Survey for a school assessment


Senior Member
Hey guys! I'm a 17 year old school student from New Zealand, and I am currently in the process of completing a research assessment for my music class on the differences between different cymbal alloys and which alloy is best suited for jazz music. I have written up a quick survey for you guys to complete if you like, as I need a primary source for the assessment, and what better source than from drummers!

Here is a link to the survey:

Keep in mind these answers should be based on your experiences and opinions. Sorry if the questions are a little vague, I am just looking for general opinions on the different cymbal alloys.

I appreciate all answers, and any feedback you guys have is welcome. Thanks everyone!


Silver Member
I answered, but note that my answers pretty much amount to "the same" because there's almost a wider difference among B20 cymbals themselves, than the difference between B8 and B20. An A (B20) sounds closer to a 2002 (B8) than it does to an Istanbul Agop (another B20), for example.

While the types of cymbals that jazzists tend to use are B20, that's not to say that there's been many times when B8's have been used as well, especially among Paiste's stock.

This survey is flawed because there's zero consensus among cymbals made with a particular compound.

You can just make the argument that B20 is "better" for jazz because more jazz drummers play with B20 cymbals where cost is of no concern for them. But there are many B8 brands that work just as well with jazz, they're just less numerous and less common (and pretty much only one manufacturer makes good B8 cymbals anyway, everybody else only uses the alloy for their beginner lines).


Senior Member
Thanks for your response. I get what you mean with there being a greater variation between B20 cymbals than between B20 and B8. I think the thing I am really trying to find out is why B20 is most commonly used to produce "jazz" cymbals rather than B8, especially considering that B8 is much easier and cheaper to work with, which results in it being favoured for the production of beginner lines. What is it about the tonal quality of B20 that makes it so well suited for Jazz cymbals over B8? That's the main focus of my research. For example, I've found frequency spectrums commonly show B8 cymbals producing large amounts of high frequencies compared to B20. That being said, I totally get why my survey is flawed, as lots of things can affect the sound of a cymbal, like hammering, lathing, shape etc. That's why I am mainly looking for general opinions on the differences between the two alloys.

Thanks to all who have responded to the survey so far!


"Uncle Larry"
IMO, 20% tin just makes the classiest bronze cymbal tone. It sounds the best to the most amount of people across the board. So it's the most popular among people who take their sound seriously. That's why they settled on it, the market dictated it.

Most if not all of the cymbals made from other alloys sound less than. I'm pretty sure you would have a lot of agreement there. Paiste excepted. B8/12 and the's the difference between a beginner cymbal sound and a pro cymbal sound, simple as that.


Platinum Member
I looked over questions but can’t answer them cause some aren’t so much alloy as construction thickness, weight, hammering (in a row brighter and off darker).