Why is it you never see threads saying....

Road Bull

Silver Member
It's hard enough to find one good sounding cymbal.
That, AND... I just don't think of cymbals belonging in "sets". To me, sets are just some cymbals in a box. I look at my cymbal choices and think, who would put all these in a box? I could maybe see some marketing pairing of maybe some big star drummers box cymbal selection, offering the same cymbals that HE or SHE plays.. but even then, that's a small demographic that would be interested in that.

Its also like music for me. If I buy a whole lot of stuff at once, I don't feel that I absorb and appreciate my selections the same as if might if I purchased them individually. Maybe its just me, i dunno.


Platinum Member
I have hardly ever bought more than one cymbal at a time. Other than snares, I have hardly ever bought one drum at a time. Peace and goodwill.


Silver Member
Ha! agreed.
I have had some real buyers remorse on some cymbals. Not right away at home, but first time they were played out, or with the band practice.
I'm with you on that. I've been debating over what my next ride will be for about a year. I just can't seem to feel confident enough in that choice to pull the trigger. I just don't take those purchases very lightly.


Staff member
I think most are inclined to think in terms of mixing brands/types of cymbal as pretty standard practice, whereas piecing together a kit from different brands/types is far less common. Sure, both drums & cymbals become a "set" once assembled, but maybe cymbals are just thought of less that way during purchase/searching.

I am seriously impressed with the Meinl Reference pure range, so may consider a "set" in the future. Right now, I can't afford them, & don't "need" them.


Platinum Member
Folks that have been around will have some idea what a new "kit" will do. Get a new set of Stage Customs or Gretsch Renowns and there's a baseline for the sound. Then the question becomes what sizes, what heads are you going to put on, and how are you going to tune them? Even at that, there's some generalized idea what it's going to sound like. Other than buying something off to the fringe like Constantinople Vintages, really bright lacquered pies, some brand few have heard of (or Paistes), nobody has a clue what a new set of Avedis or Sabian AA's sound like. You may have just happened to get lucky or spend a day in a shop with a huge inventory and found a set of cymbals that work together. But I think it's harder to get a reference as to what they sound like, so folks may be less inclined to try and relate that. I could list the models but I'd have a much harder time describing the sound of my regular working set of cymbals as easily as I would the drums.


Gold Member
I was fantasizing about the prospect of all my cymbals getting stolen.
Well, that actually happened to me along with my drum set. When I replaced the kit, I went with the same stuff I had before (partially so I could keep my avatar) but the cymbal search was a quest to find out the perfect (for me) combination. I think I have finally found that.

Back to the original question, part of the reason is that different cymbals, from a distance, all look alike, but different drums do not. Very few of us would consider using a black onix Gretch bass drum, a red sparkle Slingerland floor tom, a clear Zickos rack tom (had to get that in here) and a natural Premier rack tom even if that was the best combination of sounds. First of all, it would look funny (shieh, not ha-ha) Most of us,however, don't think twice about combining cymbals.


Platinum Member
I have something to admit.
Technically, I bought another set of cymbals.
I bought a used set of ZBT hihats and a ride.

The guitar based band I play with has shown ill interest in drums and cymbals, so I concluded if they don't know the difference, I'll keep what I like to myself and my practice set with the ZBT's can be the back line share for the scummy gigs we sometimes do.

I haven't even told anyone other than this board and my wife that I bought a nice set of Meinls, but the band will find out when we next record again in a couple months.

On another note, I also bought an 8oz ball-pein hammer to "tune" those ZBTs.


Gold Member
I've bought a set! In fact I've double-failed in buying a used set.

The sky didn't fall down.

Paiste Twenty's 13" hats, 16" crash and 20" ride.

Bargain. I knew the seller was a cymbaholic so it was low risk.



Gold Member
I find this a fascinating question.

To me, a kit is the ENTIRE kit. It's my instrument. ALL of it. The cymbals are part of it.

Take a saxophone. It's a saxophone. If you take away the mouthpiece, it's not a saxophone. It can't make saxy noises.

Same thing with a drumkit. If you take away the snare or the cymbals, it's not a drumkit. It can't make drumkit noises.

Pedantry aside, I don't think there's anything wrong with buying "cymbal sets". I think there's a bit of a prejudice against cymbal packs and matching snares on these forums. ;-)

As another poster noted up-thread, some brands - like Paiste - are predictable. An 18" Signature Fast Crash will sound like any other 18" Signature Fast Crash. To my ear, most Meinl cymbals are the same way. Must be that Germanic "alles in Ordnung."

Cymbal packs are - presumably - matched to work together, to blend musically. That's important. I dread adding a cymbal. I won't know if it blends until I get it home. That sucked when I lived 15 minutes drive from a decent music store. Now that totally SUCKS. You guys complain about not having a drum shop nearby? I can't drive to one. At all. Period. I have to fly or take a boat. If Tambu in San Juan, PR doesn't have what I want, it's 1,100 miles to Miami.

That's why I <3 sites like www.Mycymbal.com where I can actually hear stuff. I still don't know if one particular cymbal will blend with my existing plates, though, so I only look at sets. I lust after this Bosphorus set, but I'll probably end up with the Paiste PST7 set further down the page.

Anyway, my point is that there seems to be an understandable bias against cymbal packs. Understandable given that personal preference dictates - you may not like the ride in the pack, etc. I don't think that bias need be applied as broadly as it is. Yes, cymbal voices are individual. But you know what? So are drums. Some of the same drummers here who wouldn't dream of buying a set of cymbals also wouldn't dream of putting together a "Frankenstein" set of toms and bass(es). That's inconsistent. If the sound is so important that you'll mix and match cymbals - don't forget snare drums! Can't use the one that came with your toms and bass, nope, that won't do at all! - then insisting on uniformity in your toms and bass just doesn't make sense.

Anyway, I think this essay was fueled by too little coffee too early in the morning. Still an interesting idea. ;-)


Gold Member
Cymbal packs are - presumably - matched to work together, to blend musically. That's important. I dread adding a cymbal. I won't know if it blends until I get it home.
This is why I take my cymbals with me when I buy new ones.


Staff member
Freudian slip or thinly veiled production?
Noooo, I just like them. I was seriously impressed by the rides. They're a flavour I've not heard from other makers. One or two models from Amedia or Murat Diril get close, but not quite there.

Where's my flaming and public flogging?

For what? Did I miss something? I have no issue with crowd sponsored public floggings on our stand at LDS this year. Are you there?


Silver Member
Cymbals are odd birds. I can tweak a set of drums with tuning, head choice stick choice, muffling etc and get a wide range of possibilities.

Generally with cymbals, they are what they are. I would love to have a set of A's and a Set of K's I like. I am pretty close with the K's. I have 3 different flavors of K rides and I don;t like any of them 100% but they are all at least 85%. It truly changes on any given day.

The A's are a long way off. The New Beat hats are solid. I have a 16"Medthin and 18" thin Armand crashes that are nice. I wish the 18" was a medium thin though. The Sweet ride is not bad. Not perfect but not bad. The old 21" I really liked but they are rare and tend to be on the pricey side these days used