Calling drummers. Cymbal packs which ones $400 budget

The last 48 hrs I’ve been watching and reading up about the cymbal packs and it seems rather confusing, lol.

I know my way around my Roland v drum kits but during the setup for the school concert last Thursday I played around on the Ludwig Breakbeats kit an I like the compact size and tight kit sound so I decided to get one. I have a couple of the good hihat stand already also plenty of mounts and clamps.

The set up is the LA style 4 piece 1 up/1 down with 20” ride low on the 2nd Tom location. I like to play open handed style so the hi-hat will be low and hoping to get an 18” crash that can double as a ride above the hihat.

I won’t be recording with these but I do have a few killer mics who knows, lol.
I know nothing about acoustic cymbals and brands.

I appreciate and value your input as it’s one less thing for me to research. More importantly, I don’t know what I don’t know, all I’ve been using so far are straight from my drum modules and they don’t sample the budget mass production models, a few models I recognized were about $500+ a piece, lol.

Like the title said my budget is about $400 but if there’s a killer deal at $500 I won’t let that get in the way.

Thanks for your participation.


Paging @sfadams


My two cents: Choice depends largely on what kind of music you are playing, but in your shoes I’d get the Paiste PST7’s, which IMO can cover jazz and rock, and most things in between, to a decent degree. Currently $425 for the pack at Sweetwater (ok, slightly over your budget, but they’re good quality pies).

Link to Sweetwater: Paiste PST-7 Cymbal Pack

A video review of the PST7 series:


Thanks @sfadams i see this when I up the price range, man it looks great. Have you ever tried these?

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Oops. Sorry, I typed a reply about the Paistes, without clicking on your Meinl link.

Yes. I own the 22" crash-ride in that Classics Custom Dark series. I’ve also played (although don’t own) the 18" and 20" crashes. They are indeed very nice, especially if you play rock or pop. Not cheap though!

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Oh man I was just drooling over that crash-ride and the 18” big bell. I’m used to dual function ride cymbal from eDrums, lol. You are right $300 for a single cymbal is not cheap.

I know that is could be a silly question, can you use the top or bottom hi-hat as a crash, how do they sound.

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I’ve never tried, but I would still venture a short answer: ‘no’. Hi-hat cymbals (top and especially bottom) are even thicker than heavy crashes, and so I think they will not ‘open up’ quickly enough. Maybe they might work OK for practice in a pinch, but no way would I gig or record with a hi-hat as a dedicated crash cymbal.


Yeah that makes sense it’s the most hit for sure. I have a long way to go learning what does what and sizes then brands then model series, lol.

Just ordered that cymbal pack from Sweetwater and my GC rep is looking into the 18” big bell and 22 crash-ride. I’ll just split them up between the 2 kits.

See, I’m having a lot of fun already and I’m not even playing yet, lol.

Thanks @sfadams


Looks like you already made your choice, so I hope you enjoy them! I will caution from experience that unless you can get a live demo of them, I wouldn’t ever buy used ones (so… Not over the internet, in other words, hehe)

Cymbals are finnicky things, prone to damage from basic occurrences like getting wet and being touched. Even naturally without agitators and nothing but optimal care, they age and pick up darker tones (which might be awesome and might not be). Always take the merch for a test drive when it comes to the shiny parts :smiley:


Really appreciate this comment because up til now I’ve been a Roland fanboi and their stuff are pretty durable. I do understand that the acoustic any thing are prone to break and change overtime. Not to mention a constant replenishment and replacement of parts, lol.

The great thing I got going for me is I’m so new at this acoustic s-stuffs I don’t know what I don’t know or develops any preference just yet. I’m sure if I’m hooked to the acoustic then I’ll be GASsing a lot more, lol.

Im actually keeping my option as returns are easily done plus I don’t know one drummer who has a set of the same series. Usually they are all mixed, I’m just in it for the look right now.

Plus an acoustic set requires a lot more finesse and skills than eDrums which offers you perfect tone every time, although they keep getting better and bad strikes are now producing less than ideal sound out of electronic drums not necessarily a good thing for me, lol.

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So 2 of my cymbals arrived today. The 18” big bell ride and 22” crash ride. So per usual, I blew the budget out of water. Even with discount the cymbal pack and the 2 rides ended up just under 3x the original budget, lol. Boy they look great though.

@sfadams and @chordsykat got some questions for you and drummers here.

Ok before this set my playing experience on acoustic set has been in the studio and stage. Yesterday I set up and tuned one of the set for school, it’s quite loud. In the class room(music room) actually. I find myself flinching when I crash the cymbal.

How loud you guys usually play? If I hit it light to medium it doesn’t feel like a crash, lol.

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@Al1885 For all things rock: wear ear protection!

Otherwise, it varies with the size of the gig. If I’m with a rock/pop band on stage in a big venue, I hit the cymbals without holding much back. If it’s a small dive bar (common in Hong Kong), I will ease off some. If it’s a tiny 3-4 man rehearsal studio, I might play with hot-rods. But in all the above scenarios, always with ear protection …

For ‘quiet’ gigs … if it’s a rehearsal for (say) a play, or a gig where acoustic tuned instruments are involved, I will definitely use brushes or hot-rods - and, yes, play quite softly as well.


@sfadams has everything I could say and more. Seconding that you make sure you get rule #1 down, especially with drums, and that is to wear ear protection. If you aren’t, you’ll be surprised how much more tolerable drumming becomes when you do. :smiley:

I also like Hot Rods when I practice. They’re good to make a solid sound but they’re slightly muffled. That said, I don’t think they’re “quieter”… just less abrasive?

All that said, things tend to get loudest when you play with other people, and IMO, it’s kinda hard to play quiet when you’re first figuring out your kit. Maybe that’s me? I dunno. But I definitely had trouble controlling my volume when I picked up my first pair of sticks.

Disclaimer: I’m more or less an as-needed drummer, not highly skilled, so the common thread in my answers here is hinting that maybe I’ve just gotta work on my dynamics, in general? :smiley:


Thanks @sfadams and @chordsykat.

The remaining order of the cymbals just arrived today. I really need to diy the acoustic treatments in the music room. Everything is so loud there, lol. It’s such a steep learning curve playing acoustic set, lol.

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Ok work in progress. I finally put up the kit and cymbal pack. I took the weekend to finish this, lol. I still have the 22” ride/crash and 18” big bell I’d have to incorporate into this. Oh plus the 10”splash. No leg hi hat stand. The goal is minimal stands/footprints.

I use Ludwig Atlas lugs and the arch rail then attach my cymbals on it. I may chang the configuration to my liking, I just don’t know what yet, lol. First I put the Roland double bass pedal but it was way too big for this kit it takes up a lot of space so I swapped it to the Duallist D4.

What do you think? The upcoming changes are 22” C/R, 18 ride. Orange County DP 13x7 snare and a splash.

I put the kit at school in the music room since there’s no class there during summer and there’s no way I can play this at home. I realize my bad habit from eDrums, I hit really hard plus I like heavy sticks, turns out it’s a bad combination, lol.