Cymbal sound is determined by the alloy that it’s made of.
Cymbals are the part of your drum kit that you use the most (especially the hi-hat and the ride cymbals), therefore it is important that they sound good. It is said that it’s better to have better cymbals than drums, because even the worst drums will sound at least decent with good cybals. There are many alloys used for making cymbals but I”ll concentrate on three most popular. Cymbals made out of the MS63 brass (63% copper, 37% zinc) like the Paiste 302 are relatively cheap, durable but they sound is very bad, so they are recomended for beginners. Next on we have cymbals made out of the b8 bronze (92% copper, 8%tin). This alloy is also known as the “2002 bronze” because one of the most popular ever cymbals (Paiste 2002) were one of the first cymbals made out of this alloy. Cymbals made out of this alloy are little less durable than any made out of brass, but they sound much better. Many cybal companies use b8 bronze to produce semi-pro class cymbal, for example Sabian b8pro, Orion Solo Pro Master. The only company that makes professional cymbals out of the b8 bronze is Paiste. Finally we come to the b20 bronze (80% copper, 20% tin). This is the traditional alloy that has been used for many years by all Turkish companies (this includes Turkish rooted companies like Sabian or Zildjian) to make their professional series. It’s the best sounding alloy, but it’s also the most fragile one, that’s why cymbals made out of this alloy are cymbals designed to be played by professional musicans because it’s easy to damage them without a proper playing technique. Hand made b20 cymbals are the Rolls-Royce of the cymbal world. You don’t drive a Rolls-Royce in rough conditions.
In the end it all comes to yur personal taste, but it’s good to know something about the alloys used to make your cymbals. .