One of the most important parts of purchasing and putting together your acoustic drum set is selecting a solid set of drum cymbals to complement all your hard work.
Remember, you are going to need a hi-hat, a ride and at least one crash cymbal for an optimally sounding drum set and you will want your cymbals to sound as good as possible since they are used for the timing, transitions and nuances of the drums.
The best drum cymbal brands offer a variety of ways to select your gear but the two most popular are selecting each cymbal one by one or just getting them all together in whats known as a Cymbal Pack.
It’s much easier to purchase a drum Cymbal Pack than selecting them one by one as long as you find a drum cymbal company and a particular drum cymbal brand that fulfills your drumming needs. Here is a review of the best drum cymbal brands so you can get a feel for what is going to be your best option in putting together an ideal drum set.
Zildjian A Custom Cymbal Box
Zildjian’s A Custom Cymbal Box are great option for intermediate – professional level drummers. They have a brilliant sound which is equally matched by their stunning finishes.
The Hi-Hats are crisp and warm and the crashes have an exciting overtone. There are a lot of professional drummers who use this cymbal pack from rock, jazz and fusion. The superior craftsmanship used in the design make this drum cymbal pack perfect for serious drummers of all fashions except for heavy hitting genres such as heavy metal.
Overall, if you can afford these you will not be disappointed and would make a great investment.
- Top of the line cymbals
- Versatile Sound
- Stunning Appearance
- Professional Grade
Meinl HCS Cymbal Set Box
The Meinl HSC Cymbal Set Box is a great starter cymbal pack for a beginning drummer. It features a Hi-Hat, Splash and Ride Cymbal. Its produced and designed by a double brass method making it a more durable option that won’t break your bank. As far as drum cymbal companies, Meinl is a solid choice and you can get this complete set for right around 100 dollars with most retailers.
There probably are not a lot of other options out there that give such a quality sound and at such a great rate. Cymbals are usually one of the most expensive parts of a drum set and after listening to the warm and crisp sounds of the Meinl HCS pack its a steal of a deal.
- Bright Finish
- Quality Sound
- Very Affordable
- Only 3 Cymbals
- Considered a Starter Set and Not as High End
Sabian HHX Evolution Cymbal Pack
Sabian’s Evolution drum cymbal pack features a Hi-Hat, 2 Crashes and a Ride cymbal. This series is higher-end primarily because its manufactured from a B20 alloy which uses bronze metal and gives cymbals a brilliant tone and makes them more durable than other metals.
The sonic ambiance can be described as quick and dark with enough projection to cut through almost any loud setting. This cymbal pack is also professional grade and designed more for advanced intermediate to professional level drummers.
Clear, soft and loud and of course a bit more on the expensive side so if you have a beginners kit this cymbal pack will cost almost as much as your drum shells and hardware.
- Beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing
- Superior sounds
- Exudes excellence in craftsmanship
- Very Thin and not designed for heavy hitters
Zildjian Planet Z Complete Cymbal Pack
Zildjian’s Planet Z line makes the cut for best drum cymbal brands simply because its another great option for beginner drummers who don’t want to break their bank.
They are super affordable so if you have already spent enough money on a shell kit and are bending more towards affordability then you should consider Planet Z.
This pack features a Hi-Hat, Crash and Ride Cymbal, made from brass and manufactured using an updated lathering and hammering pattern. The cymbals themselves do have a bright and polished sound but they warp easily because of their lack of girth so you must be careful when striking.
This would be a great starter pack since its not heavy on the wallet and made from one of the best drum cymbal companies on the planet.
- Great value and quality for your money
- Versatile sound
- Thinner brass material so not as durable
- Warps and bends too easily and may not be a life long investment
Paiste 900 Series Cymbal Pack
The Paiste drum cymbal company is not as well known as Sabian or Zildjian but their 900 Series Cymbal Pack is still well crafted enough to be in the best drum cymbals category.
Their 900 Series is made from 2002 Bronze which is a much higher quality than brass. Their B8 Bronze is a very durable so it will last much longer and gives it a striking and full bodied sound. Their sound has been further described as brilliant, warm and strong with great versatility.
This a great option overall but may be too expensive for beginner drummers.
- Durable and Versatile Sound
- Designed for a variety of genres from soft fusion jazz to heavy hitting rock
- Larger Hi-Hat, Crashes and Ride
- Superior Bronze material and craftsmanship
- Lettering on the Cymbals could be more tasteful (IMHO)
Zildjian K Custom Cymbal Pack
When Zildjian goes all out you don’t find too many complaints about their products. Their K Custom Series, like their A Customs, are a higher end drum cymbal brand that offers superior craftsmanship and design.
There are lots of great reviews about the way these cymbals project through almost any live setting and provide versatility. They have bright tones and as well as dark which allows any type of drummer to get behind their kit and give an optimum performance.
Zildjian uniquely lathered these drum cymbals so as to give drummers the ability to employ varying nuances and techniques. A few forums complained that the Ride Cymbal was too pronounced and high pitched but otherwise its very difficult to find a bad word about the K Custom Series. Definitely one of the best drum cymbal brands available.
- Versatile Sound with top of the line craftsmanship
- Unique lathering allows for more nuances
- Varying degrees of genres
- Not designed for heavy hitting
Sabian XSR Cymbal Pack
The XSR Series by Sabian is the “golden mean” between the more expensive, higher end drum cymbals and the more affordable beginner’s cymbals that are less quality.
The XSR series is included in the list of best drum cymbals because the amount of value they provide to their drummers. Despite being more moderately priced, it doesn’t compromise on the quality in its build or manufacturing process.
It’s made from B20 Bronze, a higher scale metal alloy, fully lathed and machine hammered which gives it a full bodied sound you would expect from a higher end cymbal. The sound has also been described as fast and bright.
- Moderately priced but made with superior bronze material
- Soft, warm and versatile tones
- Durable and will last a long time
- Not as high end as some other top of the line drum cymbal brands
What's the Best Option?
When it comes to putting together your ideal drum set, selecting your drum cymbals is one of the most important parts of of the process. It’s also one of the most expensive as well. Drum cymbals can cost just as much as drum shells and depending on the drum cymbal company or the drum cymbal brand, they can be even more.
Since purchasing a drum set can be such a difficult process with so many parts and accessories to choose from, I believe getting a drum cymbal pack is the best route since you can purchase your Hi-Hat, Crashes and Ride all at one time. You are also getting the same metal material and manufacturing process and therefore giving your drum set a more consistent sound.
Of all the drum cymbal brands mentioned above, I selected the ones that will be the best option considering cost, durability and overall sound quality.
If you would like to save as much money as possible and just want to slap a cymbal pack on your kit without feeling any sort of a financial pinch then I would recommend the Meinl HCS Cymbal Set Box. Its extremely affordable and is still has great reviews as far as sound, quality and finish.
If you absolutely want the best cymbal pack available and money is not as critical a factor, then my choice would be the Sabian HHX Evolution simply because it’s made from B20 Alloy – Bronze which makes it extremely durable and gives the sound brilliant tones. I’ve used Sabian quite a lot and I have never been disappointed.
As far as finding the best overall value and the “middle ground” between investment and quality, I believe the Sabian XSR Series is great option. It’s just about half the cost of the most top of the line brands but your still getting B20 Alloy Bronze and well designed and well crafted drum cymbals. That would be my top pick as far as a drum cymbal pack since its the best value for your money and Sabian Drum Cymbals continually earn respect as one of the best drum cymbal brands around. So either way, go with Sabian.