They say, “Mighty things come in small packages.” This holds true for splash cymbals, as they are the smallest members of the cymbal family, but what they add to the overall sound of a drum kit is pretty mighty.
A splash delivers a fast and cutting sound, almost like a crash, that puts stress on your fills and riffs. Splash cymbals have been around for quite some time now.
In the ’20s and ’30s, they were considered a staple of jazz music due to their mystic sound and fast fading effect. The instrument became popular in the contemporary music world when renowned drummers like Stewart Copeland started using them.
Splash cymbals come in various sizes, designs, and styles and if this is your first time investing in this drum kit accessory, you might get overwhelmed with so many options available.
But which one is the best splash cymbal?
Sounds like a tricky situation. Right?
In this article, we will get you started on some of the top-rated splash cymbals along with some important pointers you should know when buying a cymbal.
Best Splash Cymbal – Which one to choose?
Have a look at our top picks:
🏆 Sabian AAX 8″ Air Splash Cymbal 🏆
The Sabian Air Splash series is one of the most dynamic cymbal ranges produced by the company. This particular model takes the precision level even further with its extraordinary design.
Due to its dynamic range, powerful sound, and amazing clarity, it is highly recommended by professional recording artists.
The plates are made of high-quality B20 bronze and produce a raw, unique sound. The perforated design gives a very delicate edge which explains the extremely fast decay of this splash cymbal.
Compared to a Sabian O-zone cymbal, the white noise concentration of this instrument is considerably high, but this does not affect its sound quality. You can say that this instrument is a beautiful blend of harmony and white noise.
You can play this cymbal solo, or stacked on top of other cymbals.
When played solo, this cymbal adds a new dimension to the overall sound of your drum kit.
However, when played in combination with a crash cymbal, Sabian 8″ AAX Air Splash is ideal for concerts. For a more steady sound, you can play it with a ride cymbal.
- Dynamic sound due to perforated plates
- Compact design
- Loud projection
- Crisp sound
- Too modern for some tastes
🏆 Zildjian A Series 10″ Splash Cymbal 🏆
Zildjian is one of the most renowned cymbal brands in the market. The brand is known for producing cymbals that are not only great looking but also very versatile.
If you are looking for a classic cymbal with lots of tonal character and mellow harmonies, this is the best option for you!
Crafted with B20 bronze, this cymbal has a classic, elegant finish. The super-thin plates produce a sharp, clear, and precise sound.
Due to its great range of harmonies, this instrument works well with almost every music genre. This is an ideal choice for those who don’t want to stick to a particular genre and experiment with their sound.
The well-rounded sound of this cymbal features a perfect blend of precision and clarity.
The A series cymbals are known for their signature colorful Zildjian sound that has been a part of many timeless compositions.
As far as the versatility is concerned, this cymbal is arguably the winner!
- Rich tonal character
- Classic finish
- Warm sound
- Better suited for professionals
🏆 Meinl Cymbals Byzance 10″ Dual Splash 🏆
As the name implies, this dual cymbal is a perfect blend of extra dry and sleek finish.
The dual series cymbals by Meinl are designed using unique hammering and lathing techniques to produce a full-bodied sound.
Dreamy cymbals and Meinl are two of the most prominent commercial brands that have been producing handcrafted cymbals. The cymbal has garnered great reviews from professionals due to its super-swift playing response.
The instrument delivers very clear sound and has a short sustain, which makes it ideal for gigs and studio recording.
The plates are made of high-quality B20 bronze and are paper-thin which explains its high-pitched trashy sound when struck hard.
The cymbal offers a dynamic range that covers every modern music genre. You can also use this instrument for accents and adding a unique harmony to your music.
Although the cymbal is very easy to play and anyone can handle it, but its premium price point makes it more popular among professionals.
- Dual finish
- Delivers a deep, clear sound
- Versatile range
- A bit pricey
🏆 Meinl 10″ Splash Cymbal – Classics Custom Dark 🏆
Next up is another masterpiece by Meinl. This distinctive-looking cymbal is very compact in size, but it has a mighty sound.
The instrument effortlessly delivers a very crisp, loud sound with unprecedented clarity.
Initially, Meinl produced cymbals that were more suited for beginners.
But, later the company shifted its focus to a wide spectrum of drummers.
Whether you have just started experimenting with cymbals or you are pro, this classic cymbal will win your heart!
It is easy to play and sounds great in a studio as well as in an open space.
Just like its exterior, this splash cymbal has a very dark, intense sound which sets it apart from its contemporaries.
Dark cymbals are low-pitched instruments and often have clarity issues.
Crafted with B20 bronze, the instrument has a very dominant projection that you can use for improved attacks.
This instrument adds a trashy yet classy punch, adding a unique flavor to the overall sound of the drum kit. For its price, the cymbal offers amazing sound quality and control.
- Distinctive exterior
- Great sound quality
- Short sustain
- Ideal for complex overtones
- Some might find the sound too trashy
🏆 Zildjian A Custom 10″ EFX Cymbal 🏆
If you are into contemporary music, then this splash cymbal is custom-made for you.
Be it pop music or hard rock, the sharp sound of this cymbal goes with every music genre. The tiny holes on the metal plates produce a unique, pithy sound ideally suited for powerful accents.
The B20 bronze plates shine brightly and the sleek finish instantly catches the eye. The beauty of this instrument is, it has a powerful beat that penetrates effortlessly yet doesn’t linger on and quickly fades away.
This model from the Zildjian A custom franchise is paper-thin and extremely lightweight which explains its high-pitched sound when hit hard.
But, at the same time, this cymbal produces a heavy bell and warm sound when hit softly, which blends in beautifully with the various sounds of a drum kit.
The dynamic range of sounds makes this splash cymbal ideal for modern music. The instrument is quite easy to play and does not lose its sound quality over time.
However, excessive perforation can lead to cracks if not handled with care.
- Short decay
- Sharp and precise sound
- Dynamic sound range
- Too many holes might distract the drummer
Choosing the Right Splash Cymbal – Things to Consider
The first thing you need to know for choosing the right splash cymbal is your musical preferences.
There are all types of cymbals out there, from high-pitched to heavy bass. The high-pitched tones are better suited for loud and contemporary music like rock and pop.
While the ones with a warm sound are ideal for jazz, blues, and soft styles.
If you are not sure about your music style, you better invest in a versatile splash cymbal that works well with every genre.back to menu ↑
Does Cymbal Size Matter?
Yes, it does!
The sustained duration of a splash cymbal is directly proportional to its size. Larger splash cymbals have a longer sustain which means that their sound will linger on for a while.
On the other hand, smaller cymbals have a quick sustain and quickly fades away.
If you are using multiple cymbals, we recommend investing in different sizes. You can also make a stack of different-sized cymbals to give a hit-hat like an effect.
The sound quality also varies on the configuration and tightness of the stack.back to menu ↑
What Makes a Splash Cymbal Great?
There are no definite parameters for calling a splash cymbal ‘great’.
However, the three most important qualities you should be looking for when buying a splash cymbal are:
- It is easy to play and meets your musical preferences
- The sound quality is clear and crisp
- It fits your budget
If you are thinking of accessorizing your drumming setup, we would highly recommend you invest in a splash cymbal.
You will be amazed at the amount of diversity and flair this tiny instrument can bring to your drum kit.
You can use it solo for hard-hitting accents or play it in combination with other cymbals to enhance your sound, it’s up to you.
Experiment with it, explore your sound, and make beautiful music!
We have reviewed some of the best splash cymbals, designed for beginners and professionals alike.
Hope you found the article helpful!