Top 10 Best Sounding Ride Cymbals For Jazz (In My Opinion)

Updated on May 5, 2018

#1- Istanbul Agop Mel Lewis Light Ride (22")

This ride is definitely my favorite on the list. This warm sounding, low profile ride goes for around $500 online. Very pricey but worth it. Mel Lewis was a big band drummer that was at his peak around the 1970s. This was his signature cymbal. With the dark lows, woody bell and smooth ring, along with an exceptional crash, this ride is sure to make any set better. The dynamics on this cymbal are medium to low. Adding rivets could add a little pizzazz to your set.

#2- Zildjian K Ride (22")

This comes from one of the worlds most known cymbal brands, Zildjian. Their K series was created by Kerope Zildjian in the 19th century! These cymbals have warm, expressive sounds. This ride specifically carries a very nice tone. With a low pitch, dark sound, long sustain, and medium dynamics, this would be perfect for combo jazz. The only downside for this one is the price, at $439.95 on the Zildjian website. I'm sure you could find it somewhere used for a little cheaper.

#3- Dream Bliss Ride (22")

Dream cymbals have really been an underdog brand. These are more on the affordable side, but that does not take away from the quality. The Dream Bliss is a paper thin ride with a nice woody attack and an articulate bell sound. It has thin tapers at the end to get the most out of the sound. It goes for $289 on amazon. It has a quick decay which could be good for gigs in venues with bad acoustics. This would be a very good for a left-side ride because of its nice crash and high tone. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is wanting to get serious

#4- Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium Ride (21")

Meinl is another well known brand for rides and other cymbals. The Byzance Traditional series is a branch off of the Byzance cymbals which have many other branches like Byznace jazz, brilliant, dark, extra dry, and vintage. The traditional series takes both versatility and a dark, buttery-soft feel and puts them together into an intricate, hand-hammered cymbal. This one has a very nice crash and a dark, warm sound. These also just look really good with the hand-hammered divots. I would recommend putting rivets into this to make it sound that much better. rivets are a good addition to any ride but especially with this one because of the traditional sound. This goes for $400 on most websites

#5- Dream Vintage Bliss Ride (17")

Dream deserves another spot on this list. This one has a vintage sound, as said in the title, along with Broad bell with smooth transition. With a punchy and articulate attack, the Dream Vintage Bliss can be the best ride you will ever have. The vintage bliss line was originally supposed to be a limited time offer, but because of the demand, they made it a permanent stay. Dream is never to disappoint with its paper thin edges for the best sound possible. This one also has a low profile and gentle bridge, just like the other dream. This could be good as a left side ride because they also advertise it to double as a crash too. This one goes for around $150, which I think is going to be the best deal on this list.

#6- Istanbul Mehmet Turk Jazz Ride (22")

Istanbul Mehmet cymbals are very high quality cymbals, hand crafted in Turkey. This cymbal offers nothing but the most raw, dry, and natural sound. There is a wide variety of overtones and quality ring because of the hand hammered indents. Putting rivets into this would definitely be a good idea because of how raw it already sounds and because of the quick, woody attack. This one goes for around $300-350. You can also purchase them with rivets already in, which I think is a great idea if you do not have the tools to do so. All of Istanbul's cymbals are fully handcrafted to perfection, so this is sure to impress anyone listening.

#7- Sabian Artisan Medium Ride (20")

Sabian is a great brand when it comes to rides. From beginner cymbals to complete experts, Sabian has everything. This cymbal is handcrafted, with a sizzling hot, dark, quick attack that can be good for any setup, from jazz to rock and everything in between. This is a durable cymbal with a dark, moody tone. It is $499 on the Sabian website, but again I am sure you can find it somewhere else for cheap. It also has the stick click sound with it because of the weight, which results in also a nice, rich bell sound. The hammer marks look really cool in my opinion, which can add a good look.

#8- Sabian HH Remastered Crossover Ride (21")

This cymbal is a little different from the other cymbals on this list. It has a very dark and low tone and low resonance/ring. The bell sounds very nice and articulate. This cymbal goes for $250. Very dynamically controlled because of the small bell and uniform, flat surface. This one looks very vintage along with the sound. A nice vintage finish would look really nice too. It also doubles as a crash, hence the the "Crossover". The wide spacing of the rings look very nice. This is good for rock but also articulate ride patterns with jazz. Very versatile and good with playing "in the pocket"

#9- Sabian Signature JoJo Mayer Fierce Ride (21")

JoJo Mayer is one of my favorite drummers, and that is why he is on this list with his fierce ride. This ride goes for $400. With a fierce attack, it is still controllable. A complex blend of raw tone and dry stick click sound. With both low and mid range tones, this cymbal can really sound nice with jazz. Sabian's signature series make you stand out because of how different the sound is. The large bell is really helpful when it comes to speed, and this ride will not let you down.

#10- Paiste Masters Mellow Ride (20")

Last but not least, The Paise Masters Mellow Ride. This cymbal goes for $440. It displays a buttery, warm, mid-low sound. It doubles as both a ride and crash. With the mellow wash, nice ping and soft bell, this ride would be nice for jazz. The design of this just looks really nice and smooth too, with the shiny finish and long hammer marks. It has an initial stick attack with a long sustain. The crash of it sounds very nice too. The crash sound almost has kind of a gong feel to it, with a slow attack and sustain. Very nice.

© 2018 Riley Johnson

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