The Cymbal Sound Hammered Out by Wuhan
Wuhan Cymbals make no claim to be the best manufacturer around. Nor do they claim to rival the big brands. But they do have a long tradition of producing a quality cymbal sound at an affordable price.
I have been playing drums for nearly twenty years now. However, I have been playing guitar for nearly twenty-five years. And along with trying to maintain an adequate recording studio, my funds are often stretched very thin. So I always have to be extremely frugal in my spending habits. So when it comes to purchasing cymbals, there is not always an excess of money available. That is why I have had to do a little searching to find good cymbals at affordable prices.
I have used many of the budget lines from the big three cymbal manufacturers: Zildjian, Sabian, and Paiste. Some of these cymbals I liked, and some not so much. But with the help of message boards, I discovered a brand called Wuhan. These are hand-hammered cymbals made from B-20 alloy. That’s right… B-20, the same alloy the high-end cymbal series are made from. But the price tags on these cymbals just did not seem very accurate. They were priced much more competitively with the B-8 budget cymbal lines. And with so many people raving about Wuhan, I knew I had to give them a shot.
The first Wuhans I purchased were a packaged cymbal collection including 14” hi-hats, a 16” crash, and a 20” ride. These were the S-Series. I immediately loved the shimmer of the hi-hats and the ping of the ride cymbal sound. The Wuhan crash, while sounding good, was a little too light for my style of heavy bashing, so I opted to sell it. In its place I purchased two Wuhan crash cymbals (Rock Series), one 17” and one 18”. And man, I loved this setup. The cymbal sound rivaled the Zildjian K, seriously. These crashes were still a little lighter than I would have preferred. But for the price (nearly 1/3 the price of Zildlian K crashes of comparable weight and size), I had no complaints. I played them until they broke, which was a few years. My next Wuhan purchase was the 18” crash ride. This is, by far, the best cymbal sound I have been able to attain. I used it as a crash. Because it was sold as as a crash ride, the heaviness was closer to what I preferred than the Rock Series crashes were. I ended up trading this cymbal for a Zildjian K Custom Dark crash, just because I knew I could sell the Zildjian, make a nice little profit, and re-purchase the Wuhan crash ride. I have yet to do that, but I will soon. And let us not forget what Wuhan is perhaps best known for… the trashy cymbal sound of their China line. They make some of the best sounding China cymbals available. And they are very cheap! These do crack fairly easily, but once again, the price tag makes that acceptable.
As a drum basher (I do not consider myself a player), I must admit that the tonal qualities of cymbals have never been extremely important. As long as the cymbal sound is not terrible and they do not break easily, I am usually satisfied. I play loud punk music, so some of the nuances of the cymbals would not be heard anyway. However, after encountering some harsh sounding budget cymbal models, I was able to immediately recognize and appreciate the pleasant overtones of the Wuhans. Incredible bang for the buck… literally.
Check out these Wuhan Cymbals.