When you add cymbals to your drum set, you take your music to the next level. Cymbals add extra dimension and richness to any music you create. Not all cymbals are created equal, and some will add much more to your drum set than others in terms of quality and durability. Here are some reviews of the best cymbals for drum sets for your next gig or jam session.
If you are a drummer, or you’re about to start drumming, you may already be interested in buying a cymbal. But, why? What exactly are cymbals for? And, what can you expect to pay for a quality cymbal? We have put together this shopping guide and some recommendations to answer these questions and more.
What are some tips about drum sets?
Bass drums are large, heavy instruments that are susceptible to being mishandled. Before you begin shopping for a new bass drum set, check the measurements of your chosen set so you can be certain it will fit your drumming area. Try to avoid having the same manufacturer make both the body and the head of the bass drums. The head is where the sounds are produced and what determines the sound quality of a bass drum. If you purchase a set that has a different head shape than the original manufacturer, that head may not fit well with your own playing style. A more flexible head will allow you to play different sounds and patterns with the lead bass. Bass drum heads are not smooth like most acoustic or electric drums, so keep this in mind if your new drum kit has an interesting design or color. Some drummers prefer to work with both a fixed and detachable bass pad, while others prefer a single pad with a wider head to better fit the space on stage. Your bass kit should come with all the hardware you need to install the pads if you choose to use them. Additionally, your bass instrument may need specific mounting hardware. To make it easier for you, we have created this handy shopping guide with recommended hardware and installation instructions.
What do I need to consider when buying a cymbal for my drum set?
The size of your cymbal is directly related to the volume level you want your drum set to have. If you’re playing in a big band, you don‘t need to break out the fattest cymets because you have a large enough drum kit. That said, if you play in an intimate jam session or just want to jam, a smaller cymbal will help you hear all the nuances of the sound better. The most important factor is finding a cymbal that will complement the size and sound of any available drum sound. How you fill your PA will also impact your choice of cymbol. Most PA systems have cymbals that can be filled to give you the fullness of a specific sound (think snare, for example). Your choice will depend on how you like to fill out your sound and what kind of PA system you plan on using.
A heavy cymon is easier to control and also sounds better on the PA. A light cymbal is also easier on your fingers and drums if your playing is faster and wilder. However, some cymbals are not as heavy as others, so don't go overboard with a lighter cymbals just because it's lighter.”
Most cymbals are made of nickel silver (nickel-coated iron). If your chosen cymbal will be on a plastic stand or a rubber pad, it will need a certain weight. Brass cymbals are often made with nickel-plated steel (or nickel coated steel).
How expensive are cymbals?
Entry-level cymbal sets start at $45 to $60. Instruments in this price range are typically modeled after popular popular concert-style acoustic models. These cymbals may be bare, but they’re likely to have a plastic rim. They may have one or two thin white acrylic plates or be filled with wooden or plastic chips.
The majority of cymbals for $70 to roughly $120 are solid metal cymbals. You'll also find a few that are covered with a laminated or molded plastic shell.
Expensive (and rare)
If you're willing to spend $150 or more, you can find some extremely rare acoustic and electric models from some of the leading manufacturers. Many of these models are crafted from solid brass. Some are stamped with the company logo in the center of a lacquered or painted surface.
What are the features to look for when buying cymbals for drum sets?
Cymbal Buying Guide & FAQ Features To Look For In Drum Heads Before deciding which cymbal you want to buy, it's worth deciding what features are most important to you.
In general, smaller cymbals are better for beginners. Drummers who are new to playing will need something lightweight, so they can get a feel for the cymbal before investing too much. Ideally, you should try out a few different sizes to find the one that's the most comfortable for you to play.
It's important that you're able to hear your cymbals when playing. Otherwise, your playing won't be as good as it could be. The quality of the sound you get from a cypher is measured in decibels (dB). Low-quality cymbals don't sound as nice as high-end ones, but it doesn't make a big difference. When buying your drum cymbal, look out for a rating between 55 and 65 dB, which is the equivalent of around 85 to 100 watts.
The weight of a drum set can make all the difference to how comfortable it is to hold. If you'll be playing it a lot, the weight will make it easier to pick up and carry. Conversely, heavier cymbal sets will weigh more. Larger cymbals will also make carrying them more difficult. A good weight for starting out is around 1.5 pounds.
Some cymbals like to have a choice of cables. This allows them to add more to their sound. Some of these accessories will include stands, microphones, and bagging straps. Of course, cymbal accessories are usually more expensive.
The basic types of cymbals are acoustic, nylon, metal and plastic. Each of these has specific characteristics that set it apart from the others.
These cymbals are made from steel, aluminum, or a combination of the two. They have a warmer sound and are less durable than plastic cymbals. The sound is generally more pliant, though some are thicker than others.
Nylons are harder than other cymbals. Their high-pitched sounds are somewhat brighter than those of other types. Because nylon is so durable, it is often used in larger music production facilities.
Metal cymbals have either a metal core or an alloy of metal and wood. These tend to have a duller sound than nylon cymes.
Plastic cymbals are pliable, lightweight and durable. However, they don’t provide a warm, bright sound, and are usually just used for practice. As a result, plastic is less commonly used as a cymbal than some other options.
Q: What is the best size for a cymbal?
A: The best cymbal size depends on the style of music and the musician. If you play a lot of classical or jazz drums, your cymbal should be no smaller than D. It is recommended to avoid cymbals that are too small, as they are hard to play and aren’t easy to keep in tune.
Q: Can I use a bigger drum kit on a smaller cymbal?
A: Probably, but it's not advised. A larger cymbal is too heavy to sit comfortably on smaller drums. The same goes for larger pads on cymbals that contain smaller heads.