The "Ideal" Crash Cymbal Size?

Formula428

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
19
Location
LA, CA, USA
I used to be a small crash guy. I migrated toward the 14" and 15" A customs, and really dug their sound. For the time being, I nearly shelved my 18" A Thin. However, I later bought a matching 18" Armand Thin for my 18" A Thin. I think from that moment onward, I just loved the 18" crash. I've experimented with success to heavier 18's, medium-thin up to medium. Dark, bright, etc. I've also went thinner with the "fast" crash, but didn't care for them.

IMO, the 18" can do EVERYTHING, literally. I've used several of my 18s as a crash, as a washy ride, even as a bell ride. Pop rock, hard rock, irish folk, church/praise music, etc. It can sound smooth at low volumes, but can open up nicely at greater volumes. Sounds great unmic'd, but great with the overheads as well.

Additionally, the 18" is also very popular. Nearly every cymbal line carries an 18" crash of that line. This is an advantage over a 19" (which is also very versatile, but harder to find).
 

noahJT

prone to DFO-UI
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
2,741
Reaction score
192
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I'd say 18s as well. I am a fan of the bigger crashes though. 18 is really the smallest I'll play. Smaller cymbals, though great at lower volumes, just seem to be a bit too one-dimensional to me. I like all the different sounds my bigger crashes can express. You can crash them, ride them, the bells are a bit more bell-y, I can shank them, they're great with mallets, etc. Not that you can't do that with smaller crashes, but I just prefer the big ones. Plus, I love the feel and sound of a buttery thin crash. The smaller crashes start to get splashy sounding when they're too thin.

I've never cared for zildjian's fast crash line either (or paiste's for that matter). For a thin cymbal, the ones I've played have felt very brittle. And they didn't seem to have all that short of sustains either, they just had a darker hiss sound, sorta comparable to Sabian HHX evolution crashes.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
3,761
Reaction score
170
Location
Atlanta, GA
Bringing this thread back. I’m not sure if there is one ideal size, but I’ve typically been using larger cymbals. Nothing smaller than an a 18. And more often 20s, 19s. But I’m enjoying a Kerope 18 now. The bell isn’t significant, but I don’t really need the bell most of the time. I keep an Armand thin 18 as well, which is a good all around cymbal. Actually, I was trying to use the Kerope as a stack on a 22” MTL...but it didn’t seem to work too well. I’m not sure if the ride on the bottom was too heavy to get any type of response.
 

Jorn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2012
Messages
67
Reaction score
9
Location
Malaysia
19”. For instance a Zildjian K or Sabian HHX Evolution.
But it of course depends on the music and room.
 

jaymandude

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
1,890
Reaction score
340
Location
outer limits
How many of you hear other drummers and bands ? I ask because every time I hear someone ( often, every week at least ) using 16’s and 17’s they sound horribly small. 18 is the smallest I’ll personally go, usually 19 and 20.
 

premierplayer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
2,028
Reaction score
47
Location
Southern Maryland, USA
I was 18, 19 for years, tried a 20 didn't work out. Then went 18, 18 ozone for a while. Currently 17 KDMT, 18 KCD, I'm getting to know them, as they are both less than 6 months new to me.
I don't think I'll ever get back to 16 or less.
 

Cliff DeArment

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
560
Reaction score
81
Location
Los Angeles
I usually use a 16 and an 18. To me it's all about pitch, depth, and how long it rings.
 
Last edited:

Toast Tee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
461
Reaction score
106
If there is a "standard" size, it's a 16. If ya look at the small cymbal packs, especially ones for beginners 14 hats, 16 crash, and 20 ride. Like I've read from others, I was 16's for a while. They have a good attack, and make a big enough statement for the 14, 16, 20 combo.
I eventually added a 17 2002, and to this day, when I watch/listen to some of my shows they worked great.
I started wanting to get that 2002/Paiste magic a little more pronounced, so got an 18 Sig.
Now, forget it. 18 is my smallest besides my splashed, and occasionally I'll throw in a 16 Zildjian Oriental.
15 2002 SE
20 Giant Beat
18 vintage 602
18 2002 China
24 2002,or Giant Beat.
I'll mix em up with 17's, 19's thrown in on occasion, but I like to travel light, and if I can get away with 1 crash, it's an 18 Sig, or 2002.
Lot of unnecessary info, but figured I use a bunch of extra words
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
3,761
Reaction score
170
Location
Atlanta, GA
If there is a "standard" size, it's a 16. If ya look at the small cymbal packs, especially ones for beginners 14 hats, 16 crash, and 20 ride. Like I've read from others, I was 16's for a while. They have a good attack, and make a big enough statement for the 14, 16, 20 combo.
I eventually added a 17 2002, and to this day, when I watch/listen to some of my shows they worked great.
I started wanting to get that 2002/Paiste magic a little more pronounced, so got an 18 Sig.
Now, forget it. 18 is my smallest besides my splashed, and occasionally I'll throw in a 16 Zildjian Oriental.
15 2002 SE
20 Giant Beat
18 vintage 602
18 2002 China
24 2002,or Giant Beat.
I'll mix em up with 17's, 19's thrown in on occasion, but I like to travel light, and if I can get away with 1 crash, it's an 18 Sig, or 2002.
Lot of unnecessary info, but figured I use a bunch of extra words
The Sig crashes are nice. I have one myself.
 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,286
Reaction score
327
Location
Portland, OR
If I'm gigging just two main cymbals, I like them to have an interval of a 4th between them. Often this ends up being a 20 paired with a 17, or a 22 paired with an 18. But obvs this depends on the specific cymbals; right now I'm using three 20's, each at a different pitch! Two are a 4th apart, the other is too complex to say how it fits.
 

equipmentdork

DFO Veteran
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
1,554
Reaction score
211
Location
NJ
An 18" medium or medium-thin crash works for me, from a variety of manufacturers. It seems to be a magic size where one can get both crash and some ride qualities in a small package.



Dan
 

SKINZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2013
Messages
150
Reaction score
14
Location
EAST ATL
18 SOUND CREATION DARK CRASH OR 18 2002 MED CRASH DRILLED 4 RIVETS ....... :cool:
 

Tmcfour

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
2,034
Reaction score
346
Location
Philadelphia
If I could only play one size I'd go with and 18". But, I likr a 16/18 combo. I don't come across 17s too often but the ones I've owned I really like.
 

wackjob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Messages
150
Reaction score
54
Location
York UK
If i had to have only one crash it would be an 18".

Currently using 13" new beats, 20 " A medium ride, 15" A paper thin, 16" A rock crash, 18" A custom and 19" A custom. Used to have a 17" K fast crash and a 18" K dark crash but they both ended up cracking. Lost interest in the K range after that.
 

Fat Drummer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
1,639
Reaction score
408
Location
Tennessee
Interesting to realize how my taste have changed.... if I had answered this question 8 years ago when the thread started, it would have been a 16" crash. Today it's a nice super thin 20". A larger but softer sound to my ear, sort of power steering for my cymbals compared to the smaller sizes I used for years.
 

Ely

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
1,032
Reaction score
98
Location
Weatherford, TX
Ideal size would be 20 for me with 18 being as small as I would go.

17 and under is meant for hats and effects.
 

rock roll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
266
Reaction score
91
Location
Northern VA
L to R .. 12" signature paiste , 14" paiste 2000 ,14" paiste sounde edge, 17" paiste signature fast crash.
I use these for mostly blues rockabilly country even classic soul r n b in small clubs...keeping the volume down , because everyone is standing so close.
L ride a 20" zildjian sizzle and R 20" paiste 900 ride.
13" paiste sound edge hi hats.
 


Top