20 Crash Cymbals Compared | From $70 to $570

10 Flat Ride Cymbals Compared | Which is Best for You?

Tony Interlande |

Discover the Perfect Crash Cymbal for You!

Are you searching for the perfect crash cymbal to match your musical taste and style? Well, there are indeed limitless options available for you in the market. But did you know that for 18” crash cymbals alone — we carry over 150 different selections here at the  Drum Center of Portsmouth? Yup, that’s right!

These crash cymbals are from eight different manufacturers namely: Paiste, Zildjian, Istanbul, Meinl, Sabian, Wuhan, Dream, and Royal Cymbals. So to help you narrow down your choices and choose the crash cymbal that best fits your preferences, we’ll be comparing a total of 20 crash cymbals at different price points in this article! Moreover, we also wanted to compare the distinct sounds of these crash cymbals. And ultimately answer the question — “Does price really matter?” You know what? There’s only one way to find out!

So, are you ready? Ranging from $70 all the way to $570, prepare to explore the construction, sound characteristics, and musical capabilities of each of these 20 amazing crash cymbals!

Zildjian ZBT Crash Ride Cymbal 18” (USED) - $50

Rogers Tower Limited Drum set

Alright! We’ll be starting off this one with the most affordable crash cymbal on the list — the Zildjian ZBT 18” Crash Ride Cymbal, which you can get for only $70! Now, before anything else, let me just clarify that this crash cymbal is USED. But hey, it's in absolutely great condition! There are no cracks, keyholes, or even flea bites. Although you can notice some minor tarnish around the edge of the cymbal. The best part? It still sounds amazing and can get the job done. 

Wuhan Crash Cymbal 18” - $112.50

Tama Starclassic Walnut Birch Drum Set

Next up on the list is the Wuhan 18” Crash Cymbal which is priced at only $112.50. This one’s the perfect tool to cut through the wall of sound on stage and make your performance stand out even more! It looks astonishingly clean and beautiful as well. Wuhan’s Traditional Western-style crash cymbals are known to have the perfect mix of sound quality, performance, and affordability!

Meinl HCS Bronze Crash Cymbal 18” - $120

DW Maple Spruce Drum Set

This Meinl HCS Bronze 18” Crash Cymbal is made in Germany from the iconic B8 bronze alloy. It features a lathe-formed profile, wide blade lathing, and a traditional finish that looks stunning even from afar. Oh, and I must say — this crash cymbal offers more value than any other cymbal line in DCP’s catalog! It provides a clean stick response together with an explosive sound which you’ll absolutely love. 

Paiste PST 8 Reflector Medium Crash Cymbal 18” - $174

Mapex Saturn Evolution Hybrid Drum Set

Well, this list wouldn’t be complete without Paiste having its very own entry, right? The Paiste PST 8 Reflector Medium 18” Crash Cymbal is a bang for the buck given its remarkable capabilities offering medium and clean frequency, bright sound, and a responsive feel that’s perfect for multi-purpose playing in different styles! Trust me, these crash cymbals sound better than they should at this particular price point. 

Meinl Classics Custom Medium Crash Cymbal 18” - $200

Gretsch Purple Monster Broadkaster

Ah, now I’m 100% sure that you’ll fall in love at first sight with this majestic Meinl Classics Custom Medium 18” Crash Cymbal. This one offers a full range of frequency to any drummer with a wide-spread, fairly smooth attack, and a shimmering fade. Whether it’s rock, metal, jazz, or fusion — you will absolutely love playing with these bad boys! 

Dream Bliss Paper Thin Crash Cymbal 18” - $240

Geroge Way Tuxedo Drum Set

If you’re looking to deliver a blissful performance all throughout, then I suggest you take a look at this Dream Bliss Paper Thin 18” Crash Cymbal ! For only $240, this badass crash cymbal packs a powerful punch featuring a warm and responsive tone with quick decay. Oh, and the thing that’s so special about these Paper Thin crash cymbals is that each of them is meticulously created being hand-hammered, forged in fire, and earnestly micro-lathed. 

Turkish Classic Crash Cymbal 18” - $226

Pearl Reference One Drum Set

Going in at number seven is the Turkish Classic 18” Crash Cymbal which is said to beautifully represent Istanbul’s colorful history of cymbal-smithing. The weight and hammering techniques used in making these crash cymbals will probably remind you of the iconic “Vintage K” profile with a contemporary tonal flavor. The Classic series features timbres ranging from dark with full-bodied sustain to bright with pure crash tones that any drummer will definitely love! 

Paiste 2002 Thin Crash Cymbal 18” - $322

Ludwig Jellybean Vistalite Drum Set

Next up is another entry from Paiste, the legendary 2002 Thin 18” Crash Cymbals which has been the industry standard for professional drummers for over half a century! These badass crash cymbals are beautifully engineered to immediately produce explosive and bright crashes that convey a silvery, warm, and lively response. The tone is well-defined and even at softer strikes. While the stick is washy with a lively intensity and medium sustain.

Man, it’s just hard to imagine a world without these Paiste 2002s, especially since they are the industry standard for the rock genre. Just listen to any Led Zeppelin or Van Halen album and you’ll see!

Zildjian A Thin Crash Cymbal 18” - $310

BDC Cherry Drum Set

You can never go wrong with a Zildjian, it’s just that simple! And this A Thin 18” Crash Cymbal will be the living proof of that statement. For only $310, it comes PACKED to serve you an immediately responsive and explosive crash. It’s also a solid fit for any genre of music given its fast, bright, and lovely tone.

Oh, and not only that — it also has a good-sized bell that cuts with a clean musical note. Trust me, we are HUGE FANS of Zildjian Thin Crashes here at the Drum Center of Portsmouth!

Istanbul Agop Traditional Dark Crash Cymbal 18” - $359

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Halfway on the list, we get these awesome Istanbul Agop Traditional 18” Crash Cymbals featuring dark and punchy sustains with high-frequency overtones. It also promises an immediate response which I’m sure you’ll love. Each of these crash cymbals is individually handcrafted by dedicated and hard-working cymbal-smiths. Truly a work of art! 

Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium Thin Crash Cymbal 18” - $390

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Going in at number eleven is this wonderful Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium Thin 18” Crash Cymbal. Priced at $390, it comes swinging out of the gate with a washy and fairly dark sound featuring a loud attack with moderate sustain. It can also be as versatile as it can get, being able to cover a full frequency spectrum! These Meinl Byzance crash cymbals already made a name for themselves and are considered by lots of drummers as classics. Get yours now!

Paiste Signature 18” Mellow Crash Cymbal - $437

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Another entry from Paiste is the Signature 18” Mellow Crash Cymbals that go for only $437. It features a narrow range and medium clean mix that’s perfect for lower-volume playing such as mellow jazz music. These great crash cymbals pack a warm, low, full, and mellow tone. Oh, and it’s also extremely responsive with a crisp attack and fast fade.

The Paiste Signatures are the stars that define this era of modern cymbals. Well, for one thing — it’s Paiste. You can never go wrong with Paiste!

Zildjian K Custom Dark Crash Cymbal 18” - $390

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Sweeping in at number thirteen is the Zildjian K Custom 18” Dark Crash Cymbal. This one’s a clear choice for every drummer walking into the store, given that it comes PACKED with tons of amazing features. All of which can work in any type of setting whether it’s rock, jazz, or combination.

These K Custom Dark Crash Cymbals are known for their warm and rich sounds that cut through the noise and beautifully sing out to the crowd. It also provides an immediate response with very quick decay. Oh, and it has a unique crash with dry and trashy overtones thanks to the K and A style hammering technique. It raises the cymbal profile for more stick definition, something to make every performance stand out!

Istanbul Agop Cindy Blackman OM Crash Cymbal 18” - $426

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Next up, the Istanbul Cindy Blackman OM 18” Crash Cymbal will absolutely steal your attention. These may be paper-thin, but they promise an explosive attack with a quick decay that will elevate any drummer’s performance on stage. This selection of wonderful crash cymbals was designed with the touch of the one and only Cindy Blackman — a legendary jazz and rock icon. So when it comes to modern rock, pop, and jazz settings, these bad boys will surely be able to pull it off!

Sabian HHX Complex Thin Crash Cymbal 18” - $430

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

The Sabian HHX Complex 18” Thin Crash Cymbal is one of the most exciting cymbals released by Sabian IN YEARS. Priced at $430 — this badass cymbal is big, thin, and dark featuring a small hand-hammered raw bell in the middle. Its big and over-hammered design allows you to produce a tone that can get downright nasty and trashy, almost showcasing the fact that it seems to have a built-in distortion effect. Amazing, right?

These Sabian HHX crashes possess versatility that can help you play easily across various musical styles. Well, that has always been the trademark of the HHX line, and it’s what makes these badass crash cymbals extra special!

Paiste Signature Traditionals Thin Crash Cymbal 18” - $488

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Ah, coming up at sweet sixteen is another entry from Paiste which you should definitely see. At $488, the Signature Traditionals 18” Thin Crash Cymbal looks absolutely stunning and I wouldn’t blame you if it captured your heart right away!

These awesome crash cymbals feature a dark, transparent, and warm tone with a loose frequency range and an extremely complex mix. Oh, and it also provides a special emphasis on volume control, dynamics, and stick feel. It’s very sensitive, has a soft response, and a great feel. Well, what do you expect? It’s Paiste, of course, it won’t let you down!

Istanbul Agop Traditional 30th Anniversary Crash Cymbal 18” - $493

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Up next, the Istanbul Agop Traditional 30th Anniversary 18” Crash Cymbal has that distinct dark and thin design showcasing the intense and deep hammering technique used in making it. This remarkable cymbal is made of B20 Bronze and subjected to a special pre-aging process to achieve its amazing appearance.

Istanbul’s 30th Anniversary crashes are known for their thin crash that comes with a very quick decay and a trashy yet controlled wash.

Meinl Byzance Foundry Reserve Crash Cymbal 18” - $490

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

If you’re looking to buy traditional Turkish-style cymbals from Meinl, then the Byzance Foundry Reserve 18” Crash Cymbal would be the perfect one for you! It showcases the most stunning and sonically rich works of art by their cymbalsmiths and I’m sure that you’ll easily fall in love with these wonderful crashes.

It features a one-of-a-kind hammering technique that visibly shows deep craters across the surface. This not only creates a unique appearance for the cymbal but also produces a clear and dry stick attack with a lush bed of low undertones — also known as “The Roar”. The Byzance Foundry Reserve crash cymbals are actually complex instruments equipped with layers of tonality and nuance. But hey, once you master the art of taming this beast — you’re in for something special!

Zildjian K Constantinople Crash Cymbal 18” - $515

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Ah, there it is! Another work of art you shouldn’t miss is this majestic Zildjian Constantinople 18” Crash Cymbal. The meticulous process involved in bringing these to life is definitely justified given the mesmerizing sound of these cymbals.

The K Constantinople series actually underwent a makeover and now features new hammering techniques to more dark overtones, musicality, and distinction than ever before! It’s also equipped with a new pin lathe, serving an additional tonal groove that contributes to the overall complexity and sound produced by the crash cymbal. Oh, and not only that — it also adds a more vintage look!

Sabian Artisan Crash Cymbal 18” Brilliant - $585

Sonor SQ2 26 Bass Drum Set

Finally — coming in at number twenty is the Sabian Artisan 18” Brilliant Crash Cymbal. Speaking of brilliance, this superb instrument is beautifully remastered to even maximize its already remarkable features. Yes, exactly like a recording made to sound even better! Featuring deeper, warmer, and more musically complex overtones, this cymbal is destined for the next superstar.

Its responses are now even faster, full, and packed with tonal color. Lastly, this Artisan crash cymbal’s raw bell design combined with the high-density hand hammering technique used make it even more superior!

Got something that captured your taste and style from this list? Order your crash cymbal from DCP now!

And there you have it! Those were 20 crash cymbals at different price points that you can score here at the Drum Center of Portsmouth — the largest independently owned drum store in the world.

Still thinking about which one to purchase? Don’t worry because here at DCP, we go to great lengths just to showcase the quality and performance of each and every instrument we offer. Oh, and nobody else makes amazing and comprehensive head-to-head comparisons of your favorite percussion instruments like us. So come on and check this video out! 

Are you still looking for more remarkable drums and percussion instruments to add to your collection? Feel free to visit our website www.drumcenternh.com or subscribe to our YouTube channel Drum Center of Portsmouth for more amazing content. See ya around!