The best cymbals in the world today
11th Oct 2010 | 14:30
The best cymbals in the world today
This is a constantly updated gallery of the best cymbals on the planet - from modern budget sets to warm high-end pieces, there’s a cymbal set here to suit every drummer and drumming style.
This month we're revisiting our round-up with a new best aggressive cymbal in the shape of Zildjian’s suitably weighty Z3 range, and an all-new category; modern all-rounders.
All the cymbals here are hand-picked from the buyers’ guide pages of Rhythm magazine following a gruelling test process. So, have a browse and be sure to click through to read the full review for an in-depth look at each cymbal.
Best classic all-rounder cymbals: Zildjian Avedis
The original Zildjian range, Avedis cymbals have featured on countless recordings over the decades. Their bright, full-bodied and colourful sound enables them to shine in just about any musical situation. Available in a huge variety of weights and sizes, Avedis cymbals have been used by drummers from Buddy Rich to Lars Ulrich.
FULL REVIEW: Zildjian A Series Fast Cymbals
BUY: Zildjian A Series Fast Cymbals: Andertons Music Co.
If you like Zildjian’s Avedis cymbals, you’ll also like:
Best modern all-rounder cymbals: Zildjian A Custom
Originally designed for Vinnie Colaiuta, A Customs are a modern interpretation of the classic Zildjian A sound. With heavier weights, rotary hammering patterns and a high blinding finish, A Customs are powerful yet articulate cymbals. Amongst the conventional crash, ride and hi-hat models are a growing number of newer and distinctly radical effects cymbals.
If you like Zildjian’s A Custom cymbals, you’ll also like:
Best warm cymbals: Zildjian K
Legendary cymbals with an illustrious history that are still the benchmark by which all warm cymbals are judged. Zildjian has ensured that the brand has moved with the times introducing new models that combine the classic K sound with more strident voicing, making them as relevant for contemporary musical situations as they are for jazz.
If you like Zildjian’s K Cymbals, you’ll also like:
Best aggressive cymbals: Zildjian Z3
Following on from the classic Z and Z Custom Ranges, Zildjian’s Z3 Series come stacked with enough high frequencies to cut across in the heaviest of situations. New lathing and hammering techniques mean the Z3s don’t have to rely so much on sheer weight to get their point across and so are kinder on the wrists.
FULL REVIEW: Zildjian Z3 Cymbals
If you like Zildjian’s Z3 cymbals, you’ll also like:
Paiste Rude Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann)
Best mid-range cymbals: Sabian Xs20
The Xs20s introduced B20 cast bronze cymbals to the mid-level market, and they have been improved with a new hand-lathing approach that sees wide grooves etched into the surface. The high tin content aligns the Xs20 with higher-priced cymbals, but without the price tag. Good all-rounders for reasonable money, then.
If you like Sabian’s XS20 cymbals, you’ll also like:
Best budget cymbals: Stagg Double Hammered
The rise of Stagg as a favoured budget cymbal brand has been an interesting development over the last couple of years. Proving that value is as important as profile at this end of the sector, the company has been making quite a name for itself. If your budget is limited, then the Stagg Double Hammered offering is a must-see.
FULL REVIEW: Stagg Classic Cymbals
If you like Stagg’s Double Hammered cymbals, you’ll also like:
Sabian Solar - (BUY: Andertons Music Co.)
Meinl MCS - (BUY: Thomann)
Best effects cymbals: Factory Metal
While everybody uses cymbals from the big brands, sometimes it pays to look elsewhere for exotica. And cymbals don’t come any more exotic than Factory Metal’s StackBasherz, Gothic Radius and Celtic Bells. Funky-looking and ideal for industrial bludgeon, eerie soundtracks and crunching sampled beats, they’re a breath of fresh air.
If you like Factory Metal cymbals, you’ll also like:
Istanbul Traditional Effects Cymbals
Paiste Noiseworks Cymbals - (Buy: Thomann)
Liked this? Now read: The best drum kits in the world today
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