Best Sabian Cymbals

Ultimate Buying Guide

Introduction:

Two names come to mind when you think of successful long-standing cymbal companies. Sabian is one of them.

They’ve been at the top of the cymbal game for decades, providing so many quality products and having highly successful drummers endorse them. Sabian has some powerful products and we’ve put together a list of the best for you to go through. 

What Makes a Great Sabian Cymbal?


This isn’t specific to just Sabian cymbals, but a great cymbal should fit the style of music you’re playing. It should sound musical as well as have certain qualities that you’re looking for. If you’re playing rock music, your cymbals should be bright and piercing.

If you’re playing jazz music, your cymbals should be complex and dark.

Table of Contents

The 6 Best Sabian Cymbals

Best Sabian Cymbal Pack

These cymbals provide a modern dark sound that works really well across different musical styles. They’re made from bronze and deliver a fair bit of clarity and punch. 

Included with this cymbal pack is a pair of 14” hi-hats, a 16” crash, an 18” O-Zone effects crash, and a 20” ride. 

The hi-hats are nice and crisp, cutting through all the instruments on a stage. They provide a solid sound foundation to play grooves from. The crash cymbals are explosive with the 18” effects cymbal producing the perfect amount of decay to play quick accents. 

The ride cymbal has a big bell sound, making it great to play heavy choruses with. The bell cuts easily and the bow has a bright ping. 

Overall, these are some of the best sounding cymbals on the market. It can get a bit pricey to buy cymbal packs, but this one is well worth it.

For more about the Sabian HHX Set, check out customer reviews.

Build Quality
98%
Performance
97%
Price to Value Ratio
88%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Modern dark sound
  • Lots of clarity and punch
  • One-stop-shop for some great cymbals
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Cymbal packs are expensive

Best Sabian Ride Cymbal

This ride cymbal has some seriously complex tonal qualities. The 24” size allows it to have different sounds depending on where and how hard you hit it. This makes it a versatile ride cymbal. 

It has a good blend of darkness, washiness, and dryness. It growls when you crash on it and has a smooth decay once hit. The dry wash has just enough attack to stand out when playing with other loud musicians. 

It has good stick articulation and feels bouncy to ride on. It’s smooth and is easy to play fast rhythms on even with its large size. The bell sounds fantastic, providing a dark and complex ping. 

24” rides aren’t for everybody. Some drummers may find it too big to fit comfortably into their setup. However, this truly is one of the best sounding ride cymbals around. 

For more about the Sabian Ride, check out customer reviews.

Build Quality
96%
Performance
98%
Price to Value Ratio
86%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Complex tonal qualities
  • Versatile
  • Good blend of darkness, washiness, and dryness
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • 24” may be too big for some drummers

Best Sabian Hi Hat Cymbals

The Sabian 14” HHX Evolution Hi-Hats have a dark, yet modern tone that lends well to paying modern contemporary music. These hi-hats are fast and have exceptional cut, meaning they’ll be heard extremely clearly when playing grooves. 

 

They feel really good to play. You don’t have to play hard to get a good tone, meaning they’re highly responsive to dynamics. The top hat is medium-sized while the bottom hat is heavy. This creates a glassy attack and a pretty explosive wash. 

These hi-hats sit well in any situation, making them versatile. Whether you’re playing modern jazz or hard rock, the Sabian HHX Evolution hats will do the job. They’re a favorite of famous drummers such as Dave Weckl.

For more about the Sabian Hi Hats, check out customer reviews.

Build Quality
96%
Performance
98%
Price to Value Ratio
86%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Complex tonal qualities
  • Versatile
  • Good blend of darkness, washiness, and dryness
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • 24” may be too big for some drummers

Best Sabian Cymbals for Rock

The Sabian AAX cymbals are made from B20 bronze and deliver dark tones with a wide sonic range from left to right. Included in this cymbal set is a pair of 14” hi-hats, 16” and 18” crashes, and a 21” ride cymbal

The 14” hi-hats pack in plenty of projection as well as speed. The sound is clean and cutting and the stick articulation is fairly smooth. 

The 16” and 18” crashes are bright and booming, providing an effective loud sound. The crashes can be sharp as well as have smooth dynamic swells. 

The 21” ride cymbal is the most versatile cymbal in the set. It has a smooth wash and a cutting ping. The bell sound is also pretty good. 

These cymbals respond really well to hard hitting, making them great for rock music. The high energy you put into playing them will come right back at you. The set is fairly inexpensive, giving you easy access to some high-quality cymbals! 

For more about the Sabian AAX Pack, check out customer reviews.

Build Quality
93%
Performance
95%
Price to Value Ratio
86%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Lots of projection
  • Versatile ride cymbal
  • Respond well to hard hitting
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • The 16” and 18” are fairly similar

Best Sabian Crash Cymbal

The Sabian 19” HHX crash is a low-to-mid pitched cymbal perfect for many musical applications. The 19” size gives it a big sound that fills a room and is great for either accent or crash riding. 

It’s made from B20 bronze that is durable and will keep it lasting a long time. This means that you can play fairly hard and it will still have a pretty long lifespan. The dark tone of the cymbal makes it blend within a mix. This makes it great for worship, jazz, and indie music. However, it will fit right in with a rock setting as well. It packs plenty of projection. 

Overall, it’s a fantastic cymbal with many purposes. Some drummers may not like the dark tone, but most do.

For more about the Sabian HHX Crash, check out customer reviews.

Build Quality
98%
Performance
97%
Price to Value Ratio
92%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Big sound that fills a room
  • Durable
  • Versatile
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Some drummers may not like the dark tone

Best Sabian China Cymbal

The Sabian AA Holy Chinas are arguably some of the most popular china cymbals on the market. They’re used by so many drummers, especially in rock and metal bands. This 17” Holy China is made from B20 bronze and has all the trashy tone of the original Holy China. However, it has less volume. 

It has a great high-pitched china sound. It has a sharp attack with a quick decay, making it a useful tool for expressing quick accents in songs. The trashy tone is also great for playing breakdowns. 

If you love the sound of the original Sabian Holy China but found it too loud, the 17” option is perfect for you.

For more about the Sabian Holy China, check out customer reviews.

Build Quality
96%
Performance
94%
Price to Value Ratio
94%
PROS: THINGS WE LIKED
  • Affordable
  • Softer than the original Sabian Holy China
  • Sharp attack and quick decay
CONS: THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • May sound too trashy for some drummers

Things To Consider:

What are the best Sabian cymbals?

Sabian’s top cymbal lines would be the Artisan and HHX Series. These lines of cymbals are their most expensive and provide the best sounds and qualities across all the models. 

What is the best brand of cymbals?

There isn’t one top brand of cymbals. However, the four main players on the market are Sabian, Meinl, Zildjian, and Paiste. These four brands are widely popular and have great cymbals of all shapes and sizes. 

There are a few other smaller brands that make great products as well. These are Istanbul, Anatolian, TRX, Heartbeat, and Soultone.

Are Sabian AAX cymbals good?

Sabian’s AAX cymbals cater to intermediate and advanced players. They sit somewhere in the middle when it comes to the quality of Sabian cymbals. They’re more affordable than the Artisan and HHX Series, making them more accessible. They sound fantastic, especially for rock music.

Which is better Zildjian or Sabian?

These two companies have been in direct competition for decades. Each company has its strengths and one isn’t better than the other. It depends on your personal preference as a drummer. Many drummers even mix and match Sabian and Zildjian cymbals

Conclusion


Cymbal choice is hugely important for drummers. Your cymbals will establish your overall drum setup sound. You need to decide what type of cymbal you like, whether that be dark, dry, or bright.

Get cymbals that will fit the bands you play with and get cymbals with a sound that you’ll love. 

Once you have a cymbal set, put them with your drums and start practicing, gigging, and recording.

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