11 Best Cheap Cymbals – 2023 Update

What are cheap cymbals made of?

Those cymbals are usually made from different metals.

It is common that cymbals made with B8 bronze, also known as Brass, contain 92% copper, and 8% tin, which is cheaper.


Just so you know, in the beginning, these cheap cymbals are NOT long-lasting and DO NOT provide God’s know how much good of a sound!

So if you want to record your music in the studio using cheap cymbals, they WILL not sound good… It’s easy

Cheap cymbals sound cheap.

Cheap cymbals will likely tear soon. Nothing can be more irritating to a drummer than torn cymbals, right?

BUT, you will NOT face this issue if you have saved for some expensive set!

The expensive cymbals are stronger and will last way longer than the cheap ones.

How much expensive? Let’s say around $700 for a good set of cymbals that will sound professional in your studio but as well as playing your gigs!

Let’s check

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Cheap Cymbals: Stamped from metal sheets where the ‘grain’ runs in one direction. Non-articulated, brass, bull, tinny, short durability.

Expensive Cymbals: Grain run in all directions, providing a more complex sound and better durability. Articulate, musical, dynamic, complex.


Cheap Cymbals: B8 bronze (92% copper, 8% tin)

Expensive Cymbals: B20 bronze (80 percent copper, 20 percent tin)


Cheap Cymbals: $250-$600

Expensive Cymbals: $700 and higher

Best cheap cymbals for beginners

Budget pick

Zildjian ZBT



It’s well known that Zildjian is one of the most famous cymbal manufacturers in the drumming world.

The cheapest base pack of Zildjian Cymbals available is the Zildjian ZBT Starter Box, which provides the best value at its reasonable price range.

These cymbals are made of B8 bronze, a mixture of 92% copper and 8% percent tin.

That’s a good thing. Why?

Because bronze has better sound characteristics than brass, brass is used in the stock cymbals that are mostly made for beginner drum sets.

Top-notch quality!

Learn and explore all styles from pop and rock to jazz and more.

A bright, high-pitched sound that cuts through easily in all playing situations – WHAT A PERFECT COMBINATION!

This Zildjian cymbal pack is totally affordable because B8 bronze is generally cheaper than B20, which contains 80% copper and 20% tin.

Plus, Zildjian cymbals carry a 2-year warranty against manufacturing flaws!

The best thing is that it doesn’t even mean that the ZBTs sound bad!

They sound brighter and more focused because they (B8) have higher frequencies than B20 cymbals.

TIP ALERT: As you develop as a drummer and you want to change your cymbals, you might choose to stick with the Zildjian brand and just upgrade to their higher quality products!

This cymbal package is exactly what you need for a beginner on a budget!

Best Overall

Sabian B8X



With its natural finish sonically matched tight and bright sounds that deliver, this is a top-notch offer!

Aggressive and cutting, yet the warm and complex sound is an ideal introduction to Bronze and the total successor of the Sabian B8 series!

Plus, you are protected by SABIAN Two-Year Warranty, which is enough time for you to become better and hone your skills.

They are NOT too thin and quiet, neither too thick and loud with too much sustain, aka the GREAT MATCH!

 Many people will agree that they sound a lot better than the original B8 series, and on top of that, they also look great!

Most versatile

Sabian SBR



Hi-hats deliver tight, clean sounds and loud fullness, a crash produces loud, powerful accents and a ride yields a strong, clean stick definition.

Sabian SBR Cymbal Set instantly puts the sonic power of brass, giving your drum kit extreme clarity and punch.

SBR cymbals are made to work together, balancing your kit with a crisp, authoritative sheen.

Best of All, this cymbal set is budget-friendly,

a great sound for a great price!

Most Expressive Sound

Zildjian I



The “I” in “I Family” comes from Ilham, the Turkish word for inspiration. The I Family is a collection of:

expressive sounds designed to bring your playing to the next level!

Compared to the old ZBT series, I Family features modern weights, profiles, and fresh FX sounds.

Small-bore hammering and fully lathed playing surfaces lend these beautiful cymbals a mature, glassy response that can really stand out in a crowd

A medium-sheen, traditional finish gives the I Series a look that is

not just modern but will fit perfectly with the rest of your Zildjians collection!

Clear, brilliant sound

Zildjian Planet Z



American-made from an exclusive Zildjian alloy carry on the tradition of innovative metallurgy that exists within all levels of Zildjian cymbals!

It’s a proprietary blend that gives cymbals focus, brilliance, and musicality.

This entry-level set in the world of Zildjian is not just good cymbals “for the money,”

BUT a solid option for players in any price category!

No matter what style of music you enjoy, Planet Zs are an easy and affordable way to complete your setup.

If you’re looking for an exceptional setup with great value, be sure to give Zildjian Planet Z cymbals a chance!

Additional effects

Meinl Variety Package



HCS bronze cymbals are perfectly designed for beginners just starting their drumming career!

Meinl HCS Cymbals are designed for new players learning their way around the drums.

They are made of:

B8 bronze alloy, which is fully lathed, delivers a refined, bright, and clear response and a balanced sustain.

This budget-friendly package has a full range of sounds!

Durability, modern sound, great feel, and the right set of shiny bronze cymbals…

YOU can have it all AND at a great value!

Best Starter set

Meinl HCS



Meinl HCS cymbals are designed for beginners and students musicians using a durable brass alloy that maintains its tone while holding up to the brunt of drum sticks.

The cymbals offer beginners all cymbal types and size normally found in professional setups. Ideal for any style of music!

Don’t expect the best sound quality since these cymbals are made of Brass, the cheapest material for cymbal making.

They are not “in your face” too much, covering the low quality of sound they offer. As a beginner drummer, don’t worry about the sound, but rather focus on technique and use these cymbals as a starting point.


For those fanatics and drummer lovers with deeper pockets, we have singled out the best of best Cymbals Sets!

Old school sound

Paiste PST 7



Crashes and rides come in three weights – light, medium, and heavy

The brilliant and clear sound with warm and strong effects and powerful projection!

Using the CuSn8 Bronze (aka 2002 Bronze), these cymbals work great in a wide variety of musical settings to keep your kit’s sound as versatile as you need it to be.

The PST 7s are lathed top and bottom, including the bells, with slightly unevenly spaced, machined grooves.

Providing you with a fairly bright yet mellow-sounding set of hi-hats, a sparkling, soft-feeling ride, and a sizzling, responsive crash!

  • Paiste’s PST 7 light hi-hats are fairly bright and warm, with a medium-wide range.

It is versatile enough for softer acoustic musical styles!

  • Paiste’s PST 7 crash cymbal is bright and airy with plenty of sizzle a medium-wide range.

Use this light crash for accents in low to moderate musical styles!

  • Paiste’s PST 7 light ride cymbal is bright, gentle, airy, and sparkling with a fairly narrow range.

The defined ping and clean wash and clear, strong bell sound make this a versatile enough ride to use for a variety of musical styles!

This versatile set of PST 7 cymbals yields enough power for any live performance, and its traditional tone is suitable for a vast range of musical styles.

Their main characteristic is sparkling clarity and smooth, clean tones!

The PST7 series gives you the sound and quality you are used to from Paiste cymbals at an AFFORDABLE PRICE.

Modern sound

Paiste PST 8



The Paiste PST8 Rock cymbal set rocks hard, bursting with energy, warmth, and definition!

Representing you the bright and powerful set of hi-hats, a brilliant, assertive Rock ride, and an explosive, massive-sounding Rock crash.

Both crashes are very clean and bright. Hi-hats are bright and have a great “chick” sound, and the Ride has a crisp sound with a sharp bell.

A Set of PST 8 cymbals yields enough power for any live performance,

AND its brawny tone is suitable for rock, hard rock, and other loud music styles!

  • The Rock models are heavier, have larger bells, a slightly flatter profile, and have been on the end of a few more hammer blows.

The PST 8 Rock Set is immaculately presented, and under stage lights, they shine out like a set of stand-mounted mirrors.

Excellent quality of the cymbals! The sound is amazing and unique!

As we all know, the Paiste family is remarkable for making great cymbals!

Value for money pick

Zildjian S



Step up to real Zildjian bronze with the balanced and budget-friendly Zildjian S series!

Zildjian has crafted the perfect pack of cymbals in the S Family Performer Cymbal Pack, giving you EVERYTHING you need to enhance your sound.

It’s all ready for you in one pack!

This full set of cymbals is a good option for drummers ready to upgrade their budget cymbals in a hurry!

Crafted from Zildjian’s B12 alloy, S Family features the kind of musicality and versatility not normally found in a line of non-cast cymbals.

B12 bronze provides:

– Full body and a balanced tone

– Featuring lathed tops and bottoms for openness

– And extensive machine hammering for even dynamics!

Each cymbal features extensive hammering and lathing for the most musical and dynamic non-cast cymbal you have ever heard.

These are heavy cymbals that stand up to hard hit, recommended to drummers who play a wide range of styles from rock to pop and country!

This explosive pack from the Zildjian provides a balanced frequency response and is available in a wide selection of models!

A huge assortment of cymbal sizes, weights, and FX options allow you to curate a sound that fits you the best!

Best Intermediate

Sabian XSR



Sabian XSR delivers unprecedented sound and performance at a smart price!

The set includes the highly responsive Hi-Hats, a versatile and effective Crash, and a tasty XSR Ride.

This is not a budget series,

BUT rather a line of smartly-priced cymbals that would not be out of place on any drum kit, designed to fit your cymbal budget!

Crafted from pure SABIAN B20 Bronze using trickle-down technology from our popular Evolution and X-Plosion cymbals.

Hammered and featuring enhanced profiles…

XSR cymbals sport re-shaped bells for superior sonic acceleration!

Combining the response of a thin model with the increased power of a medium-weight ideal for any drummer playing any musical style!

These XSRs are professional B20 cast bronze


While these are NOT hammered as much as the AAX/HHX or other Sabian top tier cymbals,

they still provide the very distinct notes of the highly prized cast B20 metal

You will also receive a – Quality protected by SABIAN two-year warranty!

How can I make cheap cymbals sound better?

The proper playing technique is usually the BEST way to improve the sound of your cymbals! Other factors also affect the sound of your cymbals like:

  • Cymbal condition,
  • Hardware maintenance and modifications like various muffling techniques
  • Extreme methods like drilling holes and riveting


There are a few tricks that you can try for your cheap cymbals to sound BETTER!

Put a small chain on it to give it a sizzling sound. If it’s TOO tinny…

TRY a small piece of duct tape underneath near the bell. A small piece might give it a more solid sound.

These are situations when you need to alter the sound of your cymbals

Here are some MORE TIPS that are known to work:

  • Metal keys or a coin that was taped on.
  • A ching ring
  • A nut–bracelet
  • Small bells tied to a rope
  • Tape
  • A kitchen cloth



There are a lot of varieties to choose from…

Each individual cymbal, presented here, will bring something different to the fore, providing contrasting sounds for the great variety!

Let’s check overall winners:

Best for beginners Sabian XSR

As we mentioned in the beginning, you can’t make a wrong call with Sabian.

Besides being a budget-friendly pack, it is a great set of cymbals for beginners from a trustworthy brand!

BUT if you have saved more money, and you want to start with a little bit better Pack, or maybe upgrade your Cymbal Set, we choose:

Best intermeddiate Zildjian S Family

Improving on the old ZHT series, the B12 bronze alloy S Family has a range of weights offering a compelling range of sounds.

A great-looking, extensive set of cymbals to cover near-all styles and tastes!

Dear drummer fellas, we hope we helped you,

Choose your Cymbals wisely and drum that hard!

Denis Loncaric

Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

Drum That