10 Best China Cymbal Reviewed: Powerful Trashy Tone for Everyone!

A China Cymbal produces a crisp and bright sound accompanied by an explosive tone. However, unlike a crash cymbal, drummers frequently mount a China cymbal upside-down. Thus, making it easier to hit while providing a better overall sound.

Furthermore, genres such as heavy metal, metalcore, and thrash metal oftentimes utilize China cymbals. On the other hand, light genres such as jazz fusion and Latin music sometimes include China cymbals in their records.

In this light, a China cymbal is a must-have in any drumkit. Therefore, I collected 10 of the best China cymbals, ensuring that thin and high China tone in every product!

Things to Consider When Buying China Cymbals— A Buyer’s Guide

China Cymbal

Before buying China cymbals, buyers must first ensure that the cymbals they are buying can satisfy their drumming needs. For instance, a poor-quality China cymbal might break within the first month of use. Thus, making owners spend more than what they need to.

Moreover, some China cymbals utilize cheap materials, which delivers a poor overall tone. Therefore, I crafted this buyer’s guide to help you find the best China cymbal possible!

Durability

Drummers often utilize China cymbals within heavy metal and rock music. As we know, these genres are extremely energetic and aggressive. In addition, due to the aggressive-sounding nature of this music, drummers in this genre are prone to hit harder. Therefore, I recommend buyers find cast and properly-hammered cymbals for the best durability possible.

Material

Similar to a hi-hat, manufacturers usually craft a China cymbal using B20, B12, B10, B8, and Brass alloys. Firstly, B20 utilizes an 80% copper and 20% tin composition which offers the widest frequency range over other materials.

Secondly, B12, B10, and B8 materials comprise of the following:

  • B12- 88% copper / 12% tin
  • B10-  90% copper / 10% tin
  • B8- 92% copper / 8% tin

In addition, manufacturers utilize B8, B12, and B10 materials on their mid-level cymbal sets.

Finally, there are also brass materials for beginners who want to experience an authentic cymbal feel within a budget.

Price Point

As stated, the materials of a China cymbal influences its price point. For professional drummers who want the best performance, I recommend them the B20 bronze material. However, beware that this specific material comes with a premium price tag.

Conversely, for drummers who want to save money, B12, B10, and B8 cymbals are within an affordable price point in comparison with the B20 bronze. In addition, these cymbal materials also provide decent tonality and clarity suitable for live performances.

Finally, brass cymbals are excellent for beginners who are looking for cheap China cymbals that will do the job. However, buyers should be wary that brass doesn’t have the same tonality and clarity in comparison with bronze cymbals. Therefore, brass cymbals are only ideal for practice sessions.

10 of the Best China Cymbals You Can Get Today

Arborea Mute Cymbal

Arborea Low Volume Cymbal Mute Cymbal Golden High Quality Drum Cymbal For Practice (16'China)

Brand: Arborea

Type: Budget-friendly Low-volume China Cymbal

As drummers, we tend to control our playing intensity, especially when practicing within a household or a quiet neighborhood. However, this sometimes leads to bad habits, which may affect our playing along the way. Therefore, we introduce to you the Arborea Mute Cymbal for an all-out practice minus the noise!

The Arborea Mute Cymbal has 1500 perforated holes on its surface, effectively reducing the cymbal’s noise by up to 80%. In addition, this China’s lower decibel levels allow drummers to practice longer without damaging their hearing.

Specification:

  • 16” China cymbal size
  • 1500 perforated holes
  • Polished surface and edges
  • Unique processing technology
  • Balanced sound

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly price point.
  • Perfect for practice drumming sessions.
  • Cheaper than the Zildjian L80 China cymbal.
  • Minimizes ear fatigue during practice sessions.

Cons:

  • The Arborea China lacks in terms of sound when compared side-by-side with the Zildjian L80 China.

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Zildjian L80 China

Zildjian L80, 1, 18 inches China Cymbal, Buffed Bronze, 18' Low Volume Single (LV8018CH-S)

Brand: Zildjian

Type: Low-volume China Cymbal

The Zildjian L80 China utilizes a proprietary alloy, providing the cymbal with a responsive and vibrant sound. Moreover, the incorporation of a perforated surface effectively minimizes the cymbal’s sound up to 80%! As a result, providing drummers with a sonically-pleasing sound within low-volumes.

Furthermore, Zildjian specifically designed the L80 China to act as an authentic cymbal, providing a responsive playing feel for everyone. Therefore, if you’re looking for an incredible practice China cymbal, then the L80 is the one for you!

Specification:

  • 18” cymbal size
  • Buffed Bronze finish
  • Proprietary alloy material
  • Low-volume design
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty

Pros:

  • Delivers a clear and responsive sound within low volumes.
  • Effectively reduces the cymbal’s sound up to 80%.
  • Sounds better than cymbals with mute on top.
  • Ideal for practice sessions and unplugged performances.

Cons:

  • Considering its price point, I wouldn’t get this if it weren’t made using bronze materials.

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Zildjian I Family China Cymbal

Zildjian I Family China Cymbal (ILH16CH)

Brand: Zildjian

Type: Entry-level Crash Cymbal

The Zildjian I Family introduces the B8 alloy at a budget-friendly price point. As we know, B8 Bronze materials provide an explosive projection and expression. Thus, making the Zildjian I China perfect for live performances.

In addition, the Zildjian I Family utilizes small-bore round hammering, providing China with a better tone and sound. Therefore, if you’re looking for an affordable bronze China, then you can’t go wrong with the Zildjian I Family China.

Specification:

  • 16” cymbal size
  • B8 Bronze material
  • Thin cymbal profile
  • Small-bore round hammering
  • Fully lathed surface

Pros:

  • Perfect for drummers looking for a bronze cymbal within brass cymbal price point.
  • Delivers an explosive projection and expression.
  • Ideal for live performances.
  • A fitting upgrade for brass China cymbals.

Cons:

  • The Zildjian I Family China’s sustain may be too long for some drummers.

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Meinl Cymbals Classics Custom Dark 16″ Trash China Cymbal with Holes

Meinl Cymbals Classics Custom Dark 16' Trash China Cymbal with Holes — MADE IN GERMANY — for Rock, Metal and Fusion, 2-YEAR WARRANTY (CC16DATRCH)

Brand: Meinl

Type: Mid-end China Cymbal

The Meinl Cymbals Classic Custom Dark China is an excellent addition to a metal and rock drummer’s kit. Furthermore, the Classic Custom Dark’s cutting sound easily punches through high-gain guitars and rumbling basses. In addition, this China cymbal delivers a rich tone with dark overtones, providing that extra bite for heavy music.

Moreover, the utilization of B10 materials provides this China with a darker character with medium sustain. Finally, the cymbal also offers a musically complex sound that will surely breathe in a new life to your playing.

Specification:

  • 16” cymbal size
  • B10 Bronze material
  • Dark finish
  • Wide-blade lathing
  • Lathe-formed profile

Pros:

  • Delivers a sound that punches through the densest mixes.
  • Perfect for heavy music such as metal and rock.
  • Affordable price point.
  • Produces a dark and clear tone perfect for live performances.

Cons:

  • The 16” Meinl Classics Custom Dark China lacks in terms of sustain.

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Zildjian 19″ K Custom Hybrid China

Zildjian 19' K Custom Hybrid China

Brand: Zildjian

Type: Premium-level China Cymbal

Designed by legendary Japanese drummer Akira Jimbo, the Zildjian K Custom China provides unparalleled darkness and brilliance. In addition, this China cymbal packs modern K voices the K Custom offers. Thus, providing users with a unique drum tone that can easily punch through the demands of all genres.

Moreover, the Zildjian K Custom features a B20 cast bronze material, ensuring outstanding durability against every hit. Furthermore, the Zildjian K Custom delivers a full and rich tone that gets better with age.

Specification:

  • 19” cymbal size
  • B20 cast bronze material
  • Thin cymbal profile
  • Traditional outer finish
  • Brilliant inner finish

Pros:

  • Suitable for modern genres.
  • The utilization of an unlathed bell provides better projection.
  • Delivers an incredible balance between darkness and brilliance.
  • Designed by legendary drummer Akira Jimbo.

Cons:

  • The size of this China cymbal might be too big for a compact or portable drumkit.

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Meinl Cymbals Cymbal, 18″ Dark China

Meinl Cymbals Cymbal, 18' Dark China (B18DACH)

Brand: Meinl

Type: Premium-level China Cymbal

The Meinl Byzance Dark China features B20 alloy materials that underwent a meticulous hand-hammering process. As a result, the Meinl Dark China produces a dark and low attack complemented by a trashy tone. In addition, this specific construction allows the Byzance Dark China to cut easily within a mix.

Furthermore, Meinl ensured that this China has an unlathed surface, allowing for a defined attack. In addition, this specific construction allows for a roaring projection with a subtle sustain within a dark tonal range.

Specification:

  • B20 Cast bronze alloy material
  • 18” cymbal size
  • Unlathed surface
  • Dark finish
  • Hand-hammering process

Pros:

  • Produces an explosive sound while preserving tonal quality.
  • Excellent for genres such as pop, funk, and R&B.
  • Delivers a powerful trashy tone.
  • Extremely versatile China cymbal.

Cons:

  • The most expensive China cymbal on this list.

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WUHAN WU104-15 China Cymbal 15-Inch

WUHAN WU104-15 China Cymbal 15-Inch

Brand: Wuhan

Type: Budget-friendly Crash Cymbal

I understand how hard it is to find a cymbal with premium-level materials within an extremely affordable price point. However, the Wuhan WU104 15” China begs to differ. Featuring cast B20 bronze alloy materials, the WU104 provides an explosive dark and trashy tone without breaking the bank.

Furthermore, Wuhan crafted the WU104 15” using a 2,000 years old traditional method. Thus, ensuring the durability and quality of this China cymbal. Lastly, the WU104 15” incorporates a buffed brilliant finish, providing an aesthetically-pleasing look for your kit.

Specification:

  • 15” China cymbal
  • Cast B20 bronze alloy material
  • Handcrafted construction
  • Brilliant finish
  • Made in China

Pros:

  • Features premium-level specifications within a budget-friendly price point.
  • Delivers a powerful, dark, and trashy tone.
  • Suitable for all drumming levels.
  • Utilizes a 2,000 years old traditional method, ensuring an excellent performance every time.

Cons:

  • The Wuhan WU104 15” suffers from poor cutting quality; however, it still performs decently.

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Paiste 2002 Nova China Cymbal 20 in.

Paiste 2002 Nova China Cymbal 20 in.

Brand: Paiste

Type: Premium-level China Cymbal

The Paiste 2002 delivers the world-renowned “2002 Bronze” for Crash cymbal users to enjoy. The Paiste 2002 China features a medium bright and trashy tone. In addition, it also delivers a full and wide sound range.

Moreover, Paiste also designed the 2002 China cymbal with a responsive feel and complex overall sound. Thus, making the Paiste 2002 China an excellent cymbal for classic rock music. Finally, Paiste equipped the 2002 China with a wide dynamic range and explosive power to easily cut within a mix.

Specification:

  • 20” cymbal size
  • CuSn8 Bronze (B8 Bronze alloy) material
  • Traditional finish
  • Bright and trashy tone
  • Made in Switzerland

Pros:

  • Delivers a bright, exotic, and trashy tone.
  • Offers decent projection, helping drummers stand out within a mix.
  • Features a clear and defined bell.
  • For a China cymbal, the Paiste 2002 offers outstanding versatility.

Cons:

  • I think the price point of the Paiste 2002 is too much considering it is a B8 Bronze cymbal.

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Meinl 12” China Cymbal – HCS Traditional Finish

Meinl 12” China Cymbal – HCS Traditional Finish Brass for Drum Set, Made In Germany, 2-YEAR WARRANTY (HCS12CH)

Brand: Meinl

Type: Entry-level Crash Cymbal

Perfect for drummers within a tight budget, the Meinl HCS China offers decent brass materials at a cheap price point. Firstly, the HCS China incorporates a “lip” on the cymbal’s age, delivering a thrashy gong sound. Secondly, HCS China’s brass alloy offers decent durability against stick contact and hard-hitting drummers.

Lastly, this specific construction helps the HCS Crash to maintain an affordable price point without compromising its tone. Therefore, making this crash cymbal an excellent buy for beginners who practice regularly.

Specification:

  • 12” cymbal size
  • MS63 brass alloy material
  • Traditional finish
  • “Lip” edge construction
  • Thin cymbal construction

Pros:

  • Cheapest China cymbal on this list.
  • Excellent choice for beginners and teachers.
  • Delivers a trashy sound.
  • Features durable construction and materials.

Cons:

  • I won’t recommend this cymbal for live performances and recording.

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Sabian XSR 18″ Chinese Cymbal

Sabian XSR 18' Chinese Cymbal, Brilliant Finish, Natural, inch (XSR1816B)

Brand: Sabian

Type: Premium-level Crash Cymbal

The Sabian XSR China utilizes B20 Bronze materials that underwent trickle-down technology. Thus, allowing it to deliver unparalleled sound, performance, and responsiveness within its price point. In addition, the XSR China combines the responsiveness of thin cymbals and the projection of medium cymbals. Consequently, delivering a performance that cuts within the fabric of genres.

Moreover, the XSR Series utilizes modern pinpoint lathing, improving the cymbal’s overall responsiveness. Lastly, the Sabian designed the XSR China with an emphasis on projection, allowing the cymbal to cut through different genres and musical settings.

Specification:

  • Cast B20 bronze alloy material
  • Modern pinpoint lathing and hammering
  • Brilliant finish
  • Small bell size
  • Thin cymbal construction

Pros:

  • Perfect for all musical genres.
  • Boasts an extremely responsive and raw cymbal performance.
  • Considering its price point, the usage of Cast B20 Alloy is a steal.
  • Delivers a quick response and explosive projection.

Cons:

  • Based on my taste, I wouldn’t recommend this cymbal for heavy music.

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Frequently Asked Questions about China Cymbals

What is China cymbal used for?

Drummers oftentimes utilize a China cymbal on heavy music such as metal, punk, and rock. In addition, it is most prominent within metal subgenres such as metalcore and thrash metal. Sometimes, drummers also utilize China cymbals on jazz fusion and Brazilian music due to their thrashy and raw sound.

What is the difference between a crash and a China cymbal?

Both cymbals provide a strong accentuation with minimal sustain. However, a crash cymbal delivers an extremely loud and washy tone with an explosive projection. On the other hand, a China cymbal produces a more trashy and huge tone than the former.

Where can I hit a China cymbal?

The “correct” way to mount a China cymbal on a stand is by allowing it to have its tip pointing upwards. However, this mounting method can easily degrade stick quality— which may lead to breakage. Therefore, I recommend drummers mount it upside-down, allowing users to easily choke and hit the cymbal while preserving stick quality.

What do you do with cymbals?

Cymbals are metal rings mounted all-around a drumkit. In addition, drummers hit them to accentuate the band’s count. They also provide an excellent way to mix up the rhythm and time signature of a particular song.

How do you play Chinese cymbals?

Similar to other cymbals, you hit a China cymbal on its edge to produce its distinctive sound. However, drummers should be aware of the cymbal’s unique lip since it may easily degrade stick quality. In addition, it may also lead to injury when grabbing the lip. Therefore, we advise drummers to mount a China cymbal downward to avoid these from happening.

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