If you are a beginner drummer looking to buy the first cymbals, the question that usually pops up is: “What are cymbals made of?”
Cymbals can be made of different kinds of copper alloys:
- Bell bronze
- Malleable bronze
- Nickel silver
If you are eager to find out more about the most common types of cymbals, you can choose and the material they are made of, read on!
Bell bronze or B20 cymbals are made from an alloy of copper and tin, usually in the ratio of 80% copper to 20% tin.
It is a two-phase alloy, which means that some of the tin is not dissolved in the copper grains and instead persists in the space between them.
B20 cymbals have a wide variety of frequencies, which allows you to be more versatile with your drumming.
Major orchestras generally use B20 cymbals, which are capable of a greater dynamic range than any others.
They are also generally the preferred cymbals of drum kit players.
Malleable bronze, commonly known as B8 alloy, is a tin-copper alloy with an average tin content of 8%.
Unlike bell bronze, it is a single-phase alloy that may be cold-rolled into sheets.
It comes in a variety of grades and thicknesses as commercial sheet metal.
B8 cymbals have an extra bright and focused sonority.
They are great for those who would like the quality of bronze but are short on their budget.
Suppliers usually cast them before being brought in to the cymbal companies, which makes them cheaper.
The brass alloy contains about 38% zinc in copper.
They are low-cost and the most basic cymbals you can hit if you are a beginner.
Brass cymbals sound slightly muffled in comparison to all bronze alloys.
The rigidity of brass results in cymbals that have a harsh sound and are prone to cracks around the bell hole and border, so they aren’t meant to last long.
Nickel silver cymbals are made of copper-based alloy with about 12% nickel.
They are usually very thin and have a strong tone without the shimmer or sensitivity of tin bronze cymbals.
This alloy is used for some beginners’ cymbals but also for very few specialized high-quality cymbals.
Cymbals can be made of different kinds of copper alloys.
Bell bronze cymbals contain 20% of tin and are the preferred cymbals of drum kit players.
Malleable bronze cymbals, with 8% of tin in the copper alloy, are good for those who would like the quality of bronze but are short on their budget.
Brass cymbals contain 38% zinc in copper, and they are the most basic cymbals you can hit if you are a beginner.
Nickel silver alloy is made with 12% nickel in copper, and it’s used for some beginners’ cymbals and for very few specialized high-quality cymbals.
You can choose according to your needs and possibilities, but make sure that the cymbals are made of a good alloy and by a trusty brand.