The "Ideal" Crash Cymbal Size?

Ickybaby

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It is dependent of the gig. I like to have a 15,17,19 trio for most gigs. Lighter cymbals indoor, heavier for outdoor gigs.
 

felis

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Depends on the ride size: 16 crash/20 ride, 18 crash/22 ride, 20 crash/24 ride. :bs:

Or if you're not that rigid, just use whatever you want.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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There is a clip where Gadd talks about it. He said for live playing, start with an 18...and go up. But for studio, you can stand to go smaller. Then again, he is playing big arenas.
 

bongomania

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Re studio vs live, some of my favorite modern drum recordings have like three or more different sizes of splashes and small crashes played in a given tune, but I can't imagine those same small cymbals being a practical choice for "most" players on "most" live gigs.
 

tkillian

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No rules...only averages.
Im guessing 18" is average.
But..if you are an artist I say cymbals are like paint choices. So who is to tell anyone what color to choose for their paintings?
 

Mn02

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I always tend to gravitate to 19" crashes. Perfect middle ground between quick crash sound and ability to sustain over the bar. My favorites are the 19" A custom and K dark thin. I will say that I recently picked up an 18" A custom fast crash and it is highly enjoyable.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I always tend to gravitate to 19" crashes. Perfect middle ground between quick crash sound and ability to sustain over the bar. My favorites are the 19" A custom and K dark thin. I will say that I recently picked up an 18" A custom fast crash and it is highly enjoyable.
19” is a good size. I like 20s as well. Some 18s can be good (I have a couple), but I tend to favor the larger sizes. Haven’t played the A Custom 19 but I’m sure it’s a nice one.

Of course, style of music plays into it. When I was doing a bunch of church gigs in big rooms, I always felt my 19 and 20 crashes did best for that situation. The 18s felt small there.
 
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Pounder

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In theory, a crash would be 16"-19" In reality I have a 24" Paiste 3000 power crash that I use as a ride and a 17" Avedis 50s sizzle crash, and a 50s Avedis 18" crash. Here’s a couple of pictures of the 24” Paiste 3000 Power Crash :
DC61FF17-253E-4800-BDF8-A66488ADD1CF.jpeg
033680AE-22AD-445D-AF10-EFC6C26450B9.jpeg
 
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Mongrel

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Volume is "king"....

The louder the gig....the larger the cymbal in "general".

For me....my 18" K dark thin is too large for a coffee house....but my 17" K dark thin is perfect.

Louder gigs I have two 18" med\med thin As and a 20" A crash\ride that work well.

I let the needs of the music and the size of the venue determine my choices.
 

jmato

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I agree with Mongrel. Louder gigs, bigger cymbals. Smaller venues, smaller cymbals. That said, I always have at least a 20" crash on hand and find that with a slower decay and deeper tone it still fits well in the mix in small venues.

I love cymbals, and prefer to have several at my disposal. If I am not playing my 602s (which I rarely play out), and in bigger or outside venues for classic rock shows, I play Paiste 16" Signature Traditional Thin (for quick decay/accent crashes), then Giant Beats in 18, 20, 22, and a 24" ride. For smaller venues I will leave out the 22 and 24, and sub in a 20" Sound Formula or Sound Creation ride, and maybe swap in some SF or 602 crashes..

I don't think there is one ideal size, at least not for me. It all depends on the music, the volume, and the room.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Agree with what others have been saying. I think it also depends on how much space you may need to fill up. For instance, many praise and worship tunes feature sections with a lot of room to stretch out (which is where the wash riding comes in). And with a ballad when you need a long decay, a 16 or even an 18 can be a little silly sounding.

Also, Led Zep was basically a trio....instrument wise. They played some slower songs in which the bigger cymbals helped to fill that space. Just my 2 cents.

If I were playing a soul gig, I’d be comfy with taking a 20 ride and 18 crash. It’s all context and personal choice.
 

jmato

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Great point Atlanta on the big cymbals and a trio. I never thought about that - both my bands are trio instruments, which may be why I subconsciously prefer the big cymbal sound.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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On the other hand, the Police were a trio. But they played a lot of mid to uptempo songs...with a very rhythmic style. They didn’t utilize too many long notes, if you know what I mean. Huge crashes weren’t really the sound for that trio. Context.
 

Old Drummer

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Volume is "king"....

The louder the gig....the larger the cymbal in "general".

For me....my 18" K dark thin is too large for a coffee house....but my 17" K dark thin is perfect.

Louder gigs I have two 18" med\med thin As and a 20" A crash\ride that work well.

I let the needs of the music and the size of the venue determine my choices.
I tend to agree, but in the spirit of asking, isn't weight as or more important than the dimension of the cymbal? It seems to me that some 18" cymbals crash a lot louder than some 20" cymbals, for instance.
 

Mongrel

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I tend to agree, but in the spirit of asking, isn't weight as or more important than the dimension of the cymbal? It seems to me that some 18" cymbals crash a lot louder than some 20" cymbals, for instance.
"In general"....

Obviously if a smaller diameter cymbal is louder....

Volume is still king....
 

musiqman

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For me it is 20”

My EAK Brilliant Dark Crash from the 80’s is so perfectly balanced.

D2473DB4-2B9D-4819-99D7-AD9E82831A43.jpeg
E26D9029-BB23-4E95-8179-3BB8188C9A91.jpeg


It suits low volume as well because its quite mellow when played soft.

My previous 19” Kerope was a bit more suited for low volume gigs though.
 

fun2drum

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Volume isn't an issue for me as I use an overhead mic for gigs unless they're in tiny venues, so if I had to choose only one crash - my A Custom 17 is the one I would pick for everything. It's almost like it senses the song and does the right thing for it when touched by a stick. :)

Yes that's a slight exaggeration but I do think it's the most versatile and easy to play crash I've ever owned.
 

jptrickster

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When I was playing upbeat R&B stuff w horns , crashes were small 14 and 15. Quick and explosive accents especially with horn stabs, out of the way fast.
 


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