Surprisingly good budget cymbals?


Junior Member
Was listening to these demos and I like this Meinl 20" HCS crash ride. You folks have any input on budget or lower end cymbals that surprised you and you use?



"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
Istanbul Xist is my favorite budget cymbal. I paid 199 for a ride. I especially like the rides, and use one (I have 3) on my gig kit. They are in the low 200 dollar range at present. Good crash, good ride (50/50 wash and ping), wonderful clear bell. Definitely crash-able, I use it a lot for that

They remind me of an Avedis Zildjian I had in the 70's which I was imprinted with.
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Senior Member
Was listening to these demos and I like this Meinl 20" HCS crash ride. You folks have any input on budget or lower end cymbals that surprised you and you use?

Sounds decent, people like what they like. I WILL note, however, that the fella in that video (Gabe) makes everything sound awesome. Not sure if there was some "pure" miking to demo the cymbals, but man his drums/cymbal setups always sound awesome to me. (of course, maybe he just plays great sounding gear too... 🤔.



Platinum Member
I find the old Sabian XS line quite a solid pro line.
XSR,not so thrilled because they're not so much budget these days.
Paiste Alpha had some nice stuff and Stagg DH was a steal at one point.
I know this sounds weird,but Zildjian considers their A line an entry level cast cymbal.
Back in the day,these were top of the line.


Silver Member
Someone has to mention Wuhan ;)
I had two chinas in the past (13 and 18") and loved their sound. A drummer i knew years back also had a splash, sounded great as well!
Had Paiste Alpha's in the past (not the revamped ones) and those were nice too. Also had a set of Meinl Classics and those were amazing!


Senior Member
Istanbul Xist, Meinl Classics Custom, Paiste 900/Alpha, Wuhan, Zultan (Thomann housebrand) and some of the other turkish manufacturers are all what I would consider good cymbals on a budget. I would not go any cheaper than those, but I am pretty spoilt with my cymbal sounds, I can't stand weird overtones even if it it's not that bad sounding in an overall mix. I have been less than impressed with Zildjian and Sabian's budget cymbals, but they might be better now than they used to be. You usually get more for the money with lesser known brands though. Dream/Saluda cymbals, maybe?


Well-known Member
+1 on Wuhan. See also Chang, which is basically Wuhan, but made in Northern China.
I've also got good experience with an Eastern European cymbal under the name of Amati Kraslice. Most people didn't seem to have good luck with cymbals made there, though, so please take it with a grain of salt.


Silver Member
Haven't played one in ages, but i do remember that my Paiste 302 20" Ride was surprisingly good sounding. Even for a brass cymbal.
You wouldn't want to crash it at all costs, but the bell and bow sound were pretty good for such a cheap ride. When all my 302's cracked (16" crash, 18" crashride and 14"HH top) the ride still held up. Eventually got a few Paiste Alpha's to replace the cracked ones and also a Sabian Pro 16" Crash made it's way into my setup, but at that time never though about upgrading the ride (sold all of them when i got a full set of Turkish Cymbals)