I have come across many people who don’t know just how much variation there is in drumming equipment. Some think you can play just any instrument for any music genre, and it will come out clear. But the truth is, what may sound good for one playing style may be terrible for another.
Cymbals accessories come in different designs and applications. Jazz, especially, is a unique drumming style. Apart from the sounds that the drummer has their disposal through their drum set, there are so many other features that make jazz different from other genres.
Looking for the perfect drum set? Check it out the Best Jazz Drum Set selection.
Best Jazz Cymbals in 2023
One thing is clear that drumming for jazz music may seem easy, but it’s quite complex. And this is why you need to be very careful with the equipment you choose for the job.
Today, there are so many cymbal makers and types that it may be overwhelming to choose the right one. Also, there are different features that make jazz cymbals different.
In this guide, I will review some of the best jazz cymbals, and explain how you can choose the right one.
Best Jazz cymbals review
So, what is the best cymbals for your jazz playing? There is a long list of cymbals to choose from. But not all of them are good.
Here are the best products to make your choice much easier.
Sabian SBR2012 20-inch Ride Cymbal, Pure Brass
If you have been playing drums for a long time, then you know that Sabian is one of the best manufacturers for cymbals. There is no quality cymbal you will want that the company will fail to provide.,
And the Sabian SBR2012 is one of the most popular and affordable products. And don’t think they are bad just because they are cheap. Some of their features, like sound quality, can be found in more expensive ones.
Its the focused and clear sound that makes these cymbals ideal for jazz. They are constructed to sound bright and crisp.
The cymbals are crafted from brass and designed to offer the best sonic properties. They also feature among the most versatile cymbals out there.
Their vintage profile and medium weight make them even more functional. In terms of design, the feature hand lathing and high-pressure hammering use by Sabian in its more expensive options.
Their bells sound powerful, clean, and lively. The cymbals are ideal for beginners who need something extra for their sounds.
Meinl Cymbals B20JCR Byzance 20-inch Jazz Club Flat Ride Cymbal
Meinl is my favorite manufacturer of cymbals. They designed Byzance specifically for jazz players.
It does not, therefore, come as a surprise that they sound incredible. They offer every good feature you can expect from top china cymbals for jazz, though they are also good for the funk, pop, rock and studio environments
The cymbals feature four rivets that give it a powerful, lengthy sustain, while the hand hammering provides a smooth, dark tone that creates classic jazz grooves.
For those classic play jazz, specifically combos and trios, the long sustain can be a great tool. The authenticity of Meinl product features in these products, making them clearly defined in their function.
Zildjian K Custom 20-inch Dark Ride Cymbal
Zildjian is the oldest cymbal maker in the world. They have an experience of more than 200 years that makes their products top of the line.
And no one can finish a discussion on best jazz cymbals without mentioning a Zildjian. The K Custom series produces and excellent dark sound, which, in this case, is perfect for jazz. Playing them gives you the sweet feeling of a dark, warm, sustain, and dry tone.
They are also known for their fast decay, as well as its attacks compared to other Zildjian cymbals. Apart from specification differences, they have the same versatile articulations you would expect from the brand. The K custom Cymbals also last very long. You can be sure to play them for a long time without feeling the need to change unless you want to upgrade.
Istanbul Agop Mel Lewis Light 22-inch Ride
This is one of my favorite ride cymbals. It is a warm sounding, low profile ride that will give you the best results.
It is pricey, but that will not matter if you consider its qualities. The maker, Mel Lewis, was a big band drummer who was very famous in the 1970s. As his signature cymbal, these products are quite good for jazz.
They produce dark lows, featuring a woody bell and smooth ring. Along with an incredible crash, your drum set will lack nothing.
Zildjian Armand 19-inch “Beautiful Baby.”
The Zildjian Armand is a true homage to cymbal making art. It is made with a laser-engraved signature and the words ‘Beautiful Baby,’ just to show how special they are to Armand Zildjian himself.
They produce a musical and bright vintage sound with just the right amount of sustain and sizzle. This comes from the three-rivet cluster along the edge. It is a versatile, medium-thinning, low-to-medium pitch cymbal with a solid volume that works with any music genre.
Its price is in the premium category, but cheaper than some other Zildjian cymbals. If you are looking for a great cymbal, this is one that will make you feel great.
Meinl Cymbals HCS20R
Meinl cymbals are among the best cymbals in the world, and no one can deny that. The HCS20R 20-inch ride cymbals are particularly popular for jazz drummers. They are well built and durable, even though they are ‘professional’ models.
They are a little on the bright sounding side. But they are still good for playing jazz as the sound cuts through the sound of other instruments with more clarity. You will therefore be more noticed as a drummer, some that do not happen a lot.
Zildjian ZBT 20-inch Ride Cymbal
If you are looking for a more affordable jazz cymbal, try this ZBT Ride. They are aimed at the mid-range player. But don’t let this fool you into thinking it will not do a professional job.
The size 22-inch comes with a thin design, and a small radius gives it a medium to low ring, which makes it a great option for jazz. When struck, it gives out a clear definition, which is also a good plus. It does not have all the depth some of the most vintage models come with. But its price makes it hard to argue with the ZBT range.
Zildjian K Constantinople 22-inch Medium Ride Cymbal
This K Constantinople appears on the list of best beginner jazz cymbals. And it is not only in its impressive design and performance but in its construction too. It is known for its pleasant overtones, dryness, and wash. It also has a warm sound suitable for modern jazz drummers.
The Cymbals are hand lathed using the finest artisans with the classic cutting tools. They are designed from the finest brass and subjected to the highest specifications from the company.
The K Constantinople is a sturdy cymbal that will serve you for a long. Its low basic pitch is excellent live shows. And you can clearly hear the notes in the middle of the wash.
Dream 18-inch Vintage Bliss Crash/Ride Cymbal
Dream has become one of my favorite cymbal manufacturers today. And this is one of their best products. It features a vintage sound alongside its Broad bell and smooth transition.
The Dream Vintage Bliss can easily be your best Cymbal ever. Even though the vintage bliss line was made for a limited time offer, increased demand forced that company to change. This product comes with a blow-profile gentle bridge, which never disappoints. Its paper-thin edges ensure the best sounds ever.
It could be a left ride that doubles as a crash too. And the best parts are its low-price level. It makes it almost hard to believe that such a great cymbal exists for such a low price.
Jazz drumming is not as easy as it sounds. And the best way to learn the tricks is by picking the right equipment for the job. The best jazz cymbals discussed above should give you a better clue for this.