The best new cymbals of 2022, as voted for by you

Our cymbals are one of the most personal - and diverse - items in our kits. They're what give us the flavour on top of the meat of kick and snare, and as such, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to our precious metals.

So it's fitting that this year's top three is a markedly mixed trio, ranging from your very contemporary-feeling winner, through a versatile star-name offering to something for the jazzers amongst you.

1. Zildjian S Dark

Dark and dry are undoubtedly the buzzwords in Cymbal Land. Zildjian's eye- and ear-catching extension of its S family certainly fits the bill, and garnered just over a third of all the votes cast this year.

The proprietary - and very 2022 - finish looks stunning, while random hammering ups the complexity of sound on offer. In play these are explosive but discrete, never overstaying their welcome, with markedly restrained sustain.

Find out more at Zildjian.

Zildjian S Dark

(Image credit: Zildjian)

2. Sabian HHX Anthology

A fourth collaboration between cymbal guru Mark Love and esteemed player Jojo Mayer, Sabian's HHX Anthology is the firm's latest extension of its HHX range, originally established in 2001, and is designed to be its most versatile line-up to date.

Mark Love - actual grown-up job title Director of Research and Development, Sabian - says, “Developing Anthology with Jojo Mayer was an intense collaboration. Jojo always amazes us, both with his forward modern thinking and his incredible drumming style and technique." 

More poetically, Mayer himself said “Anthology is a return to essence. A re-orientation towards new possibilities and thinking. An instrument that transcends labels and inspires individual expression.”

Find out more at Sabian.

3. Paiste Flat Rides

Rounding out your top 3 metals this year, Paiste's new Flat Rides - so-called due to the absence of a standard ride bell - sit at the discreet, delicate end of the cymbal spectrum and are ideally suited to jazz or acoustic settings. The 2022 offering actually combines reintroduced models from the Formula 602, 2002, and Traditionals ranges, with an all-new Masters series entry.

That missing bell means that Flat Rides offer unbeatable control, with very little build-up, for a sound characterised by a well-defined, cultivated ping.

Find out more at Paiste.

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.