The 4 Best Low Volume Cymbals for Quiet Playing (2020)

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Low volume cymbals have become very popular in recent years for a very good reason. They retain the feel of playing acoustic cymbals, while dramatically reducing the volume.

That can protect your hearing, while keeping family and neighbors happy! You get to play on cymbals that are a lot bit quieter without rubber cymbal mufflers ruining your playing experience.

In this article we’re going to present to you 4 of the best low volume cymbal sets currently on the market.

1. Zildjian L80 Low Volume LV468 Box Set

Editor's Choice - Low volume, sounds great, retains the feel of regular cymbals.

As one of the leaders on the cymbals market, it’s no wonder that Zildjian is on this list. Their L80 low volume cymbals are one of the best out there. Made out of the special alloy, made specifically to bring the noise down, they are perforated throughout the whole surface for that same reason.

In this box set you’ll find a 14” hi-hat, 16” crash and 18” ride cymbals. Contrary to the usual ways of numbing the tone down with mufflers or rubber pads, these cymbals will always have the same sound and reaction to being played as the standard cymbals, with just the noise being significantly down. They offer up to 80% of noise reduction, which is a lot.

All in all, these are great cymbals for practice or acoustic band situations, and they come at a great price too. They are sturdy and quality made, so if you’re looking for a cheap and reliable solution, this is your pick.

2. Sabian Quiet Tone Practice Cymbals Box Set

A high-quality set, similar to the Zildjian cymbals previously covered.

The Quiet Tone range is also made out of special alloy and has punched holes all over the place, but there are differences in sound overall. In the box set you’ll find a total of four cymbals - 14” hi-hat, 16” and 18” crashes and 20” ride cymbal.

They have quite a futuristic look with a silver lining and as for the sound, they produce a bit louder and brighter sound than the Zildjian L80. Of course, they still dampen the sound a lot, but if you’re looking for a bit less dampened sound this is a great pick.

3. Kasza Cymbals Quiet on the Set Practice Cymbal Pack

The Kasza quiet cymbal set.

They are made for practice purposes and they were made right. In this set you’ll get 14” hi-hat, 16” and 18” crashes and 20” ride cymbal, with a carrying bag included, which is a really nice addition to the pack.

As for the sound, they provide sound quality and loudness similar to the previously mentioned L80. You can use them in acoustic situations, but also they can be used with electric instruments if you’re all tired of listening to the over the top loud music and want to dampen it all down a notch. All in all, for this price, these are perfect for your everyday practice.

4. Gen16 Buffed Bronze DS Cymbal Set

We're closing off this list with something a bit different.

Gen16 DS cymbals are a set of acoustic cymbals with a twist – they come together with pickup systems so that they can be used together with electronic drums. This gives a complete feel of real cymbals, which can often be a problem with electronic drums while giving you an electronic signal at the same time.

Also, you can use them as just plain acoustic cymbals, if need be. In the set you’ll get 13” hi-hats, 16” crash and 18” ride cymbals. They also come with a whole bunch of processors and pickups needed to connect them to electronic drums.

You get a truly versatile cymbal set that works with anything you might throw at it – and is quite quiet at that too.

How Do You Make Cymbals Quieter?

Cymbals themselves are very loud and because of their sharp pitch, the seem even louder when you listen to them.

You can always use different types of sound dampeners, which are usually rubber pads that you place on cymbals. Even though they do dampen the sound a lot, they also take away a lot of the sound quality and they don’t feel like playing on cymbals. So, drummers tend to not like playing on them unless they have another option.

On the other hand, you can buy and use low volume cymbals. They are generally a more expensive option than a piece of rubber, but you’ll get much better sound quality when playing.

What Volume are Low Volume Cymbals?

They are not silent, but they are a LOT quieter than regular cymbals. The Zildjian L80s come in at around 83dB, which is 80% lower than regular cymbals.

Standard cymbals can go as high as 100-120dB. 120dB is around the start of the pain threshold. Not only is that painful, but it’s very dangerous for your hearing after even short periods of exposure.

If you listen to them compared to the standard cymbals, you’ll notice the difference immediately.

Can You Play with Low Volume Cymbals in a Band?

Yes, but you have to be aware that these cymbals are a lot quieter than the standard ones.

If you’re playing in a large hall, it’s probably not the best idea to use them. But, in smaller rooms, like rehearsal rooms, or if you’re playing in an acoustic band, these can be perfect.

It’s all about what you and your band need, but even if you get these for practice, they will prove to be a great buy in the long run for your hearing.

Summary

We have presented you with some of the best low volume cymbals available. They are gaining more and more momentum among drummers, as they really offer you best from the both worlds (retaining the feel of playing on cymbals, while reducing noise).

These will help you practice quietly, which is great for your hearing as well as your relationship with your family and neighbors! Hearing health is something that most people don’t really think about before it’s too late, so these are a good step in the right direction.

At the same time, they won’t affect the playing sound coming out of your cymbals, and you can use all of the techniques that you would normally use with them. They do cost more than to use sound dampeners that people used before, but all in all, the positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot.

Whether you’re looking for a quieter way to practice at home, or play in a small practice room, or are in an acoustic band looking to bring down the noise from your drums – there are a bunch of different low volume cymbal options out there.

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