The "Ideal" Crash Cymbal Size?

drummerbill

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I love the pitch spread between my favorite 18" and 16" crashes. I like 18"s that also work as left side rides and the 16" to the right of my rides.
 

leftymcleft

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I'm currently playing indie rock with 18/18/20 crashes. Paiste 1000, 2oo2, and a de-colored red Colorsound5 ride that I use as a crash. They're huge and bright and quick. I think a 16 would just get lost.
 

pontiacrich

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I've been seeing a lot of clips lately with really great-sounding cymbals, and I'm noticing something particular: a lot of the drummers I like are using what appear to be 15" or 16" primary crash cymbals. I've always thought you needed 18" crash cymbals.... now I'm seriously wondering if that's true.

What's the go-to crash cymbal size, do you think? How about for recording? Live playing in small-to-medium venues?
Until very recently I only had two crashes, both A Zildjians: 16" thin crash and 18" Medium Thin crash. I play mostly classic rock and blues and that worked for me.

Now, my sizes range from 16" - 19" crashes w/one 12" splash. All Zildjians, some are K Custom and A Custom or A Zildjians. I'm beginning to like the tonal range.

Just my 2 cents. :occasion5:
 

Miles

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I currently use an 18" Paiste pre-serial 602 crash/ride, I think it's in at around 1500 grams and it's drilled for 6 rivets (with 1 currently in). I find this to be the most versatile cymbal to have on the left of any cymbal (it's sibling at the moment though is a medium 20" pre-serial 602 at around 2200 grams). I can crash it and since it's a Paiste it cuts through the music but since it's from the 60s and has some dirt on it, it's not too bright. The sizzles give it some nice sustain and spread underneath it and man can you ride this cymbal. It's the one cymbal I will NEVER sell, even if I gave up drumming. The best part is I got it for $175 just because it's not a thin crash and has a keyhole. suckers...
 

kplante

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I've almost always had a 16" crash on a kit. Never owned anything smaller. But lately I've been enjoying larger crashes. Right now the favs are a 18" 2002 and a Silken 19". I have a 17" Zildjian Rock crash that's a close 3rd. Lately I'm only interested in 18" or larger crashes. Just what makes me happy. :drunken:
 

Cannons

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I use 17" and 18" Sabian HH thin crashes currently, and the 17 is absolutely beautiful. Right now, it's the ideal cymbal size for the music I'm playing.
 
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RickP

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A 17" thin crash would be my first choice, there is just something special about odd sized crashes. My favorite crash is an 18" though , a Paiste reissue 602 thin crash.
 

AaronLatos

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It's funny. In the indie rock and Americana worlds, where I've been working most the past year, big cymbals seem to be in. I'm using 20 and 22 crash rides, and I'm not alone... with the bands playing on the same circuits as us, anything smaller than an 18" is really rare. A lot of the players I see seem to be using 20" left side and either a 20, 21, or 22 right side, and K Customs/HHX/turkish stuff seems to be the order of the day. In general, a thin+big vs. the heavy Z-custom and "rock crash" thing.
 

sniderman

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"Ideal" size is dictated by many things - room, repertoire, touch and taste, among other things. I've got crashes from 14" thru 19" and crashable rides from 18" to 22". For my situation, the 14", 15", and 16"s work best. I'll occasionally go 17" to 20" if I really need to fill a lot of space.
 

Bongo Congo

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"Ideal" size is dictated by many things - room, repertoire, touch and taste, among other things. I've got crashes from 14" thru 19" and crashable rides from 18" to 22". For my situation, the 14", 15", and 16"s work best. I'll occasionally go 17" to 20" if I really need to fill a lot of space.
Aha! That may be a clue, there. The 16" and smaller crashes are definitely not "over the bar"-type, sustaining crashes. They work well in the contemporary/dance kind of sound.... but don't have the same "swell" or sustain as the bigger ones..... interesting observation, sniderman. :notworthy:
 

Drummer232

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18" medium or medium-thin or a 19" thin or medium-thing seem to be the standard for modern rock, hard rock, metal, ect. where drummers are following the trend of keeping time on the crash instead of hi-hat or ride. The 18" and 19" mix well with the pitches of drop-tuned guitars, aren't low enough to drown them out, but aren't high enough to be annoying when they're being hit on every eighth/quarter note. That is, unless they're only using a two-cymbal setup, in which case a 20" crashable ride (such as the HHX Evolution) is used.
 

Peter56

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For a long time I used 16/18 2002 mediums. Now I`m into bigger thinner, currently using Byzance medium 18/20, and eyeing off a 22. Awesome cymbals.
 

troutstudio

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A 17" thin crash would be my first choice, there is just something special about odd sized crashes. My favorite crash is an 18" though , a Paiste reissue 602 thin crash.
May I say that you have excellent taste! I have a tough time picking between the 17" or the 18" Paiste thin crashes on my left; but the right side belongs to the thin 16". :occasion5:
 

supershifter2

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about 1971 i got my first real cymbal an avedis zildjain 16" thin crash. shortly after i added an 18" thin crash. after a few years i got rid of 16 & 18 thins and got 2 18" zildjain medium crashes. i played that setup until about the mid 80's when i went to double bass. in order to have crash cymbals in easy reach i added first 1 20" med crash on the far right and then decided to add another 20" med crash on the far left the also dubs as a left hand ride. i switched to paiste 2002 and went with 2 18" power crashes in front and 2 20" rides on the sides that i use as crashes. a few months ago i decides to replace my right side 20" ride with 20" power crash. imo the 20" power crash is the ideal crash if i were going to only use one. its pitch and response along with sustain fall right in between the 18" power crashes and the 20" rides. its not to bright and not to dark but just right for single crash use or can be used as a ride if its your only cymbal. i dont loke small crashes like 15-17 because they are bright and dont carry as much umph for rock music imo. the other choice would be the no longer made 2002 19" medium. i had 2 of those but sold them within a few months.
 

zildjian@consol

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Using 3 crashes,all Paiste 2002's,17 ,my go to 19,& a 20.I have a dark and a bright splash for the quickies.
 

dharma bum

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I keep going back to 16" crashes as my primary. I play smaller venues, so really laying into an 18" crash is too much for most of the times I want a crash sound - and even using touch, it doesn't speak as quickly as a good 16. If I set up a second crash it will either be another 16 (I have three, all of which or course have distinct voices) or an 18. The 16" makes the most sense when I use a more crashable ride - so I already have "big" crash sound.

Ben
 

SteveB

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I have 16 through 20s primarily and one odd 13 which I rarely use. Most of these are Paiste 505s or 2002s, some new some old. Recently I canned all the heavier medium crashes because I wasn't using them and I don't play that hard anymore, so a lot has to do with the type of band or music. If there are a pile of stabs behind horns I would never use the 20s; if I wanted a wall of cymbal I wouldn't use anything under a 20 across the board. 90% of the time I just use 2 18s of different weights..sometimes a Zildjian and a Paiste if I want a radical difference, but not too often.

To me crash cymbals are white noise at any distance so I don't get too hung up about it; I'm more concerned about the ability needed to control them and the Paistes are smooth and you don't have to lay on them...very dynamic. With rides and hats I do get very specific.
 


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