Best Cymbals Set
Top 6 Best Cymbals Set in India | 8th Aug 2020
Splash Cymbal, Crash Cymbals, Hi-Hat Cymbals, Ride Cymbals, Crash-Ride Cymbals, China & Effect Cymbals
Reviews, Comparison and Buying Guide
What is Cymbals?
A cymbal is a common percussion instrument. Often used in pairs, cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note (see: crotales). Cymbals are used in many ensembles ranging from the orchestra, percussion ensembles, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, and marching groups. Drum kits usually incorporate at least a crash, ride, or crash/ride, and a pair of hi-hat cymbals. A player of cymbals is known as a cymbalist.
There’s nothing more exciting around a drum kit than the sound of a cymbal crash. It often marks the transition into a new section of a song, acts as an accent that punctuates a musical passage or dance number, or signals the dramatic end of a great tune. If you have been playing drums for a while, you probably know what types of cymbal sounds you want to have around your drum set. If you’re new to drumming, this article will give you some useful pointers on how to find cymbals to help you get your drumming career off to a good start.
Best Cymbals | Buying Guide : Things to consider while buying Cymbals
There are so many cymbals out there and the prospect of buying a cymbal is both exciting and overwhelming. You will have seen some drummers hidden beneath swathes of different sized cymbals whilst some sit behind a modest kit with only a couple of cymbal options.
It is a personal choice and many professional drummers will have a range of cymbals so they can create the right set up for each gig or recording session that they encounter.
Before we decide which cymbals you should buy there are a few things that we first need to understand. Then we can move on to buying our first set of cymbals.
Anatomy of a Cymbal
All cymbals intended for use with a drum set are of the suspended type—that is, they’re designed to be mounted on stands that are either free standing or attached to drum kit components such as the bass drum. A hole is drilled in the center of the cymbal to allow mounting the cymbal to a stand. Most cymbals have a raised center portion referred to as the bell, cup, or dome. Playing the bell produces a higher “pinging” tone than the rest of the cymbal. The remainder of the cymbal is called the bow. Cymbals with a pronounced taper in thickness from the bell to its thinner edge may be described as having ride and crash areas. The thicker portion closest to the bell is called the ride area; the thinner, outer portion is the crash area.
Cymbal sizes are designated by their diameter in inches or millimeters. Generally speaking, larger cymbals are louder and have longer sustain. Thinner cymbals tend to have a lower pitch and respond faster. Thicker, heavier cymbals produce greater volume, and thanks to their greater articulation when struck with a drumstick, cut through dense sound mixes better.
How Cymbals Are Made
Most cymbals are either cast or made from sheets of metal.
Cast cymbals are made by pouring raw, molten metal alloys into circular molds. The castings are then heated, rolled, shaped, hammered, and lathed. This lengthy process results in cymbals with a full, complex sound that many feel improves with age. Each cast cymbal has a distinct sonic character that is unique.
The term “hand-hammered” can be deceptive. The finest cymbals are hammered by a craftsman who actually wields a hammer, applying the hammering one blow at a time. Less costly cymbals may be hammered by a worker using a machine. Truly hand-hammered cymbals tend to produce richer, darker, lower-pitched tones and vary more from one cymbal to the next. Machine-hammered cymbals are typically brighter, producing higher tones that cut more sharply through the mix. They also tend to vary less in sound from one cymbal to the next.
Some cymbals are turned on a lathe to impart certain sonic characteristics. Lathing can be done on either the top or bottom surface or both. Many cymbals have bands that are lathed and unlathed offering more tonal options depending on what part of the cymbal is played.
Sheet metal cymbals are cut from large sheets of metal of uniform thickness and composition. They have a very uniform sound from cymbal to cymbal within the same model, and are generally less expensive than cast cymbals. Some lower-cost student cymbals have lathe and hammering marks pressed into their surface.
You’ll find cymbals with various polish or finish treatments. Cymbals that are fully lathed often have a clear lacquer finish to prevent tarnishing. Some models have “brilliant” or “bright” finishes that are achieved with high-speed buffing. The buffing process can actually dull the sound slightly while contributing an attractive gleam to the cymbals.
Cymbal sounds are a very individual preference. Many jazz players favor darker, more complex cymbal sounds, while rock drummers generally lean toward a brighter, louder sound that cuts through the mix. While a few traditional cymbal-manufacturing giants continue to dominate the market, there’s an expanding universe of options to choose from.
Types of cymbals
Cymbals can usually be sorted into four broad categories: crash, ride, hi-hat, and effect.
When struck on their edge fairly hard with a stick, crash cymbals should have a good explosive sound that’s not too long in duration. Sizes typically range from 14” to 18”, and a nice 16” is a good size for starters. A general rule is the thicker the cymbal, the higher the pitch. If you’re playing a lot of rock music, a thicker cymbal may withstand the loud crashes better than a thinner cymbal (although the latter has more flexibility). Thinner cymbals have a lower pitch and would be favored by those playing jazz or other more subtle forms of music. This is not to say that you can’t hit a thin cymbal hard and produce an acceptable sound. You can, but the risk of cracking the cymbal is greater.
The ride cymbal needs to be able to give a distinct, quick ping-like sound to your ride sticking patterns (eighth notes, standard jazz pattern, etc.) when played on the bow (the flat area that makes up most of the cymbal). A large bell can be struck more easily when you play music that calls for that sound, but the larger the bell, the more overtones the cymbal can have. Too many overtones and the “ping” of the ride – its signature sound – will be lost. Sizes here range from 18” up to 26”, with a 20” or 22” being a good starting point.
Hi-hat cymbals are usually sold in pairs with the bottom cymbal being slightly thicker than the top cymbal. The same rule about thin vs. thick applies here: the thinner the cymbal, the lower the pitch; the thicker the cymbal, the higher the pitch. Typical sizes range from 12” to 14”, but starting with a 13” or 14” will provide an acceptable sound for any type of music. If you’re playing rock, try substituting a heavy, thick cymbal for the bottom cymbal. This trick works well for that style.
These are nice to have, but if you’re starting out on a tight budget, you can delay adding these until later. There are many options. China cymbals have a “trashcan lid” sort of tone that works for certain accents. Splash cymbals are very small crash cymbals that add a quick, high frequency shimmer to your sound palette. These work nicely behind a soft vocal passage or other low volume musical segment. Other effects cymbals might be anything from an 18” crash with large holes drilled into it to a cymbal that has been cut into a spiral shape for a totally unique sound experience.
Splashes are the smallest accent cymbals, typically ranging in size between 6”-13”. The splash cymbal was popular with jazz drummers in the 1920s and 1930s, but fell out of favor. They were revived largely by Police drummer Stewart Copeland, and heavier splashes suited to rock soon appeared. China-type cymbals with a diameters under 14” are sometimes referred to as china splashes, though this designation varies with manufacturers.
Today you’ll find a wide range of splashes including the so-called salsa splash that’s intended for use with timbales. Bell splashes are very thick and produce a bell-like sound; they come in a variety of shapes. Some splashes are designed to be used in stacks with other cymbals and sometimes come in sets. Mounts for splashes are as varied as the cymbals themselves.
China And Effects Cymbals
The china cymbal’s name originates with its visual and sonic similarities to Chinese gongs. The typical china bell is cone-shaped and is turned up at its edge where the bell meets the cymbal’s bow. Most chinas have little or no taper to their thickness, but there are exceptions to all these physical generalities. Chinas usually range between 12”-26” in diameter. The thing that most defines a china is its sound that’s usually described as dark, trashy, and explosive.
As with chinas and splashes, which are often considered types of effects cymbals, the exact definition for effects cymbals is elusive. Generally speaking, they’re used in non-rhythmic ways to provide bursts of tonal color and accents. When pang and swish cymbals—two types of effect cymbals—are used in place of a traditional ride, they are usually not thought of as effects cymbals any longer.
Cymbal Packs—An Affordable Option
Many manufacturers offer complete cymbal assortments at very affordable prices. They’re sometimes bundled according to the type of music they’re intended for, with rock cymbal packs being a very common offering. The component cymbals in these packs are carefully matched to be sonically complementary to each other. Cymbal packs are a budget-friendly way for the beginning drummer to gear up.
The 3 most popular metal alloys for cymbals are:
- Brass – (copper/zinc)
- B8 Bronze – (92% copper/8% zinc)
- B20 Bronze – (80% copper/20% zinc)
Brass is typically used for beginner cymbals, since the metal itself is the least expensive. But also produces the worst sound.
B8 Bronze is generally used with mid-priced cymbals as they are more expensive than brass, but less expensive than B20 bronze.
B20 Bronze is both the most expensive, and most popular alloy, as it is generally considered to have the best sound.
On occasion, you can also find cymbals made with custom blends of B8 and B20, which results in both high-end sounds, and high-end prices as well.
Depending on the type of cymbal you’re building, whether it be rides, crashes, hi-hats, or something else, there are 5 specific shape metrics you can adjust in order to predictably influence the sound:
- Diameter – larger diameter equals longer sustain, and greater volume.
- Thickness – more thickness equals higher pitch, greater potential volume, more “ping”, added durability, but a slower build-up of overtones.
- Bell Size – a larger bell equals more overtones and longer sustain, but less attack.
- Profile – a greater curvature along radius of the cymbal equals higher pitch and fewer overtones.
- Taper – the more the thickness tapers off from the bell to the edge, the more the middle will sound “ride-like”, and the edge will sound “crash-like”.
So by mixing and matching each of these dimensions in various combinations, you can create virtually any cymbal, and any sound imaginable.
Top 6 Best Cymbals Set – [Updated and Highly Recommended]
Comparison Chart to make your purchase easy
- EXPANDED SET FOR A COMPLETE SOUND: The Meinl HCS Expanded Set includes a 14" hi-hat cymbal pair, 20" ride cymbal, 16" crash cymbal, plus a FREE 10" splash cymbal ($49.00 MSRP). This set contains all the necessary ingredients for a complete drum set with a bonus FREE splash cymbal to round out your kit’s sound.
- DURABLE BRASS ALLOY CRAFTED IN GERMANY: The HCS line from Meinl has a responsive touch with an unmatched sound quality in this range. With bright and resounding musicality, these brass alloy cymbals stand up to the brunt of drum sticks while maintaining their tone.
- DRUM SET READY FOR FULL RANGE OF SOUND: With crisp hi-hats, a shimmering ride, versatile crash, and a colorful splash, there are numerous groove options available for any musical style. Each cymbal is well suited to place anywhere on your drum kit.
- PERFECT FOR BEGINNER STUDENTS AND PLAYERS: The Meinl HCS series contains almost all cymbal types found in professional set ups. With hi-hats, rides, crashes and effect cymbals like trash crashes, china's, splashes, and bells, any musical idea or style is within reach.
This drum kit ready set of HCS brass cymbals provides the building blocks for drummers to start bringing cymbals into their set ups. Included in the box set are a 14″ hi hat pair, 16″ crash, 20″ ride, and a FREE 10″ splash. The hi-hats have a crisp “chick” with a nice slosh when played open. HCS crashes deliver a warm crash sound with a medium sustain. The ride is perfect for that classic, cutting ping with a musical bell. The FREE 10″ splash is great for blending in quick accents to your grooves without overpowering. HCS cymbals are crafted in Germany with a durable brass alloy that has a responsive touch with an unmatched sound quality in this range. Geared toward beginners, Meinl HCS cymbals stand up to the brunt of sticks while maintaining their musical tone.
Features / Reviews
Responsive touch with an unmatched sound quality
Bright and resounding musicality
Crisp hi-hats, a shimmering ride, versatile crash, and a colorful splash, there are numerous groove options available for any musical style
Includes a 14″ hi-hat cymbal pair, 20″ ride cymbal, 16″ crash cymbal, plus a FREE 10″ splash cymbal
- Features: Sounds and responds like a real acoustic cymbal Up to 80 percent less volume than traditional cymbals Play with any stick, mallet or technique
- ZILDJIAN LV348
- 13", 14", 18" Set
- Low volume cymbal box set
- Perfect for practice and low-volume rehearsals and performances Includes: 13" L80 Low Volume Hi-hat pair 14" L80 Low Volume Crash 18" L80 Low Volume Crash Ride
Real cymbal feel from proprietary manufacturing and specialized alloy. Allows for longer play, avoids ear fatigue or hearing damage.
Features / Reviews
Sounds and responds like a real acoustic cymbal
Up to 80 percent less volume than traditional cymbals
Play with any stick, mallet or technique
Perfect for practice and low-volume rehearsals
Includes 13″ L80 Low Volume Hi-hat pair 14″ L80 Low Volume Crash 18″ L80 Low Volume Crash Ride
MEINL HCS Cymbals are an outstanding starting point for aspiring drummers to begin bringing cymbals into their drum set ups. The HCS series from Meinl Cymbals is designed to offer cymbal types and sizes normally found in professional lines to beginners, in order to deliver the same sound options a professional drummer may look for. This pre-packaged cymbal set up includes HCS 13-inch hi hat cymbals, an HCS 14-inch crash cymbal, plus FREE professional 5A drum sticks from Pro-Mark, a FREE 10-inch HCS splash cymbal to round out your kit’s sound, and THREE FREE lessons with renown instructor Mike Johnston. Inside the box you will find a postcard with URL and coupon code for three free drum lessons tailored to beginners, covering stick grip and proper technique when hitting drums and cymbals. As you expand your interest with drums, the Meinl HCS line includes an array of cymbals from crashes and hi hats to rides and various effect cymbals, all easy to integrate into your kit. Meinl HCS cymbals are recommended for any style of music a beginner may be getting into while exploring their sound.
Features / Reviews
Professional 5A drum sticks from Pro-Mark
Includes THREE FREE lessons with renown instructor Mike Johnston
Includes 13″ Hihats, 14″ Crash, Plus Free 10″ Splash, Sticks
The Zildjian Planet Z Cymbal pack is the perfect set for the beginner drummer or for drummers that want a practice set up.
Features / Reviews
Forged with zinc and copper
Powered by pure brass, a loud and punchy model for accenting.
Features / Reviews
Includes 14″ Hi Hats, 16″ Crash, 20″ Ride
Paise puts a set of 14″ hi-hats, a 16″ crash, and a 20″ ride in this convenient cymbal pack. Paiste Hi-Hats Medium bright, clean, full. Fairly narrow range, somewhat complex mix. Even, balanced feel. Bright, full, controlled open sound. Mellow, defined chick sound with a slight hiss. Paiste Crash Cymbal Full, focused, and cutting. Medium range, fairly clean mix. Even, responsive feel and an explosive attack. Paiste Ride Cymbal Warm, full, clear. Medium range, somewhat clean mix. Soft, balanced feel. Sizzling ping over a full wash. Paiste PST 3 cymbals are affordable cymbals with never-before-possible sound quality and pro-level looks. Paiste employs modern, hi-tech production techniques that transfer the spirit and essence of 70 years of hand-manufacturing into premium-quality, musical cymbals. PST 3 cymbals are made from a selected and especially sonorous brass copper-based alloy. Features: 14″ hi-hats 16″ crash 20″ ride
Features / Reviews
Bright clean powerful with fundamental functional and musical characteristics
Includes 14″ hi-hats, 16″ crash, and 20″ ride
This article really just begins to discuss the many issues involved in cymbal selection and purchase. Spend time online researching cymbal history, a bit about metallurgy, and the many options available for size, shape, and finish. What you learn will not only get you started toward a good first or second cymbal purchase but will serve you continuously throughout your drumming career. The more you know about the equipment you are purchasing, playing, and/or planning to purchase, the more pleased you will be with the entire drumming experience.
Finding the right cymbals for your kit will ensure you get long-lasting value and provide a customized sound that suits the way you play and the style of music you are playing. Remember that it often comes down to personal taste, so buy with your ears and you won’t go wrong. Good luck in your search for the perfect set of cymbals.
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