What are the Sabian cymbals, best to worst? What are the levels of Sabian cymbals? What are Sabian’s top of the line cymbals? Are there any differences in the materials used for making the different Sabian cymbals? If you are curious about Sabian cymbals and planning to buy one in the next few days, you should read out the article first to give you a better idea about the Sabian cymbals, from their best to worst.
Sabian cymbals, best to worst? Here is the best to worst in order:
If you are looking for the best of the best from Sabian cymbals, then search no more, as the Artisan Series is here. Not only is it the most expensive cymbal from Sabian, but it is also considered one of the most expensive cymbals in the market. So, there are really no mistakes when going for a set of Sabian Artisan Series cymbals.
Made of high-end B20 Bronze, they are really a masterpiece from the Sabian company. Artisan cymbals have that distinct traditional dark and rich tone that you’ll surely love. These cymbals are available in a natural or brilliant finish. They are perfect for any setting that needs the cymbals to have a darker tone, such as worship, jazz, rock, and many other genres.
One of the most used cymbals in the Artisan Series is the 20-inch Artisan Crash. Widely used by drummers now for recording purposes, these cymbals are beloved by many due to their fast and full response and their raw bell design, giving them a unique look compared to other cymbals. Aside from a complete set, the Artisan Series cymbals are also sold individually as hi-hats, rides, china, splashes, effects, and crashes.
Some of the famous drummers that have used Artisan cymbals are Tomas Haake, Mark Guillana, Dave Weckl, Dave Elitch, and many more.
The second best on our Sabian cymbal list is the HHX Series. Famous for having a variety of options to choose from, the Sabian HHX cymbals are also one of the most used cymbals by many professional drummers in the world of drumming. If you are looking for a professional cymbal sound to match your drum kit, the Sabian HHX would really be an excellent option to check out.
The Sabian HHX are widely popular for their dark tone that is able to cut through the mix. Using B20 Bronze, Sabian has really made one of the best cymbal series ever made with the HHX. These cymbals have a modern style and come with a natural or brilliant finish. Aside from sizes, the cymbals are also available under different categories, such as Evolution, Legacy, Anthology, and Complex.
One of the widely used cymbals under the series is the 22-inch HHX Legacy Ride. This heavy ride is able to give the semi-dry and warm tone that many drummers love. Even with its dark tone, it is still able to deliver a simmering sound, giving it a better projection ability compared to other ride cymbals. Aside from rides, the HHX cymbals are also available in sets, crashes, effects, hi-hats, splashes, and china.
There are lots of renowned drummers that have used the HHX Series cymbals in their lineup, including Jojo Mayer, David Garibaldi, Dom Famularo, and many more.
Famous for its vintage dark tone, the HH Series is considered by many to be Sabian’s third-best cymbal series that is available in the market. Shortened for Hand Hammered, the HH cymbals have that dark, complex, and moody sound that drummers love, making them a mainstay in the drumming scene for a very long time.
One mistake that many people make is that they associate it with the HHX Series, which is really wrong as they sound different, as the HH cymbals have the driest sound and shortest sustain in all of them, which makes them perfect for old-school drummers that love to play vintage jazz/rock.
Still of high-quality B20 Bronze, these cymbals are really durable, which makes them an excellent option for hard hitters, although they are really not as versatile for the other genres as you would like. The HH Series is also available in different categories, such as Performance, Pandora, Vanguard, and King.
One of the most famous cymbals that belong to the series is the 22-inch HH Power Bell Ride. It has that massive 8-inch raw bell with a lathed bow, giving it a unique tone that this ride cymbal can only provide. It also has a powerful tone. So, aside from ride cymbals, you can also buy sets, crashes, effects, china, hi-hats, and splashes.
Steve Ferrone, Todd Sucherman, and Chester Thompson are three of the most famous drummers that are fond of using the HH cymbals in their setup.
When considering the price point these cymbals are offered, the Crescent Series from Sabian would be the next best on our list, as they are the closest next to the HH and HHX cymbals. These cymbals have that traditional Turkish manufacturing style that comes with a mix of Sabian quality, innovation, and consistency, such as a thinner size and raw bells on some of the cymbals in the lineup.
Still made of that high-quality B20 Bronze that professional drummers prefer, the Crescent Series has that vintage style and dark sound that jazz drummers love. These cymbals also come with a natural finish. They are specifically made for playing the jazz genre, and it has some similarities to the HH Series but are just a little bit thinner.
One of the widely used cymbals in the Crescent Series is the 22-inch Hammertone Ride, as it is able to deliver that excellent ride and crash elements that the famous drummer Jeff Hamilton loves. As one of the popular drummers that regularly use these cymbals, he is also known for not using any crash cymbals in his setup, which makes this ride his crash.
Aside from the ride cymbal, you can also find a 14-inch hi-hat, a 20-inch ride, and a 22-inch chinese cymbal under the Crescent Series.
If you are searching for a professional sound from Sabian cymbals with a little bit of boost in the high frequencies, then the Paragon Series cymbals are what you are looking for. These cymbals are famous for their explosive and rich sound that is able to cut through the mix anytime. They are still able to maintain that Sabian sound that everyone loves, it is just that it has some mix of highs that other Sabian cymbals don’t have.
Manufactured using B20 Bronze, which is typical for professional cymbals, the Paragon Series has that vintage style and bright sound that you’ll surely love if you prefer that cutting sound. One of its famous cymbals under the series is the 19-inch China cymbal, as it has that trashy, dark, and dirty sound that rock drummers love. It also has a very open response and is very easy to play with. With the mix of AA-hammering style and some features from the AA, AAX, and HH Series, it makes the cymbal series an excellent option for lots of genres.
Aside from the china cymbal, the Paragon Series is also available in sets, crashes, effects, hi-hats, rides, and splashes. The most famous drummer that is known for playing the Paragon Series is Neil Peart, who is the drummer of Rush and also the one who helped design the cymbals to suit his playing style.
Although considered to be an intermediate cymbal series by many from the Sabian cymbals, there are still lots of drummers that use the AAX cymbals in their setup for playing in studios and stages. They are also more affordable compared to the other series, such as the Artisan and HHX, making them an excellent option to have for professional drummers that have tight budgets.
These cymbals have that modern and bright sound that modern drummers love to play nowadays. So, if you are playing pop, rock, R&B, or metal, then the AAX would be a great option that you should check out. If you are also a drummer who’s planning to go to the next level of playing, then this series would be a nice choice.
One of the most widely used in the Sabian’s AAX cymbal lineup, the 18-inch AAX X-Plosion Crash has that bright and explosive attack that is able to deliver that penetrating sound with some presence and power. Another famous AAX cymbal is the 14-inch AAX Thin Hats. This hi-hat is versatile and has that crisp sound many drummers love to hear. It even has a mix of highs and lows that gives that unique and balanced sound.
Aside from the crashes and hi-hats, the AAX Series is also available in sets, effects, china, rides, and splashes. One of the most famous drummers that use the AAX Series is Mike Portnoy, who is the former drummer of the band Dream Theater.
A step lower from the Sabian AAX Cymbal Series, the AA Series is still a great cymbal series to have in your cymbal setup, as they are widely known for their versatility. It is also known to be one of the most-sold cymbal series for Sabian, and with its modern and bright sound, you still get that high-quality professional sound at a cheaper price.
Made of B20 Bronze, the AA cymbals have that vintage style and bright sound with a natural or brilliant finish. As one also of the oldest cymbal series from Sabian, the AA has been widely used in that classic rock and old-school punk songs that you loved when you were still a kid. Although it has a slightly darkened tone to the AAX Series, it is still able to cut through the mix.
Some of the famous drummers that have used the AA cymbals are Mike Portnoy, Ray Luzier, Chad Smith, and many more. One of the most famous cymbals under the AA Series is the 19-inch AA Holy China. The cymbal has that loudness, brightness, vintage sound, and explosiveness that is perfect in the modern setup today. Aside from the china cymbal, the AA Series is also available in sets, crashes, effects, hi-hats, splashes, and rides.
If you are playing in a place where the cymbals should sound not too loud, the FRX Series from Sabian would be the way to go. With the FRX Series, you never have to hold your playing, even if there are mics placed on the cymbals. These cymbals are also made of B20 Bronze, which is widely used for professional cymbals and not as practice cymbals.
A famous cymbal that is widely used by many drummers under the FRX Series is the 18-inch FRX Crash. With many holes and thin weight, it is able to give you a quick and shimmering response with an amazingly soft feel. The FRX Series is also available in sets, rides, china, splash, and hi-hats.
One mistake that people think of the FRX cymbals is that they are low-volume cymbals and are perfect for practicing; however, they are not. It is only able to have a softer sound as it is designed to cut through specific frequencies that turn into the perception of volume. These cymbals are perfect for playing in houses of worship, weddings, corporate gigs, schools, small venues, theaters, cruise ships, and many more.
If you are looking for budget-friendly cymbals that are still made of high-quality material and can still give you that top-notch sound you are looking for, then the Sabian XSR would be the way to go. The Sabian XSR cymbals have an impressive combination of the HHX dark tone and AAX brilliant finish with a modern sound at a very affordable price.
As they are still made with the same B20 Bronze that is used in making the AAX cymbals, these cymbals have that modern style and dark sound that suits professional playing without breaking the bank. The cymbals also come with either a natural or brilliant finish.
One of its widely used cymbals under the series is the XSR Fast Stax. It has a 13-inch X-Celerator top with a 16-inch chinese bottom on the other end, giving it the ability to deliver a huge amount of pop and attack that is great for effective cymbals. Aside from the effect cymbals, you can also get a set of cymbals, rides, crashes, hi-hats, china, and splashes for the XR Series, which is perfect for young drummers who are looking for high-quality cymbal sounds at an affordable price.
As we go now to the worst cymbals from Sabian, you will also notice the difference in the material used in making them. With the Sabian B8X, these cymbals are made of B8 Bronze, which is widely used in making entry-level cymbals. Although it may be the second-worst on our list, it is still one of the best entry-level cymbals you can find in the market that would be the perfect gear for newbie drummers who are still learning the trade.
One of the best cymbals in the series, the 20-inch B8X Rock Ride has that crisp and clear bell sound that is impressive for an entry-level cymbal. It has a bright sound that can cut through the mix, as well. The B8X Series is also available in sets, hi-hats, crashes, china, and splashes. So, if you are planning to start your journey as a drummer, the B8X would be an excellent choice for your cymbal setup.
The worst of them all, the Sabian SBR Series, is made of brass, which is a pretty usual material for entry-level cymbals that are usually freebies when buying a drum set. They have a modern style and a bright sound that would perfectly match every novice drummer’s cymbal needs.
The most sold option for the SBR Series is its SBR Performance Set. Consisting of a 14-inch hi-hat, a 16-inch crash, and a 20-inch ride, you now get a set of cymbals that is able to give you that focused sound at a very affordable price. The SBR Series is also available in hi-hats, crashes, rides, splashes, and effects.
What are the Sabian cymbals, best to worst? What are the levels of Sabian cymbals? What are the Sabians top of the line cymbals? The best and the top-of-the-line would be the Artisan Series, while the worst would be the SBR Series. Sabian cymbals are available in professional, intermediate, and beginner categories, depending on the material used and their sound.