What cheap cymbal surprised you?

RichFaulk

Active Member
I picked up a pair of 13" Zildjian Scimitar hats for a mini kit I put together for fun. I didn't even try them first, I just wanted something to keep time on. I was pleasantly surprised. They don't sound "good" per se, open they have a sort shrill "cuppy" sound. Not something you would use as your main hihats, but I can think of plenty of contexts where it would sound good. But the closed stick and the chick on it are fantastic, not just for cheap cymbals but fantastic period. Very crisp, warm and articulate. They have a great patina on them too with a few green spots. All the paint is worn off so maybe there's a purely psychological element of not having to see "Scimitar" in writing on them? Who knows. For a $35 pair of hats, these things rock.

I picked up a Zildjian i 14" crash at the same time for $40. Its actually pretty good too. Slightly gongy sounding but tons of shimmer and wash to bury it under.

Any cheapo cymbal that surprised you with a sound you liked?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
There are some OK off brand Chinese B20 cast cymbals floating around, that are dirt cheap. Stagg, most notably. They don't sound good, but they respond like real cymbals-- they'll actually open up and crash. Unlike the ugly metallic GAHHH sound you get with all the major brands' cheap crashes.

Right now I'm buying as many of them as I can find to resell to students, so they don't have to play those things.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Picked up a Paiste Stambul 65 20" Ride for £60, handy crash/ride. Think they were Paistes first outing with B8.

Wuhan chinas are the undisputed king of great cheap cymbals.
 

jda

Silver Member
old 60s MIJ stencil ( Astro, Kingston, Pearl Special) most (if not all) hand hammered brass made by Pearl.
Reuther (Taiwan) , Whitehall (see Whitehall box in video) was another one. Dark Trashy 20s 18s 16s and 12s

pic seen of Pearl making/hand hammering stacks of blanks/ the cymbals in their anni video
exactly at 1:00- 1:08 +/- here->
 
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ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Stagg YR Medium Ride 20". I picked up the hihats and ride for $20-30? at a pawn shop with the intent of giving them to a bud's little kiddo, who could not afford anything other than the brass cymbals from his beginner kit. I gave him the hihats, but had to get another ride for him because this one asked politely to stay with me.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Sabian B8 Pro 18" China.

Pulled it out of storage a few months ago so that my teen could use it. It sounded good, truthfully.
 
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RichFaulk

Active Member
I have a 20" Dream Bliss ride that is so thin it's basically a crash. It's brilliant fun and so trashy it should be against the law.
Dream is good stuff. I have the 20" Flat Earth Dark Matter ride and it makes a great crash as well. Then I have a 17" Eclipse crash which has a great raw bell that functions nicely as a ride (go figure). I wouldn't call Dream "cheap" but they for sure punch above their weight.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
When I was a kid my first cymbals that I could afford were Pearl CX-300s - a 16" crash and a 20" ride - and 14" Paiste Sound Vader hi-hats (because the store was out of Pearl hi-hats). These were actual B8 cymbals, not the cheap brass crap you associate with Pearl cymbals these days. The crash broke fairly soon, and I still have the middle of it which I cut a bell out of. The ride and hats lasted until I sold my first drumset, over 10 years later. My friend at the music store where I sold them said he couldn't believe that they were cheap cymbals, they sounded pretty good to him.

For several years I played a secondhand Z Custom 18" crash that had been Ozone-d by a friend of mine, which I got for $75. It had a small crack in it which finally spread to one of the holes. I cut the piece out with a tin snip and it still sounds decent - I replaced it with a Meinl Customs Classic trash crash to be on the safe side though.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Nothing in person, but in this video, the $20 Walmart ride sounds pretty darn good as a crash. Pretty shockingly good considering it’s only $20.

 

Square

Active Member
Sabian XSR, specifically those from the Big and Ugly series.

Hats, ride, and two crashes were about $600, They actually sound good.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Cheap in comparison to my current set up... the Zildjian 22" K Custom Special Dry Crash. It's great for crash riding, or when you want to do an explosive end of a fill snare/crash hit, this is the ticket.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Some 60s Tyrko NS 12 15” hi hats I got for $50. They’re a little delicate but the sound is surprisingly good and not all crappy like most online demos.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
Dream is good stuff. I have the 20" Flat Earth Dark Matter ride and it makes a great crash as well. Then I have a 17" Eclipse crash which has a great raw bell that functions nicely as a ride (go figure). I wouldn't call Dream "cheap" but they for sure punch above their weight.
I bought it years ago - probably eight or nine years ago at a guess? It was cheap at the time!
 

RichFaulk

Active Member
Sabian XSR, specifically those from the Big and Ugly series.

Hats, ride, and two crashes were about $600, They actually sound good.
I have the XSR Monarch Ride in 22" and its my main workhorse ride. It has no inherent wash but if you throw on a beaded chain as a sizzler its perfect.
 

jda

Silver Member
these at one time were "cheap" second-hand ..now nothing's "cheap"
may as well go big..
Pearl Wild Ride 900's etc

 

morguis

Member
A few years ago we rent a rehearsal room and there was an old Pearl kit with Paiste Brass Tones series cymbals (20" ride, 18" crash and I think 14" hi hats). I was pleasantly surprised with the crash and specially that ride!!!
 
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