Are you a rock player? Then you understand the importance of choosing the right cymbals accessories.

Rock is one of the most vigorous drumming styles after metal. It can be more than just drumming. Some consider it an art.

There are so many cymbals on the market today and different cymbal makers who promise the best. However, not every product will give you what you are looking for in terms of quality sounds.

In this guide, I will be reviewing some of the world’s best cymbals for rock. They come from the best manufacturers.

Who are the top cymbal makers?

When it comes to choosing the best cymbals, it is always good to consider the brand first. You may have noticed a wide range of manufacturers, each of them promising different goodies.

But in my experience, there are only four major brands you can bet on. They include Paiste, Zildjian, Sabian, and Meinl.


Zildjian is considered the world’s best and biggest cymbal manufacturer. This is because it is the oldest brand out there.

The company has been operating for more than 100 years, serving the world with the top quality products. They have a unique line of products that bear their cymbal as a mark of quality.

Many of the cymbals are made for the higher-end market. They are crafted from B20 bronze, which is the best metal for cymbals.

For rock drummers, you need something that can last for a long time. And Zildjian has been developing great solutions for them.

Often, when people talk about quality in cymbals, Zildjian will always be quoted. Every cymbal they make has gone through the top manufacturing process.

Even their entry-level brass cymbals are still better than many other brands.


I put Sabian second on this list because I consider it the second-best cymbal maker. Sabian is actually an offshoot of Zildjian. And this is why the quality of their products is the same.

Sabian has been endorsed by some of the best drummers in the world. It has been on the market for a very long time, and hence, it has a reputation for high-end products.


If you are looking for the most affordable high-quality cymbals, Paiste is an excellent brand to consider. It has also been operating for a long time. Therefore, you can trust its reputation.

Their mark of quality defines Paiste Cymbals. Each piece crafted using high-end material with the top-notch products bearing B20 bronze.


I have been using Meinl cymbals for a very long time. They have never disappointed in terms of sound quality and durability.

Meinl has a reputation for making high-quality and affordable products.

I am 20 years into drumming, and my experience in drum setups has grown immensely. So believe me when I say these brands will work in narrow your choices while giving you a wide range of quality options.

The Best Cymbals for Rock Reviewed

Looking at a large number of cymbals on the market, you might be wondering where to begin your search. Here are the best to help you narrow your search.

Paiste 2002

The 2002 series of cymbals by Meinl was founded in 2002. It is one of the oldest cymbals. They become very popular in the rock and roll industry long age.

They are considered the most successful cymbals from the manufacture, standing as the best blend of Paiste Formula 602 and the Paiste Giant Beat lines of cymbals.

There sound is truly unique, especially since they are made specifically for rock. Many companies try to recreate the sound of vintage rock cymbals, but only Paiste seems to succeed.

Paiste Rude

The Paiste Rude cymbals offer the best of the rock world and other genres. Some describe them as strange.

You get an enormous attack with a low pitch and short sustain. They are not particularly versatile, but perfect for heavy music. 

They will cut through guitar distortions, making you enjoy every strike. They are not such modern-sounds, nor vintage tone cymbal. They are simply extreme sounding on all levels.

Zildjian A Custom

I will be very honest here; these are not the best cymbals for rock on the market. However, they are the most versatile and bestselling line of cymbals from the world’s largest cymbal maker, Zildjian.

They are famous for their brilliant Sound.’ This makes it not specifically designed for rock. But it is funny that many rock drummers worship the A custom.

There sound is bright and modern, with a brilliant finish. And with its punch, this is the kind of sound you need for rock. It will break through the guitar distortions, allowing your technique to be hard from far and wide.

Zildjian A

Apart from the A Custom, Zildjian A is another line of versatile cymbal series. They are more versatile than any other on this list, which is perhaps the reason they are found in studios all over the world.

I have noticed that many pop and alternative rock drummers use them. Besides, this is one of the oldest and most versatile lines of cymbals.

They are also very affordable. And for a heavy hitter, you will love the attack that comes from their brilliant finish.

Sabian AAX

This is one of the cheapest series of cymbals on the market. However, they are not so far from the HHX

Series in terms of sound, even though the price is very different, It is the finish that distinguishes AAX from the A Custom and 2002. It features both natural and brilliant variations.

Sabian Paragon

These are cymbals that come with the expertise of Neil Peart. They are mainly characterized by a high pitch, which is perfect for rock drummers.

They don’t have such a strong attack, though, making them useful in other genres. If you love the Sabian Natural finish, you will never go wrong with these cymbals.

Even though it did not find many players who use the Sabian Paragon, you can trust this manufacturer’s reputation. In sound, they are a bit warmer than the AAX but slightly less modern.

Meinl Byzance Brilliant

Anyone who has played the Meinl MB20 will find the feel and sound of the Byzance Brilliant quite familiar. Meinl is the true cymbal hero for rock and roll drummers.

These cymbals are very heavy, with bright sound but with a mid-pitch. Meinl has taken a lot of care in this piece, delivering an incredible solution for any rock setup.

Every major cymbal company dedicated a rock line to represent them. Meinl has the Byzance Brilliant is the perfect representation for Meinl.

You can play old school rock, and they will still do a great job.

Meinl Byzance Dual

Byzance has remained as one of the best series premium cymbal series in the world today. It features eight sub-series and Dual features as a big part.

Even though the cymbals have been used for many years, they will still work even in the future. They deliver a different sound than you would expect for rock, many drummers are switching to them.

The Best 5 Rock Ride Cymbals for You

Ride cymbals are considered one of the essential components in a rock setup. You will need good ones if you want to keep up with the guitar amp.

It is all about having enough ping to be articulate. Besides this, you are looking for a bell the will pierce through a Marshall stack. Your kit will not be complete without a crash that delivers the crescendo.

Unfortunately, picking a good ride is not as easy as it sounds. For instance, try searching online, and you will be overwhelmed by a huge amount of results that come up.

Don’t worry, though, here are five excellent rock ride cymbals for you. They should narrow your search.

Zildjian K Custom Hybrid Ride Cymbal 21-inch

Zildjian has everything you can all quality drum cymbals for a rock drummer. And this innovative ride is a good example.

It offers a perfect mix of articulate stick response and clear bell sounds. You also get the crash-ability and wash of a thinner cymbal.

It’s outside comes lathed, giving softer and darker sounds. On the other hand, the inner section and the bell delivers a pronounced and bright tone.

Sabian HH Raw Bell Dry Ride Cymbal 21-inch

Sabian Cymbals are always leaving a mark wherever they are used. This is why many renowned drummers use them widely.

The Sabian 21-inch HH Raw Bell Dry Ride is made with a dark, unlathed raw bell that delivers clear, cutting strokes. It also has a ride area, from which you will enjoy a crisp response with an almost perfect amount of spread.

In summary, these cymbals are made to deliver any volume, for any music style. Sabian is always innovating and looking for ways to meet user needs. These rides are a perfect result of their energy.

The HH Remastered comes with more hammering, more complexity, and even better tonal quality. This is what makes them sound traditional and complex.

It adds complexity and tone to each cymbal. As a result, they give out the unmatched sonic texture with every product in their line.

Meinl Classics Custom Dark Ride 22-inch

More than just the dark, beautiful finish, Meinl introduces a line of good-quality, yet affordable cymbals. The 22-inch Classics Custom Dark Ride Cymbal from Meinl is made from a B10 bronze alloy.

For many people, this is not the best material for making cymbals. It is known to be weaker and does not last as long as the B20 alloys.

However, Meinl has tried to recreate the cymbals to deliver incredible quality. For beginners, there could be the best ride cymbals you will ever have.

They feature a unique twist of traditional design, with a special finishing process that gives them an abundance of complex, dark, and warm overtones.

They come bearing a combination of bright attack and incredible sustain. This is a beefy ride that you can use for any style of music without any issues.

I have been using Meinl cymbals for a long time, and they always give something special.

Istanbul Agop Xist Brilliant Raw Ride Cymbal 22-inch

In most cases, Agop Ride Cymbals are thought of as big, papery, and dark. They are usually lined with low volume use.

While this is true, the Xist Brilliant Raw Ride Cymbals offers a different solution, as it is comfortable for playing rock music.

Istanbul is one of the most innovative cymbal makers out there. And in this particular product, they combine more modern production techniques with the traditional cymbal making process. The result is professional quality cymbals at the most affordable price.

A drummer of any level can buy and enjoy these cymbals.

Paiste Signature Reflector Bell Ride Cymbal 22-inch

In my honest opinion, the Paiste Reflector Bell Ride is the best overall ride cymbal rock. This does not come as a surprise, considering that most rock drummers use to choose it.

It will do everything you can expect from a rock ride cymbal. Think of perfect pink, a huge bell, and

ultra-thin cymbals for a powerful crash and these cymbals will deliver.

However, they are a little heavy on the price. But the investment will be worth it, especially because you will never need another ride.

Frequently asked questions

What Are Drum Cymbals…?

Drum cymbals are a common percussion instrument. It is used to deliver a definite tone with great fill in a drum setup.

What Are Drum Cymbals Made Of?

Drum cymbals are made from a different material. There are four main ones, all of which are copper-based. These alloys include Bell Bronze, Malleable Bronze Brass, and Nickel Silver.

How Cymbals for Drums Are Made?

The modern cymbal making process follow different techniques. With the evolution of technology, automated mass production has become very common. Nevertheless, traditional hand methods are still the best.

What are other users saying?

I went online and found some good comments about drums. Here are some of the best ones;

“I would recommend the Z Custom Power ride for metal… but not the crashes or hi-hats … the A Customs or K Customs are good too. But if you can afford a bit more, I would recommend the Paiste Signature Reflector Bell Ride Cymbal 22-inch.”


And there you have it, the best cymbals for rock. This list will help you narrow down your search and find something more satisfying.