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Thread: Cymbal recommendation template

  1. #1

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    Default Cymbal recommendation template

    I see a lot of threads about people asking for cymbal recommendations, so I thought it would be a good idea to make sort of a template as a centralized resource where people can gather information and then ask questions from there. I figured it'd be easier than completely starting from scratch. I'll start off with a brief description of each class of cymbal and then proceed to the different upgrade options afterwards. So without further ado, here we go.

    Stock cymbals
    These are the brass discs you generally get stuck with when you buy a beginner shell pack. The only thing about them that remotely resembles a cymbal is it's shape. Avoid these at all costs.

    Beginner cymbals
    Sheet bronze cymbals are your basic entry level cymbals. They're geared towards beginner drummers who want something better than the previously mentioned stock cymbals. Being made of B8, they have a bright, cutting sound, and are very reasonably priced for aspiring drummers, as well as people who want to experiment with some new sounds without killing their bank account. Why are they so (comparably) inexpensive? They are made by taking a big sheet of bronze and stamping the cymbals out of the sheet like a cookie cutter. Every cymbal is just a copy of the next, which keeps costs down. Here are some examples of beginner cymbals:

    ZBT/ZXT (Zildjian): Both are in a brilliant finish.

    B8/B8 Pro (Sabian): B8's are in a traditional finish, B8 Pro's are brilliant.

    PST5 (Paiste): Natural finish.

    Intermediate cymbals
    Intermediate cymbals fall in between beginner and pro level cymbals. They have some more individual attention paid to them and/or different metals, which raises their quality level. They aren't as cut and dry as beginner sheet cymbals, which allows for some more variety and choice when selecting this level. Here are some examples of intermediate cymbals:

    ZHT (Zildjian): Made of B12 bronze. B12 is a good middle point between B8 and B20 (cast) cymbals. It has a warmer sound than B8, but not as warm as B20.

    XS20 (Sabian): Intermediate cymbals made of B20 bronze. They are the only full line of cast cymbals offered at such a low price point. They're made the same way as professional cast cymbals, but they aren't hammered. Less work to make them means less money you have to spend on them.

    Alpha (Paiste): Intermediate/Semi pro cymbals made of B8. They're basically PST5's with more attention paid to them.

    New Traditional (Wuhan): And you thought Wuhan only made chinas. Nope! They have an extensive line of professional quality B20 cymbals at a fraction of the cost, fitting them perfectly into this category.

    Professional (cast) cymbals
    Cast cymbals are what dreams are made of in a drummers world. Each cymbal is made through an individual process of hammering and lathing, giving each cymbal a more unique sound (albeit, some more than others). B20 is generally a warm, middle of the road sounding cymbal, but how it's worked on ultimately defines its sound. Of course, with individual attention comes a higher price point. Something to keep in mind when searching for a new sound. Here are some examples of cast cymbals:

    A/A Custom (Zildjian): These cymbals offer a wonderful bright while still maintaining nice warm undertones. These are usually the go to cymbals for people looking to upgrade.

    K/K Custom (Zildjian): Very dark and dry cymbals. They're hammered more than the A/A Customs, which gives them their darker sound.

    AA/AAX (Sabian): These are Sabian's vintage and modern bright cymbal lines, respectively.

    HH/HHX (Sabian): These are Sabian's vintage and modern dark cymbal lines, respectively. They are one of the few lines from a major company that still incorporates hand hammering in the process.

    2002 (Paiste): While made of B8 bronze as opposed to B20, these are still just as much a professional cymbal as the cast lines. They stand out more in terms of sound when compared to Sabian and Zildjian's lines, which sound more similar.

    Upgrade paths
    This is where I think most of you would come in. Here are some different upgrade paths and an explanation of why they work or don't work.

    Stock cymbals>Beginner cymbals
    If you've been playing on stock cymbals and want something more real to play, you should try to avoid buying a beginner pack unless you're on a budget. In this case, you would want to go for an intermediate line.

    Stock cymbals>Intermediate cymbals
    This is a better path to go down as opposed to buying beginner stuff. XS20's and New Traditional's are great values and will be able to hold you over for quite some time until you're ready to move forward to cast cymbals.

    Beginner cymbals>Intermediate cymbals
    This is very rarely recommended unless you're on a budget. Going from ZBT's to ZHT's won't yield very many results. In a case like this, you'd want to look into XS20's or New Traditional's since they are a cut above the rest in terms of quality. But this really only happens if you're on a tight budget and can't afford to go into the pro line.

    Beginner cymbals>Professional cymbals
    This is generally the best path to go down. Once you feel you've had enough of your entry level stuff and you want to upgrade, you should really look into cast cymbals. Visit your local music shop and/or listen to sound samples online to find the sound you want. There's also a huge market on Craigslist and eBay for used cymbals, so you can find the cymbals you want at a price you can afford.

    Intermediate cymbals>Professional cymbals
    This one's pretty self explanatory. A good intermediate line can hold you over for quite a while, but you'll know where to go when the time comes.

    In the end, it all comes down to the sound you're looking for. But I figured this would be a good starting place for people looking for cymbal upgrade info. Feel free to add on any information you'd like and thanks for reading
    Cymbals
    14" AA Fusion Hats | 8" Max Splash | 10" HHX Evolution Splash | 16" AA Bright Crash | 21" AA Raw Bell Dry Ride | 18" APX Crash | 14" Wuhan China
    Tama Hyperdrive 5 Piece Kit
    Ludwig Black Galaxy Acrolite 5x14" Snare
    Tama Iron Cobra Jr. single bass pedal

    Four Of Spades Facebook Page

    Want advice on upgrading your cymbals?
    Click here!



  2. #2

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    Default Re: Cymbal recommendation template

    Sticky now.
    Paiste Alpha 14'' Sound Edge hats
    Paiste Alpha 16'' Medium Crash
    Sabian XS20 14'' Medium-Thin Crash
    Wuhan 16'' China

    drummer: Being young is good ... as long as you're also wise
    Quote Originally Posted by weezy View Post
    Then you can use napkins to wipe your hands instead of taping them to your heads.

  3. #3

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    Stickeh this! this is good stuff!
    zebra wrapped gretsch catalina club mod:
    12" tom
    16" floor tom
    14" snare
    22x20 kick

    Cymbals:
    17" saluda mist x crash
    20" saluda decadence ride
    14" Saluda mist x hats
    16" dream bliss crash
    10" wuhan splash (modified via salt water)

  4. #4

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    This is a decent cymbal site. May not cover every concievable cymbal, but not a bad site.

    http://home.mnet-online.de/cymbalism...s/sitemap.html

    Gretsch Catalina Maple
    Sunburst Tobacco Fade
    PDP Rack
    14" Ludwig Black Magic Stainless Snare
    Tama Speed Cobra single

    Cymbals on kit now
    13" & 14" Paiste Proto. Hi-Hats
    17" Paiste 2002 Crash
    18" Pasite 2002 Crash
    19" Paiste 2002 Crash
    10" Paiste Prototype Splash
    20" Paiste 2002 Ride
    18" Paiste 3000 RUDE crash/ride

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Cymbal recommendation template

    sticky.
    Pearl-Zildjian-Evans-Vater


    I go to my local drum shop and purchase my sticks. I like to touch them before I buy them ;-)
    -TxDrummer
    My parents just get mad when i crash the ride. Thats true for cars and cymbals
    -jordison515

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  6. #6

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    Yes, I agree that it is Sticky worthy. Thanks NIM.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  7. #7

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    this is a great template, thanks for the post man! i always have buddies of mine asking about whats a "good" cymbal haha now i can just tell them to read this and stop asking me
    Kit-Tama Superstar Hyperdrive Satin Cherry Fade

    Snare-Tama Starclassic Brass 14x5.5in

    Cymbals-Meinl MB20 Heavy Crash 18in, Meinl Byzance fast hats 14in , Paiste Alpha metal ride 20in, Paiste 2002 Wild Crash 20in, Paiste Rude Novo china 18in, Meinl Byzance China/Meinl Xtreme Stack top cymbal 16/13in, Meinl Classics Medium bell 8in

    Pedals-Tama Iron Cobra powerglides

    football and crab cakes, how maryland does it

  8. #8

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    Awesome write-up.
    -Reuben

    SABIAN SQUAD
    ^^^SGD'S EVANS EMPIRE^^^
    RIP Frank "Fiacovaz" Iacovazzi

  9. #9

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    Yeah definitly Sticky material. Ok Mods put her in Sticky.

  10. #10

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    Dang man this is an excellent guide! It looks like you went to a lot of trouble to make it, so a sticky seems fair. Hopefully this will save people some searching!
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
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    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
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  11. #11

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    This is defo a great read and great advice, however all it's done has made me more indecisive. I'd pretty much decided on some PST 5's seeing as all I hear is great reviews from them and as I'm on a budget, I thought they were the perfect fit. Now I'm not sure tho, maybe I should stretch for some alphas or xs20's, or even some second hand A customs.......haha, why does cymbal buying have to be so confusing??? It is however great fun going round music shops and just trying every cymbal they have to offer :D

  12. #12

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    A few things... Paiste 101's and PST3's (Brass) are entry/beginner... PST5's (which replaced the 502's) have always been considered "Intermediate". I can't see ZHT's in the Intermediate slot and PST5's in the entry/beginner.


    Sabian SBR, Meinl HCS/MCS should be added to entry/beginner examples.

    Wuhan was included but not Meinl? (of course I am a bit biased... Stagg, Saluda, Wuhan, Dream Bliss and most chinese communist products are on my boycott list)

    Sabian APX, Paiste Sigs, Twenty Series... Mienl's offerings such as Byzance, the MB series would be nice to see.

    At least a tip of the hat to the birthplace of modern cymbals...Istanbul. Origin of the Zildjian name and still producing Bosphorus, Istanbul Agop and others.
    Last edited by davewilson; 01-24-2011 at 10:17 AM.
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  13. #13

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    Yeah, I didn't noticed Meinl in there...

    Beginner:

    HCS - Made from MS63 brass, considered some of the better brass cymbals on the market.

    MCS - Made from B8 bronze.


    Intermediate:

    Classics - intermediate B8 bronze cymbals in a traditional finish.

    Classics Custom - intermediate B8 bronze cymbals with a brilliant finish.

    Mb8 - semi-professional B8 cymbals.

    Professional:

    Mb10 - Professional level cymbals made from B10 bronze. Brilliant finish.

    Mb20 - Professional level cymbals made from B20 bronze. Aimed towards rock/metal players, as they're Meinl's range of heavy cymbals. Brilliant finish.

    Soundcaster Custom - Professional level cymbals made from B12 bronze. Brilliant finish.

    Soundcaster Fusion - Professional level cymbals made from B12 bronze. Brilliant half brilliant finish, half traditional finish.

    M-Series - Professional B20 cymbals. Traditional finish. Marketed as an all-round cymbal.

    Byzance - Meinl's "flagship" cymbals. B20 bronze, hand hammered. They are available in traditional, brilliant, dark (unlathed), extra dry (unlathed, more hammered than dark cymbals, for a darker, drier sound with shorter sustain), jazz (lighter, thinner cymbals with a traditional finish), Vintage (unique sounds that don't really fit into the other Byzance categories).

    Effects:

    Generation X - Effects cymbals, developed with drummers such as Thomas Lang and Johnny Rabb.

    Hand Cymbals:

    Candela - Light, thin cymbals which are made from B20 bronze, hand hammered. Designed for hand percussionists. Brilliant and traditional finishes.

    Symphonic - Designed for orchestral use. B20 bronze, hand hammered, traditional finish. Made in their Turkish smithy.

    Marching - hand cymbals designed for marching bands. Available in B12, B10, B8 and brass, brilliant and traditional. The B8 and brass cymbals are pressed into shape. The B10 and B12 cymbals are tonally matched and hammered.
    - Zack

  14. #14

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    Muchas Gracias. Very informative, hopefully contributions like Dave's can be added to the original post.
    Kit: 65 Slingerland Modern Solo Outfit

  15. #15

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    Dave and xweasel, thanks for adding. I didn't include Meinl because I know absolutely nothing about their product line. As for the rest, I was getting a little burned out recalling everything I knew about cymbals, so I was bound to miss a few things. Thanks a lot for adding what I missed. I'm sure it'll help a lot of people down the line.
    Cymbals
    14" AA Fusion Hats | 8" Max Splash | 10" HHX Evolution Splash | 16" AA Bright Crash | 21" AA Raw Bell Dry Ride | 18" APX Crash | 14" Wuhan China
    Tama Hyperdrive 5 Piece Kit
    Ludwig Black Galaxy Acrolite 5x14" Snare
    Tama Iron Cobra Jr. single bass pedal

    Four Of Spades Facebook Page

    Want advice on upgrading your cymbals?
    Click here!



  16. #16

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    This took some work! Thanks NIM!!

    sk
    "A man can NEVER have too many cymbals"

    Proudly Playing

    Sonor Force 3007 Stage One Piano Black 22X17.5 kick, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 16" toms
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    Paiste Twenty/2002/Signature Cymbals
    Sonor/DW/Gibraltar Hardware

  17. #17

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    One of the many reasons I love DrumChat! Thanks NIM! Dave and Xweasel thanks for including the Paiste and Meinl information.

  18. #18

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    great idea for people to read i was completely lost when going hunting to upgrade my PST 3s. i asked around on here loads trying to find out what i wanted this will help so many people.
    congratulations and well done :D
    | Yamaha Stage Custom | Sabian AAX | Dream |

  19. #19

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    I'm glad this is stickied. My drum teacher told me not to get the stock cymbals. on the other hand, my friend, who has taken over as my drum teacher, told me that the cymbals usually included in the beginner packages suck. However, the guy in the store seemed to think the Zildjian ZBTs would be better than the stock cymbals, so that's what I got. I've added a ZBT ride and rock crash that I found used. Now I know what to get when the tim ecomes for an upgrade. I like the Zildjian Armand cymbals that I've tried.
    Jack

    May this be the best day you ever had and the worst you ever will. Trinity House Mudslinger.

  20. #20

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    Must have missed this when it was first posted...awesome posts NIM, lots of great information in there! Thanks for taking the time to write all that up.
    Peace, Love, and Rock N Roll

    Matt

  21. #21

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    Nim you did a fantastic job with this template. I know you did not mean to miss any other cymbal makers but Zildjian, Sabians and Paiste are the most commonly used cymbal in the Americas. Like you ,I have no knowledge of other cymbal makers.

  22. #22

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    Excellent thread. Thanks guys! I especially like the stuff about Meinl...b/c I am interested in them but don't know a lot about their varies product lines.

  23. #23

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    From info on the Meinl website, I think the classics custom are b10 bronze.
    [FONT="System"]Ludwig Accent Cs 5 piece(power setup)
    Pst 5 14 Hats
    Pst 5 16 crash
    Pst 5 20 ride
    Planet Z 18 crash\ride
    Pst 5 China 18
    Pst 5 10 splash

  24. #24

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    NIM Thanks for your hard work compiling this cymbal guide.
    Great info. on major cymbal lines. I had to figure out cymbal buying myself with Drumchat member help, which gave me valuable assistance. I know anyone seriously buying cymbals will appreciate your thread and it SHOULD BE A STICKY.


    Mapex Meridian Birch, Tobacco Fade
    20" A Custom Medium Ride
    16" A Custom Crash
    16" K Custom Session Crash
    12" A Custom Splash
    14" A Custom MasterSound Hi Hats
    Toga Hi Hat Tambourine
    Pearl Primero Rock Cowbell
    Pearl P-902L dbl. bass pedal

  25. #25

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    This is my first post on the board.
    Thank you all for the info as I am currently on the prowl for a set of cymbals to go with my kit. I find that the variety is mind bending. This post will help me to make more informed choices. This is a terrific place for me as I have just picked up my first kit only two months ago.

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