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Best Cymbals For Drums 2023: 12 Cymbals To CRASH The Party!

What is the best cymbal brand? Which cymbals sound the best? We reveal all...

Finding the best cymbals for drums – it’s no laughing matter.

Especially when you consider that cymbal sets are very much a drummer’s secret ingredient. The metallic crash of a cymbal serves as the perfect contrast to an otherwise thumping drum beat. And that’s all despite cymbals often being viewed as an additional extra… a misunderstanding if you ask us.

See, by robbing a drummer of their cymbals, you not only limit their sound, but also the genres of music which they can perform. Without cymbals, a drum kit can be quite bland. All of which makes recording hardcore Rock or Metal music near-on impossible. Heck, heavy metal even gets its name from the metallic sound created through the use of instruments like cymbals, so to underestimate them, would be a MAJOR schoolboy error.

Thankfully though, it’s one that you’ve got the chance to avoid making. So whether you’re looking to expand an additional set of drums, or just curious whether you’d be wise to buy cymbals as part of your first kit, understanding the significance of cymbals is key. So key in fact, that it could even influence your band’s entire sound + how likely you are to chart!! With that in mind then, which is the best cymbal brand? Is Sabian or Zildjian better? We reveal all…

After something specific about what is the best cymbal brands? Or curious what we consider to be the best cymbals for drums? Use the menu below to get all the answers you want super fast…

pair of golden cymbals being hit by a drummer

NOTE: Curious about more than just the best cymbals for drums? Be sure to also check out our guides to the Best Junior Drum Kits + the Top Snare Drums.

Each cymbal is different in its own right.

Aside from shape, thickness & whereabouts they’re made, more often than not cymbals are also made of different metal formulations & some even come with holes in them. So to use ‘cymbals’ as a blanket term just doesn’t work; no two cymbals are going to have the same effect on your sound. Question is then, how do you spot the best cymbals for your style of play?

Don’t despair – there is an answer! In fact, we’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is read on to discover what we consider to be the best cymbals for drums on sale today…

FYI: The following rundown is divided into 2 parts – the best singular cymbals & the best cymbal sets.

If you’re after a pack of cymbals to get you started, replace old cymbals or just expand your setup, here’s a few of our favourite cymbal sets…

1: Meinl HCS SCS1 Ultimate Special cymbal set

pack of cymbals being unboxed by a beginner

2: Zildjian A Sweet Ride cymbal pack

3: Sabian B8X performance cymbal set

4: Batking low volume practice cymbals

cymbals with holes cut out in them

5: Meinl HCS1314-10S cymbal set

Not after a set of cymbals & just searching for a way to add a new edge to your current sound? Try these individual cymbals, which each have their own tonal character…

6: Meinl HCS 18” Trash Crash cymbal (with holes)

7: Sabian Ride (SBR2012) 20″ cymbal

buy cymbals for drums online

8: Meinl Byzance (B20DUCR) 20″ Dual Crash-Ride cymbal

9: Meinl Classics Custom Dark (CC15DAH) 15″ hi-hat cymbal

If you’re a drummer for a rock band, then you’re likely going to need cymbals that are more an accompaniment to what you’re play, opposed to overly bright & ‘in your face’.

That way your cymbals aren’t too forward & competing with your vocalist or lead guitarist. They remain part of the soundscape, yet don’t overpower it. Get the balance right & your cymbals can really add some extra spice to the backing & help the rhythm seem that bit more 3D. If you ask us, when it comes to rock cymbals, Paiste has hit the nail on the head.

If you’re a rockstar, be sure to check out the PTS5s – the best cymbals for Rock music that we could find…

10: Paiste PST5 universal cymbal set

tapping gently on cymbals to create a soft tinny sound

Now, when it comes to Metal, your cymbals need that bit extra umph. They need to make an impact.

Besides, with a name like Metal music, cymbals tend to be more forward in the soundscape when compared to other genres, so you’d wise to opt for those with a bigger, wider sound. Something that can really help in creating the organised crashing sensation that you get with Metal music. Plus, the louder the cymbals (typically) the more impressive they are to play aggressively.

And while we did come across a fair few pairs that fit the bill, there was one that stood out. Hence the cymbals below – our verdict to what are the best cymbals for Metal…

11: Zildjian K Custom Hybrid cymbal pack

crash cymbals for a variety of drum kits

Jazz is a bit different when it comes to cymbals.

See, for the most part with Jazz you’re after a brighter low volume cymbal that doesn’t so much dominate the sound or accompany the backing, but more adds a slight essence of sizzle. If you’ve got brass instruments in your music already, an overly loud or obnoxious cymbal setup could be a tad overpowering. Hence why Michael Bublé is often spotted performing alongside more delicate & bright sounding cymbals, that work perfectly for the signature Jazzy tap (ti ti ti-ti-ti ti)

So if we were to single out any as the best cymbals for Jazz, we’d have to make it the SBRs by Sabian…

12: Sabian SBR (SBR5003G) cymbals

Enjoy this review of the best cymbals for drumming & eager for more? Be sure to jump into our latest Stringed Instrument Advice, as well as tap into our vast knowledge on Musical Instruments. Recently we also did reviews of the Top Drumsticks + another on the Most Popular Drum Thrones, which may also be a good read.

the best cymbals on the market all lined up next to each other

Or if you’ve still trying to decide what cymbals are best for you, keep reading & we’ll answer more of your burning questions…

Cymbals are essential components in many of the everyday music we enjoy, whether used in a marching band, orchestra, or regular drum routine. Several cymbal producers provide high-quality items for musicians in the fiercely competitive drum market. Every business has advantages and disadvantages; some companies are more suited to particular kinds of drummers than others. The top cymbal manufacturers are listed below. 

  • Zildjian.
  • Soultone Cymbals.
  • Meinl Percussion.
  • Sabian.

Professional drummers use the Zildjian K Series Cymbal Pack. There is a multitude of reasons why they use it. One reason is that it is one of the greatest cymbal bundles you can get. The Zildjian K cymbals are classics in the history of recording. The hats of the cymbal generate warm, organic, and woody tones with incredibly controlled open tones, and they make a fantastic combination of tight, chick-style playing and wet, open playing. They demand to be handled delicately and subtly.

Of all genres, rock drumming is probably the most well-known type. A few cymbals play a significant role in the unique sound of rock percussion and its energetic style. The way some drummers play the cymbals is why they work so well with rock music. By banging one cymbal against another, a loud sound is created.

As a result, the core doesn’t move; only the rim vibrates. The rims of the plates are also hit against one another while the straps hold them in the middle, and these vibrations cause a rocking sound. A thicker cymbal could survive the loud bangs of rock music better than a thinner one if you play a lot of it (although the latter has more flexibility).

Since rock music is so much preferred, one should make wise purchases for all your drumming equipment, including cymbals, if you want to learn the technique of rock drumming. 

Metal drummers enjoy playing loud music. When we imagine the loud sound, double bass drums, and high-speed music is what strikes our mind. You should note that cymbals are essential to any metal drumming. It might not be easy to know which cymbals are ideal for metal.

Of course, everyone has personal preferences and opinions that influence their decision. However, considering some cymbal characteristics before buying may make your drumming stand out. To help you pick the ideal cymbal for your drum set, we’ve listed the top cymbals used by metal drummers.

  • Zildjian A Custom.
  • Meinl Classics Custom.
  • Sabian AAX.
  • Paiste Rude.

Zildjian and Sabian make a large selection of identical cymbals that are generally priced similarly. However, certain Sabian versions are slightly less expensive than Zildjian. Sabian is well-liked in genres like metal and worship, but Zildjian is preferred by classical drummers and more well-liked in rock music and punk.

Usually, many professional singers prefer Zildjian cymbals because these cymbals have a classic tone that resembles the sound of cymbals from earlier times. They meld seamlessly into jazz environments because they are so warm and fluid. Zildjian cymbals also come with 2 years warranty which is something that attracts many professional drummers.

Since cymbals outlast other parts of a drum set in terms of durability, they are frequently more costly. They are resilient enough to endure damage from frequent usage. Brass and steel are two materials that can be used to make drum cymbals—the type of metal used in its construction influences the cymbal’s tone.

The cost of materials frequently increases drum cymbal prices. Working with metal is costly, and the sort of metal used in a drum cymbal may impact how it sounds. Another big reason is that making cymbals requires much knowledge, effort, and time. Companies must turn a profit at every level of the production and distribution process and, of course, compensate their talented staff. The cost of labor is the main factor in the ultimate price of new cymbals.

Cheap cymbals are susceptible to shredding and splitting, and they rapidly begin to make a garbage can lid noise. Even though they may be thinner, expensive cymbals are usually tougher and last longer than your regular inexpensive cymbals.

There are many different types of cymbals. The ride, hi-hats, crash, and splash cymbals are among the most often used varieties. They can be lathed or unlathed, have dazzling finishes, be thick or thin, and other variations that impact the sound. Nowadays, you can get a cymbal to suit every timbre or musical circumstance.

Crash cymbal sizes range from 14 to 22 inches, while ride cymbal diameters span 18 to 24 inches. Hi-hats range in scale from 12 to 16 inches; the most common sizes are 13 and 14. However, pitch and intensity are also influenced by the weight and thickness of the cymbal.

Wider and heavier cymbals generate greater volume and possess a higher pitch. On average, bigger diameter cymbals have a lower pitch, more sustain, and louder volume. On the other hand, thinner cymbals often have a lower pitch, react more swiftly, and fade more quickly.

The reason why cymbals are considered Turkish is that they originated from Turkey. And to answer the question, it’s important to look at history a bit. The production of handmade cymbals started in Istanbul-Samatya around 1623.

Mehmet Tamdeer started Turkish Cymbals in 1996 in Istanbul. He mastered all the ins and outs of cymbal manufacturing while working with the Zildjian family in Istanbul-Samatya. He is now the sole artisan still living who has experience working with the Zildjian family and is knowledgeable about how to make handcrafted cymbals.

Mehmet Tamdeer decided to keep making handcrafted cymbals in Turkey when the Zildjian family relocated to the USA and began producing cymbals with machines. This is the reason why to this day, many people think cymbals are Turkish.