What cymbal sizes do you use and why?


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Just wanted to hear some comments on the choice of sizes that you play- especially crashes. I personally am used to bigger sizes(17, 18), and my 18" Alchemy rock custom crash had the bow designed so that the pitch was of a 16 inch crash but with the fullness of an 18". The 18" just gave me a better physical response when crash/riding it than a 16".


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I use smaller sizes- I like a tight footprint and find that by tweaking your specs you can offset smaller size with weight and finish to still get bigger sounds if that's what you're after.
I have an 18" ride, and my largest crash is 16", but my 15" and 14" sound bigger because of their weight and hammering.

I like things to be really tight around me, with little or no space between drums/cymbals/triggers, etc and smaller cymbals help a lot with that.

I'm not against experimenting with bigger crashes in the studio, but for gigging I'm finding 16" is about as big as I need.


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i have 17' and 18' crashes, hoping to move up to 18 and 19.
i like 22' rides, lots of sustain and power, and usually big bells too!
for chinas i like 18-20, and hihats 14's


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I like 13'' hats - they're a bit more quick and aren't as gongy as 14s. On the other hand I like the power of 22'' rides, I also prefer bigger crashes( I currently use 16'' and 18'' med-heavies but I'd like to try a 20'' crash). As for the splashes - 10'' splash is the biggest I like - 12'' is too big for me


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joe_cader":3n7gxvi2 said:
To me anything over 16 sounds gong-ish.
You've not experienced many large cymbals then :lol:

I play (from left to right sat at the kit)

16" Roctagon, 14" B8 Pro hats, 10" aax Splash, 16" aax Stage crash, 8" aax Stage splash, 18" aax stage crash, 17" aa rock crash, and 20" aax stage ride.

I like all sizes of cymbals but I find for the music I regularly play, this setup works, and it's taken 16 odd years to come to this conclusion. Cymbals are a personal thing so everyone will have an opinion and each opinion is valid. 8)


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With the type of music you play, you have to pick the right "tool" for the job. Since my band, Scream, (http://www.screamrocks.com) plays 80's metal, I need larger crashes to stand out. I do however, prefer a 20" ride over a 22", it's easier for me to control.


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I use as many as sizes as needed to get the sounds I like. I like 13 & 14" hi-hats (one remote) Just a plain old 20" ride with a big bell, 14", 16", 17", 18", 19" crashes and 16" and 18" china's. I play all metal and go through my 14-17" crashes once every two years. China's last a little longer. I wouls love to use splashes but would tear through them like paper.


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im a fan of the bigger cymbals...i play 2 18" crashes and 1 14" that i got cheap but also have found a lot of use out of, i have a 21" ride, 18" china but also a 10" splash and 12" china for accents. i like to play prog metal and find that it requires some versatility in sizes to really compliment the music. i could pick hundereds of cymbals that i want to have but these are working pretty well for me.


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I'm a fan of smaller cymbals - especialy hats :). As for the crashes I use two 16" crashes - for me it's the most versatile size - it can cut through well enough and has the right amount of sustain for my taste.


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sort of an all rounder with cymbals..14"hats and an 18" Z crash
have got 2 smaller cymbals 8" splash and a 16"Z crash..as long as it sounds gd it will get used..


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once i got a 18" crash i could never go back to 16's. i got a 19 z for free (had a small crack ) that i really liked too.


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joe_cader":3axl9kf1 said:
To me anything over 16 sounds gong-ish.
WEll, I certainly have a lot of gongs, then! :p

I love the huge sound of larger cymbals, and besides 2 20" ride cymbals, I use: 2 x 18" crashes, 16" crash, 16" china, 20" china (high pitch) and 22" china (low pitch).

(Edit; I have smaller cymbals too, of course!)

"Gong"; Will you lease reunite, and concider me as your new drummer? :lol:

Seriously, if you play loud on the drums (witch I do), you should have cymbals that go with it! 8)


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Mr. Pants":2evdkj1c said:
I play big cymbals to complement big guitar sounds.

24" ride/crash
21" crash/ride
20" hi-hats
Just out of curiousity; Does anyone actually make 20" hi hats, or do you use 2 ride/crash cymbals? :?


New member
I think that it all comes down to the style of music that you play. If you are playing jazz or blues then you might want to stick with smaller cymbals with a quick attack and short sustain. Though if you are playing a rock style music, you would want to go with a larger( and depending on the style of rock) a heavier cymbal. I say give yourself a variety and see what fits. When all else fails...go with a mid-line...14-16 inch cymbal. Be aware of the thickness and if it is cast or sheet. Makes a big difference.


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i like my cymblas nice and big.
i have 20" ride.
18" istanbul crash.
14" RUDE hi-hats.
i'm a fan of those 9" zil bel's too.

but each to his/her own i say.