Mixing cymbal brands


New member
is it frowned upon to use different brands/ "models" of cymbals? a friend of mine had a heart attack when he saw i had a paiste 14" 101 crash, a paiste pst3 18" crash ride, and sabian B8 hi hats...i like the way it sounds..and when i have the moneys i was gettin PST5's of 2002's so i was just wonderin how other ppl looked at it


New member
Across the room, subtle differences in cymbal sound are diminished. If you are looking for variety in your sounds, then different brands and lines are a good way to accomplish that. Personally, I do keep my sets matched except for the hi-hat. I have a set of Z Customs, A Customs, and A's. As for the hi-hat I have a k/z combo, and A Cust/Z set and a quick beat set. I like to have a china, 2 or 3 crashes of different sizes and a ride. I found that using the Z's, mixing the other types didn't work too well because the Z's are so heavy.

It is personal preference. do what sounds good to you and if you want a different sound, make it a lot different or no one will notice.


New member
Use all that you like, not what is from one manufacturer. Although I love my Agop cymbals, I sometimes fill change to Meinl Generation X cymals. My hihat doesn't change.
There's this saying that cymalsfrom one brand work better toghether and sound better as a whole, but I don't know if it's true. I use Agops/Alchemy, I think they're the best sounding cymbals out there(along with Bosphorus) and I will never buy a cymbal from other brand :) to me major manufacturers(ZIldjian, Sabian, PaisTe) sound like theyre to high pitched(especially the hihats-all sabians sound like two splashes put together for me). Small manufacturers- Turkish, Masterwork, Istanbul Mehmet- They may be good, but I've already found my sound.

The Alien Drummer

New member
I have paiste, zildjian, sabian, wuhon & saluda all mixed in and different models of those brands. I want different sounds and that's the best way to do it IMO.

I used to believe they had to all be the same brand and series.


New member
I have Zildjian Mastersound hats, which are killer, a 22in Z hand hammered ride and 20in Sabian dry ride. Crashes are 16 in Sabian HH, 18 Sabian Xplosion, 14 Zildjian lite crash, 18in Paiste Alpha , which is a very sweet cymbal. Sonically they sound great together. Once you learn the rules you can proceed to break them. YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!!
Seriously, just like you need different types of sticks for different songs and bands you need different cymbal brands and sounds too. It is good to have pre-sonically matched cymbals but cymbals are also a very personal thing. I don't care what brand it is as long as it sounds good to my ear. If you are picky and careful you can sonically match things yourself. I tried every crash cymbal in Guitar Center on more than one occassion and always preferred the Sabians.


New member
I went through this subject in another forum.

ALL cymbal manufacturers make crappy,good & great cymbals...PERIOD!

There is no law that says you HAVE to go with only one company.

Mix it up,break'em,ect...

I've played on damn near every MAIN manufacturers cymbals and have VERY mixed feelings about them.

Zildjian is great but,I go through them too much,everyone plays Zildjians,Zildjian is a mass market company now days(which is why Sabian came to existence).

I love Sabian due to awesome craftsmanship,support,customer service,old school morals,ect....

I get everything I need/want with them.

Some say this and that about certain cymbal companies...but,you have to check out EVERY series,line,model & size before you pass judgment.

Do what you do to get the sound you want....me I'll stick with Sabian :!:


I think its best when choosing your cymbals to try to not look at the maker and go from pure sound. I use a combination of zildjians and sabians currently and really only because my petricular combination gives me all the different sounds I like to color the music in the way I choose.


New member
I currently play on a set of 14" hi hats consisting of a matte finish zildjan mastersound hand hammered edge bottom hat with a sabian bright finish stage hat top. They really do have the best sound out of all set-ups and combos i have played on, they sound great live and amazing on recordings. I am a firm believer in mixing and matching, it's your sound so do what you want with it.


New member
I play whatever I can afford in the used section that isn't pre-damaged...so being very limited in my choices, I'll take anything from any company as long as is sounds better than my cracked cymbals.

Then again, I did save up for that set of K Custom Darks...I love that entire line, but I don't like playing them with my metal band...they deserve better treatment.


New member
There has always been a bias towards brand loyalty. All of one kind and do not mix. If you really saw what goes on inside the studio even with endorsers it would open your eyes and ears. I have seen one brand endorser pull his private other brand personal ride out of his cymbal bag to record. Yet when asked he would say I endorse XYZ because they are the best. You get the best sound you need form whatever source is avaliable to you. Sometimes endorements are limiting to your creativity. I had a long conversation with the first son of a well known drumming family about this type of issue. He said that he can not stand his companies hardware at all. He has to use it on certain media outlets, but if not then he uses any brand but theirs.

One of the best buying experiences that I ever had was with Danny Q back when Thoroughbred was open. They had a cymbal room with a drumset. You had to make an appt. We did the blindfold test. At the time I wanted a new set of Zildjians. After going through about 20 16" crashes all the same supposedly, Danny asked me describe what I wanted as far as sound and then I also picked out what I thought I wanted to play. Then the real fun began. I put on a blind fold and just played. He would switch them out until we had a set that worked well together. I wound up with (IMHO) one of the best matched sounding set at the time. They were from mostly (10) Paiste, dif lines and 2 Sabian and 1 Zildjian. That was a valuable lesson for me. I had always heard it but never until applied it. To get past brand bias, close your eyes and just hit metal. Whatever blends for your ears are the ones for you. I think I got like $1500 worth in that one day in 1987 dollars. I have traded or sold tons of cymbals but none from that blindfold test have ever left me or let me down.

Ultimately it is and should be up to you. All one brand is kinda limiting and I hate limits put on me. I would not pass up a great deal something just because with was Zild or Sabian or whatever brand even though I do prefer Paiste. I have some truly great other brand cymbals that I love to play for certain situations. Just my 5 cents worth.


New member
One of the best buying experiences that I ever had was with Danny Q back when Thoroughbred was open. They had a cymbal room with a drumset. You had to make an appt. We did the blindfold test.
Wow, I did exactly that with A.J. Altieri at Thoroughbred once. I was looking for Hi Hats and I was SURE I wanted New Beats. Then the blindfold went on... I ended up with a pair of UFIPS and a pair of MEINL Rakers. I still have both pair (though one was stolen then recovered) I now buy cymbals ONLY with my ears.


New member
I always try to be loyal to the Sabians, which is generally my brand of choice, but I have Zildjin hi-hats and a Zildjin ride that has rivits in them and they both sound great, so I say that if it sounds great than use what you can . . . . . unless Sabian wants to sponser me I will use what is avalible and what sounds good.


New member
thanks! i didnt think it was a treason to mix...but i have noticed that my sabian hi hats sounded like two crash...and i put one up as a crash and it worked! im a lil low on cash w/ moving and what not so asap im gettin some 2002's or big beats (fat chance on that one...no way ill find them) but itll prob be around spring :-/ before ill afford new stuff, thanks for the help.


New member
it defo aint treason. im mostly sabian but i love the sound of other cymbals eg. my a custom projection crash.


New member
I love all kinds of cymbals and through the years my tastes have changed. I am currently in love with the 2002's from Paiste. I am not sure if there is a concrete answer to this..


New member
Whoever made it up that you are not supposed to mix cymbal brands definitely works for a cymbal company. There is no one way to do anything. Break the "rules" please.
I'm not saying that it's all hype just mostly.


New member
:) Hey out there in cymbal land. I have all Zildjians but I will soon have3 different sets of cymbals to choose from. I like the consistancy of the same brand of cymbal I mean would you have a multi colored drum set? In most cases probaly not. Don't get me wrong if you wanted a certain sound and the drums were different colors and it doesn't bother you then go for it. ITs all about music anyways right guys and gals! ITs my choice to use the same cymbals brand and make I find that to be my favorite way to do things.


New member
i have no hang-ups mixing cymbal brands ,but i do know guys who are pureists and think otherwise ! my best advice is to just play what sounds good to you .period! but i do get a kick out of people saying that zildjian suck and are mass produced ,thats why they play sabian instead ,because they are much better ??? as someone pointed out ,every cymbal company makes some great cymbals ! but for the record zildjian and sabian are the same - robert and armand zildjian had a falling out and split the zildjian company between them ,robert got controll of the canadian plant ,but had to give up his rights to the zildjian name !!! so he chose the 1st 2 letters of his 3 kids names-sally,billy,andy -hence "sabian" bottom line robert and armand both make cymbals the way their father avedis taught them ! lol my first post ! woo hoo ,love this board !


New member
i like to stay with one brand....i play all zildjian, A's, A Customs, K's, Z's. Theres really nothing wrong with it, its just a label...but i perfer to stay with zil...theyre by far the best


New member
Until they start writing me a check, Im going to use what ever sounds good . I currently have Zildjian crashes with Paiste splashes and a Sabian ride. So if a given company wants to give me some support to keep my setup brand consistent, please contact me with the info provided.