Finding cymbals that are both great sounding and affordable can be difficult. If you’re a rock drummer and tend to play hard, cracking your cymbals may be a common occurrence.
Since 2005, a company named Dream Cymbals has been making quality cymbals with affordability in mind.
Over the course of my drumming career, I have purchased four cymbals from Dream and always have been impressed. I find that they tend to have a quality that is both dark and washy. “Jazz” cymbals often come to mind when I’m trying these out.
Dream cymbals come in a variety of quality and sounds. Their product series lineup includes:
- Dark Matter
- Lion & China
- Hand Cymbals
Dream Energy Series
The Energy series cymbals are “explosive” as they put it on their website. They feature long decays and a much broader dynamic range. The Energy series are some of the thickest cymbals available from Dream, allowing for a much more aggressive playing style.
The first thing you’ll notice about this series of cymbals is the consistent lack of a finished bell. I personally love the look of these cymbals (as well as the sound, of course).
My most recent purchase was a 22” Dream Energy crash/ride. I have been favoring large cymbals as of late and this one is no different.
I picked it up from a local music store after trying out what felt like every cymbal in the store. Surprisingly, it’s not as thin as you would think. Many cymbals from Dream are very thin, giving them that big sound without being overly loud.
The Energy series are big-sounding cymbals. The Bliss and Vintage Bliss cymbals offer a lighter sound and are not nearly as powerful. While they are loud, they aren’t obnoxious in the way that the RUDE series from Paiste is.
My 22″ crash /ride sounds great. Hitting the edge hard produces a loud and washy sound, consistent with that of modern pop and rock music.
The level of quality from Dream (especially in the Energy series) is on par with the Constantinople series from Zildjian, with more power and volume. You can make the argument on a case by case basic deciding which cymbal would sound better in any given playing situation.
Striking the bow doesn’t produce much attack and some of the wash is present.
The bell is incredible. It’s the perfect balance between attack and sustain. It’s a very musical cymbal. You can play very dynamically for any situation. Some cymbals are either all loud or all soft. These are the perfect middle ground.
Like many of Dream’s cymbals, you can really see the lathing marks and hammer points (a positive for me). I think they look amazing.
My two favorite companies currently (Dream and Meinl) are making more cymbals that have an unfinished look. While their’s is only the bell, it’s a nice touch.
As you can see below, the hammer and lathe marks create a perfect look for stage lighting (they look awesome under good lights!).
Now I’ve only used this cymbal for maybe fifteen shows. You can already see stick marks all over the bow of the cymbal. Is this a bad thing? I don’t believe so, but marks from wooden sticks definitely do show up after use.
My only gripe about this cymbal is the attack: I wish it the bow of the cymbal had just a little bit more bite to cut through other instruments. Aside from that, I’m totally happy with the purchase.
For the price of these cymbals (and most of the other series from Dream), you’re able to get two cymbals for the price of one big-name cymbal from SABIAN or Zildjian. You can find these even cheaper used.
The Energy series is available in the following sizes:
- 8″ Splash
- 10″ Splash
- 13″ Hi-hat
- 14″ Hi-hat
- 15″ Hi-hat
- 16″ Hi-hat
- 16″ Crash
- 17″ Crash
- 18″ Crash
- 19″ Crash
- 20″ Crash / Ride
- 20″ Ride
- 22″ Crash / Ride
- 22″ Ride
Dream Cymbals are not manufactured in the same way that big brands like SABIAN and Zildjian sometimes are. Each cymbal may sound different and our experiences may vary. Listening to sound samples and YouTube videos online may not be exactly what your cymbal will sound like. I personally have always gone to a music store and played cymbals in person to get the best idea of what I was getting prior to buying one.
I also had a Dream Bliss crash cymbal. Unfortunately, it hasn’t lasted the test of time due to my playing style.
Now, for those of you looking for a package deal, check out the article we’ve curated of the best cymbal packs available. Dream Cymbals are not included on this list (they are sold on an a la carte basis), but I have found great alternatives that are still affordable.