Cymbals are one of the essential percussion instruments on the market. It is not easy finding a drum set that does not have cymbals, especially today.
They are the most prominent of all percussion instruments. You will get them in almost all types of music style – bands, marching groups, and orchestras.
Cymbals exhibit a disk-shaped structure that represents their ancient design it’s not just accessories. And they come in different types and functionality.
Getting the right set of cymbals can be the difference between the quality of sound you create.
In most cases, people assume that you need to spend a fortune to get the best cymbals. Whereas this is true, there are some cheap cymbals that will do the job just as well.
Besides, cheap does not always mean bad.
Best Budget Cymbals You Can Get in 2023
In my experience as a drummer, I have come across a wide range of cymbals at different prices, and which sound great even at low prices. but you need to be careful, though; most cheap cymbals do not provide the best quality.
In this case, I will be reviewing some of the best budget cymbals on the market. These products will not disappoint you.
Types of cymbals
Before you pick any cymbal, it is crucial to know the types of cymbals on the market. There are six main types: hi-hats, rides, crash, china, splash, and sizzle.
Each of these cymbals come with unique characteristics, and they are used for different purposes. For instance, hi-hats come in pairs. One is set at the bottom, whereas the other is set on top.
Basically, the lower hi-hat is more massive than the one on top, though you can turn them around to get a better sound. The hi-hats are also played using both drumsticks and the foot.
This is why sometimes people think hi-hats are not really cymbals. But the truth is, they are. They could even be just a pair of crash cymbals.
And talking of crash cymbals, they are named from the sound they produce, just like a splash and a sizzle. Think of these sounds, and they are what you get when you hit these pieces of metal.
The most important thing is getting a good quality cymbal to match your drum kit. You will not achieve good performance if your cymbals sound like crap, even if you have the most expensive drum set.
For new drummers, it is a good idea to more economical in your selection. Your budget should be among the top considerations when choosing drum cymbal.
Many beginner drum sets come fully equipped with a complete set of cymbals. Unfortunately, they are most the lowest quality components, and you need to replace them.
The good news is, cymbal makers, create quality products to cover all budget needs. Therefore, it is not always true that price determines the price.
What Are the Best Cymbals?
Several factors determine the best cymbals. For a beginner, it is the budget that stands at the top of the list.
You want quality without having to spend too much. Many beginners are not sure whether they will continue drumming for long. Some of them may be just trying it out for fun.
As you grow in your skills, other factors like quality and structure start making more sense. You will want to consider the quality and durability of the cymbals above their cost.
Apart from that, you also need to look at your musical taste. It is crucial to make sure that what you are buying goes with your needs and your musical style.
For example, if you are looking for well-defined accents and louder sounds, your focus should be on crash cymbals. And if you are looking to create the shuffle beats, then go for hi-hats more.
In other words, different types of cymbals are needed for different effects on your performance. Identify this purpose, and you will buy the best cymbals.
Also, the type of music you are playing should be a priority in choosing the right cymbal. Metal and other heavy hitters need more durable cymbals. Since they use a lot of energy and aggressiveness to hit, they prefer heavier and less responsive cymbals.
Cymbals used for these kinds of scenarios will not work well for jazz and other lighter drumming styles. These require a lighter and more responsive solution. Thinner, yet durable cymbals can do the trick.
Another crucial factor that determines the quality of cymbals is the brand. There are so many cymbal manufacturers today that choosing the right one can be a bit overwhelming.
But there are a few companies known for making great cymbals at different prices.
The most popular cymbal brand is Zildjian. Their products are known for the highest quality. Besides, this the oldest cymbal company on the market, having been around for more than ten decades.
Zildjian cymbals are often used as the mark of quality for cymbal makers and buyers. They are also the most expensive.
Over the past few years, the company has been making solutions for lower-end buyers. This means now they are making cymbals to meet the needs of those looking for quality, but they don’t have enough money to make the investment.
Another good brand is Sabian. This is an offshoot of Zildjian, and hence, you can expect them to have good quality too.
Sabian is the second-largest cymbal maker. They offer a wide range of products for different needs too. Whether you are looking for a heavy metal solution or easy jazz designs, you can count on Sabian.
The best brand, in my opinion, is Paiste. When it comes to innovation and creating new ideas in cymbal making, the brand seems to have the best methods.
They spend a lot of time researching before delivering anything to the general market, which is why they
have remained relevant all these years.
For more affordable cymbals, I verge for Meinl. This is another reputable brand that does not leave anything to chance.
Meinl cymbals are endorsed by some of the best drummers and percussionists of all time. They know what quality means for drummers and will go ahead to make sure you have.
Wuhan and Ammoon cymbals are the cheapest overall. These two companies have grown over the past few years to become very reputable and trustworthy music instrument manufacturers.
They offer diverse lines of cymbals to meet different needs. Their line of low-rate cymbals has been nreceiving a great deal of positive vibe.
Cymbal material and manufacturing process
When people ask me about the best cymbals, I always advise them to consider the material and making process that created the final products. There are four types of cymbals in terms of material: brass, B8, B10, and B20.
Brass cymbals are the cheapest, and the material is readily available. Even though some of them sound realty great, they are not very durable. They are not, therefore, products you can recommend for heavy hitters.
This is the same for B8 cymbals too. They are defined by 8% tin, and the rest is copper. They are nbetter than brass, though, and the most preferred option for cheaper cymbals.
B10 is found with most mid-range cymbals. They contain 10% tin, which is a good combination for the alloy. But they are not the best quality still.
If you are looking for higher-end solutions, consider B20 alloy cymbals. These are more durable and can withstand a lot of punishment.
In terms of manufacturing, there are cheap methods and the most expensive methods. Cheap methods involve mass production with a machine. These cymbals are most cut into a shape from larger material.
Cast cymbals are the best definition of quality. They are made by melting and mixing the alloys before pouring them into a cast for shaping. They are then hand-hammered into shape, creating products with better sound and unique features.
15 Best Cheap Cymbals Reviewed
Based on the needs above, I have created a list of the 15 most affordable cymbals for you. This should make nit easy for those having a hard time choosing.
For all drummers, Zildjian cymbals are the best products you can wish to have. They are produced by top experts in the industry, helping you achieve top sounds.
Even though most of their products are expensive, here are some that are very affordable.
Zildjian ZBT Starter Cymbal set
As the name suggests, this a complete cymbal set made for starters. And coming from the best manufacturer on the market, you can expect excellent service from them.
They come at a very economical price, which makes them perfect for a starter.
Easily playable, first-rate build, tremendous design, and durable construction are a summary of these products. They have a list of other desirable features too.
You get and 18-inch ride, a 14-inch crash, and 13-inch hi-hats in the set. They are all made from BB alloy.
I like the crash more for its versatility. It delivers a high stick definition with great crash qualities. They are also very bright sounding, from a reliable model.
The chick sound from the hi-hats is suitable for all music genres.
Zildjian ZBT 14-inch Crash Cymbals
Crash cymbal can be your answer for a memorable performance. And the Zildjian ZBTs is the best solution.
These products are made strong, with excellent quality and beautiful sounds. But most importantly, they are very affordable.
If you are just beginning, these are excellent options to start with. Besides their sturdy, long-lasting design, they deliver a high-pitched and bright crash sound. Their classy outlook also makes them attention-grabbing.
As if that is not enough, they come at 1.6 pounds in weight, and sizes of 14 by 1.2 by 14 inches. They are also easy to play with fast response and enhanced sonic quality.
These are cymbals you want to add in your kit, most for live performance. Besides, because they are made for professionals, they should be sufficient for a new player.
A Custom 8-inch Splash Cymbals
You will appreciate this model because of its construction quality, enhanced sound, a pleasant tone, and na good price.
If you want a good splash, there is no better place to find one than with these Zildjian cymbals. They are designed beautifully, not only for the looks but for great sounds too.
They are constructed from 80% copper and 20% tin, and measures 8-inches with a total weight of 5.6 ounces. This makes them high-quality products.
Get a short crash sound and accurate response. And since they are made from a B20 alloy, you should be proud to have them as part of your kit.
I have several Sabian cymbals in my collection. Even the ones I used as a beginner are still with me because they have never lost their taste. You will love most of their products, especially affordable ones.
Sabian SBR2012 SBR Series Pure Brass 20-inch Ride cymbals
Brass is not the best material you can expect in the cymbal. But coming from Sabian, you can expect them to have something a little extra to improve their quality.
Sabian brings you this incredible ride cymbal as a beginner cymbal. Don’t worry about the quality of its structure and sound because of Sabian’s reputation.
If you are a beginner, I suggest you try out the SBR2012. However, this 20-inch ride cymbal can be good too, even for professionals looking for something cheaper.
It is made from first-rate brass, which makes them stronger than other products with the same material.
They deliver a strong sound, bright response, and fast decay for wash riding.
Sabian 10-inch SBR Spash
If you need a splash for superior quality and efficiency in response, but don’t have a lot of money, this cymbal should be good enough. It delivers a punch crash that you can expect in any higher-end cymbal.
Sabian makes them from fine brass that is sturdier and durable. Measuring 16-inches and priced low, these are the kind of cymbals you will never go wrong on.
Its loud punch is suitable for all levels of player. Also, it has a lathed and hammered Surface, making it even better. As a beginner, you will love this piece.
Sabian 11-inch AAX AAX-Plosion Splash
Sabian never disappoints when it comes to high-end manufacturing cymbals. Since 1981, they have been creating generations of high-end production.
The Sabian 11-inch AAX AAX-Plosion Slash is one of their most affordable options. It is famous among many drummers because of their clear sound and good natural quality.
At 11-inches and 12-ounces, this simple yet attractive cymbal delivers more than a dynamic focus. You can, therefore, be sure of a more accurate response.
Meinl is one of the most popular brands. Each of their instruments is made to last long, with a solid structure and incredible sound quality. Here are some of their best products other than the Meinl Byzance Cymbal series.
Meinl Cymbals HCS1314 + 10S HCS Pack Cymbal Box Set
This cymbal set from Meinl should be a wonderful addition to your set. And since it contains a full npackage with a 14-inch crash, 13-inch pair of hi-hats, and a 10-inch splash, it gets you right on the road. Meinl has also included a pair of wooden-tip drumsticks and three lessons.
They come with an excellent build quality, constructed from a good quality brass alloy. It sounds very nmusical, with an enhanced tone.
Meinl Cymbals HCS20R Ride
It is not only the build quality of this crash cymbal that attracts many users; it is their price as well. It is a wonderful option for shimmering and fast accents.
They come at a low rate,but this should not make you feel any less about them. They have great structural and functional qualities.
You get a quick shimmering sound, a colorful sound wash, and versatile functionality. It comes from a top-class brass alloy that keeps their tone well maintained.
It will serve you in all musical styles, delivering a warm crash sound and a short sustain.
Meinl Cymbals HCS141620+10 HCS Pack Cymbal Box Set
Many beginners prefer acomplete set instead of just one cymbal. This Meinl Hcs Cymbal Pack should be a great option.
It contains a 20-inch ride, a 14-inch pair of a hi-hat, and a 16-inch crash cymbal. It also comes with a complimentary 10-inch splash. You get everything you need to start playing right from the box.
The entire Meinl HCS line is made for a more economic drumming experience. The cymbals are made of highly expressive in touch and incredible sound quality.
The set is built in Germany, from a top-end brass alloy, which makes them incredibly durable. It is recommended for newbies and students seeking a full range of sounds.
Paiste is a renowned company, well acclaimed for its diverse and impressive history. Their innovative approach and seamless construction are seen in a wide range of their musical instruments. Cymbals are one of them.
Paiste PST 3 Cymbal Ride Crash 18-inch
This ride crash model from Paiste is one of the most desired cymbals at affordable prices. It comes at a simple structure and a decent design.
They measure 18-inches and are heavier than many other products. It’s recommended for students, casual players, and hobbyists. This model will give you real experience.
It comes with a very responsive touch and a bright sound for a wide range of musical styles.
Apart from the big four brands mentioned above, many other manufactures offer incredibly cheap cymbals. Here are some products.
Wuhan WU10414 14-inch Lion China Cymbal
Wuhan Xingsir is one of the top makers of cymbals and other percussion instruments in China. Their products are known for exceptional craftsmanship as their instruments are mostly hand made.
The cymbal from Wuhan bears incredible tonal quality and enhanced sounds. Above all, it comes at a very low price.
Talk about the size, and these pieces will impress you. They measure 16 by four by 16 inches with a total weight of 1.45 pounds. They are a bit heavier, perfect for heavy hitters.
Ammoon 12-inch/14-inch/16-inch/18-inch/20-inch Brass Alloy Crash Ride Hi-Hat
Ammoon has been building a great reputation over the past few years. They build a diverse line of products, including low-rate cymbal.
This hi-hat from Ammon is a reliable product made for great performance. It is crafted with a robust construction from a brass alloy that allows high sound.
It’s a lightweight character, and a glowing metal luster creates a strong appeal for any user. You get a sweet tinkling sound when you hit its top.
Stagg EX-SM6B 6-inch
You may have heard about Stagg already. It is known for manufacture high-quality percussion instruments, among them this cymbal.
It has a simple design, durable structure, and clear, high-class sound. It sounds fantastic and comes at a very affordable rate.
If you have a lot to spend without compromising the sound quality, these are highly-recommended cymbals.
It’s a metal bell cymbal in a black finish and a solid structure from a B20 alloy. You will love it.
Foreineam 14-inch Crash Cymbal
This beautifully designed crash cymbal delivers smooth playability and explosive sound that any drummer will love. It is a very affordable product made from high-quality brass. Its unique tone, bright sound, and good response should serve you well.
Glarry 18-inch Copper Alloy Ride Cymbal
This cymbal is a very simple yet functional model. It can be a good addition to your drum set, recommended for all levels of the drummer.
Tinkling sound, heavy, great construction, and a simple design are some of the features that make it stand out. It is made from a copper alloy for durability.
Frequently asked questions
What Are Drum Cymbals Made Of
Generally, cymbals are made from copper-based alloys. The cheapest ones come from brass, followed by B10 alloy and then B20 alloy. The material determines the price and quality of the cymbals.
How Much Do Cymbals Cost
It all comes down to the manufacturing process and materials. B20 handmade cymbals will cost more than triple the price of machine-made brass cymbals.
Why Are Cymbals So Expensive
Cymbals are very expensive because they take a lot of time and material costs to deliver the desired sounds. The making process requires a lot of attention.
Buying good cymbals goes beyond just looking at the price. It’s the quality that matters. I hope this loss and guide of affordable cymbals have been helpful.