Sabian is one of the top cymbal manufacturers, and the brand has an excellent long-standing reputation amongst drummers. The company has adopted a forward-thinking approach that is reflected in its exceptional artist roster and innovative cymbal designs.
The Sabian cymbal lines have something to offer everyone, ranging from the entry-level B8X right through to the top-of-the-line HHX series. The sounds of these Sabian cymbal sets range from traditional and dark all the way through to cutting, modern and bright.
In this article, we’ll explore the best Sabian cymbals that are sure to satisfy all different budgets and styles of drummers. No matter what type of music you perform, these Sabian cymbal sets are sure to compliment your playing style!
What are the Best Sabian Cymbals?
Sabian Cymbal Sets Reviews
Sabian AAX Promotional Cymbal Set Review
The Sabian AAX cymbal set was the first pro-level cymbal set I owned. I love the AAX Sabian cymbal line because these cymbals are supremely playable and will complement virtually any style of music.
Included in this Sabian AAX cymbal set is pair of 14-inch medium hi-hats, 16 and 18 inch thin crashes, and a 21-inch medium ride. The cymbals are all hand-picked and tonally matched in the Sabian vault for a cohesive sonic pairing.
These Sabian AAX cymbals are professional level B20 bronze cast cymbals that possess a brilliant lathed finish, combined with a raw-unlathed bell. This helps these cymbals to produce a modern and bright sound overall, with just the right balance of complexity and sustain.
I particularly love the 16 and 18 inch thin crashes that are included with this Sabian set. These are thin and super responsive, and the unlathed bell offers a slightly rawer and complex sound that is simply gorgeous.
The AAX medium hi-hats and ride cymbal are also impressive and both feel great to play. The hi-hats produce a well-defined, bold, and crisp sound. The ride has a buttery smooth sound with a clean stick definition, particularly on the bell.
Overall, Sabian’s AAX cymbal line is exceptional, and these versatile cymbals will sound great on any drum set no matter what style of music you play!
This AAX Sabian cymbal set is comprised of the following cymbals:
- 14” AAX Medium Hi-Hats
- 16” AAX Thin Crash
- 18” AAX Thin Crash
- 21” AAX Medium Ride
- Perfectly versatile cymbals that are capable of playing virtually any style of music
- Offers great value and would be the ideal step up from beginner B8 sheet cymbals
- Professional quality B20 bronze offers a very well-balanced and modern sound
- Quite bright and loud sound compared to darker ranges such as Meinl Byzance or Sabian HHX Legacy
Sabian HHX Evolution Performance Cymbal Set Review
The Sabian HHX Evolution Performance cymbal set has a darker and more complex tone compared to the AAX cymbals. HHX is Sabian’s top-of-the-range cymbal line and they offer a darker, vibrant sound.
Sabian’s Evolution cymbals are some of my favorite pro-level cymbals, and I have a lot of experience performing with them both live and in the studio. The brilliant mirror-shine finish provides these cymbals with excellent tonal projection while still possessing a warm and rich character.
Included in this Sabian cymbal set you’ll receive a pair of 14-inch Evolution hi-hats, a 16-inch Evolution crash cymbal, a 20-inch Evolution ride, as well as a free 18-inch Evolution O-Zone cymbal.
The innovative Sabian Evolution line ticks all of the boxes. It’s a modern sound, paired with the warmer, dark sound that Sabian HHX is typically known for. They are rather thin and lightweight, and also have a rather short sustain, which I personally love.
The crash cymbals are super explosive and can cut through any wall of sound. The O-Zone crash has a trashy character due to the holes in the cymbal. The ride cymbal has a full-bodied tone and an excellent cymbal ‘ping’, meanwhile, the hi-hats have a delightful bold character.
This HHX Sabian cymbal set is comprised of the following cymbals:
- 14” HHX Evolution Hi-Hats
- 16” HHX Evolution Crash
- 18” HHX Evolution O-Zone Crash
- 20” HHX Evolution Ride
- Beautifully dark and modern sound
- Supremely versatile and playable for most styles of music
- Smooth and buttery playing response feels amazing while performing them
- More expensive than the Sabian AAX line
- I’ve found the O-Zone cymbal is prone to cracking
Sabian XSR Super Cymbal Set Review
The Sabian XSR Super Cymbal Set is the ultimate cymbal set if you’re looking for killer sounds at an affordable price. These are truly high-end cast cymbals but without the high-end price tag.
Included in this Sabian cymbal set you’ll find a pair of 14-inch hi-hats, a trio of 14, 16, and 18-inch crashes, a 10-inch splash cymbal, and a 20-inch ride cymbal. That’s a huge setup!
The XSR line is sure to provide you with all the sounds you’re looking for, with a range of awesome tones to choose from in this pack.
The cast B20 bronze leads to a sonically richer tone compared to cheaper B8 bronze cymbals like the B8X line, and the sounds are super smooth with an excellent frequency response.
The cymbals have a medium sustain, in addition to a brighter overall sound due to the brilliant lathed finish. The sound of the XSR line could be compared a little to the AAX line, or the Zildjian A custom line of cymbals.
Sabian has done a very good job with the XSR cymbals, having taken cymbal design elements from their top-of-the-line cymbals such as the Sabian Evolution line, to equip these cymbals with a really versatile and modern sound, and at such a low price.
This Sabian cymbal set is comprised of the following cymbals:
- 14” XSR Hi-Hats
- 14” XSR Fast Crash
- 16” XSR Fast Crash
- 18” XSR Fast Crash
- 20” XSR Ride
- 10” XSR Splash
- Impressive range of tones will complement any musical style
- Quality B20 bronze cast cymbals at a very affordable price
- Very smooth and refined sounds overall
- Despite the fact they are cast B20 bronze, there are not many professionals using these cymbals
Sabian B8X Performance Cymbal Set Review
B8 cymbals don’t typically sound all that, especially when compared to pro-level B20 bronze cymbals like the AAX and HHX Sabian lines. But the Sabian B8X Performance cymbal set is a step up from other sheet bronze cymbals on the market.
Inside the B8X box set is a pair of 14-inch hi-hats, a set of 16 and 18 inch thin crashes, as well as a 20-inch ride cymbal. The B8X line is very affordable, which makes them perfectly suited for students and those on a budget.
The sound overall lacks some refinement, and they aren’t as rich sonically compared to B20 bronze that we are all used to hearing. But they are still smooth sounding and fit right at home amongst a whole variety of musical styles.
The stand-out performers in the set are the hi-hats and the ride cymbal. They each have a strong and bold character, and they feel great to play.
The 18-inch thin crash cymbal produces a nice tone and it’s fun to play, but I’m less impressed with the 16-inch crash cymbal, which still works alongside the other cymbals, but has a slightly harsher tone in comparison.
Overall, however, the Sabian B8X cymbal set offers good value for money, and it makes the perfect investment for beginner drummers looking to equip themselves with the tools to succeed in drumming!
The B8X Sabian cymbal set is comprised of the following cymbals:
- 14” B8X Hi-Hats
- 16” B8X Thin Crash
- 18” B8X Thin Crash
- 21” B8X Ride