With an endless list of available options, I had trouble with getting the right cymbals and ended up making the wrong purchases. Some cymbals that I bought were short-lived. They resulted in a crash while others broke, not to mention the poor tone and sound resonance.
Now that I’ve had the opportunity of working with a wide array of cymbals, I figured out it would be great to do reviews on quality ride cymbals. I would like to help other drummers make informed choices before making a purchase. I will be covering four of my favorite cymbals, doing a comprehensive black ride cymbal review of each.
- Amazon Bestseller
- 4 Top Quality Dark Ride Cymbals
- Considerations to Make When Buying Cymbals
- Which Is Your Favorite Ride Cymbal?
|1||Zildjian A Sweet Ride Cymbal Pack||41 Reviews||$809.95||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Zildjian 20" L80 Low Volume Ride||168 Reviews||$159.95||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Zildjian 21" A Zildjian Mega Bell Ride||20 Reviews||$359.95||Buy on Amazon|
|4||Zildjian ZBT 22" Ride Cymbal||145 Reviews||$109.00||Buy on Amazon|
|5||Meinl 20" Ride Cymbal - HCS Traditional Finish Brass for Drum Set, Made in Germany, 2-YEAR...||234 Reviews||$89.99||Buy on Amazon|
|6||Sabian 20" SBr Ride Cymbal, (SBR2012)||239 Reviews||$91.99||Buy on Amazon|
|7||Paiste 20 Inches PST 7 Heavy Ride Cymbal||5 Reviews||$149.00||Buy on Amazon|
|8||Zildjian Planet Z 18" Crash Ride Cymbal||607 Reviews||$69.95||Buy on Amazon|
|9||Ride Cymbal Patent T-Shirt, Drummer Shirt, Drum T Shirt, Musician Gift Smoke (Large)||5 Reviews||$23.95||Buy on Amazon|
|10||Paiste 18 Inches 2002 Giga Bell Ride Cymbal||14 Reviews||$291.99||Buy on Amazon|
4 Top Quality Dark Ride Cymbals
As far as music is concerned, the quality of an instrument is a vital factor for an excellent performance. Whether a beginner or a skilled drummer, any musician is inclined to appreciate the superior sound.
Looking at ride cymbals, these typically play the role of holding down a constant groove in diverse music styles. Some provide a sustained slow crash depending on the design.
A ride cymbal is normally placed at either of the drummer’s furthest side depending on whether they are left-handed or right-handed. The plethora of brands available on the percussion market can make it overwhelming for any drummer to make a pick. Let’s have a look at the top four cymbals for an awesome tone.
1. Roland Ride Cymbal CY-13R – Best Dark Ride Cymbal
Without a doubt, Roland is a dominant brand in the music gear space. The brand is known for its exceptional quality instruments which include drum kits. The 13” CY-13R ride cymbal is one of the best black ride cymbal units out there.
It is a high-end unit, but one that is worth every dime spent. When talking about comfort while playing, this ride cymbal offers drummers a natural relaxed feel, thanks to its extended bow area. This aspect is further augmented by the cymbal’s natural swing motion.
The CY-13R is an impressively durable cymbal, due to the sturdy alloy used in its build. The cymbal is also resistant to bending, breakages, and cracks. Another outstanding feature of the CY-13R is the precise three-way triggering for edge, bow, and bell which promotes great playability.
Looking at the sound quality, this Roland ride cymbal has a rich acoustic tone that makes it a great option for professional drummers. The Roland CY-13R is one of my top picks, and I would recommend it to drummers of all levels.
- 13" V-Cymbal for Ride
- Accurate three-way triggering for edge, bow and bell
- The item has an extended bow area for better comfort when playing
- Has a natural swing motion for convenience and a natural playing feel
- It features a precise three-way triggering for edge, bow, and bell
- The product is designed using a sturdy material for longevity
- It has an incredible acoustic sound and is compatible with diverse kits
- It is a high-end product and, therefore, somewhat costly
2. Meinl 22” Crash/Ride Cymbal – Best Black Ride Cymbal
Meinl is a reputable music gear brand known for the high-end percussion instruments. Their Meinl 22” crash/ride cymbal is a notable unit that displays exceptional performance besides having a classy look.
One of its outstanding attributes is the wide dynamic range which gives drummers the flexibility of using it as either a crash or a ride. It also has a heavy hammering, and this gives the cymbal cool shadowy tones. It is for this reason that this Meinl cymbal is suitable for different drumming styles and music genres.
Moving on to its appearance, the cymbal has a unique dark finishing that does not fade off as it is part of the design. Strength is a vital aspect when looking for a good cymbal, and this Meinl 22” cymbal is characterized by sturdiness. It is designed to withstand cracks and breaks.
I like this cymbal not only because of its awesome tonality but also because of its durability. The bronze alloy used in its build facilitates longevity and a cool acoustic resonance. It has a wide bow area which enhances playability. I would recommend it to all drummers.
- 22” Classics Custom Dark crash/ride — its wide dynamic range and heavier hammering make it equally playable as a ride or crash — stick and bell definition will be highlighted when you need them to, or lay into the side for a swelling crash
- Dark finish with extra hammering — a highly specialized finishing process leaves this cymbal with shadowy tones and plenty of volume — extra deep hammering adds complexity to its character by shaping warmth and dryness into its intense attack
- The cymbal has a wide dynamic range, therefore making it suitable for use both as a ride and a crash
- It has a heavy hammering which characterizes the cymbal with shadowy tones, making it an ideal crash or ride for diverse genres
- The product has a unique dark finishing which is part of its design, and the looks are durable as the dark complexion does not fade
- It is made with a bronze alloy for tone uniformity and durability as the cymbal is sturdy
- The item has a wide bow area, and this gives players a natural feel when playing
- It is expensive in comparison with the average market price
3. Paiste 18” 2002 Gig Bell Ride Cymbal – Good Dark Ride Cymbal
Paiste is another top manufacturer of first-rate percussion instruments. The 18”2002 gig bell ride cymbal is one of their superior models and a favorite of many drummers. I love this item for its impressive tonal quality.
The hybrid hammer technique design is one of the reasons for its rich tonality. With a large and energetic bell, this cymbal has a clearly defined stick tone, and this makes it a great option for professional drumming.
Also, its impeccable quality makes it a good cymbal for playing in loud settings where clarity of every stroke is vital. The unique black shiny appearance is a cool embellishment when producing music videos.
The Paiste 2002 ride cymbal is durable, thanks to the sturdy metallic material used in its design and also the deep wash build. For its peculiarity, I would recommend the item as a reliable ride cymbal.
- This cymbal provides superior tonal quality and great sustain, thanks to the hybrid hammer technique design
- Its sizable, energetic bell fosters a well-defined stick tonality making it great for professional performances
- It is a perfect cymbal for playing in loud environments that demand a clear tone definition
- The product features an appealing color coating that is durable. It also makes the cymbals great for use in music video production owing to the artistic finishing
- It is strong and features a deep wash build to ensure durability
- It is considerably expensive, but worth the cost
4. Paiste Colorsound 900 Mega Ride Black Cymbal – Dark Ride Cymbal Review
The Paiste 900 mega ride black cymbal is among the best cymbals on the market, the one which quality matches its price tag. Looking at its physical properties, the item has an extended bell which is vital in delivering a rich acoustic tone.
You can be sure of a long service span as this cymbal is made of strong alloy to withstand tear. Besides having an awesome dark finishing, this cymbal is compatible with numerous drum kits.
The resonant tone characteristic of the cymbal makes it great for use in professional performances. I would recommend it to drummers of all levels. Here are its advantages and downsides.
- Hybrid hammering technique for dark, musical tonal quality Loud to very loud volume Very strong, bright ping over a large, deep wash Finish will never crack, chip or peel
- The Paiste Colorsound 900 Mega Ride has a massive, vivid and deep overall tonal quality with a long sustain
- The product features an extended bell for a rich acoustic sound and deep resonance
- Made of a strong alloy, it is designed for a long service span
- It has a classic and appealingly dark completion and is compatible with different kits
- The item has a considerably wide bell for easy and convenient playing
- The cymbal has an appealing tonal quality, making it suitable for both novice and professional players
- It is somewhat expensive as compared to competitor ride cymbals
Considerations to Make When Buying Cymbals
A good cymbal could make all the difference for drummers as it is vital in spicing up the groove. The diversity of cymbals on the market is an indication of characteristic variations, making each suitable for a specific niche of players. Following are some of the things to consider when purchasing a cymbal:
- Budget restrictions
For many drummers, it’s always about the quality of sound. Tonality is a crucial factor to consider, more so for professional musicians. Several factors influence a cymbal’s sonic attributes.
The size of a cymbal partly determines its fundamental pitch, as small cymbals have a higher and brighter tonality while large cymbals feature a lower pitch. The material used in designing a cymbal also contributes to its sonic quality.
While different styles of playing require various sounds and tones, there is no specific ‘best’ sound that can work for all drummers. The choice of a cymbal’s tone should primarily depend on a player’s taste and music genre.
You can research the tones of various cymbals and check out what works for you. Noteworthy, cymbals are some of the components of a drum kit that cannot be tuned to fit a given tonality requirement. Therefore, a drummer needs to get one that definitively matches their playing genre.
Durability is another essential consideration, as you do not want to be in and out of the music store often to replace your cymbal. Some brands have a rigorous manufacturing process and, therefore, are known to have durable cymbals than others.
Here, it all comes down to quality. You should also check the material used to build it and the heaviness. Generally, cymbals made of bronze alloy are tougher and more resistant to cracks and breakages.
Also, if you are always in the spotlight performing in gigs, the appearance of your kit matters. Try to go for a cymbal, the coloration of which doesn’t fade quickly with time.
Moving on to multi-functionality, some cymbals can serve either as a crash or a ride. If you are the kind of a drummer who likes experimenting with their kit, often altering the setup, this is something worth considering.
The last factor to look at is your budget. Some cymbals, despite the impeccable quality, are simply too costly for some drummers, especially for those who are not into music professionally. There are several good quality cymbals out there that are ideal for drummers on a budget.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good sounding cymbal. Nevertheless, ensure you get a cymbal that fits your style of playing in terms of tonality.
Which Is Your Favorite Ride Cymbal?
Cymbals play a major role in the overall sonic quality as far as drumming is concerned. However, choosing a good one suitable for a personal music genre has never been easy for many drummers.
For many percussion instruments, the tone is always the most important thing to consider when making a purchase. Considering that cymbals cannot be tuned as it is with most other kit components, a drummer needs to get one that has a generally interesting sound quality depending on the player’s musical interests.
Ensure that you also get durable kit components as this will help you cut down on additional replacement costs upon tear. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still get a good cymbal, you should only know the sonic quality you’re looking for.
In case you have used other ride cymbals and consider their performance notable, I would be glad to hear your suggestions. What is your favorite ride cymbal? What qualities do you look for in a good cymbal? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.