This cymbal buying guide may help you to choose the right cymbals for your needs. There are so many options available today that it can be overwhelming to choose. knowing about the differences between one cymbal and another will help narrow down your options.
Cymbals are made two different ways, cast and stamped. Stamped cymbals are lower in price and usually made out of an alloy that has a higher concentration of brass which keeps the price down. they are made by "stamping" the cymbal out of a sheet of the alloy. The cymbal is then sometimes hammered or lathed to produce the desired sound, which will have a quicker decay than a cast cymbal. While the sound of stamped cymbals is often pretty good for the money, they are intended more for beginners or for the practice room.
Cast cymbals are made from separately cast cymbal blanks of a higher concentration of bronze, which are then lathed and/or hammered for the desired sound. They will have a longer decay, more overtones, better durability, and projection. Intended for professionals and drummers looking to upgrade their stamped cymbal lineup, they will be more expensive, but will a much better sound.
Do you need thin cymbals, or thick? Thicker cymbals tend to be better suited for harder players, louder music styles like rock, and playing situations where they will need to be able to cut through the other instruments to be heard. They are higher pitched, louder all around, and will need to be hit harder to produce full volume.
Thinner cymbals, by contrast, are not as loud, generally lower in pitch and are easier to break. They are not suited for heavy hitters, (unless you want to replace them frequently). They are well suited for lower volume playing situations and studio work.
Taper is the thickness of the cymbal as you get closer to the edge. The thinner the taper, the more 'crash like' it is. The thicker it is, the more 'ride like' it is. A thicker ride cymbal will cut through higher volumes in live situations more easily.
The ride area of a cymbal is the middle area between the bell and the edge. The crash area is near the edge.
The higher the profile, or curve, of a cymbal, the higher the pitch will be. It will also have fewer overtones. The flatter the curve, the lower the pitch and it will have more overtones.
A larger bell will have a longer decay and a fatter sound. A smaller bell will have shorter decay and less overtones.
Cymbal packs are a good idea for newer drummers who have yet to develop a preference, or are on budget.
They will at least include a set of high hats, a ride cymbal, and a crash cymbal. Some are available that have a larger variety of cymbals in them.
(Coming soon) Your Effects Cymbal Buying Guide.
Bookmark this site for your future use! We'd love to have you back.
For more info about cymbals, click here.
The author of this site, as an affiliate, may get a commission from participating venders for traffic driven to them from here at NO extra cost to you. He is not a paid employee and began this site because of his love of drumming. Thank you.