The best cymbals in the world today

11th Oct 2010 | 14:30

The best cymbals in the world today
The best cymbals in the world today
Budget sets to high-end pro pieces

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.

First up: the best classic all-rounder cymbals, Zildjian’s Avedis range

The best cymbals in the world today
Best classic all-rounder cymbals: Zildjian Avedis
£268-£428

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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:

Paiste 2002 Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Bosphorus Stanton Moore Cymbals

Dream Contact Cymbals - (BUY: Andertons Music Co.)

Next: Best modern all-rounder cymbals: Zildjian A Custom

The best cymbals in the world today
Best modern all-rounder cymbals: Zildjian A Custom
£268-£466

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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.

FULL REVIEW: Zildjian A Custom Fast Cymbals and Zildjian A Custom ReZo Cymbals

BUY: Zildjian A Custom Fast Cymbals: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.

BUY: Zildjian A Custom ReZo Cymbals: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.

If you like Zildjian’s A Custom cymbals, you’ll also like:

Paiste Signature Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Meinl Soundcaster Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann)

Sabian AAX Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Next: Best warm cymbals: Zildjian K

The best cymbals in the world today
Best warm cymbals: Zildjian K
£143-£524

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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.

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FULL REVIEW: Zildjian K Dark Cymbals and Zildjian K Brilliant Crash Rides

BUY: Zildjian K Dark Cymbals: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.

If you like Zildjian’s K Cymbals, you’ll also like:

Istanbul Agop Signature Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann)

Meinl Byzance Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann)

Dream Bliss Cymbals

Next: Best aggressive cymbals: Zildjian Z3

The best cymbals in the world today
Best aggressive cymbals: Zildjian Z3
From £209

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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

BUY: Zildjian Z3 Cymbals: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.

If you like Zildjian’s Z3 cymbals, you’ll also like:

Sabian APX Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Meinl Mb20 Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann)

Paiste Rude Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann)

Istanbul Alchemy Power-X Cymbals

Next: Best mid-range cymbals: Sabian XS20

The best cymbals in the world today
Best mid-range cymbals: Sabian Xs20
£130-£210

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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.

FULL REVIEW: Sabian Xs20 Cymbals and Sabian Xs20 Brilliant Finish Cymbals

BUY: Sabian Xs20 Cymbals: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.

BUY: Sabian Xs20 Brilliant Finish Cymbals: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.

If you like Sabian’s XS20 cymbals, you’ll also like:

Paiste Alpha Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Meinl Mb8 Cymbals

Zildjian ZHT Cymbals - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Next: Best budget cymbals: Stagg Double Hammered

The best cymbals in the world today
Best budget cymbals: Stagg Double Hammered
From £18

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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:

Paiste PST 5 - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Sabian Solar - (BUY: Andertons Music Co.)

Meinl MCS - (BUY: Thomann)

Zildjian ZBT - (BUY: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)

Next: Best effects cymbals: Factory Metal

The best cymbals in the world today
Best effects cymbals: Factory Metal
Various prices

MusicRadar’s verdict:

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.

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If you like Factory Metal cymbals, you’ll also like:

Istanbul Traditional Effects Cymbals

Paiste Noiseworks Cymbals - (Buy: Thomann)

Meinl Generation X Cymbals - (Buy: Thomann)

Zildjian FX Cymbals - (Buy: Thomann | Andertons Music Co.)


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