Best Ride Cymbals

Ultimate Buying Guide

Introduction:

Ride cymbals are as important as any other drum piece and finding the best ride cymbal available on the market for a particular price point can be a tricky and time consuming task.

Later on we’ll discuss the main reasons why drummers struggle to find the best fit for their needs on the things to consider section of this buying guide.

But first let’s start with our list for the top ride cymbals designed for diverse price points and different musical styles like rockmetaljazz and funk.

Without further ado let’s dive right into it:

What Makes a Good Ride Cymbal


It’s not just the material that was used in the construction process – usually it’s the technology and skill that determines the build quality of a ride cymbal. The way cymbals are forged, hammered, and sliced – those are the factors that determine the build quality of a ride cymbal.

Table of Contents

The 7 Best Ride Cymbals

(Best Zildjian Ride Cymbal)

A SHORT OVERVIEW:

The first ride cymbal in our review is Zildjian K Constantinople 22” Renaissance Ride cymbal. Among the plethora of reasons why you should consider it, we will only name a few.

First of all, Zildjian K Constantinople 22” Renaissance Ride cymbal is the pinnacle of Zildjian’scraftsmanship. This brand is one of the leaders in the drum gear piece industry, and the fact that this is one of their best ride cymbals means something.

Secondly, Zildjian K Constantinople 22” Renaissance Ride cymbal is a professional-level ride cymbal. Needless to say, this will dissuade the beginners and drummers who’re on a budget, but, if you’re ever in a financial position to afford spending a couple of hundred dollars, don’t think twice.

Furthermore, this ride cymbal boasts superior performance and versatility. Simply put, it can fit any drum setup with great ease. This is provided by a set of outstanding features, including the cluster hammering, medium weight, and the thin texture.

Lastly, Zildjian K Constantinople 22” Renaissance Ride cymbal excels in aesthetics. It’s simply one of the most beautiful ride cymbals out there.

The only downfall is that this ride cymbal costs quite a lot, but this is easily compensated for by the manifold of exceptional features.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

Zildjian K Constantinople 22” Renaissance Ride cymbal is also extremely durable. This ride cymbal was specifically designed for all jazz drummers by Zildjian’s artisan Adam Nussbuam. It’s perfect for smaller and medium-size drum setups, but virtually any kind of musical setting will accommodate it easily, mainly due to the high level of versatility it provides.

Apart from that, the medium-thin texture of Zildjian K Constantinople 22” Renaissance Ride cymbal provides an outstanding sound output and acoustic resonance. All in all, this is the ultimate ride cymbal, if you can afford it.

Build Quality
98%
Performance
99%
Price to Value Ratio
96%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Premium performance
  • An excellent level of versatility
  • Excellent durability
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Expensive

A SHORT OVERVIEW:

Here we have one of Sabian’s ride master piece, the Sabian 21” HH Raw Bell Dry Ride Cymbal. Basically, this is one of their high-end products, as it belongs to the lower bracket of the “expensive” price point category, but it’s highly versatile and very valuable for the cash.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

Sabian 21” HH Raw Bell Dry Ride Cymbal was constructed from premium-quality materials and its design features high-definition sticking and accurate, unlathed cuts for optimum performance and maximum sound clarity.

Needless to say, Sabian 21” HH Raw Bell Dry Ride Cymbal is very durable, its performance is off the charts, but it’s not exactly affordable, at least not by everyone.

Build Quality
94%
Performance
92%
Price to Value Ratio
95%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Excellent performance
  • High versatility
  • Professional-level ride cymbal
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • None

(Best Jazz Ride Cymbal)

A SHORT OVERVIEW:

Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals might not sound all too familiar, at least when compared to Zildjian, Meinl, or Sabian, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t give them a shot. Now, this particular cymbal (the Nostalgia 24” Ride) is a masterpiece, handcrafted in Istanbul, specifically for jazz drummers.

Even though it doesn’t look traditional, it delivers upon the promise of quality without fail.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals Nostalgia 24” Ride is a unique ride cymbal, outfitted with a smooth bell bridge.

Needless to say, it’s ideal for jazz drummers due to its specific texture and width, but it’s also extremely reminiscent to the Turkish rides built in the early 70’s.

All in all, this is one of the best ride cymbal models for the cash.

Build Quality
96%
Performance
98%
Price to Value Ratio
97%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Outstanding performance
  • Ideal for jazz drummers
  • Beautiful and durable
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Low versatility

(Best Ride Cymbal for Funk)

A SHORT OVERVIEW:

Another Sabian ride cymbal in our review, the Sabian 21” HHX Groove Ride cymbal is definitely a cymbal any drummer should at least consider. Namely, this is one of the best Sabian ride cymbals for the cash.

Why is that?

This cymbal delivers a precise, clear tone that can easily be distinguished among various high-quality cymbals.

Furthermore, the HHX tone is something you need in your drummers arsenal if you’re going pro – this cymbal offers superior performance and plenty of versatility specially for funk at an affordable price.

On that matter, Sabian 21” HHX Groove Ride cymbal belongs to the upper bracket of the “medium” price point category.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

Sabian 21” HHX Groove Ride cymbal constructed of durable, high-quality materials, hammered, and cut in the traditional Sabian style.

Its efficacy can be best seen through the marvelous, exquisite design, which is also one of the reasons why most professionals go for Sabian.

Build Quality
90%
Performance
92%
Price to Value Ratio
90%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Specially good for Funk
  • Unique finish and texture
  • HHX Tone projection for precise, accurate sound
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Definitely not for beginners

(Best Ride Cymbal for Rock)

A SHORT OVERVIEW:

Here we have one of the best ride cymbal models from Zildjian’s A Series with 21” in diameter. This ride cymbal features a copper/tin mixture with the traditional, brilliant finish.

Essentially, this Zildjian’s A series Sweet Ride cymbal is a moderately priced cymbal, but it’s more than just beautiful. This ride cymbal is very versatile, which means that it can easily complement any drum setup.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

Zildjian’s A Series Sweet Ride cymbal features a texture made of Copper (80%) and Tin (20%). By knowing this, we can safely deduce that this cymbal has the ability to provide an excellent sound output without sacrificing durability.

What’s more, it features a traditional, brilliant finish, making it one of the most beautiful ride cymbals out there. All in all, Zildjian’s Sweet Ride is worth every single cent.

Build Quality
95%
Performance
91%
Price to Value Ratio
92%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Very durable and beautiful
  • Versatile
  • Copper and Tin composition
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • None

(Best Ride Cymbal for Metal)

A SHORT OVERVIEW:

Simply put, Meinl’s  Custom extreme metal 18” ride cymbal is one of the best ride cymbal models in our review for metal. It features a huge bell and a masterfully hammered texture that offers a perfect combination for Metal drummers.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

This ride cymbal was constructed using the B10 bronze alloy and High-tech computerized technology.

All in all, Meinl’s Custom extreme metal 18” ride cymbal is extremely durable, even though its performance would best fit a metal drum setup.

For more about Meinl CC20EMR-B, check out customer reviews.

Build Quality
93%
Performance
88%
Price to Value Ratio
88%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Ideal for metal drummers
  • High-quality manufacturing
  • B10 Bronze material
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Low versatility

(Best Ride Cymbal for Beginners)

A SHORT OVERVIEW:

Next on our list is Zildjian’s ZBT 22” ride cymbal. This cymbal offers a medium-high tone with precise, clean definition that works like a charm in any drum setup. This is also one of the largest ride cymbals from the Zildjian’s ZBT series.

In summary, Zildjian’s ZBT 22” ride cymbal is an affordable ride cymbal that boasts high values of versatility and performance.

 

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

Zildjian’s ZBT 22” ride cymbal was precisely hammered and constructed from high-quality, durable materials. It’s a sturdy cymbal that offers plenty of versatility, but, in the end, it can’t compare to the latest Zildjian cymbals.

Overall, it holds a high value for the cash, mainly due to its affordability.

Build Quality
90%
Performance
82%
Price to Value Ratio
86%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Medium-high tone
  • “Affordable” price
  • Ideal for Beginners
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Not for more advanced drummers

Things To Consider:

• RIDE CYMBALS ARE DIFFERENT IN QUALITY

 

The reason why most people avoid shopping online is very simple. You can’t get a good look of what you’re buying, and you usually can’t predict the value of a ride cymbal before you try it out. Some ride cymbals are very durable while some are quite flimsy. Don’t worry though, the models we’ve reviewed are built to last, guaranteed.

• THE GAP BETWEEN PRICE POINT CATEGORIES IS HUGE

 

As it’s a standard problem with all buyable things, there are various price point categories of ride cymbals. Starting with the “budget” price range (which is affordable for everyone), over “medium”, to “extremely expensive”. Needless to say, the latter is meant for people who are prepared to spend more on a ride cymbal, including professional drummers and collectors.

• SOME BRANDS ARE SIMPLY BETTER THAN OTHERS

 

Now, this one is pretty self-explanatory. Whenever you see random letters and numbers (people call it a brand, for some reason), you can get a clear picture of what’s going on. Now, Sabian, Meinl, Zildjian, and such – that’s different. These are the names of the prominent leaders in the drumming industry.

Conclusion

Now, average ride cymbals may be fun to play on. Decent ride cymbals may be somewhat more expensive while offering better sound quality, but the best ride cymbals are something else entirely.

Namely, only the best ride cymbals are capable of providing the drummer with the tools needed to set the stage on fire during live shows. Apart from that, these cymbals provide a more natural tone when practicing.

If you’re looking for more than one cymbal be sure to check our buying guide about thebest Cymbal Packs or go through our Hi Hat Buying Guide.

Now, after hours of intensive research, we’ve compiled this list of the best ride cymbals out there. All you have to do is simply kick back, enjoy, and take your pick.

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