Newest Review: ... the drums on the cymbals to have a decent overall sound. It is not until you record that you realise how obvious a cheap set of cymbals is... more
good drums+cheap cymbals=cheap sound
Member Name: jpjarratt
Date: 25/11/01, updated on 25/11/01 (5188 review reads)
Advantages: good sound
how many times have I seen it. People go out and spend all their hard earned/borrowed cash on a lovely brand new drum kit, get it home and then realise they've only got an old set of ten pound chinese cymbals to accompany it. Actually I have done this myself but realised when I was gigging and someone said my "brass" sounded crap that I needed to sort it out.
Since then I've realised that you really want to be spending approximately 2/3 of what you spend on the drums on the cymbals to have a decent overall sound. It is not until you record that you realise how obvious a cheap set of cymbals is.
Cymbals come in a large variety of makes, materials and sizes. Essentially the cheapest cymbals are made of brass which can be picked up quite cheap, are generally durable but don't sound too hot. The next up are alloys called B8 and B12. B12 is better than B8 due to its composition. However the best cymbals are bronze made.
Different construction techniques exist. On the one side is Paiste who have a very high-tech computer designed approach and a corresponding very clean sound. Zildijan and Istanbul pursue older more hand made techniques with possibly a fuller, more complex sound.
Which sizes of cymbals depends on what style of music you play. For general use probably a pair of 14" hi-hats, 15" and 18" crashes and a 20" ride makes a good compromise.
Second hand cymbals can be absolute bargains assuming you check them well. It does make it more difficult to have a matching set though and having cymbals that match is quite important I think.
Go and play the cymbals with your drumkit before you buy them. Either bring your drums into the shop or borrow them for the day. If they won't let you do this, go elsewhere.
For the record I have a set of Meinl Reference Class Cymbals which give a very clean and modern sound to go with my Remo Encore kit.
DONT NEGLECT YOUR C