Sometimes finding that link between the largest crash and the smallest ride cymbal can be tricky. And this is why cymbal manufactures make crash ride cymbals. These cymbals, in my opinion, are among the best cymbals for drum sets and have become a great addition to a complete drum set for many drummers.

Or, you can just have one adequate cymbal to play as a ride and as a crash at the same time. However, the issues come in when you are looking to find the best crash ride cymbal.

One of the hardest times that drummers go through is packing and unpacking their cymbals accessories. A complete drum set can be very bulky compared to other parts of a band. It comes with many stands, drum pieces, sticks, and other important equipment you need to play your drums.

As a drummer, it’s important to find the right balance between the quality of sound you deliver and the ergonomics. But finding this balance can be a huge challenge.

Using a crash ride cymbal is perhaps one of the best ways to cut down on the load while ensuring your sound quality is not compromised. You can also save a lot of space on stage and have the space to play with ease.

So, I will be helping you understand crash ride cymbals and review some of the best ones on the market. Come along.

Understanding crash ride cymbals

As you may already know, cymbals are among the most important parts of a drum set. They help in delivering great percussion sounds and fills that make your music sound pleasing.

There are different types. The main one includes hi-hats, rides, crashes, and china cymbals. Each of these types is designed for a specific role.

You are right if you have guessed that crash/ride cymbals come as a bridge between the crash and ride cymbals. Their size defines them.

And to understand this better, one must know what ride cymbals are, as well as crash cymbals.

Ride cymbal

The ride cymbal holds down a steady groove you hear in most drumming genres. Right-handed drummers place it on their extreme right.

A rider’s name comes from the work they do in a cymbal set. They provide a steady overriding pattern. Most cymbal makers produce specific ride cymbals. However, many drummers prefer to use effects cymbals like chinas, pangs, and sizzle cymbals.

Crash cymbals

Many beginner drummers assume that a crash cymbal is used to deliver a crash sound. While this could be a simple way of putting it, there is so much to it.

The crash is a cymbal that is used to create loud, defined accents instead of playing a steady rhythm, as in the case of a ride above. In many modern kits, there is at least one or two crash cymbals. In other words, you will not easily find a drum set that does not have a crash cymbal.

They are played using sticks, hands, or mallets, offering a wide range of sounds. Sometimes you can hear a rock drummer hit two crashes at the same time, delivering an extra-powerful accent.

Crash ride cymbals

Crash ride cymbals offer a prolonged slow crash. Some drummers may use them as the only suspended cymbal on a small set.

It is their size that makes them unique as well. Not that crash cymbals come in different sizes, ranging in different thicknesses. The smallest can be as small as 8-inch, and the largest as big as 24-inch. Following this, we can say all cymbals are crash.

However, a majority of true crash cymbals fall between 14-inch and 18-inches. Thickness varies depending on the music style you are playing.

Ride cymbals, on the other hand, give a shimmering, sustaining sound. They also tend to be larger than the crash cymbals with sizes ranging from 20-inches to 26-inches.

From 18-inches to 20-inches, you get crash/ride cymbals. If a crash ride cymbal is more than 20-inches, it tends to lean more towards the rides. And if it is less than 18-inches, it leans more towards crash sounds.

How Do You Choose A Crash Cymbal?

We have already discussed what a crash cymbal is. But is just wants to mention that they are explosive cymbals used in creating accents. A beginner kit will occasionally come with a crash ride cymbal that serves both purposes.

So, if you want to choose the best crash or any other cymbal, there are a few features you should consider. We can easily summarize everything into sound quality, but these features give these cymbals a name.

Metal selection

I usually start with the metal combination when choosing my cymbals because that is where the sound comes from. Cymbals generally come in the three most popular metals alloys, all copper-based – Brass, B8 Bronze, and B20 Bronze.

Brass is mostly found in the beginner cymbals. Since this metal is the least expensive, you should not expect a lot from these cymbals. They are defined by the worse sounds too, and they are the cheapest.

B8 bronze is found in mid-range cymbals, which are better and more expensive than those made from brass.

On the higher-end of the market is the B20 cymbals. These are the most expensive and generally considered for the best sounds.

Cymbal shaping

Cymbals come with five specific parameters for shaping. And when picking your crash, you will need to give all of them a consideration because they determine the sound you get.

First is the diameter, whereby the larger diameter leads to longer sustain and great volume. Then look at the thickness – greater thickness brings out higher pitch and great volume. The bell size should also be among your top considerations. A larger bell means more overtones and longer sustain but less attack.

The next aspect is the profile. Go for a greater curvature along the cymbal radius if what you need is a higher pitch and fewer overtones. We complete these five features with taper. Thicker tapers off from the bell to the edge delivers a more ‘ride-like’ sound, and the edge will be ‘crash-like.’

Methods of manufacturing

Cheap cymbal manufacturing methods involve cutting a cymbal shape from a large metal sheet. The result is a more uniform sound between one cymbal and another.

But they are not as good as cast cymbals, which are known for a richer, more complex sound that only gets better with age. They also have a character that is different between individual cymbals. 

If you are looking for the best, then go for the most expensive cast cymbals. They will be all you need to create a perfect drum set.

The best Crash Ride Cymbal reviewed

Here are the top crash ride cymbals that will give you the best sounds.

Zildjian ZBT 20-inch Ride Crash Cymbal

Zildjian is one of the biggest cymbal companies in the world. The brand has been on the market for more than 200 years delivering high-quality cymbals.

The ZBT crash ride cymbal is a perfect example of high-end cymbals. It delivers the best sounds representing both crashes and rides cymbals. ZBT is the largest Zildjian family, and this 20-inch piece is perfect for any drum kit setup. Its bright sound, with a long sustain, is all you need to stand out.

This cymbal works great as a ride, and at the same time giving huge and harsh crash sounds. Its sound is also clear and versatile, able to serve you in a wide range of settings.

Perhaps the biggest limitation of this piece is its price.

Meinl 18-inch Crash Ride cymbal

If you want a high-quality cymbal designed for greatness, you can never go wrong with Meinl. And this 18-inch crash ride cymbal is a good example of what they can deliver.

It comes with edges that deliver a good crash effect that resonates and swells. At the same time, the center works great as a ride, with ease. It will stand up to your stickwork no matter what you are playing.

The cymbal comes from brass alloy, which maintains a clear tone, no matter your hitting strength. You can feel some extra mix of sound and color that shines through the other instruments.

On the positive side, this one of the strongest crash ride cymbals you can get at this price range. Besides, it has a pronounced bell that gives a ride option with a good ping.

But this cymbal is not the best for recording. A higher-end product would be nicer.

Sabian SBR1811 SBR series

Sabian happens to be one of my best cymbal companies on the market. And there is a reason why the brand has remained at the top of the major players’ market. Think of Sabian as you would Puma and Adidas.

Since 1981, they have built generations of cymbals that have left a mark in the world. And the SBR cymbals come with the same hand-guided, high-pressure hammering and classic hand lathing of high-end pro cymbals.

Therefore, you are assured of high-performance at the most affordable price. This cymbal may be at the beginner to intermediate level, but a professional drummer will also find it very useful.  

On the positive side, you have a cymbal that is perfect for novice to professional drumming levels. It is your first step into the higher market.

However, some users have complained that it loses some of its brightness after months of use, and even cracks.

Paiste is another well-known brand in the world of cymbals. This 20 PST7 Light Crash light cymbal represents the best of both worlds. It is a wonderful, lightweight cymbal that gives out a wide variety f sound. It is one of the most responsive sounds, offering a quitter and soft sound that opens up when crashed.

You will get an expensive and washy ride sound when you hit on the bow. A bright and airy note rings that air with each strike.

Striking on the edge gives you a full and strong sound. The washy, but explosive crash cymbal that comes out has a lot of punch too.

Best Crash Ride Cymbal for Jazz

Playing jazz seems simple. But it comes with some features that may not be easy for everyone to master. For instance, it is a subtle genre that requires one to approach with more softness than they would do for rock and harder music genres.

Hence, it would help if you had the right piece of equipment. For a good ride, cymbal, there are several options. Meinl Cymbals HCS20R is a good place to start. This 20-inch cymbal has a bright sound, which might be a little too much for jazz, but it depends on how you play. Also, this is a very affordable piece.

If you want something from the higher lane, consider the Zildjian FX line and the Sabian SBRs. These are the top manufacturers on the market, and therefore you can trust they will give you all the good sound sounds you need.

Best Crash Ride Cymbal for Recording

There are so many types of crash ride cymbals on the market. But not all of them are good for the studio.

For a studio setting, you need something on the level of Istanbul Agop Mantra. This line has everything you need to set your gear in motion. Get the 20-inch crash ride cymbal, and you will feel at peace with your performance.

Every high-end cymbal, made from B20 metal can serve you well in a studio.

best crash ride cymbal

Frequently asked question

Does A Good Crash/Ride Exist?

Yes. There is always a good cymbal for every situation. We have looked at several good crash/ ride cymbals already; that should be a good place to start.

Can You Crash A Ride Cymbal?

Yes. You can crash any ride cymbal. However, this depends on the cymbal and your taste. A rule, ride cymbals are bigger, and crashes are smaller, which men mean crashing them will be ‘heavy.’


Cymbals make up a complete drum set. But they can also turn your drum set into a bulky setup. Therefore, if you can reduce this load, a crash/ride cymbal should be one of the approaches.

I hope this guide has helped you understand the cymbals. The products reviewed come from the best manufacturers depending on the rating of most users.