brass in my mind, it just says "Zildjian"
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I've never really worried about it, early on because I couldn't afford to, and later because I didn't really need to. I currently have cymbals from several different brands. I could go out with full sets from either Sabian or Istanbul Agop, but I rarely do. Usually it's a mix.

My position on Sabian is funny. In the early days, I regarded them as "cheap Canadian Zildjians that sound almost as good." Now they are hugely diverse, and in my opinion overpriced (as are most brands, to be fair), so I'll probably never get another unless I find a screaming deal. And that's okay, because there's plenty of good stuff out there that I do like and can afford. But I really miss the days when they were "cheap Canadian Zildjians that sound almost as good." Lol
 
Last edited:
Top