All-rounder cymbals provide the player with a good combination of warmth and brightness, and this makes them extremely versatile. By no coincidence, the all-rounder ranges tend to be the most popular sellers for each manufacturer and this fact is reflected in the enormous wealth of choice in the cymbals available.
Since all-rounder cymbals occupy the middle-ground in terms of frequency, they are drawn from a fairly wide tonal band that sits somewhere close to warm cymbals at one end, and errs on the aggressive side at the other.
It’s extremely important to remember when buying cymbals that the sound they come with is their sound for life. Unlike drums, you can’t modify or tune a cymbal (other than to its detriment by, say, cracking one in order to make it deliberately discordant), so what you hear is what you get.
You should never rush into buying a cymbal until you’re absolutely sure that it provides the sound you need. Most drum stores have demo rooms where you can test instruments in peace - it’s a good idea to use one to test out the sound of the cymbal. If the demo room is not free, make an appointment to come back when it is and ask the store to hold the cymbal until you’ve had chance to try it out.
Above all else, though, listen. In keeping with this, don’t assume that your cymbal set has to be sourced from a single manufacturer. You should try to ignore the logos and let your own ears decide. Scroll through to see our top pick...