Cymbals are a crucial part of every band. But they are very loud. They are not generally loud, but they can project a loud noise when hit.
If you are a drummer in a residential place or an educator in a small room, you may want to silence your cymbals are much as possible. Or perhaps you just want to protect your hearing. This can be done by regulating your cymbal noise.
Getting a balanced feel from noise-reduced cymbals is not very easy.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions today. Manufacturers have been over the past few years stepping up quite impressively. A large number of cymbal smiths have stepped up into the low-volume realm.
Even so, choosing the right ‘silent’ cymbal is still not as easy as it may sound. But with this guide, you will be able to buy the best out cymbals.
What are low volume cymbals?
Before we go any further, let’s consider what low volume cymbals are. Note that these cymbals are not silent, but they are quieter than normal cymbals.
For instance, the Zildjian L80s offer around 83dB, which is more than80% lower than normal cymbals. Standard cymbals can give out up to 120dB, which is the start of the pain threshold. This can be very dangerous for your ears, even just after a short time of exposure.
If you listen to low volume cymbals, you will notice the difference almost immediately. They sound much quieter, and you may need to strike them a lot harder if you are playing with them in a band.
Why should you buy low volume cymbals?
The obvious answer is that you will be able to practice at lower volumes. Consider that a drum kit is one of the loudest instruments to learn from.
If you are a budding drummer, a basement or garage becomes standard as far as practice locations are involved. In this case, silent cymbals are necessary, unless you have sound-proofing in your place.
But upsetting those around you is not the only reason you will need a low volume cymbal. The most important thing to consider is your health.
Our ears are very important, especially for musicians. Whether you play and instrument or you sing vocals, you need a good ear to get the tones well. Exposure to high frequencies in close proximity can be very dangerous.
The human ear is filled with cilia, which die naturally during our lifetime. This the reason young and old people can hear different things from what is actually said. High impact sound can cause irreversible damage to eardrums. This can be very painful to recover from.
Short-term tinnitus can last for around two to three days if you don’t get a re-exposure. Constant exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss. Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears. Some have reported it as whistles, crackles, monotones, humming, and rumbles.
Cymbal is a percussive instrument that rings, especially the hi-hats. They are more responsible for hearing damage than bass drums could. Sound waves produced from cymbals are closer together. Mostly, we consider a highly played pitch when talking about high-frequency, but it’s important to remember that the waves that the peaks in the wave are closer.
An alternative for electronic drum sets
If you are looking to practice silently, then electronic drums are the best option you may have. But then, they don’t sound as good as the original acoustic drums. This why most people prefer to have low volume cymbals instead.
And the e-drum kit offers the best volume control for those who just want to practice silently. However, apart from the fact that most of them don’t sound great, especially the cymbals, headphones can also damage your ears.
The cymbals on these kits are less realistic. Hence, if you are going to practice honing your skills on the electronic drums, you will find it a bit hard to transfer the techniques.
The best low volume cymbals reviewed
If you are not sure where to begin searching for those quiet cymbals you need, I have created a list here to help you out. Any of them can be great, depending on your personal needs.
Zildjian L80 cymbal set 14/16/18
Zildjian is one of the biggest cymbal manufacturers in the world today. It is a company with a well-established reputation for making high-end cymbals. Their innovative L80 cymbals are the leading industry-low volume cymbals. They make perfect solutions for drummers who need quieter sound for practicing at home. You get up to a 70% reduction in volume compared to the traditional cymbals. You will, therefore, play for longer without affecting your hearing.
The quality and feel of these low volume cymbals are quite impressive. The outstanding innovation in them has taken the world by storm.
The set includes a 14-inch hi-hat, 16-inch crash, and 20-inch ride cymbals. They are built from a specialized, lightweight alloy that lets you feel the greatness of playing.
They offer incredible rebound, stick control, and the definition of an actual cymbal. This also means you will enjoy playing all you want without disturbing your neighbors.
If you are looking for the best quality in-home practice cymbals, you can never go wrong with the Zildjian L80s. They are original products on a market that is filled with many low-end products.
- They offer impressive noise reduction
- Excellent built
- Lightweight and flexible material
- Accurate on the stick rebound and definition
- They can only work well for quiet practicing
Sabian Quiet Tone Cymbal set 13/18
Sabian is another cymbal company that has revolutionized the industry. The company has been on the market for a very long time, offering high-end cymbals to all types of players.
The Sabian Quiet Tone Cymbal set comes with a greatly reduced sonic footprint compared to the normal cymbals. And the best part is that these are among the most affordable products. Despite their low price, they are built from a high-quality, durable material that responds like a normal cymbal.
For a quiet practice to make more sense, you need cymbals that can produce natural sound and feel great when you play. And these are the cymbals you can count on for this. They come with remarkable sound reduction function for the best home practice and backstage-warm ups.
These cymbals roll at the same level as the Zildjian L80 cymbals. They also have a true-to-life playing feel and response.
- The cymbals are useful for home practice and backstage warm-up
- They allow you to avoid ear fatigue and to disturb your neighbors as you practice.
- Real playing feel and response
- Lightweight and flexible
- They are not the strongest cymbals and may break if you play too hard
WHD Low Volume Cymbals
These WHD low volume cymbals are among the best products the market has to offer. It allows you to experience the same audio feel of high-quality crash cymbals you would expect for a good performance. The fusion of functionality, elegance, and sophistication around these cymbals, especially with its nickel finish, gives it such a classy look. It has a noticeably perforated top surface and a measurement of 16-inches that will catch your attention almost immediately.
The cymbals are useful for both beginners and experienced users who just want to practice at home and at the studio. You get the same feel working at home as you would working on something more serious.
I ordered these cymbals when I was teaching a few of my students from my garage. They are cheap, not as good as the Zildjian L80, but they are good enough for the job.
If you don’t have enough money to invest in a higher-end product, these pieces are a real deal-breaker. Besides, they come with a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Very affordable
- Good volume reduction
- Good quality
- They may break if you hit them too hard
Bosphorus Cymbals MV20 R
These cymbals come with a great appearance and offer the same feeling on the sound. It is not easy to tell the quality of a cymbal by simply looking at it, but these once have everything to make you love them, right from the looks.
They are handcrafted, compact, and with an attractive vintage look. These features are echoed through the warm, thick, and low-pitched volume they produce. It all settles down in a woody slap on its body, making the user feel relaxed and composed.
The Bosphorus cymbals resemble the old early 20th-century shallow belled cymbals. They released dark undertones in relaxed tempos that could make one feel like they were playing the best music components.
If you are working in small spaces like apartments, dorms, tiny studios, and other areas with noise restrictions, these are a perfect solution. You can use them to experience and excellent jazz, producing a warm crash to feel up your music. And they are very cheap, which could be another good reason to get them.
- Quality sound
- Value for money
- They are not the best quality, and can break easily is you hit too hard.
Paiste Formula 602
Apart from Zildjian, Paiste is another one of my favorite cymbal makers. And I am sure may other drummers will agree with me on this.
The company has focused on creating innovative ideas over the past few years, creating solutions for high-quality drum accessories.
Drummers who have had issues lowering their cymbals volume can rely on om the Paiste low volume cymbals. For your neighbors’ sake, the Formula 602 cymbals will serve your needs perfectly, enabling you to practice peacefully.
They are a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that is way quiet than the traditional cymbals. And yet they provide the same acoustic and deep tones that will blend perfectly through different mixes.
These cymbals are high-quality, considering they come from one of the biggest manufacturers. It allows formation allows you to hit as hard as you want, and they will perform just well without any issues.
I like their finish even more as they make a stylish and modern appeal, better than many other products in the same price range. You can be sure the set will blend naturally with your drum set, allowing you to play as if you have normal cymbals.
The best cymbals are also eco-friendly, which makes them very popular too. So, apart from protecting your ears, you will also be saving the environment when you buy these cymbals. If you want to experience outstanding musical performance, you can count on these products.
- High-quality products
- From a reputable brand
- They are mostly only good for quiet practice
How to Make Cymbals Quieter?
Controlling cymbal volume is one of the hardest things beginners find to learn when starting out with drums. Even though it seems easy, you might find it extremely challenging, especially if you must just practice silently.
However, you can still do it effectively. Here are a few tips that might get you where you want to be.
Well, the first and simplest way to control cymbal volume is by using your hands. Cymbals will not make noise unless you hit them. And this means the harder you hit them, the louder they will be. It is all about discipline in the way you play.
Dry and low-volume cymbals
Many manufacturers have come to understand the needs of different users. And they are stepping up with different solutions to ensure no one is left behind.
Apart from the cymbals reviewed above, Meinl has a line of cymbals known as Byzance, which has sublines like Extra Dry for those who don’t want the loud noise. These cymbals are quite useful in a wide range of applications.
If you do not have the budget to invest in low volume cymbals, you can still control the ones you already have using muting products. Some people use a tape, which is not very advisable. Consider products like Drum tags, which offer great control over your drums and cymbals.
Well, now that you know everything you need to know about the best low volume cymbals, it should be hard choosing one anymore. I hope this guide has been helpful.