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8 Best Cymbal Brands in 2022 Reviewed

Finding cymbals that sound great and are affordable can be a challenge. 

Luckily, there are plenty of cymbal brands with a wide selection of cymbal lines to suit most playing styles and skill levels. 

But learning cymbal types and how to play them is one thing. Finding the right brand that produces exceptional quality that suits your playing style is another. 

We’ve compiled our mega-list of the top eight cymbal manufacturers. You’ll learn what they offer and what makes each brand unique. 

Let’s dive in! 

1. Paiste

Paiste is one of the best cymbal manufacturers globally, highly regarded for producing top-quality cymbals that pro drummers use. 

The Paiste brand started as early as 1901 when Michail Paiste, a musician, and composer, started a modest instrument manufacturing and repair facility. He made the first cymbals based on customer requests. 

While Paiste cymbals have developed a reputation for being more expensive, the price is justifiable since their cymbals produce exceptional sounds and qualities. 

Fortunately, Paiste sells some of its cymbals in pre-made packs to offset the higher costs. These packs are more affordable than buying them individually, allowing budget-conscious drummers to obtain quality cymbals. 

Here are some of their best Paiste cymbals and their benefits: 

Paiste has plenty of options for drummers, from high-end cymbal sets and more. Whether you’re looking for cymbals designed for a recording booth like the Formula 602 Series or a classic rock set such as the 2002 Classic Big Sound, you’ll find what you need from Paiste. 

 

PROS

  • Variety of cymbals for all occasions like recording, stage performances, and all music genres 
  • Excellent reputation 
  • Known to be very durable 
  • Extremely responsive at all dynamic levels 

CONS

  • More expensive than other brands
 

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2. Sabian

Sabian is easily one of the best cymbal manufacturers and has a long reputation amongst top drummers. This brand has adopted a futuristic approach, reflected in its state-of-the-art cymbal designs. 

Interestingly, they were founded in 1981 by Robert Zildjian, the little brother of Avedis Zildjian, who started a competitor cymbal company. 

Let’s look at some of their most popular models: 

  • Artisan Series: These premium cymbals offer a darker sound, made for all music styles like jazz, pop, rock, and hip hop. 
  • Sabian HHX Legacy Set: A variety pack of cymbals with varying tones and sounds. 
  • Sabian HH: These cymbals are hand-hammered for more complex sounds. They deliver a short sustain with a dry tone, or an open, dark resonance.

Many Sabian cymbal packs offer cymbals with coherent tones. However, if you’re looking for varying sound qualities and tones, you’ll want to purchase Sabian cymbals individually. The cymbal maker makes many of its top products from B20 alloy, which is perfect for professional settings. 

Their lower-quality cymbals use B8, B12, and brass. Learning what cymbals are made of and their different sounds can help you narrow down your options. 

Sabian cymbals offer up to 24-inch cymbals, along with common-size structures like 14, 16, 18, and 20-inch cymbals. 

 

PROS

  • Used by pro drummers 
  • Their products offer a lot of punch and clarity across the board 
  • One-stop-shop to find great cymbals 
  • Versatile for most genres 

CONS

  • Some cymbal sets can be pricey 
  • Not all drummers like the darker tone 
 

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3. Meinl

Since 1951, Meinl has been a trusted cymbal brand offering great value. While affordable for the average drummer, you’ll still see them on many big stages where pro drummers perform. 

One of the primary reasons Meinl has remained a top player is its strong commitment to innovative solutions. Their products are highly durable, with excellent sonic qualities. 

Let’s look at several of their top cymbal packs to give you an idea of what they offer: 

 

PROS

  • Affordable prices with great value 
  • Excellent responsive sounds 
  • Durable and robust construction 
  • Available in many sizes and cymbal types 

CONS

  • Some of their beginner cymbals are cheap sounding 
 

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4. Zildjian

Zildjian is the world’s largest cymbal manufacturer and one of the oldest companies. They offer iconic cymbals played by legendary drummers. Their most notable endorsers include Steve Gadd, Dennis Chambers, Travis Barker, and Dominic Howard. 

There are many Zildjian series, the most notable being: 

  • K Custom Dark Cymbal Set: The K set has mellow tones with low-pitched sounds that blend well with other instruments. These are great for softer styles of music.  
  • A Custom Matched Cymbal Set: They’re popular for their shining and bright tones, which fit perfectly within heavy and rock settings.  
  • S Series Performer Set: It’s an affordable set designed for intermediate and beginner drummers. They offer bright tones and are great for punk, metal, and rock. 

The only problem with their long tenure in the industry is that their illustrious history makes it challenging to find the right line or model that fits your needs—they all deliver exceptional quality! 

 

PROS

  • Ideal for all types of playing, such as studio and live playing 
  • Wide selection for all levels of drummers 
  • Highly trusted brand with quality craftsmanship
  • Offers premium tone with clear projection 

CONS

  • Some lines can be pricey
 

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5. Istanbul Agop

Established in Turkey in 1980, Istanbul Agop is a smaller cymbal manufacturer known to use an alloy that produces a unique sound different from other brands. 

Istanbul Agop cymbals specialize primarily within the traditional-sounding cymbals. Most options available were heavily used in the 20th century, making them ideal for jazz and other instrument-focused settings. 

Due to their musical overtones and nuances, many rock drummers also love Istanbul Agop instruments. Some well-known drummers who endorse their cymbals are Yussel Dayes and Carter McLean. 

Below are a few of their most popular cymbal lines: 

  • Traditional Cymbals: These cymbals come with washy and dark tones. The crash-and-ride cymbals work interchangeably.  
  • Signature Cymbals: This set has a dark appearance, warmer tones, and some of the driest cymbals you’ll find. 
  • Xist Cymbals: These bright cymbals slice through heavy mixes from other instruments in your ensemble. 
 

PROS

  • Affordable cymbals 
  • Unique sound due to cymbal production method and alloy
  • Excellent for playing levels 
  • Many of them offer washy and dark tones with bright articulation 

CONS

  • Not as popular as the “big four” cymbal brands like Paiste, Sabian, Meinl, and Zildjian 
  • It may not be as ideal for modern genres
 

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6. Dream 

Since 2005, Dream has been a company making high-end handcrafted professional cymbals at an entry-level price. 

While it’s a Canadian brand, they manufacture their products in their factory in Wuhan, China. The origin makes sense since the region is famous for producing world-class gongs.  

Most of their cymbals consist of B20 bronze. The 80 copper/ 20 tin alloy combination is ideal for generating warm and sophisticated sounds. 

These handcrafted cymbals use human hand hammering construction, breaking the norms of machine-assisted manufacturing. 

Here are some of their best-selling cymbal lines: 

  • Ignition: This starter pack for entry-level drummers offers dark, rich, and consistent sounds without variations. 
  • Energy: These cymbals offer an explosive sound, long decays, and a broad dynamic range. They are some of the thickest cymbals offered by Dream. 
  • Dark Matter: The quality generated is dark and washy, which is suitable for jazz. 
 

PROS

  • Affordable pricing 
  • Primarily geared toward entry-level drummers 
  • Offers explosive sounds for aggressive playing styles 

CONS

  • It may not be the best brand for intermediate or advanced drummers.
 

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7. Turkish

Turkish cymbals have been making noise in Europe for many decades. The brand has a unique philosophy of creating modern-sounding instruments utilizing Turkish smithing techniques. 

Here are the top cymbals from the Turkish manufacturer: 

  • Classic Series: Versatile range of cymbals offers everything from dark to pure crash tones to bright and full-bodied sustains. 
  • Cappadocia Series: It features a dark lathing pattern and is perfect for various genres such as jazz, modern, traditional, and funk. 
  • Meta Series: Made from B20 alloy and perfect for rock music 
  • Millennium Series: These cymbals are light and thin with a controlled projection, making them perfect for the modern recording environment. 
  • Raw Brilliant Series: A series filled with heavy-weight cymbals, it’s a must for aggressive, fast, and articulate playing. 
  • Ad Astra Series: Designed with a large lathed bell to project a warm, controlled sound, it provides the perfect earthy response for funk, fusion, and rock music.  

Turkish offers all kinds of cymbal styles you’ll need, such as china, splash, hi-hats, heavy hi-hats, and crash cymbals. 

 

PROS

  • Plenty of sizes to choose from
  • It has a line of cymbals for all situations and genres 
  • Unique designs and patterns 

CONS

  • Lesser known brand
 

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8. Wuhan

Wuhan is a Chinese cymbal brand that manufactures affordable yet quality cymbals. While they are not the finest cymbal manufacturer, they produce great-sounding cymbals at jaw-dropping low prices. It’s great for drummers looking for a budget price tag without sacrificing sound quality. 

Although they make hi-hats, rides, splashes, and crashes, they’re best known for their gongs and chinas. Most of their cymbals are incredibly dark and explosive. 

On top of that, all of their china utilizes B20 bronze, the standard for high-end cymbals. The sizes available are between 11 inches and 27 inches. 

Many famous drummers have used their products in their setups, such as Chad Sexton, Jeff Hamilton, Neil Peart, Mike Terrana, and others. 

 

PROS

  • B20 bronze ensures the excellent sound quality 
  • Affordable price 
  • A variety of sizes offered
  • Used by some pro drummers 

CONS

  • Some people complain about their durability 
  • The more relaxed quality control process
 

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Need New Cymbals? Shop DCP Today!

Whether a new drummer or a seasoned pro, you now better understand the cymbal manufacturers and what makes each one special. 

Some brands offer more selection, while others incorporate innovative designs and materials. 

It’s crucial to pick the cymbals that suit your playing style and setting

If you’re unsure about which cymbal pack or individual cymbal to get, contact our team at DCP today! Our drum gear experts can help answer your questions and offer many of these brands in stock.

21 days ago