Sabian vs Zildjian – What Cymbals are Better

sabian vs zildjian

It would be tough to answer the eternal question; Is Sabian or Zildjian better?

Why? It is simple, every cymbal has its own tone that comes with a certain price tag. So, if we compare Zildjian K crash with a Zildjian Planet Z crash that is pretty straight forward and we can do that. But in order to compare cymbals from two different companies, we need to take similar series like A custom and AAX for instance.

Although this is a hard task I decided to try so here are some features I was able to compare.

Sabian VS Zildjian

Comparing prices

In order to compare pricing of Sabian vs ZIldjian, I decided to take something that exists in each and every series. That is 16″ crash cymbal. Let’s see the results I got.

In this graph, we used sweetwater.com as a reference. Prices are in dollars.

I was able to compare the highest, the lowest level series, and series that have a similar sound. It looks like Zildjian comes with a higher price but if you prefer Sabian I wouldn’t flip sides over 10-20 bucks.

Zildjian and Sabian are top of the line cymbal manufacturers so don’t expect to go cheap. There are many cymbal companies nowadays and you hear a lot of drummers talking about how some of them are great.

I did tried over 10 different brands and they are not as good as Zildjian and Sabian. No one likes the high price but I guess it is justified. 

In this Zildjian vs Sabian price compare Zildjian wins by a little.

Comparing materials

Zildjian

K FAMILY
Zildjian Secret Family Alloy
A FAMILY
Zildjian Secret Family Alloy
S FAMILY
B12 Bronze
I FAMILY
B8 Bronze
PLANET Z
Brass

Sabian

ARTISAN
B20 Bronze
HHX
B20 Bronze
HH
B20 Bronze
CRESCENT
B20 Bronze
PARAGON
B20 Bronze
AAX
B20 Bronze
AA
B20 Bronze
XSR
B20 Bronze
SR2
B20 Bronze
B8X
B8 Bronze
SBR
Brass

The structure is kinda similar, the top series are made out of B20 Bronze while the lowest series are made out of brass. Zildjian uses “secret family alloy” to make the best cymbals. It’s a combination of copper, tin, and silver but the public doesn’t know the actual formula.

If you search for high-quality cymbals go for the series made out of Secret Alloy for Zildjian or B20 Bronze for Sabian.

The graph may fool you that Sabian has more series but it doesn’t. Zildjian classified them differently. For instance, the K family has 4 series within but all are made out of the same materials.

Comparing sound

It is useless comparing the sound because it really depends on what do you compare. What if I compare the highest cymbals series from Zildjian vs Sabian lowest.

You get the point right?

I made a comparison of Sabian cymbals.

I can tell you some impressions from my personal experience due to the fact that I play only Sabian and Zildjian.

The reason is not just the sound but the flexibility. These cymbals last more and do not crack that often as Meinl or Paiste. I think alloys they use or the process of making the cymbals is different.

I cracked so many Meinl and Paiste cymbals but still not crack Sabian nor Zildjian. Maybe I just learned to hit properly and relaxed or maybe these cymbals are really more flexible than others.

Both are very similar when it comes to tone. If you would compare them with Paiste you would notice that they have a more modern and versatile tone.

On the other hand, if you compare them to Meinl they have much brighter tone since Meinl focused on a dry and dark tone

Both companies have great sounding cymbals and it is just a matter of your personal preference.

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