Their sound adds extra color and helps accent all sorts of rhythmic patterns be it in a syncopated gallop, four-on-the-floor disco beat, or even a gorgeous 3/4 Viennese waltz.
And to choose a good splash cymbal you need to consider:
- Genre. Each music style utilizes drum effects differently and requires them to have a specific character. Although splashes are mostly universal, you can barely play soul, and Cannibal Corpse covers using the same gear.
- Materials. Longevity and the sound of splash greatly depend on which alloy it’s forged from. The prevalence of bronze or copper will affect the acoustic character differently.
- Brand. It also plays a major role, as the brand’s reputation may guarantee that you’ll get a reliable item.
- Size. The cymbal size tremendously affects the way it sounds: decay, overtone palette, energy, volume, punchiness, and so on.
So, I’ve prepared a list of the best-sounding splash cymbals you can find on Amazon. Most of them are budget models, so you can get nice quality without having to file for bankruptcy in the next quarter.
The Best Picks – Cash & Splash
- The Best Picks – Cash & Splash
- 1. Wuhan Wusp 10-Inch Splash Cymbal – The Best Splash Cymbal at a Low Price
- 2. Meinl Cymbals 10” Splash Cymbal – The Runner-up
- 3. Meinl Cymbals Byzance 10″ Dual Splash – Premium Rash Splash Cymbal Sound
- 4. Sabian SBR 10″ Splash Cymbal – Plain & Simple Drum Splash Cymbal
- 5. Zildjian 10″ L80 Low Volume Splash – A Splash Drum With a Bit of Soothe
- 6. Sabian AAX 10″ Air Splash Cymbal – Great for Experiments
- 7. Meinl Cymbals 8″ Splash Cymbal – A Fantastic Beast
- Splash Forward
- WUHAN WUSP 10-Inch Splash Cymbal
- Meinl Cymbals 10 inch Splash Cymbal
- Meinl Cymbals Byzance 10 inch Dual Splash
- Sabian SBR 10" Splash Cymbal
- Zildjian 10" L80 Low Volume Splash
- Sabian AAX 10" Air Splash Cymbal
- Meinl Cymbals 8 inch Splash Cymbal
Every brand mentioned has some history and favorable reviews left by drummers from every corner of the world. No doubt, you’ve heard about them before, so the product quality is guaranteed.
1. Wuhan Wusp 10-Inch Splash Cymbal – The Best Splash Cymbal at a Low Price
Our first item comes from the lands of dragons. Though the formerly Chinese brand Wuhan now belongs to Cardinal Percussion, which is situated in Ohio, Wuhan’s history is pretty rich, and their cymbals have gained some reputation in the US over the past 40 years.
For starters, it’s hand-crafted. Its nicely polished bronze surface signals that it’s made from the B20 alloy. This material consists of about 80% of bronze and 20% of tin. And sometimes there are tiny silver admixtures.
That means we get a nice, highly pitched sound. Also, maybe it’s due to its Chinese roots, but Wuhan sounds almost like a mini-gong. As an extra bonus, you get a pretty long, smoothly fading decay (use it a secondary shorter crash if you have to).
Plus, it’s saturated with high/mid frequencies that produce a fuller, riper, and juicer sound. I guess you can put this wealth of harmonics to good use in virtually every genre. And the bright accent it adds to the percussive section gives you drumming more energy.
The only fly in the ointment is that in some parts the splash may be thinner than the rest of its body. And thin metal doesn’t handle aggressive hits too well, as you know.
But it’s the best deal for this price for sure. It can do anything: live concerts, hours of practice, and even demo recording! And if the Cardinal fixes the thin issue a tad, even if it increases the cost a bit, it will be a great investment anyway.
- Thin crisp quick
- 10" Wuhan splash perfect all purpose size for virtually any musical application
- B20 alloy;
- Bright sound;
- Nice decay;
- Works for various genres.
- Thinner metal in some areas.
2. Meinl Cymbals 10” Splash Cymbal – The Runner-up
Our next item is a product of German quality from the town of Gutenstetten, and their stuff is favored by Sam Applebaum, Chris Adler, Tatsuya Amano, and many other drummers.
Meinl has a glistening brass body with a 10-inch diameter. The package says that it’s a rather ‘practice’ tool for those who make their first steps in the boom-boom art. So, that means it won’t lose the tone quickly due to non-stop hitting.
But I think it can also qualify as a gig companion, especially in clubs and smaller auditoriums. It has a satisfyingly brisk and well-articulated splash sound with a concise decay.
As for harmonics, the sound isn’t too dark or bright. It’s somewhere in the middle, which lets you easily incorporate it in a plethora of genres, styles, and patterns. Don’t expect it to sound like a bombastic mini-gong, but it will do the job as a solid effect cymbal.
Besides, I really like its durability. It was forged to last for years and take a lot of punishment. Considering its price, it’s the best splash for beginners/students, which can occasionally replace your concert cymbals. But only occasionally.
- Perfect for short bursts of sound — the HCS 10" splash delivers an immediate cutting and bright response with a short sustain that works as a great accent to round out your sound — its refined “splash” effect blends perfectly with any other cymbal
- Designed for beginners and students — Meinl HCS cymbals are designed for beginner and student musicians using a durable brass alloy that maintains its tone while holding up to the brunt of drum sticks — these cymbals are ideal for any style of music
- Very affordable;
- Sturdy brass alloy;
- Balanced sound;
- German quality.
- It May lack some high freqs.
3. Meinl Cymbals Byzance 10″ Dual Splash – Premium Rash Splash Cymbal Sound
Another item from Meinl. This time it is a luxury cymbal that was hand-hammered in Turkey. So, let’s see what this fancy boyo can do.
First, I really adore the sound. It’s a 100% trash splash that has a slight undertone of buzzing white noise. It adds more saturation, warmth, and also way more character to your drumming. If you dislike bland sound, a tinge of acoustic ‘dirt’ is what the doctor ordered.
Attack and time delivery are also astonishing. This cymbal is highly responsive. And you don’t need to whack it too hard to make it ‘sing’ exactly when you want.
It’s crafted from the B20 alloy, but I’m not sure about the proportions of the metals in its formula. All I can say is the anatomy of the splash is clever and balanced, which rewards you with a lively, full-bodied, and laconic sound.
All in all, it is a premium cymbal, which works amazingly for any type of sound: jazzy, folkish, hard… even a vintage-modern sound akin to that of Tame Impala can be recreated with it. And the only drawback with it is cynically prosaic: the price.
- Hand hammered in Turkey from cast B20 bronze alloy — paper thin with an otherworldly trashy sound, the 10" Dual splash has a lightning fast response with a cushioned feel — its mythical attack can only be described as "must have"
- Texture galore — the hammering and lathing combination results in a silky-smooth feel with earthy definition, wrapped in a touch of shimmering glow from the outer band of lathing and polishing
- Rich and energetic splash sound;
- Awesome response;
- Lathed underside.
- Pretty pricey.
4. Sabian SBR 10″ Splash Cymbal – Plain & Simple Drum Splash Cymbal
Sabian’s SBR is a real workhorse that costs pretty cheaply. It is a practice cymbal that I can recommend to those players whose drumming odyssey has just begun.
We have here a 10-inch diameter splash made from brass. Thanks to its thinness, it provides a satisfying, concise splash sound. It is enough for a rookie to learn and understand the intricacies of the splash effect and how to put it to good use in a pattern.
But the cheapness sporadically shows itself. First, when you hit it, you can hear some clanging as if you were whacking an empty kettle with a wooden spoon. Second, there’s a light aftersound that spits a portion of unwanted high freqs right into your ears.
All in all, this 10 inch splash cymbal is a simple tool that won’t disembowel your wallet or leave you disappointed. But it’s not meant for stage performances or studio work (unless you’re desperate to make a record on a budget).
- Small thin splash is fast and punchy
- Smartly priced, SBr Brass is in a class of its own
- Acceptable splash sound;
- Great for beginners.
- Not meant for anything, but practice or hobby drumming.
5. Zildjian 10″ L80 Low Volume Splash – A Splash Drum With a Bit of Soothe
Zildjian barely needs an introduction. They have been in business for almost 400 years, so they know a thing or two about the art of drum making.
It’s one of their budget 10-inch models. And it’s presented as a very quiet cymbal. In fact, it seems to dabble as a hi-hat too! Although, I personally don’t think it sounds that good in that role, unless we talk about some weird hi-hat emergency.
So, its splash sound is enjoyable. There’s an elusive gentleness about how this cymbal reacts to your drumsticks – it is a seamless match for small stages and soft genres like smooth jazz, folk, old soca music, and others.
The alloy quality also seems great. And considering that L80 is meant for relaxing, mellow jams, this splash will last for a long time, without dropping any cents from its pocket.
- 80% quieter than traditional cymbals
- Play at low volume on an acoustic cymbal
- Famous brand;
- Gentle sound;
- Good sturdiness;
- Can be a hi-hat substitute.
- Won’t work for harder genres.
6. Sabian AAX 10″ Air Splash Cymbal – Great for Experiments
Another Sabian product, Air Splash is a fancier model. So, what have they prepared for us at such a biting price?
Air Splash is nicely responsive, bright, and also… a bit weird. I don’t mean it negatively though: the character of the sound it makes is pretty unique. So, if you really enjoy experimenting and aim to add a catchy gimmick to your style, AIR is a good pick.
Again, I can’t say that it’s very loud. So it would greatly suit some soft music as well as be a handy addition to a cocktail kit.
But thanks to the rich dynamic range, AIR can add a teaspoon of explosive accents to your drums if enough force is applied. It won’t produce an “in your face effect”, rather blending with the rest of your percussive panorama.
After all, I like this product from Sabian. It adds more character, breath and life to the drums. It’s gentle and at times even unhearable, but you still can feel its presence and how nicely it makes the drums sound richer. If only the price was a tad lower.
- Plenty of substance and depth in this compact 10" Splash model
- Six response-enhancing 1" holes add plenty of bite
- Unique acoustic character;
- High quality;
- Adds brightness & breath;
- Works well for soft genres;
- Good dynamic range.
- Could be cheaper;
- Not loud enough for some genres.
7. Meinl Cymbals 8″ Splash Cymbal – A Fantastic Beast
Our last contestant is a peculiar beast made by Meinl. Let’s see if all of their products can brag about the legendary German quality.
It is an 8-inch cymbal made from the industry-grade and highly resistant B10 alloy with bronze. It means the cymbal is great for loud and hard sound. I think it will fit in recreating the sound of such bands as Panthera, Behemoth, or Electric Wizard.
But it’s not all about heaviness. The dynamic range here is wide, so you can leap from piano to forte and back in merely one second. The cymbal has less high frequencies and basically zero sustain, so it also can be applied for a darker, vintage sound.
Covered with a dark finish – and it actually contributes to its acoustic anatomy – this Meinl model looks mysterious and stylish. Like a weapon ready for war. Or an artifact from the past, which traveled in time to bring you the gift of retro vibes.
To sum up, I recommend this splash to those who love the hard-hitting sound. This cymbal will add nice piercing accents to your rhythms that will tear the air like sonic bullets.
- 8” Classics Custom Dark splash cymbal — the Classics Custom Dark splash is a top choice for players who want a dark sounding, heavier rock splash that speaks up without high pitch overtones — great cutting attack on the front end without a glassy sustain
- 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
- Great splash sound;
- Darker overtones prevail;
- Works fine for harder music;
- Aesthetic design;
- Sturdy B10 alloy.
- May not suit softer music genres.
Now, let’s revise some common questions regarding the splash cymbals.
What are the best splash cymbals made of?
Well, splash cymbals vary, depending on the genre: there are rock, salsa, jazz, and other types of splashes.
But with the design characteristics aside, splashes are mostly made from B20 bronze. This is a universal choice, with slightly varying admixtures of tin, copper, silver, etc.
What size splash cymbal should I get?
This question has no definite answer. It depends on what kind of sound you’re after and how it will translate your artistic vision into the language of kicks and snares. That’s why there are so many types of cymbals with white noise, softer response, sharper freqs, etc.
Just remember: a bigger diameter always means a longer sustain and lower pitch. For instance, a 12-inch splash is basically a crash. And an 8-inch model adds more piercing to the sound of your splash.
How do you mount a splash cymbal?
Actually, there are various methods. And I suggest you experiment a bit to learn which kind of mounting feels personally comfy to you. It’s always individual.
For instance, you can place them on a boom stand over your toms, use a clamp to put it on any other stand, group them together with your hi-hats, and so forth.
It depends on the size of your drum kit, your personal preferences, muscle memory, drumming technique, and even music genre to an extent. So, don’t be shy to roll up your sleeves and experiment!
What are the best cymbals for jazz?
Well, a lot of splashes are actually versatile. The way they sing or shout depends on your touch and technique. Although, there’s a whole collection of splashes meant for softer genres, including all types of jazz.
Wuhan Wusp and Zildjian L80 are the best choices from my list. The former is a universal tool that works fine for many a genre, while the latter was meant to be played in jazz parlors as its sound is elegant and gentle. And they both provide quality sound.
That sums up my review. Waste no time and get to experimenting with splashes as soon as you can. If you’re only beginning, stick to a practice model and progress slowly to the more professional ones. Drumming is all bout evolution, after all.
What is your all-time favorite splash cymbal? Where do you prefer placing it? How many do you need in your kit? Let us know in the comments!