Recommended Ride Cymbal for Small Jazz Kit?

Drumbumcrumb

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Old A’s are very cool, but you really have to play or at least hear it. There’s SO much variation there, trust me they weren’t cranking out computerized clones back then.

It sounds like you might want to stay “matched” with your Sabians, and I get that. I like matchy too. AND, I have the perfect budget solution that’s PERFECT for jazz and matches...

Get yourself a 20” Sabian SR2 Thin cymbal - mellow, dark ride that’s completely crashable. That nice smooth bwooosh that you want from a jazz ride when you crash it a little. I have 2 @ 20” - one has 2 rivets - and you’d have to pry them from my cold dead hands. The one with 2 rivets is probably one of the best jazz rides I’ve ever played, blows my Beautiful Baby away. (And the BB isn’t bad at all) Sets up a nice controlled susurrus (a $10 word... for free!) with a woody stick, never gets away from you, dark, and the crash is just pure jazzified bliss. The non-riveted 20” is ridiculously diverse, jazz, r&b, funk, anything but hard rock I’d say. You have to wipe off that godforsaken logo of course, which leaves a very classy looking pie. Here’s a set up of logoless SR2s-
42DEAD64-47FC-4345-87BA-0B728FA0D30D.jpeg
 

David M Scott

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Hello Community,

I am a new drummer and am looking to learn jazz drumming. I am in the process of piecing together a small kit. I have a 5"x12" snare and 7"x18" bass (TAMA Club-Jam Mini) and just picked up used Sabian HHX 13" Groove Hi-Hats.

I am looking for recommendations for a ride cymbal. Since my drums are small and my hi-hats are small, I was leaning toward a 20" or 21" ride rather than a 22"--I was thinking the 20" or 21" ride might match the volume of the smaller drums and hi-hats.

With jazz in mind, would a Sabian HHX Groove 21" Ride be a good fit? I was reading up that some consider it to be more suitable for funk than jazz. I am also considering a Sabian HHX Legacy 20" Ride. I am trying to spend ~$175 which will likely be hard to find.
Hello Community,

I am a new drummer and am looking to learn jazz drumming. I am in the process of piecing together a small kit. I have a 5"x12" snare and 7"x18" bass (TAMA Club-Jam Mini) and just picked up used Sabian HHX 13" Groove Hi-Hats.

I am looking for recommendations for a ride cymbal. Since my drums are small and my hi-hats are small, I was leaning toward a 20" or 21" ride rather than a 22"--I was thinking the 20" or 21" ride might match the volume of the smaller drums and hi-hats.

With jazz in mind, would a Sabian HHX Groove 21" Ride be a good fit? I was reading up that some consider it to be more suitable for funk than jazz. I am also considering a Sabian HHX Legacy 20" Ride. I am trying to spend ~$175 which will likely be hard to find.
Well I too do a lot of Jazz and a few years back I made my main kit a Sonor Safari which is small in size. I also changed my hardware to the Yamaha Crosstown lightweight but I was carrying around heavy Cymbals
ie: my original 1969 Zilco ride ($40 new) which weighed a lot, then a 22inch Sabian Omni and heavy Sabian original B8 hats.
I did have my lightweight 14in 1983 Sabian Crash which is ok. So I tried to downsize in Cymbal weight but still have the “Bright sound” I like. Sold the Omni and tried lightweight 20 inch Dream Vintage Ride.. Very light but too dark And trashy so sold it and heavy hi hats and replaced with 2-14 inch Sabian B8X light crash and settled on a 20 inch Sabian AAX medium ride. I get the great bright sounds I want and can’t believe how much lighter my Cymbal bag is. Everyone has different taste in sounds and hears differently but I’ve finally found what works for me and cut out a lot of weight.
 

zendrums

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Get yourself a 20” Sabian SR2 Thin cymbal
Thanks. I will consider it!

Here’s a set up of logoless SR2
I see you are using Evans Calftone drum heads. What do you use on the resonant side of your drums? Also, do you have any opinions on the bass batter and bass reso offerings? Is it conceivable to use an Evans Calftone Snare Batter on the Snare Side? If so, why as opposed to an Evans 200 Snare Side? This seems to be the product lineup:
  • Evans Calftone Snare Batter
  • Evans Calftone Tom Batter
  • Evans EMAD Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans EQ4 Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans EQ4 Calftone Bass Reso
  • Evans Calftone Bass Reso
In an effort to tame the volume of my snare being played in a small room, I installed an Evans Calftone Snare Batter drum head and an Evans 200 Snare Side drum head. I am also exploring sound control options such as overtone control rings.
 

JimmySticks

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I see you are using Evans Calftone drum heads. What do you use on the resonant side of your drums? Also, do you have any opinions on the bass batter and bass reso offerings? Is it conceivable to use an Evans Calftone Snare Batter on the Snare Side? If so, why as opposed to an Evans 200 Snare Side? This seems to be the product lineup:
  • Evans Calftone Snare Batter
  • Evans Calftone Tom Batter
  • Evans EMAD Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans EQ4 Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans EQ4 Calftone Bass Reso
  • Evans Calftone Bass Reso
In an effort to tame the volume of my snare being played in a small room, I installed an Evans Calftone Snare Batter drum head and an Evans 200 Snare Side drum head. I am also exploring sound control options such as overtone control rings.

I am also using Calftones and I really like them. They look and sound great and are good for either jazz or classic rock. They feel really good under the stick to. I haven't had any delamination problems as had been reported, but I'm not a heavy hitter either. I use Evans EC Resonant Clears on the res side on all of my drums except the snare, which gets the Evans 200 Snare Side. The EQ4 is a great bass drum head.

And don't use a Calftone on the snare side.

Your going to love these!
 

Elvis

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Old A’s are very cool, but you really have to play or at least hear it. There’s SO much variation there, trust me they weren’t cranking out computerized clones back then.

It sounds like you might want to stay “matched” with your Sabians, and I get that. I like matchy too. AND, I have the perfect budget solution that’s PERFECT for jazz and matches...

Get yourself a 20” Sabian SR2 Thin cymbal - mellow, dark ride that’s completely crashable. That nice smooth bwooosh that you want from a jazz ride when you crash it a little. I have 2 @ 20” - one has 2 rivets - and you’d have to pry them from my cold dead hands. The one with 2 rivets is probably one of the best jazz rides I’ve ever played, blows my Beautiful Baby away. (And the BB isn’t bad at all) Sets up a nice controlled susurrus (a $10 word... for free!) with a woody stick, never gets away from you, dark, and the crash is just pure jazzified bliss. The non-riveted 20” is ridiculously diverse, jazz, r&b, funk, anything but hard rock I’d say. You have to wipe off that godforsaken logo of course, which leaves a very classy looking pie. Here’s a set up of logoless SR2s- View attachment 445936
I've got an SR2 Thin (on the left)....

1591816932381.png


...Zendrums can have it if he wants (check your PM Zen)....
 

Sinclair

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-I was thinking the 20" or 21" ride might match the volume of the smaller drums and hi-hats.
Please pardon my nitpicking, but any volume matching will be done by YOU... not the gear you decide to play. The sooner you can control that aspect of your playing the more fun and better sounding drummer you will magically become.

That being said get an old 20" Zildjian A. ;-)
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Thanks. I will consider it!



I see you are using Evans Calftone drum heads. What do you use on the resonant side of your drums? Also, do you have any opinions on the bass batter and bass reso offerings? Is it conceivable to use an Evans Calftone Snare Batter on the Snare Side? If so, why as opposed to an Evans 200 Snare Side? This seems to be the product lineup:
  • Evans Calftone Snare Batter
  • Evans Calftone Tom Batter
  • Evans EMAD Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans EQ4 Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans Calftone Bass Batter
  • Evans EQ4 Calftone Bass Reso
  • Evans Calftone Bass Reso
In an effort to tame the volume of my snare being played in a small room, I installed an Evans Calftone Snare Batter drum head and an Evans 200 Snare Side drum head. I am also exploring sound control options such as overtone control rings.
On the reso side right now I’m using coated g1’s, sometimes clear g1. On those drums (12/15/20 Oriollo Phantom) I also often use Remo Vintage Ambassadors on top and ‘regular’ coated Amb’s bottom. The Calftone/g1 combo is very warm and natural, low on attack and high on tone. The Vintage Amb/coated Amb combo is FAT and just huge. For a jazzy tone though, you can’t beat the Calftones or Aquarian Modern Vintage - Calftones are a little more like real skins both in sound and feel. And I always use coated resonant heads on a jazz kit, it’s just warmer and more mellow.

Calftone bass -

The Calftone bass heads are amazing, maybe the best bass drum heads ever? The EQ4 is a great head, and for more thump the EMAD is just sublime. For a jazz setup, I’d use an EQ4 batter and a ‘regular’ Calftone bass drum head for reso (there is no head labeled reso or batter for the regular Calftone bass head, it’s for either) If you need a little dampening, felt strip under the reso head.

Snare side heads -

You CANNOT use a snare batter head of any kind as a snare side head. Here’s why - A typical single-ply batter head (like a Calftone or Ambassador) is 10mils thick. A typical snare side head is 2 or 3mils thick (A 200 is 2mils, 300 is 3mils, Remo Amb snare side is 3 mils, etc.)! The side that the snare wires contact has to be extremely thin to respond articulately and sensitively to the batter head being struck, activating the wires. If you use a head that’s 300-500% too thick, you’ll get a not good sound. Have I seen batter heads on snare sides? Ab-SO-lutely I have. Should anyone ever do that? No, absolutely not.

Taming a snare for small space -

A Calftone head is a good choice here I think, but I’m not sure about the 200... I’m just biased maybe, but I think a 300 is just a better sound. I think it’s better to get a good, full sound and then do what you need to tame it rather than thinning out the sound at the source. Idk. I’d rather take a deep sounding, sensitive, thin-shell snare drum that sounds good played lightly then try to configure a “quiet snare”. And of course someone’s bound to say it, so I will - YOU are the volume control on your kit. That said, when playing softly is a must, you want a snare that’s extreeeemely responsive and articulate so that even a ghost note gets a nice warm pop with a good snare sound. Some snares sound fabulous at the slightest touch, some shine when you wail on em like Animal.

Studio rings aren’t bad for getting a very different sound from a kit, but again, I wouldn’t just throw dynamics to the wind and count on the rings. Dynamic playing is essential to jazz - you should be able to feather the bass, lightly pull a tone from the toms rather than hammering out a tone, and learn to caress the snare. Yeah, sometimes a t-shirt on the drums is just the thing, but learn to play the wide-open kit very, very quietly. Work on brushes! Brushes are beautiful. Play the jazz ride pattern as quietly as you can and accompany it with a feathered 4 on the floor while playing the quietest snare and hats you can. Get so you can do that naturally, like shifting a car - Other genres don’t really call for a lot of what jazz calls for, and therein lies the challenge. This is why you might hear someone say “If you can play jazz, you can play anything” Not precisely true maybe, but there’s something to it...

Niels Myrner has a pretty exhaustive series of how-to play jazz videos, free. You could do worse than starting at the start of those.
 

TK-421

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A bunch of good options have been given. I'll throw out one more that's pretty under the radar for a jazz ride. The Sabian 20" AA Raw Ride (not the similarly named 21" AAX Raw Bell Dry Ride, which has a totally different sound). Even though it's from the AA line (which usually means brighter cymbals), this particular one is very mellow, dry and warm. They haven't made these in a while, so you'll only be able to find them used (which means you won't get stuck with their ugly-ass new logo—but that's a whole 'nother topic). Best of all, when I do see them used, they're nearly always for super cheap, like $100-150 or so.

Here's an example of how they sound.
 

dogmanaut

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I had an Agop Xist dark/dry 19" ride, and I just never got used to it or liked it's sound. It really sounded like any anonymous piece of sheet metal would. It was as dry as burned toast with no butter. It had no sustain or wash whatsoever, so as soon as I left the ride to do a fill, there was this immediate and complete lack of any cymbal sound, which to me, left a big hole in my sound. So I would stay away from the these dark/dry cymbals for awhile, especially if this is your first and only cymbal. There just not very versatile.
Hey, come on now, I still have to try and sell that thing!

To the OP, I honestly wouldn’t stress which ride to get that much. If you’re like a lot of us here, you’ll end up owning a whole bunch of cymbals of every size before you even realize what you’ve done to your bank account. Think of this as just the first of many.

So get something within your budget. Doesn’t have to be fancy. For jazz, I would recommend a cymbal on the lighter side — preferably under 2000g on a 20”. HH and HHX (for Sabian) or K and K Custom (for Zildjian) would be good bets. Anything described as “dark” or with a bunch of visible hammering.

One cheap option might be the Sabian SR2 cymbals. They’re professional-grade cymbals that have been used by artists or in store displays, etc. then returned and re-lathed. The tricky part is they don’t say what they were before, so you have to kind of guess. Again, though, lots of visible hammer marks and a light weight should indicate something that would work well for jazz.

Bosphorus cymbals are also a really good option. Surprisingly inexpensive, too, considering they’re handmade in Turkey.

Edit: I guess I wasn’t the first person to mention SR2s.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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UNIQUE DODECAGON DRY MASTERWORK Natural 17" PAPERTHIN FLAT RIDE 1237g
https://reverb.com/item/30936515-unique-dodecagon-dry-masterwork-natural-17-paperthin-flat-ride-1237g?utm_source=rev-ios-app&utm_medium=ios-share&utm_campaign=listing&utm_content=30936515
1591918393234.png


That’s a damn cool cymbal. Sounds like it’d work well for small venue jazz, and it could be your “signature” thing ya know. It’s jazzy without being everybody else’s jazzy.

Here’s a likely candidate from Sabian, weight is about right, AND it’s under budget with a “Make Offer” option. DCP goes up to Sabian and picks a bunch of good ones.


Sabian SR2 Ride Cymbal Thin 20" 2152 grams - Hand Picked!
https://reverb.com/item/29488192-sabian-sr2-ride-cymbal-thin-20-2152-grams-hand-picked?utm_source=rev-ios-app&utm_medium=ios-share&utm_campaign=listing&utm_content=29488192
1591919017290.png

Here’s one from the jazz man himself, Steve Maxwell. I like the Black Pearls myself, cool sound. This one is a cool size - 19” - and it’s like 1400g so you know it’ll be dark and crashable.

19" Bosphorus Black Pearl Ride Cymbal - 1350g
https://reverb.com/item/34126117-19-bosphorus-black-pearl-ride-cymbal-1350g?utm_source=rev-ios-app&utm_medium=ios-share&utm_campaign=listing&utm_content=34126117
1591919521687.png
 

Seb77

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Interesting, very different recommendations. The first one to me would be a negative example of what passes as "cymbal" these days: selling this as a "jazz cymbal" to a beginner would represent a sham to me. The second however might be an ideal do-it-all cymbal, and a salesperson recommending this would do a beginner a great favor (I wish cymbals like this would have been around when I started).
 

JimmySticks

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Interesting, very different recommendations. The first one to me would be a negative example of what passes as "cymbal" these days: selling this as a "jazz cymbal" to a beginner would represent a sham me.
Agreed.

A beginner would become quickly frustrated with something like this because it's just not musical and doesn't represent any of the cymbals the great jazz drummers ever played. This is the dark/dry trend taken to the extreme.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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I don’t know...I think the first cymbal could be something a bit special. It’s certainly very dark and dry but I found it to be still musical. Clearly the dodecagon isn’t the ‘classic’ jazz sound, but for a beginner playing quiet, small rooms it has some things working for it -

- won’t (can’t) get away from you
- sets up a nice quiet, continuous wash
- has a good stick for such a thin cymbal
- it ain’t your grandpas jazz cymbal

Hey, I absolutely revere the jazz greats - if all the albums in the world were burning, I’d run in to save the classic jazz section - but jazz evolves. The young musicians coming into their own don’t want the ‘classic’ jazz sound. They want their own sound. I know the changes irk some people and thrill others, that’s the nature of change. Certainly the cymbals have changed over jazz’s lifetime, until even the classic sound isn’t really the classic sound. Pingy A’s set the tone, darker K’s took over, then the Turkish thing...

Anyhoo, for a more versatile pick - Drums On Sale has a 22” SR2 Thin @ 2460g, looks like it was an HH and its dark and washy. $150! For a dark, washy 22” hand hammered ride cymbal! Somebody get it before I have to...
 

Seb77

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- sets up a nice quiet, continuous wash
I'll stop, promised, nothing personal here, but just to make it clear to any beginners reading this:

that "wash" here is nothing but a low gongy hum, nothing nice or desirable about it within a musical context. Selling this as a "new hip cymbal sound" would exactly be this kind of sham I was talking about.
Innovative cymbal designs can be great, take the Sabian Ozone, Omni or angular cymbals by Mehmet et al. etc, totally cool as long as they make a sound that's useful in context.

Buy with our ears, not with your eyes! ;)

If you want advice, ask a pro with experience in the field you inquire about.
 

Elvis

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"low gongy hum" can be cured with a different shaped drumstick tip or going to a nylon tipped drumstick.....and a little stick technique (which will come with time and practice).
 

clowndog

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Are you looking to buy more than one ride cymbal? Being a new drummer, you may decide to branch out to learn/play other styles than just jazz. If you get a light, full wash ride cymbal it may be problematic if you want to play something else. Just a thought.
 


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