Cymbals are a very exciting aspect of a drum set, perhaps even the most exciting aspect. Hearing the crash of cymbals just does something to everyone listening. And that’s why as a drummer, you really don’t want to skimp on the quality of cymbals you get for your drum set.
Drummers often use the crash of cymbals to mark the transition into a new part of a song. It could also act as an accent punctuating a dance number or musical passage. Or it could bring a climax to a really great song.
Experienced drummers usually have their go-to brands and models when it comes to cymbals. However, if you’re a newbie you’re probably seeking help. Fortunately, you got here just in time.
Our article is about to show how best to pick a cymbal set. We also have 8 sets reviewed for you to pick from. Now, get in here. It’s time to have a blast!
- Top 8 Best Cymbal Sets To Buy 2021 Reviews
- Buying Guide For Best Cymbal Sets
Top 8 Best Cymbal Sets To Buy 2021 Reviews
1 Meinl Ultimate Cymbal Set
The Meinl Ultimate Cymbal Set is one of the best cymbal sets you can get in the market currently. This set is made in Germany. So, yeah you should be assured of quality here.
Anyway, these are brass alloy cymbals and some of the finest you’d see right now.
Of course, brass alloy suggests that this is an entry-level model. But trust us when we say that it’s a super durable set. However you like to play, this cymbal set will match you strength for strength and still see many years of use.
Besides durability, these excellently constructed cymbals are super responsive which makes playing more enjoyable. And besides the responsiveness of these cymbals, they also have a sound quality that would leave any drummer beyond impressed.
The Meinl cymbals maintain their tone regardless of the level of impact. So, there’s no need to worry here if you’re a vigorous drummer. The Meinl cymbals have got you. They each sound bright with an impressive resonation as well.
To get an arrangement that’s best for you, we will advise you to try out different arrangements as you practice. Experimenting exposes you to several setup options to help you achieve a more personalized sound.
So, what’s in this box?
- A pair of 14 inch hi-hats.
- 16 inch crash.
- 18 inch crash.
- 16 inch china.
- 10 inch splash.
- And complements of the house, you also get a free 16 inch trash can.
This cymbal set is great for beginners and students as it contains nearly all kinds of cymbals as you find them in professional arrangements. Crisp hi-hats, shimmering rides and crashes to bells, chinas and splashes, this cymbal set is a steal!
2 Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Cymbal Set
Next on our list, is the high quality Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Cymbal Set. If you know Zildjian, you should know that it’s the brand of the professionals. Its cymbals might be pricey but the truth is that they over deliver in quality and performance.
Its Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Cymbal Set is also quite pricey. It’s just a few hundreds shy of $1000. As you can see it’s not within the easy reach of most beginners. This is why we recommend this as a professional cymbal set.
You can trust Zildjian’s craftsmanship of course. The manufacturers over at Zildjian did a painstaking and thorough job in making these cymbals. This shows in the looks, feel, durability, and sound of these cymbals.
Obviously, these are good looking cymbals. They feel high end as they are and also sound pretty good too.
Also, it might sound like such a huge expense upfront, but getting the Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Cymbal Set is more than buying a cymbal set. It’s an investment. These cymbals more than pay for themselves in their durability.
However vigorously you like to play, there’s comfort in knowing that these cymbals will stand by you through everything.
In the sound department also, we found these cymbals to be reliable and versatile.
Of course you’d have to try different setups and arrangements to end up with the best sound for you. But you can also rest assured that once that is done, these cymbals beautify your playing whatever genre of music you prefer.
So, indeed this might be a pretty pricey cymbal set, but we can assure you that you can never go wrong with Zildjian.
3 Sabian Xplosion Performance Set
You definitely cannot go wrong with the Sabian Xplosion Performance Set. This is a set of high quality cymbals from a solid brand. Sabian has been in the business for a while. They are rivals of Zildjian but one thing is sure, this is a brand that knows its stuff.
Now, first things first, we are super impressed by the quality of craftsmanship that went into the making of these cymbals. The manufacturers over at Sabian hand-crafted these cymbals using B20 bronze.
A quick crash course if you’re new to cymbals. B20 is a material used to make the highest end cymbals. Professionals opt for B20 cymbals because they boast rich acoustics. Also, this is the reason manufacturers use the B20 bronze alloy for bells and cymbals.
Of course, you can already deduce that these cymbals sound great already from everything we’ve explained about the B20 bronze alloy. However, there’s more…
Besides hand-crafting these cymbals, Sabian also made sure to hand hammer these cymbals as well. This also ensures quality. But in addition, this also assures you of durability. It’s a set of cymbals that will hold up to a lot of vigorous hitting.
The Sabian Xplosion Performance Set is fantastic for modern settings. Their tone is rich and bright. Plus, they also pack a lot of volume. If, as a drummer, you’re looking to achieve a professional sound and tone, this is a cymbal set you want to consider.
Finally, it’s really impressive that these cymbals pack volume. What’s more impressive though is that they still maintain their tone whatever the volume. Plus, they are great for recording as well. These cymbals have a much larger dynamic range than cheaper cymbals sets can give.
4 Meinl Cymbal Set Box
The Meinl Cymbal Set Box is a beautiful cymbal set with an interesting dark color that’s also attractive. Meinl employed special methods to ensure to give these cymbals their dark hue. But besides the dark shade they give these cymbals, this special process also impacts on the kind of tones this delivers.
We find that the Meinl Cymbal Set Box produces dark tones with a rich complexity and warmth to them. With this unique blend, these cymbals are more than equipped to bring that beauty and warmth to your drumming.
The variety of cymbals in this set is diverse enough for any beginner. It completes your drum set. Plus, it comes with a full range of sounds that players can dig into and express themselves as loudly as they like.
We’re pretty sure that by experimenting with different setup options, the beginner will land on something that fits his personal style best.
Now, we’ve talked about the versatility of sound here as well as sound quality. However, something else this cymbal set packs in huge amounts is volume. You can be sure that the cymbals have enough volume to cut through roaring guitars.
This is great as it means that you don’t have to hit too hard to be heard above the noise.
But either way, if that’s your style still, these are durable cymbals, so they can take the hit!
5 Dream Cymbals IGNCP3 Ignition Cymbal Pack
The Dream Cymbals IGNCP3 Ignition Cymbal Pack is a beginner cymbal set. It’s a tad bit expensive for a set of beginner cymbals. However, you can be sure that this one of the best beginner cymbal sets you can get in the market right now.
We’re talking hand hammered B20 bronze here. So, yeah, this is hardcore stuff. B20 bronze is hands down the best material for making cymbals. But it’s not enough that these cymbals come with high quality materials, the manufacturing process here is also impeccable.
This might be a bit expensive but you can be assured that the extra money you’re going to be paying here will be going into quality control. Well deserved if you ask us.
It might not cost as much as some Zildjian and Sabian models, but in sound quality, this cymbal pack compares favorably. If you can’t exactly afford any of these higher end models right now then we recommend the Dream Cymbals Cymbal Pack. It will definitely serve, and not just averagely either.
Yeah, we’ve also got to mention here that this comes with a cymbal bag. Not all packs come with this, so yeah, we had to mention.
6 Zildjian ZBT Starter Cymbal Set
Once again, we check out a Zildjian cymbal. This time we’re reviewing its Zildjian ZBT Starter Cymbal Set. The brand uses its Zildjian Bronze Technology here using the B8 alloy to craft these cymbals.
B8 is a far better alloy for making cymbals than brass. This is because bronze has better acoustics than brass does.
You find that B8 alloys tend to give a cymbals a much warmer and nicer sound than brass cymbals. To put things in perspective, most beginner drum sets come with brass cymbals. And you know how those sound.
Nonetheless, B8 alloy is cheaper than B20 which is why this comes quite reasonably priced. However, though, they don’t sound like B20. Now, this isn’t to say that B8 cymbals sound bad. It’s just that sound somewhat different, a little brighter and more focused actually, than B20.
So, altogether, these might come a bit cheap in price, nonetheless, the sound quality here is undeniable.
Another thing you can be assured of with the B8 alloy is durability. This is a solid set of cymbals that will last you through your musical journey. So, vigorous drummer or not, these will last, no doubt.
7 Wuhan WITBSU Western Style Cymbal Set
The Wuhan WITBSU Western Style Cymbal Set is about the best budget cymbal set you can possibly get. It is made in China which could get anyone a teeny bit worried. But just before you scroll away, hold up, you might actually love this especially if you’re a beginner.
This cymbal set comes in the famous B20 alloy which is popular for its warmer and fuller sound. This is already saying a lot for a cymbal set so decently priced.
Another reason this cymbal set is fantastic is that it comes hand hammered. If you’re familiar with cymbals, you should know that hand hammering is common to high end cymbals mostly. So, seeing a hand hammered sub-$200 cymbal set is like seeing a unicorn. Cherish it!
Now, hand hammering is great and all but then again, there’s one teeny problem. All Wuhan cymbals sound exactly the same which can be good or bad depending. Just keep in mind that you might have to return this if it doesn’t suit your tastes.
Other than that, this set is a great buy.
Now, the Western WITBSU Western Style Cymbal Set comes with a cymbal bag. This helps you to store your stuff and carry them around too.
As you can see, for a budget cymbal, the Wuhan cymbals seem to be doing pretty good so far. We told you not to give up on them so quickly.
We recommend this cymbal to any beginner that finds the Meinls, Sabians, and Zildjians a bit too high end. At a sub-$200 price tag, you’ve got to agree that this cymbal set is a steal!
8 Sabian SBR Performance Pack
Last but definitely not the least, the Sabian SBR Performance Pack is great and decently priced too. Unlike the Wuhan cymbals though, these are brass cymbals which means that, quality wise, this isn’t as great as the Wuhan cymbals. And we’re just being sincere.
Nonetheless, this is still a great cymbal pack especially for the price. So, if you’re a drummer on a budget, this is another option you could possibly try.
The cymbals here are all brass like we mentioned. The other great thing about them though is that they come with an excellent construction. This is what gives these cymbals their durability. It’s going to witness extended years of use however often you hit these with your sticks.
With a bright and warm sound, there’s a lot that this cymbal pack brings to you in terms of sound quality. Its tone is also pretty clean and crisp too.
Of course the fact that this comes from Sabian is a huge pro on its own. We love it!
Buying Guide For Best Cymbal Sets
So, here are some factors to consider when going for cymbals.
Material To Go For: Bronze B8, Brass, or B20?
Crashes are made from alloys. So, expectedly, the quality and nature of alloy a brand uses to make its cymbals would affect the sound quality you get from it. You find most professional cymbals in bronze alloy but also with a 20% hint of tin as well.
Manufacturers call this alloy B20 in the cymbal making industry.
Now, there’s a different alloy referred to as B8. This alloy has a slightly more reddish tint than the B20 because it contains a smaller tin content of about 8%.
In performance, B20 tends to give a softer and warmer sound than B8 cymbals which tend to give a brighter sound.
Then there’s the brass alloy too. This one is mostly used for entry-level cymbal sets. It’s a lot cheaper than the B20 and B8 alloys. Plus, it also costs less in funds and efforts to set up. If used in a professional setup, brass cymbals are included to bring some effect to the music.
The Weight Of The Cymbals Affects Volume
Weight plays a huge role in the performance of any set of cymbals. It affects the playability, presence, and feel of the cymbals in general. Music genres such as Power, Heavy, Rock, and Metal sound better with heavier cymbal models.
However, for Jazz, Thin, Medium-Thin, and Medium, lightweight models and moderately light models are better.
Heavy cymbals tend to give a louder, more metallic sound, with a longer resonance than lighter cymbals. Nonetheless, they give a much slower response time.
Drummers who are quite vigorous in their playing might prefer heavier cymbals. They are also great for louder stages because of their volume. Just be careful not to go too heavy, else it sounds too heavy and kind annoying.
Average weighted cymbals are great for Soul, Hip Hop, or Rock. Genres like these prefer thinner cymbals due to their fast response and fast decay too.
Now, for those who will be playing in smaller venues, jazz drummers, or drummers that accompany singers, a thin cymbal might be best. The fact that they don’t need a lot of energy to achieve a fuller sound is what makes these cymbals awesome for such genres.
For players that like to play it hard, larger cymbals might be better. Think 16 inches at least. Such cymbals don’t saturate quickly, sound fuller, and diffuse sound better than smaller cymbals.
On the other hand, if you’re gentler, then think of going for smaller cymbals. Smaller cymbals tend to give a rounder, softer sound which you might prefer.
Now, if you’re not sure what kind of drummer you are, then 14 inch hi-hat cymbals, 20 inch ride cymbals, with crash cymbals between 16 and 18 inches would do.
Not every drummer might play the bells but it is still quite significant to the sound of your cymbals. They add harmonics, which in turn enhances presence and a better sound concentration. If you play flat-rides you should understand.
Also, heavy cymbals with a large bell tend to sound more powerfully with more ping, and richer harmonics than a thin cymbal with a bell.
Buying Separately or Buying a Complete Set?
Now, generally, it seems wiser and more cost-effective to get a complete set of cymbals rather than buy separately. However, those who are extremely picky about their cymbal sound might find that a particular cymbal in the set doesn’t suit their exact tastes.
A way to fix that is to sell the erring cymbal and replace it with something that suits your tastes better.
Otherwise, it’s a great choice buying your cymbals in a set.
Our favorite cymbal set? That would have to go to the Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Cymbal Set. It might be a little out of reach for some, but it is the best on our review, nonetheless. It’s a cymbal pack for the professionals though, so understandably, beginners might feel left out.
And that’s why we’re announcing our best beginner cymbal set. That award goes to the Wuhan WITBSU Western Style Cymbal Set. It’s so reasonably priced and yet the quality of construction that goes into making this is pretty high end. We love!