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Ride cymbals are an essential element of every drummer’s kit, generating the percussive “ping” that characterizes the drum sound of many different genres. Because cymbals aren’t visibly distinguishable, it might be difficult to know which one you need.
A drummer’s choice of cymbals is likewise highly personal. Cymbals are constructed of many alloys, and the craftsman who makes them employs a range of procedures that affect the tone. Just as significant, cymbals differ in quality depending on the price tier in which they are sold.
After the hi-hats, the ride is the most significant cymbal in your setup. Its application extends beyond mainstream jazz and rock to genres such as bossa nova and Afro Cuban. When purchasing a ride cymbal, it is really beneficial to consider what you actually want from your ride.
You’ve almost certainly heard of the Bronze B20 alloy. It’s the most common alloy used to make cymbals, consisting of 80% copper and 20% tin. For professional players, it is the industry standard.
On the other hand, Meinl, Paiste, and Zildjian have been experimenting with alloys such as B8, B10, B12, and B15. A good rule of thumb is that the more tin there is, the better the sound.
If you’re a novice on a low budget, brass cymbals are another option. They won’t provide you with the quality of higher-priced cymbals, but they’ll get you through your learning phase.
It is totally up to you to select the appropriate size. Ride sizes range from 18″ to 22″, with each having its own distinct sound.
Smaller rides also function well as a crash, but larger ones have more ping and sustain. It’s a personal choice based on your personal style.
What constitutes a good-sounding ride cymbal is entirely subjective. Some musicians favor the high-pitched bright sound, while others prefer the darker, lower-toned sound. Some genres call for a washy sound with lots of sustain, while others like the limited sustain that comes with dry cymbals.
The bell is available in a variety of sizes. The larger bells make a louder sound, which is commonly heard in heavier music. The disadvantage may be that large bells make the ride heavier and create a lot of overtones when the bow size is lowered.
Ride Cymbals I Recommend
Sabian 20″ SBr (SBR2012)
Sabian is presently one of the most popular makers of cymbals, drum kits, and other drumming equipment. The brand was founded by Robert Zildjian, who wanted to compete with Avedis Zildjian. He inherited one of the original Zildjian plants, where the manufacture of Sabian cymbals began in 1981.
Robert, the youngest sibling, creates excellent metal in my opinion. This is demonstrated with the SBR2012 cymbal. Because of its adaptability and outstanding sound, this cheap ride has become a standard for both beginners and many professional performers.
The thicker 20″ plate has somewhat more sustain than comparable Zildjian models (and probably the longest amongst brass models).
This cymbal has a highly adjustable dynamic response, allowing you to effortlessly apply the necessary amount of force to generate tight sound and powerful, brilliant accents. Despite the low price, the cymbal’s design is based on pro-level models, making these rides excellent for both practice and recording.
If you’re a novice, you may use the full SBR series cymbal set for practice, and I assure you that you won’t be disappointed. They come in all of the most popular sizes. Sabian, like other well-known manufacturers, creates flawlessly matched kits.
- Long-term sustainability
- Accents and bright bell
- A low-cost model with virtually professional-level sound
- Manufacturer’s guarantee of one year
- Excellent for beginners
- If you’re a skilled expert, you may notice a lack of sound richness (not necessarily)
Zildjian Planet Z (ZP20R)
Zildjian is the world’s oldest maker of cymbals and drumsticks. Avedis Zildjian I, an Armenian alchemist and metalsmith in Constantinople, founded the first corporation in 1618. Avedis Zildjian III relocated the whole firm to the United States in the early 1900s, establishing the Avedis Zildjian Co. in 1929.
Since then, the company has grown to become the world’s largest cymbal maker, and it remains at the top. Zildjian also manufactures Vic Firth and Balter Mallet brands.
The Planet Z brass cymbal is the most major rival to Sabian’s entry-level variant. It also produces clear and focused sound thanks to the high-quality brass alloy and hammering.
It also has some of the greatest sustain properties, and it sounds a little wetter than the counterpart of the Sabian. At the same time, it sounds darker than prior versions, which gives the music more concentration.
- A top-rated ride cymbal on Amazon
- Model of low-cost transportation
- The sound that is extremely concentrated
- Excellent for beginners
- For 2020-2021, the design and hammering have been updated
- If you’re an expert in your field, you should probably search for something different
Zildjian 20″ K Custom Dark Ride
Are you looking for a professional solution from the top cymbal manufacturer? Zildjian Custom Dark Ride may be it. Actually, all custom dark ride cymbals are one-of-a-kind due to their chaotic manual pounding. Of course, it has a pattern, but it isn’t as visible as in cheaper models.
As you could have guessed from the title, this model has a gloomy sound. What I can say is that it has warm undertones and a dry stick sound. I really appreciate the trashy crash sound, which makes it an excellent accent cymbal.
I really like how it complements the funk style, so I’m sure it’ll sound amazing if you’re a jazz or blues drummer. Hundreds of comments on Amazon and drummer message boards back with my idea.
- One of the greatest places to hear acoustic jazz and blues
- The sound is rich and dark, with overtones and undertones
- Low projection with a moderate decline
- It has the potential to be light and air
- Excellent articulation and sustain
- It’s a pricey option
- It is not ubiquitous
Meinl 18″ Big Bell Ride Cymbal
Meinl is one of the market’s most well-known brands. Since 1951, it has competed alongside Zildjian, Sabian, and Paiste. Roland Meinl, the brand’s creator, created the first types of cymbals, and his designs were highly famous in the United States in the 1960s.
It is the only manufacturer that manufactures cymbals made from four distinct bronze alloys. Meinl is also a very popular brand among metal drummers.
The 18″ big-bell ride is presently the greatest metal model I’m aware of. It’s designed to withstand all of your hard, forceful hits with ease. Even if you break a plate when entering Valhalla at the following concert, it sounds quite exact.
I discovered that it sounds equally good whether you play those groovy metal patterns as well as rapid power-metal passages in the style of early Lars Ulrich.
This model features one of the biggest bells available, and it provides a lot of volume and projection to your music. In fact, the sound is clear enough to play along with a loud band without using drum mics during the practice.
Finally, they have such a nice quality finish that I expected them to be around $300. Fortunately, they are nearly always available for less than $200.
- A larger bell for more sound
- Designed for an aggressive look
- Exceptional finish
- Excellent for most metal types
- Warranty of two years
- For newcomers, it’s a little pricey
- It is not ubiquitous
Meinl Cymbals 20″ Heavy Ride
Meinl has also created a highly competitive universal beginner-friendly ride cymbal (as well as a whole cymbal kit). It will cost you $30-$40 more than Sabian or Zildjian starter cymbals, but the exceptional German accuracy will most likely be worth it.
The piece is crafted from Meinls’ own B8 bronze alloy, which blends brightness and clarity with great articulation. I like it the most since it’s incredibly simple to make even sound from it, even if you’re a total novice. There are no complicated tones to decipher and comprehend. It’s simply easy and uncomplicated, allowing you to practice any genre without difficulty.
You may pick between heavy 22″ and semi-heavy 18 “-20” rides, and in both cases, you will obtain exceptional accuracy and clarity. The larger one will also be darker, which is better for jazz and blues practice.
- For students, this is an excellent hefty ride
- Alloy with exceptional durability
- Sound creation that is versatile
- Excellent for both calm and aggressive approaches
- The final result is quite festive
- It may be a little less expensive for newcomers
Paiste 18 Inches 2002 Giga Bell
Paiste is most likely known as a Swiss brand, which it is. However, it all began in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, in 1906. Toomas Paite has moved around a lot through wars and revolutions. Finally, he came to a halt in Switzerland and founded a firm that is now one of the industry’s leaders and, unlike Zildjian, has a solid family unit.
The 2002 Giga Bell is a classy black ride that would look great at any rock or metal drum set. This cymbal is produced in Switzerland and has a bright beautifully articulated sound, similar to famous ancient cymbals.
It can handle modest classic-rock style, fast-paced heavy-metal strikes, and the complicated rhythms of modern contemporary rock bands. It’s actually the nicest rock ride cymbal I’ve ever owned.
On the other hand, it’s rather pricey and may appear too extravagant for a beginning. However, whether you’re an intermediate seeking to try something new or a pro looking for a universal rock ride, you’ll enjoy it.
- Elegant black finish
- High-quality audio production
- Versatile for rock and metal music
- It’s a quite intricate sound
- It costs over $300.
- The complicated sound is not suitable for beginners
Paiste 20 Inches PST 7
PST 7 is an excellent small-bell ride cymbal that many of my friends use when playing smooth jazz. It’s constructed of a special CuSn8 bronze alloy that sounds great beneath the sticks of those who know what they’re doing.
At the same time, this model is not overly difficult for novices and is less expensive than professional solutions (around $150). This one produces a crisp washing sound as well as a loud bell response. You may choose between a 20″ light model and a thicker and heavier 22″ model for a somewhat deeper sound.
- 45-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee
- The sound is bright and pleasant
- Outstanding articulation
- It’s ideal for jazz, but it also works in other genres
- Not the cheapest option for a novice, but yet not the most costly
Answer: Position your ride cymbal (typically the biggest in the set) above the floor tom but far enough away from the right side tom to hit both. It’s a typical position, but it can be changed in the future. If you don’t utilize the proper tom, it can be placed directly above the kick. If you are a left-handed player, you can put it on the left.
Answer: A ride cymbal, as opposed to a crash cymbal, is typically employed for playing steady rhythms. It can be played in a manner similar to hi-hats. Rides are used by some drummers as lower crashes, however, this needs a lot more striking strength. In fact, such a style is rather uncommon, and you should have a style that necessitates such a structure.
Answer: A ride cymbal’s most common diameter is around 20 inches (51 cm), but anything from 18 inches (46 cm) to 22 inches (56 cm) is normal. Smaller and thinner cymbals have greater shimmer, whereas larger and thicker cymbals respond better in louder volume circumstances and vice versa.
Ride cymbals are crucial for a well-rounded drum arrangement. Even though their tone and function are fairly well defined, a wide range of models are available on the market. The ones I’ve shown you today are the greatest in each category.
The majority of the models are quite basic in character, with the exception of the Meinl, which goes in a new route. The genre of music you want to perform should be your first consideration when selecting a ride cymbal.
A well-matched ride may open up a whole new world of tone. On the other side, if you don’t have the correct vehicle, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities.
After reviewing each ride cymbal my top pick is Sabian 20″ SBr (SBR2012) combines good build quality, amazing sound, and strong tonal qualities to provide you with a powerful weapon on a budget.
Expect a bright and powerful sound that can drive the rhythm but also cut through the mix if necessary. While it may not be the most sophisticated product on the market, the price alone makes it a model in its own right. It’s almost certainly the greatest ride cymbal for the money.