Let’s face it. Cymbals are expensive.
If you’re a harder-hitting player like myself, you’ll understand how frustrating it can be to crack or break your cymbals. Unfortunately, it does happen, and it can happen a lot.
Taking the correct precautions to protect your cymbals doesn’t always work.
If you’re a professional drummer, I think it’s a good idea to have a set of practice cymbals, recording cymbals, and touring cymbals. In our Wuhan Cymbals review, we will do our best to cover these cheap, but high-quality cymbals from China.
Table of Contents
1) Wuhan 457 Cymbal Line
The Wuhan WU457 Cymbal line is the most affordable line from Wuhan. This pack includes 14″ hi-hats, 16″ crash, and a 20″ ride cymbal. These cymbals are dark for how cheap they are. It’s what makes this brand of cymbals so attractive.
I’m not huge on the crash cymbal or splash, but the hi hat and ride are pretty exceptional for the price. I am a big lover of dark sounding cymbals. These cymbals sound great even recorded.
This set is perfect if you are looking to upgrade your cymbals from another starter line like the Zildjian ZBT or Sabian B8. They have a way better sound than those cheap cymbal lines.
Hear the 457 line in the video below.
2) Wuhan Traditional Cymbal Set
Who comes up with the product line naming schemes at companies?
The Wuhan Traditional cymbal line is an incredible leap up from the last set we just looked at. These are the best value for your dollar when it comes to affordable cymbals. I would and have toured with these cymbals and they sound amazing.
I have had drummers come up and compliment the sound of my cymbals and are shocked when I tell them they are from Wuhan. They are so washy and dark sounding. Perfect for light jazz to indie rock.
The jump in quality from the 457s to the WUTBSU is like moving from Sabian B8s to their HHX line.
They aren’t going to cut through a mix like a Paiste 2002 ride, but one thing’s for sure, sound engineers always want less cymbal volume on stage, especially the hi-hat.
This is my number one recommendation from Wuhan, my favorite line of cheap cymbals.
A Quick Overview of Wuhan
Wuhan cymbals are easily most famous for their china cymbals. They have been all over many recordings from the 70s and 80s and do have a “signature sound.”These cymbals feature a quick attack, short decay, are bright, and cut right through a mix.
They are perfect for quick, accented hits during any fill section. Famous drummers who used Wuhan cymbals in their setup include Neil Peart, Jeff Hamilton, Chad Sexton, Mike Terrana and many more.
Wuhan doesn’t necessarily strive to create the greatest sounding cymbals that rival the big name companies like Zildjian, Meinl, or Sabian, but they do seek to make a cymbal that sounds amazing at an affordable cost.
Wuhan cymbals are made of high-quality cast B20 alloy and are handcrafted in China according to two-thousand-year-old traditional methods. The cymbals have a brilliant finish and are stamped with their uniquely recognizable logo.
is was owned by parent company Universal Percussion. Universal Percussion has been in the spotlight recently after two big lawsuits against Guitar Center and Avedis Zildjian.
Universal Percussion accused Guitar Center of misleading consumers to purchase a brand that was marketed as Wuhan but turned out to be from AGAZARIAN products.
Zildjian also released a line of ‘S’ branded cymbals; Universal Percussion believed that this was a violation of one of their own trademarks. This lawsuit was later dropped. On July 4, 2018, Tom Shelly, president and founder of Universal Percussion, announced that the company would be shutting its doors for good.
Shelly noted the changing retail environment as part of the reason for closing down. This unfortunate event left a void soon filled by another American distributor.
Unfortunately, Wuhan cymbals are going through a bit of a transitional period since American wholesaler/distributor Cardinal Percussion has since acquired the brand. CP’s Jim Bickley notes that, “there will be some exciting changes that will appeal to the needs and demands of today’s drummers.”
Cardinal Percussion is also the owner of ATTACK Drumheads. For a while, Wuhan cymbals were totally vacant from the market. It seems things are back to normal now, and you can find most of the lines available online.
Sweetwater carries an impressive number of their cymbals. If Wuhan isn’t the way you wanna go, I’d suggest checking out some of my favorite cymbal packs from companies like Zidjian, Meinl, and Sabian.
And hey, while we’re on the topic of cymbals, don’t miss my roundup of the best cymbal bags and cases on the market.
Thanks for reading!