Best Cymbal Variety Packs in 2020



Sabian Cymbal Variety Package, inch (15007XBS) Review:


This is a really nice set of professional cymbals. I had originally ordered the "HHX Super Cymbal Pack" (with the non-brilliant finish and the HHX Studio crashes), but due to an error with the warehouse I received this "HHX Super Cymbal Set". I ended up just keeping this set and not cross-shipping it back to the warehouse (GO-DPS).

The Stage hats are very nice, they have a nice defined chick when closed and the stick definition is just on the "crisp" side. If you are used to playing washy hats like I am, then you might not like these. I plan to play these for a few months and see how they break in. I hope they settle in and turn a *tiny* bit washier as they age. If then, they will be perfect.

The HHX-Plosion crashes are phenomenal! With a name like "HHX-Plosion", I was afraid that they would be useless for anything but metal, but I absolutely love the way sound. They have a nice quick attack, a short "note", then a long but controlled decay. Usually "metal" cymbals sound gong-y to me if they aren't hit hard enough to speak properly. The 16" and 18" crashes complement each other very well. The 14" has a slightly trashier sound than the other 2 but it fits in nicely. The 10" splash is the best splash I have played, and all that I can say is that it sounds like every splash should.

The Stage ride is really the only oddball of this cymbal pack. It has a clear stick definition and the balance of stick to wash is just right, but it is *much* louder than I would like. I haven't played it with the full band in rehearsal, but during a practice session with my rhythm guitarist I felt that it would suddenly "stick out" when I would switch to the ride cymbal, rather than fitting into the mix. Again, I'll play it a few months and see how it settles in, but I'm already looking at the HHX Groove ride as a replacement.



Zildjian L80 Low Volume Quiet Cymbal Pack with Remo Silentstroke Drumheads Review:


I recently bought a 5 piece, $200 drum set for rehearsals.
Granted, the kit was cheap and not very good sounding.
However, for installing this quiet pack for practice, it worked really well!
For under $600 I had purchased myself a drum kit, that I could practice with without the neighbors hearing it; and that felt like a real drum kit (not an electronic one).

The pros:
The quiet pack is a cheap way to make your drums quiet, without losing the real feel of the drums.
It's cheaper than buying the perforated cymbals and mesh heads separate.
It consists of most commonly used sizes, and additional cymbals or heads can be purchased separately to add to this set.
I think it will be very popular on Amazon, for people who need a way to practice drums without waking the neighbors.

The toms somewhat change tone, due to the mesh being tuned differently than regular (full plastic) head skins.
The cymbals work really well, are pretty quiet.
The package consists of the most common cymbals.
The ride cymbal is clear and bright, as is the hi-hat.
The bottom springs on the snare can be heard perfectly well (volume wise) compared to the rest of the kit!

Overall, this kit would (volume wise) complement an acoustic guitar and one or two people singing not very loud and unamplified.

Cons:
If I could improve this pack, I would do the following:
Give the crash cymbal a wider solid metal border, or wider perforating setting.
The crash cymbal is the quietest of the three by at least 6 to 9 dB, if not 12 or 24dB, and giving it more substance will help it level the volume with the rest of the kit.

The toms, the mid and especially the low tom, are much too low in volume!

I purchased a black dot stickers to paste on the mesh to give it more volume.
You can also use regular tape, but I bought the dots, for cool factor.
Taping off some of the mesh head (like 2x4in) increases volume somewhat, compared to running it stock, without tape.

The bass kick mesh is way too quiet, and very similar to using your kick pedal directly on a pillow.
It is for this that I bought a set of 5 black dot stickers; which can be purchased here:
 Cannon UP7D 7-Inch Dots
I pasted 3 on the bass kick, in the shape of Mickey Mouse (the center dot is where the kick pedal hits, in the center of the skin; and the 2 other dots where Mickey's ears are).
This is slightly too loud, and I would recommend 2 black dots on the bass kick instead (I just like the mickey design, so I do with a little louder).
The other 2 dots were pasted, one for the large tom in the center, where it amplifies the sound best.
The other for the mid tom, on the top, where I hit it least. It's off center, just to keep the right volume with the other toms.
The smaller the mesh diameter, the louder they sound, thus the larger, the more sticker area to keep up with the volume.

The use of any plastic stickers or tape on the cymbals only results in a negative experience (muffled cymbals).
I suppose I could increase the noise by installing small rings (like of a chain) in the perforated sections of the cymbals, to improve sound, but haven't done that yet.

The cymbals look like they are sanded down, gold colored steel dishes. Not shiny copper, like you'd be used to on cymbals.

Lastly, the tone of this kit is not the best.
If you are expecting it to sound good on a million dollars drum set, they won't.
They generally don't sound good at all, but for practice they will just do fine!

Any questions, feel free to ask!



Meinl Cymbal Set Box Pack with 14” Hihats, 20” Ride, 16” Crash, Plus a FREE 10” Splash – HCS Traditional Finish Brass – Made In Germany, 2-YEAR WARRANTY (HCS141620+10) Review:


The problem with Meinl cymbals all the way up the line is they seem sort of constrained as if they can’t really flex and express themselves. Once you hear this it will be unmistakable, listen on YouTube even to their own demos. This set otherwise does a decent job of each of these sizes but the sound is closed down and unsatisfying.

In this price bracket Planet Z was the clear winner although the hats and rides are thin and jazz-oriented and the China was terrible. Sabian has nice rides but everything else was poor. If you do harder rock you will want Zildjian S at least or find used values. Paiste isn’t great on the low end either. I returned all the Meinls other than the 16” trash (though the Sabian O-zone might be better still).



Zildjian L80 Low Volume 13/14/18 Cymbal Set Review:


I've been playing drum kits & using really good cymbals for 40 years. And I like these L80s... a lot. Read on.

I moved and now have to practice in my basement. Adding tons of soundproofing is out of the question. These cymbals were perfect for my needs. They are "real" cymbals that really sound like cymbals so you aren't wailing away on a rubber practice pad stuck over your favorite ride. The perforations are curious and take a bit of getting used to, but that's not bad, and you need them to get rid of mass. Less mass = less volume.

If you are considering this cymbal pack, do yourself a favor and get the 20" ride, too. The 18" is a bit hokey as a ride, but great as a crash. The 20", however, feels and sounds like a real ride.

The bells on these cymbals won't sound like those on good B20 bronze models, but if you accept them for what they are, they still isn't bad. I also bought the 10" splash. It is a bit thick & isn't as bright sounding as a "real" hand-hammered 10" splash, but it still isn't a bad cymbal at all.

So....would I play these in public in a small venue where I really need to keep the volume down? Absolutely.

I'm mostly a Sabian guy and bought these for practice. I really was impressed by the quality and sound. And... I just noticed Sabian and Dream have released "copy cat" products. What does that tell you? If you need to keep your volume down but want the experience of playing real bronze, I'd highly recommend the L80 product line.



Wuhan WUTBSU Western Style Cymbal Set with Cymbal Bag Review:


I decided to roll the dice on these as I needed a spare pair of cymbals to leave behind when one of my drums sets is left at a venue. Out of the box, I was a little disappointed in these. They look nice, but I wasn't thrilled with the sound. The Ride had a bit too much wash and the hi-hats sounded a shade tinny. The 16" crash seemed pretty decent. All in all i figured they'd be a serviceable spare set for home, but I wasn't blown away by them. For reference, these are intended to play second-fiddle to a 20" K Custom Dry Ride, a 16" K Custom Dark Crash, and 14" New beats. I was not expecting them to be the same quality.

Fast forward to the end of the weekend I got them, and I was heading to a practice with my Blues Trio. I decided to bring these along instead of the good stuff in hopes that they'll mellow if I use them a bunch. Got these all set up, and once the bass started playing and I started jamming along, these things *really* started to shine. All 3 of these voices have some suspect overtones when played alone in a room, but in the mix with a band I was blown away at how fun they were to play.

Hi-Hats - nice sizzle when slightly open, good stick articulation while closed (I play hi-hat rolls a lot, and these handled just fine

Ride - With some strategically placed tape on the underside to kill a bit of the wash, the ride sounded great. the bell could use a bit more definition

Crash - OMFG. This crash is going to find its way into my main cymbal setup. beautifully trashy, lower pitch, complex. quick decay. when you roll with mallets, this cymbal has a gong-ish swell that would be worth it at 5x the price. If you have this crash and haven't rolled it with mallets yet, you're missing out.

In summary- buy these if you need a spare pair or if you just want an inexpensive cymbal set. give them a shot when you play with your band, i bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.



Meinl Cymbal Set Box Pack with 13" Hihats, 14" Crash, Plus Free 10" Splash, Sticks, Lessons – HCS Traditional Brass – Made in Germany, 2-YEAR WARRANTY MultiColor HCS1314-10S Review:


I bought a really beat up kit so my friend and I could start learning drums. After a while we got tired of the worn out hi-hats sounding like garbage cans clashing together so I tried looking online for affordable options. I ended up coming across this set that had a lot more than what I was looking for but for a price I really didn't wanna pass up considering that it wasn't just the hi-hats that were beat up. I got this as a temporary solution until we could afford "better" equipment. When we set these up and started playing with them the quality in sound was huge. Of course considering that the old cymbals were beat up there'd be a difference for sure but i didn't expect the quality for these to be so crisp and nice. For a beginner it feels like a lot of variety to work with when using and setting these up to our preference. No regrets in this purchase and i can't recommend it enough for beginners who are trying to piece things together on their own.



Meinl Cymbals HCS-FX HCS Cymbal Box Set Effects Pack with 10" Splash, 12" China, Plus a FREE Cymbal Stacker (VIDEO) Review:


I bought without trying them out, so I had expectations based on other brand cymbals.

The splash is way, way thicker material than expected, giving it a very garbage-can sounding solid ringing ching instead of the light, fast tshhh I expected. If I were to categorize this, i would say it is a miniature ride cymbal. After a couple days of trying to get used to this, I took it off and am now using as part of a stack on cheaper hi hats and gels + chains to alter the sound.

The china sounds as expected, with a definite shwaaah, but again made thicker than expected so the tone is much deeper than the size suggest.



Meinl Cymbal Set Box Pack with 14” Hihats, 18” Crash/Ride, Plus a FREE 14” Crash – HCS Traditional Finish Brass – Made In Germany, TWO-YEAR WARRANTY (HCS1418+14C) Review:


Very well made. These cymbals have a nice tone to them. They're certainly not the top of the line, as cymbals go, but they're far from entry level.

These are certainly intermediate, to entry pro grade.

The crash cymbals are much thicker than the crummy bits of pressed bronze that came with my drum kit.

The 18" crash can also be used as a ride. For that matter, the 14" crash doesn't make a bad ride either. The bell section of these crashes has a nice ring to them. There's a definite difference in tone between body (arch), and edge of the cymbals.

The hi-hats are nicely made too. However, I did notice that this set is comprised of equally weighted upper, and lower hi-hats.

About the only problem I noticed was the plastic shipping bolt that was supposed to keep all cymbals together in their container had broken, and the cymbals were loose, and free to slide about during shipping. I did not notice any damage, however. The cymbals were interleaved with sheets of plastic which protected them from grinding on each other in transit.

I had a professional drummer in the studio, and he said they sounded great.