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5 Best Electronic Drum Cymbals for 2021 with Buying Guide

Many of the best electronic drum kits do not offer drummers the sound and feel of acoustic drums. Consequently, electronic drum cymbals have become the key solution to this problem.

Acquiring electronic cymbals enhances your drumming experience. The market is awash with different varieties of them. They come at different qualities and prices.

In this article, we will review for you some of the best electronic drum cymbals for your drum set. We will also offer you a buying guide to help you know what to look for in an electronic cymbal.

Comparison Chart

 IMAGE  PRODUCT  DETAILS  BUY
Roland CY-12C Electric Drum Crash V-Cymbal, 12-Inch, Black  1. Roland CY-12C Electronic Cymbal pad
  • 12-inch V-Cymbal
  • Optimized weight-balance
  • A natural swinging motion
Roland CY-5 Electric Drum Splach, 10-Inch, Black 2. Roland CY-5 Hi-Hat V-Cymbal pad
  • Improved Cymbal Pad
  • 10″ playing zone
  • Separate bow and edge triggering
Roland VH11 V HIHAT PADS 3. Roland VH-11 V-Hi-Hat Controller Pads
  • Full-motion Electronic Hi-hat
  • Realistic Feel Dual Triggers
  • Hi-Hat Control module
Roland VH11 V HIHAT PADS 4. Alesis Nitro Cymbal Expansion Set
  • 10 Inch Alesis Nitro Cymbal
  • Great response and feel
  • 10ft TRS Trigger Cable
Roland VH11 V HIHAT PADS 5. Pintech Percussion TC10 10″ Trigger Cymbal
  • Quiet playing surface
  • Great dynamics
  • Virtually indestructible

Reviews for Electronic Cymbals

1. Roland CY-12C Electronic Cymbal pad


Things we liked

Has a choke control feature
Natural swinging motion
Highly durable
Accurate triggering
Velocity-sensitive

Things we didn’t like

Quite expensive

Every electronic drum set from Roland has become popular among drummers.

Similarly, the Roland CY-12C electronic cymbal is one of the best, featuring high sensitivity and ideal weight-balance. Among many other pads for the best electronic drum sets, this one will offer any drummer a unique playing experience. It precedes others like the CY 14C and the CY 15R.

This electronic cymbal is ideal for any genre of music. It produces a natural feel like that of an acoustic drum kit. It offers a natural swing motion any time you strike it.

You cannot go wrong with this electronic ride cymbal. It produces quality crash cymbal performance.

The electronic cymbal is also velocity-sensitive, and it features choke control. This feature is critical in ensuring that you get a realistic playing experience.

This 12-inch Roland electronic cymbal pad is a great addition to any of the best electronic drum kit. The triggers are also high-quality and can withstand many years of playing.

You will also love this V-cymbal for its high accuracy and sensitivity. The Roland brand has earned itself a name for the production of quality pads and mid range electronic drums over many years.

It’s among the latest and standard V-cymbal series that enjoy a high rating. It also comes with an adjustable ball-clamp that perfectly fits with all MDS- series. It is a great improvement of the previous versions, such as the TD-4 or TD-9 kit.

Sale
Roland CY-12C Electric Drum Crash V-Cymbal,...
  • 12-inch V-Cymbal for Crash
  • Optimized weight-balance and sensitivity
  • Provides a natural swinging motion and accurate triggering for consistent crash performance, including choke control
  • Package Weight: 1.701 kilograms

Last update on 2021-09-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


2. Roland CY-5 Hi-Hat V-Cymbal pad


Things we liked

Premium quality
Great value for money
Velocity-sensitive
Works as a crash, hi-hat, or splash
Comes with a separate bow and edge triggering
Large 10-inch playing zone

Things we didn’t like

Only a portion of the pad’s surface is playable
Does not move up and down like a real hi-hat cymbal
Does not come with an arm

Are you looking for a premium-quality and affordable hi-hat pad for your electric drum cymbal? The Roland CY-5 crash cymbal fits the bill. It is one of the most affordable Roland TD cymbal pads. It is also dense yet very sensitive and has an impressive look.

Unlike most V-cymbal pads in its category, it comes with dual- zone trigger, making it a very responsive pad. It is reliable and has a great feel. The electronic cymbal connects with almost all the best electronic drum kits that come with 1/4″ TRS cables.

The swing movement and 10-inch playing zone give this pad a more drummer-friendly triggering. Its bow and edge triggering enhance a more realistic drumming experience.

The pad is also velocity-sensitive and can work as a hi-hat, crash or splash cymbal. However, when used as a crash, the Roland CY-5 won’t deliver that natural cymbal swing. The reason being, its hole is not at the center.

The only downside of this drum and cymbal pad is that not every portion of the surface is playable. As such, you need to position it on the rubber portion for an optimal playing experience.

This cymbal comes in the series of others like the CY 14C and the CY 15R.

Sale
Roland CY-5 Electric Drum Splach, 10-Inch, Black
  • Improved Cymbal Pad for Hi-Hat or Splash
  • 10" playing zone
  • Separate bow and edge triggering
  • Can be also used as an additional cymbal pad, such as a splash, on V-Drum kits

Last update on 2021-09-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


3. Roland VH-11 V-Hi-Hat Controller Pads


Things we liked

Excellent build quality
Top-notch performance
Realistic feel
Dual-trigger feature
Easy to setup

Things we didn’t like

A bit pricey
You need to buy a hi-hat stand separately

Having a hi-hat pad that has a realistic feel is one of the most fulfilling things for every drummer. Unfortunately, not all electronic kits have this feature.

The Roland VH-11 crash cymbal pad is a game-changer in e-kits hi-hats. It features two high-quality pads that attach to a hi-hat stand, resulting in an authentic acoustic feel.

The bottom pad is static while the top pad freely moves up and down. This full-motion electronic hi-hat is excellent for aggressive playing. It delivers a realistic feel and an unbeatable response, thanks to its dual triggers. It comes in the series of others like the CY 14C and the CY 15R.

In the box, you will find the Roland VH-11 crash cymbal with an already attached clutch, hi-hat controller module, and a key. It also comes with a control module base, Velcro ties, two connection cables, and a user manual. You plug one of the cables into the hi-hat control jack and the other into the trigger jack.

The VH-11 hi-hat does not come with a hi-hat stand. It would be good if you bought it separately. Nonetheless, this does not compromise the feel of the pads. The good thing about buying a separate stand is that you can use it with acoustic drums too.

Sale
Roland VH11 V HIHAT PADS
  • Full-motion Electronic Hi-hat with Realistic Feel Dual Triggers

Last update on 2021-09-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


4. Alesis Nitro Cymbal Expansion Set


Things we liked

Ready to play out of the box
Single playable zones
Choke function
Perfect match for Alesis drums

Things we didn’t like

Does not come assembled
You need to buy a 1 ½ inch rack clamp if you have other kits apart from Alesis Nitro.

Any electronic drum set from Alesis has stood the test of time.

The Alesis Nitro Mesh is a leading entry-level electronic drum kit in the market. If you own this kit, you can consider increasing your cymbal options with this Nitro Cymbal Expansion Set. (Read Full Review)

It is also compatible with Nitro electronic drums, Burst kits, and DM Lite Kits. It works with almost all e-percussions, including the DM5, DM6, DM10, ControlPad, and Trigger|iO. You can also use it with other brands like series 6 Yamaha electronic kit, series 5 Roland V drums, and other mid range drums.

However, the clamp, which is 1 1/8 inches, is best-suited for the Nitro kit, v drum and some Yamaha kits. Therefore, you need to buy a 1 ½ inch rack clamp separately if you have other models for compatibility.

The expansion set comes ready to play out of the box. You only need to plug it in and rock. It comes with a 10-inch Nitro Cymbal, 10-feet TRS trigger cable, cymbal trigger, rack clamp, cymbal arm, and felt wingnut.

This Nitro Cymbal Expansion set comes with a choke function and features single playable zones. It delivers an incredible feel and response for a natural drumming experience.

Sale
Alesis Nitro Cymbal Expansion Set: 10 Inch Cymbal,...
  • Includes: 10 Inch Alesis Nitro Cymbal, Cymbal Arm, Rack Clamp, Felt Wingnut, 10ft TRS Trigger Cable
  • Compatible with: Nitro Mesh Kit, Nitro Kit, DM Lite Kit, Burst Kit
  • Everything you need comes in the box
  • Great response and feel for a natural drumming experience
  • Please note – This expansion pack is sold as parts, ie- the manufacturer ships it out in clear plastic only, no commercial packaging.

Last update on 2021-09-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


5. Pintech Percussion TC10 10″ Trigger Cymbal


Things we liked

Low price
The playing surface is rubberized
Quiet
Not easy to break

Things we didn’t like

Triggering not quite accurate
Single zone trigger

Are you on a tight budget and looking for a ride cymbal to add to your electric set?  Pintech has been producing low-price drum kits for a while. The Pintech Percussion TC10 may be all you need if you are looking for a low price ride cymbal.

It is a single-zone trigger cymbal. Because of the price, you may not expect it to be of very high-quality.

It is more of a basic Piezo trigger that comes inside a rubber cymbal. Pintech TC series are among those with the quietest playing surfaces. This feature makes it suitable for use indoors, without making noise to your neighbors.

This electronic cymbal is an indestructible polymer. Consequently, it is highly durable and will last many years. Pintech has engineered this for use as a heavy-duty cymbal.

They are made in such a way that they can bend but cannot easily break. Moreover, these Pintech cymbals are hard to crack.

It has several limitations. Changes may also not be very accurate. You can use it as an extra crash cymbal pad for expanding your kit.

This electronic cymbal also works great with Yamaha. You can also use it with other brands such as Roland since it is a single piezo cymbal.

Moreover, this cymbal is easy to flex with your hands than brands such as Yamaha PCY135 or Roland CY-5.

Pintech Percussion Electronic Cymbal (TC10)
  • Quiet playing surface
  • Great tracking
  • Great dynamics
  • Virtually indestructible
  • Made in the USA!

Last update on 2021-09-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buying Guide for Best Electronic Drum Cymbals

You will find different varieties of cymbals in the market. However, not all that you find in the market can fully serve your needs.

The cymbals available vary in size, features, material, and even shape. Here is a guide on what to look for so that you can end up with the right cymbal pads for you.

Size

The diameter of a cymbal pad has a significant influence on its playing and the sound. On average, many of the ride and crash cymbals range from 10 inches to 15 inches.

However, you may also across more expensive crash cymbals. This category includes those whose diameter ranges between 16 to 18 inches.

If you are looking for a more realistic feel and sound, then consider going for a larger cymbal. Bigger electronic cymbals offer a more realistic play and sounds. Moreover, their swinging action and response are also more natural.

The only limiting factor is that the bigger a cymbal is, the higher the price. Nonetheless, it is possible to have good triggers that are not that expensive. For instance, 13-inch triggers are relatively large, and they will not cost you so much.

Shape

The playability of an electronic cymbal becomes better the more the cymbal looks like the real thing.

A cymbal that looks like the real thing has its weight evenly balanced. This feature makes it move and react more naturally.

Some smaller electronic sets come with ‘pizza-slice’ shaped cymbal pads that. Even though these are not necessarily bad, they move around so much after every strike. Moreover, they are not the best for inspiring you to play.

Zones

Zones are the different parts of a cymbal where you can trigger sounds. For instance, a three-zone ride cymbal will have sensors on the bell, the edge, and the bow.

A triple-zone ride cymbal will therefore give you three distinct sounds depending on where your drumsticks strike.

Many crashes have dual trigger zones, meaning you can trigger sounds on the edge and the bow.

You will also come across cheaper ones that will have only one zone. With these, you can only trigger sound on the edge. The more the zones on the cymbal, the more costly it becomes, and the higher the quality of sound. 

Compatibility

Most models are cross-compatible among different brands such a s Yamaha, Roland, and others. They have almost similar designs, with some exceptions. For example, some older drum modules do not support three-zone cymbals. You can solve such a challenge by using extra TRS cables.

Different brands such as Yamaha, and others have varying outputs. If you intend to mix as you match components, then perform some tweaking. You can stick to a single brand to remain safe. Access various platforms to discover people’s experiences with specific brands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which sticks can one use to play the cymbal? 

Most of the drumsticks come from wood materials. Many designers use a specific wood that is durable and reliable. For example, among the durable sticks are from oak and hickory sources. Maple stick can be lighter but less durable. These sticks will produce quality sound from a dynamic range.

 

How do I clean Electronic cymbals?

You cannot clean electronic cymbals as you do with acoustic cymbals. The reason behind this is that electronic cymbals are of rubber. Consequently, they call for special care to ensure they do not get scratched or damaged.

To clean them, wipe them with warm water using a soft, damp rag. This simple procedure takes away most of the dust. If they still require more cleaning, a water-soluble non-abrasive cleaner will be the most suitable.

A 303 Aerospace Protectant will also come in handy if you want to polish them. Polishing makes them look like they are brand new.
 

How do electronic cymbals work?    

Electronic cymbals have trigger points that send signals to the drum module any time you strike them. The drum module then picks up the trigger and produces a sound.

The higher the quality of your cymbal, the more trigger points it will have. This also means that high-quality cymbals produce more sounds from each cymbal.

High-quality cymbals are also more responsive than low-quality ones. As such, you can play loud sound and soft sound expressively.

Conclusion

Finding the best electronic cymbal allows one to enjoy good music. You can still upgrade your cymbal pads to improve the quality and the feel. 

In this article, we have reviewed for you some of the best cymbals in the market. Depending on your pocket and needs, you can choose the one that best suits you.

Be sure to check out our list of all hardware components for more great items like this.

For me, drums are life. I always try to move our readers to the best product reviews and information on the market.