The Best Cymbal Packs of 2019 – Top Picks From a Touring Drummer

Cymbals are arguably the most important sounding component of your drum set. Anyone can make a cheap set of shells sound great. It’s truly the cymbals that make a kit shine. Unfortunately for us drummers, cymbals are expensive.

In a hurry? Our favorite is the Mike Johnston cymbal pack from Meinl.

One high-quality crash cymbal from, say Zildjian, may run you upwards of $400. Larger cymbal companies have begun putting out cymbal packs, not just for entry-level cymbals, but for high-end ones as well. Read on to see our reviews and our favorite cymbal pack of 2019.


Best Cymbal Pack – Our Favorite Picks

Image
Popular Choice
Zildjian A0801R Rock Pack Cymbal Set Bundle with Gig Bag and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
Sabian HHX Praise AND Worship Pack
Incredible Sound, Low Price!
Meinl Cymbal Set Box Pack with 14” Hihats, 20” Ride, 16” Crash, Plus a FREE 18” Crash –...
Product
Zildjian A Cymbal Pack
Sabian HHX Cymbal Pack
Meinl Classics Cymbal Pack
No. of Cymbals
4
5
4
Dark / Bright
Inbetween
Dark
Dark
Cymbal Bag Included
Under $1,000
Popular Choice
Image
Zildjian A0801R Rock Pack Cymbal Set Bundle with Gig Bag and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
Product
Zildjian A Cymbal Pack
No. of Cymbals
4
Dark / Bright
Inbetween
Cymbal Bag Included
Under $1,000
Image
Sabian HHX Praise AND Worship Pack
Product
Sabian HHX Cymbal Pack
No. of Cymbals
5
Dark / Bright
Dark
Cymbal Bag Included
Under $1,000
Incredible Sound, Low Price!
Image
Meinl Cymbal Set Box Pack with 14” Hihats, 20” Ride, 16” Crash, Plus a FREE 18” Crash –...
Product
Meinl Classics Cymbal Pack
No. of Cymbals
4
Dark / Bright
Dark
Cymbal Bag Included
Under $1,000

The table above lists our favorite picks from each cymbal company. While each cymbal maker has many different lines of cymbals, we believe these are the best in both value, performance, and durability.

Below we will be discussing each cymbal maker in depth with each cymbal pack they offer currently.

All cymbal packs listed below will be ranked from highest quality to most budget-friendly. Happy reading!


Zildjian Cymbal Packs

Zildjian K Series Cymbal Pack – Professional

Ideal for jazz, fusion, gospel, light rock, pop

PreviewProductRating
Zildjian K Series Cymbal Set Zildjian K Series Cymbal Set 6 Reviews

Zildjian’s K Series cymbal set is top of the line. Included in the kit are four cymbals:

  • 14″ K Hi-Hats
  • 16″ K Dark Thin Crash
  • 18″ K Dark Thin Crash
  • 20″ K Ride

If you have ever heard these cymbals, you’ll know that they are very dark and beautiful. They just sound expensive.

Durability

As with any thin cymbal, durability is going to be less than that of a thinker cymbal. If you play Zildjian K cymbals, especially the thin crashes, be advised that these cymbals will crack easier.

If you play hard rock, you may want to consider buying a separate set of cymbals for recording only, as touring with these will get quite expensive.


Zildjian A Custom Pro Cymbal Pack – Professional

Ideal for rock, pop, gospel, fusion, worship

Another of my favorite lines from Zildjian is the A Custom. Included in this pack are four cymbals:

  • 14″ A Custom Mastersound Hi-Hats
  • 14″ A Custom EFX
  • 19″ A Custom Crash
  • 20″ Projection Ride cymbal

Compared to the K Series, the A Custom cymbals are going to be a bit brighter but still maintain an expensive sound. I personally like the K Series over these.


Zildjian Avedis Cymbal Pack – Professional

Ideal for touring – Genres include rock, metal, country, gospel

Moving away from darker sound cymbals to brighter, we have the Avedis line from Zildjian. These were actually the first cymbals I played and still love them today. Included are four cymbals:

  • 14″ Mastersound Hi-Hats
  • 17″ Medium Thin Crash
  • 19″ A Medium Thin Crash
  • 20″ Ping Ride

Durability

We’re moving to a little bit thicker of cymbals when we’re talking about the Avedis line. You can be a harder hitter and still get a lot of life out of these cymbals.

As stated previously, this cymbal pack is ideal for touring drummers who have what I like to call touring cymbals. Leave the more expensive ones at home, folks. Unless you’re Neil Peart.


Zildjian S390 S Performer Cymbal Pack – Intermediate

Ideal for intermediate players, students

The S Series from Zildjian is a newer line of cymbals aimed at younger students and intermediate players of all ages. These are made from 88% copper and 12% tin.

The cymbals overall are very bright and don’t have as much body like some of the higher end lines. You definitely can tell that this line of cymbals was designed to be an upgrade (small, albeit) from the ZBT line.

Durability

The durability of the S Line cymbal pack is fantastic. This cymbal pack will last until you decide to upgrade to a more expensive line of cymbals.

Being that these cymbals are thicker, expect them to be good for rock, pop, country, metal, and more. Don’t worry about cracks!


Zidjian ZBT Starter Cymbal Set – Beginner

Ideal for first-time drummers, students, young players

As the name implies, this is absolutely a beginner cymbal pack. For any aspiring drummer, this line of cymbals is a perfect entry-level choice. Included are three cymbals:

  • 13″ Hi Hats
  • 18″ Crash Ride
  • A bonus 14″ Crash

Durability

Again, this is another thicker cymbal pack, a common theme you’ll notice among cheap cymbal sets. The durability of the ZBT starter set is great.

This set of cymbals can last you or your young drummer many years. The sound won’t be amazing, but it’s a great set of learning cymbals.


Sabian Cymbal Packs

Sabian HHX Cymbal Pack – Professional

Ideal for pop, rock, R&B, worship, gospel, hip hop, fusion

Despite this particular cymbal set being named Praise and Worship pack, this line of cymbals can be used for a multitude of genres including funk, jazz, rock, and pop.

I have always loved Sabian’s higher end cymbals, specifically Hand Hammered. These cymbals sound extremely dark, yet very warm. They really wash when you play them.

Durability

As with other thin cymbals, durability will be an issue for harder players. I would consider these to be studio cymbals.


Sabian XS Cymbal Pack – Intermediate

Ideal for rock, pop, metal, hip hop

Sabian’s XS line of cymbals fosters to more of a rock and metal sound, in my opinion. They aren’t necessarily bright but are think enough cymbals that can take a beating. Included in this pack are five cymbals:

  • 21″ XS Medium Ride
  • 18″ XS Medium Thin Crash
  • 16″ Medium Thin Crash
  • 14″ X-Celerator Hi-Hats
  • 10″ XS Splash cymbal

It’s a great value for five cymbals (technically six if you count hi-hats as two).

The only grief I have with this cymbal pack is the small cymbals: they just sound so weak. Take a listen in the video below.

Durability

Sabian’s XS line of cymbals can definitely take the hits of a powerful drummer. While these aren’t the most expensive sounding cymbals, they are perfect for an intermediate student or young player.


Sabian B8X Performance Cymbal Pack – Beginner

Ideal for students and young players – all genres

If you haven’t heard of the B8 line from Sabian, you’re probably living under a rock. Jokes aside, the B8 cymbal pack is the best cymbal pack for an entry-level drummer or percussion student.

These cymbals do sound pretty terrible (better than the ZBT line), but for someone learning to play the drums, they do give a nice feel and accurate representation of what more expensive cymbals would be like to play.

Listen to this salesman awkwardly try to pitch these…


Meinl Cymbal Packs

Mike Johnston Pack – Professional

Ideal for jazz, fusion, pop, hip-hop, rock

Mike Johnston’s signature cymbal pack is made up of Meinl’s famous Byzance cymbals. These are extremely dry and dark sounding cymbals. I love the sound of the Byzance line. You really can’t go wrong. Even Mat Halpern from Periphery uses this line. For metal! While the cost is high, the sound you get is equally expensive.

The only gripes I have with this cymbal pack is the ride cymbal. It’s so dry that there’s barely any sustain to it. Take a listen in the video below.


Meinl Cymbals CCD460+ Dark Cymbal Pack – Professional

These are our favorite! We have picked this our best cymbal pack!

Ideal for all genres – Great all around cymbals

Meinl is quickly gaining my love over the past few years. Every high-end cymbal I hear from them (minus that one ride cymbal) I seem to adore. Meinl’s Classics line is the best cymbal pack for a student interested in jazz and fusion.

Despite such a low cost, these cymbals sound like they should be way more expensive, on par with Sabian’s Hand Hammered line and Zildjian’s A Customs. I was truly blown away by these cymbals.


Meinl Cymbals HCS Cymbal Pack – Beginner

Ideal for students and young beginners

The HCS line is very much on par with the Sabian B8 line. It’s a very cheap line of cymbals that works great for students and beginner players.

The sound quality you will get from the HCS line isn’t great at all (really any of the lower end cymbals), to be honest. If this is going to be your first line of cymbals, go for it. If you really enjoy playing drums and know you’ll upgrade in the future, save your money.


My favorite cymbal pack?

Out of all the cymbal packs in this price range, nothing beats these Meinls! The pack sounds incredible and will cost you less than $500! I was blown away when I heard them.


Other Considerations – Wuhan

I didn’t mention Wuhan for a particular reason: they aren’t the best company. When we say best cymbal pack, we don’t mean cheapest. I recently did a post on Wuhan Cymbals, which are some of the most affordable cymbals around.

Have you bought a cymbal pack before? What’s your favorite cymbal pack on this list? If you have any questions about cymbal packs, feel free to leave a comment down below. Thanks for reading.

Hey there fellow drummer, thanks for reading the post. I’ve got a private Facebook group called Drum Junkies. It’s made up of people just like you and me who are sharing pictures of their drum kits, talking about industry trends, and sharing tips about drumming. I’d love for you to join! Here’s a link to the group; we’ll see you on the inside.

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