Top Ten Best Cymbal Brands


The Top Ten

1 Zildjian

I've played them my whole 14 year drumming career.
ZBT's suck, they break hell fast.. But yo get what you pay for. ZHT's are okay, decent for what they are.. I've been playing a ZHT 18 inch crash for almost a year, no cracks.
Now once you get into the higher end zildjians, you must know how to play cymbals right unless you have 250+ bucks to be replacing cymbals all the time. I've been playing an 18" Zcustom since before they discontinued that line, and it still has no cracks or anything. Sounds great. Higher End zildjians are great if you're willing to pay for them.
I am NOT saying cheaper zildjians aren't good musically, hell mike mangini uses ZBT and ZHT high hats. They are just of lesser quality metal

400 years of legacy. want more reasons why it is no 1? everyone uses it

Beasides the fact that this brand started manufacturing cymbals since 1623 if I'm not mistaken, the different series of cymbals have so many sound variations. It's just awesome! Let's be honest guys! Travis Barker of blink 182, Roger Taylor of Queen played Zildjian cymbals, Mike Mangini plays Zildjian cymbals, I mean come on! Zildjian is the best Cymbal brand in the world! And another thing - if you want the quality, you gotta pay the price!

Zildjian is the best, toss out all the rest!

V 96 Comments
2 Sabian

Sabian is just the BEST in my opinion! They have such a unique sound that no other brand has, and as for beginer cymbal series they are really good in terms of prince and quality compared to other brands such as Zildjian and Meinl. You can even come up with newest sounds with the Sabian Vault guys ;) all according to sound preference. Sabian all the way.

Great sound from entry level cymbals, all the way up to higher end cymbals, the most durable cymbals I've ever seen (I'm a VERY heavy hitter, and have the same Sabian cymbals from two or three years ago, a miracle for me), and if you can't find a model to suit you, email the Artisans at Sabian to make your very own, personal cymbal. Customer service at it's finest

History lesson - Sabian HH IS the original Zildjian K. The two sons split the company, one taking the CANADIAN-based plant where the hand-hammered cymbals were made, but had to come up with a new name (which is based on his sons' initials). The other son took the US-based plant and the Zildjian name, but not the hand-hammered process. He had to come up with a new process, which in my humble opinion, does not compare. I have a pre-Sabian Zildjian K cymbal, and won't part with it despite numerous offers. But everything I've bought since the split has to be Sabian.

Sabian the best

V 91 Comments
3 Paiste

I have used Paiste for over 20 years. I own several different series of cymbals from different companies; however, I always find myself coming back to my Paiste line up. Several items to note: no one makes a ride, like Paiste. I prefer a very distinct bell with a lively wash throughout the body of the cymbal; I've only found this sound with Paiste, hint "Stewart Copland.". The sound is iconic, instantly recognizable, try a 21" Signature dry ride.

The hi-hat offers such a unique variety of sounds that it becomes personal. The Dark Energy along with the new 602 Modern Essentials offer great options for modern music on many levels Rock, Country, Funk, etc.

I could go on regarding the different series, metals used, lathing, hammering, etc. The bottom line: Paiste makes an excellent product that stands the rigours of the studio, stage, nightclub, practice hall, or the spare bedroom/ slash woodshed where you learn your trade.

Before making a purchase, ...more

I've been playing drums for over 40 years and I've ALWAYS loved the sound of Paiste Cymbals... Probably because a lot of my favorite drummers use them. For example, Stewart Copeland, Nick Mason, Alex Van Halen and the late great John Bonham, just to name a few. No doubt about it, these guys all have their own signature sounds, and Paiste cymbals are a big part of each.

When I'm playing live, they just seem to cut through better than just about every other cymbal out there. They have a distinct sound, and boy, are they consistent! There's also some great choices that won't break the bank, like the PST7 series, which are made from the same alloy as Paiste's highly acclaimed (and more expensive) 2002 series.

I love Zildjian cymbals too, but in my opinion, these should be number 1.

I love the power that comes out of paiste, and in my opinion, they give you the most bang for your buck

Paiste cymbals offer the best sound quality for the price, they make a ride like no other other, and from their low end cymbals all the way to their end cymbals the quality stays the same - brilliant.

V 79 Comments
4 Meinl

Meinl is really the future of cymbal making. They're constantly innovating and have the most wide musical range that no other company can match. They're absolutely amazing quality with a sound that never gets old. I don't know any other company out there that can make amazing metal/rock cymbals and then turn right around and make the most sensitive and musical jazz/swing cymbals. As a gospel and jazz drummer, I need cymbals that are versatile and unique, Meinl gives me that option every time I sit behind the kit.

My opinion is this
1. Zildjian and Meinl
2. Paiste
3. Sabian

Meinl. Because the Quality of each piece of cymbals of Meinl, very awesome. The sound, quality, fashion of these cymbals is very very different to other cymbals. Like Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, and even Stagg. I definitely say that this cymbals is very authentic, and super amazing. When I hear the sound of this cymbals, I feel so much my groove and it gives me a amazing feel and energy to fired out. That's my own opinion. Meinl cymbals is the best cymbals for me.

My favorite is Zildjian... but since they're already #1, my vote goes to Meinl. Great warm overtones, and great product innovation. The Meinl Byzance series are fantastic, and second only to the Zildjian Ks, and in some cases even better.

Third, I think would be Sabian even though they use the exact same secret alloy at Zildjian, I find many of Sabian's cymbals kind of gimmicky while Zildjian sticks more with just what works.

I think Paiste and Istanbul get honorable mention. It's been a long time since I've played a Paiste, but some drummers I've heard who use them on recordings sound fantastic. I've never had an Istanbul on my kit but I played with some over at a drum shop the other day and the Istanbul Agop series cymbals produce some beautiful overtones with very little of that metallic "ring." Wuhan makes some great effects cymbals.

V 47 Comments
5 Istanbul Agop

Hand made cymbals are and will always be the professionals' choice. Because you can find among them many different tone colors and paint your set with the colors you choose. Istanbul agop cymbals are the best hand-made cymbals for the price, period.

guys these are handmade cymballs that makes you feel in the drum and perfect quality for clean and clear sound I think it comes from its construction methood I mean being made hanmade

I played Zildjians for years and then discovered Istanbul. I just feel like the Istanbul have more pleasing characteristics to the ear, with unique tone. Their cymbals seem to have less annoying overtones than other brands. Great for recording.

30th anniversary - love it!

V 19 Comments

What makes TRX Cymbals absolutely brilliant is that you can combine their cymbals to make it sound either modern or classic. The cymbals they manufacture are very durable. They are hand-crafted Turkish cymbals so they do come at a price but they also have CRX cymbals which are their mid-tier cymbals that are developed in China that makes them cheap but still sounds equally great.

You are going to see the TRX rise to the top of these kinds of lists over the next several years you have my word on that. TRX provides high end, high quality Turkish cymbals but with a unique twist. You watch, top five in the next five years without a doubt. Dross ~

Great quality and overall performance! TRX has a series for any and every style of music! These cymbals are worth every penny! TRX cymbals have the perfect amount of resonance and they offer that perfect sound for even you!


V 14 Comments
7 Istanbul Mehmet

This brand produces only best cymbals all over the world but this brand is too underrated in this site so I don't believe that it should stand in 8th... It deserves only number one!

The Best Turkish cymbals!

10 splash hand made priceless!

I'm a big fan of Istanbul Mehmet. While Agop is more well known and used, in my opinion, Mehmet just makes nicer sounding cymbals. I'm a jazz drummer primarily, I use a variety of cymbals and my go to cymbal combination is my Mehmet 22" 50s ride, my zildjian Bill Stewart ride and my bosphorus master vintage hi hats and I can assure you that my 50s ride is my favourite, despite the fact that I love my bill stewart ride. I'd seriously urge everybody to give them a try and if you're a jazz drummer the 50s ride will blow you away.

V 10 Comments
8 Bosphorous

These cymbals are truly amazing! They have amazing sound and quality for the price. I just bought a 17" Traditional Medium-thin crash, and it fits all kinds of musical styles. I play funk rock, and it's has a warm and washy sound!

these are real cymbals people.. Real cymbals are the ones from turkey. these along with istanbul obviously have way better quality than the zildian and sabian and other american ones...

I just bought my first Bosphorous cymbal and I am sold. I'm a jazz drummer with 50 years experience and have used all of the major brands, and this is by far the best sounding cymbal I have ever owned.

100% traditional, 100% handmade. Proud to be an endorser of this brand. Top quality and you will end up getting the right sound with amount of choices they have.

V 15 Comments
9 Soultone

Nick Menza from Megateth (past member) plays with this kind of cymbals. He's an incredible drummer and sais these can produce excellent sound - aspasiz

I'm a Soultone artist, and I'll always be a Soultone artist! Powerful, rich sound, different styles of cymbals, beautiful!

You won't find better cymbals than Soultone Cymbals. The best handmade Turkish cymbals.

Amazing cymbals, period!

V 11 Comments
10 Wuhan

These cymbals are one of a kind.. It gives you the real feel.. Great cymbals for your money.. Trust me

For me the best Chinas and splashes of all out there, they give the real original ''china'' sound, I tried out the Crashes to, and the sound its amazing too!

Great sound and long lasting

I absolutely love Wuhan's China's they have a great sound and the money is well worth it.

V 3 Comments

The Contenders

11 Alchemy

I've been playing drums for about 5 years and the sound of these cymbals are truly one of a kind.

12 Stagg

Because they have the best quality to value ratio!

I've been gigging and recording with them for years, great product @ 1/2 the price of #1 on this list

Because the sound is crazy and unique

Hand made cast cymbals that sound great
The best bang for your buck

13 Murat Diril

I've played a lot of cymbal brands and these are certainly great cymbals. I currently own two sets of these and I own a set of Zildjian and I'm playing these on every gig I get. They have such a different sound and feel to them. Some are dry and some are velvety depending on which series you get. If I had to choose a company from the big brands, it would be Meinl since they're the same thing as Murat Diril, but my sound is Murat Diril. They're just so smooth and musical.

Great People, Great Cymbals

Best cymbals money can buy

Those cymbals are awesome,with amazing sound!

V 4 Comments
14 Dream

Dream are the only cymbals I would say have their own sound, what I mean by that is that they have their very own sound, plus since they are 100% hand made every one is a unique instrument.

Dream Cymbals are my personal favorite because they are the only companying making fully hand hammered cymbals. While companys like zildjian and sabian have big machines to press cymbals into shape, dream cymbals are sledge hammered into shape creating a truly unique work of visual audible art. Dream makes very good sounding cymbals for a very reasonable price.

Best cymbals out there for the price and stand up to all the others at any price hands down for sound and quality.

Absolutely beautiful. Great wash, wonderful tone.

V 8 Comments

The Ferrari of cymbals that are the only cymbals that are molded into shape without weak spots!

They are the most expressive cymbals with a wide range of sounds, from brilliant to weird and also dark

UFIP is one of the most finest cymbals ever. No doubt about it.

Fantastic cymbsls

V 5 Comments
16 CRX

They are owned by TRX Cymbals. These are their mid-tier cymbals that are developed in China but sounds equally great as TRX. Plus, I dig their logo.

17 Anatolian

Amazing stuff! Best in my opinion, great sound great price 9/10


Playing those beauties since 2003, Ultimate & Baris Serien... great sound, durable and inexpensive.

18 Trexist

I purchased a 18" Aurum Crash & 20" EVO Thunder Crash. The best decision I ever made.

19 Orion

Sexy sounding bright and dark heavy cymbals! 5/5

20 Dynamic

Good looking cymbals, nice sounds, fantastic bang-for-buck. High end lines compete with brand names for a fraction of the price. Definitely worth checking out if you're on a tight budget.

I have nothing but great things to say about these cymbals. Awesome look, amazing sound, and longevity beyond belief. This brand will not let you down.

Good price, great sound, no cracks or marks after some heavy playing, I have the constellation crash

Great value! B20 lines are great!

V 4 Comments
21 Saluda

Unless you are sponsored, don't waste your money on the top 4. you get more than enough in the Saluda Cymbal lines of cymbals. Also the best customer service out there, if you don't like the sound, send it back and they will try to fix it, if they can't they will hammer you a complete new cymbal. Plus lifetime warranty on cracks less than 1 inch! Send it back and they will replace it!

Custom made to the sounds you're looking for with a trade in program.

Great Cymbals, I Own the 17" Medium crash and the 18" Medium Crash/Ride, hand made and sexy as hell. They have so many Choices and also Partner with a couple other companys so you can buy your stands along with your Cymbals!

Looks great, sounds great, and half the price of the big 3!

V 4 Comments
22 Zion

I bought their Fury crashes last month and was really blown away. The crashes were very responsive and explosive. It was exactly what I wanted as far as sound and character. My next few cymbals will be their Legend line that look rich and dark. I heard the Legends in a video and they are sweet.

Eric Moore and Nate Robinson (Lecrae's Drummer) play these. I heard them at some big concerts and they cut really nice. This brand is on its way to the top.

You can easily tell these Zion Cymbals are crafted with the best precision. They stood out when I heard them at the NAMM show. They just sound better overall. The attack is perfect and they sound is exactly what I have been looking for.

Incredible quality and unmatched sound. Beyond satisfied

V 2 Comments
23 Sonor
24 Heartbeat Cymbals

Amazing cymbals! I have yet to hear a cymbal that sounds better than the heartbeat 20" custom light ride.

Newer Company with some Excellent Cymbals!

Handmade B20 cymbals with amazing quality and service. They blend into a mix incredibly well!
That is probably why they are being used by most big name worship artists!

Awesome Handcrafted Cymbals from Turkey. The Customer service is awesome.
They also sell direct and through
And have a ministry discount

25 Fernando


26 Agean

I have one ride and two Agean crashes. They really sound pretty good.

The best cymbals I have seen so far

Great cymbals at great prices.

They produce great sounding cymbals with B.25 alloy

V 8 Comments
27 Symrna

Great cymbals from Istanbul Turkey.
Thunder Lords,Renaissance,Raven evolution in sound
Importing them into Uk

28 Agazarian

They sound badass for the price you can compare it to a 2010 paiste

A 2010 Paiste doesn't exist

29 Ottoman
30 Camber

I have a 14 inch hi hat pair a 16:18 inch crashes and 20 inch ride they are terrible

31 Mapex

These were my starter cymbals
There so horrible

32 Istanbul Pera

Handmade Turkish cymbals with amazing sound. After playing it I impressed with its quality. They will be really big in few years.

33 Exodus

The ultimate quality of Exodus Cymbals Surpasses all others brands I've worked with. Each of their TEN different cymbal variations, offer unique tonal qualities that seperates Exodus Cymbals from all others, creating a individual class of its own. As a drummer, I've found that the distinct sounds I can elicit from my exodus cymbals - continually blows my mind. Its subtle, clear, and true.

Exodus is an awesome brand. This company will be on top soon for sure. Exodus Cymbals rules. I'm very happy with my cymbals.

This quite new brand is high end all over. Every series is balanced for its type of music. Exodus uses B25 bronze. Great sound!

Amazing Cymbals!
It is a new brand which started small and it is becoming one of the best cymbal companies out there! They even got more likes than Meinl now!

V 3 Comments
34 Ozimar

I've heard then very often but never owned one, I see they're durable

Crear Quality cymbals, durable And outstanding soundtrack, I own they ozimar B8, doubted yo buu them... Butcher glad that I did it... Compares yo sabian's b8 And Zildjian's zbt, ozimar's b8 sounds cleaner, brighter... Un mundo opiniĆ³n better..

35 Crescent

Truly hand made cymbals. Not claiming to be while secretly using hidden machines like most of the Turkish brands.

Why is it that Premier cymbals are higher on the list than Crescent? Their Stanton Moore pang thangs are awesome!

36 Hammerax

These are amazing cymbals

Innovation in sound, and made in the USA

37 Diril Cymbals

Very great price, just like many others hammered to perfection. This brand was established by a worker for zildjian went solo. Expect these to become big later on and costlier so get it while the brand is growing!

38 Turkish

Any style of Turkish Cymbals are hi class. For one there one of the few cymbals that are hand made and put through with a machine. If that dose not sound good enough there quality is amazing. And I am not just saying that like everyone on this sight will to make them sound better. They are spectacular sounding, but on top of that there pricing is low. DO NOT let that make you think that Turkish Cymbals are a chepo cymbal because they are the complete opposite. Know ill add a cherry on top by adding that letting you know that these cymbals are impossible to break with a stick. Even there paper thin crashes. BOOM THERE's YOUR GRAPH!

They are cheap for the moola and there sound quality as equal to a k custom or any high quality sabian. Any turkish cymbal is nearly impossible to break even there paper thin crashes and thin rides.

Best sound and quality craftsmanship! Simply the best handmade cymbals out there.

Warm dark classic vintage handmade bebop sound... Oh, and cheap!

V 4 Comments
39 Premier
40 Istanbul
41 Silken

Made in wuhan China

42 R. Spizzichino

Greatest percussionist/drummer/cymbalsmith of all times

43 T-Cymbals

Great cymbals in all aspects

Best cymbals in their price

44 Empire
45 Zultan

Not the best but one of the best, sounds great...

46 Supernatural

Have great sounding cymbals with a very unique look made from Turkey

Phenomenal cymbals. Sound great, look awesome, and take a beating. I'll be with them for awhile.

47 Amedia

Great price for that cool unique sound, handmade in Turkey, many different styles of cymbals, say why not? They fit every kind of music style from jazz to metal. Amedia is the way to go.

Best priced cymbals out there, serious bang for your buck. Forget the top brands, try these and be sold for life.

Amazing work, cymbals more consistents than zildjian or paiste and cheaper!
Fits to all kind of music with a lot of series.
Authentic cymbals handmade are not dead!

48 CB-700

Epic cymbals. They are great for rock and essential for blues drumming and those loud hits on the cymbal when needed in rock playing. 10 Stars for sure.

49 Pearl Cymbals

I know my pearl hi hats are very sexy too!

I know my hi hats are very sexy too!

Yeah I know that's not a proper brand but some pearl hi hats I played were so sexy

50 Fame
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List Stats

2,000 votes
53 listings
9 years, 248 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Istanbul Agop
2. Istanbul Mehmet
3. TRX
1. Zildjian
2. Sabian
3. Meinl
1. Sabian
2. Zildjian
3. Paiste

View All 5

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