I want some cymbals that sound good live as well as in the studio, or the garage. I have some Sabian B8 cymbals, and to me, they sound flat.
I want something that has some ring and sustain. I'm looking for the *splash*.
I use all zildjian. My set up is 14in A custom master sound hats, 20in A custom projection ride, 16in A custom fast crash, 18in-19in-20in Z custom rock crashes, 20in oriental china and a 10in k splash. I have used the kit in the studio 3 times and every project was diffent kind of music (metal,hard rock, pop) and they sounded great on all of them ant they realy cut though live. So I would go with something a long the lines of the A custom and Z custom but if you are a die-heart sabian guy I have used the AA and the AAX befor and they are real good cymbals.
I have the cheap Zildjian Zbt set....i highly reccomend to not purchase these as a long term cymbals i was short on money and i was giving up drums that easy......so you have to work with what you can afford....its a hobby not a compettition .....but i've had the ZBT's for about a year now and my crash is pretty thrashed and a deep all the way through craw that just waves about 3-4 inches up it ......very sad and now the highhats are cracking.....yea crazyness.......im saving up right now for the K customs......amazingly mega cymbals......
sabian aaxplosions. theyre medium thin cymbals but with their sustain youd never know it. i have a 14" and an 18" and theyre amazing...the 14" opens up at extremely low volumes and light hits, and the 18" takes a little more but its a great cymbals to ride and any regular crash on it is amazing. im not sure about other cymbals right now....i know what sound i like but i dont know if its what youd be looking for.
Go to the manufacturer's websites. Sabian, Zildjian, Paiste, and Bosphorus all have sound samples on their sites (of varying quality, to be sure, but still useful). Try and find ones that sound best to you, as cymbals are a very personal choice. Then, once you've picked out a few that sound good, get down to the drum/music store and try to hit them in person. Every cymbal, even those of the exact same model, will sound slightly different.
I highly recommend saving up and buying the best cymbals you can if you're planning on upgrading anyway. Buy them one at a time if you have to and don't neglect used. I've picked up a number of really great cymbals (zildjian a&k customs) on e-bay for about 50-60% of what they go for new.