Zildjian L80 & Gen16 Low Volume Cymbals

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Realistic and responsive cymbals, without the sound. For low volume practicing, Zildjian L80 low volume cymbals are an excellent choice. The Zildjian Gen16 cymbal package gives the same low volume setup, with added realistic electronic cymbal sounds for live performances and practicing.

If you want to keep the feel of real cymbals but lose the volume, the Zildjian L80 low volume cymbal range is definitely worth checking out. Zildjian L80 low volume cymbals have small holes drilled across the entire surface, which cuts the volume dramatically. Zildjian’s claim of up to 80% volume reduction is fairly spot on… If you’ve never played something like this before, the lack of sound from the L80 is an interesting experience the first time you hit one. For practicing drums in apartments, dorm rooms, or at 3am anywhere, these are the best low volume cymbal option around. They’re very well-made and behave exactly like real cymbals, minus the sound. While they’re a little expensive, these cymbals a great investment considering the progress you’ll make being able to practice anywhere, anytime. If you’ve ever used rubber cymbal mutes or towels across your cymbals to reduce the sound, the difference is night and day compared to Zildjian’s low volume cymbal range… It’s a huge plus to be able to play on low volume cymbals that behave exactly like real cymbals.

Zildjian L80 cymbals respond with all of the sounds you’d expect from regular cymbals:

  • Half-open hi hat,
  • Responsive crashes,
  • Ride bell and bow definition,
  • Hi hat foot chick.

Importantly, these low volume cymbals fit to any regular cymbal stand, meaning you don’t need to buy extra gear to mount them. They are available in packs, or individually.

Taking things one step further…

If you want to trigger real cymbal sounds, the Zildjian Gen16 low volume cymbal pack gives the same feel as the L80 range, with added electronic cymbal processing. The Gen16 module picks up each strike and movement of the cymbals, converting this into digital sound. Importantly, this is different from an electronic cymbal pad – the Gen16 converts the cymbal’s vibration into sound, allowing for much more realistic chokes, accents, and hi hat work. The technology here is different from a normal electronic cymbal pad which simply detects a “hit” and its velocity, and then plays a sound. The Zildjian Gen16 cymbal range is great for low volume gigging where real cymbals are too overpowering, or for a much more realistic-sounding practice setup. These cymbals can also be used like regular L80 cymbals (without the electronics turned on), making them a versatile option. Put your headphones on, or plug them into a stereo or PA system, and you’ve got full control over your cymbal volume. Like the L80 cymbals, the Zildjian Gen16 range is available in different packs, or you can get these cymbals separately.

So which low volume cymbal package should I choose?

  • Go with the Zildjian L80 cymbal range if you just want a low volume drum practice setup. These are great for a practice room, and still give enough sound for you to hear what you’re doing.
  • Choose Zildjian’s Gen16 cymbals for low volume live drum performances, and realistic-sounding low volume practicing with headphones or through speakers. Without the electronics turned on, the Gen16 range behaves exactly like the L80 low volume range, making them a very versatile choice.

Note: If you already have Zildjian L80 cymbals, they can be paired with the Gen16 processor quite easily. The L80 and Gen16 cymbals are effectively the same thing, however the Gen16 is designed to be amplified or used with headphones.

See this video to see what Zildjian L80 low volume cymbals can do:

Here’s an overview of the Zildjian Gen16 low volume cymbal range: The same low volume setup as the L80 cymbals, with added electronics for low volume live performance or realistic-sounding practice.

Tip: Pair the Zildjian L80 or Gen16 low volume cymbals with Remo Silentstroke mesh drumheads, for the most realistic low volume practice setup. Play your real acoustic drum set without disturbing the neighbours. These mesh drumheads reduce the sound of your drums to almost nothing, and have a very realistic stick bounce. Remo Silentstroke mesh drumheads can also be tuned, with a tighter tuning meaning more responsiveness and bounce from your drumsticks. Paired with Zildjian L80 or Gen16 low volume cymbals, this is the perfect silent drumming setup.

Want to read more about electronic drumming? See the compact electronic drum pad options in this article.

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