Best Quiet Cymbals in 2019 (Quieter Than Regular Cymbals)
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Quiet cymbals are uniquely designed with special metal alloys to make them produce quieter sound than normal cymbals. If you will be practicing at home or in a noise sensitive environment, there is the need to use quiet cymbals to make sure you won’t cause unwanted disturbances to your neighbors or people living in adjacent rooms. Low volume cymbals also protect your ears from damage. Brands known for manufacturing silent cymbals include, WHD, Kasza, Sabian, and Zildjian.
The answer to this question is subject to debate. But as a drummer, here’s what I have to say. Buying packs is a great way to get you started as a beginner. Cymbals packs are the best option when taking budget into consideration. Some will last you through into your career but in the end you will end up buying one by one in order to get the specific sound you are looking for. (Also check out my guide on quiet drum sets)
To create a cymbal that produces sound that is up to 80% quieter than normal cymbals. To create a cymbal that produces quieter than regular cymbals, the manufacturer has used a metal alloy with matte finish perforated with uniquely placed homes to give them a low tone. The volume is drastically reduced to manageable levels.
The Zildjian L80S silent cymbals are ideal for use lessons room, home drum rooms, practice space, and also good for musical gigs that require an extremely quiet drummer. Drum teachers and their students make use of the L80’s not only to reduce ear protect their ears from damage but also to discuss topics and issues as students are playing in real time.
Preparing for that last minute gig, mastering new drumming concepts, or warming backstage before making stage entrance are all realitier thanks to the Zildjian L80 noiseless cymbals. The only downside with the Zildjian L80 is that the special alloy construction isn’t sturdy as the full volume cymbals and will most likely break if you hit aggressively after some years.
How does the Zildjian L80 compare with Gen 16
Even though the L80 and Zildjian Gen 16 are similar- they are riddled with holes and have same color- they are designed for different uses and work differently. The L80 is designed to be up to 80% quieter than regular cymbal of the same size. When played, the L80 gives the response of a real metal cymbal and this makes it perfect for lesson spaces, rehearsals and events that require low volume cymbals.
On the other hand, the Gen16 are much louder despite the holes. They are a part of an electronic system that includes pre-amps, direct source, wires, and Digital Cymbals Processor (DPP) that can adjust EQ curve resulting to the adjustment of the sound of each cymbal.
WHD Low Volume 16″ Crash Cymbal
The White Horse Drums (WHD) quiet practice cymbals allow for silent drumming without extravagant step up from rubber pads or plastic pads. They resemble the traditional cymbals except for one noticeable difference- large amount of holes. Most of the cymbal’s surface has been lost to hundreds if not thousands of tiny perforations.
It’s the perforations that are the key to making these cymbals as quiet as possible. Just like the Zildjian L80 models, the WHD cymbal reduces volume by up to 80% compared to traditional ones. Another feature that sets them apart is the less traditional silver nickel finish which gives them a distinctive and interesting look. The WHD whisper quiet cymbals are perfect for practice, drum lessons and any other environment that require silence.
The latest addition to the Sabian Quiet Tone series is the Sabian Cymbal Set. It is made of sturdy alloy that resists staining, tarnishing, breaking and denting for durability. While they are designed for low volume sessions, the Sabian quiet tone are designed to respond and feel like normal cymbals so you won’t have to hit hard than you do on normal cymbals.
Tonally, they are bright but the sound remains controlled and like all other quiet cymbals, they have thousands of perforations to keep the sound levels down without affecting the tone.
Millenium Still Series Cymbal Set
For anyone who’s on a budget but still want to enjoy same results as with the Zildjian low volume cymbals, well, the Millenium Still series are the perfect choice. They offer the convenience offered by other high end cymbals. They are cheaper and much quieter even with hard hitting.
According to the manufacturer they are up to 80% quieter compared to the traditional cymbal set. They are perfect choice for rehearsal rooms, unplugged gigs, quiet practice at home, and for drummers who truly want an authentic response.
My recommended quiet cymbal
Nothing beats the quality offered Zildjian L80 cymbals. It’s much quieter than the Gen16 and any other normal cymbals. Even though this product was designed to serve as a quiet cymbal option, it can be integrated with an electronic kit but with some efforts. The drumsticks rebound in similar manner as when playing a real cymbal. They are an effective solution for drum teachers and students who need a quiet cymbal that responds and feels like a real cymbal. The set costs much less than the cost of single real cymbals and are backed by the manufacturer’s reputation for quality.
What can I use on cymbals to quiet them?
If you already own traditional cymbals and would like to practice at home there a way you can kill all the noise with less than $50. You can use cymbal damper pads commonly known as cymbal silencer. Some of these products I recommend below can be ordered online and have them delivered same day or next day at your convenience.
A good example is the SoundOff by Evans Cymbal Mute which provides up to 95% volume reduction. With this product installed you will still experience a realistic cymbal rebound. They are available in a variety of sizes for cymbals and drums and can be used on an entire drum kit. Another cymbal silencer I’d recommend is the Cymbomute silencer.