What Size Cymbal Do I Need?

double bass man

Junior Member
New to Cymbals. I play just snare drum and Hi-Hat. My interests are mainly small combo jazz. I want to complement this with a separate cymbal. What size cymbal would suit this style?--nothing that has 'an earth shaking sound!'--a cymbal that makes a good musical sound.
a) Any particular make?
b) Best type of mallet to use on all 3?--Snare / Hi-Hat / and Cymbal.
c) Regarding the cymbal stand--boom or straight? Would the boom stand be more suitable for a larger drum kit?
Your expertise welcome. Thanks.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
Just about every cymbal company makes a ride that will fit your needs. Just depends on how "complex" you want it to be. Most popular size rides fall in the 20 and 22 inch camp ..... but you can certainly find 18, 19, even 21 inch that will work.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
For jazz and with just one more cymbal I’d opt for a thinnish ride cymbal. The thin element gives you the ability to use it as a crash a little where needed. There aren’t really any rules, so you can’t go wrong with any choice if it sounds good, but that’s the direction I would go. Size wise there are cymbals from 16” up to 24” that would do the trick but I’d be looking at something between 20” - 22”
 

double bass man

Junior Member
My price range? Due to my budget--not the top of the range. A decent make though -most likely to be second hand.
Regarding the cymbal stand is there a big difference between a cheap and expensive stand?--being no moving parts--as long as the cymbal stays secure?
 

danondrums

Well-known member
My price range? Due to my budget--not the top of the range. A decent make though -most likely to be second hand.
Regarding the cymbal stand is there a big difference between a cheap and expensive stand?--being no moving parts--as long as the cymbal stays secure?
I find there to be a pretty big difference in quality of stands between cheap and expensive.

The only mandatory part of my cymbal stand purchases is that the tilt is infinitely adjustable so I avoid the mechanisms with grooves that only give you 10-20 different tilt settings.

After that when purchasing a stand it depends on how often I'll be gigging with it and how long I plan to keep it. A forever stand that will stay in my studio and not be gigged with I'll likely go double braced and top quality since it will last a lifetime. For something I'm gigging often with I try to go a little lighter weight (single braced for ease of carrying) but still high quality because they too will last a lifetime and come with memory locks so that I can quickly set them up identically each time I play.

If it's a shared piece of equipment I generally don't care much about anything at all and just get the cheapest possible.

For the money I find Yamaha equipment generally offers a great balance of price and quality.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
My price range? Due to my budget--not the top of the range. A decent make though -most likely to be second hand.
Regarding the cymbal stand is there a big difference between a cheap and expensive stand?--being no moving parts--as long as the cymbal stays secure?

The differences between good and bad cymbal stand is only truly apparent during setup and break down.

Cheap cymbal stands feature wonderful perks like:

Stripped wing nuts.
Broken Plastic Grommets.
Grommets that lift out of the retention assembly when adjustments are made.
Thin rubber boots on the feet with metal poking through them and scratch your floor.
Unavailable cymbal shield replacements, and the generics don't fit.

If your kit is installed as a studio fixture and never moves, cheap stands are just fine.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I'm a big fan of Yamaha hardware. I use 600 and 700 series single braced stands for cymbals and snares/toms/electronic drums. Like KamaK said, you can go cheap generic if you don't set up and tear down a lot. Buy used, and name brand stuff ..... and you should be fine.

Here's a Zildjian Sweet ride, that you might be able to land for $105. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-Zildjian-A-Series-21in-Sweet-Ride-Cymbal/193096860083?epid=2292714059&hash=item2cf57841b3:g:KJEAAOSwTa1deSrs&LH_ItemCondition=3000 Just an example of the kind of deals that are out there.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You should qualify if you like "bright" or "dark" in sound you prefer-that will help in guiding you in your journey. Hey go towards the Light or be seduced by the Dark side. Sounds familiar? LOL. You could probably find an 18 in ride that would work for really small venues, but really the larger 20-22 do sound better (I have a 24 in I love) and be a better investment. You can probably find a buy online for a stand and try your local music stores and see what they have (listen to them)-I've lucked out on some nice ones for a fair price (you can try to get them down some-a lot of cymbals sit there forever.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
New to Cymbals. I play just snare drum and Hi-Hat. My interests are mainly small combo jazz.....
No bass drum? For small combo jazz, I think you're going to need one, even if it's a small one.
The only snare/hi hat only genre I've run across is stand up rockabilly, but of course you might
almost be able to struggle through with that setup with some acoustic type groups too.

Anyways - for what you want, cymbal sound is more important than size.
If I was going with just one cymbal, it'd be a used 20" Zildjian K Custom Dark.
A little more expensive than a Sweet Ride, and either would probably work fine,
but that's just my preference, and if the price isn't an obstacle, I think it would
suit the genre better.

For mallets, the harder the material, the louder the sound will be, which you might not want.
Felt or yarn wrapped over a softer material would be easy on the ears and cymbals.

A straight stand would work fine for what you need, but a boom stand only costs a few
bucks more and it's always possible you'd rather have a boom stand in the future.
I like Yamaha 700 series stands. A lot of people here like Tama hardware too.
 
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Rock Salad

Junior Member
Used Zildjian 20"A's are everywhere and not high cost. Might want to bring what your current set up with you when you try them out, make sure everything blends or else you wind up with a stack of "almost there's."
 

double bass man

Junior Member
Thanks again for your useful info to my questions. Slowly getting my 'sparse' kit together. I am now looking for a ride cymbal--my first one. I know nothing about the ride cymbal. Done a bit of research--a ton of them out there The research so far I have done (mainly small combo style) seems I need to get a ride cymbal which is:
a) Thin--how would I know that?
b) Cast--how would I know that?
c) What size?
d) Would you buy a second hand cymbal you have not heard? (Example: From an advert)
e) Go to a reputable drum shop?

This newbe welcomes your advice.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Soooo tempted to just type: "Get a used 20" Zildjian A Medium ride...and start with that."

You can't imagine the trash can lids some of us started on. We would have killed for an A Medium Ride...lol. I know I would have anyway.

*sigh*

Start with a used 20" cymbal...preferably listen to it first either in person, or online at a place like "mycymbal.com" where you can get an idea of what tickles your fancy...

Check out these six makers and their "jazz" or "medium" range offerings...

Zildjian A or K
Sabian AA or HH
Paiste 602 or 602 Modern Essentials
Istanbul Agop
Meinl Byzance
Istanbul Mehmet

You've got to get going DB! Grab a horse and just get in the race man! Pick a girl and DANCE! Your wasting daylight man!!!

lol
 

Peedy

Senior Member
My two cents worth on "Thin" if that's what you're going to look for.

Its an old term that Avedis Zildjian Co. and others began using in the 1930s If I had to define it in grams, it would go like this. . . (+ or - 50 grams either way)

For a 20in ride/crash "Thin" is going to be about 1800-2000 grams.
18in crash would be around 1250 grams
16in crash about 1100
15in crash or HH 800g
14in crash or HH 700g
13in crash or HH 550g
12in crash or HH 400g

Keep in mind that there were thinner cymbals made that tended to be called "Paper Thin". I have a 14in crash that weighs in at 500g and it has a completely different purpose than my regular 14in crash that weighs 660g.

And going north from there are the med thin, medium, med heavy, heavy etc etc.

Pete
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
a) Thin--how would I know that?
b) Cast--how would I know that?
c) What size?
d) Would you buy a second hand cymbal you have not heard? (Example: From an advert)
e) Go to a reputable drum shop?
a) Keep doing research. Google "thin ride cymbals" and your journey starts. Also. an immediate sign is when the word "thin" appears in the name of the cymbal. Also, the word "jazz" will connote a thin or thin/medium cymbal. Stay away from "rock".

b) Cast cymbals are the more expensive lines, usually, and generally means B20 alloy. Sabian and Zildjian, Meinl, etc. produce stamped B8 alloy cymbals for budget conscious buyers. Paiste, differs in that they produce the professional 2002 line stamped out of B8 ..... and they sound great, have been around a long time, and command a high dollar.

c) I would say 20-22 inch ride is the mainstream. Those who play smaller or larger rides fall outside the "norm" or average.

d) I pretty much buy all my cymbals used. And mostly unheard (that exact cymbal). But I usually do my research on line, first, so I know what I'm getting into. My current ride (what's on my kit today) is a Sabian 22" AA Apollo. New, they go for $299.99. I landed mine for $192.50 delivered. And it sounds just like I thought it would, listening to demo's on line.

e) If there's a shop or two near by ..... by all means. If they sell used ..... even better. The more cymbals you bang on, the better informed you're gonna be. Now .... say you really, really, really fall in love with a new 22 Zildjian K light ride .... but holy cow .... price is $449.95. Well .... look for used on line .... and you'll probably find a similar one for $350.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Second is going to be my advice given that I've been following your posts and am familiar with what you have and what you're doing.

First thing I would do is pair those New Beat HHs with a 15 or 16 inch thin crash from the 1960s. They're readily available in the UK and fairly inexpensive. For a 15in crash, ideal weight would be about 850g (good sound carry). If you went with a 16in (would be my first choice) about 1050-1100g.

When I use my NBs, I always reach for the crashes that mate up to their sound (1960s Thins). And don't let anybody tell you that you can't ride a crash. Jazz players do it all the time.

Once you get something you need and can afford, then you can start thinking about moving up higher on the wish list. For me that would be my Trans Stamp A Zildjians but keep your ears open and get what you're in love with.

Pete

Edit here - You need to remember what you're doing with your kit. You're using what I would call a "Short Set" consisting of only HHs, Snare and Crash. It may grow from there but that's where you're focus should be now. You're going to be playing music that's quieter than most of the drummers offering advice, which may or may not be geared toward your needs. Something like the below cymbal would match perfectly with your current needs. . . It's just a 15in HH/Crash that weighs 800g (thin). Its the best cymbal I own regardless of size and one of three or four I'd never sell. Plus it's from the heart of the jazz age (1947) and cost me about 100 Pounds Sterling (120USD) on eBay.

Fix in your mind that types of places you're going to play and let that be your guide regarding size. Bigger venue = larger diameter cymbal. Busking on the street = smaller diameter.

15-Trans.jpg
 
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