The 6 Absolute Best Cymbal Packs Under 500 | Budget For All!

By Evan C


Paiste PST 8 Reflector Universal Set

Overall Rating: 5/5

The PST 8 Universal Cymbal Set by Paiste is a versatile collection of cymbals that deliver vibrant and clear tones with a dynamic and energetic attack. Ideal for any musical setting, this set comprises of 14″ Reflector Medium Hi-hats, a 16″ Medium Crash, and a 20″ Medium Ride. Each cymbal features a brilliant finish.

Zildjian I Series Pro Gig Cymbal Pack

Overall Rating: 4/5

Zildjian’s fearless I Series cymbals are expertly crafted from strong and bold B8 bronze, with extensive small, round hammering to bring out the incredible musical character within. Each cymbal in the line has fully lathed surfaces that produce a smooth and glassy response. 

Sabian B8X Performance Pack

Overall Rating: 3/5

The Sabian B8X Performance Pack is meticulously crafted in the Sabian Vault to ensure perfect sonic compatibility. This pack includes a pair of 14″ B8X hi-hats, a 16″ B8X thin crash, a 20″ B8X ride, and a 16″ B8X O-Zone crash. With its bright and cutting sound, B8X delivers the quality of pure bronze at an affordable price, making it an ideal option for your first venture into this exceptional metal.

Here Are The 6 Best Cymbal Packs Under 500

1. Paiste PST 8 Reflector Universal Set

2. Zildjian I Series Pro Gig Cymbal Pack

3. Sabian B8X Performance Pack With 16″ O-Zone Crash

4. Meinl HCS Bronze Complete Cymbal Set

5. Paiste PST 5 Rock Set

6. Meinl HCS Super Cymbal Pack

Cymbal Packs Are There!

Whether you’re a beginner drummer or you’ve been playing your drum set a while, you may be wondering what the best cymbal packs under 500 are. The right cymbals can come with a lower price tag and even good sound quality.

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The More Cymbal Choices, The Better?

With all of the choices, let’s talk a little about what gives these cymbal packs their appeal. You have a few choices here and it can be pretty intimidating when trying to make a choice.

The Budget Cymbal Packs Explained!

1. Paiste PST 8 Reflector Universal Set 

The Paiste PST 8 cymbal pack is definitely one of the best cymbal packs under 500.

Experience pure and magical delight with the vibrant and dynamic Paiste PST8 Universal cymbal set, offering a wealth of richness, precision, and articulation.

Unleashing a refined and profound sound, this collection features the expressive 14″ Reflector medium hi-hats, delivering a perfect balance.

The 20″ Reflector medium ride embodies pristine clarity and exceptional control, while the 16″ Reflector medium crash offers a lively and responsive character. 

Immerse yourself in the captivating tones of PST 8 cymbals by Paiste, meticulously crafted from the renowned 2002 bronze alloy (B8 bronze).

Embodying the essence of Swiss craftsmanship, these cymbals undergo traditional hand-hammering techniques and are impeccably finished with the distinctive Reflector design, showcasing the artistry of skilled hands.

These exceptional features make PST 8 cymbals a true embodiment of the Paiste legacy, offering unrivaled quality at a remarkably accessible price point, aligning them with the esteemed lineage of Paiste Sound Technology series.

The Paiste PST8 Universal cymbal set is an ideal companion for any drum kit, guaranteeing an unforgettable musical journey.

Drummers have said the cymbals from this pack have even stick tones from the bells to the edges. They are also well-matched in tone and great for any studio recordings. A few complaints I’ve heard is that these cymbals are too tingy and that the ride cymbal is too washy.

I’ve extremely familiar with Paiste and their Cusn8 bronze (b8 bronze) cymbals and grew up playing Paiste. I’ve always liked the clarity and distinct articulation on their cymbals. To me, it always feels like you’re playing something much more expensive. I feel like this is the best cymbal pack for your money and one of the best cymbal packs under 500.


  • Even stick tone across bell and edge
  • Well-matched in tone
  • Great for any studio recording


  • Possibly too ‘tingy’
  • Ride cymbal could be a tad washy

2.  Zildjian I Series Pro Gig Cymbal Pack

Zildjian I Series

Experience the fearless spirit of Zildjian’s remarkable I Series cymbals, meticulously crafted from bold and resonant B8 bronze.

Unleashing their true musical essence, these cymbals undergo meticulous small, round hammering techniques, unlocking a captivating richness.

Each cymbal in this lineup features fully lathed surfaces, providing a smooth and glassy response. With their slender profiles and lightweight construction, these cymbals offer a level of maturity and expressiveness that is often absent in this price range.

Whether you’re looking to expand your cymbal collection or venture into the realms of trash crashes and mastersound hi-hats, the Zildjian I Family of cymbals comes highly recommended by drummers everywhere for their exceptional craftsmanship and distinctive character.

The pack in this video doesn’t show the 18″ crash

The Zildjian I Series Pro Gig Pack offers a perfect blend of high output and expressive potential, featuring the brilliance of thin-weight B8 bronze in its 14″ hi-hats, 16″ and 18″ crashes, and 20″ ride.

The meticulous small-bore hammering and fully lathed playing surfaces grant these cymbals a mature and radiant response, allowing them to shine within a mix without overpowering it.

Adorned with a medium-sheen traditional finish, the I Series Pro Gig Pack seamlessly integrates with your existing Zildjian collection, exuding a timeless aesthetic.

Drummers have said these cymbals are very expressive and musical. They also have a beautiful mid-range and sit well in the mix.

A complaint I’ve heard is that the durability is questionable with these cymbals and that they may be overpowering.

I haven’t played these, but they sound a bit better than Zildjian’s previous B8 bronze line, ZBT. I feel Zildjian went above on this line and the price is justified. It’s impossible to have a best cymbal packs under 500 post and not talk about Zildjian at all. LOL! 🧐


  • Very expressive and musical
  • Beautiful mid-range that sits well in the mix


  • Question of durability and cymbals may be too overpowering for some drummers

3. Sabian B8X Performance Pack With 16″ O-Zone Crash

Sabian B8X

Immerse yourself in the harmonious synergy of the SABIAN B8X Performance Pack, meticulously curated in the renowned SABIAN Vault.

This extraordinary collection comprises the essential components: 14″ B8X hi-hats, 16″ B8X thin crash, 20″ B8X ride, and the distinctive 16″ B8X O-Zone crash, adding an extra touch of power and impact.

Crafted with precision, each cymbal undergoes meticulous formation, hammering, and lathing, resulting in a symphony of pure and sonically tight sounds.

The B8X series resonates with the bright and cutting characteristics of pure bronze, offering exceptional quality at an affordable price.

Embarking on your journey into the realm of this precious metal has never been easier with the SABIAN B8X Performance Pack, designed for serious beginners seeking performance-ready excellence.

Drummers have said these cut through the mix regardless of how hard you hit them. They also sound crisp and rich. I have heard these aren’t the best cymbals for lighter styles of music like jazz, etc.

I have always loved Sabian cymbals and use their HHX series as of today. I played Sabian B8 a long time ago, so I had to recommend the B8X pack!

It’s a good cymbal pack and a great value for any beginner drummer. Basically, anything Sabian B (B8, B8Pro, B8X, what’s next Sabian lol) is a great option, especially for beginners. 


  • Cut through the mix regardless of dynamics
  • Crisp and rich


  • Aren’t good for lighter styles of music like jazz or bebop

4. Meinl HCS Bronze Complete Cymbal Set

Meinl HCS Bronze Complete Cymbal Set

Experience the captivating essence of Meinl HCS Bronze cymbals, a contemporary interpretation of the immensely popular HCS Series, offering remarkable tonal quality at an exceptional value.

Expertly crafted from B8 bronze alloy, these cymbals produce vibrant overtones, boasting a swift attack and a textured wash.

The lathe-formed profile, adorned with wide blade lathing, imbues the HCS Bronze cymbals with a delightful sweetness and clarity that is rarely found at this price range.

Further enhancing their sonic capabilities, the additional top lathing opens up the sound, delivering an expansive and refined tone.

Acquiring a superb set of cymbals no longer requires a hefty investment. Embrace the Meinl HCS Bronze cymbals and witness the transformative difference firsthand.

This comprehensive 3-piece Complete Cymbal Set comprises a pair of 14″ Hi-hats, a 16″ Crash, and a 20″ Ride, granting you ample sonic options for your musical explorations. Before long, you’ll be eager to expand your collection with more remarkable HCS cymbals to augment your drum kit.

Drummers have said the hi hats sound crisp and the ride has a nice bell to it with this pack. Each cymbal also compliments the other perfectly, making this pack another one of the best cymbal packs under 500.

A complaint I’ve heard is that these cymbals may sound constrained (especially to more experienced drummers), like they aren’t expressing their fullest projection of sound.

Meinl cymbals are one of the best cymbal companies out there. I always contemplate replacing my Sabian cymbals with Meinl because all their cymbal lines are crisp.

I haven’t played these, but I see them all the time in Guitar Center and have watched several videos/researched them. These are some solid cymbals for the price, especially for beginner drummers.


  • Hi hats sound crisp and ride has a nice bell
  • Each cymbal compliments the next


  • These cymbals may sound constrained to more experienced drummers

5. Paiste PST 5 Rock Set

Paiste PST 5 Rock Set

Experience the excellence of Paiste Sound Technology, synonymous with impeccably crafted cymbals and exceptional sound design, all at an accessible price point.

In response to evolving musical trends, the esteemed Swiss Sound Development Team at Paiste embarked on a redesign journey, giving birth to the enhanced PST 5 series.

While the visual aesthetics of the cymbals have undergone subtle refinements, their fundamental sonic essence has undergone a remarkable transformation.

The PST 5 cymbals are now lighter, imbuing them with a deeper and warmer overall sound that beautifully preserves their inherent bright character.

This weight reduction also enhances their flexibility, resulting in an even more captivating and satisfying playing experience.

The overall result is that the PST 5 series has elevated its musicality to new heights, delivering an exceptional range of sonic expression.

Indulge in the musical brilliance of the PST 5 cymbals, where each creation showcases the meticulous craftsmanship and sonic innovation that Paiste is renowned for. These remarkable cymbals invite you to explore a world of rich tonal qualities, all within your reach.

Drummers have said these cymbals have a bright sound, especially the crash. They also have a beautiful shine to them. They are also perfect for a lot of heavier music.

A complaint I’ve heard is that the ride cymbal seems too thin and has too much resonance. Also, drummers have said these cymbals could be brighter.

I played PST 5 hi hats in school band growing up. They always had a nice sizzle and chik to them, especially for being a B8 bronze. I think the crash cymbal and ride sound nice as well, but I don’t have too much experience with those.

This is definitely another solid choice for one of the best cymbal packs under 500.


  • Bright-sounding cymbals with a great shine
  • Great for rock and heavier styles of music


  • Ride cymbal may be too thin for some and have too much resonance

6. Meinl HCS Super Cymbal Pack

We discussed the bronze Meinl HCS cymbals, but let’s talk about their original HCS line comprised of brass cymbals.

These are crafted in Germany from a durable MS63 brass alloy, which holds up to some force of your sticks, and their realistic prices make HCS cymbals the perfect choice for beginners who are building their first kit.

Experience the immense versatility of the Meinl HCS-SCS, offering an expansive array of harmonically rich cymbals that will elevate your drum sound to new heights.

This ultimate complete cymbal set pack provides all the essential components you need for a complete sonic experience.

Begin with the articulate and clean 14″ hi-hat pair, delivering precise and driving ‘chicks’. The 20″ ride cymbal offers a well-defined ping and a pleasing bell sound.

Enhance your kit’s sound with a pair of smooth-sounding crashes, the 16″ and 18″, adding a complex and expansive spread.

The 10″ splash cymbal provides immediate and cutting response, perfect for quick and impactful accents.

Lastly, the 16″ china cymbal offers an explosive and brash attack, accompanied by dark and trashy undertones, delivering an awe-inspiring and dramatic effect.

This Meinl HCS cymbal pack is the perfect complement to complete your kit with different types of cymbals, offering a remarkable range of expressive possibilities.

Drummers have said these cymbals have a responsive feel and that they are excellent value for the price. A complaint (more experienced drummers) is that these have a ‘tinny’ sound and aren’t the best to play, unless you are a beginner/intermediate and/or on a budget.

These aren’t a real high-quality cymbal pack, but I think it’s one of the best cymbal packs under 500. Given brass are cheap cymbals, it’s the best option for an absolute beginner, or someone deciding if they even want to play drums. 


  • Responsive feel
  • Excellent value for the price


  • Brass cymbals are way cheaper quality and these cymbals may sound ‘tinny’

Cymbals JUST OUTSIDE the 500 Range: 

7. Zildjian S series Dark Cymbal Pack

Prepare to have your sonic expectations transformed with the introduction of the S Family, an extraordinary innovation in B12 alloy cymbals.

Zildjian dedicated two years of meticulous research and design to unveil a fresh and contemporary cymbal voice to the world.

The S Family encompasses a versatile range of vibrant and expressive cymbals, meticulously crafted to deliver a harmonious and balanced frequency response, catering to an array of musical styles.

Experience the epitome of perfection with the S Family Performer Cymbal Pack, curated by Zildjian to elevate your sound.

This all-inclusive pack contains everything you need to enhance your sonic palette, conveniently assembled in a single collection.

Immerse yourself in the captivating sounds of the 14″ S Mastersound Hi-Hats, meticulously designed to produce a crisp and articulate response.

Add depth and character to your performance with the 16″ and 18″ S Medium Thin Crash cymbals, offering a perfect blend of brilliance and sensitivity.

These thin cymbals will also offer a quicker delay. Finally, crown your sound with the resonant and versatile 20″ S Medium Ride, providing a well-defined and balanced ride experience.

Discover a new realm of sonic possibilities with the S Family Performer Cymbal Pack, meticulously crafted by Zildjian to redefine your musical journey. 

Drummers have said these cymbals sound more high-end than the price and are and are great for many styles of music. A complaint I’ve heard is that the crash cymbals have ‘gong-like’ overtones and that there could be more sustain.

I know this post is for the best cymbal packs under 500, but I wanted to include this pack just outside that range!

You can still buy some GREAT used ZHT cymbals, click above to check them out!

I haven’t used the S-series cymbals, but I’ve used their ZHT line in the past several times. Zildjian knows how to make cymbals and their S-series are like dark-sounding ZHT cymbals, but better!

The way ZIldjian is able to achieve different sounds so flawlessly are why they are a personal preference for drummers. 

If you wanted to spend a little more money, you could get Sabian XSR cymbals, which are B20 bronze (using trickle down technology from their high-end cymbals like Evolution) and great for beginner and professional drummers alike. 


  • These sound more high-end than the price you pay
  • Great for a lot of styles of music


  • Crash cymbal may not be the best taste for everyone with ‘gong-like’ overtones
  • Over the $500 limit

Tons Of Cymbal Choices

Whether you’re looking into different Zildjian cymbal packs, or any of the other brands, you’ll find the best cymbal packs under 500 are many!

There are tons of choices even outside this list (don’t forget used cymbals too!), so don’t be afraid to take a chance on any others you research!

Finding cymbals you like is the most important thing. If those aren’t on this list, you’ve got so many other choices! Don’t stop here and ask lots of questions.

Cymbal Packs And You

So, what are your thoughts on this list? Have you been considering any of these cymbals? Would you not recommend a few for this budget of 500?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and questions below! Let me know.

Want FREE drum hacks to help your drum chops foundation and get you on the right track?

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Until next time, stay attuned!

-Evan C.

About the author

Hi there, I'm Evan and I love drums.. Also, I love music! I've been playing drums for most of my life and nothing beats the thrill I get from it. I hope to be able to provide you with insightful tips and reviews on things within the drum and music world!

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