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6 Best Cymbals of 2021 ReviewedWith so many different brands and styles of cymbals, even the most skilled drummer can struggle to choose the right ones for their drum set. There are cymbal manufacturers of all sorts, from modern companies like Meinl, who are employing old world tactics and integrating them with laser like efficiency, to older companies like Zildjian that have been around for over 400 years, and doing the same exact thing. Approximately half of the cymbals on the market are made by the big four companies: Zildjian, Paiste, Meinl, and Sabian. The other half comes from smaller companies. To help drummers make the right choice, our team at the Drum Center of Portsmouth is on hand. Our expert percussionists can guide anyone, from the newest drummers to professionals who already have the technical know-how and just need the inside scoop when making a new cymbal purchase. After the stunning popularity of our guide to Narrowing Down Your Drum Kit Buying Decision, we decided it was time to offer a “crash” course on cymbals. Without further ado, here’s our guide to the top six lines of cymbals and a guide to choosing the best line for your drum set and playing style.
6 Best Cymbal Line Reviews for 2021
1 Paiste Masters Cymbals – Best Cymbals Overall for Drumming Masters
- Unmatched versatility of sounds, styles, and types
- Available individually or in premade sets
- Ideal for professional drummers who understand the finer details of cymbals
- Large selection of rides, hi-hats, and crashes but not other types of cymbals
Why We Love It: With so many varieties of sounds, this line gives drummers the freedom to explore the entire spectrum of drumming styles. Most of the cymbals in the Masters line are usually available online, making them the first choice to look at when thinking about buying new cymbals. Contact Drum Center of Portsmouth for any questions or to purchase the Paiste Masters Cymbals today.
2 Zildjian Kerope Cymbals – Best Cymbals for an Old School Sound
- Zildjian boasts 400 years of experience
- Gritty rock ’n roll sound
- Elegant and traditional appearance will help upgrade the appearance of your set
- Somewhat expensive for beginning drummers
- Only hi-hats and ride cymbals available – no matching crash cymbal yet
Why We Love It: With over 400 years of experience making cymbals, Zildjian always delivers an excellent product with amazing sounds. This entire line is available to purchase online. The only issue is that they can be difficult to keep in stock because of their popularity. These are great cymbals for drummers who want the best in quality and sound. If you are looking to upgrade your sound, contact Drum Center of Portsmouth today. We can direct you to all the kits we have for sale or provide more information on our Zildjian Kerope options.
3 Sabian Artisan Cymbals – Best Cymbals for Multiple Crash Sounds
- Multiple choices of crashes, rides and hi-hats
- Amazing variety of sounds
- All cymbals come with Sabian’s standard two-year warranty.
- Some of the crash cymbals are fairly expensive
- Not ideal for high volume settings—best used in the studio or for practice
Why We Love It: Sabian has always stood by their workmanship. No matter how hard you play, Sabian’s cymbals are built to withstand a pounding. If they don’t, the company will replace any products of theirs under the two-year warranty. The Artisan line is available online. All pieces in the Artisan line come with Sabian’s two-year warranty. The wide selection of crash sounds that the Artisan line produces proves why Sabian is synonymous with masterpiece. They really are works of art. If you are looking for a new drum set or for any of Sabian’s excellent cymbal lines, contact DCP to see what new options are available.
4 UFIP Experience Cymbals – Best Cymbals for Drummers on a Budget
- Prices great for drummers of all skill levels
- Demo deal cymbals provide the latest advances in cymbal making
- All pieces are handcrafted for the purest sounds
- Unlike many cymbals made in the Turkish style, these are made in Italy
- All the cymbals are completely made by hand, so they may not last as long as machine manufactured types.
Why We Love It: The cymbals listed as demo deals are simply too good of a deal to pass up. If you are a drummer on a budget, UFIP is the way to go. The rotocasting process makes for a truly unique and dynamic sound. It is surprising to have such high-quality sounds at such a great price. All their cymbals are available online. These are unlike any of the cymbals their competitors make. For more information about all UFIP cymbals, contact Drum Center of Portsmouth today.
5 Istanbul Agop 30th Anniversary Cymbals – Best High-End Cymbals
- Every cymbal is unique; handcrafting ensures you will only sound like yourself
- Great for playing live and in the studio
- Preferred choice among serious professionals.
- On the pricier side—maybe not the best choice for beginners.
- Limited options; drummers wanting more variety may prefer other brands
Why We Love It: These Istanbul AGoP are head and shoulders above other brands in terms of quality, sound and looks. We can’t sing their praises enough. Although available online, Istanbul produces this line in limited qualities. That means you will want to act fast unless you don’t mind a pre-owned set. Their handcrafted uniqueness means you can be assured of having your own personal sound that won’t be easy to copy. Each cymbal is signed by the cymbalsmith, so you will know who to thank for these works of art. If you are looking for the highest quality, get in touch with a member of the DCP team to learn more about the Istanbul Agop line.
6 Paiste Signature Dark Energy Cymbals – Best Modern Style
- This line is the wave of the future; it promises a modern sound that will sound great for years to come.
- Moderate pricing—great value for the investment
- Suitable for drummers of all skill levels
- Only one type of each size cymbal—limited options for different sounds
Why We Love It: Paiste’s Signature Dark Energy line really is the sound of the future. Playing these feels like being part of a secret club. With their versatile and modern sound, you will love playing these cymbals. The only issue may be whether to wait until there are more Mk II versions available. That way, you can have a wider range to pick from. If you are looking to replace your current kit or would like to know more about Paiste’s Signature Dark Energy, contact Drum Center of Portsmouth today.
Cymbal Buyers GuideProfessional drummers typically know what they want before buying new cymbals. However, newer drummers aren’t always sure about how to make the right investment. There are a few things to consider before buying a new set.
How Do I Know I’m Ready to Buy New Cymbals?Typically, you buy new cymbals for two reasons. The first is that the ones you currently own may have developed cracks or chips. Or, perhaps they simply don’t sound good anymore due to heavy use and/or warping. When this occurs, it is fairly self-evident that you need new cymbals. The second reason is because you have gotten more proficient on the drums. At this point, you might feel that you need to start using better equipment or that you need to upgrade your sound. This is a matter of personal opinion. If you are taking lessons, your instructor should be able to give you an honest assessment of whether you are ready for a new set.
What to Consider When Buying CymbalsThere are several factors to weigh when buying new cymbals. You need to consider the style of music and the type of set you are comfortable playing. At the very least, you will probably need:
- A new hi-hat
- New ride
- New crash
- The Material: You will need to consider the material because it affects the sound. Brass is the least expensive but sounds the worst usually. B8 bronze is a step up and B20 bronze is the highest quality.
- Hand-Crafted vs Machine-Made: After the material, you will want to decide whether you want a machine manufactured or a hand-crafted set. Ones made by machines offer uniformity of sound between two cymbals of the same size. Hand-crafted ones tend to be much more unique in sound.
- Individual vs Cymbal Packs: Finally, you will have to choose between buying a pack or individual cymbals. Packs are great because the manufacturer will know what sounds complement others. With packs, you get great sounds while saving money. Buying them individually provided you more versatility of sound. However, this method will generally be much more expensive.
- Hardware: You also don’t want to overlook hardware. You might want to replace your hi-hat stand or stands with better quality models.