Mid-level cymbal recommendations

Eyedrum

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I’m looking for some mid-level cymbals that won’t break the bank and deliver a nice sound. Something gig-worthy and reliable. I have tried the Sabian XSR series and was impressed with both the sound and quality of the cymbals. I am looking for large rock sizes: 22” ride, 18 & 20” crashes and 15” hihats.

I currently own a set of Paiste 2002 and Paiste Modern Essential 602 Series cymbals but want something less expensive to use when desired.

Thank you!
 

MaskingApathy

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The XSR cymbals are great. I've had a few and currently use the X-Celerator hats. I had some Zildjian S series which is in the same price range and the XSR is better imo. I've used them side by side with my AAX cymbals and you can't tell much of a difference.
 

Tama CW

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Intermediate cymbals in those sizes (15" hats and 22 ride) will be a bit of a challenge in some lines. Many of those stop at 14" hats and 20" rides.
 

owr

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I’ll sell you a pair of practically new Zildjian A crashes that I bought new about 5 years ago and have been in bags for 4. 18” and 20”, hand picked from a local shop when they were redesigned. My answer to this question is always used As.
 

Eyedrum

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Intermediate cymbals in those sizes (15" hats and 22 ride) will be a bit of a challenge in some lines. Many of those stop at 14" hats and 20" rides.
Yep, that is what I am discovering. Probably have to take the used approach and pick one at a time. Thank you!
 

dogmanaut

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Soultones on Amazon. Handmade Turkish bronze that can often be had for ridiculously cheap. The pricing is kind of random, and you might have to wait for the cymbals you want to drop a bit. But for example, a 26” flat ride just sold for $100 a day or two ago.
 

MaskingApathy

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Yep, that is what I am discovering. Probably have to take the used approach and pick one at a time. Thank you!
XSR has a 22" ride but not 15" hats.

Even various Sabians can be had at good prices used. All of the ones I own and play now I bought secondhand. If you're willing to wait it out and buy one at a time then cool, otherwise I think the XSR is a great way to go if you want a full set all at once.
 

D. B. Cooper

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I would never recommend that anyone buy beginner cymbals. And I'm really not convinced that there is anything between beginner and pro.
I also think used is the absolute best way to get cheap, (to me, which is $100 ride, $100 hats and $75-$100 crashes), great sounding and potentially life-long cymbals. Is that really any more expensive than buying new beginner cymbals; which you'll end up replacing anyways? Why spend the money twice?

Why would you ever want to gig with sub-par sounding cymbals?
 

GeeDeeEmm

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I would never recommend that anyone buy beginner cymbals. And I'm really not convinced that there is anything between beginner and pro.
I also think used is the absolute best way to get cheap, (to me, which is $100 ride, $100 hats and $75-$100 crashes), great sounding and potentially life-long cymbals. Is that really any more expensive than buying new beginner cymbals; which you'll end up replacing anyways? Why spend the money twice?

Why would you ever want to gig with sub-par sounding cymbals?
D.B. Cooper said exactly what I was going to say: buy USED pro-level cymbals. You'll spend about the same as you would for "intermediate" cymbals, plus you will have cymbals you will keep for a long time, and they will resell for what you paid for them. You can't say that about any of the intermediate cymbals.

Look especially for used Sabian B20 cymbals. Why? Because you are looking for the least investment, and for some reason Sabian cymbals sell for about 10% less than the equivalent model in Zildjian. Don't know why.

GeeDeeEmm
 

OldeEnglishD

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I will echo the used route. I have a mix of used A's and Dream Contacts on 1 kit and used Sabian/Zildjian on another kit and they all sound great. The most I have paid for anything was $125 for the A Custom hi hats.
 

MaskingApathy

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Used is fine if you're willing to be patient, but as far as the XSR goes those aren't beginner cymbals and they don't sound sub-par. They're also B20. I agree getting used pro cymbals is ideal, but I remember back to when I was in high school I would've killed to have a nice set of XSRs (had they existed at the time).
 

sammy123

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Get some used or vintage 2002s. Good deals to be had there.
 

Tama CW

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You can get Sabian AA/Zildjian A 14 hats, 16 crash, 20 ride for $200. Figure $275 if you want an 18" too. It gets up there even when used. With the 15 hats and 22 ride figure another $50 to $325. Almost just as good to play your better cymbals and keep the extra $325 for so.

The best way to get your pro cymbals.....and essentially free? Buy a decent $500-$800 kit....and re-sell off the other stuff to recover your costs. Though odds are you won't get 15" hats and a 22" ride. You'll have to barter around with whatever you do get.
 
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DWSlingerland45

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Istanbul Agop Xist are great. A chance to test drive a different brand also.
^^^^ THIS ^^^^.
These cymbals will surprise you, they were available In packs with a hard case for approx 699 iirc. Certainly the line has expanded since then, with many, many options to choose from.
 

gretschdrummer

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The XSR cymbals are great. I've had a few and currently use the X-Celerator hats. I had some Zildjian S series which is in the same price range and the XSR is better imo. I've used them side by side with my AAX cymbals and you can't tell much of a difference.
Xsr has got to be the best level so called middle level cymbals I’ve ever played
 

gretschdrummer

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Used is fine if you're willing to be patient, but as far as the XSR goes those aren't beginner cymbals and they don't sound sub-par. They're also B20. I agree getting used pro cymbals is ideal, but I remember back to when I was in high school I would've killed to have a nice set of XSRs (had they existed at the time).

Second that

Used xsr are a steal and a deal
 

mgdrummer

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How about the Paiste 900’s? They sound great, won’t break the bank and are available in all the sizes you’re looking for.
 

Eyedrum

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How about the Paiste 900’s? They sound great, won’t break the bank and are available in all the sizes you’re looking for.
Brother, we have said this before, "Great Mikes think alike!" I was just getting a price on a set of the Paiste 900 series in the 22/18/20/15 hi hats sizes. I tried a set at our local Guitar Center and was very impressed with the sound and build quality of the cymbals. They are reminiscent of my Paiste 2002 cymbals. I too think they sound great!
 
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