Cymbals for hard hitters? HELP


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Im a really hard hitting drummer, and I have tried not hitting so hard, but its just my style. So I have cracked my sabian B8 crash ride and 16" crash, and the other day I cracked my Sabian XS20 china, I really need some cymbals that will stand up to a little force. Any suggestions?


New member
Large sizes like 20"
Medium weights
Try going for different modeals of large sizes for differents pitches
For example
I use a 20" Zildjian Med ride and a 20" Zildjian A-custom ride as crashes
The A-cust is brighter than the regular A

Go to a music store with a fairly decent cymbal selection (unfortunately, it probably means that you have to go to GC) and crash on all the large cymbals
Don't pay attention to what the cymbal is made for, just crash on anything large
Whatever sounds good, well, sounds good
Be it a ride or a crash

I am a Zildjian snob myself, but if you don't care about the brand, just go with anything that sounds good
Also, see if you can use a bass drum to accent your crashing
A good bass drum punch will give you a more realistic idea of what the cymbal will sound like when you use it in the real world

Try to stick to medium wieghts and don't believe the hype about "Hard Rock" or "Metal" cymbals
Many of them are all punch and no resonance


New member
Rockula is dead on, Jum-Bo-Lya. Heavy or "metal" weight cymbals are thicker and have less "give" to them. Medium weight cymbals flex more, thereby allowing the vibration to dissapate better. I used to play Zildjian Z Custom Crashes, but every one of 'em was a Medium weight. Never cracked a single one, and I beat the heck out of my drums.

No offense, but you also may want to re-examine your technique for playing cymbals, too. And make sure to invest in cymbal springs for your china. A must-have item, or you'll crack 'em left and right.


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screamkevin":2rgrvz81 said:
And make sure to invest in cymbal springs for your china. A must-have item, or you'll crack 'em left and right.
i have instances where i will all out slam my china around (not in a manner as to try to break it, but normal "heavy" playing) and its been the longest lasting piece of my zbt set, without me having to use cymbal there something weird about that? i honestly thought that i would crack it in months when i first got it but two and a half years later its still kicking around with barely so much as i dent, and i love to ride on it and i hit it all the time for accents. also, i have the wingnut as tight as it will go (its a tama roadpro stand and theres no give in this cymbal) and i still havent had any problems.

i dont think that cymbal springs are a necessity but theyre a good idea if you break a lot of cymbals. i porbably could have used one for my wuhan....


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go for medium/medium thin cymbals, they will surprisingly last u much longer than heavy cymbals.

the thinner cymbals bend more when u hit them so they dont recieve the full brink of the impact, whereas heavy cymbals do recieve the full attack so they will break quicker.

also, as already mentioned, get big cymbals 18"+

Avedis, Z Custom and Paiste RUDE/2002 are gr8 cymbals for taking a beating


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sabian aa metal-x..ive been usin these for a few years cracks at all GREAT for metal and hard hiting

D Rail

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I am hard hitter as well; i have been working on more technique to help with it. I have found that the guitar center warranties are the best way to go if you dont have a sponsor. The extra 5o bucks allows you to get a check to cover the cost of a replacement with in 3 years of purchase,all you have to is send the cymbal back. They send you all of the boxes for shipping and cover the cost of it as well. Yes it does mean that you don't have a cymbal for about 2 weeks, but it is better than spending all of your hard earned gig cash on new cymbals every 10 months, or depending on how long it is your cymbals generally last you.


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You and I are in the same situation, for years i have been demolishing all cymbals i have tried, and belive me i have tried EVERYTHING. i have finally settled on certain cymbals that seem to last the longest (mind you none of them ever last forever, the guitar center replacement warranty is a godsend). I have found that for secondary crashes/splashes, and even my hi hats, the sabian aax "stage" series seem to work really well, and they sound AWESOME. For a primary crash the sabian aa Metal X is the way to go, super thick, loud, durable, and great stick tip response if you need it (also i love all the drybell cymbals). For a ride i recommend the sabian HHX hand hammered dry bell ride, truly an awesome piece of work. For a china i go with the zildjan sound effects oriental china. This cymbal is great because is so maliable, you will find yourself DENTING the cymbal rather than breaking it, almost like your hammering it while your playing it, changing the sound over time. It is by far the best china i have ever used, but EXPENSIVE. Keep in mind all these come at a cost but they go a long way. Hope this helps, peace.


New member
i am a heavy hitter. i tend to stick to avedis zildjian and K custom.
AA or AAX are good too but i don't play sabian.
Stay away from Z custom and a custom. they break very easily.

i play:
21" avedis sweet ride.
2 - 20" K custom dark rides (used as crashes)
14" avedis quick beat bottom/mastersound top hi hat
18" avedis china high
5" zil bel.

i used to break cymbals alot but with this set up i havent broken anything in a very long time.


New member
I also had that problem for a very long time and tried just about anything. But cymbals just can take a limited amount of beating. Eventually technique and how you hit the cymbal makes a big difference and also cymbalsize. I now use an 18" crash and a 20" ride as a crash. The ride sounds great and has lots of power and projection. You've just gotta make sure that the ride is a bit flexible.

Still my china's are wasted evry month, and the last china I had couldn't keep up longer than 2 weeks. But it wasn't that expensive. So maybe tomorrow i'm gonna get a new one. It will always be a pain in the ass..


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And make sure to invest in cymbal springs for your china. A must-have item, or you'll crack 'em left and right.[/quote]"

WHat the hell are cymbalsprings?


New member
Here's a list of things that I had to do in order to stop breaking cymbals:

1) Stop beating the crap out of your gear ALL the time. It doesn't matte what cymbal you play. If you abuse them, they will break.

2) Check your cymbal positioning. If you're hitting them on the edges at all, change the positioning.

3) Play thinner cymbals. Sounds crazy, but it works. Thinner cymbals will give and bend under greater force. Thicker cymbals are more rigid causing them to be more brittle. A thick cymbal won't give and bend when it's hit hard, it will just crack. A guy who worked for Sabian explained this to me. It's pure physics, so don't bother arguing with this one.

4) Don't used tree trunks for sticks. Between my Easton Ahead sticks and my Vic Firth Metal sticks I went through a ton of cymbals because, much like thick cymbals, they didn't give when hit hard which put twice the abuse into the cymbals.

5) Last resort if you don't do the first four... play the cheap, garbage cymbals because you're going to keep breaking stuff until you make some changes, so don't throw away as much money as you would if you were buying higher end stuff.

There's no trick to keeping cymbals from breaking. It's all about how you play. If you keep pounding the hell out of them, then you'll break every cymbal you'll ever own. I was exactly like you, "I'm a hard hitter and that's just the way it's going to be..." well after replacing a few more cymbals that I really liked with crap ones because that's all I could afford, I decided to go back and take all the advice that had been given to me.
Don't get me wrong, you cant still hit hard, but there's a difference between hitting hard and hitting retarded hard.


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I agree with the suggestion to use Zildjian Z Customs. You get the durability and a great live sound. Be careful on what type of Z Custom you get as I would suggest the Rock Customs.

X Day-mow X

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bigger cymbals break. i have a friend that cracks cymbals all the time. he has like 19's and 20's. i have sabian AAXplosion crash's in 16 and 19 and it doesn't look like cracking. the Sabian AAX metal cymbals are solid and thick as anything and hard hitters cant crack them. but zildjian Z Customs are crazy as well. playing technique could hav something to do with why u break cymbals. just make sure you hit across your cymbals and not straight down because they run out of room 2 'swing'.


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Does a sculptor worrry about destroying his materials?
Broken cymbals are just part of the process
Destroy to create


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the thing is all cymbals have a point at which they can make no louder sound. So try with your cymbals to work out how hard you have to hit to get the maximum tone, volume and projection then bass that on how hard you hit them. Also as previous have mentioned watch the angles of the stands. The thicker larger cymbals usually have a higher threshold regarding volume due to the physics of their size, however some thinner cymbals are also loud but do not need to be hit as hard to produce the sound.

Hope this helps someone (sorry i went off on a rant kinda!)