How Much Do Cymbals Cost?

A beginner cymbal set can cost you anywhere from $100 to $400. Intermediate cymbals sets can go from $400 to $700/800. Professional cymbal sets can cost up to $2000. While buying an individual cymbal might fill the need for most, getting a whole set is way more cost-effective.

There are several factors like material, size, hammering, etc., that decide how much a cymbal will be. So, let’s take a deeper look into how much you’re going to spend while buying cymbals. 

Beginner cymbals

As the name suggests, beginner cymbals are meant to be for those who are just starting their drumming journey. They are used as budget cymbals by many experienced drummers as well. 

Beginner cymbals packs typically cost between $100 to $400. If you’re going for individual cymbals, they cost even less. 

What makes these cymbals cheap is mostly the fact that they are made of brass, instead of bronze, which is the material used for pro cymbals. Also, these are usually hammered through a machine instead of by hand. Check out how cymbals are made if you’re further interested.

Of course, there is a compromise on the sound. But if you’re new to drumming, these are ideal. Since beginner drummers are still perfecting their stroke techniques, having a cost-effective cymbal set is a great way to start.

Intermediate cymbals

Once you start improving your technique and figure out your sound preferences, you can turn to intermediate cymbals. The best thing about these is that you get a pretty good sound without shelling out a fortune.

Intermediate cymbals packs can cost between $400 to $800. The reason why they still don’t cost as much as pro cymbals is that manufacturers use alloys like B8, B10, and B12 Bronze instead of traditional B20 Bronze. The cheaper intermediate packs are machine hammered while the more expensive ones may be hand hammered. 

This range of cymbals is the go-to for most gigging and amateur drummers because you get great value for money.

Professional cymbals

Pro cymbals are the bread and butter of almost all big-name cymbals brands, from Zildjian and Sabian to Meinl. These cymbals are the creme de la creme, boasting the highest quality built, sound, and durability. 

A single pro cymbal alone can cost upwards of an entire intermediate pack, at around $700 to $800. Pro cymbals packs can go up to $2000. 

These cymbals are made of the top-notch B20 Bronze and use hand hammering, which is the traditional way of making cymbals. On top of that, the sound they boast of is second to none.

Pro cymbals are targeted toward pros or those with no limits to their budget. And the added advantage of these cymbals is that once you buy them, you’re set for a long time because of how durable they are. 

In other words, if you rely on drumming for your livelihood, you should be looking at pro cymbals.

Silent cymbals

Silent cymbals are the new craze of the town. They are incredible, yet an inexpensive solution to the noise regular cymbals make. Silent cymbal packs generally cost between $300-$400, depending on the manufacturer and how many cymbals there are in the pack. 

These are the perfect option if you want to practice without disrupting your neighborhood and damaging your ears. They’re also good if you’re playing a low-volume gig in a small venue. 

Of course, you can’t replicate the sound of a traditional cymbal on silent cymbals. But these are great practice tools for anyone, beginner or pro.

Second-hand cymbals

Since good cymbals don’t deteriorate too much over time, second-hand cymbals can become saviors for beginner and intermediate drummers who don’t want to spend too much on a new pack. 

Second-hand cymbals can cost you as low as half the price of a brand-new cymbal. There are plenty of places like eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, or music stores where you can buy used cymbals.  

Individual cymbals vs packs

There’s always a dilemma in a new drummer’s mind about whether he should buy individual cymbals or the complete pack. And in most cases, a cymbal pack makes more sense. 

That’s because they are more cost-efficient as you’re getting more cymbals at a lesser price than you would if you were to buy individual cymbals. Also, you get a similar tonal range from your cymbals. The great thing about cymbal packs is that they have good resale value. Since there are always new drummers popping up, in search of used cymbals.

On the other hand, if you already have a couple of cymbals at your disposal and want to add one or two more, or if you want a diverse sound from your kit, individual cymbals are what you should go for. You won’t be spending as much.

Another added advantage of individual cymbals is you can buy the highest quality cymbals, one at a time, and slowly build your cymbal repertoire.

Summary 

Cymbals are an essential commodity to a drummer, no matter which phase they are in. Buying cymbals can be a task when you see the different kinds of cymbals available. 

A beginner pack is priced at $100-$400, an intermediate at $400-$700/800, and a pro pack, up to $2000. You also have the option for silent cymbals, which are around the $300-$400 mark, and second-hand cymbals, which can cost as low as the seller wants them to be.

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Mike O'Connor

Drumming has been my passion for over 18 years. I play quite a few different genres and I really enjoy experimenting with hybrid kits that blend acoustic and electronic drums. I love all things drumming!

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