As a drummer, you know how hard touring, packing, and setting up can be. All those stands, drum pieces, sticks, and all the necessary equipment have to fit somewhere. Balancing sound quality and ergonomics can be very hard. A crash ride cymbal is a great way to minimize the space needed when touring, as well on the stage.
A common misconception is that crash ride cymbals are just a way of saving space while losing significant sound quality. However, you’ll soon find out that there are amazing models out there, capable of doing both.
Below are our recommendations for the 4 best crash ride cymbals on the market:
Zildjian ZBT 20″ Ride Crash Cymbal
The ZBT crash ride by Zildjian is a perfect example of a well- built cymbal. With its carefully carved sound grooves and round hammer strikes, this cymbal manages to deliver the best sound from both the crash and ride worlds.
As the largest cymbal from the ZBT family, coming in at 20”, it will fit perfectly in just about any drum kit setup. The cymbal provides an amazingly bright sound, and with its long sustain, it surely stands out. Sound consistency is guaranteed, as Zildjian uses bronze alloy sheets pressed and lathed together in a way that makes them superior to all other brands.
The ZBT 20” excels as a ride, while, at the same time, providing the sound of a big and harsh crash cymbal. Putting in a couple of rivets gives this model a nice sizzling sustain, further improving the already sharp and clear sound.
Zildjian being one of the leading brands when it comes to cymbals, choosing the ZBT 20” should be a no- brainer. Clear and versatile sound coupled with solid build meant to last you a long time makes this cymbal a clear choice for drummers of any skill level. At a reasonable price, you get amazing value, and a great piece to upgrade your kit with.
Zildjian L80 Low Volume 18″ Crash Ride Cymbal
- Zildjian L80 Low Volume 18" Crash Ride Cymbal
- Price: $129.95
- Price as of 08/13/2020 09:14 PDT(more info)
Yet another great product from Zildjian, but this time with a twist. The Low Volume 18” cymbal is designed, as the name might suggest, for home practice. As it’s 70- 80% quieter than most standard cymbals, this is a great solution for drummers that don’t have the adequate practice space but still really want to play.
Forget about neoprene pads, mutes, and other dampening devices. This cymbal offers great sound and durability without the unpleasant muting effect of the mentioned devices.
As expected from Zildjian, the alloys and materials used for this models are, of course, high quality, so don’t expect to crack this puppy soon, no matter how brutal your playing style might be!
Although this cymbal may not be a perfect solution for playing alongside a band, or on a stage, the purpose of having a cymbal that combines the sound of a crash and ride is simple. By getting this one, you will not just solve the problem of not having enough space, but your parents and neighbors won’t bother you anymore when you decide to play your kit in the middle of the night!
18″ Paiste Rude Series Crash Ride Cymbal
Yet another great model coming from Paiste, the Rude Series Crash Ride Cymbal is a real beast.
Nothing screams quality better than a list of professionals using this product. From Nicko McBrain, Dave Lombardo and Charlie Benante, to Joey Jordison, the list of well-known drummers using cymbals from the Rude series continues. As you’ve probably guessed, this series is primarily oriented on extreme/ heavy metal drummers.
As an extra heavy cymbal, the Rude Crash/ Ride is famous for its very loud volume. Something that is very important when playing alongside growling and shredding guitars and guttural vocals. The stick sound is strong and balanced, and the long sustain is perfect for accenting those bell hits.
A very bright, energetic and raw sound is what this cymbal is all about. If an explosive yet versatile crash and bright and responsive ride are what you’re looking for, look no further. This one of the best crash ride cymbals for the money.
Meinl Byzance Extra Dry 20- Inch Dual Crash/Ride Cymbal
- Meinl Cymbals Byzance 20" Dual Crash-Ride — MADE IN TURKEY — Hand Hammered B20 Bronze, 2-YEAR WARRANTY, B20DUCR, inch
- Price: $399.99
- Price as of 08/13/2020 09:14 PDT(more info)
If you’re all about premium, high-quality cymbals, we have a special treat for you. The Meinl Byzance Extra Dry 20- Inch Dual Crash/Ride is a true gem when it comes to top quality drum equipment.
Made from B20 bronze alloy, hand-hammered in Turkey, it doesn’t get much better than this (see full specs). Featuring an impressive contrast of dry and glossy finish, the hammer marks not only make this cymbal sound amazing, but also give it a unique and beautiful look.
The outer hammered surfaces are lathed, in order to provide a smooth shimmer as well as the extra dry sound Meinl is famous for. The overall presence of this model can be described as dark yet warm, providing high levels of versatility that accommodate every drummer’s needs.
Clearly separated playing zones dedicated to riding and crashing contribute to greater comfort and sound clarity while still taking up as little space as possible when mounted in a kit.
Conclusion – What Makes the Best Crash Ride Cymbal?
As you’ve seen so far, different brands offer diverse solutions when it comes to crash/ride cymbals.
Finding the perfect one for you isn’t as hard as it may seem. Besides the overall sound that you wish to acquire, size is also important. Now only does size impact the sound, but it is also a crucial factor when it comes to combining your new cymbal with the rest of your kit. Fitting in new components can sometimes be a bit tricky if you don’t have a ramp and have to deal with individual tripod stands.
Another thing to keep in mind is, that with cymbals, the price can determine a lot when it comes to quality. Although there are brands that offer great cymbals for more than reasonable price, a good and long lasting one can be quite expensive. Meinl crash rides (see a bunch here) showed a great example of a pricey cymbal delivering premium quality and ergonomics, but at a noticeably higher price.
In the end, before buying a cymbal, take some time to listen to recorded samples of each model. Getting the basic idea of the sound each provides is crucial for getting the best crash ride cymbal for your needs.
Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel. Email him