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

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!

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

I love Zildjian too. Sabian and Meinl are nice too but I’ve been playing Zildjian cymbals for a long time

V 91 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.

Used to be a Zildjian player, but after watching Neil Peart using them, was kind of curious. Bought my first Sabian and loved it, then a second. Now they are all Sabians. I just prefer them over Zildjian big time and in my opinion, much, much better sound. Not sure how that might play out in different genres, but I am a rock drummer, and there I give Sabian the edge.

V 89 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


V 76 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.

I have played pastie sabian zildjian and and camber cymbals and meinl is my absolute favorite

V 43 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.

Unique brand with its approach. Saying that Meinl made dark cymbals popular again is not correct. Its all about marketing. Agop changed the trend in the last 10 years. Agop's signature, Turk, special edition lines made big companies aware of whats getting attention. Zildjian's Kerope, special dry, meinl byzance, sabian's elite..see where the insprition coming from.

V 18 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 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.

I have a 16" crash and 24" ride - both Turks, and they are my favorites, hands down. I also have a 20" Zildjian Renaissance ride and a 22" Sabian Big and Ugly King, which are good, but don't have as much complexity and emotion as my Bosses.

V 14 Comments
8 Istanbul Mehmet

The Best Turkish cymbals!

10 splash hand made priceless!

They do not press their cymbal profile but hammer the profile, sound and feel better, a real handmade cymbal

Excellent price, great sound.

V 8 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.

I personally am actually a Zildjian guy, but I do really love Soultone. The fact that they make amazing sounding cymbals for great prices and will happily endorse any level of player makes me very sure that they will rise to the top of these lists over the next few years. Other than Zildjian and perhaps Sabian, Soultone is one of the few companies in my opinion that can really be characterized as making truly amazing cymbals.

V 10 Comments
10 Wuhan

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!

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

Great sound and long lasting


V 4 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.

THE BEST, the FATHER of Cymbals... Amazing cymbals!

The most artistic cymbals I have seen or heard.

The best cymbals I ever seen. They are B22 alloy and have interesting series, something more original than the other brands.

V 3 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

V 1 Comment
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
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List Stats

2,000 votes
53 listings
8 years, 282 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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