#1
*Not an actual vs. thread!*

I'm just wondering how to choose a specific cymbal brand in this overflowing world of cymbal brands. Is there really that much difference between brands if the cymbals are the same size, metal, kind(ride, crash, etc)? Is it any use trying to find which brand I like best if I cant play them first hand? (Buying used) I havent even bought my first set yet because I'm unsure about the cymbals. How do I know if they sound good or not to a trained hear compared to a non-trained ear? Help please?
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#2
There's not a big difference. If you go from like, traditional Turkish building to European building the difference is more notable though. Zildjian and Sabian sound fairly similar, and both those two brands sound fairly different compared to Meinl and Paiste (those two brands sound pretty close also).

There's always something that will make some people prefer one brand over the others, whether it be how the company presents itself, the artists, of course the actual sound, maybe the overall appearance of the cymbals... etc.

Honestly though... don't really worry about it. Just decide which ones you want and go with them. My personal favorites are Meinl, Paiste/Zildjian and Sabian in that order. Something about Meinl attracts me more to them over others... can't really explain, but there ya go. Pretty much every company makes good stuff. Same applies to drums, heads and sticks, too, really.
Last edited by Steve08 at Jun 22, 2011,
#3
They'll all BASICALLY produce the same sound. I mean, all the cymbals will be different to a point, but if you're looking for a crash cymbal, it's not like one brand is miles ahead than another. I wouldn't even worry about looking at brands. Ask them if you can test em out (they normally have loner sticks) and check out the resonance, the bell, the depth of the noise, how dark it sounds, etc. I don't even look at brands anymore. I just think of what sound do I want, test a couple of them out, and go for it. The most known brands are going to be good no matter what (Zildjian, Sabian)
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#4
The only way to start cymbal shopping is just go to a music shop with a big selection, and start hitting them all to find out for yourself which one you like. Every brand of cymbal have kinda been labeled with a certain stereotype...ignore that. If you prefer jazz, you may find you like Meinl best (often associated with metal)...it's all what you like, and how you think it fits your style. Obviously, any brand you see in the store make quality cymbals.
Me, I am an idiot...when I first got the money to get some good cymbals, I went in without an open mind, ONLY shopped for Zildjians because they were the big name...big mistake. Not that they don't sound great, I am certainly happy with them, but I limited my options SO MUCH. And since then, I've had the chance to play quite a few different cymbals, and I've come to find that they're others out there that match what I'm looking for much better than my Zilds. And now that college and car payments are taking up most of my extra cash, it's not often I buy new cymbals. Bottom line...shop with an open mind, try out any/all that's available. Also, do some research, there is some lesser known brands out there, that sound just as good, if not better than some of the brand name cymbals and a quarter of the price...Dream cymbals for example.
Last edited by AmericanZero13 at Jun 23, 2011,
#5
I'd just check out the artists page on company websites to see what your favorite drummers are using. Then you can just check out a live video or studio recording and get a nice idea of what it would sound like. Thats what I did when I started adding to my "What cymbals to buy but will probably never afford" list
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#6
Pretty much everything Steve08 says is pretty spot on for my thinking.

What I tend to do is go to a store and look for my kind of cymbal, then buy it second hand on ebay or wherever else I can find it. It's how I got my 17" Medium A crash and 16" Stagg medium crash. Granted, it's a pretty risky move buying online unless you've tried out the same cymbal. Also youtube has videos of cymbals, like the memphis drum store that has videos of employees trying out cymbals (Just make sure you have good speakers or headphones to really get an idea of the cymbal).

Also, some less well known or cheaper brands have great cymbals. Great example would be Wuhan and their china cymbals, they're cheap, some can break easily if not mounted and played properly, but the price of 4+ of them you'd be paying for like a mid-high range china from one of the big four manufacturers.

for me, it's zildjians all the way though an interesting fact is the owner/founder of Sabian is from the zildjian family, Sabian cymbals are made in the same factory where they used to make the zildjian A or K line.
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#7
Like any acoustic instrument, I've found that brand gives you a hint of tone but you still can't know, based on the brand or model, exactly what it's going to sound like. I actually take my cymbals to the music shop when I'm looking for something specific just so that I can know it's going to sound good with what I've got. The only 2 cymbals I didn't do that with never get used so that has to say something right? In general I've found that I like the traditional, bright, tone of the Sabian AA line but when I got a sabian AA medium ride I hated it. I'm also a big fan of paiste signature and a few of the "lesser" pastie cymbals but again, got a thin china and it was horrible. So you really do have to see what you think at the time because you can't trust a brand or a model. There will always be subtle differences. It's worth the risk of ebay buying, I think, just because they tend to sell for about a third of the retail values so even if you hate it and sell it on, you can still come out spending less money in the end, but there is always risk.
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#8
Quote by Steve08
There's not a big difference. If you go from like, traditional Turkish building to European building the difference is more notable though. Zildjian and Sabian sound fairly similar, and both those two brands sound fairly different compared to Meinl and Paiste (those two brands sound pretty close also).

There's always something that will make some people prefer one brand over the others, whether it be how the company presents itself, the artists, of course the actual sound, maybe the overall appearance of the cymbals... etc.

Honestly though... don't really worry about it. Just decide which ones you want and go with them. My personal favorites are Meinl, Paiste/Zildjian and Sabian in that order. Something about Meinl attracts me more to them over others... can't really explain, but there ya go. Pretty much every company makes good stuff. Same applies to drums, heads and sticks, too, really.


I love Paiste too, first time I got one of their cymbals I loved smashing it. The sound felt so full. It NEVER broken... not that I intend to break it anytime soon. Even using soft techniques and jazz bullshit on it... it still sounds awesome.
#9
I'm surprised some body hasn't came in this thread and said "OMGZ!!! YOU CANT HAVZ A VS THREADZ!!! REPORTED!!!!"

Anyway, cymbals are more preference. Like everybody else has already said, mostly all cymbals are good and sound "good" it just all depends on what you like and what kind of music you are playing. I will say a few things though:

1.) Wuhan cymbals break VERY easily and quickly but thats expected since they're cheap. I love wuhan chinas trashy sound!
2.) I have Zildjian A Custom cymbals, don't play any harder than any other drummer I've seen, and they broke within 4 years......just telling my experience
3.) In my personal opinion any Paiste cymbal I've heard/played sounds kind of "fake." I dunno, I don't really like the sound of a Paiste cymbal
#10
Quote by anthsband
I'm surprised some body hasn't came in this thread and said "OMGZ!!! YOU CANT HAVZ A VS THREADZ!!! REPORTED!!!!"

Anyway, cymbals are more preference. Like everybody else has already said, mostly all cymbals are good and sound "good" it just all depends on what you like and what kind of music you are playing. I will say a few things though:

1.) Wuhan cymbals break VERY easily and quickly but thats expected since they're cheap. I love wuhan chinas trashy sound!
2.) I have Zildjian A Custom cymbals, don't play any harder than any other drummer I've seen, and they broke within 4 years......just telling my experience

3.) In my personal opinion any Paiste cymbal I've heard/played sounds kind of "fake." I dunno, I don't really like the sound of a Paiste cymbal



Gotta love the Wuhan, if I broke mine I'd still buy another because they sound so good. Having said that I don't ride ridiculously hard on mine like I've seen other guys do. I've been to gigs and rehearsals where the drummer is hitting his cymbals (especialy the china) with enough force to kill a small child, so it's because of that I'm sceptical when people break their cymbals and say "They broke so easily/quickly"
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#11
I honestly don't get why people swing their whole arms into the cymbal, it's going to wear it out far quicker... I don't play mine very hard, enough to get good volume out of it obviously, but they're fairly close to me and I use pretty much just my wrists to play them.
#12
Quote by anthsband
In my personal opinion any Paiste cymbal I've heard/played sounds kind of "fake." I dunno, I don't really like the sound of a Paiste cymbal

My thoughts exactly. Because they are made from B8, they remind me too much of that glassy, bright sound of beginner cymbals. I can see why people like it, I just don't.

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Even using soft techniques and jazz bullshit on it...

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I once had a 16" Wuhan China. I hated it. I now have a 12" in a stack, but it sounds like balls on its own.
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Last edited by thepoopkid3 at Jun 27, 2011,
#13
Quote by Steve08
I honestly don't get why people swing their whole arms into the cymbal, it's going to wear it out far quicker... I don't play mine very hard, enough to get good volume out of it obviously, but they're fairly close to me and I use pretty much just my wrists to play them.


I play very light myself. I don't like having everything far away for heavy hitting because it makes my drumming slower. The longer head and cymbal life is an added bonus. I've never broken a cymbal and I've been using some of them for nearly 20 years.
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