When I think of smaller cymbal companies that produce incredible cymbals, I always think of Dream and Bosphorus. While Bosphorus makes cymbals that I typically see jazz drummers using, Dream cymbals are what I see church drummers using most of the time. It doesn’t stop there, though. There are some amazing Dream options out there, so I’m going to show you some of the best Dream cymbals available.
The cymbals have a surprisingly wide reach, considering that they’re made by a small brand. Dream cymbals are one of the smaller brands that I can easily get my hands on in South Africa, so I’ve played these cymbals at several gigs where the drums were provided.
Bottom Line Up Front
Dream is a relatively small cymbal company that produces all their products in Wuhan, China. The main idea behind their brand is that they provide high-quality cymbals at affordable rates. Most of their cymbals are hand-hammered, meaning they all sound slightly different.
If you’re looking for washy cymbals with dark and complex tones, Dream thrives in this area. They have cymbal options that cater to everyone, though.
My Top Picks at a Glance
- Dream Contact Series – Best bright cymbals for heavier genres.
- Dream Ignition Series – Best option for beginners.
- Dream Bliss Series – Best option for church settings.
- Dream Vintage Bliss Series – Best option for jazz.
- Dream Dark Matter Series – Best dry and dark option.
Tips for Buying Dream Cymbals
Understanding the Dream Brand
Something that I love about small cymbal brands is their relatability. The Dream company isn’t a massive corporation like Zildjian or Sabian. You could probably phone someone high up and have a long conversation with them about the cymbals you need.
The Dream team is highly active on Reddit, and I’ve seen so many questions answered by the creators of the cymbals themselves through that platform.
Knowing that the company has your best interests at heart is a fantastic selling point for their products. Combine that with the fact that they’re more affordably priced than the high-end cymbals from other brands, and you have a very strong contender for your new set of cymbals.
If you live in Canada or the US, you can take part in Dream’s recycling program. It allows you to bring broken cymbals to a Dream dealer, and then you get a discount on Dream cymbals thereafter. At the time of writing this, the deal is that you get a dollar off for every inch of cymbal that you bring.
The amazing thing about this is that it isn’t limited to Dream cymbals. While you can only buy Dream cymbals with a discount from this, you can bring broken cymbals from any brand. It’s an incredible way of recycling materials, getting rid of clutter from your drum room, and scoring new cymbals for better prices.
Dream cymbals are quite affordable already, so this program boosts the brand even more. I haven’t seen other cymbal companies do this too often, so it’s good to know if you’re considering getting some Dream cymbals.
Finding Dream Cymbals
Since Dream is a smaller cymbal brand, you may not be able to find a bunch of their cymbals in every music store that you go into. They’re a lot harder to find than cymbals from Meinl, Paiste, Sabian, or Zildjian.
However, the Dream brand is exceptionally good at shipping cymbals all over. The easiest way to get a set of cymbals is to order from one of their distributors. To find where the distributors are, you can go on to the Dream website.
If you don’t have a distributor in your area or country, then I’d suggest ordering the cymbals through Amazon.
Establish a Budget
While establishing a budget is a standard procedure to follow when buying cymbals from any brand, it’s a bit different with Dream cymbals. The pricing range with this brand’s cymbals is a lot smaller than with other brands. There are several lines of cymbals, and most of them have similar costs.
The affordability of Dream cymbals is a huge bonus when thinking of how much money you want to spend. You could either save a bit of cash by buying a few, or you could get more cymbals for the same amount of money that you would have used to buy cymbals from a major brand.
Dream offers several incredible lines of cymbals. If you want to check them all out, head over to their website. However, I chose five lines here that cover a wide range of stylistic applications. Each option I mention here will suit different kinds of drummers wonderfully.
Remember that because these cymbals are hand-hammered and weighted differently, not all of them will sound the same. However, the general tonal qualities are the same between all the cymbals in the line.
Best Dream Cymbals
Dream Contact Series
I’m going to start the list off with Dream’s bright cymbal option. The Contact cymbals are high-pitched and energetic, and they provide a breath of fresh air from all the dark and washy tones that the other Dream cymbals exhibit strongly.
I’d say that these cymbals are most like the Zildjian As. They’re incredibly dependable and can be used in a wide array of musical styles. However, I’d recommend them for drummers who play rock, punk, pop, and metal. The other cymbals from Dream won’t cater to those styles too well, but the Contact cymbals will work excellently.
The Energy cymbals are a good alternative to these, which are more explosive. These are your two bright and powerful lines from Dream, but I much prefer the sounds of the Contact cymbals.
- Great cymbals for loud settings
- Best Dream cymbals for rock and metal drummers
- Great alternative to all the dark and washy cymbals from Dream
- Too aggressive for soft settings
Dream Ignition Series
The Ignition cymbals are the entry-level option from Dream. They’re one of the few sets of cymbals that are a lot more affordable than all the other ones available. It is without a doubt that I say that these are the best entry-level cymbals that you can get on the market.
They’re made from B20 bronze, which is typically only used for high-end cymbals. They’re also hand-hammered, making them one of the only hand-hammered budget cymbal lines out there. Naturally, they don’t sound as good as the other lines from Dream, but they sound way better than any other cymbals I know of that cost the same.
I’m a massive fan of these, and I wish they were more popular. If you’re a beginner and you want an incredibly decent set of cymbals, consider getting the Dream Ignition cymbals.
- Some of the best beginner cymbals available
- Only beginner cymbals I know of that are made from B20 bronze
- Not a great option for more experienced drummers
Dream Bliss Series
The Bliss cymbals from Dream are the brand’s most popular cymbal line. You could consider these as the brand’s flagship product as most drummers who play Dream cymbals have at least one or two Bliss cymbals in their setup.
They have a hint of trashiness in their tone, along with plenty of washiness. However, they’re bright enough to make an impact in most musical settings, making them quite versatile. I was first introduced to these cymbals when I watched a worship drummer for a popular band break down his gear setup.
He was using a 24” Bliss ride, and it was the center point of his entire setup. This is now the ride cymbal that I suggest whenever a church asks me for cymbal advice. While the Bliss cymbals will work anywhere, I’m putting them here as the best option to use for church drumming. A killer modern church setup would look something like this:
- Amazing cymbals for worship settings
- Most popular cymbal line from Dream
- Very versatile
- Some drummers may not like the trashy sounds
Dream Vintage Bliss Series
The Vintage Bliss cymbals are a bit drier, making them a lot more crashable. They also tend to have slightly less wash with more stick articulation on the surface. Because of this, they’re my top option for jazz drummers.
These are the kinds of cymbals you want to be using if you’re going to play swing patterns all night. They sound so distinct on the surface, yet they open up incredibly when you crash on them. They’re very similar to many Zildjian K Custom cymbals, but they have the added twist of trashiness that all Dream cymbals produce.
They’re not as versatile as the standard Bliss cymbals, so I’d only suggest getting these if you play jazz or in other settings that are quite mellow.
- Best Dream cymbals for jazz
- Amazing warmth and stick articulation
- The cymbals feel great to crash on
- Less versatile than the standard Bliss cymbals
Dream Dark Matter Series
The Dark Matter cymbals are one of Dream’s most unique options. On the surface, these are dry cymbals with unique lathing that gives them an ashy appearance. However, there’s an incredible amount of depth to them that you can only experience when you either play them or hear them being played in a live setting.
The four types of Dark Matter cymbals available are the Dark Matter Energy, Dark Matter Flat Earth, Dark Matter Moon, and Dark Matter Eclipse. You can also find a few Bliss cymbals that have been put through the same processing as the Dark Matter cymbals.
If you want cymbals that are dry, dark, and complex, these are the option to consider. They’re a massively acquired taste, though. I can’t see every drummer loving these as much as I do.
- Highly unique cymbals with complex tones
- They work well in many styles
- They look really cool
- Some drummers may find their sounds a bit too dark and moody
Answer: Dream have a factory in Wuhan, China. All their cymbals are handcrafted from there and then shipped out to the rest of the world. While the factory is based in China, the brand is largely run from Canada.
Answer: Dream cymbals aren’t as commonly found as many other cymbal brands are. Considering that the Dream company is a lot smaller than the major brands, fewer cymbals are produced within a year. With less supply, the popularity of the cymbals takes a bit of a dip.
However, I think the main reason for Dream cymbals not being as popular is that their signature sounds aren’t for everyone. The extreme washiness with a hint of glassiness is an acquired taste, and drummers will find more variety from the major cymbal brands.
They’re incredible cymbals, though. I wish everyone had the opportunity to play a 24” Vintage Bliss ride to see how great it sounds.
Answer: Not exactly. Thin cymbals are more flexible, allowing them to vibrate a bit more, which releases all the tension. Thinking of it this way, you may think that thinner cymbals are more durable. However, they’re not designed to be bashed hard the same way thicker cymbals are, so they may break easier if you play them very aggressively.
Thick cymbals are prone to break as well, though. All cymbals will break if you don’t strike them in the most optimal way. If you want to preserve your cymbals, you need to hit them across the edge instead of straight at them.
Answer: This refers to when a cymbal has been handcrafted. Artisans sit with the cymbals and hammer them, creating a personal touch. The great thing about hand-hammered cymbals is that none of them sound the same. You could buy a cymbal with the exact same name, but the tones will be slightly different.
Typically, hand-hammered cymbals are found in the top expensive lines from the major cymbal brands. However, smaller brands like Dream and Bosphorus offer hand-hammered cymbals for more affordable prices. All hand-hammered cymbals have dark, dry, and complex tones. Bright cymbals are usually hammered on machine lines.
Answer: While you can buy premade cymbal stacks from varying cymbal brands, it’s quite easy to make them yourself. You just need to stack cymbals on top of each other and then tighten them on a cymbal stand.
While that sounds easy to do, achieving a great sound with your stack is easier said than done. Not all cymbals work together sonically, and not all cymbals even fit nicely on top of each other. So, it takes a bit of trial and error to find a good stack combination.
If you want to save money, you can repurpose old broken cymbals to make stacks. They tend to work well as their broken parts cause them to produce trashy tones.
Dream cymbals are incredibly underrated in the drumming community. While the brand doesn’t have as far a reach as the major ones, I highly suggest considering these if you can find them. I’d say the best overall line from Dream is their Bliss cymbals. While I primarily think they’re great for church drumming, they work well everywhere.
The Ignition cymbals are the other impressive offer from the brand. Nowhere else will you find a set of beginner cymbals made from B20 bronze. The other lines I mentioned above are incredible as well, and most of them are a lot more affordable than the high-end lines from other brands.
One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is the downside to hand-hammered cymbals. While some drummers love their uniqueness, others will be looking for the exact sounds they heard when checking out the cymbals online. If that’s you, you may find yourself being a bit frustrated with Dream cymbals.
Consider all the pros and cons and make a choice that best suits your specific needs. If Dream cymbals fit the bill, great! If you’re looking for something else, check out the options from the major brands.
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