Have you ever wanted to rock ‘n’ roll as your favorite drummer and you kept wondering which cymbals can give you optimal rock sound? We will try answering that impossible question! What are the best ride cymbals in rock world?
As always, we will analyze models from each one of the ‘’holy quartet’’ of the cymbal manufacturers:
When we sought out the optimal choice for a rock drummer, we took into account:
- Build quality
- Strong attack
- Price range
- Sound quality
Now, let’s dig in into 7 best ride cymbals for rock music.
Fill out the form, and I will hand-pick the best cymbals for you and drop you an email.
Things to know before buy
Medium to Heavy Weight – larger size and heavier weight allow you to project more so you could really cut through a guitar-heavy mix.
Traditional Finish – choose ride cymbals with a good, fine lathing and very pronounced taper so you can get a really good crash out of it.
More Crashy – when choosing a ride cymbal for rock music, lookout for a more crashy one. A nice combination of a soft clear ping and some nice wash underneath.
Brighter Cymbals – comparing to darker ones, brighter cymbals add best to the style since they cut through mixes easily. For example, Zildjian cymbals sets are a one-stop shop for all your rock drumming needs.
1. Paiste 2002 Power Ride
2. Sabian HH Raw Bell Dry Ride
3. Zildjian A Series Sweet Ride
4. Meinl Byzance Brilliant Medium
Best for hard rock
5. Paiste RUDE Power Ride
Best for studio
6. Zildjian K Custom Dark Ride
7. Meinl Classics Custom Dark
Paiste 2002 Power Ride cymbal
- Strong attack
- Loud and energetic
- Perfect for alternative rock
- Not for heavy metal or hardcore punk
Let’s start with a Paiste all-timer 2002 series. These cymbals trace their origins far back into the creation of rock as we know it.
These cymbals are made out of bronze and have a very distinct strong and energetic sound that is an essential part of every rock drummer kit.
If you are looking for a distinct vintage sound of the early days of rock, chances are you are already familiar with this series. Its strong attack and unrefined sound are what made rock music rock.
However, if you like metal or hardcore, these cymbals probably are not for you. You should then probably consider other cymbals in the article.
Famous drummers that use these cymbals: Joey Jordison, Tommy Aldridge, Mikkey Dee, Marky Ramone, Dave Lombardo.
Sabian HH Raw Bell Dry Ride cymbal
- Accurate and high-quality sound
- Very good build quality
- Suitable for professionals
- Not affordable for an average drummer
One of the most popular models of Sabian cymbals is these beautiful Hand Hammered (or HH). The fact that they are one of their best selling products just confirms how good they are.
This cymbal model has a very vintage sound, not only can you use it for rock and roll, but it can also produce some sweet funky or jazz tones.
Sabian HH Raw Bell Dry is made of B20 alloy and is a little bit heavier than your usual cymbal so it is harder to produce the sound, and that can be a little bit problematic for an energetic style of music such as rock.
But the payoff is worth it – dry, raw sound and its clean ride surface can produce clean responses with an optimal amount of spread.
Drummers that use this model: Phil Collins, Tim Yeung, Martin Axenrot, Brent Fitz.
Zildjian A Series Sweet Ride cymbal
- Great build quality and design
- Has a great crash sound
- Worth every dollar
- Still a bit expensive for an average drummer
Even the name of these cymbals model speaks for itself already. If you have just stepped into the world of drumming, you probably heard of Zildjian A Series Sweet Ride.
The Zildjian cymbals are built to last and this model is no different. Its texture is 80% copper and 20% tin which guarantees excellent sound quality and long-lasting life and its sparkling finish makes it one of the most beautiful cymbals on the market.
One of the main characteristics of not just this series, but the whole Zildjian company is the versatility of their cymbals and this model is not so different.
You can also produce some amazing crashes on it as it is a medium weight model. Rest assured, you will be heard in the band and A Series Sweet Ride cymbal is equipped with a great bell that is capable of producing perfect ping.
Zildjian has an enormous amount of musicians that they endorse; here is just a fraction of them: Charlie Watts, Matt Sorum, Tommy Lee
Meinl Byzance Brilliant Medium Ride cymbal
- Specific to metal and hardcore
- Awesome bell sound
- Strong attack
- Higher price
We have another Meinl model on our list.
Unlike the aforementioned models which offer vintage, classic rock sound, or are very versatile, this one is preferably designed with hard rock and heavy metal musicians in mind.
Like other Meinl models, this one is also built from B20 Bronze alloy with copper and tin finish.
Byzance Brilliant Medium Ride has a characteristic strong attack that will give you much-needed volume when playing over loud and distorted metal guitars and basses.
The biggest life-changer in this model probably is the large bell that has a very specific loud ping that will synchronize perfectly with your double bass setup.
If you are a very big metal enthusiast this is the perfect choice for you.
Artists that use this model are predominately metal drummers like Tom Hunting, Daniel Svensson, Jaska Raatikainen
Paiste RUDE Power Ride cymbal
- One of the loudest cymbals on the market
- Extremely good bell sound
- Perfect for heavier music
- Crash sounds
The point of a good rock ‘n’ roll cymbal is that it is loud, and you can’t get any louder than Paiste RUDE Power Ride.
This series offers a unique sound that you can hardly get on any other model, even any other Paiste cymbal.
One of the loudest models on the market; it will satisfy the needs of both metal and vintage rock drummers.
RUDE offers a very nice bell sound with a satisfying ping that can be heard even though basses.
It has a very raw and energetic, low pitch that cuts through anything.
All of this comes at the expense of a crash sound which is almost non-present due to the weight of the cymbal
Famous drummers that use this model: Eloy Casagrande, Charlie Benante, John Dolmayan (He even uses RUDE 24” Mega Power Ride which is an even heavier mode!l)
Zildjian K Custom Dark Ride cymbal
- High versatility
- Great crash
- Build quality
- Little bit expensive
We have another Zildjian model from the legendary K Custom series. Like all other premium cymbals on the market, it is made of B20 traditional Zildjian alloy that is a well-kept family secret.
The main characteristic of, not just K Custom Dark Ride, but all Zildjian models, in general, is versatility, and this ride cymbal is no different. Not only can it provide extreme clean sound at the rock gigs, but it also can play some sweet jazz or blues tunes on it.
This model also comes with great crash sounds for open gigs, but can also offer some quiet tunes that can fit perfectly in some mellower rock songs.
The list of Zildjian-endorsed artists is huge and some of them that use this model are Roger Taylor, Philip Selway, John Tempesta.
Meinl Classics Custom Dark Ride
- Affordable model
- Excellent for amateur drummers
- Perfect for heavier genres of rock
- Pro drummers may want to consider other models from Meinl
The first thing that you will notice when you see the Meinl Classics Custom Dark Ride is the color and the design of the cymbals that already look very rock and roll.
This unique series is designed specifically for heavier music. Meinl Classics Custom Dark Ride is made of B10 Bronze alloy and has a characteristic finish that provides a very strong attack without much effort.
Characterized by its dark, warm, and complex tone, glassy ping, and strong attack, you won’t have the problem of not being heard in a band or a record. Its medium weight lets you play it as a crash cymbal as well as a ride.
Drummers that prefer Meinl Classics Custom Dark Ride are Tommy Clufetos, Hannes van Dahl, Fredrick Andersson.
Alright guys, time to wrap up. I hope you dig the choices I made here. I tried to be as versatile as I can and find diverse cymbals that can cover wide range of sound.
Write me in the comments below if you think I should include some rock ride in my list.