Cymbal reviews

Here’s a list of all the cymbals I’ve owned and what’s good and what’s bad about them, and which ones I’ve sold, bought used or new

14” Wuhan B8 Hi Hats- New, sold

These cymbals are quite bad, even for entry level cymbals. While wuhan has improved their entry level cymbals by using B20 bronze as opposed to B8, the whole B8 series pretty much sucks. The hi hats are probably the worst of the bunch though, with few redeeming qualities.

16” Wuhan B8 Crash- New, sold

Better than the sabian B8 crashes but not by much. The new B20 crashes however are in my opinion the best in their price range.

20” Wuhan B8 Medium ride- New, sold

Good bell, but otherwise rather awful sounding.

18” Istanbul Xist Crash- New, sold

This was my first high end cymbal. It had a rather uninteresting sound, but it was by no means bad. For what it costs, I’d much rather go with a zildjian A or K.

10” Stagg Medium splash- Used, sold

Great sounding, reasonably priced splash cymbal. I find it better suited to louder music, given its ability to cut, through. The only reason I sold it was because I found I preferred the Zildjian Trashformer slightly quicker decay.

16” Sabian AAX Bright Crash- Used, sold

Good sounding cymbal that formed the blueprint of my crash sound for many years. Best suited to metal or heavy rock, but still fairly versatile.

16” Sabian B8 Thin Crash (used only as a bottom hi hat, not a crash)- used, sold

Absolutely horrid crash, but it functioned somewhat well for a bottom hi hat (using the dream bliss 16” as a top).

16” Dream bliss crash- Used, sold

Very sensitive due to being extremely thin, but quite piercing and not always in a good way. Functioned as my top hi hat for several months as I waited for my set of new zildjians to arrive.

14” Zildjian A Custom Mastersound Hi Hats- New

My first true professional hi hat pair. These cymbals tend to get better with age (my drum teacher had a pair from the early 2000s that I could use as a comparison), but still quite excellent for metal and anything else where cutting through the mix is necessary. The bottom cymbal has a wavy edge, which produces a louder “chick” sound but at the price of versatility when played open.

16” Zildjian A Custom Crash (thin)- New

This is probably the blueprint for the modern crash cymbal. Bright, but not too much, sensitive, but not so thin as to reduce the decay and incredibly versatile, but not boring.

18” Zildjian A Custom Fast Crash- New

One of my favorite cymbals, this crash is once again quite versatile, but the decay is much shorter, which is something that I have grown to like.

18” Zildjian A Custom EFX Crash- New

This cymbal is essentially an A custom crash but with holes cut in. This drastically reduces the decay and provides a trashy sound that still is smooth enough to sound more like a crash than a china.

19” Zildjian A Custom Medium Crash- Used, sold

Quite a departure from my other crashes, being several weight classes heavier and having a rather long decay. Still quite versatile, if you pay attention to how you play it.

19” Zildjian A Custom Projection Crash- Used

Sounds exactly like the medium. This is an older one, and the new ones are slightly thinner, and sound more distinct.

19” Zildjian A Custom Crash (thin)- New

My newest cymbal, I have this set up as my first crash, and it does the job well, as it should. This cymbal has a very nice feel to it, and responds to swells and chokes very nicely. Occasionally I’ll hear some strange overtones from it, but I haven’t had it long enough to really get a feel for it.

20” Zildjian A Custom Ping Ride- New, sold

Excellent for metal, pretty bad for everything else. I had it for only a day, as I only could afford to one ride cymbal at the time and needed something more versatile.

20” Zildjian A Custom Ride (medium thin) Used, sold

I regret selling this cymbal. It was an absolutely incredible sounding crash, and quite good as a ride. The newer 2010s models are nowhere near as good.

21” Zildjian A Custom 20th Anniversary Ride (medium thin)- Used

The most versatile ride I’ve ever played, but with that comes the inevitable lack of excellence in any particular genre. It has a nice bell, a decent ping, and a great crash. If you are only going to have one ride cymbal, it should be this.

22” Zildjian A Custom Ping Ride- Used, sold

As my collection was growing, my necessity for versatility dwindled, and when I saw this cymbal on eBay for $165, I thought I might as well get it. This is probably the perfect cymbal for thrash metal, and is quite well suited to almost any subgenre of metal. I sold this cymbal because I wanted a 20 that could do the job, but I’m contemplating buying it back (the store I sold it to sold it and then got it back).

10” Zildjian A Splash- Used

It’s a splash cymbal. Nothing more, nothing less. I use it as my secondary splash, for splash accents in fills.

21” Zildjian A Sweet Ride- New

This cymbal has long been heralded the most versatile cymbal of all time. It isn’t. It’s too washy when being crashed, the bell is too quiet, and it feels awkward when played lightly. I’ve only held onto it because nobody wants to buy it.

14.25” Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Hi Hats- Used

These hats are similar to the mastersounds, featuring similar contouring on the bottom, but are geared more towards funk and hip hop. I like these hats, but they don’t quite what I usually play.

18” Zildjian K Custom Dark Crash- New, sold

It says it all in the name. It’s a crash and It’s dark. Not a bad cymbal by any means, but it doesn’t mesh well with my A Customs.

17” Zildjian K custom dark crash- Used

I got this cymbal recently through a trade in, and so far I’m liking it. It has a rather smooth sound, and is fairly high pitched.

18” Zildjian K Custom dark crash- New, sold

I received this cymbal by mistake in a large order, having ordered the 17” version. It is a nice sounding cymbal, but doesn’t mesh very well with my primarily A custom based setup.

18” Zildjian K Custom Fast Crash- Used

This sounds like the cymbal that the Dream I previously owned tried to be but couldn’t. A darker, yet harsher sounding companion to the A Custom.

19” Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Crash- New, cracked

It looks better than it sounds, but the partial traditional, partial brilliant finish is also what leads to these cymbals cracking. Overall a versatile, yet boring cymbal.

20” Zildjian K Custom Ride (medium heavy)- Used

This is the cymbal I got to replace the 22 ping. It’s better suited to death metal, with an extremely piercing bell, but the ping leaves something to be desired.

22” Zildjian K Custom Dark Ride- New

This is probably my favorite cymbal. Very dynamic, with the ability to fit in a number of genres, but more on the lighter side of things.

18” Zildjian Z China Boy- Vintage, sold

Maybe this one was a fluke, but it sounds like a trash can lid. I bought it with the 20”

20” Zildjian Z China Boy- Vintage

Holy hell this thing is loud. Quite possibly the closest man made thing to thunder since heavy artillery. Not versatile at all, but for metal this cymbal is hard to beat. Also works somewhat well as a left side ride.

10” Zildjian FX Trashformer- New

It’s wavy and It’s purple. It’s also extremely thin, quite cheap and my favorite splash cymbal.

14” Zildjian FX Oriental China Trash- Used

My first China, and my first Zildjian. I got this for around $40 quite a few years ago, and it’s pretty good for what it is. I wouldn’t pay full price for it though.

18” Zildjian FX Oriental China Trash- New

This is probably the most versatile China cymbal I’ve played, and it excels in any genre that calls for one, from reggae to death metal.

15” Zildjian K/A Special Hi Hats (K Light top, A Heavy bottom)- New

The best hi hats I’ve ever played. Quite possibly the only example of this combination in existence. When ordering these, I used the new beat philosophy, which is a heavy bottom and a thin top. I decided to deviate from this a little, ending up with a K light top, as it was the only 15” k top that was in production (this was just weeks prior to the announcement of the K sweet line) and I was dead set on 15”s. These hats are excellent for everything I’ve thrown at them, from jazz to reggae to punk to metal. I absolutely can’t recommend these enough. The K sweet hi hats follow the same philosophy, but while great cymbals, aren’t quite as nice.

18” Zildjian ZBT China (modified)- Used, traded for lunch

It’s really just trash with a serial number. I bought it for around $15, and sort of had it laying around, with nothing to do with it. Eventually I gave it to a friend in exchange for a burger. He regrets that decision.

13” Zildjian L80 Low Volume Hi Hats- New, sold

It’s quiet. If that’s what you want, it does it. My only real gripe with the hats is that I don’t like 13”s.

18” Zildjian L80 Low Volume Crash/Ride- New, sold

It does what is says on the tin. It crashes, it rides. And it’s quiet.

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