11 Best Sabian Cymbals 2024

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Sabian is one of the biggest cymbal brands in the music industry. The company was originally started by a Zildjian family member after a dispute, so the two brands have often been seen as rivals.

However, Sabian has innovated plenty of products to put them firmly at the top of many drummers’ lists.

In this guide, I’ll show you some of Sabian’s best available cymbals. I’ll also give a brief guide on what to look for when choosing cymbals.

Sabian HHX Complex Promotional Set – Best Overall

Sabian HHX Complex Promotional Set

The Sabian HHX Complex Promotional Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of my favorite cymbal pack options from Sabian.

The HHX Complex line uses hammering techniques from both Sabian’s HH and HHX lines to create some unique cymbals that blend darkness with brighter overtones.

These cymbals are incredibly versatile, working well in any style you place them in. They’re bright enough to cut through most dense mixes, but they’re also smooth enough to sound musical in softer settings.

In the pack, you get a standard setup of hi-hats, two crashes, and a ride cymbal.

The 14” hi-hats have fantastic stick definition, opening up wonderfully as you play closer to the edge. When open, you get musical washiness, with the hi-hats never sounding too aggressive. The closing sound when pressing the foot pedal down is also quite distinct and easily heard.

The 16” and 18” crash cymbals have thin designs. This makes them sound quite washy when you strike them. They speak with a low tone at first, but the brighter overtones tend to come quickly as you continue to strike them.

These two crashes sound great when played just after each other, as the pitch interval is quite pleasing to the ear.

Finally, the 20” ride has focused attack, along with a bright ping and smooth wash. It doesn’t have the cleanest stick articulation when you play the surface. The washy tones tend to take over, but it sounds so good when you crash it on the edge.

This set is fairly pricey, costing well over $1000. However, it’s a set that any drummer can pick up and use anywhere, and the results will always be good.

Material: B20 cast bronze

Sizes: 14” hi-hats, 16” & 18” crashes, 20” ride

Sabian Paragon Neil Peart Complete Cymbal Set – Premium Option

Sabian Paragon Neil Peart Complete Cymbal Set

The Sabian Paragon Neil Peart Complete Cymbal Set is most likely the most elaborately packaged cymbal set on the market. This entire pack is dedicated to Neil Peart, as it includes every single cymbal from his signature Paragon line.

There are 11 cymbals in total, along with a very sturdy flight case to hold everything in. You also get a signature from Neil Peart himself, making the set a great option for collectors.

Neil Peart sadly passed away in 2020, so this set has become increasingly popular since then. It’s one of the only cymbal sets available to cost more than $2000. With it costing close to $4000, it’s only really an option for drummers that idolize Neil and want to get something really special to pay tribute to him.

In the set, you get four crash cymbals, two splash cymbals, two chinas, two pairs of hi-hats, and a ride cymbal.

The setup essentially mimics the one that Neil used when he was playing with Rush in the years leading up to his passing.

All the cymbals are quite bright, but they’re also musical and complex. The cool thing about getting a set like this is that you can mix and match different sizes to create several alternating setups. You don’t need to use all 11 cymbals if you don’t want to have a huge kit.

Again, this isn’t an option that most drummers will find too compelling, but it’s amazing for the drummers that are willing to pay for it. You also save a lot of cash compared to buying all these Paragon cymbals on their own.

Material: B20 cast bronze

Sizes: 13” & 14” hi-hats, 2 x 16” crashes, 18” & 20” crashes, 8” & 10” splashes, 19” & 20” chinas, 22” ride

Sabian B8X Performance Cymbal Set – Best Budget Option

Sabian B8X Performance Cymbal Set

The Sabian B8X Performance Cymbal Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the best beginner cymbal sets available. Sabian’s B8 line has always been very popular. I remember countless beginner kits coming with them in the early 2000s.

The brand updated the B8 line to become the B8X line, and all the cymbals now have a bit of hammering to improve their tonal quality.

That small change makes these B8 cymbals better than most other beginner B8 options from competing brands.

The 14” hi-hats in the set sound very strong and distinct. You get the brightest sounds from playing the surface when the hats are closed, and striking the edge opens the cymbals up quite powerfully.

I’m just not a big fan of how these hats sound when you play them open. The sound is quite aggressive, but not in the good way that high-end bright cymbals sound.

The 16” and 18” crash cymbals are also very punchy. They’re relatively thick, so you get loud tones that get out of the way quickly. The sounds don’t have much depth, as you have to really hit the cymbals hard to get the full tones. However, that’s perfect for beginner drummers.

The ride offers crisp sounds with an incredibly pingy bell sound. The strong bell tone is fantastic for playing grooves that heavily incorporate the bell. I’d also say that the ride is quite glossy when you strike the bow. It just doesn’t sound great when striking the edge. 

Overall, these are excellent affordable cymbals for newer drummers. I’d just suggest that you steer clear of them if you’re more experienced.

Material: B8 bronze

Sizes: 14” hi-hats, 16” & 18” crashes, 20” ride

Sabian AAX Praise and Worship Cymbal Set

Sabian AAX Praise and Worship Cymbal Set

The Sabian AAX Praise and Worship Cymbal Set (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) was originally designed for gospel drummers. All the cymbals included work really well in those high energy gospel settings where you need vibrant cymbals to play jabs and hits.

However, these cymbals have been known to work just as well in pop and rock settings too. A lot of pop artists use gospel instrumentation in their live acts, so the cymbals are perfectly suited for that environment.

The overall tones are darker than something like a Zildjian A Custom, but these are still some of the brightest cymbals that Sabian offers. This means that they cut through mixes with no issues.

You get a standard setup of cymbals in this pack, but Sabian has also added a small splash cymbal for some flavor.

The 10” Aero Splash produces explosive white noise. It’s really trashy, and it gets out of the way quickly. Out of all the cymbals in the set, this is the best one for accenting hits with the rest of the band.

The 14” Medium Hi-Hats are really versatile. While they have plenty of projection, they also offer a lot of depth, depending on where you strike them. The open hi-hat sound is very powerful.

The 16” and 18” X-Plosion Crashes do a great job of living up to their name. These cymbals are biting, and they sound incredibly strong when struck. They don’t have a lot of resonance, though, which is the key feature that sets them apart from other bright crash cymbals.

Lastly, the 21” Raw Bell Dry Ride has quite a woody ping when you play the bow. The raw bell has an earthy tone, and I’ve always been very impressed at how well it crashes. It’s another versatile cymbal in the set.

If you’re looking for cymbals that are a bit brighter and livelier than the HHX Complex line, these are a fantastic option.

Material: B20 cast bronze

Sizes: 10” splash, 14” hi-hats, 16” & 18” crashes, 21” ride

Sabian FRX Performance Cymbal Set

Sabian FRX Performance Cymbal Set

The Sabian FRX Performance Cymbal Set is a group of cymbals that have been cleverly designed to reduce volume compared to typical cymbals.

Don’t mistake these for low-volume cymbals, though. They’re proper cymbals that you can use to play gigs with. They just don’t produce any of the bright and clanging tones that typical brighter cymbals produce.

This gives you the impression that they’re a bit softer, but they’re really just a lot mellower and easier to fit in with a mix of other instruments.

I absolutely love the design of these. They allow you to play in venues like churches without worrying about playing your cymbals too hard. You can really lay into them without overpowering the mix, and they still sound just as good as any other high-end line of cymbals.

The set comes with a pair of hi-hats, two crash cymbals, and a ride, and each cymbal has slightly unique qualities to add to the overall vibe you get from the set.

The hi-hats are incredibly crisp, sounding very distinct with every note you play. They sound warm and washy when you open them up.

The two crash cymbals have shimmering tones, but those tones never peak where you don’t want them to. They’re surprisingly gentle, executing their design perfectly.

The 21” ride cymbal is the darkest of the set. You get buttery sounds when crashing the edge, making it perfect for crash-riding in loud choruses. It never sounds aggressive, but it’s effective enough to create a warm groove and busy groove.

These aren’t your typical cymbals. The most common drummers that use them are playing in church bands. However, they’re great for any situation where you need something a bit softer.

Just note that they’re probably more expensive than you think! They’re actually one of Sabian’s most expensive cymbal lines.

Material: B20 cast bronze

Sizes: 14” hi-hats, 16 & 18” crashes, 21” ride

Sabian HHX Anthology 14” Hi-Hats

Sabian HHX Anthology 14” Hi-Hats

The Sabian HHX Anthology 14” Hi-Hats are one of my favorite pairs of hats from Sabian. Most brands offer similar products that compete with each other, but I don’t know of any other cymbal brands that offer hi-hats like this.

The Anthology Series is one of the newer lines in Sabian’s product range, and the whole idea behind these cymbals is that they’re artistic and simplistic. Each cymbal has an option with a low bell or high bell, but I’ve recommended the low bell option here due to its natural and earthy tone.

These hi-hats give you plenty of modern attack, allowing you to hear them very clearly in a mix and among all your other cymbals. However, they also sound very washy. This combination is something that really works well with hi-hats.

They’re really responsive to dynamics too, giving you full tones when you play them softly. You then get rich sounds when striking them a bit harder.

These are some great high-end hi-hats, but note they come with a pretty hefty price tag.

Material: B20 cast bronze

Size: 14”

Sabian 18” AAX O-Zone Crash

Sabian 18” AAX O-Zone Crash

The Sabian 18” AAX O-Zone Crash (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is an epic crash cymbal to consider if you’re looking to add something unique to your setup. It has a bunch of perforated 2” holes, giving it a trashy sound that is very similar to a china.

However, it’s not as aggressive as a china. It also sounds great when you strike it with all levels of force, whereas chinas only give you full tones when you hit them hard.

When hitting this crash, you get a strong initial tone that is dirty and aggressive. That sound gets out of the way quite quickly, though, and then the cymbal resonates like a typical AAX crash would.

If you already have standard crash cymbals in your setup, this is an excellent alternative option to bring something different to the plate.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, though. Some drummers don’t enjoy trashy and dirty sounds in their setups.

One last thing to mention about it is that it works very well in stack setups. Any cymbal with large holes tends to add plenty of depth to a stack.

Material: B20 cast bronze

Size: 18”

Sabian 22” Artisan Light Ride

Sabian 22” Artisan Light Ride

The Sabian 22” Artisan Light Ride (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is undoubtedly my favorite individual cymbal from Sabian. It’s one of the highest-quality cymbals that the brand offers, and it’s truly one of the best-sounding cymbals on the market.

If you’re looking for other cymbals to compare this to, the Zildjian Constantinople and Meinl Byzance Foundry Reserve rides would be the closest competitors.

The ride is large and thin, offering a mixture of dark, sizzling, and rich tones. When you strike it, you get crisp sounds that branch off into washy tones that ring for quite a while.

It’s the perfect ride cymbal for a jazz drummer, but you could easily use it in other styles where warm and washy rides fit well.

You’ll be paying close to $1000 for just one cymbal, so this really isn’t an option that everyone will jump to buy. However, you’ll feel that the price tag is well worth it once you have it placed in your setup.

Material: B20 bronze

Size: 22”

Sabian 17” AA Holy China

Sabian 17” AA Holy China

The Sabian 17” AA Holy China (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is arguably one of the most popular chinas on the market. It’s definitely one of the loudest, as it has a very strong reputation for being seriously loud.

China cymbals are mostly used for aggressive grooves in styles like punk and metal, so this is a great china to get if you’re looking for something punchy and powerful.

There are a few different size options with the Holy Chinas, but I like the 17” one the most due to its shorter resonance. It speaks seriously aggressively, but then it gets out of the way quickly.

Another thing to mention about this cymbal is its good durability. Most drummers hit this cymbal as hard as they can, and it’s known to last long.

Material: B20 cast bronze

Size: 17”

Sabian 10” Chopper

Sabian 10” Chopper

The Sabian 10” Chopper (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of Sabian’s iconic effects cymbals. These Chopper stacks have been around for years, and they’re regularly used by drummers that play styles like hip-hop and drum ‘n’ bass.

The cymbal has three layers, and it produces a tight chopping sound. It’s close to a hi-hat sound, but it’s more aggressive with slightly more resonance. It’s also a lot higher-pitched than most hi-hats.

It’s excellent for playing unique grooves with sharp accents. It’s also good for playing jabs within songs to match what the other instruments are doing.

Some drummers love using this cymbal as the base of a stack with other cymbals on top. The possibilities are endless, really.

If you’re not a big fan of stacks and electronic-style sounds, this may not be the cymbal for you.

Material: B8 bronze

Size: 10”

Sabian 10” HH Splash

Sabian 10” HH Splash

The Sabian 10” HH Splash (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the final cymbal that I’m recommending on this list. Not every drummer likes to use splash cymbals, but if you do, this is a fantastic one to consider.

Sabian’s HH line of cymbals tends to offer more vintage tones than the HHX line, and you get that idea when hearing this splash.

While the sound is high-pitched due to the small size of the cymbal, it’s a lot deeper than most other 10” splash cymbals available. It’s also quite warm.

While splashes are typically bright and shining, this one sits a bit better in a mix due to it being a lot mellower. Overall, it’s a solid option!

Material: B20 cast bronze

Size: 10”

What To Look For In Sabian Cymbals

Cymbal Packs vs Single Cymbals

Before making the move to purchase some Sabian cymbals, you need to decide whether you want a cymbal pack or a single cymbal.

Cymbal packs typically include everything you need for a full setup, meaning they come with a pair of hi-hats, a ride, and usually two crash cymbals. Some packs come with a few different options, but most of them are packaged like that.

The cool thing about Sabian is that the brand offers dozens of good cymbal packs that cover all budget ranges. Whether you’re a new drummer or a professional, you’ll find something good from the brand.

The benefit of getting a cymbal pack is that you get a full set of cymbals with coherent sounds. They all work very well together, considering that they’ve been pre-packaged.

You also save a bit of money compared to if you were to buy those cymbals on their own.

However, some drummers prefer to carefully handpick cymbals to create their own mixture. If that sounds more interesting, it would be better to buy individual cymbals. You’ll spend a bit more to have a full set, but your set of cymbals may end up having a bit more of a personal touch.

Cymbal Types

If you’re completely new to buying cymbals, you should familiarize yourself with all the available cymbal types.

Sabian offers various cymbals within each type, but the brand tends to have far more crash and ride cymbal options compared to the other types.

Here’s a quick summary of each cymbal type:

Hi-hats – Hi-hats come in pairs, and they have a special stand with a pedal to close them together. Sabian offers around 50 pairs of hi-hat cymbals in various designs and sizes.

Crash – Crash cymbals are slightly larger than hi-hat cymbals, and they’re used to play strong crashing sounds. Sabian offers well over 100 different crash cymbal options.

Ride – Ride cymbals are the largest out of all the cymbal types, and they produce different sounds depending on whether you strike them on the edge, bow, or bell. You’ll find just under 100 ride cymbals in Sabian’s product line.

China – Chinas are really aggressive cymbals that look like inverted crashes. There aren’t too many offered by Sabian, but the Holy China is one of the most famous ones in the music industry.

Splash – Splash cymbals are small crash cymbals that produce short and punchy sounds. Most splashes from Sabian fall under the AAX and HHX lines.

Stack – A stack is an effects cymbal created by placing two or more cymbals on top of each other. Unfortunately, Sabian offers far fewer stacks than the other big cymbal brands.

Materials

Different brands use various materials to make cymbals, but Sabian’s processes are actually very simple.

The three main materials that you’ll see all Sabian cymbals made from are brass, B8 bronze, and B20 bronze.

The brand’s most affordable cymbals are made from brass. They don’t sound too great, but they’re excellent for brand-new drummers that just need affordable cymbals to learn the ropes.

While brass cymbals aren’t musically responsive, they give the general idea of what cymbals sound like, and they give drummers more of an appreciation for better cymbals once they upgrade.

Sabian’s intermediate lines of cymbals are made from B8 bronze. This is a mixture of 92% copper and 8% tin. B8 cymbals are also regularly referred to as beginner cymbals, but I think Sabian’s B8 cymbals tend to sound much better than options from many other brands.

With all that said, most Sabian cymbals are made from B20 bronze. When cymbals are made from this, you know that they’re going to sound good and feel incredible to play. You get plenty of musicality and boosted responsiveness.

Even the brand’s XSR cymbals are made from B20 bronze. They’re marketed as affordable cymbals, but the B20 bronze makes them perform like professional instruments.

Sabian Cymbal Lines

Most of the products from Sabian are placed into cymbal line categories. All the cymbals in each line offer distinct features, giving you a general idea of how they sound according to which line they’re part of.

Here’s a brief summary of every cymbal line that the brand offers:

Sbr – Beginner cymbals made from brass. They’re Sabian’s most affordable cymbal option.

B8X – Beginner cymbals with more size options and better tones. These are also affordable, but most of the cymbals have hammering to make them sound more musical.

XSR – Intermediate cymbals with incredible value. These are well-priced cymbals that share many design features of high-end options. Some of Sabian’s best stack cymbals come from this line.

FRX – Cymbals designed to have a lower volume than typical ones. They’re high-end in their tones and playability, but they’re not as loud as any other cymbals in Sabian’s product line. They’re great for environments where you need to keep the noise down.

Paragon – An entire cymbal line dedicated to Neil Peart. They were his signature cymbals, and they offer explosive tones with plenty of clarity.

Artisan – The best-sounding cymbals in the brand’s entire product line. These are artsy cymbals that sound dark and sizzling.

HH – Vintage cymbals with tones that sit on the darker side. Many of Sabian’s more unique cymbals come from this line.

AA – Vintage cymbals with tones that sit on the brighter side. They’re aggressive, but not as aggressive as any of the AAX options.

HHX – Sabian’s signature cymbal line. You’ll find most of the brand’s top options here, and all of them have modern dark tones.

AAX – The brightest and punchiest cymbals from Sabian. AAX cymbals are perfect for pop, rock, and gospel drummers.

Price

The best thing about brands like Sabian is that you can get good cymbals with any budget. While B8X and XSR cymbals are nowhere near the quality of HHX or Artisan ones, the brand still offers plenty of attractive features within those lines.

If you’re looking for a good cymbal pack, you can expect to pay around $500 for a beginner Sabian set. You’ll then pay between $500 and $800 for a more intermediate option. Lastly, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $2000 for a high-end set.

Your options will be slightly different if you’re looking to buy individual cymbals. The Artisan and Paragon lines are the most expensive from the brand, while the Sbr line is the cheapest.

If you want to make the most of your budget, one of the best things to do is to buy a cymbal pack and then purchase a few individual cymbals to give your setup a personal touch.

Since Sabian is one of the big four cymbal brands, the cymbals also have fantastic resale value. If you want to upgrade down the line, you’ll easily be able to sell your Sabian cymbals for great prices.

Top Sabian Cymbals, Final Thoughts

Sabian is one of the best brands to pick if you’re looking for a long list of cymbal pack options. The brand essentially has a cymbal pack available for almost any genre, and most of them are fantastic.

Check out all the ones I mentioned, but then I strongly suggest hopping onto Sabian’s website to see everything on offer. There are far more top-quality cymbals to look at than the ones I mentioned here.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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