The "Ideal" Crash Cymbal Size?

Fat Drummer

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My problem is I like everything! All my cymbal rigs start with a 16" crash but I seldom use them it seems. I played 15" and 16" crashs exclusively for 20 years but have morphed to larger but THINNER cymbals over the past 6 or so years. My quietest set is not a small, traditionally heaver set, bit a large thin rig with 15" hats, 18" & 20" crashs and a 22" ride. Dont take them to a rock gig, you will never hear them! But like so many, one size does NOT fit all so play what makes you happy and enjoy every hit!
 

Bonzo442

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18” Paiste 602 thin classic imo is the perfect crash but For most of my playing years I leaned on 16” crashes as my favorites
 

markkarj

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For most general purpose music, I like a 17" crash. One of my favorites is a Sabian AAXplosion fast crash... the light weight cymbal opens up quickly, and it has a very wide dynamic range.

Increasingly, I find myself enjoying a three-inch separation between crashes... so when I use that 17" AAXplosion fast, I also use at 14" plus a 20" Sabian Vault V crash.
 

FitDrummer

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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.
We’ll said and totally agree!
 

hsosdrum

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In my setup I'm using a 15" Paper-Thin, a 16" Thin, a 17" Thin, an 18" Thin and an 18" Medium-Thin (all except the 15 are post-2013 redesign A's). I also frequently crash my 22" K-Con Bounce, and less frequently crash my 22" K Ride, so I have all the bases covered. Oh yeah, there's also the 8" splash, the 17" K China and the 22" Swish Knocker (and the 34" Paiste Symphonic Gong).

Plus, in my cymbal bag there are two 17" K crashes (Thin & Medium-Thin), an 18" A Avedis crash and a 1930s-era 13" A crash. And a couple more splashes. And a 21" Rancan flat gong (very crashy).

Yeah, bases covered.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Depends on the venue, band, tunes, and player. I've used main crashes as small as 13 and as large as 19, and secondary crashes as small as 15 and as large as 21.
 

tbird8450

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The ideal size would depend on what music is being played. That said, my 18" crashes see the most use, followed by 20s and 16s. The 18s just seem to have the most neutral, good old fashioned crash sound to me and can fit just about anywhere.
 

Toast Tee

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That's personal. In THIS csse, it IS how you use it though
 

CC Cirillo

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I agree with those who say it depends on the music and venue. One thing is constant with me, though: I only bring one crash cymbal.

(If there are five of them up there, I'm going to be hitting all of them. 1,2,3,4,5, in that order, every song, unnecessarily. No impulse control. Stands are heavy and stages in my price bracket are small.)

  • For years with a funk band with horns it was a 16" medium thin A from the 60's. Lots of accents with that cymbal in that genre.
  • In a singer/songwriter rock group powered by an acoustic guitar, it was an old 20" crash/ride coming in at around 1800 grams. Somber statement every other song, or a washy ride in certain choruses.
  • For pop/rock covers in a bar: 18' K Dark Crash. Fiine attack, but with a nice bloom that doesn't pierce, blends when a nudge is needed, no shrapnel when it needs be blown up. Can be heard just fine but doesn't cause the bassist to edge away from the drum kit.
  • For soul, or rehearsals, or venues that aren't mic'd and have a lot of reflective surfaces: 18" Kerope crash.

You may need a phalanx of crashes, and some of you might need to get up their into The Loudness, but for what I play, and how I play it, one is enough, and I prefer a little thinner and in the 18" to 20" realm.
 

komodobob

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Funny that this thread was brought back to the top, because I've been thinking about getting, or trying a larger primary crash than what I've been using now, which is a 17" Paiste Signature. A friend of mine uses a very light 19" Bosphorus and it sounds incredible, so I wanted to go in that direction.
 
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Ray Dee Oh King

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I like big crashes and cannot lie. Gimmie the 18, 19, 20, even a 21. Although my recording setup is 16,17,19, 20 my live setup is large, 18, 20, 24 15hh.
 

little rock

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I have used for many years a 16” A Zildjian Thin Crash with three rivets in a cluster. Sounds good not soft or hard.
 

Deafmoon

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I go with a 17”. And if I want a second crash, 15”, ideally a major third apart. The 17” adds some depth but not too much and the 15” is fast and cuts.
 

backtodrum

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My crashes are 16 17 and 18 inch A customs. They sound good and get out of the way quickly. Our sound man and other sound guys that have mixed our band love them. We play classic rock and country primarily.
 

Row

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I've got a 19" Paiste 602 thin crash and it's my only crash so that makes it ideal.
 


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