Mid-level cymbal recommendations

MaskingApathy

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I certainly agree with those suggesting buying good, used cymbals. But, you mentioned rock music in your OP, so I'll add the Zildjian S line of cymbals. I picked up the S Mastersound hats 14", when trading in my electric guitars. They will CUT through for sure. Sorry, no experience with the S family crashes or rides.
I don't think the S family cymbals are as durable as the other ones that have been mentioned here. I had a full set of S when they first came out and I cracked 2 crashes and a hi hat too. I'm not a heavy hitter by any means, just regular, but I think they cracked easily because they're sheet bronze. After that set I started buying used AAX and other Sabians but I've used a few XSR since then and I think those are way better than the S and more durable too.
 

Drumceet

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I actually love my Zildjian S series 18” and 20” Thin crashes. They sound great and I find them extremely durable as I hit them quite hard at times and they hold up great.

I was able to get them at a great price off Amazon and I won’t replace them until they break.
 

Old Dog

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The S family aren't their highest grade cymbals. I'm sure some fail early. I saw a video just the other day (can't remember who the heck it was), but he/she was surrounded by S family cymbals. They sounded great in the video. I don't have much experience. Just the hats for a few hours really.
 

Drumceet

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When I started looking into getting more cymbals and changing things up, I was immediately drawn to the Dream Bliss line. I went out and bought the 15” Bliss hats, 16” and 18” Bliss Crash as well as a 16” Energy Crash. I love these cymbals and when I started reviewing the audio and video from our rehearsal and live shows, I was really impressed with the sound and projection of the cymbals.

I bought them all second hand and got a great deal. Then I discovered the Bonzoleum YouTube channel and in a few clips he reviews the Zildjian S Thin Crash 18” and 20”. I liked the sounds he got in the clip, and once I saw that I could get them off Amazon at such a great price, I took a chance and ordered them. Terry really seems to know about cymbals and he was saying you could get this great sound for a fraction of what higher grade cymbals would cost. In his clips he was comparing and playing these cymbals with other vintage Paiste cymbals and I was impressed how they held up.

Once I got them in my set up and started using them live, they quickly became my favourite cymbals. When I review our live shows through audio or video they sound absolutely amazing. You would not think they were low to mid level cymbals.

I’m sure I’ll change things up in the future should they break as I like to try new things, but I’m completely satisfied for the time being. I just did a show last Saturday, and a drummer who happened to be in the audience came up to me afterwards and said my kit sounded amazing. Now I have a beautiful Paiste 2002 22” regular ride, and he was more impressed with my two S crashes.
 

Mongrel

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When I started looking into getting more cymbals and changing things up, I was immediately drawn to the Dream Bliss line. I went out and bought the 15” Bliss hats, 16” and 18” Bliss Crash as well as a 16” Energy Crash. I love these cymbals and when I started reviewing the audio and video from our rehearsal and live shows, I was really impressed with the sound and projection of the cymbals.

I bought them all second hand and got a great deal. Then I discovered the Bonzoleum YouTube channel and in a few clips he reviews the Zildjian S Thin Crash 18” and 20”. I liked the sounds he got in the clip, and once I saw that I could get them off Amazon at such a great price, I took a chance and ordered them. Terry really seems to know about cymbals and he was saying you could get this great sound for a fraction of what higher grade cymbals would cost. In his clips he was comparing and playing these cymbals with other vintage Paiste cymbals and I was impressed how they held up.

Once I got them in my set up and started using them live, they quickly became my favourite cymbals. When I review our live shows through audio or video they sound absolutely amazing. You would not think they were low to mid level cymbals.

I’m sure I’ll change things up in the future should they break as I like to try new things, but I’m completely satisfied for the time being. I just did a show last Saturday, and a drummer who happened to be in the audience came up to me afterwards and said my kit sounded amazing. Now I have a beautiful Paiste 2002 22” regular ride, and he was more impressed with my two S crashes.
I appreciate your post. I really dig Terry's videos, and you're right, he does know cymbals and communicates in a very practical way.

I also saw those Zildjian S videos and was impressed. Enough that so far I've been able to hold off any Paiste purchases (for the moment anyway).

I did recently look into the Paiste Big\Giant beats though. But when I saw the Paiste demo video for the Big Beats they *gasp* , really sounded like PST 7s to me. Really thin to me...

So once again I am holding off.
 

stuart s

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Those S's do sound great, but something about that sound wears after a while; to me the Paiste 7's are more everlasting since they are so close to the 2002's. I recently acquired the Paiste 2002 22" Ride too, just incredible, jaw dropping sound!
 

Johnny K

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I found this very funny last week. The cymbals for the DC Blues Society backline kit are nothing special. The best cymbal is the 22" Avedis ride (I have one of my own) and once the jam is going hot and heavy, it's all good. One of the crashes was a Sabian B8 and I think a ZBT. And it didnt matter. I brought my own snare and a BigFatSnare ring. Listening to the recordings, couldnt even tell when I was using the ring and when I wasnt. I think we make too big a deal out of this stuff sometimes.
 


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